FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Green Party – Marks in a Media Con Job

Photo by N i c o l a | CC BY 2.0

November, 2016 came and went and the world has since been immersed in the predicament of the Republican regime headed by the insane orange clown president and his unelected, and all-too-present familia.

Within the American duopoly, the “opposition” Democratic Party has yet to recover from its resounding defeat and humiliation, retreating indefinitely into surreal and immature finger- pointing, Russophobia and McCarthyism.

Meanwhile, outside the confines of the two-party system, Jill Stein and the Greens have been hard at work on promoting a range of candidates and developing an alternative media channel – The Green News Network, a self-described “source for non-corporately filtered news, information and analysis”.

Marks

David Cobb, the Green Party’s Stein/Baraka campaign manager, has fallen prey to a con job. It is sad, but these things can happen. The trouble is that he seems hell-bent on tarnishing the reputation of the entire Green Party, which, after Bernie Sanders’ defeat/capitulation in the Democratic primaries, I and many of my colleagues on the left voted for in 2016.

As host of “Democracy in action” a show on The Green News Network, Cobb has chosen to promote and rely on the writings of a “rogue journalist” from Australia named Caitlin Johnstone.

To those unfamiliar with Johnstone’s credentials, you are not alone.

A Google search reveals that even though she apparently received a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in 2003 (which she produced on her Facebook account after many requests from people who questioned her credibility), she has zero publications before 2016, other than an astrology book, and began her “journalistic” career on an obscure blogging site called Newslogue with pseudo-feminist articles titled “Why do men hate women” and “How to make a boy a man”.

What’s more, she has curiously not published a single investigative-journalism article on her native Australia. Ever. Is that even possible with a degree in journalism?

Since, Johnstone has graduated from Newslogue to write about American politics all the way from Oz (a country not lacking in political turmoil) for a host of blogging platforms, most notably Medium, where she attempts to pass herself off as a progressive/anti-establishment journalist on the left by critiquing liberals, imperialism, AntiFa, the Democratic Party, Marxists, the “deep state” and corporate media, as well as by promoting racists, and in her most recent piece openly calling for cooperation with fascists, i.e. a red-brown alliance.

It is no coincidence that ex-Bernie Sanders supporters, now avid Trump fans such as Cassandra Fairbanks, take inspiration from Johnstone’s sensationalist “anti-establishment” writings and that one of her die-hard supporters is Mike Cernovich, an alt-right media personality.

Johnstone’s quick rise to fame is not accidental. In addition to being endorsed by a range of dubious fans, she is (self) promoted by one of the blogging websites, which regularly features her work – “We the media”. There, Johnstone is bizarrely featured alongside established left-wing/progressive/radical journalists with on-the-ground investigative journalism experience such as Amy Goodman, Glenn Greenwald and Abby Martin as a contender for “Top independent journalist of 2017”.

Fake lefties usher in fascism

But Johnstone’s sensationalist, populist and often inaccurate blogging, as well as her dodgy backers and her cries for a red-brown alliance are not the point of this article, it is the fact that her sort of writing is dangerously promoted by many well-meaning progressives and radicals on the left as well as on a monthly basis by David Cobb of the Green Party.

In today’s demonopolized media landscape, deceit is perpetuated not only by the usual suspects, i.e. the corporate state and its subservient media outlets, but also by a range of fake news, which is published online with no editing or verification on free-for-all blogging platforms, such as Medium. The ease and availability of online publishing, as well as the growing distaste with the corruptions of corporate media, provide a vacuum into which sensationalism can be used to promote a populist and potentially fascistic agenda.

Fascist infiltration of the left from anti-establishment, fake “anti-imperialists” has been a pervasive and troubling phenomenon that has shaped contemporary politics and some of the upheavals of 2016 (for analysis, as well as the involvement of Russia see here). It relies on a loosely-defined politics of opposition rather than on a leftist class analysis.

Eric Draitser of stopimperialism.org summarizes it thus:

“The right-wing and today’s fascists, i.e. the so-called ‘alt-right’ in the United States position themselves as anti-establishment and anti-imperialist by virtue of an opposition to neoliberal capitalism. Theirs is not an opposition to capitalism nor is it an opposition to imperialism. It is an opposition to the unique set of conditions that we see today.”

And this is exactly where Cobb and the Green party situate themselves when they promote the viewpoints of problematic journalists like Johnstone.

I wonder: is an alliance with “alt-right” fascists the alternative to the duopoly that the Green Party is offering the American people? Are there no credible and independent left-wing journalists with first-hand experience in American politics that the Green Party can rely on for accurate reporting?

I know of plenty excellent reporters who publish in credible lefty publications such as Truthdig, Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Alternet, CounterPunch, CommonDreams, In These Times, Jacobin, and The Real New Network, among many other outlets that come to mind.

