Smear-Mongering: a Mea Culpa for the Age of Mccarthyism 2.0
Smear-Mongering: a Mea Culpa for the Age of Mccarthyism 2.0
By Chris Floyd / counterpunch.org

OK, I guess I’d better come clean. It seems that I must be a paid agent of the Kremlin. After all, I write for CounterPunch Magazine — for money! I used to write regularly for Truthout.org — for money! I’ve contributed articles to the Baltimore Gazette. I’ve often quoted and linked to stories from the Black Agenda Report. I’ve regularly quoted and linked to articles by prize-winning AP/Newsweek reporter Robert Parry for years. According to the Washington Post, all of this makes me either a paid Kremlin propagandist or a Kremlin dupe. There is no other alternative.

And who says this? A collection of completely anonymous “experts” from a group no one has ever heard of until it materialized for the Post article. The group, PropOrNot, put out a list of publications and websites that are “outlets for Russian propaganda,” a list that included all the venues named above, as well as several others which have been long-time critics of various aspects of American foreign policy. These were all mixed in with obvious propaganda mills and clickbait factories (of whatever provenance).

The story is a smear piece just like Tailgunner Joe and Roy Cohn used to make. It makes a direct equation between dissent and treason, using the crudest, stupidest kind of cod-reasoning: if you have criticized a policy or action that Vladimir Putin has also criticized at some point (even if the reasons for your critique might differ wildly from his), then you are automatically a Russian agent or a “useful idiot.” That’s it. That’s the sole binary in our political world, according to new McCarthyism: either you must accept everything the US government says and does at face value, believe it implicitly and support it whole-heartedly, or else you’re a traitor acting on behalf of the Russkies — or you might as well be.

I remember this asinine stance from the old days, when anyone who opposed the Vietnam War was a commie, when Martin Luther King was obviously motivated solely by Kremlin gold to get the darkies all stirred up. You’d think that our modern progressives would be ashamed to push this ugly line — yet they seem to be its greatest enthusiasts. And so here we are again, in the 21st century — after COINTELPRO, the Church Commission, Iran-Contra, the Iraq War lies, etc. etc., etc.: if you dare question Washington’s line, you must be a traitor, or a fool who cannot possibly think for himself or herself without being spoon-fed by Moscow.

Oddly enough, there is only one kind of critic of US foreign policy that is not regarded as a Kremlin agent: those who criticize Washington for not being even more bloodthirsty and aggressive in its foreign policy. Those kind of outlets never land on our new McCarthyite lists. And here’s another odd fact: PropORNot’s list of those who peddle “fake news” doesn’t include Breitbart.com, which is one of the master bullshit purveyors of the age.

Oh well, I’m just glad the Washington Post was a bit more skeptical toward state power during the Watergate era. (Today it would be: “Where did you get this fake news crap about the President and a ‘cover-up,’ Bernstein? Russian agents? What are you, some kind of commie?”) And I guess we can take comfort in the fact that in just a few weeks, it’ll be OK for progressives to be critical of American policy again, once it’s in the hands of Donald Trump.

But what’s going to happen to commie traitor pinko nogoodniks like me? If I write just as scathingly of Trump’s drone wars, deaths squads, covert ops, subversions and White House death squads as I have of Obama’s (and Bush’s), will my flow of Kremlin gold be cut off? I mean, it’s not like ANYONE can ever have a consistent, considered opposition to certain policies and actions no matter who commits them, right? And OMG — what if Putin finds about my critiques of his own brutal policies and actions? Whose list will I end up on then? It’s all so confusing! But fortunately, we have the Washington Post and its anonymous experts to guide us through the modern McCarthyite morass.

When he is not taking dictation from the Kremlin, Chris Floyd is a columnist for CounterPunch magazine. His blog, Putin is my Darling – sorry, Empire Burlesque – can be found at www.chris-floyd.com.

Chris Floyd is a columnist for CounterPunch Magazine. His blog, Empire Burlesque, can be found at www.chris-floyd.com.

