|Based in||Petrolia, California, United States|
CounterPunch is a magazine published six times per year in the United States that covers politics in a manner its editors describe as "muckraking with a radical attitude". It has been described as left-wing.
CounterPunch began as a newsletter, established in 1994 by the Washington, D.C.-based investigative reporter Ken Silverstein. He was soon joined by Alexander Cockburn and then Jeffrey St. Clair, who became the publication's editors in 1996 when Silverstein left. In 2007, Cockburn and St. Clair wrote that in founding CounterPunch they had "wanted it to be the best muckraking newsletter in the country", and cited as inspiration such pamphleteers as Edward Abbey, Peter Maurin, and Ammon Hennacy, as well as the socialist/populist newspaper Appeal to Reason (1895-1922). When Alexander Cockburn died in 2012 at the age of 71, environmental journalist Joshua Frank became managing editor and Jeffrey St. Clair became editor-in-chief of CounterPunch.
During the 2016 presidential election, CounterPunch published a piece by "Alice Donovan", who purported to be a freelance writer but who US intelligence officials allege is pseudonymous employee of the Russian government. Donovan was tracked by the FBI for nine months. In late November 2017, after CounterPunch had published several more pieces by "Donovan", The Washington Post contacted Jeffrey St. Clair about her. The co-editor said that Donovan's pitches did not stand out amongst the pitches that CounterPunch received daily and began making inquiries. He asked Donovan to substantiate her identity by sending a photo of her driving license but she did not. On the same day The Washington Post article was published on Donovan, St. Clair and Frank published a piece stating that CounterPunch only ran one article by Alice Donovan during the 2016 election, which was on cyber-breaches of medical databases. Donovan was also exposed by the newsletter as a serial plagiarizer. In another follow-up article St. Clair and Frank exposed a network of alleged trolls that operated a site called Inside Syria Media Center promoting a pro-Bashar al-Assad and pro-Russian view of the Syrian Civil War. St. Clair and Frank speculated that the website was connected to the same network of trolls as Alice Donovan.
Journalist Diana Johnstone expressed concerns about what she called CounterPunch's smearing of activists in a Consortium News article titled "Antifa or Antiwar: Leftist Exclusionism Against the Quest for Peace".
In 2003, The Observer described the CounterPunch website as "one of the most popular political sources in America, with a keen following in Washington". Other sources have variously described CounterPunch as "left-wing", "extreme", a "political newsletter", and a "muckraking newsletter".
In 2007 the lobby group Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), which opposes criticism of the Israeli government in U.S. media, described CounterPunch as an "extremist anti-Israel web site."CounterPunch was also criticized for an interview with Pink Floyd member Roger Waters in which he made controversial comments on Israel and a "Jewish lobby". Waters in a separate interview with Haaretz stated that he hates apartheid and not Israelis.
In sum, we published five stories by Donovan. One was apolitical. Four could be considered critiques of US foreign policy during the Trump administration. None mentioned Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin, the 2016 elections, Wikileaks or Julian Assange.