‘WaPo puts out bizarre conspiracy theories, uses tactics it accuses Ron Paul Institute of’

©  Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity
A Washington Post article claimed a “sophisticated [Russian] propaganda campaign” influenced the US presidential election. The piece has since been lambasted as nonsense by a number of well-known figures from the media industry.

American think tank, the Ron Paul Institute, was also mentioned in the article as one of the organizations promoting “Russian propaganda.” 

The institute’s executive director, Daniel McAdams, described the whole piece as one of “the most bizarre conspiracy theories”.

RT: As the executive director of the Ron Paul Institute, which, along with RT, has been blacklisted by the "PropOrNot"website, for promoting Russian propaganda. What's your response to that accusation?

Daniel McAdams: How ironic it is that The Washington Post uses the exact same tactics and techniques that they falsely accuse us of using. They put out the most bizarre conspiracy theories about some crazy Russian plot that goes through all of these several hundred websites, including the Drudge Report, which is a huge site, with absolutely no evidence for this conspiracy theorizing. What is funny as they say we’re fake news, but we proudly stand behind every single article we publish. While The Washington Post was publishing lies about how the Iraq war would be a cakewalk, Ron Paul was down on the floor of Congress saying it would be a disaster. Who ended up being right? The same thing was too with Libya and the others. So the real fake news is the Washington Post, not the Ron Paul Institute.

RT: The people behind the website haven't revealed their identities, and give sketchy explanations of their methods, speaking of "using algorithms in automated analysis". How do they expect anyone to be convinced by their claims?

DM: The title itself of the Washington Post article is a real giveaway. It says something on the order of “Russian propaganda fueled Trump’s victory, experts say”, or something like this. Well, who are the experts? As you pointed out, they don’t say. They are absolutely anonymous. Is this website propaganda, or not? [It] doesn’t reveal who is behind them; it doesn’t reveal researchers; it doesn’t reveal the executive director; it doesn’t reveal the methods they use.

First of all, they are factually wrong – they listed the Ron Paul Institute as a right-wing website, which I’m sure will be news to our board of directors, including Dennis Kucinich, who has never been accused of being right-wing. But then they go on to their two pieces of evidence that we’re a Russian propaganda outlet. One is the piece in the Washington Free Beacon, which is owned by arch-neocon Bill Kristol’s son-in-law (Matthew Continetti). And in that attack piece on the Institute, the main point was that I criticized Washington’s attack on Libya, pointing out that the things are a lot worse there, than they were before the attack. That was the one.

And the other was a piece ran by Pepe Escobar, a well-known international correspondent, who simply pointed out that it is not a very good idea for NATO to be putting its troops on Russian borders. If that is Russian propaganda, then I think they have a very low threshold.

RT: Could it be that this "fake news" blame-game in the mainstream media is just their way of getting rid of the growing competition?

DM: It is pretty funny, actually, for all of their millions of dollars. We had hoped that when Jeff Bezos took over The Washington Post that he would clean shop. Unfortunately, it’s gotten worse. For all their millions of dollars at the Washington Post, they are afraid of a tiny little think tank, called the Ron Paul Institute that happens to tell the truth. I really wear that with a badge of pride. Quite frankly, I would say: “Thank you, Washington Post!” because we can go to our supporters and even our donors and say: “Look, who thinks that we’re very influential.” We really appreciate it. We’re doing something right I think.

RT: "PropOrNot" says it doesn't blacklist anyone without good reason, citing support for Brexit a clear sign that someone's promoting Russian propaganda. How does support for Brexit link someone to the Kremlin, exactly?

DM: Well, they did it with Brexit, they did with Trump. Obviously as 501(c)(3) [a nongovernmental organization exempt from taxes], the Institute, first of all, takes no position on referendum overseas. Our whole point is to not intervene in issues overseas. And we obviously took no sides on Trump versus Hillary. We supported neither candidate. So there is just absolutely nothing to it. But I think that if anything this shows and the WikiLeaks shows that the mainstream media is unbelievably corrupt. We’ve seen what they’ve done behind the scenes. They have been exposed as being absolute corrupt tools of the elites. And that is something that they are going to have to deal with in lashing out at organizations and websites and institutes that tell the truth, it is not the way to save themselves with the American people.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.