The Press Piled on Nunes; Will It Now Apologize?

Mollie Hemingway performs the great service of reviewing the dueling House Intelligence Committee memos, one by Adam Schiff and one by Devin Nunes, that were released in early 2018, in light of the DOJ Inspector General’s report: “IG Report Confirms Schiff FISA Memo Media Praised Was Riddled With Lies.” Let’s stroll down memory lane to recall what Schiff claimed in the committee majority’s memo:

1. FBI and DOJ officials did not omit material information from the FISA warrant.

2. The DOJ “made only narrow use of information from Steele’s sources about Page’s specific activities in 2016.”

3. In subsequent FISA renewals, DOJ provided additional information that corroborated Steele’s reporting.

4. The Page FISA warrant allowed the FBI to collect “valuable intelligence.”

5. “Far from ‘omitting’ material facts about Steele, as the Majority claims, DOJ repeatedly informed the Court about Steele’s background, credibility, and potential bias.”

6. The FBI conducted a “rigorous process” to vet Steele’s allegations, and the Page FISA application explained the FBI’s reasonable basis for finding Steele credible.

7. Steele’s prior reporting was used in “criminal proceedings.”

All of these statements were false, as the IG’s report has determined. I don’t see how they can be termed anything other than lies.

Conversely, the Nunes memo turned out to be correct. But that isn’t how it was reported at the time. I’ve omitted Mollie’s plentiful links:

The media joined Department of Justice bureaucrats in bitterly opposing the release of the Nunes memo. The Justice Department released a letter to the press saying the action was “extraordinarily reckless,”would be “damaging” to “national security,” and would risk “damage to our intelligence community or the important work it does in safeguarding the American people.”

Then, when the report was released, the media made a variety of contradictory claims, all of them downplaying or dismissing the memo as nothing whatsoever. “Why Were The Democrats So Worried About The Nunes Memo?” asked The New Yorker. Rachel Maddow said that, far from destroying national security, instead the memo delivered “a sad trombone for Trump.” “It’s a joke and a sham,” claimed Washington Post writers.

“The memo purports to show that the process by which the FBI and Justice Department obtained approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to conduct surveillance on former Trump adviser Carter Page was deeply tainted,” the Post article says. “It does this by straining every which way to suggest that the basis for the warrant was the so-called ‘Steele dossier,’ which contains Democratic-funded research by former British spy Christopher Steele.” (The IG confirmed this week that the efforts to secure a warrant to spy on Page were dropped due to lack of evidence until Steele delivered his memos.)

On the other hand, Salon called the memo “fake news.” New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait, who fervently believes that Trump is a traitor who colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election, all evidence to the contrary, went even further. “The Nunes Memo Is Fake and the Russia Scandal Is Very Real,” he claimed. …

CNN had their good buddy James Clapper, an Obama intelligence chief, say that the memo was a “blatant political act.” John Brennan, Obama’s CIA chief who was also implicated in the spying on the Trump campaign, told Politico that the memo was “exceptionally partisan.” Politico claimed the memo “makes no sense.”

The litany goes on and on. If you want to make your blood boil, read the whole thing.

One wonders how many reporters and editors will apologize for falling for Schiff’s lies and smearing Devin Nunes, or even acknowledge the fact that their 2018 reporting was grotesquely wrong. My guess is zero. After all, they’ve got an election to win.

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