Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt

Exclusive: The “fake news” theme has captivated The Washington Post and the mainstream U.S. media so much that it is stooping to McCarthyistic smears against news outlets that don’t toe the State Department’s propaganda line, says Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

The mainstream U.S. media’s hysteria over “fake news” has reached its logical (or illogical) zenith, a McCarthyistic black-listing of honest journalism that simply shows professional skepticism toward Officialdom, including what’s said by U.S. government officials and what’s written in The Washington Post and New York Times.

Apparently, to show skepticism now opens you to accusations of disseminating “Russian propaganda” or being a “useful idiot” or some similar ugly smear reminiscent of the old Cold War. Now that we have entered a New Cold War, I suppose it makes sense that we should expect a New McCarthyism.

Lawyer Roy Cohn (right) with Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

Lawyer Roy Cohn (right) with Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

After returning from a Thanksgiving trip to Philadelphia on Saturday, I received word that Consortiumnews.com, the 21-year-old investigative news site that has challenged misguided “group thinks” whether from Republicans, Democrats or anyone else over those two-plus decades, was included among some 200 Internet sites spreading what some anonymous Web site, PropOrNot, deems “Russian propaganda.”

I would normally ignore such nonsense but it was elevated by The Washington Post, which treated these unnamed “independent researchers” as sophisticated experts who “tracked” the Russian propaganda operation and assembled the black list.

And I’m not joking when I say that these neo-McCarthyites go unnamed. The Post’s article by Craig Timberg on Thursday described PropOrNot simply as “a nonpartisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds [who] planned to release its own findings Friday showing the startling reach and effectiveness of Russian propaganda campaigns.”

The Post granted the group and its leadership anonymity to smear journalists who don’t march in lockstep with official pronouncements from the State Department or some other impeccable fount of never-to-be-questioned truth. The Post even published a “blind” (or unattributed) quote from the head of this shadowy Web site as follows:

“‘The way that this propaganda apparatus supported [Donald] Trump was equivalent to some massive amount of a media buy,’ said the executive director of PropOrNot, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid being targeted by Russia’s legions of skilled hackers.”

The Shoddy Washington Post

As a professional journalist for more than four decades, it is hard for me to comprehend how a supposedly reputable newspaper like The Washington Post would allow some anonymous character to attack the patriotism of American journalists while hiding the person’s name behind the ridiculous excuse that he or she might be targeted by hackers.

The Washington Post building. (Photo credit: Daniel X. O'Neil)

The Washington Post building. (Photo credit: Daniel X. O’Neil)

In 1985, when I was an investigative reporter for The Associated Press and first exposed Oliver North’s secret White House operation in support of the Nicaraguan Contra rebels, I got some flak for using North’s name because he claimed that he might be targeted by assassins — even though he was not officially a covert operative. His name and title were listed in the White House directory, for instance.

So, as silly and unfounded as North’s worries were – and The Washington Post then followed me in publishing North’s name – at least North’s concerns dealt with his personal safety. But now we have the Post treating an alleged study by supposed “independent researchers” as needing the protection of anonymity to allow the Web site’s executive director to expound on the group’s slanderous assessments without giving his or her name.

In such a case, how is the public supposed to evaluate the smears and whether these researchers are indeed “independent” or are funded by some actual propaganda network, like those financed by the National Endowment for Democracy or USAID or financial speculator George Soros or some military-industrial-complex think tank?

Indeed, isn’t what this Post-promoted Web site doing the essence of McCarthyistic “fake news” – making vague accusations and imposing guilt by association, suggesting that all the Web sites on its list are either treasonous or dupes?

Though the Post doesn’t seem to care about fairness regarding the 200 or so Web sites subjected to this McCarthyism, the smear operation doesn’t even present evidence that anyone actually is part of this grand Russian propaganda conspiracy. The PropOrNot site admits that the criteria for its “analysis” are “behaviorial,” not evidentiary.

In other words, the assessment is based on whether this anonymous group doesn’t like that some journalist is questioning the State Department’s propaganda line or has come up with information that isn’t convenient to the NATO narrative on a topic that also involves Russia, Ukraine, Syria or some other international hot spot.

Then, you and other journalists are slimed as either active Russian intelligence operatives or “they are at the very least acting as bona-fide ‘useful idiots’ of the Russian intelligence services, and are worthy of further scrutiny,” according to PropOrNot.

A Cold War Slur

As the Post recognized in its article, the phrase “useful idiot” or “useful fool” comes from the old Cold War – when journalists and citizens who didn’t march in lock-step with Washington’s propaganda were so stigmatized. That such a grotesque and pejorative phrase was used in this supposedly “independent” study should have been a warning to any professional newspaper to toss the report in the trash can. Instead, The Washington Post embraced it as gospel.

 Sergey V. Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, addresses the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session. 23 September 2016 (UN Photo)

Sergey V. Lavrov, Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs, addresses the United Nations General Assembly on
Sept. 23, 2016 (UN Photo)

What is further remarkable about this bizarre “study” is that it mixes together a wide variety of diverse political, ideological and journalistic groups, including some of the best independent journalism sites on the Internet, such as Counterpunch, Truthdig, Naked Capitalism, Zero Hedge, Truth-out, WikiLeaks and – I would humbly suggest — Consortiumnews.

Also, neither truth nor fact-based journalism appears to be involved in  this “analysis.” No one from this Web site or from The Washington Post contacted me about any alleged inaccuracies or “propaganda” in Consortiumnews’ stories.

Obviously, there have been times when we have challenged “facts” as claimed by the U.S. government and the Post, including their 2002-03 assertions about Iraq’s fictional WMD. (Back then, we were denounced by George W. Bush’s fans as “Saddam apologists.”)

We also have cited cases of disagreements inside the U.S. intelligence community about other “group thinks” that were being pushed by the State Department and the mainstream U.S. news media, such as the CIA’s internal doubts about who was responsible for the Aug. 21, 2013 sarin gas attack outside Damascus, Syria.

Consortiumnews also has cited disclosures buried deep inside articles by the Post and New York Times regarding the important role of neo-Nazis and other ultra-nationalist militias in the putsch that ousted Ukraine’s elected President Viktor Yanukovych on Feb. 22, 2014, and in the subsequent civil war.

I guess readers are supposed to ignore these occasional bursts of honesty from some reporter in the field who feels obliged to mention the Swastikas and other Nazi symbols festooning the rooms and uniforms of these U.S.-backed “freedom fighters” — although the reporter and editors know well enough to stick these references near the end of stories where few people are likely to read. Our “propaganda guilt” is that we read to the end of these articles and highlight these important admissions.

Nazi symbols on helmets worn by members of Ukraine's Azov battalion. (As filmed by a Norwegian film crew and shown on German TV)

Nazi symbols on helmets worn by members of Ukraine’s Azov battalion. (As filmed by a Norwegian film crew and shown on German TV)

Then, there are times when Consortiumnews has referred to these occasional admissions about neo-Nazis and compared them to positive mainstream references to these same neo-Nazis. For instance, the Times itself included at least one brief reference to this neo-Nazi reality, though buried it deep inside an article. On Aug. 10, 2014, a Times’ article mentioned the neo-Nazi Azov battalion in the last three paragraphs of a lengthy story on another topic.

“The fighting for Donetsk has taken on a lethal pattern: The regular army bombards separatist positions from afar, followed by chaotic, violent assaults by some of the half-dozen or so paramilitary groups surrounding Donetsk who are willing to plunge into urban combat,” the Times reported.

“Officials in Kiev say the militias and the army coordinate their actions, but the militias, which count about 7,000 fighters, are angry and, at times, uncontrollable. One known as Azov, which took over the village of Marinka, flies a neo-Nazi symbol resembling a Swastika as its flag.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Discovers Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis at War.”]

