Accuracy in Media

The New York Times has been inconsistent in its reporting around the FBI and the investigation of the Trump campaign, which led to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Fox News’ Howard Kurtz reports about the paper’s changed tune: “The New York Times has run a rather stunning correction, only a year and a half after the fact. Deeply embedded in a lengthy and newsworthy piece about the origins of the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign, the paper had to revisit its old story on the very same subject: ‘When The New York Times tried to assess the state of the investigation in October 2016, law enforcement officials cautioned against drawing any conclusions, resulting in a story that significantly played down the case.’

“…. The paper casts the FBI’s judgments—and even misjudgments—in a sympathetic light. Yes, the bureau was aggressive in the Hillary Clinton investigation—with James Comey talking about the probe and later its reopening—because everyone there thought she would win and they might be criticized for going soft on her. The FBI was cautious on Trump because everyone thought he would lose.”

Kurtz also writes that Trump yesterday linked to a National Review piece by Andrew McCarthy, who called the Times analysis “bunk” because the investigation into Hillary Clinton was a criminal probe around her email server but the counterintelligence probe of Trump occured with the hope of turning up evidence to use against him.

“What the Times story makes explicit, with studious understatement, is that the Obama administration used its counterintelligence powers to investigate the opposition party’s presidential campaign,” McCarthy writes.

“That is, there was no criminal predicate to justify an investigation of any Trump-campaign official. So, the FBI did not open a criminal investigation. Instead, the bureau opened a counterintelligence investigation and hoped that evidence of crimes committed by Trump officials would emerge. But it is an abuse of power to use counterintelligence powers, including spying and electronic surveillance, to conduct what is actually a criminal investigation.”


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