Background: Cracks Appear in Media Complicity with the “Deep State”
Several days before Seymour Hersh’s article appeared (cf. above), the prestigious Columbia Journalism Review ran a 24,000 word article by former New York Times (NYT) reporter Jeff Gerth, which eviscerates the coverage of “Russiagate” in the U.S mainstream media. Titled simply “The press versus the president”, the article focuses especially on the NYT and Washington Post (WaPo), which shared a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for “groundbreaking journalism that was proven true and true again.” As Gerth shows, that award was just as phony as the reporting they did, beginning in 2016 and continuing until today.
His study offers a richness of details into several key chapters of the fraud surrounding “Russiagate”, i.e., the alleged collusion between Donald Trump and the Kremlin. Gerth points out that, outside of the NYT‘s “own bubble”, revelations of the corrupt inter-relationship between its reporters, the FBI and the Democratic Party have done “damage to the credibility of the Times and its peers”, which he says persists. Their coverage included “serious flaws”, such as the credibility given at the outset to Fusion GPS and the Christopher Steele dossier; the line put out by Paul Krugman that Trump was the “Siberian candidate”, or Jeffrey Goldberg’s claim that Trump was a “de facto agent” of Putin; and the failure to investigate claims of the Intelligence Community Assessment of Russian systematic interference in the 2016 election.
Gerth reports on repeated instances where charges were made by “anonymous” sources, which were used to hype both the media and the FBI. One example: former NYT public editor, Liz Spayd told him after the election, that the NYT had produced a “steady stream of stories” about Trump conspiring with the Russians “without knowing whether the allegations were actually true”. And even as FBI internal documents rejected the Trump-Russia collusion, FBI Director James Comey continued to assert that investigations were still ongoing, and the same charges are still reported today as “fact”.
While readers of our newsletter have been informed of much of the evidence Gerth meticulously details, most of the public has been shielded from it. It is not surprising that, like the Hersh story, mainstream media is not covering it.
Jeff Gerth, who was once a central figure in the media universe he is condemning, explains that he undertook the study, because he was “worried about journalism’s declining credibility and society’s increasing polarization”. He usefully asserts that real journalists need to report on facts “that run counter to the prevailing narrative”. This article, along with Seymour Hersh’s revelations, are a step toward fulfilling that obligation.