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We used to trust the mainstream media. They reported the facts and let us make our own decisions about the issues of the day. But that’s no longer the case. What changed and why? Investigative Journalist Ashley Rindsberg has the disturbing answers.
If credibility is the lifeblood of journalism, the mainstream media is dead.
It wasn’t killed by competition from the Internet.
It committed suicide.
We know the approximate date of its demise.
We know the cause.
The abandonment of objectivity.
We even know the method of the suicide: the full participation in a conspiracy to destroy a political candidate and then, ultimately, his presidency.
This is not only my judgment, it’s the judgment of the most prestigious publication in the field of journalism, the Columbia Journalism Review.
In January of 2023, the Review published a twenty-six-thousand-word, four-part investigation into the conspiracy commonly known as Russiagate. It was written by Jeff Gerth, a highly regarded, former New York Times reporter with decades of experience.
Gerth concluded that virtually every major claim in the Russiagate narrative was false.
Let’s step back and consider what this means.
For some five years, the mainstream media—the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN—fed a grotesque lie to the public: that Donald Trump colluded with Russia to subvert an American election.
We’re talking about dozens of news organizations and hundreds of reporters working in concert to spread fictitious claims in thousands upon thousands of news articles, TV segments, podcasts, and opinion pieces.
Given Gerth’s reputation and that of the Columbia Journalism Review, the article should have been front-page news and led every TV news program.
Given Gerth’s conclusions, you would expect the media would engage in serious soul-searching.
The media that acted as the stenographer of the conspiracy simply ignored Gerth’s report.
In short, they lied and then covered up their lies with silence.
Even Gerth, a veteran newsman, was shocked.
Only about a dozen out of the sixty journalists he reached out to spoke to him. As Gerth describes it, “…not a single major news organization made available a newsroom leader to talk about their coverage.”
One can only wonder what these “newsroom leaders” would have told him.
The picture that emerges from Gerth’s investigation is a morass of malfeasance, greased by naked ambition and ideological bias.
This list of offenses is so voluminous, and so far outside the lanes of accepted journalistic practice, that they’re hard to keep track of.
Here are just a few.
The so-called “Steele Dossier” with its lurid accusations that Donald Trump had close ties to Vladimir Putin and Russian intelligence was a collection of unsourced fabrications, cut and pasted together by a Trump-hating former British spy working for and paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign. It was complete fiction.
The story that the Trump Organization was secretly connected to computers at a Russian financial institution called Alfa-Bank: another complete fiction, this one concocted by Clinton campaign lawyers.
The accusation that Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, early and peripheral foreign policy advisors to the Trump campaign, were Russian agents. Complete fiction.
Maybe even worse was how these fictions were often peddled to the public.
Working with the FBI (or some other government entity), the media would publish an accusation of Trump-Russia collusion. The FBI would then look into the story; the media would report the FBI’s curiosity and suggest that if the FBI was interested there must be something to it.
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