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The U.S. Media Suffered Its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages
Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened
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FRIDAY WAS ONE of the most embarrassing days for the U.S. media in quite a long time. The humiliation orgy was kicked off by CNN, with MSNBC and CBS close behind, with countless pundits, commentators and operatives joining the party throughout the day. By the end of the day, it was clear that several of the nation’s largest and most influential news outlets had spread an explosive but completely false news story to millions of people, while refusing to provide any explanation of how it happened.

The spectacle began on Friday morning at 11 a.m. EST, when the Most Trusted Name in News™ spent 12 straight minutes on air flamboyantly hyping an exclusive bombshell report that seemed to prove that WikiLeaks, last September, had secretly offered the Trump campaign, even Donald Trump himself, special access to the DNC emails before they were published on the internet. As CNN sees the world, this would prove collusion between the Trump family and WikiLeaks and, more importantly, between Trump and Russia, since the U.S. intelligence community regards WikiLeaks as an “arm of Russian intelligence,” and therefore, so does the U.S. media.

This entire revelation was based on an email which CNN strongly implied it had exclusively obtained and had in its possession. The email was sent by someone named “Michael J. Erickson” — someone nobody had heard of previously and whom CNN could not identify — to Donald Trump, Jr., offering a decryption key and access to DNC emails that WikiLeaks had “uploaded.” The email was a smoking gun, in CNN’s extremely excited mind, because it was dated September 4 — 10 days before WikiLeaks began promoting access to those emails online — and thus proved that the Trump family was being offered special, unique access to the DNC archive: likely by WikiLeaks and the Kremlin.

It’s impossible to convey with words what a spectacularly devastating scoop CNN believed it had, so it’s necessary to watch it for yourself to see the tone of excitement, breathlessness and gravity the network conveyed as they clearly believed they were delivering a near-fatal blow on the Trump/Russia collusion story:

There was just one small problem with this story: it was fundamentally false, in the most embarrassing way possible. Hours after CNN broadcast its story — and then hyped it over and over and over — the Washington Post reported that CNN got the key fact of the story wrong.

The email was not dated September 4, as CNN claimed, but rather September 14 — which means it was sent after WikiLeaks had already published access to the DNC emails online. Thus, rather than offering some sort of special access to Trump, “Michael J. Erickson” was simply some random person from the public encouraging the Trump family to look at the publicly available DNC emails that WikiLeaks — as everyone by then already knew — had publicly promoted. In other words, the email was the exact opposite of what CNN presented it as being.

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Media, Donald Trump, Russia 
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  1. Embarrassing only because they were so publicly caught and called out by the Trumps. But since Trump tweets are little more than preaching to the choir, and since the majority of the public still gets its pre-masticated news from these sources, the actual damage to the MSM is slight to nil.

  2. The real cartoon network if you ask me. Once people blow it, their public character becomes that of a cartoon character. Franken, Conyers, Hillary, Weinstein and the Weiners. Why is CNN and liberal media exempt? Oh. They aren’t.

  3. Kudos to Greenwald for calling the US media out on this occasion, but in reality the US media humiliates itself weekly, if not daily, if not hourly, with its false reports, poorly concealed agenda and generally propagandistic approach to everything.

    Greenwald’s lamenting of the US media’s lack of transparency and accountability is touchingly high-minded, but it is also naive. These people are not in the business of informing their viewers; they are in the business of delivering their viewers to a preestablished agenda set by powerful and wealthy people. Until Mr. Greenwald understands this, he will continue to feel disappointment and dissonance.

    The massive deception operation that goes by the name of “US media” will continue so long as the audience tolerates it, which is probably indefinitely. Over and over again, I have showed members of that audience that they are being lied to. Their reaction is always the same: anger with me for discomforting them. The audience does not watch the US media in order to be informed, they watch the media in order to be comforted, and the media know this and exploit this. This show will run for a long, long time.

  4. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Almost Missouri

    Yes. Most of our fellows are willfully ignorant cowards. I also believe that many cope by turning on Confederate statues, getting worked up over bathrooms, etc.

  5. TheOldOne says:

    Sure am glad that I don’t watch TV.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  6. Svigor says:

    Missouri, how the fuck anyone finds Big Media comforting is beyond me. Their contempt for America and Americans isn’t hard to suss out.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  7. I think, at this point, the best and possibly only way for this network to redeem itself in my eyes is to hire on an old hand from the old Weekend Update newscast. If she is still around, CNN could do a lot worse than hiring on Miss Emily Litella.

    Oooohhh, September 14th! Nevermind!

