Trump wins: Russiagate becomes the weapon of mass destruction for Mass Media’s reputation

Trump wins: Russiagate becomes the weapon of mass destruction for Mass Media’s reputation by JoNova (Joannenova.com.au)

Ed Note: This post from Joannenova.com.au compiles the essence of what truly is the “WMD” canard of the Mainstream Media for this generation. Perhaps one day they’ll look up the word “journalism” and stop confusing it with “advocate” or “propagandist”.  I won’t hold my breath, neither should you!

Joanne begins:

Trump is vindicated. The real substance of Russiagate is what it says about the media

Dragged out for two years of hate, denigration and abuse in the media, in the end the Muller inquiry found no collusion. How many journalists predicted this? How many even wrote as though it was possible? Credit to Matt Taibbi for the scathing WMD comparison.

Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of the population, a group that (perhaps thanks to this story) is now larger than his original base. As Baker notes, a full 50.3% of respondents in a poll conducted this month said they agree with Trump the Mueller probe is a “witch hunt.”

Joanne states the hopes and dreams of the Left:

The Special Prosecutor literally became a religious figure during the last few years…..

Joanne posts:

Peter Baker, New York Times,  three days ago: It’s a Reckoning coming for the Media and the System

…..that the real scandal is the “deep state” trying to thwart the will of the democratic system by dislodging him from office.

Rudy Giuliani Calls for ‘Full and Complete Investigation’ into Originators of Collusion Claims by Michelle Moons (Breitbart.com)

“Absolutely no collusion by anyone in the Trump campaign so you have to wonder why did this investigation start in the first place and why did we waste $40 billion,”  (Ed Note: that would be million)

Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit adds:   “……what other Republican candidate in 2016 could have withstood this sort of assault?”

Joanne concludes:

Trump wins: Russiagate becomes the weapon of mass destruction for Mass Media’s reputation.

Ed Note: I add several key quotes from Taibbi’s article here. The article is quite lengthy, but worth the read for those who want to see the detailed timeline and techniques that led the media (willingly!) astray. The following morsels may pique your interest.

As has long been rumored, the former FBI chief’s independent probe will result in multiple indictments and convictions, but no “presidency-wrecking” conspiracy charges, or anything that would meet the layman’s definition of “collusion” with Russia.

A senior Justice Department official said that Mr. Mueller would not recommend new indictments.

[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.

Over the weekend, the Times tried to soften the emotional blow for the millions of Americans trained in these years to place hopes for the overturn of the Trump presidency in Mueller.This is a damning page one admission by the Times. Despite the connect-the-dots graphic in its other story, and despite the astonishing, emotion-laden editorial the paper also ran suggesting “We don’t need to read the Mueller report” because we know Trump is guilty….

Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of the population, a group that (perhaps thanks to this story) is now larger than his original base.

Stop. Just stop. Any journalist who goes there is making it worse.

CNN told us Trump officials had been in “constant contact” with “Russians known to U.S. intelligence,” and the former director of the CIA, who’d helped kick-start the investigation that led to Mueller’s probe, said the President was guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” committing acts “nothing short of treasonous.

”Of course, there won’t be such a reckoning. (There never is). But there should be. We broke every written and unwritten rule in pursuit of this story, starting with the prohibition on reporting things we can’t confirm.

At the same time, Buzzfeed made the historic decision to publish the entire Steele dossier, bringing years of pee into our lives. This move birthed the Russiagate phenomenon as a never-ending, minute-to-minute factor in American news coverage.

This trick has been used before, both in Washington and on Wall Street, to publicize unconfirmed private research……This same trick is found in politics.

Buzzfeed’s decision exploded traditional journalistic standards against knowingly publishing material whose veracity you doubt. Although a few media ethicistswondered at it, this seemed not to bother the rank-and-file in the business. Buzzfeed chief Ben Smith is still proud of his decision today. I think this was because many reporters believed the report was true.

Adam Schiff, held hearings on March 20, 2017 that blithely read out Steele report details as if they were fact. From Schiff’s opening statement:

But here was Schiff, telling the world Trump aide Carter Page had been offered huge fees on a 19% stake in Rosneft – a company with a $63 billion market capitalization – in a secret meeting with a Russian oligarch who was also said to be “a KGB agent and close friend of Putin’s.”

Schiff had not spoken to Steele before the hearing, and read out the allegations knowing they were unsubstantiated.

Bob Woodward said, “I did not find [espionage or collusion]… Of course I looked for it, looked for it hard.”  The celebrated Watergate muckraker – who once said he’d succumbed to “groupthink”

The Isikoff story, which claimed Page had met with “high ranking sanctioned officials” in Russia, had relied upon Steele as an unnamed source……This was similar to a laundering technique used in the WMD episode called “stove-piping,” i.e. officials using the press to “confirm” information the officials themselves fed the reporter.

If neither “side” feels the need to disclose its own errors and inconsistencies, mistakes accumulate quickly.

Years ago, in the midst of the WMD affair, Times public editor Daniel Okrent noted the paper’s standard had moved from “Don’t get it first, get it right” to “Get it first and get it right.” From there, Okrent wrote, “the next devolution was an obvious one.” We’re at that next devolution: first and wrong.

CNN has its own separate sub-list of wrecks. Three of the network’s journalists resigned after a story purporting to tie Trump advisor Anthony Scaramucci to a Russian investment fund was retracted.

With Russiagate the national press abandoned any pretense that there’s a difference between indictment and conviction.

How was the existence of these communications confirmed? Did anyone from the Guardian see or hear these intercepts, or transcripts?” Their one-sentence reply: The Guardian has strict and rigorous procedures when dealing with source material. That’s the kind of answer you’d expect from a transnational bank, or the army, not a newspaper.

Another painful practice that became common was failing to confront your own sources when news dispositive to what they’ve told you pops up. The omnipresent Clapper told Chuck Todd on March 5, 2017, without equivocation, that there had been no FISA application involving Trump or his campaign.

Being on any team is a bad look for the press, but the press being on team FBI/CIA is an atrocity, Trump or no Trump. Why bother having a press corps at all if you’re going to go that route?

We won’t know how much of any of this to take seriously until the press gets out of bed with the security services and looks at this whole series of events all over again with fresh eyes, as journalists, not political actors.

The author concludes:

We had the sense to eventually look inward a little in the WMD affair, which is the only reason we escaped that episode with any audience left. Is the press even capable of that kind of self-awareness now? WMD damaged our reputation. If we don’t turn things around, this story will destroy it.