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

Tyler Durden's picture

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."

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)...

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.


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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Huckleberry Pie's picture

Stupid question time: Who reads the Washington Post?

Looney's picture

The Bitch is getting gelously jealous...

Zero Hedge, on a slow news day, has more readers than the WaPo, even during the Watergate Glory Days.   ;-)


Luc X. Ifer's picture

USSA doing well on its path to Sovietisation at the hands of the liberal neo-fascist camarilla

BaBaBouy's picture

Y'all CONGRATS Ruskies ~~~

Deathrips's picture

Didnt the jews burn books in ww2 so they could propagate their victim status with the 6 million lampshades narrative?


Wasnt it they burned historical atlas showing that the numbers of jews in europe went UP durring ww2?


His Story. The winners preferred narrative.


Who lost.



BaBaBouy's picture

PC MSM INcoming ... Bend Over Tyler ~~~

EscapeKey's picture

this is like somewhat retarded McCarthyism...


Joe Davola's picture

I take umbrage with this - no one's ever called me useful before! And it sure ain't gonna start tuday, four day weekend FTW!

Handful of Dust's picture

Mussolini Fascista would be proud of Hillary and her Gangsters trying to control the media so hard.

manofthenorth's picture

Ron Paul is a Russian plant !!!!!


No really I can not stop laughing.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

Just as I suspected all along.

Boris Alatovkrap IS on the ZH payroll!

Harlequin001's picture

I'm offended. I read Zero Hedge.

Are they saying I'm an idiot?

El Vaquero's picture

I haven't clicked on the WaPo link yet.  I'm betting that comments are disabled for that article. 


Edit:  They're not!  Holy shit, this might make for some fun reading!

PrayingMantis's picture

... and on the positive side, the astroturf retards gave me a list of those I could trust ... I'll just add my other favorites, TruePundit and Breitbart ... :D

Manthong's picture

Well the good news is now I have a number of new sites to check out for accurate information and thoughtful  discourse.

Thank you WaPo.


..and hey Bezos.. there are other sources for products on the Interweb.

I am canceling Prime and I do not think I will be alone in avoiding support for your psychopathic globalistic designs.

I do not Facef*ck, twatter, I canceled the cable years ago and I do not use Google anymoar.



rosiescenario's picture

Boycott Amazon....we no longer will buy from them....plenty of other choices on the internet not run by my enemy.

Manthong's picture

Is it standard business practice to insult the intelligence of the population that represents the majority of your likely existing and potential customers nowadays?

Or maybe Amazon is accepting EBT cards now?

jeff montanye's picture

i wondered about that enough to google "amazon competitors".  to watch how absolutely afraid of controversy many consumer corporations appear to be, one would think bezos would be more cautious about calling half the country, essentially, traitors and/or fools.  hillary's folks seem pretty sure they are smarter and better than the opposition.  i'm not sure which accomplishments give them this feeling but they do seem to have it.

p.s. it is also hysterically funny (to me) that the, what, seven decades of increasingly complete media support of the propaganda of the, last i checked, foreign country of israel is not even mentioned, not really even noticed by so many.

this may be different when larry silverstein's 2001 after-hours project is fully explicated by an actual department of justice investigation, should that ever happen.

Escrava Isaura's picture

Video: Useful Idiots.

Reader be “VERY” aware when you hear the word Marxist. It doesn’t get more brainwashing than that. Let me show you what I mean.

The speaker on the video is in a massive misinformation goal of undermining socialism. So, he cites an example in Granada. Of course, most people that watch that video are not going have the time to research what that right wing jingoist is telling is true or not. But I do. Here’s Don Rojas, the former Press Secretary for President Maurice Bishop of Grenada from 1981-1983. Before that he was the Editor in Chief of Grenada’s national newspaper "The Free West Indian."

The press was actually quarantined in Barbados for several days after the initial invading force came into Grenada. Of course, this created a tremendous uproar within the international media community. But prior to that, of course, the Reagan administration had been conducting a very organized and concerted campaign of political, economic, diplomatic destabilization of the Bishop government, the revolutionary government of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, from the time Reagan came into office. The justification for the invasion, as articulated by President Reagan, I would say, was full of lies and distortions and falsifications. Reagan attempted to confuse the American people and the world by claiming that the Grenadian government was in fact building that the Soviet and Cuban military base in the Caribbean region. That was totally false. Also by using the fact that there were American medical students on the island, claiming that their lives were threatened by the Grenadian authorities. That was totally false.



