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To Restore National Unity, the Media Needs a Reckoning on Russiagate

Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2023
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by Seamus Brennan
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AMAC Exclusive – By Seamus Brennan

Late last month, in one of the most shocking concessions from the mainstream media complex in American history, the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR)—a transparently left-wing publication known for its alignment with the liberal establishment—released an extensive report detailing the media’s barefaced dishonesty and corruption in its coverage of the 2016 Trump-Russia “collusion” hoax, otherwise known as Russiagate.

The report, authored by Jeff Gerth, a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and former New York Times reporter, takes the media to task for its coverage, ultimately concluding that “journalism’s primary missions, informing the public and holding powerful interests accountable, have been undermined by the erosion of journalistic norms and the media’s own lack of transparency about its work.” Over the course of 24,000 words, Gerth, who interviewed leading media figures involved in the Trump-Russia reporting as well as Trump himself, describes how the mainstream press abandoned all journalistic standards and even the appearance of partisan neutrality in its Russiagate coverage.

The CJR report determined, among other key findings, that the New York Times bears significant responsibility for its distortion of basic facts. “[O]utside of the Times’ own bubble,” part one of the four-part report states, “the damage to the credibility of the Times and its peers persists, three years on, and is likely to take on new energy as the nation faces yet another election season animated by antagonism toward the press.”

One by one, Gerth knocks down all the pillars of the Trump-Russia narrative that the media erected throughout Trump’s time in office. In the fourth installation of the report, Gerth describes how the false collusion narrative evolved into the baseless impeachment crusade led by House Democrats in 2019, and later the dishonest media coverage of the January 6 Capitol riot.

The report cuts to the heart of the political divisions currently dividing the country. In a very real though often unappreciated sense, the Russiagate saga stands as the seminal political event of our time. While Russiagate was hardly the only media fabrication during the Trump years, Gerth’s analysis outlines how it has become a blueprint for the media’s treatment of their ideological enemies ever since.

Though the media has been reluctant to admit it, Russiagate has also instilled in Americans a persistent distrust of the media apparatus, far more than anyone imagined possible a decade ago. As Gerth himself relays, “the U.S. media has the lowest credibility—26 percent—among forty-six nations.” Moreover, “in 2021, 83 percent of Americans saw ‘fake news’ as a ‘problem,’ and 56 percent—mostly Republicans and independents—agreed that the media were “truly the enemy of the American people.” Until the media itself publicly acknowledges that it lied to the country, those alarming statistics are unlikely to change.

Most Americans surely remember the endless stream of collusion conspiracies that ate up media coverage of Donald Trump’s first two years in office. In retrospect, that level of media hysteria has become all the more damning. During the 2018 G20 Summit in Germany, to take just one example, the media reacted hysterically to reports that Trump “spoke briefly” with Vladimir Putin at a dinner attended by hundreds—including a multitude of world leaders and their spouses. “Trump, Putin met for nearly an hour in second G20 meeting,” CNN reported in characteristically dramatic fashion. “Trump held secret hour-long meeting with Putin at G20,” wrote The Independent. “Reporters, foreign policy analysts, and our allies can safely assume the worst,” opined Joe Scarborough of MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “They can safely assume the worst of Donald Trump.”

This melodramatic media frenzy continued in spite of the fact that, according to the White House, the interaction between Trump and Putin was nothing more than “just a brief conversation at the end of a dinner”—not a “secret meeting” the White House was maliciously attempting to “hide.”

Of course, frantic media reports like this only scratch the surface of the deep-rooted delirium employed by the media for much of Trump’s four years in the White House. Throughout his tenure, the Russiagate narrative was a powerful tool for the media to obscure the former president’s many accomplishments and baselessly question the legitimacy of the 2016 election. And when the long-awaited Mueller Report was finally released in March of 2019—confirming, to the left’s dismay, that their extravagant tales of Russian collusion were entirely divorced from reality—the media simply ignored it and continued to insist that Trump was a “Russian asset.”

Ironically, the fallout from the Russiagate saga may be one of President Trump’s greatest achievements in that it has led to a broader questioning of other dubious media narratives. Should anyone truly be surprised that large swaths of the American public have questioned the “official” story on the 2020 election irregularities, the origins of COVID-19, or the Biden family’s corruption? Without Russiagate, each of these narratives would likely have been accepted without question.

Though the media apparatus is unlikely to admit it anytime soon, the country will never be the same until the liberal establishment acknowledges that it erred greatly in its handling of Russiagate.

“We have a lot of problems in this country, and there are serious arguments to be had between blue and red about all sorts of issues,” writes journalist Matt Taibbi. “But the country is currently paralyzed by distrust of media that runs so deep that it prevents real dialogue, and that situation can’t be resolved until the corporate press swallows its pride and admits the clock has finally run out on its seven years of loony Russia conspiracies.”

Of course, the recent CJR report is a much-needed step in the right direction and could perhaps be the first domino in a full-fledged media reckoning that could steer the country back toward some semblance of national unity. But based on much of the media’s silence on the report—as well as its long track record of besmirching Republicans at any cost—conservatives shouldn’t hold their breath.

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Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

Purge Legacy Media for Russiagate resolution alone

Deb Rockwell
Deb Rockwell
1 year ago

The media is a bought and paid for Soros/DNC propaganda mouthpiece. They are morally bankrupt fools. They only reckoning they may get is financial bankruptcy. And that’s the best thing that could ever happen to them.

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
1 year ago

Why, the “media” got awards for pushing the Trump-Russia hoax. You don’t think they will apologize and give back their awards, do you? Walter Duranty colluded with Uncle Joe Stalin and won a Pulitzer foe his “news” back in the 1930s and one for the NY SLIMES. The SLIMES also soft-peddled the Holocaust, with nary a mention!

PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

The author is delusional, if he expects the MSM to not only confess their involvement in not only Russiagate, but virtually every attempted hit piece they ran and supported on behalf the Democrat Party against Trump starting in 2015 to the present time. The vast majority of the MSM in this country view their primary role as supporting and promoting the Democrat Party and its policies. They are effectively the propaganda arm of the Democrat Party. That means they will attack anyone that stands in the way of the Democrats and their agenda buy any means necessary. President Trump was the most dangerous threat to the Democrats and their agenda in the last 40 years, because he was dead serious about undoing so much of the damage the Democrats have inflicted on this country over the decades.

In order to defeat an enemy, you must have a clear-eyed understanding of the enemy and their motives. What drives them and what their ultimate objective is. Wishy-washy pablum like this, that the media might view this report as some sort of wake-up call or turning point is the sort of nonsense we no longer have time for as a nation. The corruption and bias needs to be flushed from the MSM by one means or another. Self-policing of the MSM by the MSM is never going to work. The MSM doesn’t desire to change. They just want the public to shut up, sit down and accept whatever garbage they pump out as the truth without question.

Lieutenant Beale
Lieutenant Beale
1 year ago

But, but, but, Biden tried to set up his Disinformation Governance Board (aka Ministry of Truth) . . . .
Yeah, right. I rank today’s MSM one notch below used car salesmen.

David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

Excellent article.
FAKE news can start with returning Pulitzer Prizes given to FAKE news outlets.
FAKE news can apologize to PRESIDENT TRUMP for the lies and disgusting treatment towards him.
FAKE news can apologize to the American people for lying and treatment towards us.
FAKE news can tell the Truth that DNC and HILLDOG Clinton PAID for dossier and is guilty for Russiagate to commit Election Fraud in 2016 by destroying evidence and government property Illegally which is an act of Treason.
ALL FAKE news channels and outlets including NYT have their licenses revoked immediately for their lies and treatment towards PRESIDENT TRUMP and the American people.
Last but least…FAKE news admit that Biden committed 2020 Presidential election Fraud with FAKE news help. We watched cnn switch the numbers LIVE on 2020 Presidential election night.
Finally, FAKE news admit they are nothing but HATE and DISINFORMATION outlets used for the democrat party.
That would be a start.

HL3
HL3
1 year ago

Conserative media is just as guilty on hiding the facts/truth when it doesnt fit their narrative.

Dale Valenti
Dale Valenti
1 year ago

No one should ever trust the American press again.

GTPatriot
GTPatriot
1 year ago

Its simple. NO ONE will ever trust the establishment media again until they are on their
knees begging for forgiveness for their lies about Donald Trump. These people cannot sleep
today because of their fear of Mr Trump. Trump controls all media. ALL of it. Media is addicted
to Trump. He is their god.

GTPatriot
GTPatriot
1 year ago

The public isn’t stupid. They are not waiting for an apology. They have simply stopped using
liberal media. Liberal media today has no market. No one listens, reads, or watches it. Liberal
media spends every day talking to each other. They are no longer communicating to the US
public. That audience is gone. Left. Our of there.

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