Accuracy in Media

Millions of Americans probably missed this story because it came out a week to the day before Christmas. But millions more missed it because mainstream media declined to tell us much about it because it casts former President Obama in a bad light.

Politico published a 13,000-word bombshell report headlined, “The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook” that described how a US task force targeting Hezbollah’s billion-dollar criminal enterprise was stonewalled by its own government to clear the way for the US to reach the nuclear arms agreement with Iran.

According to named sources in the article speaking out publicly for the first time on the issue, the illicit drug conspiracy, funded by the Iranian government, funneled massive amounts of cocaine into the U.S. from all over the world as the DEA vowed to bust the perpetrators in the investigation known as “Project Cassandra.” 

According to Politico: 

“They followed cocaine shipments, some from Latin America to West Africa and on to Europe and the Middle East, and others through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States. They tracked the river of dirty cash as it was laundered by, among other tactics, buying American used cars and shipping them to Africa. And with the help of some key cooperating witnesses, the agents traced the conspiracy, they believed, to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.

“But as Project Cassandra reached higher into the hierarchy of the conspiracy, Obama administration officials threw an increasingly insurmountable series of roadblocks in its way, according to interviews with dozens of participants who in many cases spoke for the first time about events shrouded in secrecy, and a review of government documents and court records. When Project Cassandra leaders sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, officials at the Justice and Treasury departments delayed, hindered or rejected their requests.”

Given the nature of these allegations, the damning realities that they came from two named sources who served in the Obama administration and that the story was published by a reputable news outlet that isn’t exactly known for its right-wing bias, one might have assumed that the mainstream media would have been all over this story. 

As the New York Post’s David Harsanyi noted in a Dec. 21 opinion editorial, “by any conceivable journalistic standard, this scandal should’ve triggered widespread coverage and been plastered on front pages across the country. By any historic standard, the scandal should elicit outrage regarding the corrosion of governing norms from pundits and editorial boards.” 

But only two major outlets have reportedly thoroughly on this – Fox News and Bloomberg. According to the New York Post, in the days following the Politico story, none of the major networks — NBC, CBS, or ABC — had even touched the story. The Washington Post mostly ignored the story, save one opinion editorial by Post media columnist Erik Wemple, who seemed to mock Politico’s report comprehensive piece of actual journalism. 

“Want to know all there is to know about the efforts of Drug Enforcement Administration officials to counter Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed terrorist group? Well, Politico on Monday dedicated about 13,000 words to the topic,” Wemple wrote. 

Wemple went on to quote parts of the Politico article, rebutted by several other Obama administration officials. At the same time, Wemple acknowledged there were no “factual” errors in the Politico story but did not both named sources had been “associated with groups that opposed the Iran Deal from its inception.”

Such associations may be relevant, but so is the bias among Robert Mueller’s team, which the mainstream media argues should be off limits since even FBI officials have a right to their political opinions.

If that’s true for career prosecutors on the special counsel, why isn’t the same true for the public servants who spoke out against the Obama administration but just so happen to also hold their own personal, political positions?

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