US intel officials accuse right-wing financial website of promoting Kremlin propaganda
During the Cold War, the last thing right-wing publications wanted to be accused of was being pro-Russia or promoting Kremlin talking points. But these days, it isn’t hard to find right-wing websites that express admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin, or at least have a relatively sympathetic tone.
According to the Associated Press, U.S. intelligence officials believe that the right-wing Zero Hedge site has published material created in Moscow.
“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 AP’s Nomaan Merchant reports. “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.”
But Zero Hedge, according to Merchant, is denying that allegation and said that it makes an effort to “publish a wide spectrum of views that cover both sides of a given story.”
On Tuesday morning, February 15, Zero Hedge said it “has never worked, collaborated or cooperated with Russia,” adding, “Nor are there any links to spy agencies.”
U.S. intelligence officials, according to Merchant, “briefed the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence sources.”
“It was the latest effort by President Joe Biden’s administration to release U.S. intelligence findings about Russian activity involving Ukraine as part of a concerted push to expose and influence the moves of Russian President Vladimir Putin,” Merchant reports. “U.S. officials previously accused Putin of planning a ‘false-flag’ operation to create a pretext for a new invasion of Ukraine and detailed what they believe are final-stage Russian preparations for an assault.”
AP cites specific examples of headlines that have appeared in Zero Hedge, including “NATO Sliding Towards War Against Russia In Ukraine,” “Americans Need A Conspiracy Theory They Can All Agree On” and “Theater Of Absurd... Pentagon Demands Russia Explain Troops On Russian Soil.”
Nonetheless, Zero Hedge has maintained that there “is no relationship between” them and Russia’s Strategic Cultural Foundation.
A Zero Hedge representative told AP, “They are one of our hundreds of contributors. Unlike Mainstream Media, we try to publish a wide spectrum of views that cover both sides of a given story.”
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