I know you are, but what am I? Alleged fake news source threatens WaPo with lawsuit
A letter to the Washington Post from Naked Capitalism’s attorney accuses the paper of being “taken for a ride by inept propagandists,” specifically the group PropOrNot. The letter is references a November 24 article titled, “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say.”
Naked Capitalism claims in its letter that “these serious allegations have caused and will continue to cause great harm to Naked Capitalism.”
The Post’s article relied heavily on the input of the organization PropOrNot, which the Post referred to as one of “two teams of independent researchers” and “a nonpartisan collection of researchers with foreign policy, military and technology backgrounds.” However, the credentials of PropOrNot have been called into question by many, such as the Intercept, the New Yorker and Rolling Stone.
PropOrNot has offered little insight to their formula which saw some sources branded propaganda. The Post granted anonymity to the organization’s leader, which Naked Capitalism attorney Jim Moody described as “indicia of actual malice, i.e. knowing and/or reckless disregard for the truth or falsity of your allegations against Naked Capitalism.”
In addition, Moody said in the letter to the Post that “the simplest internet search reveals propornot.com to be a recent creation, shadowy at best, and with no credentials or bona fides that are capable of independent verification and assessment.”
PropOrNot’s list of propaganda contains 200 different news organizations that are deemed to either be Russian propaganda or fake news. The listed sources cover a wide spectrum, from Weekly World News to Truth Out and Drudge Report. As with those and others, Naked Capitalism’s inclusion on that list has yet to be explained.
According to Moody’s letter, they were never given the ability to offer a rebuttal or comment on the Post’s piece. As a result, they are asking that the Washington Post to retract its propaganda story and issue an apology.