FILE- In this July 30, 2008 file photo, Jeffrey Epstein is shown in custody in West Palm Beach, Fla. Labor Secretary nominee Alexander Acosta is expected to face questions at his Senate confirmation hearing about an unusual plea deal he oversaw for Epstein, a Florida billionaire and sex offender, as U.S. attorney in Miami. (AP Photo/Palm Beach Post, Uma Sanghvi, File)/Palm Beach Post via AP)
Want to know why the Epstein story has no real legs when it comes to investigate reporting from the major networks and newspapers outside of trying to tie him to Donald Trump? You are about to find out why.
For decades, Epstein ran in crowds with some of the wealthiest and most influential people in the country. In terms of elected officials, that meant he had an unusually close relationship with Bill Clinton, even while he was president and to the point of having a painting of Clinton in a dress hanging on his mansion’s wall. It didn’t stop there though. Several other Democrat party politicians have been implicated as well, including accusations of being on his pedophile island and being given girls that we now know were basically sex slaves.
If it seems like I’m only focusing on his connections to Democrats, that’s because those are the only really pervasive connections (i.e. people who went to his island, etc.) we’ve found out about. Don’t be gaslit by the media, the circles Epstein ran in were not Republican circles. Even to the extent he knew Donald Trump, Trump was not palling around with Newt Gingrich at the time. There’s a reason he was going to dinners at the Clinton White House but never made it back when George W. Bush took over.
Because the circles he ran in were predominantly populated with rich, liberal Manhattan types, that meant he had many relationships within the mainstream media establishment as well. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos dined with Epstein as late as 2010, which was after his convictions. The former Clinton crony would claim he hadn’t done his due diligence on who Epstein was, which is a laughable assertion from a supposed news man.
Epstein’s perversion with the media didn’t stop there though. Much like Harvey Weinstein, he was able to wield his influence to affect coverage. NPR has a new report which details some of what went on. It’s very in depth, but I’ll try to summarize the findings here.
Obviously the NYT reporter soliciting money from Epstein is the biggest take away here but ABC News producing a major story w/his victims then killing the piece is just as egregious. The stories reporters know and don't tell is the best way to measure bias https://t.co/DpNioOsExP
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) August 23, 2019
We’ll start with ABC News first.
In 2015, the ABC News team of Amy Robach and Jim Hill secured an interview with Giuffre. In a sequence of events confirmed by the network, producers paid for Giuffre and her family to fly from Colorado, where they lived, to New York City and put them up at the Ritz-Carlton hotel on Central Park South. Robach and her news crew interviewed Giuffre on tape for more than an hour about Epstein and his entourage.
“At the time, in 2015, Epstein was walking around a free man, comparing his criminal behavior to stealing a bagel,” Giuffre writes in an email to NPR. “I really wanted a spotlight shone on him and the others who acted with him and enabled his vile and shameless conduct against young girls and young women.”
“I viewed the ABC interview as a potential game-changer,” she writes. “Appearing on ABC with its wide viewership would have been the first time for me to speak out against the government for basically looking the other way and to describe the anger and betrayal victims felt.”
The story never aired. And Giuffre has said she was never directly told why.
ABC has still never given an explanation for why they burned the story, which would have exposed the depravity of Epstein’s actions long before he was charged again in 2019. Sources say that Epstein’s lawyers contacted ABC but when have threats from lawyers ever scared off a news operation the size of ABC from reporting on an interview with a witness? They would not be liable for anything she said in such a case and they would have known that. Yet, they killed the story anyway and Epstein went right back to abusing women for another four years.
The New York Times also is implicated.
Yet Stewart was not the editors’ first choice to interview Epstein further.
Initially, they had asked Landon Thomas Jr., a veteran financial correspondent who had been at the Times for 16 years.
Thomas knew Epstein fairly well — having first written about the financier, back in 2002, just before he joined the paper. Thomas had considered him a valued source ever since, even after Epstein’s release from jail for sex offenses. Just how valued turned out to be a problem for the reporter and the paper…
…But Thomas flagged a problem. He told his editors Epstein had been a great source for years and had become something of a friend as well. How close? Thomas had solicited a $30,000 contribution from Epstein for a Harlem cultural center, he told them.
This reporter had gotten so close to Epstein that he solicited a $30,000 donation from him. The safe assumption is that Epstein saw the money as a payoff for good coverage and good coverage he would receive. The man tasked with reporting on Epstein would pursue none of the sordid details of his sexual abuse scandals.
NPR also notes Vanity Fair’s killing of stories dealing with Epstein’s abuse of underage girls. One example involved a woman named Maria and her then 15 year old sister. They told Vanity Fair that Epstein had lured them to his ranch in New Mexico and sexually exploited them. That’s when Epstein showed up at the magazine’s offices.
And so that morning when Epstein had materialized at the magazine’s offices, he was there to press Carter not to devote any attention to Epstein’s apparent interest in very young women.
“He was torturing Graydon,” says John Connolly, then a Vanity Fair contributing editor, who reported on crime and scandal.
Epstein beseeched Carter and berated him, Connolly says, that morning and subsequently, in a flood of phone calls. Epstein denied to Carter any misconduct and wanted him to steer away from the subject.
In March 2003, Vanity Fair did publish Ward’s piece. Titled “The Talented Mr. Epstein,” it took a tough look at Epstein’s lavish lifestyle and questioned the origins of his fortune.
It did not report the Farmers’ accusations of abuse.
In the end, no mention of the allegations of sexual misconduct made the story. Epstein had successfully covered himself again.
It’s stories like these that make clear why Epstein was able to get away with what he did for so long. The relationships he had in media circles were unethical and completely improper. Even today, you see almost no investigative effort from the major media networks and papers to uncover just how deep this goes.
Why? Because they know they’d likely be implicated.
As much as the left wants this to just be about being at parties with Donald Trump almost 30 years ago, the most perverse connections hit way too close to home for the liberal New York elite.
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