media bias

October 2, 2019 – Closed-door State Department IG meeting disappoints U.S. media

“For two days the mainstream media were breathlessly reporting on an “urgent request” from the State Department Inspector General for a closed-door meeting.

Media sources whipped their left-wing audiences into an anticipatory frenzy with predictions of devastating information soon to come from an “explosive” and “highly unusual” request.  It must be connected to President Trump and Secretary Mike Pompeo hiding devastating information, they said

Well, the super-anticipated ‘closed-door’ briefing was held today, and the IG handed out packets of information related to revelations of Democrats colluding with the Ukraine government.  The exact opposite of what the media and the professional left anticipated.

WASHINGTON –  The State Department’s Inspector General shared a packet of months-old news stories and other Ukraine-related documents during an “urgent” briefing with Congressional staffers on Wednesday, sources told the Daily Caller.

Sources familiar with the meeting said the IG handed over a packet containing, among other old materials, news articles written this past spring by The Hill’s John Solomon about Democratic ties to Ukraine.

[…]  The briefing was a huge blow to Democrats, who were expecting bombshell information regarding the Trump administration’s contact with Ukraine and investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden.

In fact, several news outlets reported earlier in the day that the briefing would be about State Department leadership retaliating against career employees who wanted to cooperate with the Democrats’ investigation into Trump. (read more)

Whether the briefing was a set-up to embarrass the media is now being debated.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 10/02/2019)

April 18, 2019 – The Mueller Report richly cites liberal media that pushed Trump-Russia collusion

(Credit: TruthFeed)

“Special counsel Robert Mueller relied on the media to feed his Russian election interference report, citing scores of stories mostly from news outlets that promoted the debunked Trump-Kremlin election conspiracy.

Mr. Mueller’s staff of Democrat-aligned prosecutors favored The New York Times over other publications. The 448-page report cited The Times more than 60 times, mostly in footnotes for articles that weave through the report’s main narrative.

The report refers to The Washington Post, another Trump-critic news site, at least 40 times. CNN, principally an anti-Trump network, has about a dozen citations. NBC News has about 10 story mentions, and its anchor, Lester Holt, is the lone journalist to appear in the report’s personalities glossary for his May 2017 interview with President Trump.

During the 22-month investigation, The Times, The Post and other mainstream media generally gave Mr. Mueller uncritical and favorable coverage, conservatives say.

“The media stoked this, so it makes sense they’d have a steady diet of liberal reporting,” Michael Caputo, a former Trump campaign media adviser, told The Washington Times.

For more than two years, The New York Times suggested a Kremlin conspiracy in its stories and editorials and won a Pulitzer Prize — as did The Post. The Times focused on listing Russian contacts with Trump associates. Some purported Trump links, such as a line of communication with Kremlin intelligence, didn’t occur.

Volume I of the Mueller report, the section on Russian election interference, features news media citations to set the atmosphere in Washington.

Volume II, the section on potential obstruction of justice, uses media stories to show what Mr. Trump was hearing as he talked inside the White House of ousting Mr. Mueller and tweeted complaints about the special counsel’s “18 angry Democrats.” It was a common Trump insult for Mr. Mueller’s hand-picked staff of Democratic Party donors.” (Read more: The Washington Times, 5/05/2019)

March 25, 2019 – Glenn Greenwald on Russia collusion conspiracy: “this is the saddest media spectacle I have ever seen since I began practicing journalism”

“Offering one of the most scathing responses to the Mueller report summary released Sunday night, Glenn Greenwald, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and founding editor of the Intercept, appeared on Democracy Now! Monday, where he lambasted the mainstream press for helping to perpetuate the “total fraud” that was the Russia collusion narrative.

The Intercept editor, who lives in Brazil with his partner, has been one of the most consistent voices speaking out about the mainstream press’s indulgence in “Russia collusion” conspiracy porn, blaming Rachel Maddow and her ilk for helping to discredit the broader media by spewing alarmist propaganda about the Mueller probe, and getting their audience’s hopes up for a major reveal that might ultimately end with Trump being driven from office…possibly in handcuffs.

