There is never accountability for those who serve as propagandists for the U.S. security state. The opposite is true: the more aggressively and recklessly you spread CIA narratives or pro-war manipulation, the more rewarded you will be in that world.
The classic case is Jeffrey Goldberg, who wrote one of the most deceitful and destructive articles of his generation: a lengthy New Yorker article in May, 2002 — right as the propagandistic groundwork for the invasion of Iraq was being laid — that claimed Saddam Hussein had formed an alliance with Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. In February, 2003, on the eve of the invasion of Iraq, NPR host Robert Siegel devoted a long segment to this claim. When he asked Goldberg about “a man named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,” Goldberg replied: “He is one of several men who might personify a link between Iraq and al-Qaeda.” …
Five months after Goldberg’s New Yorker article, the U.S. Congress authorized the use of military force to impose regime change on Iraq; ten months later, the U.S. invaded Iraq; and by September, 2003, close to 70% of Americans believed the lie that Saddam had personally participated in the 9/11 attack. …
Goldberg’s fabrication-driven article generated ample celebratory media attention and even prestigious journalism awards. It also led to great financial reward and career advancement. … Goldberg is now the editor-in-chief of [The Atlantic] and thus one of the most influential figures in media. …
On Monday, CNN … proudly announced that it had hired Natasha Bertrand away from Politico. In doing so, they added to their stable of former CIA operatives, NSA spies, Pentagon Generals and FBI agents a reporter who has done as much as anyone, if not more so, to advance the scripts of those agencies.
[The Washington Post’s media reporter Erik Wemple] systematically reviewed the mountain of speculation, unproven conspiracies and outright falsehoods Bertrand shoveled to the public as she was repeatedly promoted. …
When information started being declassified that proved much of Bertrand’s claims about collusion to be a fraud, she complained that there was too much transparency, implying that the Trump administration was harming national security by allowing the public to know too much — namely, allowing the public to see that her reporting was a fraud. …
It was also Bertrand who most effectively laundered the extremely significant CIA lie in October, 2020 that the documents obtained by The New York Post about the Biden family’s business dealings in China and Ukraine were “Russian disinformation.” … Bertrand not only amplified it but vouched for its credibility … It was [her] Politico article … that was then used by Facebook and Twitter to justify their joint censorship of the Post’s reporting in the weeks before the 2020 election, and numerous media outlets … gullibly told their readers to ignore the revelations on the ground that these authentic documents were “Russian disinformation.”
Before the election, the Hunter Biden emails about his family’s crooked business — found on his laptop — were just “Russian disinformation”, said more than 50 former senior intelligence agents. No it wasn’t, it was all provably real, and had been for a year before the election. Bertrand was their main mouthpiece.
Natasha Bertrand has spent the last five years working as a spokesperson for the alliance composed of the CIA and the Democratic Party, spreading every unvetted and unproven conspiracy theory about Russiagate that they fed her. The more loyally she performed that propagandistic function, the more rapidly she was promoted and rewarded. Now she arrives at her latest destination: CNN, not only Russiagate Central along with MSNBC but also the home to countless ex-operatives of the security state agencies on whose behalf Bertrand speaks.
Once again we see the two key truths of modern corporate journalism in the U.S. First, we have the Jeffrey Goldberg Principle: you can never go wrong, but only right, by disseminating lies and propaganda from the CIA. Second, the organs that spread the most disinformation and crave disinformation agents as their employees are the very same ones who demand censorship of the internet in the name of stopping disinformation.
Reaction of the borg:
Just as several readers predicted would happen, other corporate journalists responded to this article by engaging in a rank-closing defense of Bertrand, principally by accusing me of misogyny for publishing this critique of her reporting. Unlike me, they evidently view adult professional woman in highly influential media roles (such as Bertrand) as too fragile to endure critiques of their journalism, unlike adult men, who they apparently believe are strong enough to handle criticisms: a regressive view of the sexes right out of the 1950s. They also apparently skipped over the entire first section of this article detailing how Jeffrey Goldberg and Ken Dilanian — both men — were the pioneers of the CIA-serving career trajectory Bertrand is now following.
Another way the US has changed, away from being a democracy. More corruption and lies.