Aaron Maté

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Aaron Maté
Maté in 2021
Maté in 2021
BornVancouver, British Columbia, Canada
EducationConcordia University (BA)
GenrePolitical commentary
Years active2005–present[1]
Notable awardsIzzy Award (2019)
RelativesGabor Maté (father)

Rae Maté (mother) Daniel Maté (brother)

Hannah Maté (sister)

Aaron Maté is a Canadian writer and journalist.[2][3] He hosts the show Pushback with Aaron Maté on The Grayzone[2] and, as of January 2022, he fills in as a host on the Useful Idiots podcast.[4]

Maté works as reporter for The Grayzone, a fringe far-left[5] news website and blog known for sympathetic coverage of the Russian and Syrian governments.[6][7] He has also contributed to The Nation, and appeared several times on Fox News on Tucker Carlson Tonight.[8][9]

He became well known for challenging the conclusions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections,[6] which Maté described as "Russiagate." Maté earned an Izzy Award in April 2019 for this work.[10][11][12][13]

The Association for Investment in Popular Action Committees, an organization supportive of Bashar al-Assad, awarded Maté and The Grayzone its Serena Shim Award.[14] With regard to Maté's reporting on the Syrian Civil War, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue stated that, among the 28 social media accounts, individuals, outlets and organisations which it studied, Maté was the most prolific spreader of disinformation on topics related to the war, including use of chemical weapons.[15] In 2022, Maté was disinvited from the Web Summit conference at the insistence of the first lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, who was the keynote speaker at the Web Summit launch. Maté had been accused of publishing anti-Ukrainian and pro-Russian tropes related to the war in Ukraine.[16][17] Paddy Cosgrave, the Web Summit's chief executive, said he received "a large backlash from journalists" in response to the cancellation of Maté's invitation.[17]

Early life

Maté was born in Vancouver[18] to Rae Maté, a visual artist and an illustrator of children's books,[19] and Gabor Maté, a Hungarian physician, author, and columnist.[20]

While a student, Maté was vice president of the pro-Palestinian student union at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and he was among the main subjects featured in the National Film Board of Canada documentary Discordia.[21][22] The film depicts Maté's struggle with his Jewish identity on campus while condemning Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.[23] Maté was arrested during the Concordia University Netanyahu riot on 9 September 2002, after stepping between protesters and police,[24] for which he faced expulsion.[25]

From 2003 to 2005 Maté worked as a primary researcher for Naomi Klein, who wrote that he showed himself to be "a great intellect and terrific journalist".[26]


Maté has worked as a reporter and producer for Democracy Now!, Vice, The Real News Network, and Al Jazeera.[27]

Special Counsel Investigation

Using the term "Russiagate" in much of his reporting for The Nation, Maté criticized the mainstream media coverage of the Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and improper links between Trump associates and Russian officials.[10][11][12][28][13]

In October 2017, Maté discussed the media coverage of the investigation in The Nation, stating that "unverified claims are reported with little to no scepticism ... developments are cherry-picked and overhyped, while countervailing ones are minimised or ignored. Front-page headlines advertise explosive and incriminating developments, only to often be undermined by the article's content, or retracted entirely." Maté said use of social media by Russia had no effect on the election: "To suggest 200 [Twitter] accounts out of 328 million could have had an impact is as much an insult to common sense as it is to basic math". "A $100,000 Facebook ad purchase seems unlikely to have had much impact in a $6.8 billion election".[29][30][31] In a July 2018 article in The Nation following the 2018 Russia–United States summit in Helsinki between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, he defended Trump against the statements made against him, such as the claim the summit had triggered an American "national security crisis".[32][33] In May 2017, Bob Cesca wrote on the Salon website: "Both Maté and [Zack] Beauchamp go to great lengths to characterize speculation about the Trump-Russia connection, which I would describe as small-C conspiracy theories, as being on a similar level as Alex Jones' loony big-C conspiracy mongering."[34]

In December 2017, Maté interviewed Luke Harding on The Real News Network about Harding's just published book about the Russian interference to help Trump, Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win. Vanity Fair described Maté as "a polite but dogged skeptic who administered a memorable vivisection" to Harding during the interview.[35]

Maté earned an Izzy Award in April 2019 for his work challenging press coverage of special prosecutor Robert Mueller's Special Counsel investigation.[10][11][12][13]

In November 2019, Maté suggested John Brennan, former director of the CIA, had suspicious reasons for the investigation into Russian links in a November 2019 article for Real Clear Investigations.[36][37] According to the Washington Monthly Brennan (and Maté)[36][37] had been open in a Congressional hearing in May 2017, which the Senate Intelligence Committee shared.[36][clarification needed]

In May 2020, Maté stated: "All of the available evidence showed just how baseless [Russiagate] was". He said those who resisted Trump's administration were distracted by the "conspiracy theory that he conspired with or was blackmailed by Russia".[38]

Syria, Douma, and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

Maté has written about the claims made by two Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inspectors that the OPCW "doctored a report" on the Douma chemical attack in order to place blame on the Syrian government and to justify missile strikes against Syrian government forces by the US, UK, and France.[39]

In September 2020, Maté testified at the United Nations at an Arria meeting hosted by the Russian Federation and China, about the alleged cover-up by the OPCW.[39]

In May 2021, he accompanied Paul Larudee and other members of the Syria Solidarity Movement to observe the 2021 Syrian presidential election.[40] Bellingcat wrote that the Syria Solidarity Movement supports the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP), which it described as "a rabidly anti-Semitic, fascist organization that advocates for a "Greater Syria," incorporating Lebanon and Palestine".[41]

Maté and The Grayzone, for which he reports, have been recipients of the Association for Investment in Popular Action Committees's Serena Shim Award, a cash prize administered by Paul Larudee and frequently given to supporters of the Syrian government, and individuals who promote conspiracy theories in support of Syria's president Assad.[42][14][40]

In June 2022, the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) published an analysis of social media accounts, individuals, outlets and organisations who disseminated disinformation about the Syrian conflict. Maté was named as the most prolific spreader of disinformation about the Syrian conflict since 2020 among the 28 conspiracy theorists analysed.[43] In a footnote added to a London Observer article on 10 July (published the previous month), Maté was quoted as saying "neither the study or the Observer offer any evidence" for the assertion he is a spreader of disinformation and that the Institute for Strategic Dialogue "does not even attempt to refute a single claim of mine". Maté also alleged a conflict of interest because the ISD’s funders included some western governments involved in the Syrian conflict.[43]

Other journalism and commentary

In November 2020, Maté said that the appointment of Antony Blinken as Secretary of State and the possible nomination of Michèle Flournoy as Defense Secretary, showed that President-elect Joe Biden was "continuing with the hawkish playbook" he had followed throughout his career.[44]

In February 2021, Maté was the first to report that Amnesty International had removed Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny's status as a prisoner of conscience "given the fact that he advocated violence and discrimination and has not yet retracted such statements".[45][46][47][48][49] Oliver Carroll wrote in The Independent that The Grayzone had "amplified" criticism of Navalny and "appears to have been privy to lobbying around the Amnesty decision".[47]

Maté was critical of President Biden's response to Israel's attack on Gaza in May 2021. Maté said Biden's telephone call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which Biden expressed his "unwavering support" for Israel's "right to defend itself", was "a green light for Netanyahu to continue massacring Palestinian civilians".[50]

Katrina vanden Heuvel wrote that the US had “tentatively been opening the door to negotiations” with Russia during its 2022 invasion of Ukraine and Maté has “carefully detailed” the way in which the Biden administration "had orchestrated leaks to the media".[51][undue weight? ]

Maté says the Ukrainian Government, which came to power after the Maidan revolution, was a "fascist-infused coup". Regarding the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, he said that the US is funding "proxy warfare" against Russia and preventing any prospect of peace for its own ends.[16]