TeamDepends's picture

(Crying like pussy): Well comrades, cover is blown. Jig is up. We gave good game, nyet? Nothing to do now but get vodka-faced.

Déjà view's picture

NYET! Paranoids...

From Russia With Love...

- 'Eddie'

This ad approved by KGB


WordSmith2013's picture



Outright Censorship and Tyrannical Shutdowns
Are the Primary Mainstream Media Strategies
Being Implemented to Terminate the Alt-Media
cheka's picture

good list.  added to favorites...should be worth a few months of education

stupid fks havent realized they are feeding the monster with every fiasco

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

I still can't decide whether the PropOrNot site is an elaborate joke or a collection of the remnants of the failing MSM and crumbling Vichy DC narrative.

On the side of elaborate joke:

1) They trolled the Washington Post.

2) Their main page is laughable in its naive presentation of primitive propaganda and seems to be aimed at an audience with a childlike level of brain functionality.

3) Their site expresses the level of "something must be done" urgency that you'd expect a kook to exhibit. The tone reminds me of Latvian potato troll viedoklis_lv (current ZH incarnation: atmasko) and his "STOP putin regime" site (which hasn't been updated in 6 months due to a compelled "holiday stay" at the Strenci mental hospital).

4) Their list of "Russian Propaganda" sites is an odd mix. It contains dozens of sites which I've found to be trustworthy sources of news that is either ignored or distorted by the MSM. It also contains a mix of really obvious kook sites like Sorcha Faal.

5) The list of their "Allies" in the right sidebar contains discredited known shills for the Vichy DC narrative, such as stopfake and bellingcat.

6) Included in their call to action for the American public is this hilarious paean to the fountainheads of fake news:

Obtain news from actual reporters, who report to an editor and are professionally accountable for mistakes. We suggest NPR, the BBC, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Buzzfeed, VICE, etc, and especially your local papers and local TV news channels. Support them by subscribing, if you can!

However, on the side of PropOrNot being composed of frightened pushers of the MSM/Vichy DC narrative, collected together like shit in a flushed toilet the moment before it disappears down the dirt pipe, we have the following:

1) Their access to the Washington Post gives thier paranoiac rantings a global distribution.

2) Their main page uses the same primitive propaganda utilized by the MSM when addressing the childlike mentality of their readers/viewers.

3) Their site expresses the level of "something must be done" urgency that you'd expect a kook to exhibit. This corresponds to the detachment from reality exhibited in the narratives churned out by the MSM and Vichy DC stink tanks.

4) Their list of "Russian Propaganda" sites is an odd mix of trustworthy news sources as well as known kook sites, a clear attempt to paint the reliable sites with the broad brush of fringe kookiness.

5) The list of their "Allies" in the right sidebar contains discredited known shills for the Vichy DC narrative, such as stopfake and bellingcat, upon which the MSM relies for "correct" storylines.

6) Included in their call to action for the American public is this plea to all correct-thinking people:

Obtain news from actual reporters, who report to an editor and are professionally accountable for mistakes. We suggest NPR, the BBC, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Buzzfeed, VICE, etc, and especially your local papers and local TV news channels. Support them by subscribing, if you can!

A shameful last gasp from the lying, dying MSM dinosaurs.

Frankly, I find the Accredited Times a more trustworthy source.

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

NPR, BBC, NYT, WSJ, blah blah blah.  Known government propaganda.

VICE is freakin' CIA!  C'mon man.

nightwish's picture

People forget it was the Jews who launched russian agitprop in the 50's through hollywood films, and engaged in other unamerican activities.

The irony, now they strive to usurp the democratic process by blaming russian influence for legitimate conservative views.

These people are evil incarnate. No peace until these scumbags are sequestered from the affairs of the world.

Seek_Truth's picture

I haven't forgotten. My computers and websites have been under attack since pizzagate and the dapl and the fires, etc have been exposed.

land_of_the_few's picture

I almost cried with laughter when I saw they were suggesting people become BFFs with VICE for to get the no fake news, Komrade :P If they were any more transparent they would be made of Plexiglas.

land_of_the_few's picture

The whole thing is very interesting especially the related projects links, IMHO if it was a US-based pro troll operative making the page, you wouldn't think they would give a rats ass about ex-com HHers.

Perhaps they have inadvertently recently hired some closet-HHers from somewhere in the direction of our friend you just mentioned? Although it seems he is too illiterate in English for them, the camo-clad supervisors would notice immediately.

