We now know: The case of Jane Mayer

Several renowned journalists published hagiographic profiles of Christopher Steele as some kind of a savior: Howard Blum, John Cassidy, and, preeminently, Jane Mayer come to mind, among many others. Mayer wrote a ludicrous 15,000-word profile of Steele that appeared in the March 5, 2018 number of the New Yorker. I mocked Mayer’s profile of Steele in a five-part series that I called “Jane Mayer’s Dossiad.” The link is to part 1. Part 2 is here, part 3 here, part 4 here, and part 5 here.

Mayer and the New Yorker are still at it, of course. Only last month Mayer reviewed Crime In Progress, by Fusion GPS principals Peter Fritsch and Glenn Simpson. They stand by Steele and the Steele Dossier. Just ahead of the Inspector General report, Mayer confided:

Despite the fact that the fabled pee tape has never surfaced and Trump immediately denied its existence, Simpson and Fritsch write that Steele remains confident that his reports are neither a fabrication nor the “hoax” of Trump’s denunciations. Trump’s defenders have claimed that Steele fell prey to Russian disinformation, and, therefore, it is he, not Trump, who has been a useful idiot for the Russians. But Steele tells the authors, “These people simply have no idea what they’re talking about.” He emphasizes that his network of sources “is tried and tested” and has “been proven up in many other matters.” He adds, “I’ve spent my entire adult life working with Russian disinformation. It’s an incredibly complex subject that is at the very core of my training and my professional mission.”

Steele points out that the most critical criteria [sic] for judging disinformation is “whether there is a palpable motive for spreading it”; the ultimate Russian goal in 2016, he argues, “was to prevent Hillary Clinton from becoming president, and therefore, the idea that they would intentionally spread embarrassing information about Trump—true or not—is not logical.”

With the benefit of the Department of Justice Inspector General report released last week, we can confirm that Mayer’s worship of Steele is misplaced and that my mockery of Mayer was right in every particular (and I had a lot of particulars).

Referring to Mayer’s “Dossiad,” I was alluding to Alexander Pope’s satirical Dunciad and implying that Mayer herself is a dunce. That she may be, but she and her editors and her publication are worse than stupid. They are servile political hacks who enhance the stupidity of their readers. Let us look back in anger before we move on.

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