(…) “This is the saddest media spectacle I have ever seen since I began practicing journalism in 2005 and what makes it even sadder is to watch all the people who invested their journalistic credibility into what proved to be a complete and total fraud and scam continue to try and cling to some vestige of credibility by continuing to spin conspiracy theories that are even more reckless and more unhinged than those we’ve been subjected to for the past three years.” (Read more: Zero Hedge, 3/25/2019)

March 19, 2019 – 50 major news stories that have been retracted or corrected since Russiagate began in 2016

1. On July 27, 2016 the AP falsely reported that RT (formerly Russia Today) is part of the Russian state media complex. While it receives funding from the Russian government, it is a stand alone entity. On August 2, AP issued a correction on top of an accordingly updated story.

The AP has since deleted the story altogether, but it is still visible (uncorrected) in places like this: (Business Insider)

Here is the link to the original story, since deleted: (BigStoryAP)

2. From July through October, 2016 MSNBC personalities Malcolm Nance and Joy Reid falsely and persistently pushed the line that Clinton related emails from WikiLeaks were or would be faked by Russians. (The Intercept)

3. Newsweek eventually completely took down the wild Kurt Eichenwald story about Wikileaks, Russia, and Kurt: (Newsweek) (Archived Link found)

4. The Trump Server/Alfa Bank Russia story was debunked
Why Trump’s Russian server connection is less suspicious than it sounds What if a major presidential candidate were in secret communication with Russia, through a secret internet channel kept hidden from the rest of the web? That’s the scenario laid out last night in a..… (The Verge)

5. CNN falsely reported that Russia was closing an Anglo-American school in response to Obama’s Russia/Election Hacking sanctions.
Wrong Again: Russia’s Anglo-American School Not Closing To Spite Obama CNN Politics reported on Thursday citing “official sources” that a school for foreign diplomats and rich Russians was being shut down in retaliation for President Obama kicking out dozens of diplomat… (Forbes)

6. A long editor’s note to this WaPo PropOrNot article essentially makes the whole thing out to be hooey.

Editor’s Note: The Washington Post on Nov. 24 published a story on the work of four sets of researchers who have examined what they say are Russian propaganda efforts to undermine American democracy and interests. One of them was PropOrNot, a group that insists on public anonymity, which issued a report identifying more than 200 websites that, in its view, wittingly or unwittingly published or echoed Russian propaganda... (The Washington Post)

7. Russia didn’t hack the Vermont power grid

Washington Post: Breaking News, World, US, DC News & Analysis Breaking news and analysis on politics, business, world national news, entertainment more. In-depth DC, Virginia, Maryland news coverage including traffic, weather, crime, education, restaurant revie…(The Washington Post)

8. Again the AP had to correct a story, picked up by ABC among others, that said a Russian commander had told a counterpart in the Philippines “You can choose … to cooperate with United States of America or to cooperate with Russia.” NOW DELETED (ABC News)

9. The NYT’s mangled a story about Abby Martin and breaking the set on RT and doesn’t get it right even in the corrected version.
Russia’s RT: The Network Implicated in U.S. Election Meddling Created by Russia’s government to offer “the Russian view on global news,” RT acted like a Kremlin propaganda operation, an American intelligence report suggests. (The New York Times)

10. A CNN Russia/Trump story based on a single anonymous source had to be retracted and led to the resignation of three CNN journalists.
Three journalists leaving CNN after retracted article Three CNN journalists, including the executive editor in charge of a new investigative unit, have resigned after the publication of a Russia-related article that was retracted. (CNN)

(Read more: Doug Johnson Hatlem @djjohnso) (Archived Twitter Thread)

April 18, 2019 – The media is a major source cited in the Mueller Report footnotes

(Credit: TruthFeed)

(…) “Given the squads of lawyers and the platoon of FBI agents at Mueller’s command, the footnotes show a surprising reliance on media accounts as evidence of consequential claims – an echo of the FBI’s FISA warrant, which used a Yahoo News article to substantiate allegations in the Steele dossier. In discussing whether Trump had ordered his White House counsel to fire Mueller, the report cites the same Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman article in the New York Times not just once or twice, but in four footnotes in a row.

