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SaintForLife

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I figured we needed a thread specifically about the media.

There was a very big correction recently by the Washington Post.

That story was supposedly "independently confirmed" by CNN, NBC News, USA Today, ABC News, & PBS News Hour. How could they all have gotten the quote wrong if they actually independently confirmed the story?



Why do all the errors always go in one political direction and not closer to 50/50?
 

Xeno

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Where's the evidence anything that SFL posted was part of Russia's campaign? Or are we relying on "independent sources" to tell us that's true? Not sure listening to someone whose career was built working for Russian media is best practice when discussing possible illicit Russian activities.
 

DaveXA

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Where's the evidence anything that SFL posted was part of Russia's campaign? Or are we relying on "independent sources" to tell us that's true? Not sure listening to someone whose career was built working for Russian media is best practice when discussing possible illicit Russian activities.

I'm really not seeing it myself. We've seen tons of dubious sources from all sides eventually get completely discredited. So I'm really hesitant buy into any Russia conspiracy theories and what not. The supposed intelligence community sources have often turned out to be nothing, so I'm certainly suspicious of unsubstantiated media reports with unnamed or untrustworthy sources. That's a large part of the reason I haven't read much on this topic for several months. The stories keep changing and previously reliable sources are no longer credible in some cases.

I'm at the point where I'm just content to let the authorities in the know deal with it. My opinion ultimately doesn't matter anyway.

I have no doubt Russia is a bad actor in a lot of situations, but nailing all that down is easier said than done.
 

MT15

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Goalpost moving, an illustration:
It started out that there were no contacts with Russians. Oops, there were. A lot.

Then, well they didn’t really work with them. Oops, there were secret meetings between Russians and the Trump campaign. Data changed hands during these meetings.

Then, well, we don’t really know the guy was Russian intelligence. Oops, both the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee report and now the Treasury Dept say he is a Russian Intelligence officer, and Treasury says he fed the data straight to his boss.

Then, this data doesn’t really matter, it’s not important, or it was public knowledge. Oops, the Trump campaign boasted about its extensive individual voter data. They claimed they could target voters likely to be “got” with unprecedented precision. Their FB ads and contacts with voters were so individualized that nobody really knows what they said or who they targeted. And this trove of data (who to target, which voting precincts were most important) was delivered directly to Russian intelligence. And due to FB being so lax about everything, we have no clue what Russia did with it.

Anyone who thinks that the few ads released were the extent of it is just being naive. Russia just pulled off a huge hack of nearly our entire internet that went undiscovered for a year or so and people think the few clumsy ads that FB gave up were all they could muster? Give me a break. FB doesn’t want anyone to know what they did almost as much as Trump. Probably the American intelligence community doesn’t want the ads released either. They would rather keep everyone guessing about what they know.

As for whether it’s true that there was outright collusion, we have no reason to doubt it. Trump himself showed it is true by his actions. He was willing to fire Comey, wanted badly to fire Mueller, ordered false documents be put in the record, in other words, he blatantly committed obstruction of justice to cover it up. He lied, to a man his minions lied, every single one, he corruptly pardoned his co-conspirators. His behavior was that of a guilty man. He should be in jail right now and so should Stone and Manafort. Throw away the key.
 

bdb13

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Do you think we should believe evidence-free claims from the intelligence agencies or even the Treasury Department?
No (I'm uninformed regarding the claims of evidence or lack thereof here), but I try to stay agnostic on this stuff when it's not clear to me, and I don't think the evidence is so stacked in the favor of the Trump campaign that the more correct attitude to hold instead is to just be generally dismissive of it all.

There have certainly been aspects of this investigation and all that I didn't like either and have expressed those thoughts here previously... But I also don't think it's likely this has all been entirely fabricated either.
 
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SaintForLife

SaintForLife

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Where's the evidence anything that SFL posted was part of Russia's campaign? Or are we relying on "independent sources" to tell us that's true? Not sure listening to someone whose career was built working for Russian media is best practice when discussing possible illicit Russian activities.
Two reports prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee and released on Monday shed some light on how Russia does it. The reports identify some of the most popular of the images and themes created by the Internet Research Agency, which is based in St. Petersburg, Russia, and owned by a businessman with close ties to President Vladimir V. Putin.

