We need fact checks. But it’s a problem when wrong or unverified claims aren’t checked from one side of the aisle.

Case in point: the “Russian bounties” theory that was recently dashed. MANY people were pushing this allegation.

So will we get a followup @MaddowBlog?
For those not familiar, @nytimes broke a story a few months back about Russia paying bounties to the Taliban to kill US troops, with Trump turning a blind eye.

That would be an an enormous, awful story, worthy of outrage.

Problem is, there’s no evidence to support it. @NBCNews
It’s hard to overstate how widely circulated this original story from @nytimes was, or how frequently the Times doubled down on it.

2 months of investigation from the military, who vowed to get to the bottom of up, turned up empty.

Not a word of followup.
Of course, @nytimes wasn’t alone. Plenty of other outlets picked up the reporting - which @realDonaldTrump called “fake news” and which many conservatives and others pushed back on as thinly sourced at best.

Here’s @CNN, featuring @SenGillibrand.
They - and others we’ll see soon - got their key spokespeople involved too. Here’s @brianstelter with a thread.
Same thing for @jaketapper.
@MSNBC as ever was a big contributor. They also featured plenty of others pushing their narrative, like:

Susan Rice (figures)
@SteveSchmidtSES (also figures)
This of course included the most outspoken of left-wing conspiratorialists, @JoyAnnReid.
@Newsweek also decided to go full out on this one.

The very thought that these were just allegations was dropped from their coverage. The coverage of these unverified claims takes them as a given.

See how a narrative develops?
And @washingtonpost reminds us why “news analysis” is the bane of my existence.
And the Democrats from all over got involved in the act. Here’s the lead on legislation for an investigation into the unconfirmed reports, @SenDuckworth.

You see, it’s easy to look like the good guy when the narrative is such that these claims - far from proved - are true.
But it wasn’t just her. Here’s @SpeakerPelosi
and it wouldn’t be a potential Russian-related conspiracy theory without @RepAdamSchiff
There were plenty of others, but I’ve only got so much room to work with. Here we’ve got the whole coalition @TheDemCoalition and everyone’s favorite @RepSwalwell
As ever, the bluechecks really outdid themselves on this one. You’ll be not shocked to see @JRubinBlogger going headlong into this one before we’ve found any evidence beyond the Times reporting.
Ditto for @MaxBoot.

Again, these are enormous accusations, with serious international consequences.

We’ve taken them as gospel because of some - you guessed it! - anonymous sources.
More of the same - but a little more egregious, I think - from @joelockhart.
I know I don’t have the space to do it but I couldn’t not double up on @joelockhart
You’ll be shocked to hear that @ProjectLincoln got in on the act.
Obligatory @kurteichenwald mention.
I couldn’t possibly leave @WalshFreedom out of the mix on this one.

Again, righteous indignation comes easy. We should be focused on getting the facts first.
Space and patience are evaporating. Here we’ve got:

And, of course, @brhodes
And I get it. The absence of evidence isn’t the evidence of absence. These allegations could well prove true - both the Russians and the Taliban being what they are.

But doesn’t it give anyone pause that, after an investigation, there’s been no corroboration of this reporting?
Doesn’t it bother anyone at all that an entire outrage news cycle was whipped up based on one unverified report?

Doesn’t that seem like...not the way things should work? Haven’t we learned a thing or two about trust-but-verify on sensational stories by now?
I’m not some military or intel professional. Maybe there’s a ton that I don’t know & maybe these people know it.

But the rush to conclusion & judgement here was swift, and that just seems all kinds of bad to me.

And I don’t expect any apologies or corrections are forthcoming.
Bonuses I couldn’t fit in the original.

Here’s @clairecmc
Also @funder, swinging for the fences and coming up with nothing but air, as usual.

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More from @DrewHolden360

19 Sep

You had to know this was a coming. Four short years ago, countless Dems, media folks & bluechecks were telling you #WeNeedNine on the Supreme Court.

Yet now, as we head into an election that’ll surely be contested their convictions have evaporated.

It’s a long list.
To kick it off, we’ll start with none other than the man who led the #WeNeedNine push, @BarackObama.

Is it no longer “irresponsible” to not consider a SCOTUS nominee before one is even announced, Mr. President?
And what say you, @HillaryClinton? If @realDonaldTrump announces his nominee, will you agree that he has “met his responsibility” as well? And that the Senate should do the same?
Read 19 tweets
15 Sep

With peace breaking out across the Middle East, I figured it would be a good time to revisit all of the people who told us confidently that @realDonaldTrump was leading us to disaster.

I think some apologies are in order. What say you, @SamanthaJPower?
You see, there were many, many Democratic politicians who assured us the world would be ending before our eyes, and that it would be @realDonaldTrump’s fault.

That includes presidential nominee @JoeBiden and his functional head of policy, @ewarren.
They weren’t alone. I wonder if we’ll be getting any follow up to this one from @SenSchumer?
Read 25 tweets
15 Sep
“You’d have an explosion...an absolute explosion in the region.” - John Kerry, regarding the Middle East in response to @realDonaldTrump moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.

That take has aged...poorly.
John Kerry fits the tried and true model of American foreign policy “expert” who is both highly confident and woefully wrong.
Read 4 tweets
14 Sep

We’re seeing a narrative evolve in real time in Lancaster, PA that omits the fact that the man who was shot & killed by police was actively trying to kill a police officer, even w/ bodycam evidence.

Enormously irresponsible, especially given the current climate.
We’ll start with @AP. They just so happened to leave out the reason why the officer was running away - a direct threat against his life - but managed to get the suspects race involved.
Reporting from @AP got picked up all over, as it does, and recycled through the same lens.

Here’s @usnews, who manage to scrub the knife detail and focus instead on the trendy topics: police shootings and protests.
Read 18 tweets
12 Sep
This man has been PRESIDENT for FOUR YEARS. He had a united republican government. For all his faults, he didn’t turn into a dictator.

This kind of fearmongering bullshit from the Dems will be more effective at re-electing Trump than anything the GOP could do.
Oh God. Pray for me. We’re doing a thread. There are 12 reasons. Here are 12 responses:

1. Power of the military to supremacists riots: federalism aside, he’s overseen the most contentious riots since the 60s, led by his political opponents, and hasn’t turned into a dictator.
2. Voter fraud: not even something within his control. Voter fraud is handled across all 50 states and, should it come to it, at the Supreme Court. He has no power here.
Read 16 tweets
12 Sep
I think a libertarian world would be enormously comfortable with parents pimping out their children insofar as they can find a way to stay within the letter of the law.
Which, as we’ve seen, Cuties does.
Read 11 tweets

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