19 March, 2021

Lefty Glenn Greenwald Shreds the Media

How Do Big Media Outlets So Often "Independently Confirm" Each Other's Falsehoods? - Glenn Greenwald (substack.com)

Read the whole things as he points out the Russiagate fallacies, and the Mueller investigation. Next he turns his attention on the actual point of the article, how “multiple sources” can be so wrong, so often.

For me, I learned early on in the Trump era that if a story did not have named sources willing to go on the record, then I assumed it was false. That method did not fail me a single time.

But finally, and I quote liberally once more…

On January 9, The Washington Post published a story reporting that an anonymous source claimed that on December 23, Trump spoke by phone with Frances Watson, the chief investigator of the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, and directed her that she must “find the fraud” and promised her she would be “a national hero” if she did so. The paper insisted that those were actual quotes of what Trump said. This time, it was CNN purporting to independently confirm the Post’s reporting, affirming that Trump said these words “according to a source with knowledge of the call.”

But late last week, The Wall Street Journal obtained a recording of that call, and those quotes attributed to Trump do not appear. As a result, The Washington Post — two months after its original story that predictably spread like wildfire throughout the entire media ecosystem — has appended a correction at the top of its original story. Politico’s Alex Thompson correctly pronounced these errors “real bad” because of how widely they spread and were endorsed by other major media outlets.

This is a different species of journalistic malpractice than mere journalistic falsehoods.

This was horrible. This was the basis of one of the impeachment charges. It was completely false. Just like every other anonymous story about Trump for four years. And yet, most people probably think all of them, including this one, are actually true. The retractions come a month later and are buried on page C-17, while the original story is front page news for days.

This isn’t journalistic malpractice. It’s propaganda worthy of the the Ministry of Truth in 1984. It’s Pravda from the Soviet Union. It isn’t journalism, and it isn’t news, and it isn’t truth.

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