20 September 2018 — Moon of Alabama
The New York Times spends 10,000 words in some 199 paragraphs on the alleged ‘Russian influence’ in the U.S. election.
For two years, Americans have tried to absorb the details of the 2016 attack —hacked emails, social media fraud, suspected spies — and President Trump’s claims that it’s all a hoax. The Times explores what we know and what it means.
The long piece is a repetition of unproven intelligence claims, spin around a few facts and lots of innuendo. Few readers will ever digest it in full.
That is why this sentence appears near the top in paragraph 5 of a total of 199 paragraphs:
President Trump’s Twitter outbursts that it is all a “hoax” and a “witch hunt,” in the face of a mountain of evidence to the contrary, have taken a toll on public comprehension.
One-hundred-and-seventy-eight paragraphs later, near the end of the piece, we read the opposite and learn that Trump is indeed right:
Mr. Trump’s frustration with the Russian investigation is not surprising. He is right that no public evidence has emerged showing that his campaign conspired with Russia in the election interference or accepted Russian money.
The “mountain of evidence” claimed in paragraph 5 turns out to be “no public evidence” in paragraph 183 near the end of the piece. But 99% of the readers will not walk through the whole mess and the 1% that do will likely miss the contradiction.
As Aaron Maté notes:
This is a pattern: ample words for Trump-Russia innuendo; quiet acknowledgment of no evidence. And 0 words on what has been debunked.
The ‘Russian influence’ and ‘collusion’ between Russia and Trump are still what they were two years ago, when the campaign started – they are fake news. Unfortunately the anti-Russian and anti-Trump propaganda campaign has had serious consequences. Censorship in social media increased drastically and international relations with Russia were seriously damaged. The main stream media though, will never take responsibility for that.