  8. @Svigor

    Look at all the people that leave the damn TV on all day. I know someone who can’t get to sleep without the TV being on. I, a visitor of the family, went up to the room at night to turn it off to save them on power, and she woke up! We’re all close friends, luckily.

    A.M. is probably right; it’s comforting for them. That may not mean that the viewers/listeners don’t know that the people talking on the TV are full of shit though. They don’t care, I guess, like an old babushka sitting on the seat in the outhouse with a copy of Pravda.

    I guess it’s comforting at the the tire shop and the dentist’s office too.

    • Replies: @Alden
  9. @TheOldOne

    Good on ya’, and I can say the same.

  10. AnonFromTN [AKA "Anon"] says:
    @Almost Missouri

    Well put. Lying is not a special occasion for the US media. It’s an everyday occurrence, whereas telling the truth is quite rare. As a person who was born and grew up in Ukraine and has lots of relatives and acquaintances all over that disintegrating country, I can testify that 80% of the reports in the US media about Ukraine since 2014 were blatant lies, whereas in the remaining 20% truth was twisted beyond recognition.

  11. anarchyst says:

    The mainstream media has always been dishonest. From the “yellow journalism” of the late 1800s and early 1900s to today’s “fake news, journalism has shown its true (communist) roots.
    From the lies about the Spanish-American war to the New York Times’ walter duranty hiding the truth about and denying the artificially engineered and forced communist “famine” in the Ukraine, to the lies about the 1968 Viet Nam communist Tet offensive (a military victory for the South Vietnamese and American troops) reported by walter cronkite as a military defeat, cronkite and his ilk were successful in prolonging the Viet Nam war for years, giving “aid and comfort” to the enemy, who bragged about being supported by the U S media.
    Look at NBCs doctoring of GMC truck gas tanks, rigging them to explode, and the deliberate mischaracterization of George Zimmerman’s conversation withe the 911 dispatcher, deleting a key phrase, as well as showing Trayvon Martin as a 12-year-old rather than his more recent “thug” facebook picture.
    The media has become a “fifth column” of the government and is not to be trusted.
    To our advantage, we now have the internet, which gives the ability for ordinary citizens to be real “journalists”, quite often getting and reporting the story TRUTHFULLY before the mainstream media.
    In fact, there are calls by “mainstream media” to “license” journalists, in an attempt to keep these “citizen journalists” out…twenty years ago, any journalist suggesting such a scheme would have been thrown out, but nowadays…

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  12. Alden says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    But do they really watch the TV? The news shows are terrible for getting a coherent message across.

    There is a minute of breaking news. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then a minute of news. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then what news is up next for 2 minutes. Then 3 minutes of ads. Then a minute of news.

    In an hour of a news show its probably 15 minutes, broken into 1 minute segments of actual news. The rest is just flashing lights and ads and what news will be next. Except for PBS and NPR of course which are just liberal propaganda. Democracy Now, Charlie Rose, Travis Smiley have fewer ads, but who can listen to them or look at them? I’d like to smash Charley Rose’ sanctimonious face. And Amy Goodman, why women shouldn’t be allowed to vote or hold elected or appointed office.

    It’s so chopped up with ads and what’s up next I don’t see how anyone could have the patience to sit through it and figure out what they are blathering about.

  13. @anarchyst

    Yes, it is a 5th column, but the 5th column infiltrators in hot wars of the past were clever and brave at least – our Lyin Press corps are borderline retarded. The good news is the internet, of course, but more people have to turn off the idiot box for good, like theOldOne and me.

    I think the TV and “newspaper” branches of the LP will be funded somehow with government money, even if the most of the people do turn it off. However, the Feral Gov’t NEEDS people to watch, not just pay. Spectrum sends out mail to me offering me a TV package with the internet about twice a month. They have me in their database as an internet customer paying a pretty damn big bill each month too. I don’t think it’s just the money. They want my eyeballs on their screens. I will not comply!

    Hell, John Prine wrote about this in the 1970’s for cryin’ out loud:

    “Blow up your TV.
    Throw away your papers.
    Go out to the country.
    Build yourself a home.

    Plant a little garden.
    Eat a lot of peaches.
    Try to find Jesus
    on your own”

  14. @Alden

    Alden, to me that is just the way infotainment works. They let these stories stretch on for days if not weeks. True, it may be 2-5 minutes at a time, but when people get by their TV, or one at the airport, the doctor’s office lobby, the bar, whatever, they see the same story, and it then seems like the most important thing going on. People don’t get into all the details, but they will see about 100 different people talking about it (whatever the one of the big stories of the week is) at 100 different viewings of the TV.

