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Monday, August 14, 2023

Breaking News! Some on the Left Have Benefactors…

In June, I commented on a scurrilous article originally appearing in The Daily Beast and inexplicably reposted on the Portside website. Entitled, U.S Tech Mogul Bankrolls Pro-Russia, Pro-China News Network, the article accused several left groups of having not only received money from a benefactor sympathetic to the People’s Republic of China, but, by implication, directly from The People's Republic of China or the Russian Federation. 

The Daily Beast hitman, William Bredderman, sought to stain individuals and organizations by suggesting that their platforms and ideas were both dictated by their benefactor and traitorous because of his association with countries that many perceive or hope others perceive as enemies. 

But as I argued in my original article, Bredderman’s (and the Portside editors’) “gotcha” was a big, fat “so what!”  

At that, the article was an exercise in slanderous innuendo.

When the mainstream media turns a blind eye to profoundly obvious corruption of the Bidens by foreign influencers, it is difficult to make much of an obscenely rich former tech mogul merely spreading his money around among a number of his favorite left-wing causes. 

At a time when the State Department’s tawdry Victoria Nuland brazenly slips off to Niger to demand restoration of the US’s puppet president, it is cynical for a blinded media to cry foul and imply foreign meddling on the part of a foreign power’s enthusiastic admirer. 

While a Supreme Court Justice disdainfully continues to accept numerous gifts from a prominent, widely connected “friend,” yet incurring no reprimand, it is unseemly for struggling left groups forced to the margins of US politics to have their source of funds cavalierly impugned.

But the ugliness of the article goes far beyond cynicism and hypocrisy.

Quite simply, the conclusion that Bredderman seeks is grounded on nothing. No financial link is established between the headline’s enemies-- Russia and China-- and the independently rich funder of left causes. In fact, it is bizarre to think that he needs to depend on foreign funds given his already deep pockets. Moreover, it is equally bizarre that influencers in the PRC or the RF would choose a high profile, left-identifying admirer to serve as a secret conduit to organizations or individuals within the US left.

Of course, that doesn’t stop Breddeman and those who disseminate his scandal-mongering from pressing onwards any more than an absence of evidence has stopped bogus charges of Northern carpetbagging, Moscow gold, or Communist subversion in past episodes of baseless hysteria. It’s enough to point a suspicious finger at someone breaking expected conformity and throwing his lot in with those otherwise politically marginalized.

The Daily Beast’s superficial, slimy “reportage” has now moved The New York Times editors to elevate the politically-charged claims to national attention. 

Assigning four young journalists-- none with more than two years with the paper and one with some schooling from the notorious Bellingcat, an echo chamber for Western intelligence-- the NYT faithfully reproduced the original charges with only a few new wrinkles. Media scandalizing the reputation of US left groups and individuals will prove to be good career moves, as it always has been in the past.

Again, there is no direct or even indirect evidence linking foreign-originated monies to the left organizations, but the article does offer the news organization’s own touches to the political innuendo: cash recipients “...mix progressive advocacy with Chinese government talking points…” leaving the reader with the thought that the convergence of the two points of view could NOT be coincidental or independently derived.

This should come as some bother to those of us on the “extreme” left who often find our progressive ideas converging with ideas shared with the Chinese Communist Party, the Cuban Communist Party, or many other left organizations, though we’ve never gotten one dime from the parsimonious Chinese or anyone else!

The young investigative reporters uncover public events where Mr. Singham-- the former tech mogul benefactor-- has appeared in public with Chinese officials, university professors, administrators, etc. Should they not also investigate Henry Kissinger, who was meeting recently in Beijing with officials?

Let's call this journalistic sin what it is: guilt by association. And it's a grievous sin regardless of whether it’s advanced by J. Edgar Hoover, HUAC, Joseph McCarthy, The Daily Beast, Portside, or The New York Times.

In the case of NYT, it is especially despicable because the article targets the US left group that has, over time, perhaps shown the most integrity in defense of peace. While other left groups were entangled in debate over who they would support when the war in Ukraine broke out, CODE PINK was firmly fixed on what it opposed: war, its spread, and its human cost.