Yet, later the Times published a story about the Ukrainian government’s defense of the port of Mariupol against ethnic Russian rebels and the Azov battalion was treated as the last bastion of civilization battling against the barbarians at the gate. Remarkably, the article left out all references to the Azov battalion’s Nazi Swastikas. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Whites Out Ukraine’s Brown Shirts.”]

It is that exposure of the mainstream U.S. media’s distortions of the reality in Ukraine that has apparently earned Consortiumnews a spot on this strange list of willful disseminators of “Russian propaganda” or “useful idiots.”

Washington Post ‘Fake News’

It also might be noted that Consortiumnews has repeatedly pointed out how The Washington Post falsely reported as flat fact that Iraq was hiding WMD yet the editors responsible for this acceptance of State Department propaganda, which got some 4,500 American soldiers killed along with hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, have never faced accountability. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “A Media Unmoored from Facts.”]

Washington Post's editorial page editor Fred Hiatt.

Washington Post’s editorial page editor Fred Hiatt, who published as flat fact that Iraq was hiding WMD stockpiles.

Ironically, too, it should be noted that on Saturday, The New York Times, which also has been flogging the “fake news” theme, ran a relatively responsible article revealing how a leading “fake news” Web site was not connected to Russia at all but rather was an entrepreneurial effort by an unemployed Georgian student who was using a Web site in Tbilisi to make some money by promoting pro-Trump stories, whether true or not.

The owner of the Web site, 22-year-old Beqa Latsabidse, said he had initially tried to push stories favorable to Hillary Clinton but that proved unprofitable so he switched to publishing anti-Clinton and pro-Trump articles whether true or not.

The front-page Times article revealed what has been happening – entrepreneurs who want to make money have been peddling pro-Trump “news” because that’s what gets the clicks and thus the advertising dollars. That behavior does not implicate Consortiumnews or any other independent Web site that happens to challenge State Department propaganda. (Consortiumnews relies on donations from readers and some book sales to meet its modest $200,000-a-year budget.)

To merge these two groups – profit-driven sites that don’t care what the truth is and honest journalism sites that show professional skepticism toward government propaganda whatever its source – is a kind of classic example of “fake news” although in this case the mysterious Web site PropOrNot and The Washington Post are peddling the disinformation.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com).

image_pdfimage_print

86 comments for “Washington Post’s ‘Fake News’ Guilt

  1. Mark K
    November 27, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    OMG

  2. chan
    November 27, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Yup. Our local newspaper is echoing the AP, which is echoing the Post, which is echoing PropOrNot. Congratulations, Consortiumnews, you are now in the company of Peter Seeger and Yip Harburg, as you are on THE LIST.

  3. November 27, 2016 at 9:47 pm

    Almost certainly Ukraine or friends, given the call for SWIFT disconnect. Russia called doing so an act of war over a year ago, and it hasn’t been mentioned in US media except in passing for months. But if you follow the link on Propornot’s own FAQ page it takes you down a familiar path. The night the WaPo article was published, there were only three verbatim entries that come up in a Google search for “disconnect Russia from the SWIFT financial transaction system.” Two from Propornot, and one from Euromaiden Press, which they link to when mentioning SWIFT. The Propornot Twitter account has also posted messages using phrases and dialect of Russian common to Ukraine.

    > http://euromaidanpress.com/about/
    >> http://irf.ua/
    >>> http://www.irf.ua/about/irf/
    >>>> http://www.irf.ua/about/soros/

    Parallel threads discussing this:
    https://twitter.com/MarkAmesExiled/status/802349094303887360
    https://twitter.com/alsodanlowe/status/802072250765615104

    Not a smoking gun, but given Consortium News’ fairly concentrated readership, and the critical coverage of Crimea/Nuland & company, these are highly coincidental.

  4. Zachary Smith
    November 27, 2016 at 10:28 pm

    I went to the site peddling the Russian Agent BS, and found this gem of a ‘suggestion’:

    Obtain news from actual reporters, who report to an editor and are professionally accountable for mistakes. We suggest NPR, the BBC, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Buzzfeed, VICE, etc, and especially your local papers and local TV news channels. Support them by subscribing, if you can!

    I’ll admit I know nothing about the BBC, Buzzfeed, or VICE, but the rest are an utterly shameless bunch of neocon/neoliberal hacks who peddle nothing besides “fake news”. If the truth slips through with any of them, it truly is an accident.

  5. Paul
    November 27, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    Oh my. The Washington Post’s, and its sponsor’s, blatantly lame efforts here betray desperation.

    For what it is worth, Mr. Parry, I would have been sorely disappointed if your site was not on this McCarthyite hit list. It’s not quite the same as getting an Academy Award, but close.

    • Eddie
      November 28, 2016 at 12:34 am

      Right, it’s very similar to being on the old “Nixon’s Enemies List” — something to truly wear as a badge of honor!

      I, like many of the other readers of ConsortiumNews, have given-up on the MSM. I had been personally trending that way for decades, but the final lock on the door for me was the whole Iraq War fiasco in 2003. I remember hearing virtually ALL the MSM parroting the Cheney/Bush propaganda about WMD’s and my being skeptical, (especially since the whole Iraq thing all of a sudden came out of left field!) but figuring that ‘Well, MAYBE there’s some SMALL, negligible amount of WMD’s still left over from the 1980s and the US is going to use that as a bogus justification for this invasion”, but ConsortiumNews and other websites were ultimately WAY more correct than the MSM when NO WMD’s were ever found. It wasn’t even close. In that instance (and a war like that which leaves ~1MM dead and 2-3MM displaced is a MAJOR event), there was virtually no ‘grey area’, the US was dead-wrong in invading Iraq. As a result, I’m not going to waste my time reading/listening-to propaganda dispensaries. If I want fantasy fiction I’ll go to a Star Wars movie, not get it from the MSM pretending to give unbiased political coverage of world events.

  6. Randal Marlin
    November 27, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    How far the Washington Post has fallen since the days of Ben Bradlee!
    It was my favorite newspaper back in the 1940s and 1960s when I was in Washington.
    I value a newspaper that seeks to communicate only what is true, and especially those truths that are necessary to foster an informed public capable of exercising its democratic rights and responsibilities.
    Robert Parry is right to point out how anonymous smears produce a chilling effect in public discourse. The Washington Post, or any media outlet that values its reputation, should not be in the business of giving credence to such smears..
    Parry’s writings have been consistently well-reasoned and well-researched. If someone thinks he has fallen for Russian propaganda, let them provide their evidence to show this. Merely dissenting from the group-think of the Washington Post or New York Times is not in and of itself such evidence.

    • evelync
      November 28, 2016 at 11:27 am

      Shame on me? but I never read the WAPO or NYT any more except when someone refers to a specific article. They discredited themselves for me when they sold W’s “preventive” war on Iraq.
      I can’t / won’t read the article in question cause it would nauseate me.
      I was so cynical when Washington was in full court press for shock and awe that I worried when I heard that Mrs Graham had died that I tried to search for articles to find out what happened to her, believing she would have joined Sen Wellstone and others questioning what we now know was false “evidence” of WMD
      CIA Director Tenet had testified before a Congresssional CTTE in late 2002? That he didn’t know if S Hussein had WMD but “if he did” he was “well contained”
      And “wouldn’t use them” UNLESS WE INVADED AND THEN HE’D use what he had against our soldiers”.

