The new Times origin story

On New Year’s Eve I read and briefly commented on that day’s big “news” reported by the New York Times in its new Russia/Trump collusion story. The Times reported that that the previously obscure Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos was the man who kicked off the putative case. Credited to six reporters, the Times headlined its page-one story is “How the Russia inquiry began: A campaign aide, drinks and talk of political dirt.”

I thought the story was ludicrous on its face and said as much. I said that the Times had lost the thread on its preferred narrative as attention turned to the apparent wrongdoing related to the Steele/Trump dossier. I thought that the authorities inside the Obama administration who took advantage of it were seeking to cover their tracks. In its story the Times sought to lend a hand.

I stayed on the surface of the story. Now Andrew McCarthy puts it in the full context that it deserves. His NRO column on the Times story is “As the dossier scandal looms, the New York Times struggles to save its collusion tale.”

In his column McCarthy shows the Times sending its previous origin story down the memory hole. The Times has sent it down the memory hole in order to rewrite the history it previously served up. The Times has a new origin story in the putative collusion case. Where once was Carter Page, now is George Papadopoulos.

What is going on here? Like the diligent workers in Orwell’s Ministry of Truth, the Times is serving the needs of the Party. It loves Big Brother. It is working hard on his behalf.

Let us give credit where credit is due. Scott Shane, Mark Mazzetti, and Adam Goldman shared the byline on the old Times origin story this past April; Nicholas Confessore, Andrew E. Kramer and Michael S. Schmidt contributed reporting and Kitty Bennett contributed research on it.

Sharon LaFraniere, Mark Mazzetti, and Matt Apuzzo shared the byline on the new Times origin story; Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Matthew Rosenberg contributed reporting. The Times omits explicit recognition of the reporter who sent the old Times origin story down the memory hole.

My friend Andy’s column is a devastating piece of work. It contributes to our understanding of the disinformation in which the collusion story is mired. It demonstrates the role played by the Times in disseminating story lines and serving the needs of the Party. Together with his other columns on the putative collusion case, it deserves some kind of an award. Please read the whole thing here.

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