The journal Counterpunch has a problem with commitment. They don’t know which side they’re on so they play both of them. Their masthead reads “Fearless muckraking since 1993” but it appears they can’t tell muckraking from straight-out muck & horse manure. They’ve become a primary source for Assadist propaganda, including the defense of Russian & Iranian military intervention & vilifying the White Helmet rescue workers as terrorists. They haven’t stooped as low as publishing Bartlett & Beeley but the Assadist academics & journalists they do publish draw from those two dregs as primary sources. Counterpunch editors must think if they talk a good line on that “US regime-change operation” in Syria, they are covering their progressive bases but all they are doing is reducing political discourse to a cacophony & a farce at the expense of millions of people sustaining war, occupation, genocide.
For a while now they’ve been publishing Maoist rubbish denouncing the Tiananmen Square massacre as a “big lie”, defending the autocratic rule of Xi Jinping & calling criticisms of his rule “western propaganda,” mocking the Uyghur genocide as “vile & venomous lies,” vilifying the protests of millions in Hong Kong as anti-communists trying to restore capitalism & calling on Xi to crack down on the protesters. At the same time they publish articles describing the truth about the Uyghur genocide. Do the editors actually believe that on issues of such life & death importance to millions of people they can play both sides of the street?
There are those who call themselves progressive, ‘leftists’, socialists, Marxists who write & shill for the journal–probably because their own stuff gets published there. But most of us want to be able to trust the journalistic integrity, standards, judgement of political editors. So when Counterpunch plays both sides of the street in an attempt to broaden its readership base, we think it contemptible, not muckraking. The difference between muckraking & horse manure is not subtle but Counterpunch editors Jeffrey St. Clair & Joshua Frank don’t know that.