  7. Michael K Rohde
    November 27, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    I did not know how low the Post had gone. I stopped reading it when Bezos took over and it became a government organ. I stopped reading Woodward long ago too, he had gone over to the other side for money or access or both, one begets the other. The Times is no better now so Consortium and publications like it are the only place you can read non-fake news. Unfortunately, Consortium doesn’t have a 200 million dollar operation at its’ disposal so it is limited in what stories it can cover. The Post isn’t but chooses the other route, access to government and profits over professional journalism. It is too bad, the Times and the Post used to be my favorite thing on Sunday mornings with good coffee at a champaign brunch. Now I need champaign to black out the junk they print.

  8. Gregory Kruse
    November 27, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    It’s difficult to think of something to say in the face of what looks like a replay of 1933. I have always thought it possible, but was hoping I might not see the day. Unfortunately, though I may still not see it, I have two young adult children.

  9. incontinent reader
    November 27, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    One might start by avoiding WAPO’s cash machine Amazon.com, and buying from different online vendors who aren’t supporting illegal wars or seeking to cut off dissent.

    • LongGoneJohn
      November 28, 2016 at 8:13 am

      Amazon is big for the WaPo? It’s worth a try.

    • Christene
      November 28, 2016 at 8:19 am

      Jet.com. Eschew Amazon and use Jet.com. The ONLY thing that gets the attention of these bozos is $$$$$. It doesn’t take much to get the attention of Wallstreet investors. A good, old fashioned boycott of Amazon might put a dent in the Bezos billions. It at least makes me feel good. A tiny little middle finger raised from the heartland.

      • OldFatGuy
        November 29, 2016 at 2:38 pm

        Great post. Hilarious! Brightened my day.

    • Litchfield
      November 28, 2016 at 10:06 am

      One might continue by supporting reliable independent news and opinion outlets such as Consortium News with a small (or large, if you have it) but regular monthly donation. Think of it as a subscription.

      • incontinent reader
        November 28, 2016 at 10:22 am

        Absolutely.

  10. David F., N.A.
    November 27, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Heinz has 200 varieties now?

    • evelync
      November 28, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      hah hah – a reference to Richard Condon’s “Manchurian Candidate”?
      where the idiot McCarthyite Congressman couldn’t remember how many “Communists” were in Congress and his controller wife suggested he remember Heinz ketchup (‘cause he liked ketchup and could remember the number 57 from the front of the bottle)?

      • David F., N.A.
        November 28, 2016 at 8:57 pm

        Wow, my no budget humor got a “hah hah.” Oh wait, was that a funny hah hah or a sarcastic hah hah?

        I think it was Saturday when I first read about the propornot list. Then later I was thinking about the list while watching ep.5 of “Untold History of the U.S.” and all of a sudden a Heinz bottle was on the screen. So I researched and found what you had just mentioned and then added it to my sarcasm.

  11. b
    November 28, 2016 at 12:12 am

    I have noticed the fascination of the mainstream media with regard to this “fake news” growing rapidly the last several months. The irony of mainstream calling out anyone on “fake news” is more than mildly amusing.

    b

    • Exiled off mainstreet
      November 28, 2016 at 3:21 am

      It is definitely the filthy corrupt encrusted pot calling the shiny, silver kettle black. That is why nobody trusts the mainstream propaganda organs and relies on websites such as this one for a true view of things.

  12. Lawrence Hanson
    November 28, 2016 at 12:19 am

    Only in America can trash talk, with the help of MSM publicity, take one to the presidency of the country and at the same time responsible, professional and objective journalism get trashed by the MSM.

  13. evelync
    November 28, 2016 at 12:25 am

    Ben Norton and Glenn Greenwald write: “Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist from a New, Hidden and Very Shady Group”
    https://theintercept.com/2016/11/26/washington-post-disgracefully-promotes-a-mccarthyite-blacklist-from-a-new-hidden-and-very-shady-group/

    The Norton/Greenwald piece point out PropOrNot thinks “Basically, everyone who isn’t comfortably within the centrist Hillary Clinton/Jeb Bush spectrum is guilty.”
    “….included are popular libertarian hubs such as Zero Hedge, Antiwar.com, and the Ron Paul Institute, along with the hugely influential right-wing website the Drudge Report and the publishing site WikiLeaks. Far-right, virulently anti-Muslim blogs such as Bare Naked Islam are likewise dubbed Kremlin mouthpieces.”

    cold this be a prank? being played on the WashingtonPost?

    it sounds absurd…..

    • LongGoneJohn
      November 28, 2016 at 8:14 am

      My first thought too… someone is setting them up.

      But anything is possible nowadays.

  14. Coleen Rowley
    November 28, 2016 at 12:33 am

    Maybe some of the 200 sites whose reputations are being tarnished ought to hire an attorney and file a joint lawsuit against the Wash Post reporter and his employer. Suing for defamation/slander is notoriously difficult but maybe the ACLU would take the case as this clearly involves the chilling of First Amendment rights.

    • Joe Tedesky
      November 28, 2016 at 2:34 am

      Some really big class action law suit which receive lots of attention. I believe Ron Paul is one of the 200 mentioned by WaPo. A law suit against the propaganda mill would be great….who needs a president to drain the swamp. I’m getting carried away, but yes these 200 web sites should at least check out their options.

      • Joe Tedesky
        November 28, 2016 at 3:18 am

        Here’s another idea; get all 200 WaPo considered fake news sites, and start one combined website with links to all 200 home news sites and call it… ‘Fake News’! It could have some articles on it, let’s say 200 articles to read, each from one of it’s collective sites, but unite under one theme, one umbrella. Strength in numbers. Assemble and write a constitution of sorts, don’t get too into the weeds, but center your mission around Constitutional News Worthiness.

    • JWalters
      November 28, 2016 at 2:47 am

      Excellent idea. A huge lawsuit could put a much-needed, public spotlight on the dark forces behind this. America’s democracy is in danger.

    • evelync
      November 28, 2016 at 11:31 am

      Great idea, Colleen Rowley! And thank you for your honesty and courage! I never thought I’d have a chance to thank you personally.

    • David Morrell
      November 30, 2016 at 3:23 am

      The lawsuit would not just be for defamation and slander; PropOrNot has a browser plugin that blocks access to these sites. I wonder if crowd-funding a lawsuit is a way to go, there seems to be enough democracy enthusiasm to bank roll Jill Stein and her efforts for a re-count quite well.

  15. Joe L.
    November 28, 2016 at 12:41 am

    To me it seems that Consortium news being included in this list means that Robert Parry and his contributors are threatening US Govermnent propaganda. I believe that George Orwell said In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act. Consortium news should wear this as a badge of pride because it means that they are truly doing their jobs. It also sounds like all the Washington Post and New York Times are good for is lining hamster cages. I also believe that the extraordinary measures that the US and Europe are going to in an effort to censor news might be indicative of the US’ (and western) decline and point to a real need for true change not just words from a Nobel peace prize winner.

  16. Zachary Smith
    November 28, 2016 at 1:07 am

    In the interest of providing only TRUE NEWS, my links for this post were carefully verified to have been also published by either the New York Times or the Washington Post. You see, the original stories came from sites known to The List of Sites That Reliably Echo Russian Propaganda to be providers of Fake News.

    Russia Insider is on The List, and here is their headline and sub-headline:
    Kiev Is Desperate to Provoke Russia Before Trump Is Sworn In
    There are a very dangerous couple of months ahead

    http://russia-insider.com/en/what-kiev-crimea/ri17795

    Hillary’s girl – Victoria Nuland – was instrumental in setting up the neo-nazi state in the Ukraine. Now that Hillary may not be available in 2017, the story says the neo-nazis are working very hard to get some kind of shooting going during Obama’s declining days.

