Perhaps you’ve noticed that we almost never cite The New York Times or the Washington Post as sources for any story we use in my newsletter. And for any story that originated in either of those two publications, even if it happened to be picked up by other news outlets, we’ve applied the “48-hour rule” –- often it’s more like 72 hours –- before reacting to it as serious reporting. There have just been too many stories that turned out to be strategic leaks from the FBI or similarly dicey anonymous sources or that were garbage reported simply because they furthered a preferred narrative.
There’s another reason why these big-deal “papers of record” should not be mistaken for serious journalism, and that’s the hotbed of connections to Democrat politics and administrations they are. One example in the news right now is the promotion of Matea Gold to be the new national editor at WAPO. A month before her promotion, her husband Jonathan Lenzner was promoted as well –- to be the new FBI chief of staff.
Gold is now having to recuse herself from all coverage of the FBI and the Justice Department, including the Durham special counsel investigation, with managing editor Steven Ginsberg overseeing it instead. She also won’t be covering the ongoing January 6 investigation, including the probe led by FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland. Gosh, what’s left for her to oversee? It’s easy to imagine her taking lots of long lunches and leisurely massages, with Ginsberg doing the work and probably deserving a raise.
According to Paul Sperry’s sources, the conflict of interest posed by Gold’s husband was discussed at a recent staff-wide meeting. Lenzner’s family is “allied politically with the Clintons” and has been for many years. This seems not to have been a problem before –- and why should it be at WAPO? –- but with his new job at the FBI, the spotlight is shining more brightly.
The decision does not reflect on Gold’s objectivity or credibility, according to a WAPO spokesperson. “We have every confidence in Matea’s professionalism and high standards. “She has recused herself from all areas of coverage to avoid even the appearance of partiality.”
So, there was a conflict of interest and she recused herself. Problem solved, right? Well, not so fast. As Paul Sperry points out, considerable damage had already been done. “In her previous role as investigations editor,” he writes, “Gold helped oversee the Post’s coverage of the Russian ‘collusion’ accusations against Trump and his advisers, including former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.”
In other words, she might be recusing herself now that her personal conflict of interest has grown too huge to ignore, but she’s spent years helping perpetuate the Russia Hoax.
Reading WAPO’s own story about Gold’s promotion, one would never know that they’ve had to retract or correct numerous stories about Trump that she oversaw. “For the last four years,” it reads, “Matea has served as the national political enterprise and investigations editor, running some of the Post’s most sensitive stories, including coverage of the Russia investigation, the Ukraine pressure campaign and President Donald Trump’s attempt to subvert the 2020 election results. Reporters and other editors gravitate to Matea for guidance and direction.”
In September 2017, Gold shared a byline on a story that furthered the false claim that President Trump has said there were “fine people” among the white supremacists and neo-Nazis protesting the removal of a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, when he specifically condemned those people.
So, never mind the frequent and serious journalistic errors and outright lies. This editor gets promoted. And other "journalists" look to her for guidance.
As Sperry points out, it’s “not uncommon” –- we’d say it’s actually very common –- for journalists in DC “to be married to government officials, lobbyists and others who influence policy from various vantage points.” But even in that world, Gold’s might be considered an extreme case.
Perhaps you’re old enough to remember the name Terry Lenzner, who was the private investigator Bill Clinton hired to use to dig up dirt on troublesome mistresses and other political threats. It was said at the time that this was done with the knowledge and approval of Hillary, to tamp down the various “bimbo eruptions.” Lenzner founded the firm Investigative Firm International, or IGI. During the Ken Starr investigation, he was brought in to testify about his aggressive investigative work for President Clinton. Terry Lenzner retired in 2015 and has since passed away.
Matea Gold’s husband Jon is the son of Terry Lenzner. After Terry retired, he took over IGI and continued his father’s work. Father and son were both Democrats and Clinton donors, with Jon giving at least $1,700 to Hillary’s 2016 campaign according to FEC records.
So, THIS is the guy Christopher Wray appointed as his chief of staff in December. Goodness, we’re not only learning a lot today about WAPO, but also about Wray’s FBI. And none of it is good.
The FBI made this appointment quietly, avoiding mention of Lenzner’s background with the Clintons or IGI. On their website, they distanced him from it this way: “From 2013 to 2018, Mr. Lenzner led a national risk advisory, corporate investigations and crisis management firm in Washington, including three years as its CEO.”
Recall that other FBI officials were highly sympathetic to Hillary and the Clinton political machine, even those who were supposed to be investigating her such as then-deputy Director Andrew McCabe. Then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, another Clinton crony, generously bankrolled McCabe’s wife in her failed run for the Virginia state legislature. Political conflicts seem to be quite common at the FBI, too.
Sperry reports an interesting side note: IGI was the first investigation firm to launder payments for “opposition research” (dirt) for political campaigns through law firms so that no payments to IGI showed up on FEC disclosures. They did this at least as far back as 1994, for Ted Kennedy. So Hillary was acting in a grand Democrat tradition when she funneled over $1 million to Perkins Coie for the dirt-digging done by Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele.
IGI has multiple connections to the Clintons. Jon’s sister Emily is a Biden donor who sits on IGI’s board. She previously worked in the Clinton White House under George Stephanopoulos and later worked for him at ABC News. (More incest with journalism.)
The late Brooke Shearer, sister of Clinton crony Cody Shearer, worked for Hillary in the White House and then took an investigative job at IGI. (Makes one wonder what sort of work she did for Hillary.) Brooke was also the wife of Clinton ally Strobe Talbott of the Brookings Institution, which seems to have been up to its eyeballs in the creation and peddling of the Steele “dossier.” Cody Shearer even created his own anti-Trump “dossier.”
Sperry’s piece has even more. One bit of irony is that Gold, with her amazing conflicts of interest that are only now coming to light, participated in a PBS panel on the White House transition in 2016. It was called “Trump Family Criticized for Conflicts of Interest.”