Russian propaganda effort helped spread fake news during election, say independent researchers https://t.co/3ETVXWw16Q
— Marty Baron (@PostBaron) November 25, 2016
UPDATE April 2, 2017: This article has been slightly modified from its original version published on November 27, 2016. While keeping an extended quote from American new media journalist George Eliason, we cannot independently verify Eliason’s claim that former Broadcasting Board of Governors Republican appointee Matt Armstrong, who maintains the Mountain Runner blog on U.S. public information efforts, has worked closely with retired U.S. Army officer and self-described psyops specialist Joel Harding (who was accused by Eliason of threatening him via email with abduction and torture by the Security Service of Ukraine for his reporting from the Russian-supported republics of Donbass).
First of all let us say we’re positively disappointed that RogueMoney.net did not make the ‘enemies list’ of supposed Russian propaganda sites assembled by the Propaganda Or Not ‘team’, which claims to have thirty members. However, Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report the top news aggregator on the planet made the list, which perhaps accounted for @PropOrNot’s absurd estimate of how many Americans ‘Russian propaganda’ reached during this election cycle via Matt Drudge’s links to…mostly the same formerly mainstream now dying legacy media outlets PropOrNot urges its readers to trust. Matt Drudge did link to Infowars a few times during the election cycle, which along with Trump’s appearance on the Alex Jones Show drove Media Matters for America nuts — though their fearless fuehrer David Brock is already nuttier than fruitcake.
Granted, the top ‘gateway drug’ site for RogueMoney media’s traffic is Zerohedge.com, and former Wall Street analyst Daniel Ivandjiiski’s pirate crew over there were featured prominently in one of @PropOrNot’s ‘case studies’. And the Russia Analyst’s friend The Saker, a White Russian Swiss living in Florida also made the list, to his amusement:
Second, the question of PropOrNot’s identities has come up, since they (like RogueMoney.net incidentally) use a proxy domain registrant. However, whereas RogueMoney attempts to awaken people to truth by exposing them to multiple perspectives combined with vigorous geo-economic analysis, PropOrNot pushes half assed globalist agitprop. The Washington Post would be ashamed of promoting it if Amazon oligarch Jeff Bezos rag had any shame left over its own recent history of pushing ‘fake news’ and Establishment approved conspiracy theories. For example, in the ‘just asking questions’ style of conspiracy theorists everywhere, the paper we like to call Pravda on the Potomac or the Langley post cited a distinguished forensic pathologist who claimed Hillary Clinton’s filmed collapse on 9/11/2016 may have been due to being poisoned by Russian agents. Bringing on experts both real and pseudo-scientists/crackpots just happens to be what legacy media and government propaganda outlets supported by NATO and the EU claim RT does.
As the Russia Analyst said back in August, when candidate Hillary Clinton gave her speech in Reno, Nevada accusing Russia’s President Vladimir Putin of being the godfather of the global alt-right, ‘conspiracy theory for me because Establishment but not for thee’ peasant is not a formula for sustaining much less winning an information war. If anything, it only demonstrates the further descent of outlets like The Washington Post from once respected if Democratic Party dominated broadsheets into laughingstocks. You know your article is promoting conspiratrolls when it’s too kooky and anonymously sourced for those clickbait pushing neolibcon hipsters at Buzzfeed.
It also shows that “The Paranoid Style of Politics” which the late political scientist Richard Hofstadter attributed to the John Birch Society and other movements on the anti-Communist post-WWII American Right, have returned to the so-called Left, as during the Weathermen Underground or Bader-Meinhof/Red Army Faction days of the Sixties and Seventies. Instead of Obama putting gun loving and God fearing Americans into FEMA camps, we hear about Trump ushering in a new dark night of fascism in which homosexuals, Muslims, Mexicans and Jews will cower in fear or be rounded up by rampaging brownshirts (with ‘fashy’ Richard B. Spencer style haircuts).
The reality that most of the ‘hate crimes’ blamed on Trump supporters since the election have turned out to be hoaxes committed by emo-prog snowflakes in places not known for Nazi stormtrooper or KKK rallies such as Brooklyn has been ignored. So too, is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)’s history of sponsoring fake wannabe fuehrers and defamation. Most importantly to the climate of smears and intimidation @PropOrNot seeks to impose against alternative/new media which helped to defeat Hillary, is arch-globalist George Soros’ funding of colored revolutions in the former Soviet space and Black Lives Matter activists now protesting Trump’s election.