Incidentally the whole thing is so ludicrous that even Bellingcat, who is cited as a "related project" is disowning it, and saying they never spoke to him before quoting his site's name! Which suggests a certain lack of communications between...

orifice of omaha's picture

I was thinking the same thing. I use amazon a lot but I am really angry at this stupidity.

We were given a free  WaPo subscription from Amazon on trial basis. Didn't take long before we were sick of the biased and incomplete nonsense. Bezos is stupid to let politics interfere in his basic business. But he has done it so I will now take as much of my business elsewhere. 

WaPo is not for news. It is pure propaganda and poorly done at that. People are learning just how corrupt the media is, and it is driving them in the opposite direction. This is so blatant you really have to wonder about who is pulling the strings. 

Bezos is obvious so I will start there. 

Ebay and Aliexpress are great options. Any others?




jcaz's picture

LOL-  poor Bezos,  doesn't have a clue about what shitstorm he's unlocked...

Enjoy your IRS adventure, Jeffy-  it's gonna set new standards-  the balance sheet bullshit you pull is about to come to an end;

I wanna hear that fake laugh as he's perp-walked......

So what about that new sales tax on online purchases, Jeff?  Guess that money you paid Hillary is kinda wasted now, huh?

Odd that he would bite the dog that feeds him- had Amazon not received the tax break of ALL TIME,  Bezos would be dropping fries right now......

ebear's picture

I buy all my shit direct from China.  Cut out the middle man...lol.


Think I'm joking?  I can't buy anything made in Canada or the USA anymore because all our manufacturers pulled up stakes and moved to China.  So, know what?  I won't buy their shit.  I'll buy the Chinese knockoffs at half the price.  Chinese made, by Chinese workers, shipped in a Chinese container on a fucking Chinese ship!  I'll even hire a local Chinese company to deliver it my door.

Chángshòu de zh?nghuá rénmín gònghéguó!

chunga's picture

What are some good alternatives to AMZN? We've had Prime for years, just one of the reasons is that travelling into town is a half-day affair. But fuck enough is enough. Fuck you Bezos you fraud. We don't buy much stuff but we'll our shit somewhere else.

Rubicon727's picture

For books, try Abebooks.com.

sun tzu's picture

Latest studies show Amazon is more expensive than brick and mortar retailers and other websites for 90% of their products. They are also deep into selling counterfeit products.

Nunya Bidness Gogl's picture

Yeah, the main problem the last several times I have tried to use Amazon is just the amount of counterfeit garbage that's on there. And shady stuff, mislabeled, from third party sellers. You can't hardly find anything legit on their any more. It's just a waste of time.

BarnacleBill's picture

Be fair! I just used Google to find TruePundit, which I hadn't read before. Thank you Google!

Manthong's picture

..a better alternative.

Works fine for me.


NoDebt's picture

Remember, liberals ALWAYS ACCUSE OTHERS OF WHAT THEY ARE ACTUALLY DOING THEMSELVES.  It's a universal truism.  It ALWAYS happens.  Accuse others of shilling for the Russians while they themselves try to turn the country communist.

They will tell you their plan if you just listen to their accusations.

And, Tyler.... be well, citizen comrade.  ;)

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Liberal Hypocrisy???  Really??  Say it isn't so!!!!

Creative_Destruct's picture

PropOrNot - The source of the list. THE anti-propaganda PROPAGANDA site that is BRAND NEW as of 2016 and is the SELF-APPOINTED judge of all thats true and good.

Who fact checks these fact checkers??? The allies list is a strong source of leftist propaganda.


"our Friendly Neighborhood Propaganda Identification Service, Since 2016!"


"PropOrNot’s Twitter  TWTR -0.88%  account, which tweets and retweets anti-Russian sentiments from a variety of sources, has only existed since August of this year. And an article announcing the launch of the group on its website is dated last month."


FlyinHigh's picture

Seriously ? ? ?   "Snoops"  as a fact checker ? ?  HA, I LOL, they don't know shit from shine-o-la. I personaly have been involved in two of there stories as false. I was there. (Never mind the stories) They LIED threw there teeth as to the truth. I call "Bullshit" on "Snopes" as truth tellers ! ! !

Jim in MN's picture

They were OK until they got famous, then they pulled a Hendrix (puked 'n' died).

Creative_Destruct's picture

Yes. And to me PolitiFact ("PolitiLeft"), along with others on the list, have similar lack of credibility. Many sites on the list SCREAM prejudged anti-Russia agenda.

Jim in MN's picture