Profiles in Media Hypocrisy

The theme yesterday was that it is terrible that Trump might expose the foreign source of invaluable intelligence to the Russians. But the New York Times, annoyed that the Post scooped them, reports just a little while ago:

Israel Said to Be Source of Secret Intelligence Trump Gave to Russia

WASHINGTON — The classified intelligence that President Trump disclosed in a meeting last week with Russian officials at the White House was provided by Israel, according to a current and a former American official familiar with how the United States obtained the information. The revelation adds a potential diplomatic complication to the episode.

Israel is one of the United States’ most important allies and a major intelligence collector in the Middle East. The revelation that Mr. Trump boasted about some of Israel’s most sensitive information to the Russians could damage the relationship between the two countries. It also raises the possibility that the information could be passed to Iran, Russia’s close ally and Israel’s main threat in the Middle East.

Let’s just stop right here. It should be emphasized again that yesterday the media was falling all over itself to declare how terrible it was that Trump had compromised a source. Today’s media line: Oh, by the way, it was Israel.

Second, anonymous sources again? Seriously? Third, is anything in the second paragraph of this story actual news? “Could” damage the relationship with Israel? Well sure, but at least they could have provided an anonymous source to transform “could” into “will.” How hard can that be?

We owe it to Marc Thiessen at AEI to offer a compilation of previous media hypocrisy about outing classified intelligence from foreign sources:

Consider just a few illustrative examples:


Where was the outrage when The New York Times exposed the US government’s cyberattack on Iran’s nuclear program, including the fact that Obama personally ordered cyberattacks on the Iranian nuclear program using a computer virus called Stuxnet?  The Times cited as sources “members of the President’s national security team who were in the [Situation Room]” and even quoted the president asking during a top secret meeting: “Should we shut this thing down?” Only Obama’s most trusted national security advisers would have been present when he uttered those words.  One of those advisors shared highly classified intelligence with the Times.

The Stuxnet leak exposed intelligence sources and methods, including the top secret codename for the program (“Olympic Games”) and the involvement of a US ally, Israel. At one point in the Times story, a source says the Israelis were responsible for an error in the code which allowed it to replicate itself all around the world. The Times directly quotes one of the president’s briefers telling him, “We think there was a modification done by the Israelis,” adding that, “Mr. Obama, according to officials in the room, asked a series of questions, fearful that the code could do damage outside the plant. The answers came back in hedged terms. Mr. Biden fumed. ‘It’s got to be the Israelis,’ he said. ‘They went too far.’”

Where was the concern for the exposure this intelligence or the involvement of our liaison partner?  The damage this leak did — both to the operation and the trust between our two countries — is incalculable.


What about The New York Times story in 2014 revealing that the National Security Agency had developed the capability to access computers that are not connected to the Internet?

According to the Times, the NSA uses “a covert channel of radio waves that can be transmitted from tiny circuit boards and USB cards inserted surreptitiously into . . . computers” or in some cases “a briefcase-size relay station that intelligence agencies can set up miles away from the target.”  The Times reported that, “There is no evidence that the NSA has implanted its software or used its radio frequency technology inside the United States.” And the NSA confirmed that the “NSA’s activities are focused and specifically deployed against — and only against — valid foreign intelligence targets.”

So the program posed precisely zero threat to American civil liberties.  Publishing it was nothing more than engaging in “espionage porn.”  But the Times ran it anyway.  Where was the concern for national security then?

These are just Marc’s first two example. He offers five more you can find at the link above.

And yet the media wonder why so many Americans hate them?

UPDATE: And of course let’s not forgot this shining moment:

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.