Washington Post Names Drudge, Zero Hedge, Ron Paul & SouthFront As Anti-Clinton “Sophisticated Russian Propaganda Tools”

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SouthFront Team is proud to find itself in this list along with InfoWars, Drudge Report, Wikileaks, Zerohedge, Ron Paul Institute, Globalresearch, Counterpunch and other independent media outlets.

Once again the establishment is signaling its recognition of the quality of our collaborative effort.

Looking back, we recall the May 2016 article published by the “Bonnier Awarded Investigative Reporter”Jessikka Aro, that noted SouthFront as “a professional info-war project run or backed by the Russian military.” It looks by November of 2016, our team has progressed to the level of powerbroker in the US presidential election. Not bad progress for 7 months of dedicated work.

For all of those hard working volunteers, our many readers,  and the many people that have donated their hard earned money over the past year to our collective project, you have now been afforded the proof that you are making a difference. The establishment has officially acknowledged the threat that we pose in telling the truth.

Washington Post Names Drudge, Zero Hedge, Ron Paul & SouthFront As Anti-Clinton "Sophisticated Russian Propaganda Tools"

Originally appeared at ZeroHedge

The desperate flailing of a mainstream-media struggling through the five stages of grief continues as no lesser unbiased foundation of the fourth estate than The Washington Post pushes ahead with its “fake news, blame the Russians” narrative for why their candidate failed so miserably.

Citing “two teams of independent researchers” (who surely have a substantial libel litigation provision)  who found “Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery… echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal,” the Jeff Bezos-owned website names Drudge, Zero Hedge, and The Ron Paul Institute and countless other outlets among the “useful idiots” that true American patriots should be wary of.

“The way that this propaganda apparatus supported Trump was equivalent to some massive amount of a media buy,”said the executive director of PropOrNot, who spoke on the condition of anonymity with the Post.

“It was like Russia was running a super PAC for Trump’s campaign.”

Washington Post Names Drudge, Zero Hedge, Ron Paul & SouthFront As Anti-Clinton "Sophisticated Russian Propaganda Tools"

In the wake of the election, fake news and its spread on social media has come into the spotlight – for our latest thoughts on this topic please see our “thank you” notefrom last night.

President Obama denounced the attention garnered by false information last week, saying: “If we are not serious about facts and what’s true and what’s not … if we can’t discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems.” And as The Hill reports, a sophisticated Russian propaganda effort helped fuel the spread of fake news during the election cycle, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

Two groups of independent researchers found that Russia employed thousands of botnets, human internet “trolls” and networks of Web sites and social media accounts to inject false content into online political talk and amplify posts from right-wing sites. 

“They want to essentially erode faith in the U.S. government or U.S. government interests,” said Clint Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute who co-authored a report about Russian propaganda.

“This was their standard mode during the Cold War. The problem is that this was hard to do before social media.”

The Washington Post states – without irony – that there are now scientific studies that show how the Russians influenced the 2016 election

The flood of “fake news” this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation.

Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human “trolls,” and networks of Web sites and social-media accounts — echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers. The effort also sought to heighten the appearance of international tensions and promote fear of looming hostilities with nuclear-armed Russia.

Two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House. The sophistication of the Russian tactics may complicate efforts by Facebook and Google to crack down on “fake news,” as they have vowed to do after widespread complaints about the problem.

The report from PropOrNot, provided to the Post, identifies more than 200 websites that routinely pushed Russian propaganda to at least 15 million Americans, and found that false stories pushed on Facebook were viewed more than 213 million times. You may be surprised by some of the sites on the list (it seems even satirical fakes news sites are propagandists too)…

SF comment: This is the list from the PropOrNot homepage

Washington Post Names Drudge, Zero Hedge, Ron Paul & SouthFront As Anti-Clinton "Sophisticated Russian Propaganda Tools"

The homepage from http://www.propornot.com/p/home.html

SF comment: This is the full list

Washington Post Names Drudge, Zero Hedge, Ron Paul & SouthFront As Anti-Clinton "Sophisticated Russian Propaganda Tools"

So in other words, any and every one who is anything but a liberal drone is now a Russian plant? McCarthy would be proud.