You act like he was working for Russian State Media.


Taibbi began as a freelance reporter in the former Soviet Union, including a period in Uzbekistan, from where he was deported for criticizing President Islam Karimov. Taibbi later worked as a sports journalist for the English-language newspaper The Moscow Times. He also played professional baseball in Uzbekistan and Russia as well as professional basketball in Mongolia. Taibbi also worked for a short time as an investigator at a Boston-based private detective agency. In 1997, he moved back to Russia to edit the tabloid Living Here, but eventually left to co-edit rival tabloid The eXile. Taibbi returned to the United States in 2002 and founded the Buffalo-based newspaper The Beast. He left in 2003 to work as a columnist for the New York Press. In 2004, Taibbi began covering politics for Rolling Stone.[3][4]
 

bdb13

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Where's the evidence anything that SFL posted was part of Russia's campaign? Or are we relying on "independent sources" to tell us that's true? Not sure listening to someone whose career was built working for Russian media is best practice when discussing possible illicit Russian activities.
Two reports prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee and released on Monday shed some light on how Russia does it. The reports identify some of the most popular of the images and themes created by the Internet Research Agency, which is based in St. Petersburg, Russia, and owned by a businessman with close ties to President Vladimir V. Putin.

You act like he was working for Russian State Media.


Taibbi began as a freelance reporter in the former Soviet Union, including a period in Uzbekistan, from where he was deported for criticizing President Islam Karimov. Taibbi later worked as a sports journalist for the English-language newspaper The Moscow Times. He also played professional baseball in Uzbekistan and Russia as well as professional basketball in Mongolia. Taibbi also worked for a short time as an investigator at a Boston-based private detective agency. In 1997, he moved back to Russia to edit the tabloid Living Here, but eventually left to co-edit rival tabloid The eXile. Taibbi returned to the United States in 2002 and founded the Buffalo-based newspaper The Beast. He left in 2003 to work as a columnist for the New York Press. In 2004, Taibbi began covering politics for Rolling Stone.[3][4]
Oh wow, didn't know that.
 

wardorican

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Independently verified should mean that the New York Times and the Washington Post both confirmed the story with different sources and/or an additional news outlets did their own investigation.

What it really means nowadays is that the same source talked to multiple news outlets. It's not independently confirming the story if you talk to same dishonest source. The news outlets saying they independently confirmed the story gives it additional credibility, but it's just a dishonest trick the media employs quite often.

The CIA has a long history of lies and deceit. Do you really think calling and asking the CIA if something is true qualifies as confirming the story?
Yes.

Seriously, how else would they confirm it? Infiltrate the Russian military or various ME terrorist groups? Like a journalist James Bond?

Knowing that they will have to rely on government contacts, helps you know that it could be propaganda. That's a key part of media literacy.
 

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Here is a pretty well balanced piece on the whole Trump/Russia issue. If you have a tendency to put Matt Taibbi on a pedestal, thinking he always knows what he is talking about, it’s useful to read this piece. It presents both sides of the reporting, which you definitely won’t get from Taibbi. It correctly points out the flaws in his methods. It’s a bit dated, but a well written piece, IMO. He gives credit when he thinks Taibbi is right, but criticizes him for his ridiculous takes as well, and there are lots of ridiculous takes from Taibbi, who is described as “reckless” journalistically.


An excerpt:
‘You may remember that tales of yellowcake uranium helped fuel the idea that Saddam Hussein had WMDs and Taibbi’s yellowcake for the Mueller era is… wait for it… the Steele dossier. “It’s the Magna Carta of #Russiagate,” Taibbi writes. Nice try. That’s succinct, catchy and demonstrably wrong. It’s also silly, because Taibbi admits in his own essay that his understanding is that the “origin tale” of how investigations into Trump and Russia began “has not been nailed down yet.” But that’s not true either. A lot of it has been squared away and Taibbi can read about it here, here, here and herefor a small sampling. He just needs to Google the name “George Papadopoulos,” the former Trump foreign policy adviser whose meetings and conversations originally set the Trump-Russia probe in motion, instead of “Christopher Steele.”

