Gee, thanks. I guess this means your paper is trustworthy, right?
You know, I’m getting a little angry about this. Not at the news media: I figured out long ago that it was making up negative stories about President Trump, so when it ran “scoops” with anonymous sources like this one, I assumed that it was as likely fake news as not. You may note that I didn’t even bother to comment on this story when it was reported, although that was partially because it was almost immediately swallowed by the January 6 riot and the second impeachment debacle. No, I’m getting just a little bit disgusted with friends and relatives who continue to claim, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that the mainstream news media did not repeatedly and intentionally hype, exaggerate, manufacture and otherwise publicize misleading and false stories for the explicit purpose of turning public opinion against President Trump to assist the Democrats in gaining power. The latest example, which was revealed today, is just another in a long, long trail. But it’s a major one.
In January, the Washington Post reported that then-President Donald Trump, still trying to undo the presumed results of an election he believed was stolen from him, “urged Georgia’s lead elections investigator to ‘find the fraud’ in a lengthy December phone call, saying the official would be a ‘national hero.’” There was a single anonymous source who supposedly “confirmed” the details of the private conversation on an audio recording, and this was enough for the Post.
Watch “All the President’s Men” again. This wasn’t considered enough verification when the Post went after Richard Nixon.
Other news sources quickly reported the same outrageous conduct, claiming they had independently verified the story. Several said that “Trump is heard on an audiotape pressuring the Georgia secretary of state to ‘find’ votes to overturn Biden’s win. ” But the reporters didn’t hear that audiotape. They were relying on someone who said they had heard it. This is why hearsay is not admitted into evidence in trials.
NBC News reported it “confirmed The Post’s characterization of the Dec. 23 call through a source familiar with the conversation.” USA Today said a “Georgia official speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters confirmed the details of the call.” It also said an audiotape confirmed them. Lie. ABC News: “President Donald Trump phoned a chief investigator in Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office asking the official to ‘find the fraud’ and telling this person they would be a ‘national hero’ for it, an individual familiar with the matter confirmed to ABC News.” The PBS NewsHour, that esteemed taxpayer-funded news organization that is supposedly non-partisan, reported that it independently “confirmed” the story through their own anonymous sources. Of course CNN ran with the story, as it reflected poorly on Trump.
[Note of Correction: I had incorrectly suggested that the Post account was published before the Georgia Senate run-offs. That was incorrect. I apologize for the error.]
“Ooopsie!” the Washington Post admitted today. Didn’t happen! Silly us! Hey, anyone can make a mistake:
Correction: Two months after publication of this story, the Georgia secretary of state released an audio recording of President Donald Trump’s December phone call with the state’s top elections investigator. The recording revealed that The Post misquoted Trump’s comments on the call, based on information provided by a source. Trump did not tell the investigator to “find the fraud” or say she would be “a national hero” if she did so. Instead, Trump urged the investigator to scrutinize ballots in Fulton County, Ga., asserting she would find “dishonesty” there. He also told her that she had “the most important job in the country right now.” A story about the recording can be found here. The headline and text of this story have been corrected to remove quotes misattributed to Trump.
Becket Adams, writing in the Washington Examiner, asks some necessary questions:
“Whom were they all speaking to? How did this person or these persons get the details of Trump’s private phone call wrong? Are there additional examples of the media reporting bad information provided by anonymous sources we don’t know about, merely because there’s no contradictory audio or video? Just how many anonymously sourced stories are fraudulent? If it can happen this easily, who is to say it doesn’t happen often? Further, how many of these bogus stories have enjoyed the backing of supposed independent corroboration when, in fact, newsrooms most likely talked to the same person or people?”
I have some ideas. They were all speaking to the same person or group who had learned over four years that hearsay negative stories about this President would be treated as fact by the partisan mainstream media. They all got the details wrong because the news sources were driven by confirmation bias and partisan agendas. Of course there are other examples we don’t know about, because journalists no longer practice ethical journalism. How many such stories are fraudulent? If they were reported as facts and not confirmed, then any such stories should be presumed fraudulent. It DOES happen often, and yes, lazy reporters with agendas “confirm” stories using the same sources as the stories they are confirming.
This is an untrustworthy, scummy, biased, destructive “profession” that is rotting our democracy and that cannot and should not be trusted. How much proof do you need?
I have a couple more questions of my own:
- Is the Post going to investigate how this happened? Will any of the other organizations?
- Will the Post reporters and editor responsible face any consequences? (They should be fired.)
- Will the reporters and editors of the other sources?
- Why doesn’t the Post reveal its “anonymous source”? It has no obligations of confidentiality when a source lies.
- Where is the apology? To readers and viewers…to Donald Trump? Every one of these news organizations is obligated to apologize.
In the film “Denial,” the defense attorney in the defamation case against historian Deborah Lipstadt makes, in his closing argument, an analogy between the plaintiff, a Holocaust-denying historian who was defending his lies by claiming they were honest mistakes, and a clerk who regularly returns the wrong change to customers. If the clerk sometimes errs in favor of the customer, the barrister says, then these are honest mistakes. If, however, all the errors are against the customers, then these aren’t mistakes at all. They are deliberate deceptions.
Journalists filed more false stories to the detriment of Donald Trump than regarding any three Presidents in my lifetime. Maybe more than all of them.
These weren’t “mistakes. They were deliberate.
Source: Washington Examiner