Columbia Journalism Review har en større artikel i 4 dele om krigen pressens krig imod Trump. Man kunne vælge meget, men her er oprindelsen til den største medieløgn, der følger fortællingen om Trump, den dag i dag; Russia, Russia, Russia
As Trump began to nail down the GOP nomination in 2016, he spoke critically about NATO. He focused mostly on America’s disproportionate share of the financial burden, though he occasionally called the alliance “obsolete” in an era of counterterrorism and voiced his hope to “get along” with Putin, prompting some concerns inside the national-security world.
Those concerns would be supercharged by a small group of former journalists turned private investigators who operated out of a small office near Dupont Circle in Washington under the name Fusion GPS.
In late May 2016, Glenn Simpson, a former Wall Street Journal reporter and a Fusion cofounder, flew to London to meet Steele, a former official within MI6, the British spy agency. Steele had his own investigative firm, Orbis Business Intelligence. By then, Fusion had assembled records on Trump’s business dealings and associates, some with Russia ties, from a previous, now terminated engagement. The client for the old job was the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative online publication backed in part by Paul Singer, a hedge fund billionaire and a Republican Trump critic. Weeks before the trip to London, Fusion signed a new research contract with the law firm representing the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.
Simpson not only had a new client, but Fusion’s mission had changed, from collection of public records to human intelligence gathering related to Russia. Over lasagna at an Italian restaurant at Heathrow Airport, Simpson told Steele about the project, indicating only that his client was a law firm, according to a book co-authored by Simpson. The other author of the 2019 book, Crime in Progress, was Peter Fritsch, also a former WSJ reporter and Fusion’s other cofounder. Soon after the London meeting, Steele agreed to probe Trump’s activities in Russia. Simpson and I exchanged emails over the course of several months. But he ultimately declined to respond to my last message, which had included extensive background and questions about Fusion’s actions.
As that work was underway, in June 2016, the Russia cloud over the election darkened. First, the Washington Post broke the story that the Democratic National Committee had been hacked, a breach the party’s cyber experts attributed, in the story, to Russia. (The Post reporter, Ellen Nakashima, received “off the record” guidance from FBI cyber experts just prior to publication, according to FBI documents made public in 2022.) Soon, a purported Romanian hacker, Guccifer 2.0, published DNC data, starting with the party’s negative research on Trump, followed by the DNC dossier on its own candidate, Clinton.
The next week, the Post weighed in with a long piece, headlined “Inside Trump’s Financial Ties to Russia and His Unusual Flattery of Vladimir Putin.” It began with Trump’s trip to Moscow in 2013 for his Miss Universe pageant, quickly summarized Trump’s desire for a “new partnership” with Russia, coupled with a possible overhaul of NATO, and delved into a collection of Trump advisers with financial ties to Russia. The piece covered the dependence of Trump’s global real estate empire on wealthy Russians, as well as the “multiple” times Trump himself had tried and failed to do a real estate deal in Moscow.
The lead author of the story, Tom Hamburger, was a former Wall Street Journal reporter who had worked with Simpson; the two were friends, according to Simpson’s book. By 2022, emails between the two from the summer of 2016 surfaced in court records, showing their frequent interactions on Trump-related matters. Hamburger, who recently retired from the Post, declined to comment. The Post also declined to comment on Hamburger’s ties to Fusion.
By July, Trump was poised to become the GOP nominee at the party’s convention in Cleveland. On July 18, the first day of the gathering, Josh Rogin, an opinion columnist for the Washington Post, wrote a piece about the party’s platform position on Ukraine under the headline “Trump campaign guts GOP’s anti-Russian stance on Ukraine.” The story would turn out to be an overreach. Subsequent investigations found that the original draft of the platform was actually strengthened by adding language on tightening sanctions on Russia for Ukraine-related actions, if warranted, and calling for “additional assistance” for Ukraine. What was rejected was a proposal to supply arms to Ukraine, something the Obama administration hadn’t done.
Rogin’s piece nevertheless caught the attention of other journalists. Within a few days, Paul Krugman, in his Times column, called Trump the “Siberian candidate,” citing the “watering down” of the platform. Jeffrey Goldberg, the editor of The Atlantic, labeled Trump a “de facto agent” of Putin. He cited the Rogin report and a recent interview Trump gave to the Times where he emphasized the importance of NATO members paying their bills and didn’t answer a question on whether nations in arrears could count on American support if Russia attacked them.
But other journalists saw the Rogin piece differently, introducing a level of skepticism that most of the press would ignore. Masha Gessen, a Russian-American journalist and harsh Putin critic, writing in the New York Review of Books that month, said labeling Trump a Putin agent was “deeply flawed.” Gessen, in articles then and a few months later, said the accounts of the platform revisions were “slightly misleading” because sanctions, something the “Russians had hoped to see gone,” remained, while the proposal for lethal aid to Ukraine was, at the time, a step too far for most experts and the Obama administration.
Matt Taibbi, who spent time as a journalist in Russia, also grew uneasy about the Trump-Russia coverage. Eventually, he would compare the media’s performance to its failures during the run-up to the Iraq War. “It was a career-changing moment for me,” he said in an interview. The “more neutral approach” to reporting “went completely out the window once Trump got elected. Saying anything publicly about the story that did not align with the narrative—the repercussions were huge for any of us that did not go there. That is crazy.”
Taibbi, as well as Glenn Greenwald, then at The Intercept, and Aaron Mate, then at The Nation, left their publications and continue to be widely followed, though they are now independent journalists. All were publicly critical of the press’s Trump-Russia narrative. (Taibbi, over the last month, surged back into the spotlight after Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, gave him access to the tech platform’s files.)
