After MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski became just the latest dupes to trumpet a single-source allegation as settled fact, I decided to write the following letter to NBC. After all, they don’t want to be caught spreading “fake news,” do they?
Dear NBC Ombudsman,
“Morning Joe” is promulgating as fact an allegation about Steve Bannon by Ron Radosh, who claims that Bannon told Radosh that he, Bannon, was a “Leninist.”
Bannon has denied that he said this. No one knows the truth about this private exchange except these two men. In other words, this is a “he-said,” “he-said” story — not settled fact.
What is also pertinent to know is that Breitbart News under Steve Bannon’s direction published many lengthy pieces about Ron Radosh’s fraudulent attacks on my book American Betrayal (St. Martin’s Press 2013). In other words, Radosh is not only the sole source of a mere allegation; he is also in no way a dispassionate source about Steve Bannon.
There is more.
I have analyzed the Radosh Beast article and demonstrated that many of the ancillary, verifiable facts of the story, right down to the three different dates Radosh has stated the incident took place on, are mistakes or lies. This hardly adds credibility to a “thin” story that already fails any professional journalistic bar of believability.
Yet, Morning Joe is amplifying it as fact!
I hope you examine the links below. I am certain you will agree that Morning Joe must correct this record, or NBC stands rightfully accused of promoting “fake news.”
PS. You will be interested to know that after I contacted The Times Literary Supplement (TLS), a writer and editor there agreed with me that this claim was not settled fact and amended their recently published piece about Bannon accordingly.
PPS. Relevant links:
TLS correspondence via Twitter: