The two journalists traveled to the Syrian capital Damascus and some of its suburbs earlier this month and reported on what they saw and heard. Their reporting clashed with the narrative favored by some of their corporate-embedded colleagues, who jumped to called them propagandists on a trip paid by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad meant to whitewash war crimes.
Khalek said she and Blumenthal expected being subject to what appears to be a coordinated attack from people rooting for the downfall of the Syrian government. Going against the narratives that align with US foreign policy goals, as failed and destructive as they may be, comes with a price of ostracism, it seems.
“I think the people attacking us have an agenda. They are either convinced they are right or they are working on behalf of somebody else or both,” she explained to RT.
“This isn’t something new to us. We are used to it.”
“They are trying to intimidate … people from the West from coming here. They are trying to cut cultural exchange between us and average people, who just happen to live in the area controlled by the Syrian government,” Max Blumenthal said. He added the attack came from “a pack of dime a dozen correspondents” who feel threatened by their reporting.
Blumenthal is an author and political analyst working for the Grayzone Project while Rania Khalek is involved in Soapbox, an outlet producing political commentary. Both have a long record of criticizing Washington’s policies, including the campaign to topple the government in Damascus through arming and training whoever was willing to fight the war.
Their detractors include people working for some of the leading Western media outlets, and they had quite a lot of poison to spit.
CNN’s Clarissa Ward, for example, suggested that Blumenthal and Khalek must have been on drugs to do what they were doing, calling their work “a disgrace.” It’s safe to assume she didn’t think it was a disgrace for her to work in Syria under an arrangement with notorious jihadist media personality Bilal Abdul Kareem to produce a Peabody Award-winning documentary. Or is it that she didn’t like that Grayzone noticed this little embarrassing detail?
Started to read a certain "journalist's" thread from inside Damascus this AM, then found myself getting palpitations which progressed into spasms of rage. How can anyone be so blindly credulous? Are narcotics involved? It is such a disgrace.
— Clarissa Ward (@clarissaward) September 9, 2019
Molly Crabapple, an artist who has written for the New York Times, the Guardian, and Vanity Fair, among others, said Blumenthal and Khalek were not unlike Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister. A bold comparison coming from a person who just a few years ago cheered for Weev, aka Andrew Auernheimer, a guy with a swastika tattoo on his body who once said Hitler was right to exterminate people with mental problems.
(Source: Russia Today)