U.S. intelligence officials have gone to the press to accuse conservative financial news website Zero Hedge of publishing “Russian propaganda.”
Anonymous intelligence officials spoke to the Associated Press to make the allegations about Zero Hedge, though they did not claim the news site has any actual ties to Russia.
“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,” the AP report says.
The report goes on to admit that the allegations against Zero Hedge are part of “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.”
“Zero Hedge has been sharply critical of Biden and posted stories about allegations of wrongdoing by his son Hunter. While perhaps best known for its coverage of markets and finance, the website also covers politics with a conservative bent,” the AP also noted.
The intelligence officials claimed that the website has published stories authored by “people affiliated with the Strategic Culture Foundation,” which Biden sanctioned last year for “allegedly taking part in Russia’s interference in the 2020 U.S. election.”
Having contributed to both @business and @zerohedge through the years I will confirm that propaganda is being amplified. However, by and for whom is not as it is being presented here, rather the opposite.
— John Butler (@ButlerGoldRevo) February 15, 2022
Zero Hedge denied the allegations and told the AP that they try to “publish a wide spectrum of views that cover both sides of a given story” and that there “is no relationship between Strategic Cultural Foundation (or the SVR) and Zero Hedge, and furthermore this is the first time we hear someone allege that the Foundation is linked to Russian propaganda.”
“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,” the comment from Zero Hedge continued.
On Tuesday morning, Zero Hedge published a response to the allegations under the headline, “Now We’ve Done It: We Pissed Off The 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, or that the Covid virus was actually created in a Chinese lab, a view which has gained substantial prominence in recent months after it emerged that none other than the UK’s Jeremy Farrar (also known as the UK’s Doctor Fauci) played a pivotal role in stifling suggestions that this new virus might have come from a laboratory rather than emerged through natural zoonotic transmission from animals,” the response said.
“Well, is the Strategic Culture Foundation – which periodically guest posts on this website along with hundreds of other sources of alternative information – taking direction from Russian intel?” the response continued. “Perhaps. We don’t know. What we do know is that Alastair Crooke, one of the most prolific writers on SCF website is a former high ranking MI6 figure and UK diplomat, i.e., a former British spook. Perhaps he is now a double agent working for Putin after spending decades spying for the UK?”
The response concluded by quoting Bret Schafer, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy, who told the AP: “My guess is that most of the people who are loyal Zero Hedge followers naturally are inclined to mistrust the U.S. government anyway, and so this announcement is probably not going to undermine most of Zero Hedge’s core support.” The news site added, “We agree. As for the CIA, no we are not going to date you. Ever.”