President Trump is halfway around the world on what could be an enormously consequential visit to Asia, Texas has just experienced the worst mass shooting in its history, the DNC is in utter shambles after bombshell allegations about Hillary’s campaign, and...the special counsel’s office just keeps grinding away. To those in politics and media whose very existence seems dependent on finding collusion between Trump and Putin and firing up the engine on that ol’ impeachment train, nothing is more important than Mueller’s next indictment.
It doesn’t even matter if those in legal trouble have anything to do with the actual campaign, just as long as they can be “flipped” to get easier treatment for themselves (or their relatives and/or business associates) by offering up something related to what the special counsel is actually tasked with looking for. If Mueller had found anything, it surely would have leaked, so he appears to be coming up dry.
Unless you count the notorious “Trump dossier.”
Perhaps you’ve noticed that more commentators are insisting the claims in the dossier “largely check out,” as New York Times columnists Bret Stephens has. Now that he’s said it, others in media will parrot it like a flock of, well, parrots, who are a lot like most present-day journalists except much more intelligent. But Byron York, in an excellent piece in the Washington Examiner, shows that the case being made for the accuracy of the dossier is based on “facts” that come...from the dossier! He breaks it down and shows that the argument being made is completely circular.
Here’s how it works, using the dossier’s stories about meetings Carter Page allegedly had in Russia as illustration: When former British spy Christopher Steele passed his dossier to the FBI, that gave reporters leeway to say U.S. intelligence officials had received allegations about Trump, which gives the stories an air of legitimacy they wouldn’t have had otherwise. (Then-FBI Director James Comey’s meeting with Trump to advise him of the dossier served the same function.) A report by Michael Isikoff –- who was personally briefed on the dossier by Steele, at the instigation of Fusion GPS –- saying intelligence officials RECEIVED information about Carter Page was mischaracterized in another article as saying the officials CONFIRMED information about Carter Page. Then, other reporters could point to that inaccurate statement to support their belief that some claims in the dossier had been verified. When they haven’t. See? Circular.
But that won’t stop politicians and pundits from raving on falsely about the dossier being “largely confirmed,” when they really should be paying attention to events in the news that are really happening and really important.
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