fake news
SOTT.net recently had the honor of being smeared as a vehicle for Russian propaganda. The dubious, anonymous "PropOrNot" site listed us as one among 200 or so such websites - witting or unwitting dupes of the Kremlin's propagandists. Thankfully, we're in mostly good company. It's hard to know whether to take them seriously or not. The site gives the impression of perhaps being a too-clever hoax, which would be hilarious given that the Washington Post among others actually takes them seriously. I mean, come on, the first thing you see on their website is a fake interview, conducted by a comedian, with two actors pretending to be Russian propagandists!)

But leaving that aside, it's still rich. Pretty much every alternative news website you can think of is included on the list. PropOrNot's logic seems to run something like this:
  1. Western governments and media say A. (A is true.)
  2. Russian government and media says not-A. (Not-A is not true.)
  3. Alternative media also says not-A.
  4. Therefore, alternative media are either witting or unwitting peddlers of Russian lies.
First, this assumes that the western media and government are telling the truth. Second, it assumes that the Russian government always lies. So the alternative media is put in awkward and contrived position: anytime the Russian government tells the truth, and the alternative media makes the same claims, the latter can simply be written off as Russian propaganda. Which is total nonsense. The fact that the people behind PropOrNot, if they're sincere in their claims, think this is the case says a lot about what they think of their readers: they think they're idiots.

As Wayne Madsen (whose articles are carried by intrepidreport.com and strategic-culture.org, both on PropOrNot's list) put it recently:
The Post's article [regurgitating PropOrNot's claims] is worthy of the CIA-generated propaganda spun by the paper at the height of the Cold War-era MOCKINGBIRD.
Follow the hyperlink above to see some prime examples of fake stories carried by what PropOrNot calls "actual reporters". Then, put some things into perspective. Mainstream reporters are not all bad. Local papers and investigative researchers do some good work. That's not the problem. The problem can be summed up in one abbreviation: WMDs.

When the CIA and what Peter Dale Scott calls the "deep state" want to start a war, demonize a foreign leader who doesn't play by their rules, or destabilize a foreign country, they rely on the media to tell lies, wittingly or unwittingly. The alternative media was calling BS on WMDs from the very beginning, and we have been vindicated. It was a massive lie among countless others in the past dozen or so years. The lies about Gadaffi were another prime example. And again, the alternative media were proven correct.

The biggest media lies today regard Russia and Syria. And the real propagandists just can't stand the fact that readers aren't interested in, or buying (literally and figuratively) their BS. It's gotten to the absurd point that Western leaders are calling for more anti-Russian sanctions in response to the Syrian Army freeing 40% of eastern Aleppo from al-Qaeda and its affiliates. Which is absurd. Apparently, Western leaders and their propagandists would rather have tens to hundreds of thousands of people held hostage by terrorists (and subject to "indiscriminate" Russian/Syrian airstrikes that "deliberately target" civilians and hospitals) than to have those thousands safe from said airstrikes and under the control of the Syrian government, where they can receive medical care (because the "last hospital" in eastern Aleppo was destroyed and there are only "two pediatricians"), food, shelter, etc. And where they want to be. Heads I win, tails you lose.

See the above dynamic in visual form below, featuring propagandist-in-chief John Kirby (warning: Russian propaganda alert!):

And another video showing interviews with residents of eastern Aleppo freed from al-Qaeda by the Syrian Army and their allies.

Actually, I've gotta say, I'm a bit ticked at the Russians. For years, all the alt media had to put up with for telling the truth was being called "conspiracy theorists". But now, on the occasions where the Russian government tells the truth, we're put in the uncomfortable position of having to agree with them. The least they could do is actually spread some of those rubles around. Just sayin' 'sall.

And the ironic thing is, while the alt media is being blamed for being Russian propaganda, it's actually the Western media that is American/European deep-state propaganda. As Madsen points out above, it's not a new thing. From its very inception, the CIA has had willing stooges in the media. For example, I recommend checking out these articles archived on SOTT:
Wikleaks and Imperial Mobilization - The CIA's "Mighty Wurlitzer"
Zahir Ebrahim, Project Human Beings First

[The phrase "Mighty Wurlitzer"] used to be the honorific of Frank Wisner, the first chief of political warfare for the Central Intelligence Agency, used to describe the C.I.A.'s plethora of front organizations and news media stooges that he was capable of playing (like a great organ with many keyboards) for synthesizing any propaganda tune that was needed for the day. More details may be gleaned in the disclosures of Operation Mockingbird.
Operation Mockingbird is alive and well and living in your TV
Rory Hall, The Daily Coin

If you are unaware of Operation Mockingbird or question whether the mainstream media - think CNN, Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC and "newspapers" like The Tribune, LA Times, NY Times, Reuters and so many others, are manipulated by the CIA and Operation Mockingbird please explain this,
Former Washington Post publisher Philip Graham "believing that the function of the press was more often than not to mobilize consent for the policies of the government, was one of the architects of what became a widespread practice: the use and manipulation of journalists by the CIA". This scandal was known by its code name Operation MOCKINGBIRD. Former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein cites a former CIA deputy director as saying, "It was widely known that Phil Graham was someone you could get help from". More recently the Post provided cover for CIA personality Joseph Fernandez by "refusing to print his name for over a year up until the day his indictment was announced ...for crimes committed in his official capacity as CIA station chief in Costa Rica". [Source]
"You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month." - CIA operative discussing with Philip Graham, editor Washington Post, on the availability and prices of journalists willing to peddle CIA propaganda and cover stories. Katherine The Great, by Deborah Davis (New York: Sheridan Square Press, 1991)
The 25 rules of disinformation and propaganda
Kristan T. Harris, American Intelligence Report
Operation Mockingbird ran from the 50s to the 70s, and was scaled back in the mid '70s when the CIA came under heat for all the psychopathic things they got exposed doing by the Church Committee. In a nutshell, the CIA recruited "journalists" to place the stories the CIA wanted. It developed entire media front companies in the form of magazines and student organizations. Here's some more Russian propaganda for you, exposing Mockingbird and its modern equivalents:

That should put the following article into context:
Why are American and Western media outlets so afraid of RT?
Adam H. Johnson, The Nation

Just the same, while Russia Today toes the Kremlin's line on foreign policy, it also provides an outlet to marginalized issues and voices stateside. RT, for example, has covered the recent prison strikes—the largest in American history—twice. So far CNN, MSNBC, NPR, and Rutenberg's employer, The New York Times, haven't covered them at all. RT aggressively covered Occupy Wall Street early on while the rest of corporate US media were marginalizing from afar (for this effort RT was nominated for an Emmy). Perhaps Rutenberg and those Deeply Concerned about RT can see why there may be a market for RT to fill here. In many ways, RT's success, to the extent it has had any, is as much an indictment of American corporate media as it is an expression of sinister Kremlin disinformation.
Also missing from the posturing over RT is a bit of perspective. For decades the United States has supported similar tactics overseas to push their agenda—from the Voice of America and its assortment of spin offs to "pro-democracy" initiatives that often, with the help of Western NGO and think tanks, funnel money horizontally by sponsoring pundits who write in foreign media outlets. The professional hand-wringing classes make a distinction: that US-backed media are truthful and held to higher standards. While this is true in a strict sense, often times this simply means the United States is better at information war, not that it does less of it. The CIA helped produce, without disclosure, Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, two glowing CIA commercials. The US government, via USAID, secretly created a fake social-media platform and infiltrated the hip-hop scene in Cuba to "stir unrest" and undermine the government. The Department of Defense runs a $100 million program to manipulate social media overseas, complete with fake sock-puppet profiles in "Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Pashto." How many Americans are aware of these practices? Probably a lot fewer than know about Putin's evil cable network.
The thing about "the Kremlin's line on foreign policy" is that, often times, that line is not simply disinformation. It's just information. The Maidan in Ukraine was a U.S.-backed coup. Crimea did want to rejoin Russia. The moderate rebels in Syria are jihadists. Sometimes, it's just advantageous to tell the truth, especially if your "partners" are so obviously lying.