Ten days after publicly accusing Pulitzer-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald of having "ties to Putin that he doesn't want people to look too closely at," Shareblue writer Matthew Chapman has apologized for his false claim. This is going to be a quick and easy article, but it's actually pretty important that somebody document this, because it illustrates a pernicious trend.

If you're just tuning in, Shareblue Media is a pro-Dem establishment outlet run by Clinton attacker turned Clinton attack dog David Brock, who is perhaps better known today as the chief architect of the Correct the Record shill army which disrupted online discourse in the leadup to the 2016 election. Chapman has established a sizeable reputation on Twitter for his reliably pro-Clinton centrism and promulgation of whatever anti-Trump/anti-Russia narrative is hot in the news on any given day.

Greenwald, like myself and literally every single English-speaking person with a following who questions the Russiagate narrative, is routinely smeared as a Kremlin agent by rank-and-file Clintonites and McResistance social media addicts. Rarely however have I seen a political commentator who is trying to be taken seriously level such a brazen McCarthyist lie as the following:


Chapman leveled the accusation during another smear campaign a week and a half ago when online liberal pundits were attacking Greenwald for appearing on Fox News for an interview. Greenwald was quick to return fire:


After receiving no response for ten days, Greenwald again pressed the issue:


Greenwald's followers started making some noise and encouraging him to press charges, and finally, hours later, Chapman issued the following apology (archived here):



Not sure how "Greenwald also has his own ties to Putin that he doesn't want people to look too closely at" gets mealy-mouthed into "an unfounded insinuation", but there in black and white is what happens when you pressure an establishment loyalist into substantiating their Russian collusion claims against a critical thinker.

These people are bullies, and they should be treated like bullies. Chapman leveled his accusation because he expected to be able to sabotage Greenwald's reputation and get away with it; when you've got the might of the mainstream narrative behind you and an entire army of blinkered CNN consumers who will happily join in on any McCarthyist witch hunt, you don't always weigh the consequences of your actions very carefully. Like all bullies, you need to give them a reason to think twice before bullying. For this reason, I'm very glad Greenwald called Chapman out.

It takes a very robust echo chamber indeed to believe that the only reason anyone could possibly be skeptical about the assertions of the US intelligence community and confident-sounding MSNBC pundits is if they were agents of a foreign government. People have told me that they disagree with the mainstream narrative about what's going on in US politics, but they don't speak out because they've seen the horrible campaigns that centrists will launch against you if you do. The only way to encourage more people to stop allowing themselves to be bullied into silence is to follow Greenwald's example and shove back harder than they shove us to make some space for public dissent. Do not allow them to take your voice. We are right, they are wrong, and we have a right to speak.