    Fort Russ is another dastardly Fake News site which accidentally reported another story which could be verified by the All-The-Truth-All-The-Time NYT or WP. Here is the headline of that one:

    Terrorist State: Will Ukraine shoot down another civilian plane in 2016?

    hXXp://www.fort-russ.com/2016/11/terrorist-state-will-ukraine-shoot-down.html

    It seems that Ukraine has announced it plans to fire some big anti-aircraft rockets over an area which covers the territory of Crimea. Shooting down another big airliner, only this time over Russian air space – that might get them the attention they’re looking for. No telling what would happen.

    (hopefully this post meets the high All-American standards of the twin neocon rags – the NYT and WP – for truthiness)

  17. Litchfield
    November 28, 2016 at 2:38 am

    Re”The irony of mainstream calling out anyone on “fake news” is more than mildly amusing. ”

    Actually, it is a ghastly and terrifying inversion, akin to the nice priest actually being the child molester.
    And, these people are the true “conspiracy theorists” and they should be called out as such and openly ridiculed as such at every possible opportunity.

    Parry’s tone is very measured. I guess that is a good thing.
    Yet it always has been measured, but even so he is attacked as, in effect, a stooge and lunatic fringe.

    At the very least this is totally unprofessional behavior on the part ot the WaPo and any other enetities who get on this bandwagon.
    I agree that these libelous cryptos should be taken to court pronto for defamation.
    And, can we have more chapter and verse as to the actual fake news (aka lies) that have been promulgated, the reporters who did so, and the editors who guided them?
    But may I also suggest that genuine alternativew news sites etc. not use the term “fake news,” which frames this disucssion/dialouge whatever in the terms of the enemy of the real news. I suggest that commentators on this subject go on the offensive and call out each editor and reporter who lied to the public as what they are: Liars.

    It is also indispensable to ferret out exactly who the Propornet group are and to sue them in open court. They are mudslining cowards—nothing better than that—but they are trying to affect the news that pepole can read at a very dangerous juncture where other groups to whom they are allied are trying to over turn the results of a US presidential election. A lot of people seem to be changing their spots right before our eyes—such as Michael Moore, who had said that Trump “must not be allowed to assume office.” He was on MSNBC, promulgating his now apparentlyl Brown views. Jill Stein is suddenly also looking a very odd shade of green. The public needs to have access to as many views as possible to formulate esponses to the assault on democracy that we are witnessing.

  18. JWalters
    November 28, 2016 at 2:42 am

    It’s pretty clear to anyone who does a reasonable amount of personal research that the PropOrNot site is an effort by the oligarchy to further deceive the American public. They target sites that question the bankers and their corporate vassals. Despite the well-documented fact that the top financial elite have been engaged in conspiracies almost continuously throughout history, this site strongly pushes the oligarchy’s story that all conspiracy theories about themselves are deluded fantasies.

    This despite the FACT that the LIBOR scandal was plainly an international banking CONSPIRACY. This despite the fact that the Great Recession was caused by a Wall Street conspiracy of fraud. This despite the fact that neocon agents lied and manipulated the U.S. into a needless, expensive, disastrous war in Iraq to benefit Israel and war profiting corporations. This despite the well-documented fact that the New York Times already repeatedly misleads its readers regarding the situation in Israel and Palestine to cover-up Israeli injustices and atrocities, benefit war profiteers, and sacrifice American citizens. And the fact that virtually the entire mainstream media has been bought up along with the NYT and now parrots their propaganda.

    This is their effort to extend their control of the MSM to also control the internet. The PropOrNot site must be clearly called out for what it is, the latest tentacle of a deadly, dangerous conspiracy to destroy America’s democracy and plunder its middle class.

  19. Neil Youngson
    November 28, 2016 at 2:45 am

    Excellent ariticle, keep up the good work!

  20. Geoffrey de Galles
    November 28, 2016 at 4:18 am

    Re: the caption to the photo here repro’d of Fred Hiatt, editor of the WashPost’s editorial page:-

    Not “as flat fact” but, rather, please properly amend to: “fiat fact” — as in “f-i-a-t” (to rhyme with Hiatt).

    Thanks in advance.

  21. Leonard
    November 28, 2016 at 4:38 am

    First question: who are behind PropOrNot?
    And since guessing is not our style, let’s inspire all our bright nerdy nephews…

    • Lolita
      November 28, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      For what it is worth, I noticed Canadian Broadcasting Corporation moderators are wary when a comment is accompanied with a link to Consortium News, often disallowing it on key subjects from Ukraine to Syria. Since the CBC is party to the so-called International Consortium of Investigative Journalists spearheaded by no other than a well known philanthropist’s Open Society among others, and that the CBC editorial line coincidentally espouses the vision of the said philanthropist regardless of the political party in charge (Harper Ukraine, Trudeau Syrian refugees)…

  22. F. G. Sanford
    November 28, 2016 at 5:26 am

    It will be difficult to counter this level of sophisticated disinformation. I went to the link and checked out the sources; it is hosted by something called “Google Drive”. It touts all kinds of esoteric analytics, refers to analyzing sites and “spidering out” from the sources. Then, it adds sophisticated graphics and visual representations intended to create the illusion of physical reality from abstract suppositions. This is classic “reversal of the orders of abstraction” as outlined by Alfred Korzybsky, S. I. Hayakawa and other notable semanticists. It lies at the heart of the most sophisticated propaganda techniques. It is effective because it makes no distinction between “empirical” (physical) evidence and “hearsay” (Testimony may be true or false, but in this paradigm, both receive equal weight.). Computer programs, applications and analytics still cannot tell the difference between abstract representations of “true” or “false” data except by definition. Those definitions are arbitrary. When they finally can, we may see computers suffering nervous breakdowns like HAL had in Kubrick’s “2001, A Space Odyssey”. These applications are simply designed to provide the desired result. The real revelation here is HOW MUCH MONEY THEY MUST HAVE SPENT to produce this sophisticated fraud. The chances that the general public will resist this kind of onslaught are not favorable. Silicon Valley and the IT moguls have been completely co-opted and have gone over to “the dark side”. Paul Josef Goebbels would be green with envy. The “alternative media” had probably better be considering trade associations, professional cooperation and mutual self-defense. The “Empire” is striking back, and they don’t fool around. The statistical probability of “coincidental” deaths among Kennedy assassination dissenting witnesses ranges in the “billions to one” ballpark. The exposure of collusion with Al Qaida in Syria, Nazis in Ukraine and Wahhabists in the Arabian Peninsula has produced cumulative momentum. The “Empire” is losing its legitimacy. Desperate measures are to be realistically anticipated.

    • Litchfield
      November 28, 2016 at 10:11 am

      I agree with the idea of so me kind of coordinated legal “fightback.” It seems to me that the danger there is also “infiltrators” who destroy the credibilitly of the non-liar news sites.

      What about a “Davos” type summit among nonliars to create a cyber fort and strategize (away from the public eye) on an effective defense against this attack—which would I should think have to include offense, such as a legal challenge and cease and desist of some kind . . .

    • Abe
      November 29, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      Desperate measures:
      https://firstdraftnews.com/about/

  23. fuzzylogix
    November 28, 2016 at 7:55 am

    The left is peddling a very dangerous policy that is truly frightening.

  24. David
    November 28, 2016 at 9:00 am

    You’re in good company with Wikileaks and a bunch of anti-war and anti-Israeli-Occupation websites which (for some reason) are also considered “pro-Russian.” Basically, PropOrNot labels anything “pro-Russian” if it does not echo the conventional wisdom.

  25. Joe Lauria
    November 28, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Even more serious is that this group has suggested that the government, under the Espionage Act, consider investigating journalists who write for or appear on any of these websites. This is deadly serious. At least we knew that Joseph McCarthy was the accuser and he held public hearings, as much as they were intended to smear witnesses. Yet the witnesses got a chance to speak. Those of us being accused here don’t know our accusers and have had no chance to respond.

