Caricature by DonkeyHotey flic.kr/p/Ct4G4K https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 

I’m not really sure what is going on at the Washington Post. Given their roach problem, you might be able to write it off to staff huffing Raid from inside dry cleaning bags. If one were really a dewy-eyed idealist, one might be under the illusion that the Washington Post’s management and staff see the damage the New York Times is doing to journalism and are trying to right a very rickety, leaky, and overloaded tub in the middle of a Class-4 hurricane. After all, how often do you hear an executive editor admit that he hired and structured his paper to try to push a conspiracy theory and, now that that’s failed, he is going to retool again to push the narrative that the president is a racist. That’s not stuff they teach in Journalism 101..or maybe it is.

A couple of days ago, the New York Times pushed out a story about a small cadre of GOP operatives doing to reporters what reporters have been doing to random forklift operators who make memes and grandmothers who organize pro-Trump rallies: publicly humiliate them. Rather than getting sympathy, the NYT was widely mocked and nowhere was the mocking more brutal than by the Washington Post’s media critic Erik Wemple

This is how the Washington Post’s media critic treated it Breitbart burned the New York Times. And the Times really doesn’t like it.

They are bad actors. They are driven to suppress legitimate inquiry. They are by no means journalists.

And they read Twitter very carefully!

Those are the contours of an alarm rung on Sunday by the New York Times. “A loose network of conservative operatives allied with the White House is pursuing what they say will be an aggressive operation to discredit news organizations deemed hostile to President Trump by publicizing damaging information about journalists,” wrote Kenneth P. Vogel and Jeremy W. Peters.

And just what would this “damaging information” be? Illicitly obtained DMs? Gossip about their sexual habits? HIPAA-protected information?

Nope. “Four people familiar with the operation described how it works, asserting that it has compiled dossiers of potentially embarrassing social media posts and other public statements by hundreds of people who work at some of the country’s most prominent news organizations.” Bolding added to note that this “damaging information” is available not only to a “loose network of conservative operatives” but also to the loose network of everyone with access to the Internet.

Today his attention was turned to the spectacle of CNN hiring soon to be indicted liar Andrew McCabe as a political commentator.

This is the set up. Monday, Republican operative Matt Schlapp was on Fredo’s show. Fredo was doing his best to try to get Schlapp to admit that Trump lies on occasion…just keep this in mind whenever someone says Trump lies:

Fredo gets on his moral high horse in a way that is only possible for a nepotism hire who thinks nothing about dropping the f-bomb and threatening strangers in front of his own kids.

CUOMO: I’m saying I don’t like the White House lying to the American people, makes it very hard … to talk about policy.

Then Matt Schlapp slaps his smug face over the right field wall

SCHLAPP: Chris, I don’t like … I don’t like it when Andrew McCabe lied, either. And so, I don’t think that we should —

CUOMO: But he’s not my President. … He’s not my president. And he was punished.

[…]

SCHLAPP: He’s getting rewarded, too.

CUOMO: Oh, why? Because he works at CNN?

SCHLAPP: Well I’m just saying, look, you shouldn’t get on your high horse about who’s lying and not lying.

It was like Fredo had went on a night time fishing expedition

Today, Erik Wemple is back at flinging truth bombs at the media establishment with CNN glimpses its future with Andrew McCabe. It is grim.

Conservative commentators on CNN will likely copy Schlapp’s polemical handiwork, because it is 100 percent legitimate…

[The facts of McCabe’s lies] would undergird any indictment against McCabe. To understand their implications for CNN’s decision to hire the former FBI official, consider the network’s calling card in the age of Trump. It’s all about truth and the facts. Trump abuses them; CNN upholds them. “He lies all the time,” said host Chris Cuomo in a March segment. “Trump’s lies are getting bolder and the press is stuck in the middle,” reads the headline on a July article by Brian Stelter, whose “Reliable Sources” show has returned again and again to the topic of the president’s mendacity. CNN recently hired fact-checking superstar Daniel Dale, who specializes in quick and definitive Trump-debunkings.

Four years of truth-squadding Trump, you might suppose, would vest CNN with a firm aversion to hiring people with credibility problems. Apparently not, however. We asked CNN if those who hired McCabe reviewed the inspector general’s report, among other inquiries. The network didn’t provide an on-the-record response.

This month, Fox News announced the hiring of former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders as a contributor, despite her lies from the White House lectern. In a Sunday segment on “Reliable Sources,” Stelter asked guest commentator Irin Carmon whether critics were correct to equate these two cable-news moves. “Of course there’s a difference,” responded Carmon. “Andrew McCabe is going to bring serious expertise with respect to the FBI and investigations. And he in no way was accused of standing in front of the American people and lying to them. He was accused of lack of candor in talking about talking to the press.” As standards go, this one is a doozy: McCabe merely lied to his colleagues about a matter of great public interest, so it’s fine that CNN hired him.

Wemple is correct. For a network that that has been at the forefront of pushing every anti-Trump story imaginable, some true but mostly false, the hiring of a guy who lied to his boss and then blamed his subordinates for his own act as an authority on anything is just grotesque. The only thing that would make this more entertaining would be to have Don Lemon wipe a viscous wad of smegma on McCabe upper lip on camera.

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