Anatomy of the Clinton hit job

The New York Post has an excellent editorial “Anatomy of a media hit job — how press pushed Clinton’s lies against Trump.” The editorial identifies the players, traces the whisper campaign that planted the Russia hoax in the press, and follows the states of the story from hysteria to the current silence and revisionism.

The Washington Post was of course a key “player” in the media lineup. Post media critic Erik Wemple calls the press to account in his column “Indictment of Steele dossier source is more bad news for multiple media outlets.” Wemple quotes the bland statement of Post executive editor Sally Buzbee last week and adds: “In a follow-up inquiry, we asked whether The Post is reviewing its previous work on [alleged Steele pee-tape source Sergei] Millian and whether it would publish its findings. A spokesperson for the newspaper declined to comment beyond Buzbee’s statement.”

Christopher Steele and his ludicrous so-called dossier “lie” at the heart of the Clinton hit job. BuzzFeed posted Steele’s dossier memos online here on January 10, 2017. I thought from my first time through it that the dossier was absurd on its face. With the exposure of the players and Steele’s phony sources, we learn that it was worse than absurd, but it was certainly that too.

The avid participation of the press in the Clinton fraud orchestrated by the Clinton players cannot be overstated. My favorite example is that of the New Yorker’s Jane Mayer, who profiled Steele in a hagiographic 15,000-word story that I called “The Dossiad” in a series of five posts that I devoted to Mayer.

Another inglorious example that “ranks” with Mayer’s is Howard Blum’s Vanity Fair story “HOW EX-SPY CHRISTOPHER STEELE COMPILED HIS EXPLOSIVE TRUMP-RUSSIA DOSSIER.” Blum purported to give the lowdown on Steele’s “investigation.” Blum was particularly impressed by the network Steele had developed in the course of his professional experience:

[H]e could count on an army of sources whose loyalty and information he had bought and paid for over the years. There was no safe way he could return to Russia to do the actual digging; the vengeful F.S.B. would be watching him closely. But no doubt he had a working relationship with knowledgeable contacts in London and elsewhere in the West, from angry émigrés to wheeling-and-dealing oligarchs always eager to curry favor with a man with ties to the Secret Service, to political dissidents with well-honed axes to grind. And, perhaps most promising of all, he had access to the networks of well-placed Joes—to use the jargon of his former profession—he’d directed from his desk at London Station, assets who had their eyes and ears on the ground in Russia.

“No doubt.”

Blum provided a partial listing of Steele’s sources based on Steele’s say-so:

Source A—to use the careful nomenclature of his dossier—was “a senior Russian Foreign Ministry figure.” Source B was “a former top level intelligence officer still active in the Kremlin.” And both of these insiders, after “speaking to a trusted compatriot,” would claim that the Kremlin had spent years getting its hooks into Donald Trump.

Source E was “an ethnic Russian” and “close associate of Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump.”

This individual proved to be a treasure trove of information….

How “careful” can you get? And what a “treasure trove of information.”

Steele’s “sources” deeply impressed Blum. I thought they amounted to the clock striking 13:

Then there was Source D, “a close associate of Trump who had organized and managed his recent trips to Moscow,” and Source F, “a female staffer” at the Moscow Ritz-Carlton hotel, who was co-opted into the network by an Orbis “ethnic Russian operative” working hand in hand with the loquacious Trump insider, Source E.

These two sources told quite a lurid story, the now infamous “golden showers” allegation, which, according to the dossier, was corroborated by others in his alphabet list of assets….

The Post editorial is prompted by the indictment last week of Steele’s primary source, Igor Danchenko. I took my own look back in “Deep meaning of the Danchenko case.”

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