    A well educated, Ivy League reporter at a big corporate newspaper once scoffed at me in conversation when I mentioned American “dissidents.” He couldn’t believe I said that. “Dissidents?! America doesn’t have dissidents. Russia has dissidents!” he said. Well this new list from PropOrNot (I bet from US intelligence blasted on the front page of the WP) confirms that I am now officially a dissident among all those other Americans criticizing US foreign policy on websites, radio or TV stations named on a goddamned, government blacklist.

    • incontinent reader
      November 28, 2016 at 10:32 am

      And those of us who support you and sites like Consortium News are also ‘dissidents’. But WAPO is an enemy of our Constitution,
      advocate and apologist for aggressive war and other war crimes.

  26. Bob Van noy
    November 28, 2016 at 10:28 am

    As always thank you Robert Parry and the regulars on this wonderful site. I’m reading All of the books written by Fred J Cook (links below) to remind me about what Real, Honest Journalism looks like…

    https://www.amazon.com/Fred-J.-Cook/e/B000APA8MU

    https://www.amazon.com/Maverick-Fifty-Years-Investigative-Reporting/dp/0399129936/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

  27. November 28, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Next; Congress organizes and finances ” An Unamerican Activities Committe”. People will be named Putin bots and blacklisted from making a living. Oh yes the New Cold War, just like the Old Cold War, is in full swing.

    For the US unfortunately, it cannot afford a new Cold War like it could in the 1950s when money was pouring in from all over the West to pay America for sitting on it´s hands during the Second World War and profiteering on everything, by selling everything for the war effort to Great Briton and Russia. But it looks like the 1/10th 0f 1% is sufficiently alarmed, by the fact that dispite the huge amounts of money they put into the election, and the 24 / 7 propaganda blitz by the US and Great Briton´s MSM against Clinton´s opponents, their candidate did not win, that they have chosen to start another Cold War so that they can one more time demonize Russia and take American eyes off their rape of the Western Economies.

    Russia bashing , in full swing already, will be shifted into overdrive. The American Public will eat it up like Baskin and Robbins icecream. Now Western Populations need independant news sources more than ever.

  28. Brad Owen
    November 28, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Really? Another Star Chamber being set up?? I swear, the hoary old oligarchy uses the same old playbook.

  29. Drew Hunkins
    November 28, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    Reasonable and astute activists and intellectuals could very easily set up a “prop” website that lists and alerts readers to Military-Industrial-Complex Zionist propaganda:
    1.) NY Times
    2.) Washington Post
    3.) CNN
    4.) FOX News
    5.) much of PBS news shows
    6.) the vast majority of dailies across the nation
    7.) Sunday morning network news talk shows

  30. rosemerry
    November 28, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    I would be ashamed if my website were NOT included, Mr Parry!

    When I read the WaPo article I thought perhaps it was a bad joke-how can the WaPo and the NYT be considered reputable at all, if real news is valued?

    “‘The way that this propaganda apparatus supported [Donald] Trump was equivalent to some massive amount of a media buy,’ said the executive director of PropOrNot, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid being targeted by Russia’s legions of skilled hackers.” !!!!!!!!
    Do these “journalists” have any idea of what goes on in Russia? Russian media are discussed at length eg by Gilbert Doctorow and by Hubert Seipel (a German journalist who has written over the years with many interviews with Pres. Putin included) and the media there seem nowhere near as frantic and blatantly biased as the “papers of record” in the USA.

    As for helping Trump with media exposure, is that not Trump’s life and pride? he needs no input from The Great Satan!!

    • Drew Hunkins
      November 29, 2016 at 11:05 am

      “I would be ashamed if my website were NOT included, Mr Parry!”

      Exactly rosemerry.

      It’d be a badge of honor to be personally named on their silly and reactionary black list.

  31. Realist
    November 28, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    These are the same maniacs that are relentlessly pushing for a war with Russia, war with Iran, regime change throughout the world, and a neocon administration under Hillary Clinton. I hope that readers of the WaPo have written into their forum and point the finger at these same hypocrites who condemn Anonymous and Wikileaks for posting information without attribution. This is like being condemned by unknown accusers during the French Revolution. The WaPo is engaging in a McCarthyite witch hunt. They should be smart enough to know exactly how they serve tyranny in doing so. All of these authors that the Post has black-listed should demand the opportunity to refute every lie in every article that the newspaper publishes, yet the paper blocks even opposing letters on their forums. Most newspapers do so these days. I think dissidents had greater access to the press in the waning days of the Soviet Union.

  32. F. G. Sanford
    November 28, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    When I mentioned HOW MUCH MONEY THEY MUST HAVE SPENT, my instincts may have been absolutely spot-on. According to Dave Lindorff, whose article appears on OpEdNews, PropOrNot’s analyst Joel Harding may actually lead a team of mission-specific internet trolls on the Pentagon payroll. Wonder how some cheesy propaganda outfit posing as an otherwise irrelevant news outlet could afford to produce such a sophisticated product? How about maybe…YOUR TAX DOLLARS SUBSIDIZED IT? I certainly hope Ray McGovern and the VIPS will dig into this and expose it – if, in fact, this is a government sponsored disinformation campaign. Once upon a time, such a thing would have been illegal. Now…who knows. A “waste fraud and abuse” investigation may be hopeless. But a little sunshine might be all it takes to scatter the cockroaches at PropOrNot.

    • Abe
      November 29, 2016 at 10:06 pm

      Imagine HOW LITTLE MONEY THEY MUST HAVE SPENT:

      With the help of uncritical journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ben Norton, the Intercept’s story about the WaPo/ProporNot debacle ended up disseminating far more “fake news” than it exposed
      https://twitter.com/EliotHiggins/status/802599970255896576

  33. SpyBoy
    November 28, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Well, one simple thing these sites could do is to post a) disclaimer explicitly stating Not Pro-Russia, and b) post notice of what PropOrNot is actually doing, and How.

    • Litchfield
      November 28, 2016 at 6:06 pm

      Good idea.
      Take as many opportunities as possible to expose these totalitarians. Especially the free kind.

      In fact, it might even be possible to develop a kind of anti-Seal of Good Housekeeping or Underwriters Laboratory to be used kind of like TM each time the offending media entity’s name is mentioned in any context. A kind of emoticon that means: Watch out! Here be liars!

  34. dave
    November 28, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Congratulations, Robert, on consortiumnews.com’s inclusion in PropOrNot’s black list! Their scorn is truly a well-deserved badge of honor.

    I hope this backfires on them by increasing the readership of this site and the other sites mentioned and destroying what little credibility the Washington Post had left.

    • Joe Tedesky
      November 28, 2016 at 5:04 pm

      Dave it will. Trust me, after being in sales most of my career I wouldn’t advise any sales representative to mention the competitions name anymore than you may have too. In fact bad mouthing the competition usually leads to the customer making the competition their first call, as soon as you leave. Also, think of the large volume of readership that WaPo has, and then think of how many readers saw the names of those 200 websites. Curiosity is part of human nature. Great advertising, just spelling my name right, is what’s most important. The only better ad would be if mentioned in the National Enquirer since their readership is overly huge. So, Dave you are on to something with your comment….way to go Dave!

      • dave
        November 29, 2016 at 11:23 pm

        I guess there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Just ask Donald Trump!

  35. evelync
    November 28, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Not sure if anyone has yet referenced what wikipedia has on “fake news”:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_news_website

    However, I scanned through it and it is unclear whether the writer(s) of the article is(are) aligned with the power structure that seems desperate to discredit anyone who criticizes it or it is written by non partisan observers.
    I was unable to scrutinize what I was reading on a first glance because there was just too much of it.
    However since it has so many references and so much detail it might provide some references to anyone who might wish to dig into it in the hope that there is a way to tease out how the PTB are trying to twist the “fake news” business to include credible and thoughtful critics as opposed to the crap dispensed by unreliable sources.

