by WorldTribune Staff, February 21, 2020
The allure of another Red Scare was just too enticing for the Gray Lady.
Last summer, Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, said that, after the Mueller report, the paper had to shift the focus of its coverage from the Trump-Russia affair to the president’s alleged racism.
“We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well,” Baquet said. “Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story.”[No mention was made then of the paper’s refusal to return the Pulitzer Prize won by its infamous Moscow correspondent Walter Duranty who covered up the Soviets’ genocide of an estimated 10 million by famine in Ukraine. He wrote at the time: ““Any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda.”]
Related: Press foundation: Pulitzer prizes awarded jointly to NY Times, Washington Post should be returned, March 26, 2019
On Thursday, the Times went back to what Baquet claimed it did so well. The story was headlined: “Russia Backs Trump’s Re-election, and He Fears Democrats Will Exploit Its Support”.
The NY Times report said: “Intelligence officials warned House lawmakers last week that Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump re-elected, five people familiar with the matter said, a disclosure to Congress that angered Mr. Trump, who complained that Democrats would use it against him.”
RedState columnist streiff noted: “It is only February and already The New York Times is trying to gin up yet another the-Russians-helped-elect-Trump hoax.”
The Times article, no doubt another “bombshell” for CNN and MSNBC to devour, continued:
The day after the Feb. 13 briefing to lawmakers, Mr. Trump berated Joseph Maguire, the outgoing acting director of national intelligence, for allowing it to take place, people familiar with the exchange said. Mr. Trump cited the presence in the briefing of Representative Adam B. Schiff, the California Democrat who led the impeachment proceedings against him, as a particular irritant.
During the briefing to the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Trump’s allies challenged the conclusions, arguing that he has been tough on Russia and strengthened European security. Some intelligence officials viewed the briefing as a tactical error, saying that had the official who delivered the conclusion spoken less pointedly or left it out, they would have avoided angering the Republicans.
That intelligence official, Shelby Pierson, is an aide to Mr. Maguire who has a reputation of delivering intelligence in somewhat blunt terms. The president announced on Wednesday that he was replacing Mr. Maguire with Richard Grenell, the ambassador to Germany and long an aggressively vocal Trump supporter.
Streiff noted that, in the article, “there is no mention from any of the Democrat leakers about what this information is. In fact, there is a great deal of evidence that this Shelby Pierson person didn’t have any specifics”
The Times article goes on to state: “Both Republicans and Democrats asked the intelligence agencies to hand over the underlying material that prompted their conclusion that Russia again is favoring Mr. Trump’s election.”
The Washington Post described it this way: “Other people familiar with the briefing described it as a contentious re-litigating of a previous intelligence assessment that Russia interfered in 2016 to help Trump. Republican members asked why the Russians would want to help Trump when he has levied punishing sanctions on their country, and they challenged Pierson to back up her claim with evidence. It is unclear how she responded.”
Streiff noted: “How in the name of all that’s Holy could anyone know what was said to this Pierson person and not know how she responded?”
The RedState columnist pointed out that the article ultimately amounts to nothing more than House Democrats attempting to build another Russian interference narrative. “Most of the article is devoted to a primal fear that Richard Grenell is about to shut off the leaks that the Intelligence Community has been using to damage Trump for four years.”
Streiff added: “At no point do we have any indication what level of confidence the agencies who have sniffed out this alleged assistance to Trump from Russia have in their assessments, nor do we know how strong the IC consensus is. Since Truth has been ritually buggered to death at the New York Times, it is not surprising that they’ve now set out to administer death by boho to Irony.”
The Times’ Thursday article states: “After asking about the briefing that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and other agencies gave to the House, Mr. Trump complained that Mr. Schiff would ‘weaponize’ the intelligence about Russia’s support for him, according to a person familiar with the briefing. And he was angry that no one had told him sooner about the briefing, the person said.”
Streiff noted: “Really? Why would he ever think that Adam Schiff would lie about stuff to damage him? What could the man be thinking to imagine that this briefing would be leaked by Democrats to the New York Times which would run it under the headline Russia Backs Trump’s Re-election, and He Fears Democrats Will Exploit Its Support?
“We don’t know if the departure of Acting DNI Joseph Maguire is linked to this but we can hope. Anyone with this degree of political tone-deafness should not only be fired but perhaps exiled to an islet in the Aleutians. Pierson, who actually chairs the committee that is supposed to protect the 2020 election, comes across as either a partisan or an idiot or both. One of Grenell’s first actions should be to appoint someone who is not a lackwit to that position.”
The bottom line, Streiff wrote, “is that there is absolutely nothing in the story that supports the headline and a lot to indicate that the headline is just the New York Times dusting off 2017 headlines in a search of relevance. What is clear is that our Intelligence Community is not staffed with impartial, big-brained analysts, it is packed to the gills with highly partisan political operatives, like Eric Ciaramella, who dish intelligence to forward their domestic political agenda and high IQ goobers who don’t seem to realize that their consequence-free guesswork is dangerous.”
But, as some observers noted, if you cover something “truly well,” why not stick with it — even it’s complete bullsh–.