One explanation I’ve heard for the Biden admin’s alarmist rhetoric on Ukraine (over Ukrainian objections) is that the U.S. is trying to throw Putin off balance by revealing that it knows a lot more about his plans than he expected. I don’t know if that’s true. But if so, here’s another manifestation of that same strategy:
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. intelligence officials on Tuesday accused a conservative financial news website with a significant American readership of amplifying Kremlin propaganda and alleged five media outlets targeting Ukrainians have taken direction from Russian spies.
The officials said Zero Hedge, which has 1.2 million Twitter followers, published articles created by Moscow-controlled media that were then shared by outlets and people unaware of their nexus to Russian intelligence. The officials did not say whether they thought Zero Hedge knew of any links to spy agencies and did not allege direct links between the website and Russia.
Zero Hedge denied the claims and said it tries to “publish a wide spectrum of views that cover both sides of a given story.” In a response posted online Tuesday morning, the website said it has “has never worked, collaborated or cooperated with Russia, nor are there any links to spy agencies.”
U.S. intelligence officials briefed the AP, which reported the story. The cries of neo-McCarthyism will be deafening from some quarters, but this strikes me as a good thing for two reasons.
The first is that pro-authoritarian Americans should at least have to produce their own fucking content. The second is that we’re several years into a democracy-threatening disinformation crisis that is fomented and/or abetted by foreign actors, so it’s time to try new tactics to fight back.
Will it work? I don’t know. But it’s past time to aggressively push back on this bullshit. I’d be in favor of going on offense too and hope that is also happening.