(Updated below*, Sat., Oct. 28, 11:19 p.m.)
The New York Times had two veteran reporters working overtime on Friday night after the representative of a respected conservative publication testified before the House Intelligence Committee. Literally. The piece by Kenneth P. Vogel and Maggie Haberman was posted at 7:32 pm on Friday night. It’s brief and breathless. And embarrassingly dishonest.
The Times is practiced to deceive. It contorts language and chronology to present information in a way so as to not inform, to misinform. Information wants to be free, but what the Times pretends to release has been fettered and gagged.
“Conservative Website First Funded Anti-Trump Research by Firm That Later Produced Dossier” is the headline that should give one pause immediately. The Times identifies the “website” as the Washington Free Beacon, a first rate on-line investigative journal that’s uncovered a lot of information that the Democrats would rather have die in darkness.
WFB is “funded by a major Republican donor” say Haberman and Vogel. No, really? Were we expecting it to be funded by a Democrat donor, perhaps? In this way, the Times tries to implicate “hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer” in the matter of the nasty dossier, though Mr. Singer says he first found out about it when BuzzFeed, a left-leaning website, published it. Hedge fund billionaires are bad when they fund Republicans. The good ones fund the Clintons and the left-wing media.
The Times states that WFB hired Fusion GPS in October 2015 to do opposition research on “several Republican presidential candidates, including Mr. Trump” but terminated the assignment in May 2016, when Trump secured the Republican nomination. The opposition research eventually included “a salacious dossier describing ties between Mr. Trump and the Russian government,” but who commissioned the dossier?
The Times wants you to believe that it’s WFB and/or its nefarious major donor, Mr. Singer. Only an inconvenient truth creeps into this story. In April 2016 the Clinton campaign and the DNC retained Fusion GPS “to research any possible connections between Mr. Trump, his campaign team and Russia.” But that was a month before Fusion GPS was terminated by WFB. Confused yet?
Whoever it was that respected the former spy, Christopher Steele is not respected now, and neither is his salacious dossier, which is unbelievable on its face and impossible to substantiate. One can easily bribe some Russian prostitutes to testify that they peed on Trump in a bedroom in a Russian hotel once occupied by the Obamas, and if you’re a Democrat that’s the equivalent of desecrating communion wafers, but would they hold up under cross-examination?
Read this POS carefully, and you’ll find, in the fourth paragraph, that it was while working for Clinton and the DNC that the respected former spy was commissioned to produce the Steele dossier, the “series of memos that alleged a broad conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to influence the 2016 election on behalf of Mr. Trump”. Wait, what? The allegations of deviant sex and “real estate deals that were intended as bribes” were made to influence the election in Trump’s favor? I fear that Maggie and Ken might have had a few too many cocktails at the Le Diplomate before they concocted this tale.
At 7:02 pm, thirty minutes before the Times piece was posted, WFB posted a note to its readers denying any involvement with the Steele dossier. “All of the work that Fusion GPS provided to the Free Beacon was based on public sources, and none of the work product that the Free Beacon received appears in the Steele dossier. The Free Beacon had no knowledge of or connection to the Steele dossier, did not pay for the dossier, and never had contact with, knowledge of, or provided payment for any work performed by Christopher Steele.”
The Times doesn’t include this disclaimer, nor does it state anything to contradict it.
In addition to Mr. Singer, the Times tries to smear Marco Rubio. Singer initially supported Marco Rubio for the Republican nomination, the Times intones, but when Rubio dropped out of the race Singer went on to spearhead an effort to block Trump from getting it. So what? Rubio dropped out mid-March 2016, and by April 2016 Clinton and the DNC had retained Fusion GPS. How is Marco Rubio or Paul Singer involved with the Steele dossier except through the vile innuendo of the Times?
The Times tried to create in the reader’s mind a tie between the slimy Steele dossier and a conservative publication, a Republican donor, and a Republican senator. It failed. At what point did journalism sink so low that two senior reporters for America’s most influential newspaper will publish, under their own names, an article so convoluted, illogical, and poorly written that it begs to be seen as fake news.
Since this article was written, the Times has significantly revised its original piece by Vogel and Haberman.
Most importantly, the revised article makes it clear that the Steele dossier was commissioned by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC at a cost of $12.4 million “though most of that money probably went to legal compliance.” Who knows what that last bit means, though it was probably inserted by the folks representing Hillary Clinton. The point is that $12.4 million is a heck of a lot of money to pay for a pile of rubbish. The Saudis and Qataris must still be kicking themselves for pouring all those millions into that sinkhole.
The revised article also incorporates the Washington Free Beacon’s denial of any involvement with the dossier, probably at the demand of WFB’s lawyers. A threatened lawsuit has a way of inducing compliance with standards of responsible reporting.
As is its practice, the Times adverts to the fact that the original article has been amended, but continues to mislead its readers by ascribing this to a misstatement of the position of a member of the law firm acting on behalf of Clinton and the DNC.