Regardless, in our age of surging right-wing, xenophobic, Islamophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-black and brown, anti-indigenous, misogynist and ecocidal agendas that are driven by corporate deregulation and a decimation of public welfare, Cobb and the Green Party owe it to their voters to present a serious and credible left-wing alternative that builds on a positive politics of social and environmental justice, collectivism and community, and not on a self-defeating and immoral “anti-establishment” alliance with fascists, promoted by unreliable sources.

The left needs to build with those who are disaffected with the entire system, which is approximately 50% of the population who did not even bother to vote. Those are the people most affected by the crimes of capitalism and our natural allies. Reaching out to the right when it is strong and the left is weak is lazy, counterproductive and dangerous.

More articles by:

Yoav Litvin is a Doctor of Psychology/ Behavioral Neuroscience. For more info, please visit yoavlitvin.com/about/  

July 08, 2020
Laura Carlsen
Lopez Obrador’s Visit to Trump is a Betrayal of the U.S. and Mexican People
Melvin Goodman
Afghanistan: What is to be Done?
Thomas Klikauer – Norman Simms
The End of the American Newspaper
Sonali Kolhatkar
The Merits of Medicare for All Have Been Proven by This Pandemic
David Rosen
It’s Now Ghislaine Maxwell’s Turn
Nicolas J S Davies
Key U.S. Ally Indicted for Organ Trade Murder Scheme
Bob Lord
Welcome to Hectobillionaire Land
Laura Flanders
The Great American Lie
John Kendall Hawkins
Van Gogh’s Literary Influences
Marc Norton
Reopening vs. Lockdown is a False Dichotomy
Joel Schlosberg
“All the Credit He Gave Us:” Time to Drop Hamilton’s Economics
CounterPunch News Service
Tribes Defeat Trump Administration and NRA in 9th Circuit on Sacred Grizzly Bear Appeal
John Feffer
The US is Now the Global Public Health Emergency
Nick Licata
Three Books on the 2020 Presidential Election and Their Relevance to the Black Live Matter Protests
Elliot Sperber
The Breonna Taylor Bridge
July 07, 2020
Richard Eskow
The War on Logic: Contradictions and Absurdities in the House’s Military Spending Bill
Daniel Beaumont
Gimme Shelter: the Brief And Strange History of CHOP (AKA CHAZ)
Richard C. Gross
Trump’s War
Patrick Cockburn
Trump’s Racism May be Blatant, But the Culture He Defends Comes Out of the Civil War and Goes Well Beyond Racial Division
Andrew Stewart
Can We Compare the George Floyd Protests to the Vietnam War Protests? Maybe, But the Analogy is Imperfect
Walden Bello
The Racist Underpinnings of the American Way of War
Nyla Ali Khan
Fallacious Arguments Employed to Justify the Revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s Autonomy and Its Bifurcation
Don Fitz
A Statue of Hatuey
Dean Baker
Unemployment Benefits Should Depend on the Pandemic
Ramzy Baroud – Romana Rubeo
Will the ICC Investigation Bring Justice for Palestine?
Sam Pizzigati
Social Distancing for Mega-Million Fun and Profit
Dave Lindorff
Private: Why the High Dudgeon over Alleged Russian Bounties for Taliban Slaying of US Troops
George Wuerthner
Of Fire and Fish
Binoy Kampmark
Killing Koalas: the Promise of Extinction Down Under
Parth M.N.
Back to School in Rural India: Digital Divide to Digital Partition
Ed Sanders
The Burning of Newgate Prison: a Glyph
July 06, 2020
Melvin Goodman
Foreign Election Interference: Who is to Blame?
JoAnn Wypijewski
On Disposability and Rebellion: Insights From a Rank-and-File Insurgency
Marshall Auerback – Jan Frel
There’s a Hidden Economic Trendline That is Shattering the Global Trade System
Evaggelos Vallianatos
A Just and Talented Government for Our Hazardous Age
Manuel García, Jr.
Biosphere Warming in Numbers
Ron Jacobs
Kidnapping Kids: As American as the Fourth of July
Tasha Jones
Pyramids. Plantations. Projects. Penitentiaries
Binoy Kampmark
Criminalising Journalism: Australia’s National Security Craze
Eve Ottenberg
Re-Organizing Labor
Mike Garrity
How We Stopped Trump From Trashing a Critical Montana Roadless Area in Grizzly Habitat
Nino Pagliccia
The Meaning of the 1811 Independence for Today’s Venezuela
Michael Galant
We Need a Global Green New Deal
Jill Richardson
Learning Not to Look Away
Marshall Sahlins
Donald Trump at 130,000 and Rising
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail