Culture Wars/Current Controversies

CounterVortex Episode 66: Interview with Alexander Reid Ross

An interview with anarcho-fed Alexander Reid-Ross, in case anyone is in the mood for some comedy.

Aside from Alexander Reid-Ross’ tendency toward slander, dishonesty, and sloppy work, it seems rather convenient that his definition of “fascist” amounts to “anyone who is an enemy of the US ruling class, foreign or domestic, except Alexander Reid-Ross and his friends.” His views on international relations dovetail perfectly with the neocons. He labels all domestic opposition to the US power elite, from the far right to tankies to eco-radicals to conspiracy theorists to rival anarchists, in fact virtually everyone except Antifa, as “fascist” or fascist-lite. Now, whose interests could that possibly serve?

In Episode 66 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg interviews Alexander Reid Ross, author of Against the Fascist Creep and a fellow at the Network Contagion Research Institute (NCRI), who has faced threats of litigation as well as relentless online harassment for his exposés of Russian propaganda and Red-Brown Politics. After his recent piece in the Daily Beast on leftist flirtation with the far right around conspiracy theories concerning COVID-19 and the war in Syria, the odious Max Blumenthal quickly retaliated with a piece on his Grayzone website charging in its headline that Reid Ross “works with ex-cops, CIA spies, and DHS agents.” This refers to the fact that former CIA, Homeland Security and NYPD officials are now also researchers with the NCRI. The accusation is hilariously ironic given that Blumenthal himself has shared platforms with former CIA analyst (and now a star of the conspiracy set) Ray McGovern. As well as (of course) avidly cooperating with Russian and Chinese state propaganda efforts.

Among examples discussed in the interview… A new report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), “Strange bedfellows on Xinjiang: The CCP, fringe media and US social media platforms,” names Grayzone as “amplified by Chinese and Russian state-affiliated entities” in “state-sponsored disinformation…campaigns.” In addition to practicing “junket journalism” to serve the propaganda interests of the Bashar Assad regime, Blumenthal’s tweets have blatantly poked perverse fun at Syrian chemical attack victims.

But apart from the dizzying hypocrisy of Blumenthal painting Reid Ross as a CIA collaborator, it constitutes what was known in the COINTELPRO era of the 1960s as “snitch-jacketing”—a phenomena that led to the cannibalization of the radical opposition movements of the day.


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