In January, MintPress was contacted by Jeannie Kamin, a contributor to the news rating site and browser plug-in “Newsguard.” As I, MintPress Editor-in-Chief Mnar Muhawesh, wrote at the time, Kamin had sent “a list of eight loaded questions that were crafted to put me on the defensive and undermine MintPress’ credibility from the get-go. Not only that, but the questions framed MintPress as having a secret agenda aimed at hiding its ownership and funding.”
MintPress subsequently published my full response to Kamin’s inquiries, as well as an investigative report authored by MintPress staff writer Whitney Webb that charted the troubling ties of the Newsguard organization to, among other figures, former CIA Director Michael Hayden, former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, and self-described “chief propagandist” for the Obama state department, Richard Stengel. The report was widely circulated and discussed among independent media outlets as well as RT and Sputnik.
Subsequently, Newsguard CEO Steven Brill brushed off our investigation and went on to suggest that MintPress was a site “secretly supported” by RT and Sputnik, and some mainstream news sites like Folio asserted that MintPress was a “Kremlin-linked outlet,” a false claim they were later forced to retract.
Nearly three months later it has come to our attention that Kamin, on Newsguard’s behalf, had finally produced the rating and “nutrition label” of MintPress. Newsguard, unsurprisingly, gave our site a red rating and summed up MintPress as “a website focused on U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East that often mixes news and opinion and misrepresents reporting from other news organizations.” What follows is my and MintPress’ official response to Newsguard’s “nutrition label,” which aims to respond to each one of Kamin’s claims in addition to pointing out Kamin’s own political biases that clearly informed her review of our website and its content….