If anyone wants a quick primer on how comical and irresponsible it is to keep identifying the Steele dossier as a springboard for everything that’s wrong with the Mueller probe, Fox News’s Chris Wallace offers a recent tutorial here in which he takes Rush Limbaugh, the right-wing talk show host, to task for the same court jestering.

Taibbi is more sophisticated than Davis but he cherry-picks his examples and largely ignores Mueller’s damning indictment of Russian hackers and the great reporting that preceded that. People who should know better have avidly linked to Taibbi’s essay as if it were the Rosetta Stone rather than an entertaining screed laced with mistakes, thematic fault-lines and curious cop-outs.’
 

MT15

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TL/DR

My opinion on Taibbi is that he isn’t really a journalist as I like to think of them. He’s an opinion hawker. He gets an opinion, sometimes really early in a developing story, and then he works as hard as a blacksmith to hammer the facts and the truth to fit his opinion. He has blurred the lines between fiction and fact in his past, and been less than forthcoming about it. Not someone you want to rely on for straightforward facts. Like most people, he’s a bit complicated. So, if you read him, treat it as reading an op-ed always, whether it’s labeled as opinion or not.
 

SaulGoodmanEsq

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Even if Russia didn't have some hand in Trump's ascendancy, they achieved quite a lot from it. From that perspective I don't think the debate over whether they did or did not have a hand in it is useful.
 

DaveXA

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Even if Russia didn't have some hand in Trump's ascendancy, they achieved quite a lot from it. From that perspective I don't think the debate over whether they did or did not have a hand in it is useful.

Yeah, tbh, we made it possible much more than they did. We ultimately were the ones that voted him in. So blaming Russia is kinda like ignoring the big arse log in our own eye.
 

SaulGoodmanEsq

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Yeah, tbh, we made it possible much more than they did. We ultimately were the ones that voted him in. So blaming Russia is kinda like ignoring the big arse log in our own eye.
51JxDTVIwdL._SX218_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_ML2_.jpg
 

MT15

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I’m short on time but after skimming this is a good read on the Russian bounty story. Turns out it wasn’t actually walked back and it wasn’t only based on the word of detained people.

 
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SaintForLife

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Yes.

Seriously, how else would they confirm it? Infiltrate the Russian military or various ME terrorist groups? Like a journalist James Bond?

Knowing that they will have to rely on government contacts, helps you know that it could be propaganda. That's a key part of media literacy.
My 1st paragraph that you responded to answered your question.
 
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SaintForLife

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I’m short on time but after skimming this is a good read on the Russian bounty story. Turns out it wasn’t actually walked back and it wasn’t only based on the word of detained people.

The sourcing of that article is "I'm led to believe that the CIA's basis for this assessment has five key foundations." Seriously? Who led him to believe what he's claiming? Very weak attempt to resuscitate the discredited bounty story.

 
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SaintForLife

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Here is a pretty well balanced piece on the whole Trump/Russia issue. If you have a tendency to put Matt Taibbi on a pedestal, thinking he always knows what he is talking about, it’s useful to read this piece. It presents both sides of the reporting, which you definitely won’t get from Taibbi. It correctly points out the flaws in his methods. It’s a bit dated, but a well written piece, IMO. He gives credit when he thinks Taibbi is right, but criticizes him for his ridiculous takes as well, and there are lots of ridiculous takes from Taibbi, who is described as “reckless” journalistically.


An excerpt:
‘You may remember that tales of yellowcake uranium helped fuel the idea that Saddam Hussein had WMDs and Taibbi’s yellowcake for the Mueller era is… wait for it… the Steele dossier. “It’s the Magna Carta of #Russiagate,” Taibbi writes. Nice try. That’s succinct, catchy and demonstrably wrong. It’s also silly, because Taibbi admits in his own essay that his understanding is that the “origin tale” of how investigations into Trump and Russia began “has not been nailed down yet.” But that’s not true either. A lot of it has been squared away and Taibbi can read about it here, here, here and herefor a small sampling. He just needs to Google the name “George Papadopoulos,” the former Trump foreign policy adviser whose meetings and conversations originally set the Trump-Russia probe in motion, instead of “Christopher Steele.”

