promoted the claims of a shadowy, anonymous organization that smears dozens of U.S. alternative media websites that are critical of the current order of establishment politics as being “routine peddlers of Russian propaganda.”
The WaPo article – titled “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say” – cites a report from a website that calls itself PropOrNot, which claims that millions of Americans have been deceived this year in a massive Russian misinformation campaign.
The shadowy group’s report provides a list of what they have deemed Russian disinformation outlets that includes alternative news sources like Drudge Report, Zero Hedge, Infowars, Activist Post, and The Ron Paul Institute. Many of the websites on the list are Clinton-critical left-wing pages, libertarian venues, U.S. foreign policy critics and outlets simply attempting to seek the truth.
Here is PropOrNot’s full list of websites deemed disinformation:
This would be the second alternative media hit list to circulated the mainstream media this month since “fake news” has come into the spotlight post-presidential election.
So, what do some of these alternative voices in the media think about the Russian Propagandist label they received from this organization?
“Firstly, the notion that Activist Post is designed to support Russia in any way is absurd,” a representative from ActivistPost.com told Planet Free Will. “We can only guess that this is an effort to intimidate independent voices into following the establishment narrative.”
Activist Post is a long-running alternative news page that prides itself on exposing mainstream media disinformation and laying bare current U.S. foreign policy for its readers.
The popular website, which has over 540,000 likes on Facebook, went on to tell PFW that this type of blacklisting of alternative media is a display of authoritarianism.
“That is not what true journalism is about. True journalism asks difficult questions and offers counter perspectives. If that concept becomes so offensive to corporate or government interests that they must establish “lists” of violators, then they have chosen a path toward authoritarianism. It is a shameful position for them to take and still claim to be objective promoters of a free press and freedom of speech,” the Activist Post rep. told us.
Tim Brown of FreedomOutpost.com, a website also mentioned on the PropOrNot list, told Planet Free Will that the attempt to smear independent news signals the death of the corporate media.
“I think it signals the fact that the old dinosaurs of corporately controlled rags and television are dying a slow death and are being challenged by citizen journalists,” Brown said. “While some sites in the list do put out some bad headlines and fail to deliver what they promise, many of the sites listed source what they write, often times pointing to the very people who are attacking them.”
Brown believes that this type of blacklisting is an attempt by the mainstream media and the establishment to cover up its own hypocrisy.
“It tells you these people have been exposed for their hypocrisy and they don’t like it,” Brown told PFW. “So, instead of dealing truthfully about the propaganda they have been engaging in, they point the fingers at those who are actually exposing corruption and criminality in the central government….something that is supposed to be their job.”
Some of the outlets on the list are taking the Russian propagandist label with honor and excitement.
“I’m very excited about all this, and I plan to send a large invoice to the Russian Embassy,” Ezra Levant of the popular Canadian news site TheRebel.Media told Planet Free Will.” I just hope they don’t look at our dozens of videos criticizing Putin’s invasion and annexation of Ukraine, and Gazprom’s abusive monopoly in Europe.”
Michael Krieger, the sole voice behind LibertyBlitzkrieg.com, says that he is honored to be included in the list.
“I have to admit I’m quite honored to see that Liberty Blitzkrieg was recently included on a list of some of the most illustrious, impactful and successful alternative news websites on the planet,” Krieger wrote in an article last week.
Krieger says the list and its coverage in the mainstream press represents the “lashing out at alternative news outlets deemed most effective in countering the smothering and nonsensical pro-Hillary narrative tirelessly propagated by the fake mainstream news media.”
What’s particularly interesting about this list, isn’t the fact that a bunch of anonymous whiners decided to demonize successful critics of insane, inhumane and ethically indefensible U.S. government policy, but rather the fact that the Washington Post decided to craft an entire article around such a laughably ridiculous list. This just further proves a point that is rapidly becoming common knowledge amongst U.S. citizens with more than a couple of brain cells to rub together. The mainstream media is the real “fake news.”Michael Krieger’s assessment of the WaPo article rings similar to the one Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept wrote over the weekend, in which he said:
This Post report was one of the most widely circulated political news articles on social media over the last 48 hours, with dozens, perhaps hundreds, of U.S. journalists and pundits with large platforms hailing it as an earth-shattering exposé. It was the most-read piece on the entire Post website on Friday after it was published.The ultra popular financial news website Zero Hedge, who ranks in the top 100 U.S. media publications, has described the mainstream media as “desperate” and “flailing” in its attempt to label independent voices as Russian propaganda.
Yet the article is rife with obviously reckless and unproven allegations, and fundamentally shaped by shoddy, slothful journalistic tactics. It was not surprising to learn that, as BuzzFeed’s Sheera Frenkel noted, “a lot of reporters passed on this story.” Its huge flaws are self-evident. But the Post gleefully ran with it and then promoted it aggressively, led by its Executive Editor Marty Baron:
Zero Hedge writes:
While this latest spin on the so-called “narrative” will certainly backfire, and accelerate the demise of the mainstream media’s efforts to maintain credibility and control of the American mindset – which it painfully lost with their lies during the presidential campaign – not to mention “eyeballs” and ad revenue, we remain fascinated by the so called “liberal left’s” relentless charges that Trump will unleash a massive censorship assault on the “free press” when the “free press” itself is doing everything in its power to squash dissenting voices. To which all we can add is that it is a good thing that said “power” is declining with every passing day.In a ‘thank you’ note to its readers last week, Zero Hedge made it clear to it’s readers that the outlet “does not, and has never had any financial, political, or any other affiliation or relation to an external entity or organization” and takes no money from the KGB. Rather, Zero Hedge says its goal is to objectively relay news-worthy information for its visitors.
PlanetFreeWill.com has also come under attack by the MSM recently when the New York Times last week tried to discredit an article by PFW reporter Stefanie MacWilliams that covered the “Pizzagate” open source investigation and discussion taking place on forum boards around the Internet.
MacWilliams’ piece was labeled a “fake news article” for covering the facts surrounding the “Pizzagate” controversy.
In an article covering the NYT’s attack I would write:
It is clear that there is a war going on between the sell out mainstream press – who have totally discredited themselves over the course of the recent presidential campaign by spreading misinformation and a steady stream of divisive identity politics – and the rising independent press that is rooting itself on the internet.It looks like the blacklisting and overall attempt to discredit these alternative voices in the media is not going to put a hamper on the future of their operations. In fact, while most of them take the nasty labels of “Russian propaganda” and “fake news” with pride and recognize they are contributing to the demise of the mainstream, lying media, they will surely and confidently continue to do what they have been doing all along: telling the truth in a time of universal deceit.
With only 6% of Americans having trust in outlets like the New York Times, it is clear that the “fake news” label placed on sites like Planet Free Will, Zero Hedge, Infowars, Breitbart, Activist Post, and more, is a tactic to discredit the competition that is making the mainstream media obsolete.
Joseph Jankowski is a contributor for PlanetFreeWill.com. His works have been published by recognizable alternative news sites like GlobalResearch.ca, ActivistPost.com, PrisonPlanet.com and ZeroHedge.com.
Follow Planet Free Will on Twitter @ twitter.com/PlanetFreeWill
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