I am marking down today to cite the next time someone tells me that the news media isn’t disastrously biased, or that President Trump is threatening the First Amendment when he tweets about “fake news” or untrustworthy journalists.
Or perhaps, as an alternative, I will hurl myself into a woodchipper.
Democracy cannot survive, must less thrive, without an informed citizenry, which can only be achieved with an objective, independent, competent journalism sector.
We no longer have one. Behold the nauseating developments of today:
I. This is CNN. This morning I read a CNN.com published a story by Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb that announcing the Trump campaign team received an e-mail on September 4, 2016 with “a decryption key and website address for hacked WikiLeaks documents” that, in turn, was presumably unavailable to the rest of the viewing public. The story, touted a a “bombshell” and covered extensively on TV, was hailed by the media and “the resistance” (but I repeat myself) as the first evidence that the Trump campaign had a heads-up about documents stolen from Democrats. This was, of course, what all my Trump-hating Facebook friends were waiting for, along with the rest of the social media.
Anti-Trump CNN was no doubt jubilent, and crowed,
The September 4 email was sent during the final stretch of the 2016 presidential race — on the same day that Trump Jr. first tweeted about WikiLeaks and Clinton.
…The email came two months after the hacked emails of the Democratic National Committee were made public and one month before WikiLeaks began leaking the contents of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked emails. It arrived less than three weeks before WikiLeaks itself messaged Trump Jr. and began an exchange of direct messages on Twitter.
Trump Jr. told investigators he had no recollection of the September email.
Congressional investigators are trying to ascertain whether the individual who sent the September email is legitimate and whether it shows additional efforts by WikiLeaks to connect with Trump’s son and others on the Trump campaign. The email also indicated that the Trump campaign could access records from former Secretary of State Colin Powell, whose hacked emails were made public by a Russian front group 10 days later.
…The use of a website and decryption key as a means to provide information aligns with past WikiLeaks practices. The idea is that WikiLeaks posts a data file on the Internet, but it is encrypted and impossible to open without the key.
Gotcha, you orange bastard!
All morning and into the afternoon, CNN proudly touted a “Breaking News” banner with a “CNN Exclusive” that read the following: “Emails Reveal Effort to Give Trump Campaign WikiLeaks Documents.”
Oopsie! Did Brian Ross report this? For though the network reported that some sinister figure named Mike Erickson emailed Trump Jr. and others on the Trump campaign on September 4, 2016, a link to Wikileaks documents as well as a decryption key to access them, The Daily Caller, an evil right wing website that proves its value at such times, obtained a copy of the email provided to The Daily Caller shows Erickson sent the email September 14, 2016.
The Washington Post first broke the sad news that this was not the much-hoped for smoking gun evidence of treason that Maxine Waters and my Facebook friends has been thirsting for.
The ten day difference is significant, because WikiLeaks had released a batch of stolen documents on September 13. The group was proclaiming its release of the DNC documents, which were published by Guccifer 2.0.
Never mind. CNN kept its false story up after it had been debunked, and it was repeated all over the net and cable news. How CNN got its report so wrong is unclear. It’s reported article stated that its information was based on a read-out of the Trump Jr. email provided by an unnamed source. Trump Jr.’s lawyer, Alan Futerfas, speculated today that the source was on the Democratic side of the House Intelligence Committee, which interviewed Trump Jr. earlier this week. Erickson was identified by the Washington Post identified as the president of an aviation management company and small Trump donor, not Boris the Russian Agent.
At at almost 4 pm, EST, three hours after the Post had announced CNN’s utter incompetence, the network finally issued an online correction and an on-air explanation via “CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin,” announcing that the network was
“correcting a story that we have been reporting throughout the day today about an email that was sent to the Trump campaign, to then-candidate Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and others during the heat of the campaign…this e-mail was… ten days later than what we originally reported earlier today and this is — appears to change the understanding of this story because, initially, it seemed perhaps they were being offered access to documents that were not yet publicly available, but in this e-mail from an individual named Michael Erickson.”
Later, CNN’s fake ethics reporter Brian Stelter tweeted,
Isn’t it nice to know that when CNN follows its standard editorial process, it still can get the story completely wrong? At least, it can when it adds to distrust of the President of the United States it is trying to undermine.
