When I checked this morning, the Intercept still had the original story [attacking Rise Up and the Revcoms] featured prominently (middle of the page, one of the top stories in the “politics” section) without a printed rebuttal. The article by Sunsara was very well constructed. Detailing the complete lack of journalistic integrity, both by Mackey and by editorial staff, is important. Illustrating the trumpian methods of “argument” he employed to extremely dangerous ends, here directed by “progressive” journalists against some of the only organized forces that mobilized protest and resistance.

Continuing to press for the Intercept to publish the rebuttal should be seen by MANY as a just demand given the embarrassing lack of journalistic standards in Mackey’s article, and if they don’t do so soon, finding ways to make this a point of controversy among people who would generally read the Intercept could serve an important role, especially linking their article to the other unprincipled attacks published around the same time and with remarkably similar content, as the “Behind the week of internet attacks…” piece [by the revcoms published at Revcom.us] does. And doing this with the aim of exposing the putrid values and impoverished political vision and program that these attacks stem from and serve, and showing by way of contrast what a difference it makes to seek to understand the nature of this attack on abortion rights and the objectives of those pushing it, a scientific analysis that shows the way to fighting these outrages today and does not turn away from what is needed to take on the source of these regenerating horrors at their root!

I thought the section [in Sunsara’s rebuttal] “Canceling Bob Avakian to Erase Revolution” was especially powerful. It opens by tackling head on why these accusations of “cultishness” are not only shameful and have nothing to do with honest reporting or discourse, but have the effect of placing “out of bounds” any engagement with BA’s work on these crucial questions of the basic nature of this system, whether there is a path beyond all of this system’s horrors through revolution, what makes that possible and what characterizes the radically different society that would take its place—all questions of critical importance, that any reader of the Intercept who honestly confronts the magnitude of the crises and crimes of this system should want—or be challenged—to engage. I also think it’s helpful to enumerate the ways that the charge of “cult” plays with people, the labels that get affixed (“Everyone knows that cults are creepy and unthinking and dangerous. Everyone knows they are predatory.”). It places what people think out in the open, allows it to be taken on directly, and allows the hollow accusations and the whole innuendo-laden to be torn apart.