While nearly everyone-- left and right-- obsessed over fixing blame and supporting either NATO/Ukraine or Russia, CODE PINK activism was directed toward ending the war, thwarting its escalation, and finding a durable peace.

Accordingly, it is no accident that it is CODE PINK that the NYT editors-- reliable servants of US foreign policy-- chose to focus its attack upon.

If you object to this New York Times smear, please consider signing this petition.

Greg Godels


Charles Andrews said...

This column is off base.

Take the example of Vijay Prashad. His Tricontinental operation slogged along with annual funds in six figures for years. Then in 2019 its assets jumped from $140,000 to more than $12.5 million. Prashad admits that Singham put him on the map, so to speak.

Prashad is also a senior non-resident fellow at Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China. Like Roland Boer and John Ross, he enjoys an academic appointment with whatever perks from the PRC.

Your column makes much of the point that instead of a chain, China -> Singham -> Prashad and others, there is a convergence, Singham -> Prashad-and- others plus China ->Prashad-and-others.

Either way, it is clear that Prashad is a well-paid publicist for the PRC. As a side note, in that capacity he publishes gross distortions of Marxism in service to glorifying the monopoly capitalism of the PRC. See my analysis, "Apple’s Profits and Foxconn Workers’ Wages," at .

Prashad, Ross, and Boer, along with publicity grouplets like Friends of Socialist China, are typical of many commentators who present a left-wing stance while writing in parallel with Global Times and the rest of the official PRC propaganda machine. Indeed, it is difficult to find left-wing commentators who take the same stance for the PRC but do not enjoy perks from the PRC or a shower of money from someone like Singham or both.

Pardon me for thinking these facts matter when it comes to making one's way toward an understanding of world politics, which is dominated more and more by the imperialist contention between the U.S. and China.

Charles Andrews

Norman Markowitz said...

Excwllent Article, Greg Andrew's comments are an expression of left red baiting red baiting the sort of arguments that Trokskyites especially made against supporters of the Popular Front--those who argued that Stalin and HItler,the Soviets and the Nazis, were both imperialist powers. Vijay Prashad and Carlos Martinez especially have played an crucial role in challenging both traditional anti-Communist propaganda against the PRC and the sort of "me too" leftism that you so effectively challenge. Here are two serious examples of what the real left is doing here and in the world in the struggle against U.S./NATO led imperialism The International Conference that our CPUSA International Department held two weeks ago had representatives of dozens of Communist Parties in the world speaking powerfully in opposition to imperialism and cold war 2, against China, including Carlos Martines who is the organizer and leader of the friends of new china which Andrews baits. Here is a 3 hour video summary of the conference. Below that is a a webinar that the party is holding this sunday with Carlos, the East is still red. You might send it around.

The East is still red: Chinese socialism in the 21st century
Communist Party USA › event › the-east-is-still-red-ch...

Walter Tillow said...

I wonder if the International Dept. of the CPUSA will say anything about the Maduro Governments attack on the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV). Likewise if Vijay Prashad or Carlos Martinez will. Seems to me that all those alerting us to the "return of McCarthyism" here in the U.S. are completely silent about the real return to McCarthyism in Venezuela.

greg said...

I'm appreciative of both Charles' critical comments and Norman's kind words.

My point was simply that The Daily Beast and the NYT are up to no good, using deceptive, specious charges to cast suspicion of fealty to a foreign government upon sectors of the left. I think the danger of these innuendos is widely known from past experience-- the red scares, terror hysteria, yellow peril, etc. I think Charles and Norman would both agree that discrediting the left through guilt by association should be exposed and condemned.

Both respondents want to take this further into the high weeds of our understanding of Peoples' China, its success or failure as a socialist-oriented project, and its role in the global imperialist architecture.

That discussion is important and worth having. I hope to join it in a future blog.

lidia said...

Charles Andrews used the comment place to PR his(?) PRC="monopoly capitalism" wrintings .
I am from USSR and some "Marxists" were/are calling USSR capitalist too.
Anyway to call PRC "imperialist" means but parroting of State Department propaganda.
By the way, some capitalists gave money to Bolsheviks (Morozov, for ex). So what?

lidia said...

And about PCV this is not so simple "bad Maduro poor PCV".
I am not an expert, but there is some internal strife.