The libertarian financial blog shot back by accusing AP of amplifying CIA propaganda
The Associated Press (AP) published an article on Tuesday citing unnamed “US intelligence officials” who accused libertarian financial blog ZeroHedge – which has repeatedly criticized US President Joe Biden – of “amplifying Russian propaganda.”
Nomaan Merchant, AP’s intelligence and national security reporter, wrote that the unnamed officials accused ZeroHedge of publishing 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,” Merchant noted, adding that AP was briefed by the officials “on the condition of anonymity.”
Here we go again…"The officials briefed The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence sources."If this was official, there would be an official statement.Our "Intelligence Agencies" are out of control. Time for a complete redo. https://t.co/5sn2IASHvg
— Jeff Carlson (@themarketswork) February 15, 2022
ZeroHedge – which AP acknowledged had been “sharply critical of Biden and posted stories about allegations of wrongdoing by his son Hunter” – denied the accusations and accused AP of publishing a “bizarre hit piece” sponsored by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
“Well, now we've done it – we've angered the CIA, and for what? For publishing views that challenge the conventional narrative, such as disputing that an invasion of Ukraine is actually ‘imminent’ as the US State Department and its mainstream media conduits repeat day after day,” ZeroHedge declared.
“Of course, there is no actual accusation that Zero Hedge works directly with anyone tied to Russia or its intelligence apparatus,” the website noted, before stating that it had “never worked, collaborated or cooperated with Russia, nor are there any links to spy (or any other) agencies.”
Maybe the AP could have rounded out its story by providing some perspective on both sides instead of just tracking the narrative it was spoon fed by the CIA
AP’s article and the comments received heavy criticism online, with critics calling it an assault on press freedom.
It's very sad that some of the biggest players in attacking press freedom are the establishment organs of the press. How dare Zero Hedge post non-US government approved links! https://t.co/rfpG9awapR
— Aaron M. Renn 🇺🇸 (@aaron_renn) February 15, 2022
“So @joebiden’s spooks are smearing random websites as Russian agents if they challenge White House warmongering and lies,” tweeted Electronic Intifada director Ali Abunimah, who called the intelligence officials’ accusations “a direct government attack on free speech.”