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27 November 2016

 

Emergency Request For Press Freedom Award

 

 

To: Committee to Protect Journalists—International Press Freedom Award

National Council of Teachers of English—George Orwell Award

 

 

To Whom It May Concern:

 

We are writing to you today to urgently request that your esteemed organizations immediately issue press freedom awards to the 200 American websites that have been branded and blacklisted by the US mainstream media as being “fake news” Russian propaganda organizations without either the presentation of any evidence to support this claim, or even allowing any of these sites to avail themselves of any type of due process to counter this charge.

 

In what Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Glen Greenwald has called “journalistic garbage”[1], the Washington Post this past week in their article titled “Russian Propaganda Effort Helped Spread ‘Fake News’ During Election, Experts Say”[2] began supporting a “McCarthyite Blacklist”[3] of over 200 American alternative news websites based solely upon evidence created by an anonymous and shadowy group named PropOrNot.com[4] that created “The List” of sites to be blacklisted.[5]

The list of sites being blacklisted as “fake news” and Russian propaganda consists of some of the largest alternative news websites in America, like Drudgereport.com that is the 103rd most viewed site[6] in the US, and some of its least viewed—like Libertyblitzkrieg.com[7] whose single blogger and site webmaster upon learning he was blacklisted wrote:

 

Despite the fact that my site is mentioned on “the list,” nobody from PropOrNot bothered to contact me while doing their “research.” They could’ve asked very simple questions about how the site is run, who owns it, and who makes decisions about editorial content. Furthermore, I doubt they did any such research with regard to any of the mentioned sites before slandering them.

 

Since they failed to do any real work, let me answer several of these questions. I, Michael Krieger, am the 100% owner of Liberty Blitzkrieg. I am the only person who makes decisions on what to publish and when. I have absolutely no connections, financial or otherwise, to the Russian government, Russian interests, or the interests of any other government or government related group.”[8]

 

Should Mr Krieger, or any other person, seek redress from being blacklisted by PropOrNot.com as Russian “fake news” propagandists, they are met by these chilling words from this shadowy sites anonymous “experts” should they seek to contact them: “If you’re a Russian troll, though, don’t bother. We’ll just ban you.”[9]

 

Following the Washington Post giving mainstream media respectability to the PropOrNot.com blacklist, other such American mainstream news sites quickly followed doing the same—including Slate.com[10], PBS News Hour[11], Mediate.com[12], and Salon.com[13], to just name a few.

 

With both Google and Facebook now “taking aim” against what they call “fake news” sites[14], it doesn’t take an “expert” to know that these 200 American alternative websites that are now being blacklisted as Russian propagandists will be the first to be targeted for oblivion and revenue denial—but whose only “crime” were those of writing, publishing and disseminating articles counter to and critical of the existing US mainstream media power structures narrative.

 

This past week, Philippe Leruth, as the President of International Federation of Journalists[15], said in response to the EU’s attack on Russian media with its recent “anti-propaganda” resolution:  “You should give them the right to defend themselves, and second, you should show exactly what you mean by saying they are doing propaganda.”[16]

 

Likewise, these over 200 American blacklisted alternative news sites have had no right to defend themselves, nor has anyone shown them why they are now being labeled as propagandists.

 

To the elite media and journalistic power structures your organizations represent, these 200 American blacklisted alternative websites are nothing more than “low hanging fruit”—but ask yourselves, once they are destroyed, who do you think will be next?

 

In medical terms there is one used called “Patient Zero”[17] that is defined as the first case of a condition or syndrome—and that if found could stop a pandemic from occurring thus saving millions of lives.

 

This blacklist is your “Patient Zero”—and unless you, and others of journalistic integrity like you, cure this disease it will, most assuredly, metastasize and destroy all press freedom the world over.

 

Therefore, and in conclusion, I respectfully request that your organizations create and provide to these 200 American alternative news websites that are being blacklisted an Emergency Award Banner that can be displayed on their sites and that link back to your statement of support for press freedom of all kinds.

 

To defend the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal is either what you truly stand for or you stand for nothing at all.

 

Sincerely,

 

Sorcha Faal

 

WhatDoesItMean.com—a blacklisted site

 

Click HERE to sign our petition! And forward this letter to everyone you know.

 

References:

 

[1] https://www.rt.com/usa/368214-greenwald-washington-post-russia/

 

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/russian-propaganda-effort-helped-spread-fake-news-during-election-experts-say/2016/11/24/793903b6-8a40-4ca9-b712-716af66098fe_story.html

 

[3] https://theintercept.com/2016/11/26/washington-post-disgracefully-promotes-a-mccarthyite-blacklist-from-a-new-hidden-and-very-shady-group/

 

[4] http://www.propornot.com/p/home.html

 

[5] http://www.propornot.com/p/the-list.html

 

[6] http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo

 

[7] https://libertyblitzkrieg.com

 

[8] https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2016/11/25/liberty-blitzkrieg-included-on-washington-post-highlighted-hit-list-of-russian-propaganda-websites/#more-39977

 

[9] http://www.propornot.com/p/contact.html

 

[10] http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/11/25/how_russian_propaganda_used_facebook_to_spread_fake_news_during_the_election.html

 

[11] http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/russian-propaganda-effort-behind-flood-fake-news-preceded-election/

 

[12] http://www.mediaite.com/online/reports-blame-russian-propaganda-efforts-for-explosion-in-fake-news/

 

[13] http://www.salon.com/2016/11/25/russian-propaganda-is-using-facebook-other-social-media-sites-to-manipulate-american-voters/

 

[14] http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/15/technology/google-will-ban-websites-that-host-fake-news-from-using-its-ad-service.html?_r=0

 

[15] http://www.ifj.org/

 

[16] https://www.rt.com/op-edge/368232-international-federation-journalists-leruth/

 

[17] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_case

 

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Source: Private Letter

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