As the “scientists” explain, reporting facts is tantamount to being a “useful idiot.”

Please note that our criteria are behavioral. That means the characteristics of the propaganda outlets we identify are motivation-agnostic.

For purposes of this definition it does not matter whether the sites listed here are being knowingly directed and paid by Russian intelligence officers, or whether they even knew they were echoing Russian propaganda at any particular point: If they meet these criteria, they are at the very least acting as bona-fide “useful idiots” of the Russian intelligence services, and are worthy of further scrutiny.

Which reminded us of @SarcasmRobot’s artist’s impression of what desperation by the establishment, and its pet media, looks like.

Washington Post Names Drudge, Zero Hedge, Ron Paul & SouthFront As Anti-Clinton "Sophisticated Russian Propaganda Tools"

For further color on “Useful Idiots”, Jim Quinn uncovered the following video by a former KGB member Yuri Bezmenov who defected to Canuckistan in 1970. In it he details how the Marxist/Leninist’s planned to conquer the west from within without ever firing a shot. How well do you think their plan is working? At about 7:20 the host, G. Edward Griffin, asks Yuri “What do we do?” (to counter the takeover) and we were more than a little surprised by his response:

Since the election and even a little before, many have pushed the idea that Trump needs to concentrate on aggressively educating people to the evils that surround us… it appears that is the only way to right back against the tyranny of the fourth estate.

Finally (and no this is not Friday Humor), this is how the scientists described Zero Hedge.

ZH is an important transmission belt moving the story from Russian propagandists/information warriors to western news consumers. It happens a lot. This is a particularly egregious example, but the transmission belt runs almost daily. ZH is as much a part of Putin’s information warfare as RT. If you follow closely enough, it’s as plain as the nose on your face.’

Plain enough, indeed. This amusingly, must read (we urge readers to read it on their own to see what a disinformation attempt looks like) “analysis” – by a website that is itself anonymous mind you – then concludes with the following:

ZeroHedge qualifies as “dark gray” propaganda, systematically deceiving its civilian audiences for foreign political gain.

Articles from ZeroHedge are frequently reposted by other sites, but appear on ZeroHedge first — the site’s authors are driving and shaping the stories, not merely reacting to them. An analysis of web traffic patterns and linking backs this up: ZeroHedge has a prominent place within the network of pro-Russia news and propaganda outlets.

We at PropOrNot rate it: Five Shadies.

Whether intended or not, this libel-worthy drivel – we can say that comfortably because, well, there is no Russian propaganda “masterminding” this site, unless criticizing the US government now equates with that – has already attacted the attention of the likes of Glenn Greenwald and many others.

* * *

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 painfull 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.

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  • 888mladen .

    Thank you for such exhaustive list of the extremely useful websites which I will be visiting in the very near future. If that was their goal they have achieved it 100%. I owe them my deep gratitude.

    • John Whitehot

      Me too. My “non-MSM” bookmark folder just got much fatter.

      • BMWA1

        It’s like being on the GESTAPO list in WW2!

        • 888mladen .

          Exactly

    • Gary Sellars

      I had the EXACT same thought. These idiots not only dropped their “smoking gun” they accidently shot themselves in the head with a 2nd round…

  • 888mladen .

    Is it possible that they still didn’t get their heads around it? It still hasn’t downed on them why Trump won the election.

    • AMHants

      I wonder what they aim to achieve, apart from drip feeding the masses, who do not go to the alternative media?

      Obama, is a fully paid up supporter of Main Stream Media Propaganda, but he has no power any more. He cannot bring in anymore executive orders and is on his way out.

      Donald Trump, President Elect, has no confidence in the MSM and has told them so. In fact, his team has the senior management from Breit Bart on board. So I cannot see him doing anything to remove the power of alternative media?

      There again, they have got 8 weeks to do their utmost to make things difficult for the President Elect.

  • AMHants

    Fascist Media trying to close down debate.

    In the UK we have Common Purpose, and I am not sure what they go by, in other parts of Europe and the US.

    The site Common Purpose Exposed, explains all about Common Purpose and who set them up. Yep, Soros all over it.

