Last week, investigative reporter John Solomon revealed that the mysterious “black ledger” purported to show cash payments originating in Ukraine to then-campaign director Paul Manafort, who now rots in jail, was almost certainly a forgery, as multiple sources emphatically maintain that no cash payments were ever made. On Sunday, during a wide-ranging interview with Maria Bartiromo on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES, Trump attorney Rudy Guiliani offered evidence highly suggestive that the Democratic National Committee was involved in targeting Manafort.
He brought in a memo from Alexandra Chalupa of the DNC to her boss dated May 3, 2016, and reading in part, “I invited Michael Isikoff [of THE NEW YORK TIMES], whom I’ve been working with for the past few weeks, and connected him to the Ukrainians to talk about Paul Manafort.”
Then she says, “A big one will hit in next few weeks.”
Lo and behold, a few weeks after this was sent, the NYT broke the big story about the Manafort ledger. Think the DNC might possibly have had something to do with that?
In the aftermath of impeachment and with this sort of eyebrow-raising activity gradually coming to light, the mainstream media increasingly try to silence reporters, commentators and guests who are gaining influence and interfering with their chosen narrative. At the top of the list are Rudy Giuliani and John Solomon; there’s an ongoing campaign to silence them, just as there was with Devin Nunes. THE DAILY BEAST reports that according to an internal FOX NEWS memo they obtained, concern exists at the network that Giuliani has been “spreading disinformation.” They report that the 162-page FNC memo also singles out attorneys Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing, and that it says of John Solomon that he “played an indispensable role in the collection and domestic publication of elements of this disinformation campaign.”
SALON picked up the story, which informs us that the memo, titled “Ukraine, Disinformation & the Trump Administration,” was authored by senior political affairs specialist Brian Murphy, who works in the network’s research division, dubbed the “Brain Room.”
All right, Journalism 101 students, acknowledging that none of us has read this huge memo, let’s take a look at how SALON magazine, in just one sentence, folds its own editorializing into its report. Here’s the sentence: “It [the memo] highlighted Solomon’s reports at THE HILL, which fueled Giuliani’s baseless conspiracy theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election and assisted the ‘smear campaign’ leading to the ouster of former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovonovich.”
That’s right, class; there’s that ubiquitous phrase “baseless conspiracy theory,” so similar to the phrase “discredited swift boaters” we used to hear so often in “news” stories when John Kerry was running for President. The swift boaters who served with Kerry were smeared but not discredited; likewise, the notion that, like Russia, Ukraine “meddled” in the 2016 election, arguably in more significant ways than Russia did, is not baseless. In fact, evidence keeps coming out that gives support to that conclusion. And, yes, much of it has come from John Solomon. I’d wager that he’s going to turn out to be right about all of this, just as Devin Nunes’ memo –- “discredited” by Adam Schiff, no less –- turned out to be right.
Opinion-shapers think that if they just keep repeating the phrase “baseless conspiracy theory” often enough, we’ll all come to agree that’s what it is. I guess they’ve convinced themselves that it’s baseless, but they are mistaken.
Anyway, FOX NEWS has told THE DAILY BEAST that the warnings they pulled from the memo were taken out of context. To give some context to the phrase “out of context,” here’s the quote from Mitch Kweit, senior vice president of the Brain Room (and wouldn’t that title look cool on a business card): “The Ukraine briefing book is nothing more than a comprehensive chronological account of what every person involved in the Ukraine controversy was doing at any identifiable point in time, including tracking media appearances of major players who appeared on FOX NEWS and in many other outlets. The 200-page document has thousands of data points and the vast majority have no relation to FOX NEWS --- instead it’s now being taken out of context and politicized to damage the network.”
Indeed. If you’d like to read SALON’s pointedly biased interpretation of this “memo” story –- probably not worth your time, but for the record, here it is –- I’ve included the link:
I won’t get into the internal deliberations at FOX NEWS, as (believe it or not, lefties) there are people at FOX of all political persuasions who are bound to have different thoughts regarding opinion hosts such as Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham and the guests they choose to feature. The “opinions” for which they’ve provided a forum are increasingly turning out NOT to be disinformation but solid investigation, clearly on the right track, and they should be proud of that. (I can proudly say the same of our opinion reporting at MikeHuckabee.com.) But most media outlets won’t acknowledge this; they’re running with their chosen pull-quotes and sensationalist reporting in the style of CNN’s Amanda Carpenter, who tweeted, “It sounds like this memo the FOX NEWS ‘Brain Room’ wrote about a rampant, influential disinformation campaign would have been a great story to bring to air for their viewers. Why was it stuffed? Hm.”
Hm, Amanda. Maybe because this work is not disinformation, but a deep dig into what really was going on in Ukraine, in spite of all the efforts by you and your colleagues and likely even a few “concerned” employees at FOX NEWS to quell it. You would love to see John Solomon pulled off the air. But just wait and see --- he and others looking into the ‘deep state’ are going to have the last word on this. Speaking of words, I’m sure you have a couple of choice ones for him, Giuliani, Nunes, Lee Smith, Dan Bongino and all the others who continue to dig and connect the dots, but I have a couple of words to offer them myself: “THANK YOU.”
Sen. Lindsay Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, reportedly told Margaret Brennan of FACE THE NATION that he heard from Attorney General Barr that the DOJ is “receiving information coming out of Ukraine” from Giuliani. (Of course, Barr is also high on the list of those to be discredited and silenced.) Brennan said on CBS that Sen. Graham had told her they had “created a process” for Giuliani to supply information and for them to verify it. Back in September, a DOJ spokeswoman denied that the President had spoken to to the attorney general about contacting Ukraine or that the AG had discussed anything with Giuliani relating to Ukraine, the implication being that this “process” for Giuliani to supply information is a recent development.
Although the Bidens should not be getting a pass, there’s plenty to be looking into in Ukraine besides them. See references to the DNC and Paul Manafort, above.