November 22, 2021

In Brief: Retract Every Russian Collusion Story

And fire every journalist who wrote one of these fake news screeds.

The hoax of Donald Trump’s supposed collusion with Russia to win the 2016 election and all the ensuing drama that hamstrung his presidency should go down as one of the worst scandals in U.S. history. And the Leftmedia’s role shouldn’t be underestimated or go without consequences, says independent journalist Julie Kelly.

It all began, she recounts, as an effort “to stanch the political bleeding following the release of damning internal emails that showed party honchos had rigged the process in favor of Hillary Clinton.” Democrat operatives Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch had a plan: “spin a dark tale of collusion between the Kremlin and Donald Trump to stop Hillary Clinton from winning the White House.”

Russian hackers were already blamed, without evidence, for infiltrating the DNC email system and giving the correspondence to WikiLeaks. Expanding on that accusation by revealing the secretive work of Christopher Steele, portrayed as a “former Western intelligence officer,” to friendly journalists successfully changed the subject.

Kelly says the Washington Post’s Tom Hamburger was an early and key player in disseminating anti-Trump misinformation in the press. Some of his stories now have heavy corrections appended to them.

But the Post should not just unapologetically correct the phony stories …; every single article, column, and video that supports the now-debunked Russian collusion hoax should be retracted with a lengthy explanation. Tom Hamburger, who was in cahoots with Simpson from the start and met with Simpson and Christopher Steele in September 2016 to accelerate the narrative weeks before the presidential election, should be fired. Immediately. …

And Post editors should force the pair to return the Pulitzer Prize they won, along with several New York Times reporters, in 2018 for “deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration.”

This unfolding scandal is not only about how inaccurately the media covered Sergei Millian or the bogus Steele dossier. There was no collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and the Russians. Period.

And everyone knew it at the time.

This fabricated hoax, says Kelly, “was intentional, not ‘one of the most egregious journalistic errors in modern history,’ as Axios’ Sara Fischer described it.” She concludes:

In any other honorable profession, one that still takes itself seriously and is capable of self-policing to preserve the tattered shreds of integrity and accountability that remain, mass firings, not faux “reckonings,” would empty newsrooms. Reporters, columnists, cable news hosts, and paid contributors would be shown walking papers. Editors would step down in humiliation. Public apologies, not mealymouthed caveats and explainers buried in the entertainment guide, would be plastered on the front page of every newspaper and website; talking heads would make amends to the victims — including Donald Trump — for this reckless, destructive hoax and also to their audience for intentionally misleading them for years and then announce their early retirement.

Collusion between Donald Trump and the Kremlin to influence the outcome of the 2016 election never happened — but every news organization, big and small, contributed to spreading this lie. It’s breathtaking malfeasance on a scale unrivaled in American history. The media should not be permitted to proceed with business as usual.

Fire them all.

Read the whole thing here.

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