‘Widely misleading journalism’ for coverage of Steele dossier criticized by liberal writer, urged media to ‘count’

Earlier this week, progressive writer Aaron Maté criticized media coverage of debunked claims that former President Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with the Russian government to win the 2016 election, calling the report ” largely misleading journalism “.

In a report released on Wednesday by RealClearInvestigations, Maté detailed the corrections a number of media outlets were forced to make following the indictment of Steele’s main source, Igor Danchenko, for allegedly lying to the FBI. , and listed five cases of “stories containing false or misleading allegations” which he said needed to be either withdrawn or corrected.

“Five years after BuzzFeed’s publication of Hillary Clinton’s campaign-funded collection of Trump-Russia conspiracy theories known as the Steele dossier, the news outlets that amplified her false allegations suffered significant loss of credibility. The recent indictment of the main source of the case … has catalyzed a recalculation, “Maté wrote.

Former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele arrives at the High Court in London on July 24, 2020 to attend his libel suit brought by Russian tech entrepreneur Alexej Gubarev. – A Russian tech entrepreneur on Monday launched a libel complaint against the British author of a controversial report at the heart of allegations of interference in the 2016 US election first disclosed to BuzzFeed. Alexej Gubarev said in documents released by the High Court in London that former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele was responsible for the publication of his case by the US news site in January 2017 (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP ) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN / AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON POST CORRECTS, DELETS REPORTS BASED ON DISCREDITED ANTI-TRUM STEEL FILE

He noted that the Washington Post re-edited “at least a dozen stories” about former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier, and that for two of them, entire sections must have been deleted, titles changed and editor’s notes added.

“But the Post’s response also shows the limits of Steele’s media-induced self-examination,” Maté wrote, noting that neither reporters nor the editors of the two most egregious reports had explained how they had been. “so blatantly misled”. or who were the sources that misled them for months and years.

FILE - In this May 29, 2019 file photo, Special Advocate Robert Mueller speaks at the Justice Department in Washington about the Russia investigation.  (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster, file)

FILE – In this May 29, 2019 file photo, Special Advocate Robert Mueller speaks at the Justice Department in Washington about the Russia investigation. (AP Photo / Carolyn Kaster, file)
(AP Photo)

CNN’s BRIAN STELTER IGNORES WAPO DELETION, CORRECTS REPORTS ON DISCREDITED STEELE FILE ON HIS MEDIA SHOW

“Perhaps more importantly, the Post, like other publications, has so far limited its estimate of the Russiagate to work directly involving Steele – and only after a federal indictment forced his hand.” , he added. “But the Steele case has been widely discredited since at least April 2019, when Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller and his team of prosecutors and FBI agents couldn’t find evidence to support any of his assertions. “

Maté said the Steele case was just one aspect of the misinformation surrounding the collusion allegations that have been conveyed to the public, arguing that “the most prominent media outlets” have reinforced his narrative of conspiracy collusion and compromise of the White House under Trump. He added that some of these outlets received Pulitzer Prizes for reporting that had been clearly made public to “include lies and distortions requiring significant correction.”

FILE - Michael Flynn, former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, leaves federal court in Washington on Tuesday, September 10, 2019. President Donald Trump pardoned Michael Flynn, aiming directly in the last days of his administration to investigate Russia which he has long insisted that he was motivated by political prejudices.  Trump announced the pardon on Wednesday, November 25, 2020, calling it his "Great honor." (AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta, file)

FILE – Michael Flynn, former national security adviser to President Donald Trump, leaves federal court in Washington on Tuesday, September 10, 2019. President Donald Trump pardoned Michael Flynn, aiming directly in the last days of his administration to investigate Russia which he has long insisted that he was motivated by political prejudices. Trump announced the pardon on Wednesday, November 25, 2020, calling it his “Great Honor.” (AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta, file)
(AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta, file)

THE WASHINGTON POST CORRECTED OVER A DOZEN OF ARTICLES RELATED TO THE COVER OF THE STEELE FILE

Maté then listed five cases of “stories containing false or misleading allegations” and called for them to be corrected or retracted, including debunked information that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn lied to the FBI in subject of the discussion on the removal of Russian sanctions with a Russian official. , that former Trump campaign officials were in contact with Russian intelligence officials, and that former Trump campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos told an Australian diplomat that Russia had “political filth on Hillary Clinton ”, including“ thousands of emails ”.

He also listed discredited and unproven claims that Russia launched a campaign of social media interference and that the Justice Ministry interfered in the Russian investigation when Special Advocate Robert Mueller put end the investigation without charging Trump or any of his associates with any crime.

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“For a media establishment that had spent years promoting a story of Trump-Russia collusion and dismissing compensatory facts, this was indeed a difficult result to understand,” Maté wrote. “But now is not the time for apologies or false claims of justification: the lukewarm accounting spurred by the collapse of the Steele case should only be the start of a much more comprehensive calculation.”

“The largely misleading journalism that has plunged an American presidency into turmoil requires more than piecemeal corrections,” he said.

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