Former New York Times journalist Jim Gerth’s scathing criticism of the legacy media’s coverage of the Trump-Russia probe was vindicated Monday after Special Counsel John Durham released his long-anticipated report which concluded that the FBI should never have launched the collusion investigation.
In January, Gerth authored a blockbuster retrospective published by the liberal media watchdog Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) which examined several news organizations and their various roles in elevating Russiagate.
“People have asked me ‘Well, what’s the most sensational thing you found or what’s the most important thing you found?’ And my answer is, it’s the sum total of all the things that I found that were the most important, as opposed to one single bad story,” Gerth told Substack journalist Aaron Maté in February. “It’s really a pattern of either continuing to report the story with the slant of there being this narrative of cooperation or collusion or some connection between Trump’s world and the Russians and the interference that the Russians were doing.”
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Gerth stressed that Russiagate had “two strands,” which were Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and alleged connections between Russia and the Trump campaign,” and how news organizations “conflated” the two strands because in isolation, “neither of them are quite as strong as portrayed.”
His reporting particularly took aim at his former employer, the Times, pointing to a consequential report published in February 2017 that alleged “intercepted calls show that members of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election” according to anonymous officials.
Gerth told Maté that he had never seen a Times story get such public pushback, notably from former FBI Director Jim Comey, and that “it’s a mystery to this day,” who the Times relied on for its sourcing.
The veteran journalist also knocked the media’s “schizophrenic attitude” towards the Russia probe and the infamous Steele dossier, pointing out how most outlets “didn’t bite” before the 2016 election but did so after.
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“So here you had sources, in this case Fusion GPS, the research firm in Washington, and Christopher Steele, the former MI6 spy in the UK, as sources for news organizations,” Gerth said. “And so not only were the news organizations protecting their identity in this, who they were getting this information from, but they weren’t able to tell their readers anything about the relationship.”
He later continued, “So it went into the extreme- you have, ‘oh my gosh, someone who might become president of the United States is an active Kremlin agent that has been for five years.’ At the other end of the spectrum, is that ‘This is a bunch of garbage, and it’s being paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the DNC. But we can’t report any of that part of the spectrum. We can just report what the findings are, the sensational findings.'”
Durham’s 306-page report asserted that the FBI and DOJ veered from its own standards by pursuing what was dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane” based on “raw, unanalyzed and uncorroborated intelligence.”
Source – https://www.foxnews.com/media/flashback-ex-nyt-writer-skewers-medias-coverage-russiagate-ahead-durham-report
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