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March 29, 2019

Lee Smith: The Russia Conspiracy Theory is an "Extinction-Level Event" for the Media's Make-Pretend "Expert Class"

This is an interesting point I haven't seen anyone else make explicitly.

It's not just "the media." We can all agree the media is lazy, dishonest, corrupt, and incompetent.

But the part of paid political operation called "the media" that is most damaged by the Russia Conspiracy is the system of using alleged "experts" to endlessly "fill in the gaps" of reported facts with speculation and what they're supposedly hearing, maybe, from their Also Expert Inside Sources.

There is some truth to the media's defense of its repulsively dishonest and incompetent reporting that its actual reporting of facts had something like a 75% accuracy rate. Not all that great, especially considering most facts the media reports are on-the-record public statements and press releases, stuff a stenographer would get right.

But it is true that as far as reporting what few facts there were in the Russia Hoax story, they got most of those right. About 75%. With 25% of their reportage of "facts" being spectacularly, comically wrong.

But the media did not have many facts throughout this case. And yet they filled up thousands and thousands of TV segments and print stories the past year -- 500,000+, one accounting finds.

How did they fill up those minutes, those column inches?

With speculation from alleged "experts" in the intelligence community, who would offer their wild-ass guesses which were always subtly hinted to be the Real Scoop coming from Insiders.

In fact, often these experts would explicitly claim their information was coming from the inside.

This has now all been revealed to have been an enormous lie from beginning to end -- they never had any Anonymous Clandestine Inside Sources who knew the whole story, they weren't just dribbling out vague hints (much like QAnon, actually!) based off what their own personal Deep Throats were telling them.




Making Shit Up.


And Monetizing It.

For the Greedy to Profit off the Gullible.

They had no more inside information than a third-tier blogger. And I happen to know for a fact that some first-tier bloggers knew, and let me stress that word, KNEW, K-N-E-W, a great deal more than these alleged experts.

Knew, I'm saying. Not speculated or even deduced. KNEW.

But the "Experts" nominated by the leftwing media to fill in the gaps and knowledge with partisan, anti-Trump/NeverTrump wishcasting didn't know a damn thing.

Not a damn thing.

But still, they talked and talked and talked and talked and guessed and speculated and predicted and hinted and suggested and implied and promised and guaranteed and warned and threatened and talked and talked and talked anyway.

This is what is being criticized in the media coverage of this story -- not the once sentence of actual information the media had about the story, on average, per day.

But the sixty pages of complete hack made-up wishcasting bullshit, all coming from the same political perspective and agenda, no "right vs. left" here, that the media then added every single f***ing miserable repetitive day to its one sentence of information to pad out its Narrative and make three blocks per hourlong show out of.

Russiagate was an information operation from the beginning, in which dozens of individual reporters and institutions actively partnered with paid political operatives like Glenn Simpson and corrupt law enforcement and intelligence officials like former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and senior DOJ official Bruce Ohr to smear Trump and his circle, and then to topple him. None of what went on the last two years would have been possible without the press, an indispensable partner in the biggest political scandal in a generation.

The campaign was waged not in hidden corners of the internet, but rather by the country’s most prestigious news organizations--including, but not only, The New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC. The farce that has passed for public discourse the last two years was fueled by a concerted effort of the media and the pundit class to obscure gaping holes in logic as well as law. And yet, they all appeared to be credible because the institutions sustaining them are credible.

Michael McFaul was U.S. ambassador to Moscow--he knows everything about Russia. He wouldn’t invent stuff about national security matters out of thin air. Jane Mayer is a national treasure, one of America’s greatest living journalists who penned a long profile of Christopher Steele in the pages of the New Yorker. Susan Hennessy is a former intelligence community lawyer, who appears as an expert on TV. And how about her colleague at the Lawfare blog, Benjamin Wittes, a Brookings Institution fellow and a personal friend of James Comey? You think he didn’t have the inside dope, every time he posted a "Boom" GIF on Twitter predicting the final nail just about to be hammered in Trump’s coffin?

Many more jumped on the dog pile along with them, validating each other's tweets and breathless insider sourcing. The point was to thicken the echo chamber, with voices from the right as well as the left in order to make it seem real. Hey, if this many experts are saying so, there must be something to it.

Except, there wasn't--ever.

I keep returning to Lee Smith's seminal piece, Fusion GPS Illuminates the Brave New World of Manufactured News for Hire.

We're living in a cyberpunk world where the "news" isn't the news, it's commercial advertisements for corporations and information ops paid for by political parties put into a form resembling that of what we used to call "news," bought and paid for by deep-pocketed interested parties.

"The News Media" is now just a delivery medium for these paid commercial advertisements and information ops slightly rewritten to resemble dispassionately-gathered news.

That said, alleged "reporters" are also complicit, of course:

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posted by Ace of Spades at 12:06 PM

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