    As for the ads, they’ve got the correct agenda to be pushed in about all of them, besides possibly that talking lizard selling progressive auto insurance or whatever. He’s cute, I’ll admit that – makes me want to capture a lizard off the front porch and teach him a Cockney accent: “By George, I think he’s got it!” Most of the ads that I see when I have no recourse reveal their agenda to me even with the sound off! I need a mute and video off switch (maybe timed?) to watch Seinfeld.

    Democracy Now, Charlie Rose, Travis Smiley have fewer ads, but who can listen to them or look at them? I’d like to smash Charley Rose’ sanctimonious face. And Amy Goodman, why women shouldn’t be allowed to vote or hold elected or appointed office.

    I am mostly unfamiliar with these people and damn proud of that fact.

    Oh, in answer to your initial question, I think most of them at least listen. That is their view of the world.

    • Replies: @Buck Turgidson
  15. Sal says:

    Media should be for the good of the country and the public to expose the liar and cheeters so when it exposes its self it should be voted OUT

  16. Anonymous [AKA "Some White Guy"] says:

    I’m sure everyone at CNN has completely forgotten about it by now.

  17. @Alden

    It’s so chopped up with ads and what’s up next I don’t see how anyone could have the patience to sit through it and figure out what they are blathering about.

    I agree but I’m not sure it would take patience so much as total lack of self respect as well as a hopeless amount of gullibility.

    Speaking of ads…

    …for I knew nothing of the facts. I read no newspaper now but Ritchie’s, and in that chiefly the advertisements, for they contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.

    Thomas Jefferson, letter to To Nathaniel Macon
    Monticello, January 12, 1819

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  18. @Achmed E. Newman

    …but more people have to turn off the idiot box for good, like theOldOne and me.

    And me.

    And a few others I know. I’ve read that there are more than a few college schooled who are, astonishingly, educated enough that they, like me, don’t even have a TV. I know a family of two professionals who never had a TV in their home either, and can’t stand watching it when they can’t really help it.

    I’ve openly scoffed at the garbage in public places, such as tire shops for instance, and I’ve never had one person refute what I’ve said and most nod in agreement.

    The stuff is worse that mind sewage.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Achmed E. Newman
  19. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @jacques sheete

    I shake my head at the generation of men who bought big-screen TVs to watch sports only to have the NFL blow up in their face over the kneeling quarrel.

  20. @jacques sheete

    I don’t know if you read my link, Jack – the one about the tire shop. Man, I’ve been in place where no one appears to be watching, as they are on their electronics anyway, yet they still looked peeved when I turn it off.

    It’s kind of fun, really. Just say “why are you watching that crap?”

    As I said in one of my posts (can’t remember which), if the FEDS are going to regulate drugs on some “schedule”, TV should be classified as one, maybe somewhere between heroin and hallucinogens.

  21. Media companies should all run disclaimers that they are owned by giant oligarchs and mega-corporations. The idea of the ‘free press’ fools a lot of people.

    As Paul Craig Roberts has said many times, they are ‘presstitutes’ who serve Deep State and globalist agenda. Some of them may be sincere in the sense that they were brainwashed by PC colleges, but they are shills just the same.

    Would it possible to create a People’s Media? Get people to donate sums of money. And no one can own more than 1% of the shares. And this media will fire people of all political persuasions and give them the freedom to cover any topic or subject in the freest manner possible.

    The problem with Alternative Media is there are ‘too many’ and they are dispersed and diffuse.

    In contrast, NYT and CNN serve as commanding voices. They are dominant forces than voices on the periphery.

    But a People’s Media concept may put a new kind of media at the center of debate.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  22. @Achmed E. Newman

    Hell, John Prine wrote about this in the 1970′s for cryin’ out loud:

    Covered by John Denver, of all people. I don’t think too many of his middle American audience took the advice.

    • Replies: @David
  23. @jacques sheete

    …for I knew nothing of the facts. I read no newspaper now but Ritchie’s, and in that chiefly the advertisements, for they contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.

    I find that true of The Atlanticnewyorkerharpersnation as well. Those cute, tiny homespun ads in the latter pages, along with the cartoons and the cryptic crossword on the last page.

  24. Olorin says:

    These outlets aren’t “humiliated.” What a nonsensical notion. It implies some fall from the Eden of Truth, wherein and when they could be trusted. It implies they have some core of decency, or people with that quality.

    These media outlets and individuals are doing what they always have done: striving to turn your attention into profit by monetarizing your natural reactions as well as your engineered ones (like trusting newsmedia out of an inborn capacity or habit of honesty).

    Their entire game is get your attention and get you, or someone like you, to click on, retransmit, or talk about their content. They’re not just appealing to the True Believers and lockstep SJW marchers. In fact they’re probably making more money off of those who disagree with them.

    Their content doesn’t have to be true…or even believable. In fact the more nonsensical or mendacious their content is, the more attention they can mine out of your brain centers and others’. And the more likely you are to notice, pass it along, and send others their way.

    Their game is simple behaviorism. They have entire staffs or contracted companies that sit around figuring out what you, and you, and you, and those guys over there, will pay attention to.

    They measure what topics, what images, what slogans get clicked on, retransmitted, reshaped, turned into derivative topics, images, and slogans.

    They consult on the creation of these, and test reception of them. In the ’80s to Aughts, that was usually done in person. Focus groups and polling. Today big data simply observes and records trends and bots tweak them, usually with the help of a few individuals.

    The content isn’t the product.

    The stuff for sale advertised isn’t the product.

    You are the product. And they don’t care if you’re liberal or conservative. So long as you click. Or comment. Or retweet. Or retransmit.

    It’s likely that conservatives make them more money than their SJW supporters. When you are disgusted by their content and willing to click on it/retransmit it in opposition to what you saw, they also get paid.

    Remember, psychological research seems to indicate that being of conservative mindset and having a stronger capacity for disgust are somehow correlated. Why would the likes of Glenn Greenwald expect decency, and its corollary, a sense of humiliation over being wrong, out of these media…when their entire gig is to farm you for your decency? The facts don’t matter.

    “Don’t make us poke your eyes out, Dad!”

  25. isn’t it just business as usual? just that this time the people in control of the narrative were a bit too stupid/brazen and got caught red handed.

  26. @Almost Missouri

    Most Americans choose to view peculiar infotainment TV channels and newspapers to confirm their already existing bias.

    If a infotainment source doesn’t confirm their bias, they go to another source with a similar style.

  27. David says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Not to get all theological, but whether anyone listened or not (I sure did), one can’t find Jesus on his own. I think he needs to be part of a Christian community or at least in a position to serve others.

    This points to the problem of Prine and other counterculture songsters. They didn’t have an alternative to what they wanted replaced, as many have observed before.

    By the way the little melodic phrase that goes with the words from Christmas in Prison, “come to me, run to me, come to me, now” is beautiful. John Prine made some great music.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  28. Kweli says:
    @Almost Missouri

    Excellent analysis. The example you site at the end is reminiscent of Plato’s allegory of the cave. Once sold on the reality of the shadows created by the puppeteers behind the incarcerated cave dwellers, an escapee returning to the cave fails to persuade those still inside of a real world he experienced outside. The ignorant cave “inmates” kill him. Such is the power of brainwashing to the extent that people will defend their fabricated realities with their lives. It is simply easier, less demanding, to blindly consume concocted realities than to discover them for oneself. Hence the endless pursuit of mindless electronic games, entertainment and shopping sprees. The modern power elite in collusion with the MSM must have taken their cues from religious indoctrination. Absolutely spot on: the end is nowhere in sight.

  29. @David

    I can’t speak for Reg, but I thought he meant the part about “blow up your TV”. That was not followed as the proliferation of 80″ screens shows us. The “go out to the country” part, now that was something of a 1970’s thing, though.

  30. @Achmed E. Newman

    I agree fully. Of course a lot of people in airports soak up this garbage.

    I was passing through O’Hare the day before the election. Every monitor on CNN of course. The hillary inevitably manure-spreader propaganda was stinking up the entire airport. Not every person was watching but a lot of people were tuned in. I don’t think there were as many hillary supporters there as the media would like one to believe.

    I was doing a slow burn and decided to wander off and get a beverage and something to eat.

    I struck up a brief conversation with an Aussie traveler. He was energetic and friendly and ‘a good bloke’ so I told him I hoped he enjoyed his visit and how much we enjoyed having Aussies visit us, etc. He soon asked well what’s it going to be tomorrow?

    I didn’t have 5 cents wagered, but said “Trump is going to clean her clock.” I waited. He looked at me for a second and said “You know it’s really time for a change isn’t it?”

    The media still has their influence, but fewer people are buying their BS including visitors from abroad.

  31. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Priss Factor

    I am not sure that addressing the ownership structure is enough to prevent bias, though. Among the dozen alternative websites listed here is WhoWhatWhy, which to me has seemed inclined to avoid or dissemble on various topics. I had moved on entirely a couple years ago when I couldn’t stand any more of the anti-Syria propaganda, but recently checked back to see how they were addressing Russia: fully on board with CNN, et al, with a link at the bottom of every (?) page to a lengthy series of embarrassingly tabloid hit pieces.

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