The progressive finance and economics website Naked Capitalism has demanded a retraction and apology from the Washington Post for its “astonishingly lazy report” smearing independent news outlets as “Russian propaganda.”
The Post story, as Common Dreams reported, cited anonymous organization PropOrNot in accusing multiple left-wing outlets of peddling “fake news” during the 2016 election as tools of a Russian “misinformation campaign.” Naked Capitalism was among those named in the report, along with sites including Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Consortium News, and Truthdig.
The article drew widespread condemnation for the Post; for media outlets that “uncritically wrote up the Post‘s most incendiary claims with little or minimal pushback;” and for PropOrNot itself.
“To PropOrNot, simply exhibiting a pattern of beliefs outside the political mainstream is enough to risk being labelled a Russian propagandist,” Adrian Chen wrote at the New Yorker.
“The group…embodies the toxic essence of Joseph McCarthy, but without the courage to attach individual names to the blacklist,” said Glenn Greenwald and Ben Norton at The Intercept, who described Naked Capitalism‘s inclusion on the list as “[o]ne of the most egregious examples” of PropOrNot’s “outright defamation.”
“That site was named by Time magazine as one of the best 25 Best Financial Blogs in 2011 and by Wired magazine as a crucial site to follow for finance, and [publisher Yves] Smith has been featured as a guest on programs such as PBS‘s Bill Moyers Show,” Greenwald and Norton wrote. “Yet this cowardly group of anonymous smear artists, promoted by the Washington Post, has now placed them on a blacklist of Russian disinformation.”
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