By Greg Godels
In June, I commented on a scurrilous article originally appearing in The Daily Beast and inexplicably reposted on the Portside website. Entitled, U.S Tech Mogul Bankrolls Pro-Russia, Pro-China News Network, the article accused several left groups of having not only received money from a benefactor sympathetic to the People’s Republic of China, but, by implication, directly from The People’s Republic of China or the Russian Federation.
The Daily Beast hitman, William Bredderman, sought to stain individuals and organizations by suggesting that their platforms and ideas were both dictated by their benefactor and traitorous because of his association with countries that many perceive or hope others perceive as enemies.
But as I argued in my original article, Bredderman’s (and the Portside editors’) “gotcha” was a big, fat “so what!”
At that, the article was an exercise in slanderous innuendo.
When the mainstream media turns a blind eye to profoundly obvious corruption of the Bidens by foreign influencers, it is difficult to make much of an obscenely rich former tech mogul merely spreading his money around among a number of his favorite left-wing causes.
At a time when the State Department’s tawdry Victoria Nuland brazenly slips off to Niger to demand restoration of the US’s puppet president, it is cynical for a blinded media to cry foul and imply foreign meddling on the part of a foreign power’s enthusiastic admirer.
While a Supreme Court Justice disdainfully continues to accept numerous gifts from a prominent, widely connected “friend,” yet incurring no reprimand, it is unseemly for struggling left groups forced to the margins of US politics to have their source of funds cavalierly impugned.
But the ugliness of the article goes far beyond cynicism and hypocrisy.
Quite simply, the conclusion that Bredderman seeks is grounded on nothing. No financial link is established between the headline’s enemies — Russia and China — and the independently rich funder of left causes. In fact, it is bizarre to think that he needs to depend on foreign funds given his already deep pockets. Moreover, it is equally bizarre that influencers in the People’s Republic of China or the Russian Federation would choose a high profile, left-identifying admirer to serve as a secret conduit to organizations or individuals within the US left.
Of course, that doesn’t stop Bredderman and those who disseminate his scandal-mongering from pressing onwards any more than an absence of evidence has stopped bogus charges of Northern carpetbagging, Moscow gold, or Communist subversion in past episodes of baseless hysteria. It’s enough to point a suspicious finger at someone breaking expected conformity and throwing his lot in with those otherwise politically marginalized.
The Daily Beast’s superficial, slimy “reportage” has now moved The New York Times editors to elevate the politically-charged claims to national attention.
Assigning four young journalists– none with more than two years with the paper and one with some schooling from the notorious Bellingcat, an echo chamber for Western intelligence — the NYT faithfully reproduced the original charges with only a few new wrinkles. Media scandalizing the reputation of US left groups and individuals will prove to be good career moves, as it always has been in the past.
Again, there is no direct or even indirect evidence linking foreign-originated monies to the left organizations, but the article does offer the news organization’s own touches to the political innuendo: cash recipients “…mix progressive advocacy with Chinese government talking points…” leaving the reader with the thought that the convergence of the two points of view could NOT be coincidental or independently derived.
This should come as some bother to those of us on the “extreme” left who often find our progressive ideas converging with ideas shared with the Chinese Communist Party, the Cuban Communist Party, or many other left organizations, though we’ve never gotten one dime from the parsimonious Chinese or anyone else!
The young investigative reporters uncover public events where Mr. Singham — the former tech mogul benefactor — has appeared in public with Chinese officials, university professors, administrators, etc. Should they not also investigate Henry Kissinger, who was meeting recently in Beijing with officials?
Let’s call this journalistic sin what it is: guilt by association. And it’s a grievous sin regardless of whether it’s advanced by J. Edgar Hoover, HUAC, Joseph McCarthy, The Daily Beast, Portside, or The New York Times.
In the case of the NYT, it is especially despicable because the article targets the US left group that has, over time, perhaps shown the most integrity in defense of peace. While other left groups were entangled in debate over who they would support when the war in Ukraine broke out, CODE PINK was firmly fixed on what it opposed: war, its spread, and its human cost.
While nearly everyone– left and right– obsessed over fixing blame and supporting either NATO/Ukraine or Russia, CODE PINK activism was directed toward ending the war, thwarting its escalation, and finding a durable peace.
Accordingly, it is no accident that it is CODE PINK that the NYT editors– reliable servants of US foreign policy — chose to focus its attack upon.
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