At the end of July, the DNC held its nominating convention in Philadelphia. In attendance were legions of journalists, as well as Simpson and Fritsch. On the eve of the events, the hacked emails from the DNC were dumped, angering supporters of Bernie Sanders, who saw confirmation in the messages of their fears that the committee had favored Hillary.
The disclosures, while not helpful to Clinton, energized the promotion of the Russia narrative to the media by her aides and Fusion investigators. On July 24, Robby Mook, Hillary’s campaign manager, told CNN and ABC that Trump himself had “changed the platform” to become “more pro-Russian” and that the hack and dump “was done by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump,” according to unnamed “experts.”
Still, the campaign’s effort “did not succeed,” campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri would write in the Washington Post the next year. So, on July 26, the campaign allegedly upped the ante. Behind the scenes, Clinton was said to have approved a “proposal from one of her foreign-policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services,” according to notes, declassified in 2020, of a briefing CIA director John Brennan gave President Obama a few days later.
Trump, unaware of any plan to tie him to the Kremlin, pumped life into the sputtering Russia narrative. Asked about the DNC hacks by reporters at his Trump National Doral Miami golf resort on July 27, he said, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the thirty thousand emails that are missing.” The quip was picked up everywhere. Clinton national-security aide Jake Sullivan quickly seized on the remarks, calling them “a national-security issue.” The comment became a major exhibit over the next several years for those who believed Trump had an untoward relationship with Russia. Clinton’s own Russia baggage, meantime, began to fade into the background.
Hope Hicks, Trump’s press aide, later testified to Congress that she told Trump some in the media were taking his statement “quite literally” but that she believed it was “a joke.”
I asked Trump what he meant. “If you look at the whole tape,” he said in an interview, “it is obvious that it was being said sarcastically,” a point he made at the time.
I reviewed the tape. After several minutes of repeated questions about Russia, Trump’s facial demeanor evolved, to what seemed like his TV entertainer mode; that’s when, in response to a final Russia question, he said the widely quoted words. Then, appearing to be playful, he said the leakers “would probably be rewarded mightily by the press” if they found Clinton’s long-lost emails, because they contained “some beauties.” Trump, after talking with Hicks that day in Florida, sought to control the damage by tweeting that whoever had Clinton’s deleted emails “should share them with the FBI.”
That didn’t mute the response. Sullivan immediately jumped in, saying the remarks at Doral encouraged “espionage.”
On another track, Fusion became involved in an effort to promote another unproven conspiracy theory, that Trump’s company was involved in back-channel communications with a Russian bank. Clinton personally supported pitching a reporter to explore the story as the campaign was not “totally confident” of its accuracy, according to 2022 court testimony by Mook. The back-channel theory was pushed to the media and the FBI at the same time, though the campaign did not direct and was not aware of all the various efforts.
Hundreds of emails were exchanged between Fusion employees and reporters for such outlets as ABC, the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo, the Washington Post, Slate, Reuters, and the Times during the last months of the campaign; they involved sharing of “raw” Trump-related information and hints to contact government and campaign officials to bolster the information’s credibility, according to a federal prosecutor’s court filings in 2022. The lawyer who hired Fusion, Marc Elias, testified, in 2022, that he would brief Sullivan and other Clinton campaign officials about Fusion’s findings, having been updated himself through regular meetings with Simpson and Fritsch. With Elias as the intermediary, the Fusion founders could write in 2019 that “no one in the company has ever met or spoken to” Clinton.
Det er næsten en selvstændig analyse værd, at Gerth, skulle gennemse optagelsen med Trump, der siger “Russia, if you are listening…” for at sikre sig, at han er spontant humoristisk. Jeg har ofte sagt, at verden deler sig mellem de mennesker, der har humor og de mennesker, der ikke kan lide Trump. Hvordan i den hede hule helvede, kan man som et voksent menneske, ikke forstå, at intet menneske ville kommunikere med sine hemmeligt medsammensvorne ved at råbe dem op i medierne. Alene Trumps formulering “Rusland, hvis du lytter…”
Skrevet af den vesntreorienterede og prisvindende Jeff Gerth får vi også at vide, at “The Washington Post has tracked thousands of Trump’s false or misleading statements”. Man kunne også have citeret The New Yorker for deres overskrift om at Trump lyver med vilje. Men nu valgte Gerth (heldig kone) Altså Washington Posts “Trump’s false or misleading claims total 30,573 over 4 years”
Det vil være cirka 20 usandheder om dagen, hvilket vil være verdensrekord. Man har behov for at læse den artikel, på samme måde, som man behøver at bruge sin tid på David Ickes teorier om pandemien, når først man har fundet ud af at han tror at Verden ledes af øgler.
Jeg kunne harcelere videre, men det er en ærlig journalist, der altså ikke er ven af Trump, så vi får også perler som, at Trump “can’t stop looking back”, “offered a rambling analysis of global affairs”, og havde “inflammatory comments about Mexico and China”.
Anyways, Glenn Greenwald, der også er ganske venstreorienteret, lægger ikke fingrende imellem på Twitter
What I find staggering – and this applies not only to this new CJR report on how they lied over and over, but also to similar lies they got caught spreading: Biden laptop is “Russian disinformation,” Hamilton68 etc. – is they won’t even acknowledge any of it let alone retract.
All humans and human institutions will err. That includes journalists and media outlets. But when they just ignore proof that they lied – even when it’s from mainstream sources like @CRJ – that’s the proof that their *function* is to lie, to spread disinformation, to deceive.
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