To establish the crucial claim that “On July 22, 2016, the day before the Democratic National Convention, WikiLeaks posted thousands of hacked DNC documents revealing sensitive internal deliberations,” the special counsel turns not to the investigative prowess of the FBI, but relies instead on a Washington Post story by Tom Hamburger and Karen Tumulty. “WikiLeaks releases thousands of documents about Clinton and internal deliberations,” which is the citation found in footnote 20, Volume II.

The special counsel wrote that “On December 10, 2016, the press reported that U.S. intelligence agencies had ‘concluded that Russia interfered in last month’s presidential election to boost Donald Trump’s bid for the White House.’” To establish this, Mueller’s team cites a Guardian article by Damien Gayle. The Guardian, in turn, attributes its claims to the New York Times and the Washington Post. They, in turn, cite anonymous sources. Why does the special counsel resort to hearsay thrice removed to make any claim when he had every investigative tool at his disposal?

A sample of the media footnotes appearing in the Mueller Report.

Sometimes the references are such shoddy clip jobs that the media accounts cited undercut the very point they are meant to buttress. Take footnote 16 of the report’s second volume. The body text being footnoted reads, “The press also reported that foreign policy advisor Carter Page had ties to a Russian state-run gas company.” The first citation is to a Bloomberg article making that claim. But then the footnote goes on to cite a  September 2016 Politico article by Julia Ioffe, headlined “Who Is Carter Page?” Ioffe wrote that in doing her reporting she “quickly discovered” that Page “was known by neither Russia experts, nor energy experts, nor Russian energy experts.” In other words, the thrust of Ioffe’s article was the exact opposite of the point it was being used to validate. And the footnote misspelled Ioffe’s name.

The Mueller team does cite many primary sources – especially FBI interviews – but in some cases those sources merely offer opinions instead of evidence. One example is the report’s section dealing with Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who was fired after misleading the administrations about a conversation with the Russian ambassador. A footnote informs us that Flynn “told White House officials that the FBI had told him that the FBI was closing out its investigation of him,” but that John Eisenberg, a deputy White counsel, “did not believe him.”

Let’s pause for a second and consider what the footnote appears to tell us, but doesn’t: Eisenberg’s incredulity aside, did the FBI tell Flynn it was closing out its investigation of him or didn’t it? By citing Eisenberg’s disbelief, the special counsel suggests that Flynn was lying to his fellow White House officials. But what Eisenberg believed settles nothing – he was in no position to know what the FBI had or had not told Flynn.

What about the two FBI agents (one of them the ubiquitous Peter Strzok) who interviewed Flynn? The special counsel could have questioned them separately, asking each under oath whether they had told, suggested, hinted, or in any other way made Flynn to believe he was off the hook. In this case, the sources Mueller chooses not to question are more telling than the ones he does cite.” (Read more: RealClearInvestigations, 7/23/2019)

December 21, 2015 – Hill columnist, Brent Budowsky, emails John Podesta with advice for Clinton about Obama, Syria, ISIS and to “slaughter Donald for his bromance w/Putin”

Hill columnist, Brent Budowsky, sends an email to John Podesta on December 21, 2015, titled “HRC, Obama and ISIS.” Wikileaks exposes other emails from Budowsky (and dozens of other journalists), in support of Hillary’s candidacy throughout the 2016 Democratic primary and general election.

In this Podesta email released by Wikileaks, Budowsky shares advice for Hillary Clinton on Israel, Syria, Russian president Vladimir Putin, Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, the United Nations and Daesh, also known as ISIL/ISIS. Last but not least, he also mentions “slaughtering Donald for his bromance with Putin.”

(Original copy)