    My take on things is that, as I suspected and hoped for, the internet has proved it can provide an opportunity for each individual to seek out to the best of our ability a coherent understanding of facts and events. If so, it offers us a way to seek out and attain a real functioning democracy by teasing out the truth from what are distortions and lies.

    That said, any thoughtful person understands that not everything one reads on the internet is correct. And much of what we read may be accidentally or intentionally colored by the intent or perceptions of the writer.
    That is part of the human “personality”.
    I believe that if one uses a degree of skepticism and common sense and digs deeply enough one should be able to draw the best out of this resource and discard the chaff….

    It seems however that the powers that be (who have been discredited by 30 – 40 years of failed wars and vicious dismantling of the New Deal and its once useful financial regulations) have generated so much distrust that they are scrambling to herd us like sheep back into the fold of their self serving narrative.
    But we no longer trust them and with good reason.
    And they are desperately using one kind of terror tactic after another to keep us “at bay” so they can continue to wage costly wars and rip people off.

    Thoughtful people believe that the biggest threaten to our species and the planet is Climate Change. That doesn’t get much attention from TPTB. The Dakota Access Pipeline that threatens the water supply of Native Americans in North Dakota is being funded by the usual suspects – the Big Banks and a hedge fund in SF and one or two hedge funds in NY. None of these principals has any interest in jeopardizing their short term financial interests by pulling their funding from Kelsey Warren’s Energy Transfer Partnerships pipeline. I suspect, based on the proven greed of these financiers that they have failed to make an accurate analysis of the financial viability of this multi billion dollar venture if, say, the price of natural gas remains as low as it is right now or goes lower.
    The titans of our financial world have trained the federal government to secretly bail out their failures using taxpayer money.
    This is what, IMO, is at stake when the corporate shills – MSM – uses distortions or threats to keep the public poorly informed on what really matters to public well being.

    So it is very important for our democracy to have access to dissident opinion given that the MSM is part of the problem and either believes the fiction it is pedaling or feels obliged to continue shoveling garbage at us to protect the status quo in which they have thrived.

    The rest of us – who are paying for the failed wars with blood and treasure and paying for the thieving scoundrel ways of the Big Banks (just think Wells Fargo’s Stumpf who took the tongue lashing from Elizabeth Warren and then quit) – with ruthless mortgage fraud and unfair banking practices – maybe – “Finally people have gotten sick and tired of being had and taken for idiots.”
    Gorbachev quote in LA Times 2012:
    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/24/world/la-fg-russia-gorbachev-qa-20120324

  36. delia ruhe
    November 28, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    If the State Department, Homeland Security, the White House, the CIA, and the Washington Post quit promulgating fake news, the problem would be all but solved.

  37. George Collins
    November 28, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Who can say what’s to fear or not with shallow shills such as the WaPo’s editorial board using their license to lie.

    However, it must have been edifying for Bob Parry to see. Dave Linddorf’s tribute to Bob and to Ray McGovern as journalists of the first rank.

  38. Luther Blissett
    November 28, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Since you were gracious enough to mention “Counterpunch, Truthdig, Naked Capitalism, Zero Hedge, Truth-out, WikiLeaks” by name, let me say this in return: Consortium News is the standard bearer of the true alternative media. Like it or not, Mr. Parry you are the respected greybeard (gray ‘stache?) of this scene and the one many of us look up to.

    The difference between the MSM and the internet alternatives is a million dead Iraqis. The stenographer’s took Woolsey’s lies and piled those bodies into a career ladder, everyone else stayed on the ground and watched in disgust. You made your choice in the 1980s (and that old IranContra gang is still scurrying around these today….) and have seen through the mass of ‘fake news’ since then. Keep fighting the good fight.

  39. Kamrinn Roy
    November 28, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    Why are all the comments on this website supportive of the author? One sure way to know whether a website is propaganda is when everyone toes the same line. I haven’t read all the articles but your coverage of the MH17 crash and your defense of Russian conspiracy theories clearly shows your pro Putin bias. Did you see Samantha Bee’s interview of paid Russian trolls. They admitted to it on camera! I’m gonna side with the Washington Post on this one…

    • Luther Blissett
      December 2, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      Samantha Bee of the Daily Show?!?

      She is slightly more credible than the Washington Post…

  40. delia ruhe
    November 28, 2016 at 11:17 pm

    I’d kill to get on PropORNot’s list.

  41. doray
    November 29, 2016 at 12:20 am

    I haven’t read every comment here, but has anyone mentioned the Domestic Extremism Lexicon, an alphabetical list of “possible, non-Islamic, domestic extremists” put out by the Department of Homeland Security? “Alternative media” is second on the lengthy list. It reads; “A term used to describe various information sources that provide a forum for interpretations of events and issues that differ radically from those presented in mass media products and outlets.” Look out, alternative media outlets, you too could be considered a non-Islamic domestic extremism threat. Remember when the government was supposed to protect everyone’s right to free speech? Remember when the vast majority of Americans used to believe in the right of free speech? There are some scary laws in place here in the “Land of the Free.”

  42. Joey
    November 29, 2016 at 1:39 am

    Washington Post–

    Raving lunatics posing as Messiahs

  43. Abe
    November 29, 2016 at 2:29 am

    Deception operations have many layers, and have a lot to do with what is known in marketing parlance as positioning.

    Aghast at the “shoddy journalism” of the Washington Post, Glenn Greenwald and Ben Norton of the Intercept see fit to publish Twitter remarks from Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat and James Miller of the Interpreter Mag:

    https://theintercept.com/2016/11/26/washington-post-disgracefully-promotes-a-mccarthyite-blacklist-from-a-new-hidden-and-very-shady-group/

    Greenwald and Norton curiously take the Tweets of Higgins and Miller as flat fact, unworthy of further investigation.

    In fact, Higgins has repeatedly claimed to be under attack by the Kremlin:
    https://twitter.com/EliotHiggins/status/781245897732722688

    If Greenwald and Norton had used the opportunity to visit the Bellingcat site, it would have become instantly apparent that Higgins’ group of ostensible “independent researchers” is precisely described by Greenwald’s assesment of ProporNot:

    Indeed, Bellingcat “far more resembles amateur peddlers of primitive, shallow propagandistic clichés than serious, substantive analysis and expertise; that it has a blatant, demonstrable bias in promoting NATO’s narrative about the world; and that it is engaging in extremely dubious McCarthyite tactics about a wide range of critics and dissenters”.

    If Greenwald and Norton had conducted an actual investigation of PropOrNot “Related Project” Bellingcat, they would have to acknowledge the frequency with which Higgins engages in “McCarthyite tactics” against critics, including veteran journalists Seymour Hersh and Robert Parry.

    Parry’s exposure of Higgins’ erroneous claims about the 2013 chemical attacks in Ghouta, Syria and Bellingcat’s numerous deceptive “investigation reports” about the 2014 crash of Malaysian Air flight MH-17 in eastern Ukraine have triggered Twitter attacks from Higgins:

    16 January 2016
    https://twitter.com/eliothiggins/status/688392050606215168

    3 May 2016
    https://twitter.com/eliothiggins/status/727519790160613376

    29 September 2016
    https://twitter.com/eliothiggins/status/781746433250693120

    If Greenwald had done a real investigation of PropOrNot’s list of purported “Allies”, he would have verified that self-acclaimed “expert on verifying citizen journalism” Miller http://www.interpretermag.com/author/james-miller/ has frequently promoted self-acclaimed “citizen investigative journalist” Higgins https://www.bellingcat.com/author/eliothiggins/

    Miller is the managing editor of The Interpreter Mag, a self-published project of The Institute of Modern Russia (IMR). The president of IMR is Pavel Khodorkovsky, the son of Russian former multi-billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky (who was released from prison in December 2013).