    Common Purpose caught in nuclear fallout after attack on press freedom… http://www.cpexposed.com/latest-news/common-purpose-caught-nuclear-fallout-after-attack-press-freedom

    Common Purpose Exposed… Common Purpose is a political charity using Behavioural Modification… http://www.cpexposed.com/about-common-purpose

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/afbc292ab74248c2233acd6b5d2b8941230e08f32570c1e18fc127299b5735c5.jpg

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f5834466625e6b35e06cc1fc663536e3908dff015093dbe609d32aa029ed64d0.png

    Then you have another PR Company, run by yet another Bell, Baron Bell (end – what a name), has anybody heard of Bell Pottinger PR Agency? They were instrumental in spreading the word, with regards Saddam Hussein and his Weapons of Mass Destruction, that allowed Tony Blair, to convince the UK public, that Saddam and Iraq needed our Forces to save the people. Now how did that pan out?

    Lord Bell departs from Bell Pottinger to open new PR firm Sans Frontières… http://www.thedrum.com/news/2016/08/26/lord-bell-departs-bell-pottinger-open-new-pr-firm-sans-fronti-res

    Bell Pottinger… http://www.bellpottinger.com/portfolio

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/389ce11164e6b90b23fa30601ef18c52a5ce157527ba754eb8dbab3fb71f3030.jpg

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/93aa314f0cc53c117ee231786ac3af1bcf59da3232ef01f5258e6b3bcb7a8b7f.png

    ‘…BARON BELL INTERNATIONAL WORK…. a section from his Wiki Page.

    Bell advised Hernán Büchi, a former minister of the Pinochet dictatorship, in the presidential election of 1989.[8] Büchi eventually lost by a large margin to Patricio Aylwin.[9]

    Lord Bell, a friend of Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky, handled the media attention behind poisoned Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko, who died in hospital 23 November 2006. The Bell Pottinger Communications agency distributed a photograph showing a hairless Litvinenko in his hospital bed. The PR Agency also offered advice to relatives of Litvinenko and his spokesman Alex Goldfarb.[10]

    In December 2006 Lord Bell successfully lobbied on behalf of the Saudi government to discontinue the Serious Fraud Office investigation into alleged bribes in the Al Yamamah arms deal.[11]

    Lord Bell has also performed public relations work for the authoritarian government of Belarus,[12] and for the Pinochet Foundation (Fundación Pinochet). He has also worked as an advisor to former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.[13]

    In late 2011, Bell’s lobbying interests were investigated by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism for The Independent newspaper which reported claims that the company attempts to interfere with Google results to “drown” out coverage of human rights abuses, that his employees had altered English Wikipedia entries to create a better impression of clients and had easy access (via former Conservative MP Tim Collins) to the Cameron government and others overseas. Bell-Pottinger, via a sting operation, were found to be willing to work for the authoritarian regime in Uzbekistan.[14] Bell launched an internal inquiry, but believed he had been singled out for his connection with Mrs Thatcher.

    Chime disposed of Bell Pottinger in June 2012 (while retaining a 25% stake in the business), when Bell also resigned as a director of Chime… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Bell,_Baron_Bell

    Strange how they are all linked and of course not forgetting Bell’s work with The White Helmets.

    Pentagon Paid $540mn to PR firm Bell Pottinger to Produce Fake Terrorist Videos… http://21stcenturywire.com/2016/10/03/pentagon-paid-540mn-to-pr-firm-bell-pottinger-to-produce-fake-terrorist-videos/

    • ruca

      Wow AMHants thank you for all the infographics and the extended comment. Nice effort. I copied and pasted it into Word just to review it again later.

      • AMHants

        Sorry for the OCD. There is so much to learn and try and remember haha. We are in frightening times at the moment and there is so much to fight for. Take care.

  • What they learned from this election was to shut down the free alternative media in total.Wont happen.

  • Hunter1324

    The Western MSM controlled by the Zionist, American and European oligarchies critics Russian-sponsored and un-sponsored media of being controlled by the Russian oligarchy.

    How low can they get?

  • Aquartertoseven

    Guys, come on, I love it here, it’s cosy, but you are 100% Russian backed, not necessarily financially but they doubtless support your efforts. You never criticise them, despite many flaws (even being the ‘good guys’ currently) and always present them in a good light. You can see why they’re calling you propaganda because it is true. Again, I say this as a fan, getting news on the right side of the Syrian war that otherwise wouldn’t be made known.

