Media fraud by omission

John Solomon:

The past week provided fresh examples of how journalists endlessly seeking to portray the Russia probe in black-and-white terms can misinform the public through omission, cherry-picking or lack of context.

On Wednesday, for example, CNN and others ran speculative reports suggesting Russians or Republicans could be involved in a mysterious grand jury subpoena fight involving special counsel Robert Mueller.

The inference was drawn because Alston & Bird was believed to one of the law firms involved in the closed-door litigation. To bolster their case, the media outlets noted the firm had represented Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska (back in 2003) and some conservative clients since.

What the media omitted, however, was that the same firm also represented (in 2017-18) Orbis Business Intelligence and Christopher Steele, the British intelligence operative whose uncorroborated political opposition research document, paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party and known as “the dossier,” was essential to the origins of the Russia collusion probe.

If a reporter is going to cherry-pick old clients in a story about Mueller, Steele is just as big a name as any Russian. Yet, zero mention.

Here’s another one. The New York Times — which considers itself a bastion of journalism but whose work of late was questioned by its former editor — wrote a story this week on the federal obstruction-of-justice indictment of Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

The Times connected the indictment’s information about Veselnitskaya’s ties to the Kremlin and her role in a now infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with the president’s son, Donald Jr., and then-Trump presidential campaign manager Paul Manafort.

What the Times omitted, however, was that Veselnitskaya also was working at the same time with Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS, the opposition-research firm that hired Steele to produce his dossier on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

If Veselnitskaya’s ties to the Kremlin were important to mention for her Trump meeting, then why wouldn’t they be just as important to the guys who helped create the dossier that spurred the Russia probe?

Seems to me that selective editing and cherry-picking did not serve the reader well.

And there’s more paradigm-changing facts excluded from the Times story. Veselnitskaya managed to get into the U.S. because the Obama administration originally gave her a special parole visa.

Hmmm. The lawyer who sets up the Trump Tower meeting gets her original entry to the United States based on a special act by the Obama Justice Department. Seems relevant but, once again, absent from the story.
There is more.

The Russian lawyer's ties to Fusion GPS always seemed like an area that should have been explored more by the media, but few went there.  I suspect they avoided it because it complicated their misleading narrative about Trump Russian collusion.  So far, most of the evidence showing a campaign colluding with Russians would tie the Clinton campaign to the whipping post they have tried to tie Trump to.


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