  1. ^ "Aaron Maté – LinkedIn". linkedin.com. LinkedIn.[user-generated source]
  2. ^ a b Homan, Timothy R. (19 June 2020). "Journalist Aaron Maté says Democrats are responsible for giving John Bolton publicity". The Hill. Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  3. ^ Maley, Dave (3 April 2019). "Izzy Award to Be Shared By Earth Island Journal and Journalists Laura Flanders, Dave Lindorff and Aaron Maté". IC News. Ithaca College.
  4. ^ Aaron Maté Joins Useful Idiots on YouTube (6 January 2022)
  5. ^ "How a retired MI6 boss, his Brexiteer friends and a celebrity Marxist became targets in Russia's war on Ukraine". POLITICO. 28 August 2022. Retrieved 12 November 2022.
  6. ^ a b Bloch, Ben (15 August 2022). "Russell Brand slammed by antisemitism campaigners for platforming Corbyn apologist". Jewish Chronicle.
  7. ^ "The China-based foreigners defending Beijing from Xinjiang genocide claims". South China Morning Post. 30 March 2021. Retrieved 24 April 2022.
  8. ^ "Tucker Carlson: Don't ask obvious questions about the Nord Stream pipeline leak". Fox News. 5 October 2022. Retrieved 15 December 2022.
  9. ^ Tim Hains (7 February 2022). "Aaron Mate: "Blue Anon" Says Russia Is Responsible For Every Problem And If You Doubt It You're A Russian Asset". Real Clear Politics.
  10. ^ a b c "2019 Izzy Awards Honor Earth Island Journal, Laura Flanders, Aaron Maté & Dave Lindorff". Democracy Now!. 3 April 2019. Retrieved 12 May 2021. Independent journalist Aaron Maté—formerly a Democracy Now! producer—consistently challenged the media's coverage of the Russia-Trump campaign collusion story,
  11. ^ a b c Keller, Sydney (20 March 2021). "Park Center for Independent Media holds 11th annual Izzy Awards". The Ithacan. Retrieved 11 May 2021. Maté also spoke about the President Donald Trump and Russia conspiracy. He said he believes the mainstream media has been promulgating a false narrative that Trump colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 campaign.
  12. ^ a b c O'Connor, Kelsey (16 April 2019). "Independent journalism highlighted with annual Izzy Awards". The Ithaca Voice. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  13. ^ a b c "Izzy Award 2019". Park Center for Independent Media. 2 September 2019. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  14. ^ a b Whitaker, Brian (4 November 2021). "The 'Echo Chamber' of Syrian Chemical Weapons Conspiracy Theorists". New Lines Magazine. Retrieved 14 December 2021.
  15. ^ Townsend, Mark (19 June 2022). "Network of Syria conspiracy theorists identified – study". the Guardian. Retrieved 3 November 2022.
  16. ^ a b "Web Summit cancels invitations to two speakers following 'pro-Russian' backlash". The Irish Times. 28 October 2022. Retrieved 14 December 2022.
  17. ^ a b Brennan, Cianan (3 November 2022). "Cosgrave defends dinner with two journalists disinvited from Web Summit". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 14 December 2022.
  18. ^ "Why Putin supports Marine Le Pen and tries to thwart Emmanuel Macron". The Georgia Straight. 23 April 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  19. ^ "Children's Books About Cats and Dogs". The New York Times. 13 May 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  20. ^ O'Malley, JP (21 December 2019). "Addictions guru channels survival of the Holocaust into self-help empire". www.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  21. ^ Scheib, Ronnie (21 July 2004). "Discordia". Variety. Retrieved 1 May 2021.
  22. ^ Aaron Maté (2002). Discordia. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 3 May 2021. NFB title:Discordia
  23. ^ Schwartz, Stephanie (2012). Double-Diaspora in the Literature and Film of Arab Jews (PDF) (Thesis). University of Ottawa.
  24. ^ "e.Peak (16/9/2002) news: national: Violence erupts at Concordia". peak.sfu.ca. 16 September 2002. Archived from the original on 16 May 2003. Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  25. ^ "Transcript from CBC's The National". Segacs's World I Know. 15 January 2003. Retrieved 3 May 2021.
  26. ^ Naomi Klein: The Shock Doctrine. The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, 2010, p. 669.
  27. ^ "Aaron Maté". The Intercept. 12 April 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  28. ^ Fernandez, Madison (30 March 2021). "Park Center for Independent Media announces Izzy Award winners". The Ithacan. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  29. ^ Maté, Aaron (6 October 2017). "Russiagate Is More Fiction Than Fact". The Nation. Retrieved 27 May 2021.
  30. ^ Camilleri, Joseph. "US approach to security is deeply troubling – and it's not just about Trump". The Conversation. Retrieved 16 May 2021.
  31. ^ Tveten, Julianne (11 October 2017). "How the "Fake News" Scare Is Marginalizing the Left". In These Times. Retrieved 21 September 2021. As Aaron Maté recently noted in The Nation, the number of accounts under suspicion – 200 – pales in comparison to Twitter's 328 million users. "To suggest 200 accounts out of 328 million could have had an impact is as much an insult to common sense as it is to basic math", Maté wrote. The Facebook case offers an analogue: "A $100,000 Facebook ad buy", according to Maté, "seems unlikely to have had much impact in a $6.8 billion election".
  32. ^ Maté, Aaron (28 July 2018). "The Elite Fixation With Russiagate". The Nation. Retrieved 27 May 2021. For declining to endorse US intelligence claims that the Kremlin meddled in our election and faulting both countries for the poor state of US-Russia relations, Trump was roundly accused of 'shameful,' 'disgraceful,' and 'treasonous' behavior that has sparked a full-blown 'national security crisis'.
