President Trump was wrong to keep claiming that voter fraud was responsible for his 2020 election loss; indeed he was wrong to be the one to question the fairness of election at all. However, the constant mantra in the mainstream news media that his complaints that the election was “stolen,” “rigged” or “fixed” are “false” meets the classic standard for “protesting too much.”
The 2020 election was rigged, as I explained here. The rigging by the mainstream media began from the second Donald Trump was elected, causing Democrats, progressives and especially journalists to abandon tradition, sound democratic principles, fairness, responsibility and ethics to do everything in their power to undermine the elected President of the United States, because they didn’t vote for him, didn’t like him, and refused to accept Hillary Clinton’s well-earned defeat. Out of this, what I have (correctly) termed the worst ethics breach in our society since at least the Second World War, we got the succession of Big Lies and the series of plots to remove Trump from office, including two unjustified and unethical impeachments.
I doubt that any President in our history could have overcome the deliberately biased news coverage and the barrage of fake negative news Donald Trump was attacked with for four straight years. It’s impossible to say, since no elected President, not even Richard Nixon, was subjected to anything similar. It is also impossible to say, it must be emphasized, that the despicable and unethical journalism used to undermine Trump actually caused his loss. This is, however approximately the same argument the defense in the Derek Chauvin trial is making. The media’s knee was on the President’s neck, but there were other things that might have killed his Presidency. It does not make the news media’s conduct any less wrong.
Now that the election is safely in the rear-view mirror, the examples of the fake news and buried news used to maximize the likelihood of Trump’s defeat are slowly coming to light, where they can be plunged into darkness again by our Soviet-style news media. First we learned that the Hunter Biden laptop story, which credibly raised questions about Joe Biden’s wilful enabling of his son’s influence-peddling abroad, was not “Russian disinformation” after all, though it was embargoed on that basis by social media and most news organizations.
Now we are finally being informed that the story about the Trump Administration refusing to act on the “fact” that Russia was paying bounties to Afghanistan for the U.S. soldiers it killed was not the truth it was reported to be. From NBC News:
While he was campaigning for president, Joe Biden treated as fact that U.S. intel agencies had determined Russia had paid the Taliban to kill Americans in Afghanistan.
“I don’t understand why this president is unwilling to take on Putin when he’s actually paying bounties to kill American soldiers in Afghanistan,” Biden said of President Trump, speaking to Kristen Welker of NBC News during the Oct. 22 presidential debate.Such a definitive statement was questionable even then.
On Thursday, it became more clear that the truth of the matter is unresolved. Last fall, while Biden was a candidate, Pentagon officials told NBC News they could not substantiate that such bounties were paid.
They still have not found any evidence, a senior defense official said Thursday. And the Biden administration also made clear in a fact sheet released Thursday that the CIA’s intelligence on the matter is far from conclusive, acknowledging that analysts labeled it “low to moderate confidence.”
But when the story was reported in June, there was no question about it: here was another example of Trump being soft on Putin. The Daily Caller compiled a video of how the broadcast news media pushed this fake news to pummel Trump. Smoking gun tweets also abound, like this one from CNN Super-Hack Brian Stelter:
Glenn Greenwald writes in part (but read the whole thing):
That Russia placed “bounties” on the heads of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan was one of the most-discussed and consequential news stories of 2020. It was also, as it turns out, one of the most baseless — as the intelligence agencies who spread it through their media spokespeople now admit, largely because the tale has fulfilled and outlived its purpose.
The saga began on June 26, 2020, when The New York Times announced that unnamed “American intelligence officials” have concluded that “a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops.” The paper called it “a significant and provocative escalation” by Russia. Though no evidence was ever presented to support the CIA’s claims — neither in that original story nor in any reporting since — most U.S. media outlets blindly believed it and spent weeks if not longer treating it as proven, highly significant truth. Leading politicians from both parties similarly used this emotional storyline to advance multiple agendas.
The story appeared — coincidentally or otherwise — just weeks after President Trump announced his plan to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2020. Pro-war members of Congress from both parties and liberal hawks in corporate media spent weeks weaponizing this story to accuse Trump of appeasing Putin by leaving Afghanistan and being too scared to punish the Kremlin. Cable outlets and the op-ed pages of The New York Times and Washington Post endlessly discussed the grave implications of this Russian treachery and debated which severe retaliation was needed. “This is as bad as it gets,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Then-candidate Joe Biden said Trump’s refusal to punish Russia and his casting doubt on the truth of the story was more proof that Trump’s “entire presidency has been a gift to Putin,” while Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) demanded that, in response, the U.S. put Russians and Afghans “in body bags.”
The Washington Post’s “Factchecker,” gave Trump’s statement that the bounty story was “fake news” “Four Pinocchios.”
It was fake news.
I wrote at the time in part,
The New York Times last week published a story claiming that Russia put a bounty on American soldiers in Afghanistan, and also claimed that despite knowing about it, the Trump administration did nothing. Oooo, my Trump Deranged Facebook friends were quivering with excitement, which, I suspect, was the Times’ objective. Impeachable! More Trump buddy-buddy with Putin! …Now CBS reporter Catherine Herridge reports, via tweet…
“The official said the intelligence collection report reached ‘low levels’ NSC but did not go further, not briefed POTUS, or VP because it was deemed ‘uncorroborated’ and ‘dissent intelligence community’,” Herridge added.
But the Times published it as fact anyway to embarrass the President and slake the hate-lust of its readers. Now the AP is reporting the same story as the Times. I have no idea what the truth is, or who to find out. Wouldn’t it be nice to have reliable, trustworthy journalists so we could know who to believe?
Well, that question is answered: if it involves partisan politics, we know who NOT to believe: all of them. The Times—did you know it is the model of best practice journalism in the U.S.?—buried the lede but good when it finally admitted that the original Trump-bashing scoop was garbage. Here’s the headline:
“White House Warns Russia on Bounties, but Stops Short of Sanctions“
Why is the Biden Administration doing this? Way down the story we learn that, in contrast to what we were told during the 2020 campaign,
The intelligence community, a senior administration official told reporters, “assesses with low to moderate confidence that Russian intelligence officers sought to encourage Taliban attacks against U.S. and coalition personnel in Afghanistan in 2019, and perhaps earlier, including through financial incentives and compensation.”
In other words, they don’t know whether it is true or not.
But never mind: As Harry Reid might say, “Trump lost, didn’t he?” That’s all that matters.
Meanwhile, here’s how that transparent, straight-talking Jen Psaki, President Biden’s paid liar, humina-huminaed through her “answer” when she was asked if Biden regrets using fake news to score points during the debate:
Of course Joe doesn’t regret it. Neither does the Times, or the other Democratic allies that determine what the public is allowed to know. Whether they in fact “fixed,” “rigged” or “stole” the election, they did everything in their power to do so.
They won’t regret it until the public makes them regret it. First, the public has to know that it happened.