II. The Yearbook: The Mainstream News Media Chooses to Ignore What It Wishes Would Go Away.When one of Roy Moore’s ex-teen crushes, Beverly Young Nelson, gave her original press conference with Gloria Allred in November, and read aloud from an inscription in her high school yearbook that she attributed to 30+ Roy Moore, including the date and location. “He wrote in my yearbook as follows: ‘To a sweeter more beautiful girl, I could not say Merry Christmas, Christmas, 1977, Love, Roy Moore, Olde Hickory House. Roy Moore, DA,'” she said. Her clear implication was that all of this had been written by Moore, and that this was proof that Moore sought an inappropriate relationship with her in the late 1970s.
Moore then denied writing any of it, as well as any designs on Nelson,
Today, weeks later, Nelson admitted to ABC News that she added “notes” beneath what she said was Roy Moore’s signature in the yearbook.
“Beverly, he did sign your yearbook?” ABC’s Tom Llamas asked her.
“He did sign it,” she said.
“And you made some notes underneath?” Llamas asked. “Yes,” she replied. Nelson did not specify exactly what she added to the inscription, but the text beneath Moore’s signature reads: “12-22-77 Olde Hickory House.”
This is legitimate news. It doesn’t prove that Moore wasn’t pursuing Nelson, or that he didn’t sign the yearbook. It does show that Nelson (and if she knew, Allred) misled the news media and the public about the inscription. She altered the evidence, and avoided revealing how for weeks. Wrong, Unethical. This is news. Just because it plays into the hands of one of the most unqualified candidates for Senator in U.S. history doesn’t justify not reporting it. However, our journalists and their editors don’t think like I do. You know: ethically.
Because this was news that potentially benefits Roy Moore, the mainstream news media apparently was prepared to bury it. It doesn’t want to see Moore elected Senator, so it withhold information relevant to the allegations against him that have been the focus of Democratic and media attacks on the candidate, Republicans, and President Trump.
The liberal mainstream news media did not report the fact that one of Moore’s accusers deliberately tried to mislead the public by altering what she presented as physical evidence.. This is news manipulation.
III. Fox Can’t Even Be A Journalism Integrity Savior Ethically. Fox News, however, without which we would be at the complete mercy of leftist, progressive, partisan news distortion and propaganda, did report the story. Good. This kind of thing is the only justification for Fox;s existence. It almost makes up for Steve Doocey amd Sean Hannity. But It reported the story inaccurately and by hyping it. Not Good.
In fact, pathetic.
Fox News broke the story on-line this way:
BREAKING NEWS: Roy Moore accuser admits she forged part of yearbook inscription attributed to Alabama senate candidate
I once again burned by trusting this silly network, and posted the link on Facebook, making the point that the carelessness of Nelson made Moore a likely winner, and that she was an idiot. But there was no “forgery.” She did fail to reveal that not all of the inscription was written by Moore, and that’s problematic, and dishonest. However, it seems obvious that her alteration was intended to place the inscription in a specific time and space, not to claim that Moore was the author.
Eventually, Fox changed the headline to one that was factual:
An update to this story reflects that Beverly Young Nelson admits writing what ABC News characterized as “notes” beneath what she says is Roy Moore’s signature, and that the only notes below the signature are the date and location. Furthermore, the headline on story now specifies that Nelson admits to writing part of the inscription herself, rather than forging part of it.
[Gloria Allred later appeared with Nelson and “explained”
“that her client had always meant to only include the signature and the Christmas greeting as being written by Moore, saying that she had the signature analyzed and it matched that of Moore” “She never said that he wrote that,” Allred told the press, referring to the date and location that appear at the end of the quote.
She never said he didn’t, however, until today. Unethical. Dumb. And if you knew, Gloria, you should face bar discipline. ]
But wait! There’s more..
IV. The Left’s New Media Can’t Bring Itself To Be Fair And Honest Either Over at ThinkProgress, one would think that Moore’s accuser deliberately misrepresentin her evidnece was all just a fevered dream on the Right:
“Right-wing media outlets are using the “forgery” narrative to undermine the credibility of Nelson’s story and in by extension, the stories of other women who have come forward to accuse Moore of preying on them when they were young girls.”
Damn right they are, because it does undermine their credibility, as any example of intentional misrepresentation plays right into Moore’s defense that the accusations are false and the liberal news media is out to get him. They are, of course, and with good reason, but when it is obvious that at least one of his accusers was misrepresenting evidence, Moore benefits.
In summation, nobody in the new or old media can be trusted to play it straight, tell the truth, be transparent, or not pursue an agenda.
Today showed us just how dire the situation is.