If anyone wants a quick primer on how comical and irresponsible it is to keep identifying the Steele dossier as a springboard for everything that’s wrong with the Mueller probe, Fox News’s Chris Wallace offers a recent tutorial here in which he takes Rush Limbaugh, the right-wing talk show host, to task for the same court jestering.

Taibbi is more sophisticated than Davis but he cherry-picks his examples and largely ignores Mueller’s damning indictment of Russian hackers and the great reporting that preceded that. People who should know better have avidly linked to Taibbi’s essay as if it were the Rosetta Stone rather than an entertaining screed laced with mistakes, thematic fault-lines and curious cop-outs.’
First of all it's funny that you are using an op-ed to try to discredit Taibbi who you claim is just an opinion hawker. One of your favorite criticisms of articles I post is that it's an opinion and not to be taken as true.

O'Brien claims that Taibbi cherry picks things, but O'Brien cherry picks in his article.


I’d take issue with Glenn Greenwald’s worry that flawed reporting about Russians zapping the U.S. embassy in Cuba with a weird microwave weapon really contributed to “exaggerating the grave threat posed by Moscow.”


That was #6 out of 10 on his list and 1-5 were much more impact full, but I guess it was easier to highlight #6 to fit with O'Brien's narrative. Greenwald article goes into detail on 10 examples of the media getting big Russia stories wrong.


Taibbi is a provocative, vivid, gutsy and reckless writer. He once published a book about Trump and the 2016 presidential campaign titled “Insane Clown President,” in which he describes Trump as “one of the world’s most corrupt and personally repulsive individuals,” someone who acts “like Hitler one minute and Andrew Dice Clay the next.”

Other than describing the president as a “crook with money,” Taibbi’s book doesn’t detail the sources of Trump’s corruption. He apparently doesn’t think it has anything to do with Russia.



Taibbi’s book Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus was about Trump and the 2016 election. So O'Brien is criticizing Taibbi for not digging into Trump's finances in regards to Russia despite Taibbi stating Trump was corrupt. Yawn

He argues that because Mueller ended his investigation without indicting Trump for collusion, the media’s coverage propagated a myth as ruinous as the weapons of mass destruction reporting that helped launch the Iraq War. (He cautions that he could be proven wrong later, and he writes without the Mueller report in hand, which violates the sober-minded reporting guidelines he accuses the media of violating, but whatever.)

I don't see any comparison to what Taibbi said below compared to what he's criticizing the media for. Taibbi lays out in exhausting detail how the media embarrassed themselves throughout Russiagate. I don't see how O'Brien can claim he's reckless for what he says below.

As has long been rumored, the former FBI chief’s independent probe will result in multiple indictments and convictions, but no “presidency-wrecking” conspiracy charges, or anything that would meet the layman’s definition of “collusion” with Russia.

With the caveat that even this news might somehow turn out to be botched, the key detail in the many stories about the end of the Mueller investigation was best expressed by the New York Times:


A senior Justice Department official said that Mr. Mueller would not recommend new indictments.


The Steele report was the Magna Carta of #Russiagate. It provided the implied context for thousands of news stories to come, yet no journalist was ever able to confirm its most salacious allegations: the five year cultivation plan, the blackmail, the bribe from Sechin, the Prague trip, the pee romp, etc. In metaphorical terms, we were unable to independently produce Steele’s results in the lab. Failure to reckon with this corrupted the narrative from the start.

For years, every hint the dossier might be true became a banner headline, while every time doubt was cast on Steele’s revelations, the press was quiet. Washington Post reporter Greg Miller had a team looking for evidence Cohen had been in Prague. Reporters, Miller said, “literally spent weeks and months trying to run down” the Cohen story.


That sounds completely reasonable to me.

Taibbi is more sophisticated than Davis but he cherry-picks his examples and largely ignores Mueller’s damning indictment of Russian hackers and the great reporting that preceded that. People who should know better have avidly linked to Taibbi’s essay as if it were the Rosetta Stone rather than an entertaining screed laced with mistakes, thematic fault-lines and curious cop-outs.

😆 okay sure


I would suggest reading Taibbi’s article I posted above and this one and make your own conclusions. O'Brien doesn't know what he's talking about.

 
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