As the corporate press continues fecklessly insisting the public ‘just trust’ the unnamed officials and anonymous sources it perpetually cites when running shock reports on the inner dealings of government, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — acting authority in the Russia probe, thanks to Jeff Sessions’ recusal — stunningly warned the public it must remain “skeptical about anonymous allegations.”
People should be wary of “accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous ‘officials,’ particularly when they do not identify the country — let alone the branch or agency of government — with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated,” Rosenstein admonished late Thursday. “The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations.”
Without elaborating on the abrupt need for the warning — one which savvier members of the public and independent media have long been cognizant — Rosentein’s statement followed a Washington Post piece on an investigation headed by Department of Justice special counsel Robert Mueller into President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and possible connections to Russian meddling in the election.
Indeed, this warning also rides the coattails of a now-voluminous cache of articles from the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and other once-illustrious media organizations, touting — as if steel truth — unnamed and thus unverifiable officials who promise it was The Russians interfering in the U.S. presidential elections who manipulated public perception to sway the vote for Donald Trump.
But the irony and magnanimous hypocrisy of the corporate-backed press didn’t end with reporting Rosenstein’s warning.
CNN, in an article on the deputy AG’s statement, ridiculously upped the hilarity factor, citing not only another anonymous source, but one putatively from inside — wait for it — the Department of Justice.
“A Justice Department official — who declined to speak on the record — told CNN that the White House didn’t order Rosenstein’s statement. The same official said Rosenstein was upset about disparaging stories that may deter people from working in government.
“The official added that Rosenstein was troubled by attacks on Mueller that he saw as unfair.”
In short, CNN — in reporting on a named DOJ official’s warning not to trust reports citing unnamed officials — cited an unnamed official from the DOJ.
Is this real life?
Of course, mainstream presstitutes immediately balked, offended Rosenstein would have the gall to discredit quotes from anonymous officials, warning, as New York Times reporter, Maggie Haberman, tweeted,
“Have literally never seen a statement like this.”
Have literally never seen a statement like this https://t.co/94zbnIqsVc
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) June 16, 2017
Associated Press reporter Jonathan Lemire joined the fracas in a skeptical tweet, including the warning in question:
“What an odd statement – that feels consistent with the White House’s recent war on leaks.”
What an odd statement – that feels consistent with the White House’s recent war on leaks pic.twitter.com/Ci1CZ3uE7I
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) June 16, 2017
Further, Zero Hedge recounted, “As the NYT reported this morning, the ‘statement aligned with the president’s open frustration with unflattering leaks. Mr. Trump has called stories about the investigation “fake news” and complained on Twitter about a Washington Post report on Wednesday night that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, was investigating the president himself for possible obstruction of justice. That story was also attributed to unnamed sources, as was a New York Times article that same evening about Mr. Mueller’s request for interviews with three top intelligence officials.’”
For all intents and purposes, it appears the collective body of corporate media has reached critical mass in its war on the independent and right-leaning press through damning accusations of ties to the Russian Federation — delivered primarily in attacks calling uncomfortable reports derived from emails published by WikiLeaks during the election cycle as Fake News.
Make no mistake about it, recent efforts by social media platforms like Facebook and search engines like Google — fully supported by the aforementioned mainstream media — to ostensively combat Fake News have been tinged with the brazen and barely covert campaign to summarily quash both dissent and truthful articles which place the political establishment in a negative light it earned in actions it believed would never endure the intense spotlight of public scrutiny.
In fact, as has been analyzed umpteen times by alternative media journalists worth their salt, the failed presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton could not possibly be blamed on as-yet unassailably proven and murky claims about Russian Hackers — but should inarguably be attributed to corruption, collusion, and general lack of scruples evinced in caches of documents WikiLeaks published pertaining to Clinton, her campaign chair, John Podesta, and the Democratic National Committee.
Worse, those same aforementioned media goliaths featured prominently in myriad leaked documents, being wooed by the Clinton campaign for ramped up support of the Democrat Party and downplaying support for Bernie Sanders — including at least one writer for Politico who ran stories by Democratic officials prior to submitting pieces to the editor for publication.
By this point, if you don’t see the trend and its purpose for the blatant propaganda campaign they are — altogether an opaque morass of consternation for Donald Trump, The Russians, WikiLeaks, indie media, and, perhaps, the hapless American public — you simply aren’t paying attention.
“This latest astounding deviation from the facts, however, makes indisputably clear the weaponization of news. Journalists and media outlets make mistakes from time to time, but a pattern and practice of publishing unfounded, unverified, and fraudulent articles cannot be characterized simply as irresponsible.
“We are in the midst of an information war of epic proportions — led haplessly astray of the truth with the Post leading the way — and it’s a dangerous and frightening portent of things to come, not the least of which will be propagandized truth and heavy-handed censorship.”
This battle for the truth cannot go unaddressed by responsible journalists, much less be permitted to flounder into obscurity by those too confused or gullible to simply accept the ramblings of mainstream media’s vow to provide truthful reporting — when supposed truthful reporting cites unnamed officials as if no one in politics received a name at birth.
Rather than foisting responsibility for reading all news items onto the mendacious mainstream press, or viewing them with a degree of skepticism — whether published by corporate-funded outlets or struggling independent media start-ups — it would behoove the American people to take a moment when perusing articles to verify with secondary sources.
Perform searches on Google — or, better still, less politically-affiliated search engines, like DuckDuckGo. Doubt veracity, when a report from WaPo or the NYT hinge solely on statements from officials whose names and, often, agencies we’ll never be privy to.
Allowing the censorship of easily-verifiable information under the premise the outlet is lesser known and so must be Fake News negates not only the journalistic integrity of outlets with the courage to refute actual misinformation disseminated by the corporate press governmental mouthpieces, but firmly seeds future censorship of information incidentally damning to whatever political regime controls the U.S. government.
Why is this central to a free and transparent society?
Because without taking personal responsibility for the information media dishes out, we guarantee at some future point State-run media will be the only organizations left to spoon feed topics it wants and demands we believe — whether or not those articles are indeed the fakest of Fake News.
This work by The Last American Vagabond is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, and may be reposted as is, with attribution to the author and TheLastAmericanVagabond.com. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at Ryan@thelastamericanvagabond.com.