The Stunning Synergy of The Atlantic’s Anonymous Attack on Trump

The Stunning Synergy of The Atlantic’s Anonymous Attack on Trump, by Joel Pollack.

The Atlantic published a story Thursday evening that claimed President Donald Trump called the fallen American soldiers in a World War I cemetery “suckers” and “losers” in 2018. The author, Jeffrey Goldberg, cited four anonymous sources.

Nearly a dozen current and former Trump administration officials disputed the story. One, notably, was John Bolton, the former national security adviser who says he will not vote for Trump. “I was there,” he said, and “I didn’t hear that.”

Other claims in The Atlantic story are refuted by documentary evidence. The article claims, for instance, that Trump refused to visit the cemetery because the rain would ruin his hair. Bolton’s tell-all book said otherwise; so do official documents.

It was about this time of year in 2016 that the Russia spy story was launched, with the Steele Dossier (later to be found to be a fiction paid for by the Clinton campaign). It took three years before the Russian spy story was finally put to bed and the truth came out, when the people who’d been telling the story to the press refused to do so under oath.

The media wouldn’t be playing us again with sensational but unprovable allegations, aired with insufficient time before the election to dispel them?

Which is more preposterous — that the US President is a Russian agent, or that a US President called troops who died “suckers” and “losers”?

What is more interesting than the details of the story is how it was produced, and how it was rolled out. It has the appearance of a well-coordinated, well-executed campaign of disinformation, utilizing the full toolbox available to the Democratic Party.

The article was published Thursday evening. By Friday morning, a left-wing group called Vote Vets had not only produced an ad based on the article, but had aired it on Morning Joe — MSNBC’s early-morning flagship news and opinion show.

Meanwhile, the article spread across social media like a brush fire in a derecho. It trended at the top of Twitter; it was shared widely on Facebook, all without any of the “fact checks” that typically accompany disputed news reports on such platforms.

The Biden campaign issued a statement Thursday night — “If the revelations in today’s Atlantic article are true” — and held a press call Friday morning. … At the end of his presentation … the first question went to Edward-Isaac Dovere, who writes for — surprise! — The Atlantic. … No one asked Biden whether it was appropriate to attack Trump based on an unconfirmed report. …

It took weapons-grade skill to produce a story that, while unprovable, had the ring of truth to those eager to believe it (it “resonates,” said NBC’s Peter Alexander, whether it was true or not) and to make it the dominant story of the news cycle — on a day when the jobs market rebounded and Trump brokered a historic deal between Israel and Muslim-majority Kosovo.

Glenn Greenwald:

How could that happen? How could MSNBC purport to confirm a false story [RussiaGate] from CNN? … How is it possible that multiple other outlets could “confirm” the same false report?

It’s possible because news outlets have completely distorted the term “confirmation” beyond all recognition. Indeed, they now use it to mean the exact opposite of what it actually means, thereby draping themselves in journalistic glory they have not earned and, worse, deceiving the public into believing that an unproven assertion has, in fact, been proven. With this disinformation method, they are doing the exact opposite of what journalism, at its core, is supposed to do: separate fact from speculation. …

It seems the same misleading tactic is now driving the supremely dumb but all-consuming news cycle centered on whether President Trump, as first reported by the Atlantic’s editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg, made disparaging comments about The Troops. …

We have anonymous sources making claims on one side, and Trump and former aides (including Bolton, now a harsh Trump critic) insisting that the story is inaccurate. …

Other media outlets — including Associated Press and Fox News — now claim that they did exactly that: “confirmed” the Atlantic story. … All that likely happened is that the same sources who claimed to Jeffrey Goldberg, with no evidence, that Trump said this went to other outlets and repeated the same claims …

But whatever happened, neither AP nor Fox obtained anything resembling “confirmation.” They just heard the same assertions that Goldberg heard, likely from the same circles if not the same people, and are now abusing the term “confirmation” to mean “unproven assertions” or “unverifiable claims”.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Steve Sailer:

Is the point of this giant whoop-tee-doo in the media today over Trump disrespecting WWI dough-boys to lay the groundwork for a military coup in case that proves needful?

Commenter on Stephen Green’s story:

The military story is battlefield prep for the Democrats to steal the military votes. Voter fraud all the way.

Stay tuned for the MSM stories about how Trump’s support from vets is plummeting and Joe’s support from vets is skyrocketing.

How the modern media works with the swamp. How many more of these “surprises” are there going to be before November 3?

via Tip of the Spear