    Bellingcat is verifiably allied with the Atlantic Council, a notorious “regime change” think tank”, and Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Open Russia organization.

    Google, an enthusiastic supporter of Higgins despite his track record of baseless claims about Syria and Russia, helped form the First Draft Coalition in June 2015 with Bellingcat as a founding member. In addition to the fake “independent researchers” at Bellingcat, the First Draft “partner network” includes the New York Times and Washington Post, the two principal media organs for “regime change” propaganda.

    In a triumph of Orwellian Newspeak, this Propaganda 3.0 coalition declares that member organizations will “work together to tackle common issues, including ways to streamline the verification process”.

    Hopefully, the ProporNot debacle won’t end with the shoddy journalism of Greenwald and Norton.

    Let’s hope Consortium News will carry the investigation further.

  44. Art Wilmeth
    November 29, 2016 at 2:51 am

    Having been born and lived in the DC area most of my life and read the Evening Star and WaPo most of my life I find the blatant collusion with hillary and the DNC abhorrent. The present day WaPo is a mere shadow of itself and a disgrace to true journalism. Wapo’s unsubstantiated claim the Russians are behind Hillary’s losing a landslide election is ludicrous. When in fact hillary was her own worst enemy with her snarky remark describing hard working Americans as a ” basket of deplorables ” and holier than thou attitude coupled with rampant corruption and unscrupulous actions that enriched her beyond comprehension.
    Wapo’s defense of Comet pizza owner who visited the white house on 4 separate occasions and hosted fund raisers for hillary and what appears to be involved with some sick pedo cult is also reprehensible . #podestaspizza
    Thank-you Mr. Parry for keeping true journalism alive when so many of your colleagues have sold out to news corporations.

  45. Art Wilmeth
    November 29, 2016 at 3:05 am

    PS. When clicking on from FB page ” The War State ” a bold warning comes up that there are problems with this site ! Which in my opinion means TPTB don’t want us to read about the truth.
    Cheers for making the list of the Politburo and keep exposing these charlatans posing as news outlets .

  46. Abe
    November 29, 2016 at 3:16 am

    The ProporNot website lists several “Related Projects” including Bellingcat, Stopfake, and the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab.

    Bellingcat and StopFake are First Draft Coalition “partners” along with the Washington Post and New York Times. All these “news organizations” collaborate in promoting “regime change” propaganda and publishing “fake news”.

    The Ukrainian propaganda website Stopfake belongs to the National University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, one of the many all-too-eager Ukrainian recipients of cash from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) since the March 2014 western-backed coup d’etat in Kiev.

    Allied with Bellingcat, Stopfake uses the same faux fact-check disinformation strategy that Higgins employs.

    Eliot Higgins is a nonresident senior fellow for Digital Forensic Research Lab with the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Program.

    Google “New Generation of Digital Detectives” and you’ll get lots of hits for Eliot Higgins’ paean to Bellingcat’s use of user generated content and online tools.

    On 13 July 2016, the Atlantic Council published first published the piece.
    On 15 July 2016, StopFake in Kiev published the piece.
    On 17 July 2016, Newsweek published the piece.

    By then, everybody was posting and Tweeting and whatever else it is that they do when they’re not playing Pokemon, generating lots and lots and lots of new hits for Higgins, because he’s really good at using user generated content.

    However, one of these things was not like the others.

    One of these things was not the same.

    Funny thing.

    Turns out that the phrase “new generation of digital detectives” was a little piece of user generated content generated by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) back in Fall 2008 https://www.uab.edu/uabmagazine/fall2010/features/digital

    Heck, it even turns out that UAB has an actual Computer Forensics Lab with real experts.

    As usual, Higgins was “using” their content.

    Perhaps to their credit, Newsweek did not publish the piece with Higgins’ self-pleasuring “digital detectives” title. Maybe the “journalists” at Newsweek aren’t quite as “independent” as the Sherlocks at Bellingcat. Maybe they also know how to use that Google thingy to find user generated content. Maybe they simply wanted to “help” keep Higgins “honest”.

    In any case, Bellingcat, Stop Fake and the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab all collaborate with major media like the Times, WaPo and Newsweek to advance numerous “regime change” agendas. There is absolutely nothing “independent” about any of these propaganda organs.

  47. Glenn Goodman
    November 29, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    I think this is their version of what I have refered to as the prestigous “refusal to publish
    award”, the highest honor the mainstream media can bestow upon an investigative reporter.

    Congratulations, and thanks, Robert Parry and Consortium News.

  48. Bill Cash
    November 29, 2016 at 1:11 pm

    I disagree with the prop/noprop group. I’ve written to them asking them to identify themselves instead of hiding behind a website .
    But I also realize there has been a huge amount of fake news on the internet. I see it daily and you don’t know who does it. All you need is a right wing brother-in-law. Almost all of it was anti-Hillary.
    I lived through the McCarthy era and I can assure you this is nowhere near what that was. It’s terrible but lives aren’t being destroyed. Most people don’t even know this is going on. Believe me, everyone was aware of McCarthy and he had people distrusting each other.

  49. Blank Reg
    November 29, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    If someone told me PropOrNot was actually a Soros or even CIA funded operation, I would not be the least bit surprised. Just like our military “fights the last war”, these people fight “the last Cold War” using these McCarthyite tactics. Unfortunately for them, the internet sees this kind of attempted censorship as “damage”, and routes around it. If the net had existed in McCarthy’s day, he wouldn’t have lasted a year.

  50. Zachary Smith
    November 29, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    The naked capitalism site had a neat lead-off this morning.

    Dear patient readers,

    The price of being exposed as a Russian operative is that I’m distracted by having to devise new plots, as well as rethink my wardrobe.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/natasha-fatale.jpg

    Mocking the silly bastards at the neocon New York Times and the Jeff Bezos All-Israel Washington Post is the best strategy for handling them in my opinion.

  51. Idiotland
    November 29, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
    -Joseph Goebbels

  52. David Morrell
    November 29, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    My assessment of ProOrNot’s propaganda piece is that they first took minor examples of a sloppy journalism carried out by some of the lesser quality news sites (i.e. the F/A 18 repaint story). Unfortunately, and unlike GlobalResearch, even GlobalResearch was sloppy to use Moon of Alabama as its source of information to publish the F/A 18 story. However PropOrNot then extended such instances of sloppy journalism by a few news sites to claim that the others are just as guilty because they frequently post articles that agree with what the points Russian news sites are making. Of course that all hinges on the false and presupposed premise that the Russians are lying. However, it is easy to determine who is mostly lying and who is mostly telling the truth, not by an analysis of who references who and whose references seem more reliable, but by whose narratives self-contradict over time and which narratives are cohesive and consistent. It is quite obvious who is blatantly lying. One could easily take such a flawed methodology and more easily apply it to implicate the United States mainstream press on a similar list, and the bogus fake news articles base cases to choose from are innumerable.

    The truth telling news sites are causing a serious problem for the elites. The troubling aspect is that this PropOrNot’s publishing is part of a propaganda campaign as part of a scheme to get United States citizens ready to accept the high tech censoring of news sites. If that scheme fails and the truth still propagates, then the elites may have to use more blatant totalitarian methods. I hope there will be more resistance to such an attack on the truth than in the past red scare campaigns.

  53. Zachary Smith
    November 29, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    I was at the TruthDig site reading an article wondering how the Russian Agent lightning bolt had struck them when it suddenly dawned on me that I’ve been missing the forest because of the trees blocking the view.

