In Episode 66 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg interviews Alexander Reid Ross, author of Against the Fascist Creep and a fellow at the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI), who has faced threats of litigation as well as relentless online harassment for his exposés of Russian propaganda and Red-Brown Politics. After his recent piece in the Daily Beast on leftist flirtation with the far right around conspiracy theories concerning COVID-19 and the war in Syria, the odious Max Blumenthal quickly retaliated with a piece on his Grayzone website charging in its headline that Reid Ross “works with ex-cops, CIA spies, and DHS agents.” This refers to the fact that former CIA, Homeland Security and NYPD officials are now also researchers with the NCRI. The accusation is hilariously ironic given that Blumenthal himself has shared platforms with former CIA analyst (and now a star of the conspiracy set) Ray McGovern. As well as (of course) avidly cooperating with Russian and Chinese state propaganda efforts.
Among examples discussed in the interview… A new report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), “Strange bedfellows on Xinjiang: The CCP, fringe media and US social media platforms,” names Grayzone as “amplified by Chinese and Russian state-affiliated entities” in “state-sponsored disinformation…campaigns.” In addition to practicing “junket journalism” to serve the propaganda interests of the Bashar Assad regime, Blumenthal has also poked vicious fun at Syrian chemical attack victims.
But apart from the dizzying hypocrisy of Blumenthal painting Reid Ross as a CIA collaborator, it constitutes what was known in the COINTELPRO era of the 1960s as “snitch-jacketing“—a phenomena that led to the cannibalization of the radical opposition movements of the day.
Production by Chris Rywalt (with help from Dawn Rywalt)
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