The popular center-right blog Naked Capitalism is demanding a retraction from the Washington Post and even threatening a lawsuit after the Post published a story linking to a report that labeled the site “fake news.”
“You did not provide even a single example of ‘fake news’ allegedly distributed or promoted by Naked Capitalism or indeed any of the 200 sites on the PropOrNot blacklist,” James A. Moody, their attorney, writes. “You provided no discussion or assessment of the credentials or backgrounds of these so-called ‘researchers’ (Clint Watts, Andrew Weisburd, and J.M. Berger and the ‘team’ at PropOrNot), and no discussion or analysis of the methodology, protocol or algorithms such ‘researchers’ may or may not have followed.”
Naked Capitalism is an economics blog that has been around since 2005. While it focuses on economics, the site recently launched the spoof site PropOrNot.org (spoofing the real PropOrNot.com behind the blacklist in question) to help “combat serious deterioration of the standards of American propaganda, with the ultimate goal of restoring the US to its standing of a propaganda export powerhouse.”
Moody finishes his letter with the demand that the Washington Post take down the story, and giving them three business days to comply. “You have made damaging false accusations against Naked Capitalism,” Moody writes. “Please immediately remove these from the web and provide an equivalent opportunity to respond.”
It’s not just Moody and the staff at Naked Capitalism that are upset, with writers at sites like The New Yorker and The Hill also accusing the Washington Post of disseminating “fake news” for even linking to the report. Another publication, The Intercept, went as far as to call PropOrNot’s list a “McCarthyite blacklist from a new, hidden, and very shady group.” The Intercept’s piece blasts the people behind PropOrNot for keeping their “expert” identities hidden and the group for claiming to be allied with organizations that say they have no connection with it.