— 0io (@0io) November 26, 2016
— BANKSTER SLAYER (@banksterslayer) November 27, 2016
Which brings us back to the question on many journalists’ minds this weekend, from Max Blumenthal of the leftist pro-Palestinian and anti-Trump Alternet to the Ron Paul Institute’s Daniel McAdams and Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg and The Intercept, led by NSA exposing investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald: who is behind @PropOrNot? The Russia Analyst does not have any definitive evidence, but we do see some breadcrumbs along the trail leading to the door of this clown show. As a veteran legacy media editor one thing that stands out in the copy is how poorly it’s been proofread, and the evident mistakes of non-native English speaking author/s — which strongly hints at an overseas connection of some sort, possibly to government or oligarch sponsored ‘information warriors’ in Kiev. As do openly ‘Banderite’ (arm raising) sloganeering tweets like this one:
— Mark Ames (@MarkAmesExiled) November 26, 2016
Another part of the globalist doublethink required to work for the Washington (Langley Com)Post, is that the ‘Alt Reich’ is a horrible threat in America where it mostly consists of now banned Pepe the Frog loving Twitter trolls — but is no big deal at all in Ukraine where neo-Nazis of the Azov Battalion are armed to the teeth. Slava Ukraina, geroim slava and let those ‘Roman salutes’ fly ‘heroes of Ukraine’, you’re the frontline freedom fighters against Putin’s aggression so a little Nazism and SS Wolfshook flag waving is a-ok with us (and the Department of Defense)!
As an explanation of sorts for its telltale English grammar mistakes, the site claims to have about thirty contributors, including Americans of Ukrainian and Iraqi descent. It has also claimed on its Twitter account to have members who protested the Iraq war during the 2000s. As previously mentioned, PropOrNot’s ‘methodologies’ are so slapstick as to embarrass the legacy media touted ‘professionals’ of Bellingcat — whose own history of screw ups and incompetent ‘analyses‘ has been amply documented by actual independent (not the NATO think tank Atlantic Council pimped) researchers. Another revealing aspect of its obsessive ‘analyses’ is that anything that seems to deviate from the Establishment line — including support for Brexit or criticism of the EU — plays into Putin’s hands and is therefore evidence that someone is a ‘useful idiot’ for the Kremlin.
This type of absolutist — many would say totalitarian-lite — thinking has been criticized not only by the Russia Analyst, but by people as diverse in views as PolitRussia’s Ruslan Ostashko or the Moscow-based pinko globalist hipster™ Jim Kovpak [https://nobsrussia.com/2016/11/26/fake-news-you-dont-say/] (who hates this writer, by the way). Conflating any and all counter-Establishment forces into tools of the Kremlin makes Putin into some sort of dark demigod, a modern day Mephistopheles who is simultaneously everywhere and nowhere. It also makes, as Kovpak points out, Russia look more powerful than it is — though the Russians aren’t as weak and pathetic as Kovpak makes them out to be either, from his ‘check your expat privilege’ perch in Moscow where he’s claims to be awaiting the inevitable revolution against Putin.
On the Russian nationalist side of the spectrum, we see Ruslan Ostashko laughing and boasting that the European Parliament’s resolution has spectacularly backfired, turning RT and Sputnik into ‘forbidden fruit’ that activist types in Poland will be tempted now to visit via Tor or proxy servers due to their Russophobic governments banning RT.com Great Firewall of China-style. Plus, how ridiculous is it that EU employees who claim to speak only for themselves and not Brussels official position spend time attacking Alex Jones and Infowars at European taxpayer expense? Even a pinko globalist who hates Jones like Kovpak would probably concede it’s a waste of time and money which gives UKIP members and other euroskeptics greater satisfaction…just as the European Parliament vote itself is seized upon by Russian media to tell Russians how feared and hated their country is by the EUnuchs.
@kalenskyj if I wanted to kill myself id climb up to your ego and jump down to your IQ.
— Rogue Money (@theroguemoney) November 26, 2016
Returning to the question of who’s behind PropOrNot, we’ll go with — some job expendable minion of Media Matters for America’s David Brock, paired up with Kiev-based hacks funded by major Clinton Foundation donor Viktor Pinchuk. PropOrNot’s grudge not only against Drudge but in particular against NakedCapitalism’s Yves Smith may be explained by Yves Smith’s site linking regularly to and/or republishing articles from John Helmer, an independent pro-Russian leftist Aussie journalist with deep ties to Greek leftists. Helmer has reported that Pinchuk invested tens of millions in backing the Clintons and had hoped for generous US/EU bailouts of his steel pipe manufacturing empire in the Ukraine upon Hillary’s return to the White House in 2017. Instead of more ‘free’ IMF money for the oligarchs and a gusher of weapons and training for the Ukrainian armed forces and neo-Nazi led battalions, however, it looks like Trump is going to maybe throw a few bones at the McCainiacs in Congress while cutting deals with Putin.
Ukraine oligarch Viktor Pinchuk—one of largest Clinton Foundation donors—illegally dumped cheap steel products in US https://t.co/cDMOJ0hB9O
— Mark Ames (@MarkAmesExiled) September 6, 2016
Clearly Ukraine is not a high priority for a Trump Administration, notwithstanding whatever National Security Council members like KT McFarland say on Fox News when asked about U.S. support for Ukraine or what noises old farts like Mr. and Mrs. McCain (Lindsey Graham) will make in Senate hearings next year. Therefore all the losers of this election cycle have come together in one fever swamp of a ‘Russian propagandists’ enemies list that conveniently resembles a Soros/Media Matters enemies list (Matt Drudge works for the FSB/GRU, really @PropOrNot kids?) would’ve embarrassed the most fanatical Watergate burglars for the late Richard Milhous Nixon:
the same pro-Big Government neolibcon conspiratrolls we’ve been observing for some time, like @StopAgitprop — rants against Ron Paul and ‘goldbug’ sites is one of @StopAgitprop’s hobbyhorses
old fart ex-military guys who want to feel like they’re in the psyops ‘game’ — I’m looking at you @Joel_Harding of To Inform is to Influence, you’re acting awfully quiet this weekend. One of the first Twitter accounts @PropOrNot followed in August when they set up their account was pro-Kiev FAKE news purveyor John R. Schindler aka @20Committee, the ex-NSA analyst who ironically writes for the NY Observer publication owned by Donald Trump’s son in law we’ve previously profiled here.
noisy but incompetent Ukrainian propagandists (including at the ‘respectable’ outlets like StopFake.org whose members may be moonlighting for the not so respected PropOrNot)
Media Matters for America (MMfA) Soros-niks who screamed about Russians hacking the election to defeat Hillary in vain, who are apparently providing the piss poor editing
…and behind them all Daddy Warbucks Soros raging against the new media exposing his tentacles and confederated oligarchs in Kiev. The latter know that their time living large and in charge as opposed to in European or North American exile is coming to an end, as is the ‘free’ IMF/EU money that has propped up the failing Ukrainian state they’ve looted ahead of the next Maidan and regime collapse.
Did you catch this argument between an RT rep and the State Dept spokesman? https://t.co/0aZveiJheY
— War On The Rocks (@WarOnTheRocks) November 26, 2016
Also highly recommended ‘connecting the dots’ regarding the likely suspects behind @PropOrNot– American journalist George Eliason’s article from November 7, 2016 about the links between Ukrainian nationalist diaspora groups, the Broadcasting Board of Governors (whose now former member Matthew ‘MountainRunner’ Armstrong recently published an article at War on the Rocks bashing RT and its State Dept. reporter Gayane Chichakyan over this testy exchange), and the Hillary Clinton campaign:
Tax-funded Voice of America showed more anti-Trump bias than NYT https://t.co/WzXqjsLpSh
— BBG Watch (@BBGWatch) November 22, 2016
…and James Corbett of the Corbett Report’s bemused video below, in which Corbett describes his and Sibel Edmonds criticism of alternative media outlets that have uncritically accepted Russian propaganda, yet still winding up on @PropOrNot’s enemies list: