BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT STUPID? Here’s Why I Didn’t Fall For The Russia-Trump Conspiracy: Media outlets regurgitated leaks from politicized intelligence officials. They should have been far more skeptical. The whole thing was obviously stupid and self-serving from the beginning. “I noticed that the Russia narrative was increasingly being clung to as an explanation for the media’s failures to understand the country they purport to cover.”
CNN received an award for publishing this leak from a top-level intelligence official. At best they were far too credulous of this leak. At worst, they knowingly took part in an information campaign designed to hurt Trump. Neither option is particularly good.
Yes, Obama intel leaders briefed the presidents on the completely unverified claims, but the real story was that they were so bad at their jobs that they were playing around with these claims in the first place. The real story was that they were leaking that they’d briefed the dossier so that it would legitimize the claims and undermine the duly elected president who was to succeed Obama.
The real story, we’d later find out thanks to dogged investigations by a few Republicans in the House and Senate, was that the claims were bought and paid for by the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee. The real story, we’d find out later, was that these unverified claims had been used to secure wiretaps on Carter Page, an innocent American citizen affiliated with the Trump campaign. The real story was that our media were too busy “throwing out” journalistic standards that they forgot to hold powerful law enforcement and intelligence agencies accountable.
Journalistic “standards,” like #MeToo rules, are cut to fit the needs of the moment.