    That ‘propornot’ site and all the stuff associated with it was created before the November election. This was going to be a tool for the sure-to-be-elected Hillary Clinton to start cracking down on the sites (like this one) who objected to her mindless coming wars. All of the places on the list would be demonized at the very least, and threatened with court action and/or laws regulating the horrible “fake news” epidemic.

    Think of how much money Hillary’s billionaires have. Think of how much money she controls through the Clinton Foundation. How long could Robert Parry (here) and antiwar.com and Naked Capitalism withstand a blizzard of lawsuits? All Obama’s/Hillary’s CIA/NSA directors would have to do would be to to ominously remark that the people writing essays here, posting or reading here; how they were going to get special attention in the future. Ditto for all the rest on The List.

    There has already been buckets of ink spilled about the Fascist Trump and the evil things he is going to do to destroy our country. Doesn’t provoking war with nuclear powers count for anything? Doesn’t Hillary’s over-the-top corruption count for anything?

    This morning I was shocked to learn that the Clinton Foundation hasn’t been satisfied with shaking down corporations, but has actually been extorting money from representative democracies.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-25/australia-joins-norway-it-cuts-clinton-foundation-donations-0

    Notice that the site is one of those Russian Agent places. Reporting on Hillary’s blood lust and shameless corruption was going to be vilified, and quite possibly doing so would cause a person to have some very bad things happen to him.

    We’re in for a ride with Trump, for the man truly has a lot to learn about a lot of things. That said, it’s looking more and more like we dodged a far worse evil in Hillary Clinton and her neocons and neoliberals.

  54. Lois Gagnon
    November 29, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    I sense panic emanating from the halls of power. It seems they have lost control of the western imperialist narrative thanks to some uppity independent minded journalists who dare to question official information. What to do, what to do? Why blacklist them of course. Yeah, that’ll work……NOT.

  55. Kevin Beck
    November 29, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    Based upon my observations, the origin of almost all the so-called fake news has been the presstitutes in the lamestream media. They have taken lying to the extreme, such that there is nothing that they publish that can be trusted automatically.

    The presstitutes have tarnished what was left of their reputation by choosing unreliable sources that are more devoted to presenting an agenda than to speaking truthfully. They have also pre-judged the events that they write about. They have presented their opinions as facts, rather than opinions. They write their reports with the viewpoint of, “What do we want the reader (or viewer) to get out of this?” instead of, “What really happened?” They go so far as to cover for a person that is alternatively called, “Liar-in-Chief” and “Liar of the Year,” and think that they have more than two crumbs of credibility to their collective name.

    It is pathetic that these news presenters don’t even realize that journalism is about telling what happened, by talking to people who saw what happened. Instead, they think it’s about presenting their own viewpoint.

    The collective press has given themselves a bad name. And they only have themselves to blame.

  56. Evangelista
    November 29, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    What a Great Panic! I’ve got money says Chicken-Little is So-o Jealous! But she was envious of Joe McCarthy, too.

    Speaking of which, and so thinking of which, I had my Medium make contact, to get a “quote” (You know, it might sell to the NYT or WaPo “REAL” “news” services). Ol’ Joe says, “(grumble, grumble) Amateurs! damn Amateurs!” Apparently Joe figures if he could teach the PropOrNot kiddies some things. I’ve sent the ProporNot.com lot Joe’s number on the Great Beyond Exchange that my Medium gave me. She says just dial out on a plasma-line, then all hold hands in a circle and dial-intone, “YooHoooo, Joe-oooo–.” She says he’ll answer and give them an earful..

    AND, What A Great Website! I’m serious now here: Here is the url for the PropOrNot.com Propaganda Site’s List: http://www.propornot.com/p/the-list.html And here are Instructions for How To Use It: Just click up the list url in your browser, then scroll down the list to your favorite site on the list and right-click it, then choose ‘open in a new window’ from the box and click that. You can then go to the new window and open the articles you want to read in tabs, or you can go on down the PropOrNot List click-and-click-ing other sites up, until you have all you want, then go from one to the next. Leave the PropOrNot List window open though so you can go back to click up others if you want to.

    Try it; never has it been easier to get to your preferred ‘propaganda’ purveyors and click through to dose yourself with your favorite ‘propaganda-poison’. If you open multiple windows you can just go from window to window, or, if you only do one at a time, you just go back to the PropOrNot List and click a next one into its own window and go to read it!

    Is that great, or is that Great? I like to read both RT and Russia Insider, together, for example, especially just after reading one of the neo-con howls about some “RT Propaganda”. RT does straight news, not propaganda (except, as the USA used to demonstrate, right after WWII, when it was trying to teach the war-torn world what Freedom means, providing real straight news in a world where that isn’t done IS propaganda, and the best kind, since it pulls everyone looking for truth right in), while Russia Insider does cheerful propaganda, boosting Russia and her accomplishments, so every time I hear a neo-con howl about RT, I look at RT and Russia Insider, and, sure enough, the neo-con couldn’t tell the difference, despite the one being two letters, upper case, and the other two words, upper and lower case.

    The PropOrNot List is the easiest way to get to not only your favorite ‘propaganda’ sites, it’s great for getting to ones you have only heard about and didn’t know where were, and for finding, in handy list form, clickable links to new sites you never would have known to even look for!

    And so, my friends, my hat is off to the PropOrNot.com crew for their Russian Propaganda List, and all the work they put in compiling it (Intellectual-General’s Required Disclosure: Ain’t no small part looks a mighty stretch to reach to Russia, or, as often as not, to propaganda) and I hope, in the future, keeping it updated.

    Give it a try. you, too, will find yourselves saying, with me, “Talk about Useful Idiots! Those PropOrNot.com ones are the Usefullest!”

  57. Dutch
    November 30, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Obviously Bob is no fake journalist and this is no fake news site. It’s just a shitty one.

    Why does every alt media news site insist on chasing the MSM even as they brag about being better, more honest etc.

    Here’s the headline “Obama Administration Supports Neo nazi rebellion in Ukraine”. That is a punch-you-in-the-face headline. Why Bob insists on tying it to the NYT in multiple stories is moronic. The NYT is bankrupt and nobody reads it. Yet despite having a bigger story than any of their fake news, he hands all the credibility to them.

    The alt Media won’t defeat the MSM until they report the news better. Period. They have every advantage on their side and they have all the facts and credibility on their side. Now they need to detach from the MSM news cycle and put the MSM on the defensive with better reporting and sharper narratives. Name dropping as a means to seem more credible does just the opposite. Bob needs a lesson in occupying the high ground. He needs to decide if he wants to be a reporter sneaking around in the shadows and taking quotes, or a true media outlet, dictating and owning the narratives. Its so important that the alt media understand this right now. Victory is close but not theirs yet.

  58. arem
    December 1, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Mr. Perry: I have personaly been completely dismissive of ANYTHING that is published by the likes of the WaPo, the NYT, the WSJ, Bloomberg, Reuters (et al.) since the purported “reasons” for invading Iraq were proven to be outright lies. In addition, I am now similarly dismissive of virtually any “news item” that is published under the AP banner. Once proven a LIAR, there exists no return to credibility. You are long overdue in adopting a similar position; i.e., just STOP paying heed to anything “they” publish about/against you — “responding” defensively (or offensively) is simply a waste of your time, attention and talent. I read/ subscrbe to numerous “ALT News” sources who pay no mind except to skewer “their” rubbish in order to make/underscore their own (respective) arguments/points. Skip the ego-driven skirmishes and MOVE ON to fight-the-fights that actually matter. Please.

  59. Art Wilmeth
    December 1, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    I just went to the propornot.com list and don’t see Consortium news on their list . Did you manage to have them remove CN from the list ?

Comments are closed.