  33. ^ Hunter, Jack (16 August 2018). "What If Russiagate Is The New WMDs?". The American Conservative. Retrieved 27 May 2021. The Nation's Aaron Maté believes liberals are overreaching, and that's putting it mildly: 'From the outset, Russiagate proponents have exhibited a blind faith in the unverified claims of US government officials and other sources, most of them unnamed. ... The record of US intelligence, replete with lies and errors, underscores the need for caution. Mueller was a player in one of this century's most disastrous follies when, in congressional testimony, he endorsed claims about Iraqi WMDs and warned that Saddam Hussein 'may supply' chemical and biological material to 'terrorists'.'
  34. ^ Cesca, Bob (23 May 2017). "No, the Russia scandal isn't fake news or conspiracy theory — it's a national crisis we don't fully understand". Salon. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
  35. ^ Frank, T. A. (25 March 2019). "The Hard Truths and High Cost of the Russiagate Scandal". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  36. ^ a b c LeTourneau, Nancy (19 November 2019). "Republicans Will Launch a Campaign to Lie, Distract, and Blame". Washington Monthly. Retrieved 28 May 2021.
  37. ^ a b Maté, Aaron (15 November 2019). "The Brennan Dossier: All About a Prime Mover of Russiagate". Real Clear Investigations. Retrieved 28 May 2021. Brennan, by his own account, has already outed himself as a key suspect.
  38. ^ Halperin, Daniel; Dunlea, Reed; Halperin, Daniel (15 May 2020). "Useful Idiots: Aaron Maté on New #Russiagate Bombshells". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 13 May 2021. All of the available evidence showed just how baseless [Russiagate] was, and it was pretty clear that once it collapsed, it would hand Trump two gifts. First of all, it would give him the gift of throughout however long it took this thing to end, Trump's resistance being distracted into this dumb conspiracy theory that he conspired with or was blackmailed by Russia. And two, when it collapsed, it would give him the gift of vindication. And then, as more and more evidence came out as to how this whole thing started, Trump would be able to exploit it and use it for his re-election campaign, and say, 'Look at how these people tried to stop me and how they tried to take me down.' And basically use it as an excuse for being so awful on everything else. And now we're seeing that third phase," says Maté.
  39. ^ a b "Unpublished OPCW Douma Correspondence Casts Further Doubt on Claims of 'Doctored' Report". Bellingcat. 26 October 2020. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
  40. ^ a b Whitaker, Brian (20 January 2018). "Prizes galore! Assad supporters win awards for 'integrity' – with help from a piano tuner in California". al-bab.com. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  41. ^ Davis, Charles (30 September 2019). "Pro-Assad Lobby Group Rewards Bloggers On Both The Left And The Right". Bell¿ngcat.
  42. ^ "Laureates". Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism. 5 March 2019. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  43. ^ a b Townsend, Mark (19 June 2022). "Network of Syria conspiracy theorists identified". The Observer. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  44. ^ Homan, Timothy R. (27 November 2020). "Journalist Aaron Maté discusses foreign policy for the incoming Biden administration". The Hill. Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  45. ^ ""Video: Alexei Navalny Compares Muslims to Cockroaches, Supports Gun Rights in Russia"".
  46. ^ Gessen, Masha (24 February 2021). "Why Won't Amnesty International Call Alexey Navalny a Prisoner of Conscience?". The New Yorker. Retrieved 24 April 2022.
  47. ^ a b Carroll, Oliver (24 February 2021). "Anger after Amnesty strips Navalny of 'prisoner of conscience' status". The Independent. Archived from the original on 24 February 2021. Retrieved 27 May 2021. [Criticisms of Navalny] have been amplified in a broad network of Kremlin-sympathising media at home and abroad. These outlets include Grayzone, an opaquely funded leftist publication based in the United States, which appears to have been privy to lobbying around the Amnesty decision. It was an author of Grayzone, Aaron Mate, who first reported the rethink in a tweet showing a screenshot of an email sent from Amnesty to a redacted name. Mr Mate's editorial boss, Max Blumenthal, is a regular contributor to RT and Sputnik.
  48. ^ "Amnesty's removal of Navalny's 'prisoner of conscience' status sparks Twitter storm". English Jamnews. 25 February 2021. Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  49. ^ "Amnesty International rescinds Alexey Navalny's 'prisoner of conscience' status because of past 'hate speech,' following rumored 'campaign' by individuals tied to Russia Today". Meduza. 24 February 2021. Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  50. ^ Wilkins, Brett (12 May 2021). "As Biden Blasted for 'Green Light' to Israel's Gaza Slaughter, House Dems Praised for Urging US Peace Push". Common Dreams. Retrieved 18 May 2021.
  51. ^ Heuvel, Katrina vanden (15 November 2022). "How to End the War in Ukraine? Sit Down and Talk. It's Time". The Nation. Retrieved 20 November 2022. Despite public disavowals, the White House has tentatively been opening the door to negotiations. As journalist Aaron Maté has carefully detailed, the administration has orchestrated a number of leaks

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