As I wrote a few days ago, the American media is broken. That description already sounds outdated as we now witness the media’s rebranding of the Obama administration’s spying on the Trump campaign as a vital national security effort: “Of course the Trump campaign was being spied on! It was for their own good!”
Part two of a two-part series
Part two of a two-part series
A brave group of journalists—aided by key amplifiers in social media, cable news, and talk radio—continues to push back on the media’s sycophantic service to the Democratic Party in which so many reporters, news personalities and political pundits are invested. Now, reporters who tried to convince us Trump was nuts for claiming Obama’s FBI spied on him are spinning hard to persuade us that an “informant” isn’t really a “spy.” But these antidotal journalists and influencers are not letting them get away with it.
My first piece highlighted the efforts of Andrew McCarthy, Mollie Hemingway, Sean Davis and Lee Smith. Here is the remainder of the group, as well as a shout-out to the influencers who have helped explain this story to the people who may not have time to read a 2,000 word article.
Chuck Ross: On Thursday, Sean Davis tweeted this about Chuck Ross:
In a just world, @ChuckRossDC (and not the cabal of reporters who pushed garbage leaks many of which turned out to be false) would have a Pulitzer for his reporting over the last year.
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) May 17, 2018
Many followers of the Trump-Russia hoax rank Ross toward the top of this list for his relentless coverage for the Daily Caller over the past two years. His work product is prodigious, often posting a few articles a day. “I was covering the Clinton email scandal and it just naturally rolled over into this story,” he told me. “I was cognizant about getting the information to the public and also aware of filling a void on the stuff that the mainstream press won’t cover.”
As the media tries to stoke controversy about the request by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif) to disclose the name of the FBI “informant” inside the Trump campaign, Ross is widely credited for first sniffing out the possible source, although he didn’t identify him as an asset at the time. In March, Ross connected meetings between professor Stefan Halper and Trump campaign volunteers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. Ross also dug into Halper’s history and his ‘long standing connections to both British and American intelligence agency officials. He also worked at the Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Justice, and in three presidential administrations.”
In January 2017, Ross interviewed Bill Browder, a British-American businessman who lobbied for the successful passage of the Magnitsky Act, named after his friend who was tortured and killed by the Russian government. Browder told Ross that Fusion GPS owner Glenn Simpson, who was trying to get the law repealed, “knowingly spread false information on behalf of people connected to the Russian government to try to protect Russian torturers and murderers from consequences. Glenn Simpson’s job was to knowingly and dishonestly change the narrative of how Sergei Magnitsky came to die from murder to natural causes, and to change the narrative that Magnitsky was a criminal and not a whistleblower.”
Ross has followed Fusion’s trail ever since, including the firm’s ties to Congress, a D.C. lobbyist, a Russian oligarch, and billionaire benefactors including George Soros. He is also tracking the various congressional investigations into the 2016 election. “I think the Senate Intelligence committee won’t find evidence of collusion,” he told me. “I personally have not seen it. You quickly find out that the theory doesn’t add up. A lot of theories of collusion are competing with each other, you can’t believe two separate theories of collusion.”
Byron York: The chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner has written extensively about Russiagate and often appears on Fox News to discuss his work. York calls out the media’s double-standard in covering the scandal and for regurgitating talking points fed to them by Trump’s political foes. After Obama’s intelligence chiefs issued their report on Russian hacking efforts in early January 2017, York questioned its veracity: “The report is brief—the heart of it is just five broadly-spaced pages. It is all conclusions and no evidence.”
Sara Carter: A frequent guest on Sean Hannity’s nightly show on Fox News, Carter is an independent investigative journalist. Carter has delved into the text messages between FBI lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page and Congress’s interest in Team Mueller lawyer Andrew Weissmann’s contact with the media. She reported late last week that the draft report from the Justice Department’s Inspector General on how the DOJ and FBI handled the Clinton email investigation was finished and should be released in the next three to four weeks. All of her work is posted on her website.
Kimberley Strassel: Strassel is a member of the editorial board for the Wall Street Journal and posts weekly columns about this scandal for the world’s most widely-circulated newspaper. In February, right before Nunes released his memo on FISA abuses, Strassel wrote an in-depth piece questioning the credibility of dossier author Christopher Steele: “Is a reliable and credible source one who defies FBI orders, meets with the press, undercuts a probe, and lies about it? Is a professional someone who refuses to answer questions from congressional investigators, but is happy to spin a tale to friendly journalists?” Her column last week prepped the media for the bombshell about a mole inside the Trump campaign. (Strassel stated that she thought she knew who the source was but could not confirm it.)
Catherine Herridge: She is the chief intelligence correspondent for Fox News and appears on several Fox shows to inform viewers about her work covering the Trump-Russia scandal. Herridge is often the first broadcast journalist to disclose breaking news, including the release of the Nunes memo and the Democratic counterpunch.
I need to add one more person to this group who was not included in the first article: Tom Fitton. Judicial Watch has filed an untold number of FOIA requests for documents related to this and other scandals; Fitton posts almost daily videos on social media to explain what the documents reveal or how their efforts have been stonewalled.
As any journalist will tell you, your work only matters if it reaches the intended audience. To that extent, plenty of people on social media, cable news and talk radio have helped this group promote their work in an invaluable way. This includes Nick Short, an analyst for the Security Studies Group, who uses social media to disseminate breaking news about the various investigations; Ned Ryun, a writer and frequent Fox News commentator; independent journalist Sharyl Attkisson;, Fox News hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, and Laura Ingraham; and radio hosts Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin.
I am sure there are others I am overlooking, but it’s not intentional.
The collapse of the American media’s credibility has been on a slow and steady trajectory for years (particularly during Obama’s reign) but the end may be near. Roger Simon wrote on Friday that the pending DOJ IG report will expose the mainstream media as traitors for their unchecked complicity in propaganzing the Trump-Russia conspiracy story: “These next few weeks are going to be among the most interesting in our lifetimes—especially for our friends in the press. We know from the New York Times earlier this week they are preparing their excuses. Let’s hope they don’t have enough.”
When this all goes down, this small group of journalists and influencers will escape with their integrity intact and be remembered as the truth-tellers amid a media mob of Deep State propagandists.
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