Accuracy in Media

Robert Mueller’s investigation has turned up no evidence Donald Trump and his campaign colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 presidential election.

As the investigation, which Trump has said he believes is politically motivated, continues, he has grown increasingly impatient. But a Mother Jones piece Tuesday by David Corn said that the investigation hasn’t progressed because the media is protecting Trump.

Corn, who was part of the plan to get Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants to spy on members of the Trump campaign, said the media is refusing to connect the dots for readers and helping him confuse Americans into not thinking he did things he clearly is guilty of.

According to a series of reports, Corn wrote stories for Mother Jones based on information fed to him by Fusion GPS’ Glenn Simpson to create an information loop to convince the FISA court judge that these events were not merely unfolding but were being reported on widely in the press.

This use of his reporting microphone to abet government corruption rather than to expose it helped members of the U.S. intelligence community obtain FISA warrants even though they first had been turned down for lack of evidence.

Now, he says the press is whitewashing the contents of the dossier and other reporting on alleged Trump collusion to help the president escape impeachment.

Corn’s story opens with a vignette about him appearing on a cable news show with Michael Isikoff, who also reportedly participated in the scheme to create the information and who has co-authored with Corn a book entitled “Russian Roulette” about the 2016 election.

They had discussed a Spanish prosecutor giving the FBI tapes of a Russian official suspected of money laundering who was trying to ingratiate himself to the Trump campaign, according to Corn, by working through the conservative movement and the National Rifle Association.

They also had covered an item about Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney, seeking a meeting with a Russian oligarch in January 2017 and, as Corn wrote dismissively, “the false claim, championed by Trump and his defenders, that the FBI infiltrated a spy into his presidential campaign for political purposes.”

Corn wrote that “the manner in which this matter plays out in the media has helped Trump” and offers a tweet from the president on May 23 that read: “WITCH HUNT!”

So while Corn and his allies are trying to educate Americans on the importance of meetings between Trump acolytes and various foreign figures and the complex arrangements they believe were made, Trump is dismissing all their work – and the public is accepting it – as witch hunts or hoaxes or lies.

“His synopsis is easy to follow,” Corn wrote. “…It connects all the inaccurate and false dots Trump and his partisans toss out: Unmasking! Obama wiretapped Trump! The FBI improperly obtained warrants to conduct surveillance on his campaign advisers! And so on. He’s the victim.

“The bad guys are the Dems, libs, prosecutors, and deep staters pursuing this huge nothing-burger for nothing but political gain.”

There is a “flood of revelations,” Corn wrote, but the media “tends to focus on specific components of an unwieldy and ever-expanding story” because the various “revelations do not emerge in chronological or thematic order” but rather “as part of the fusillade known as the daily news cycle.”

He twice devotes paragraphs to detailing “shady” meetings between Trump officials or allies and bad guys from Russia. Then he writes that Trump “only requires 280 characters to respond. Or less. Sometimes just those two words – witch hunt – accompanied by other tweets designed to fog and distract by raising peripheral and non-evidence-based matters, such as the phony Uranium One scandal and other supposed examples of Democratic malfeasance.”

Americans don’t get “the full impact” of the scandal because, “thanks to Trump and his allies, [they] view it as a charade. All this shows how easy it is for disinformation and demagoguery to distort reality.”

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