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Zero Hedge

In today’s #vatniksoup, I’ll introduce Daniel Ivandjiiski’s fake news blog, Zero Hedge (@zerohedge). The site’s best-known for its alarmist doomsday predictions on Wall Street, and for its far-right, conspiratorial and pro-Russian content.

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The site was launched in 2009 by Bulgarian-born Daniel Ivandjiiski, a former investment banker. Since its launch, most of the articles on ZH were published under the pseudonym “Tyler Durden”. Dan was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, and moved to the US to study medicine, ...

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...only to realize that one could make much more money on Wall Street. In 2006, Ivandjiiski was charged of gaining 780 USD from inside trading and was eventually barred from acting as a broker.

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Few weeks after leaving the business, Dan launched ZH. Based on various financial experts, the site was a pretty good financial blog, and in Mar 2011, it was selected as the 9th best financial blogs by the Time Magazine.

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The site’s domain name was registered under a company called ABC Media Ltd., ran by Dan’s father, Krassimir Ivandjiiski. In 1974, Krassimir became a member of a Soviet propaganda organization called International Organization of Journalists.

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He then worked as an international correspondent for the Rabotnichesko Delo, a Soviet propaganda newspaper, allegedly until the fall of the USSR. Since 1994, Krassimir has worked as a publisher and as editor-in-chief for the anti-Semitist, conspiratorial fake news blog...

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...called Strogo Sekretno ("Top Secret"). In his blog, he’s suggested that COVID-19 was actually a “Western Zionist act of bioterrorism”. Several sources, connected to the Bulgarian government, have suggested that ZH could actually be a Bulgarian intel operation.

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A Bulgarian attorney, Nikolay Hadjigenov, stated that “If you read carefully his career, you can see the possibilities of the KGB in the shadow of the mirror, ” referring to Krassimir Ivandjiiski.

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Later it turned out that Dan wasn’t the only one who was writing under the pseudonym Tyler Durden. In Apr 2016, Bloomberg published an article that revealed three contributors to the name: Dan Ivandjiiski, Tim Backshall and Colin Lokey.

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In the same article, Lokey, who had left the company, told Bloomberg how Ivandjiiski’s personal beliefs don’t intersect with the site’s content, and that he’s using controversial topics to make money. Lokey described ZH’s approach to “news” as follows: “Russia=good. ...

...Obama=idiot. Bashar al-Assad=benevolent leader. John Kerry=dunce. Vladimir Putin=greatest leader in the history of statecraft." Lokey earned more than a 100 000 USD annually for writing this BS. Back then, Dan said that the blog generates income from online ads.

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And boy, do those ads make a lot of money! Even though Dan has tried to hide all information on revenue, his divorce case revealed some of his ownings, including a 2, 3 million USD mansion. Previously Dan & his wife had paid off 1, 7 million USD mortgage in just two years.

Lokey also provided chat transcripts to Bloomberg in which Dan calls the US “silent majority” “beastly” (i.e. “very unpleasant”), and that life in the US “outside of my bubble” is bad. After these revelations, Dan tried to defame Lokey, calling him “an emotionally unstable, ..13/22
psychologically troubled alcoholic with a drug dealer past, as per his own disclosures."

In 2019, ZH published an article falsely claiming that Mykola Zlochevsky, the head of a Ukrainian energy company Burisma, had been indicted for money laundering, and that the crime...

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...was related to the Biden family. Apparently ZH bloggers had misunderstood the original Russian article from the Interfax-Ukraine News Agency and just went with their own interpretation. As is tradition, this fake news spread like a wildfire when it was spread by...

...far-right propagandists like Jack Posobiec and Charlie Kirk, and again amplified by QAnon conspiracy theorists.

In February 2022, right before Russia invaded Ukraine, intelligence officials claimed that ZH had published and spread articles written by the Kremlin-run media.

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ZH has also published articles written by people affiliated with the Strategic Culture Foundation, a US sanctioned foundation that interfered with the 2020 US presidential election, and allegedly has ties to Russia’s foreign intel service, SVR.

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These rather biased takes have headlines such as “NATO Sliding Towards War Against Russia In Ukraine, ” and “Theater Of Absurd... Pentagon Demands Russia Explain Troops On Russian Soil.”

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They’ve also claimed without any evidence that the down shooting of MH17 was a pretext for a NATO invasion of East of Ukraine. This article was widely referenced in Russian state media. ZH has also suggested that the Skripali poisonings were staged by the British...

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..intelligence services, and that the Steele Dossier, a report suggesting financial connection between Donald Trump and the Kremlin, was a “fanfiction” originating from 4chan. The site has also featured articles from the PUA grifter and sleazeball extraordinaire, Gonzalo Lira.20/22 Image
With headlines like “What Is the Ultimate Endgame For ‘Woke’ Ideology, Actually?” and “Anheuser-Busch Loses $6BN In Six Days After Trans Ad Campaign That Top Execs Never Approved”, ZH’s front page shows how the site has transformed from a finance blog into a fake news blog.
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If you have ran into a Zero Hedge article that criticizes Putin, please let me know. I’m still looking.

Ping: @seth_hettena @tracyalloway @LJKawa

Sources:…… (paywall)

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