This story repeats a problem w/ coverage of Reality Winner from the start: it focuses on the The Intercept's mishandling of the source, but ignores the derelict way it hyped & misreported her leak to pander to fashionable Russiagate mania. nytimes.com/2020/09/13/bus…
If you're going to be honest about the Reality Winner leak, you have to acknowledge that she probably would've been caught even if The Intercept hadn't massively screwed up. @benyt acknowledges that, but buries it deep in the story.
That's not say TI didn't make big errors, & they're detailed in this story. But while there is ample scrutiny of TI's handling of Reality Winner, there has been very little scrutiny of its reporting of her leak: massively misreporting it. I detailed here:
The Intercept alleged a scary Russian hacking effort that in reality amounted to spear-phishing emails. And they completely ignored that the leaked NSA doc disclaimed that attribution to Russian is not based on "Confirmed Information," but on an "Analyst Judgement."
So in short, they exaggerated significance of the Reality Winner leak by ignoring & distorting what it actually said. That to me is just as egregious journalist malpractice as their handling of Reality Winner. But that part is ignored because the story fed into Russiagate mania.
The only time an Intercept reporter has been challenged to explain why the Reality Winner leaks are significant, and what they actually prove, came when I interviewed James Risen in 2018. Watch his inability to do so (before he hangs up & runs away): therealnews.com/stories/what-d…
NYT story contains a clue about why The Intercept mishandled & misreported the story. The reporters on it "said they’d been pushed to rush the story to publication." That "push" could only have come from editors, likely EIC Betsy Reed. Why would Betsy want to rush the story?
I think Betsy Reed wanted to "rush the story to publication" because she's a Russiagater who wants to distance The Intercept from its reputation for Russiagate skepticism, due to Glenn Greenwald's vindicated columns on the topic. That imperative is a major part of the story here.
Here's The Intercept's editor Betsy Reed -- in the New Yorker -- mocking Russiagate skeptics who lack "nuance or intelligence"; believe "anything that the [IC] says can’t possibly be true"; & doubt Trump-Russia ties, which we know of "thanks to Mueller."
Fast forward to the Mueller probe, and here's Betsy Reed trying to rationalize the fact that Mueller found no collusion by explaining that what he really found was "plenty of evidence of this kind of soft loose type of collusion." Soft and loose indeed.
So that to me is The Intercept's issue here: a self-described "fearless and adversarial" website, founded in part to challenge national security state deceptions, is headed by an editor who 100% bought into one of the biggest national security state deceptions since the Iraq war.
That's what led to screw-ups like Reality Winner. And it's also meant TI promotes national security state narratives on key stories -- Assange, the Syrian proxy war,
other current Dirty Wars -- instead of challenging them. And they severely restrict space for dissenting views.
I don't want to minimize the crucial work TI does on other issues. On that note, it's pretty rich to see @benyt, in a passage about how TI has lost its "swagger," casually mention that Glenn & colleagues' reporting "reshaped [Brazil's] politics." That sounds swagger-worthy.
BTW, for a sober look at the actual evidence for claims of Russian hacking of US voting systems, @GarethPorter has a good new piece at @TheGrayzoneNews: thegrayzone.com/2020/09/13/dar…
"Russia hacked US voting systems" is a familiar Russiagate tale of media malpractice. DHS officials said in 2017 that "21 states were *potentially* targeted by Russian government cyber actors" & that attribution to Russia was not "definitive." All ignored. dhs.gov/news/2017/06/2…

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More from @aaronjmate

26 Sep
@joshrogin @joshua_landis Josh, it's incredible that you to try to lecture about Syria when you are an open supporter of the proxy war that caused the atrocities. Luckily there are other Americans more aware of the facts, or more willing to acknowledge them. Listen to Joe Biden:
@joshrogin @joshua_landis Biden: "Our allies were our largest problem in Syria... They poured hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad. Except that the people who were being supplied were... Al-Qaeda & the extremist elements of jihadis..."
@joshrogin @joshua_landis This is what you want us to support. No thanks, I'm not an Al-Qaeda fan. I guess you are?
Read 7 tweets
25 Sep
Professional Sadist @Charles_Lister -- who has spent years lobbying for US, Saudi & others to wage a murderous proxy war in Syria, & then impose murderous sanctions when they lost -- can't challenge Professor Landis on the facts. So he resorts to smears. Truly shameful:
The Grayzone article @Charles_Lister calls "deeply misleading" is based on leaked UK gov't docs detailing a massive Western-funded propaganda effort to whitewash its proxy war in Syria & jihadist groups that benefited. Lister can't challenge a single fact: thegrayzone.com/2020/09/23/syr…
Beyond fact that Grazyzone challenges the murderous Syria proxy war & sanctions that Gulf regimes pay @Charles_Lister to shill for, I assume he also resents that we've exposed things like him actively promoting ISIS' most prominent recruiter on Twitter:
thegrayzone.com/2018/10/29/sha…
Read 5 tweets
25 Sep
This interview w/ William Barnett, FBI agent on Mueller team, is devastating. He says Flynn case theory was "supposition on supposition" & that he wanted off of it. Also says Mueller prosecutors were guided not by evidence, but their conspiracy theories. courtlistener.com/recap/gov.usco…
William Barnett, FBI agent on Mueller team, says Mueller's prosecutors were not guided by the evidence; interpreted info to fit their biases; chased repeated collusion dead ends; and used the probe to, in his words, "get Trump." Not a good look. Will it get reported? ImageImageImageImage
.@AWeissmann_ thought Trump-Russia "proof of collusion" occurred in an unspecified "meeting on a yacht near Greece."

It didn't work out, but maybe Weissmann can buy a yacht w/ the money he's making off his new book peddling his conspiracy theories to a captive liberal audience. Image
Read 7 tweets
24 Sep
From newly released FBI texts, I assume Strzok & Page. This was one day before release of declassified ICA accusing Russia of sweeping influence campaign.

Talk here of "people... scrambling for info to support certain things" & "trump was right. still not put together" = ICA? Image
FBI agents "all went and purchased professional liability insurance" and so did "all the folks at the Agency" aka CIA, as well. Good call! Image
"Trump was right. still not put together" -- strong chance that's a reference to this: ImageImage
Read 4 tweets
23 Sep
Exclusive: Public Aaron Maté assessment: CIA 'definitely using' @joshrogin for influence operation that denigrates journalism
Read 5 tweets
22 Sep
This graf from Andrew Weissmann is Russiagate in a nutshell. Doesn't matter how many conspiracy theories are debunked, they just pretend that it's damning that anything they imagine is possible. Nothing is affirmative; it's always prospective, hence the abundant qualifiers: Image
This is what some people like to call gaslighting. The smoking gun was never found, so they brought out the fog machine in its place.
Incredible: Andrew Weissmann, who goes on MSNBC every day to make liberals believe that Russia has compromised Trump, accuses his Mueller team colleague Aaron Zebley of "gaslighting":

"Aaron had a way of gaslighting you, of making you question your own reality" Image
Read 5 tweets

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