3.5 ·
1
What's Next
Trending Today
Dakota Access Pipeline Permit Denied
Nika Knight · 10,945 views today · 'For the first time in Native American history, they heard our voices.'
How Romanticism Ruined Love
5 min · 5,322 views today · The set of ideas we can call Romanticism is responsible for making our relationships extremely difficult. We shouldn’t give up on love; we should just recognize that it’s more...
All the News Is Fake!
3 min · 3,630 views today · Jonathan Pie finds nothing new in the idea of fake news.
93 Documentaries to Expand Your Consciousness
Films For Action · 2,956 views today · There are over 800 documentaries now cataloged in our library of social change films. That's probably way too many for any mortal to ever watch in a lifetime, let alone a few...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 2,933 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 2,899 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
Why Are Media Outlets Still Citing Discredited 'Fake News' Blacklist?
Adam Johnson · 2,329 views today · The Washington Post (11/24/16) last week published a front-page blockbuster that quickly went viral: Russia-promoted “fake news” had infiltrated the newsfeeds of 213 million...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,649 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Lifting the Veil:  Obama and the Failure of Capitalist Democracy (2011)
114 min · 1,560 views today · This film explores the historical role of the Democratic Party as the "graveyard of social movements", the massive influence of corporate finance in elections, the absurd...
United Natures: a United Nations of all Species (2013)
103 min · 1,314 views today · United Natures explores the Rights of Mother Earth, Environmental Philosophy, Wisdom, Spirituality and the potential for a Neo-indigenous future for humanity. Directed and...
The Orwellian War on Skepticism
Robert Parry · 1,185 views today · Official Washington’s rush into an Orwellian future is well underway as political and media bigwigs move to silence Internet voices of independence and dissent, reports Robert...
Post-Brexit Visions of The Possible: It's Time to Imagine a New European Community
Martin Winiecki · 1,157 views today · We live in the beginning phase of a global revolution which will turn societal conditions upside down. We cannot stop this transformation, but we can influence where it will...
Projext X: Using Leaked Documents to Reveal the NSA's New York Spy Hub, Hidden in Plain Sight
10 min · 1,123 views today · A top-secret handbook takes viewers on an undercover journey to Titanpointe, the site of a hidden partnership. Narrated by Rami Malek and Michelle Williams, and based on...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 994 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
The Fight for Clean Water (#NoDAPL)
2 min · 992 views today · Clean water or Corporate profits? What’s more important? #NoDAPL Energy Transfer Partners: (214) 981-0700 U.S. Army Corps Of Engineers: (202) 761-0010; (202)...
Where Do You Draw the Line? (2016)
60 min · 942 views today · Why is the Ecuadorian government proposing to extract oil in an area frequently classified by ecologists as one of the most bio-diverse rainforest regions left intact on earth?...
Twelve Things To Remember After The US Election, From Front Line Organizers
Bill Quigley · 830 views today · When you find yourself in a suddenly darkened room, what do you do?   Some rush blindly to where they think the door might be.  Others stand still, let their eyes get...
Law Professor's Epic Response to Black Lives Matter Shirt Complaint
Social Design Notes · 823 views today · A first year law school student wrote a complaint about her professor having worn a Black Lives Matter T-shirt during class. The professor’s response is priceless. Scans of...
After Historic Protests, Army Corps of Engineers Blocks Current Route of the Dakota Access Pipeline
3 min · 605 views today · The $4 billion dollar project could still be approved by President-elect Donald Trump who is heavily invested in the pipeline. Help support The Real News by making a donation...
This Short Film Plays Out Like an Epic Movie That Will Shake Your Soul - But the Movie Is Real, and We are The Actors
6 min · 485 views today · For next year, we need a resolution capable of confronting the crisis we face, and making a future worth fighting for. This short film looks back on the crisis and confusion...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Smear-Mongering: a Mea Culpa for the Age of Mccarthyism 2.0