Another day – another major media fiasco. The story that Russia offered Afghan militants to kill US troops was bogus.
In the summer of 2020, New York Times reported, based on “anonymous sources” (is there another kind?) that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan. And the kicker: then-President Trump was briefed on the bounty plot and did nothing about it.
Now, the U.S. intelligence community admits that it only had “low to moderate” confidence in the bounty allegation. “Translated from the jargon of spy world, that means the intelligence agencies have found the story is, at best, unproven – and possibly untrue.”
So, the story was not based on US intelligence? I guess the “anonymous sources” that reporters Charlie Savage, Eric Schmitt, and Michael Schwirtz used were Charlie’s college roommate, Eric’s third cousin, and Michael’s friend who he regularly meets for a Friday night drink.
“Anonymous sources” became the hallmark of today’s journalism. I place so much confidence in “anonymous sources”, that If my friend told me my husband was cheating on me based on “anonymous sources,” I’d tell her to screw off. I want to know the source of the story before I can judge if it is reliable. But today, the ever uncurious US media consumers accept what used to be known as “gossip” as the golden standard of journalism.
Enter the NYT’s weapon of Trump destruction – former tabloid queen and the unending treasure trove of “anonymous sources” Maggie Haberman. In the last four years, she’s done more than a story a day on Donald Trump. Wow, that’s quite an obsession. I am surprised Donald Trump didn’t file for a restraining order.
Shockingly, not a single story was positive. You cover a man every single day and you can’t find one positive thing to report, just to make an attempt at fairness? I think if Maggie was covering Osama Bin Laden every day she would find a couple of positive things to say – maybe, Osama being “an austere religious scholar?” But of course, nothing Trump did was any good.
The true expertise of Maggie Haberman is that she used to be a Clinton operative. During her time at Politico, she served as “a friendly reporter” for Hillary Clinton to plant favorable stories about the Clintons. That sheds some light on who Maggie’s “anonymous sources” are – all of them disgruntled Clinton staffers who were left without a job when Hillary lost the 2016 election.
The truth is Maggie Haberman is not an exception. All New York Times reporters are “the friendlies” for the Biden administration. With Trump gone, their only job now is to report on Joe Biden as the second coming of Abraham Lincoln and get exclusive access to the Biden administration for their creativity.
Or as Jeff Zucker of CNN calls it, a nine o’clock staff meeting.