    • trid2bnrml

      …so you believe only what suits you and disavow the rest? We’re liars and frauds only half the time and only on certain subjects? Okay. That’s perfect neocon reasoning.

      • Aquartertoseven

        No, did you not read my comment? I said that’s exactly what Southfront does! Believes what suits them about Russia and disavows the rest, the corruption and totalitarian aspects. Again, I say this as a fan of both!

    • Bob

      So what, there are numerous US state government funded and internationally aimed news sites – Voice of America, Radio Free Europe etc that US Congress signs off on annually in federal budgets, why is only Russia that is criticized for wanting to project their narrative?

    • Feel free to provide facts of “Russian backing” (a media campaign in support of the project or any another move) to SouthFront. It will be interesting to see them.

      • Aquartertoseven

        As I just said, I didn’t say that you were financially supported by them, only doubtless supported by them in your efforts to paint them as the ultimate good guys, which is true, which is the criteria that the Washington Post stated.

    • Ted

      Could not agree more. Same reason I come here to get the other sides view. There is nothing wrong with that. It is not a bad thing it just is what it is. In today’s world you will put out what your viewers want or they will no longer be yours. The idea that someone will report news other than is quite funny. Do you think any other product in the world could survive the idea of putting out a product that is what it is and you don’t care if the consumers you try and aim that product at like it?
      Generally speaking, liberals will read the Washington post and buy it, Conservative buy Fox News, only pro Russian will last on Southfront.

      • Aquartertoseven

        Thank you!!! Look at all of these fucking idiots attacking me, are they that stupid that they think they can deny it?!

        I get what you’re saying, yes this is a war site so they’re not exactly going to comment on what’s going on in Russia, but respectable news sites should be balanced in general, or if not, veer towards one side while acknowledging when their preferred side makes a big mistake.

  • Viper666

    If it wasn’t for Independent….call if Russian if you must….exposure of exactly what the CIA and Pentagon have been doing in Syria…the American people would still be blind to the misery and death We have caused there by funneling TOWs and other weapons to Islamic Mercenary Extremists.

    As far as exposing the Clinton Crime Family’s Foundation’s Pay for Play, and the DMC’s corruption….again of course the Establishment wants to kill the Messenger.

    Sorry, Russia is Not my Enemy. Radical Islam IS.
    Is Everything Russia does “good”….Is Everything the US does “good”
    I think we all can agree on this – “No”
    Being able to access different POV’s ….in order to Make Up Your Own Mind – Priceless.
    Love South Front. Another POV that I welcome.

    • trid2bnrml

      Like someone else already said, my bookmark folder just exploded!

  • ASA

    information warfare against innocent us?
    starting ad radio free europe, voice of america, radio liberty, radio marti till SOHR and white helmets, all the soros scum and and and – who can count them

  • Mordecai Irony

    Sooo, in all fairness that makes the WP a kommie nazi neo-kon GloBozo apparatchik.
    No surprises here.

  • BMWA1
  • Mordecai Irony

    WP, typical NE establishment cock ‘n bull diarrhea spewage.
    Please guys, make yourselves an even more ridiculous joke than you already are, please!
    Worse than the Washington Times owned by the Moonies.

    Two ‘independent researchers’, who?!
    Oh yeah, that’s that national sekurity stuff .. sure.

  • Rick0Shea

    Nice – at least SF got the ‘sophisticated’ propaganda tool designation. I’m sure some feelings would have been hurt had this not been the case.

  • trid2bnrml

    “that routinely pushed Russian propaganda to at least 15 million Americans” — hell, Infowars has more views than that on his youtube channel alone…ROFLMAO

  • Bob

    Memo from MSM: here’s a long list of why no one care about what we say any more.

  • I Sexually Identify As a QBZ95

    “They are reporting facts that go against my agenda, therefor Russian propaganda.”

    You’d think with all those decades of experience in information warfare, they would be a bit more subtle.

  • Joseph Scott

    Congratulations! To be rated so highly by the CFR’s very favourite newspaper, no less!