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In 2018, The New York Times and the Washington Post were honored with the coveted Pulitzer Prize for 20 articles described as “deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the public’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration.”

The award was for their coverage of Trump-Russia "collusion," based on Christopher Steele’s thoroughly discredited “dossier,” and now that the story has been exposed as a lie, these “news” outlets should have to give it back.

Here's OUR description of their work (are you listening, Pulitzer committee?): deeply flawed, badly sourced yet relentlessly reported fake news that defied the public interest by furthering the public’s misunderstanding, by lying about Russian "collusion" with the 2016 Trump presidential campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration.

Real journalist Aaron Mate at RealClearInvestigations has written a fabulous article on these publications’ completely inadequate attempts at “fixing” some of their mistakes/lies, offering detailed suggestions for how they really could correct what they wrote. It’s called “Five Trump-Russia ‘Collusion’ Corrections We Need From the Media Now –- Just For Starters.”

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2021/11/24/five_trump-russia_collusion_corrections_we_need_from_the_media_now_-_just_for_starters_804205.html

It’s been FIVE YEARS since BuzzFeed published the “dossier,” peddled by Michael Sussmann, now under indictment by Special Counsel John Durham for failing to tell the FBI that he was Hillary’s attorney when he gave them the story. Steele’s main source, Igor Danchenko, is charged with lying as well. Sara Fischer at Axios has called this reporting “one of the most egregious journalistic errors in modern history” and says the media’s response to its own fake reporting has been “tepid.” She points out that Axios did not publish the “dossier” or any original reporting based on its contents, as it was not verified. Thank you, Axios.

(Note: Also, in all these years, the Huckabee team has never had to retract or correct anything we’ve said about Trump and Russia.)

https://www.axios.com/steele-dossier-discredited-media-corrections-buzzfeed-washington-post-6b762a0b-64a9-4259-8697-298e2f04fb3e.html

Fischer does give WAPO credit for allowing their media critic, Eric Wemple, to write about the mistakes they and other media outlets made in covering the Russia “collusion” story. In contrast, BuzzFeed still has the “dossier” posted, with a note added that “The allegations are unverified, and the report contains errors.” Nice of them to at least say that, five years later.

Ben Smith, BuzzFeed’s then-editor-in-chief, told Axios, “My view on the logic of publishing hasn’t changed.” He’s now a columnist for The New York Times.

Some outlets didn’t respond to Fischer’s calls about this. David Corn, in a comment to Wemple, revealed his continuing denial of reality: “My priority has been to deal with the much larger topic of Russia’s undisputed attack and Trump’s undisputed collaboration with Moscow’s cover-up.” What??

After the federal indictment of Danchenko, WAPO quietly re-edited a dozen stories related to Steele and the “dossier,” In a couple of cases –- stories written by Rosalind Helderman and Tom Hamberger –- this involved removal of entire sections, changing headlines, and adding lengthier editor’s notes. But, as the RealClearInvestigations article points out, the editors never explain how the mistakes happened or offer names of the anonymous sources who deceived “them and the public over months and years.”

Helderman and Hamberger are two of the dozen-plus reporters who now share the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction---I mean, for Reporting. Neither WAPO or the NYT has given any indication that they might return the award, even though, as Mate points out, “the Post’s and the Times’ reporting has the same problem as the Steele document that these same outlets are now distancing themselves from: a reliance on anonymous, deceptive, and almost certainly partisan sources for claims that proved to be false.” (Note: I’d remove the “almost” –- the sources were certainly partisan.)

It took seemingly forever for WAPO to address this at all, as the “dossier” has been discredited since April 2019, when Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his FBI team failed to verify any of its contents. That didn’t matter; most of the media still aggressively pushed the Trump-Russia narrative. Some, like David Corn, will never really give it up.

After BuzzFeed published the “dossier,” WAPO and the NYT were joined by other outlets in a media frenzy. Mate cites particularly outrageous stories that ran in the New Yorker (a “fawning” profile of Steele), McClatchy (Mueller had "evidence" Trump attorney Michael Cohen had been to Prague), and The Guardian (Paul Manafort met with Julian Assange in London’s Ecuadorian embassy). BuzzFeed stayed in the act, too, with a false story that Trump had instructed Cohen to lie to Congress. All fake, fake, fake.

To add juice to the argument that WAPO and the NYT should return their Pulitzer, Mate documents five specific stories “containing false or misleading claims, and thereby due for retraction or correction, that were either among the Post and Times’ winning entries, or other work of reporters who shared that prize.” These outright falsehoods can be shown to be wrong with information that has “long been in the public domain,” he says.

FALSEHOOD #1: Michael Flynn discussed sanctions with Russia and lied about it. We’ve covered the real story in detail here, throughout Flynn’s long ordeal of personal destruction. WAPO did not tell the truth in February of 2017 when they added their own spin and plenty of mind-reading to their report on Flynn’s phone call with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak. Both WAPO and the NYT continued the deception in articles from May of 2020 about the transcripts.

FALSEHOOD #2: Trump officials had repeated contacts with Russian officials. This fake story, written by three members of the NYT Pulitzer-winning team, came out the day after Flynn resigned as national security adviser in February of 2017. Debunked.

FALSEHOOD #3: George Papadopoulos’ “night of heavy drinking” with Australian envoy Alexander Downer in which he supposedly said the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary. This fake story was reported in December of 2017, a couple of months after it was revealed that Marc Elias of the Clinton-funded law firm Perkins Coie paid for the “dossier.” (Yes, this was uncovered that soon, by House Republicans led by Devin Nunes.) Their characterization of this conversation turned out to be false, as documented by declassified FBI recordings.

FALSEHOOD #4: Russia’s “sweeping interference campaign” posed a national security threat. Read the details in Mate’s article and you will see this story was a complete crock. To be fair, Mueller sensationalized this, too, as the body of his report fails miserably to live up to the headline.

FALSEHOOD #5: The DOJ never fully examined Trump’s ties to Russia. Reporters tried to “explain” why Mueller hadn’t found anything on Trump by saying Attorney General Barr and deputy AG Rod Rosenstein had handcuffed him. More fakeness. Even Peter Strzok later contradicted this.

Caution: reading through Mate’s article will raise your blood pressure, with example after example of this steaming load of Pulitzer-winning “journalism.” This utter waste of the public’s and the government’s time was created out of essentially nothing to damage Trump and his presidency as much as possible. It was all made up.

So, New York Times and Washington Post: GIVE THE PULITZER BACK NOW.

Latest taker of the red pill

December 3, 2021

If you listen to the Democrats and their media stenographers, you’d think that the only reason anyone would not vote Republican is that they must be a greedy racist. That little bit of overused slander may be wearing out its welcome as the Democrats’ massive failures of policy are now too obvious and painful even for many of their longtime supporters to ignore.

Latest taker of the Red Pill: Victor Jimenez. He was not only a Democrat but the lead public information officer for liberal Washington, DC, Mayor Murial Bowser’s office for community affairs.

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2021/12/02/watch-former-d-c-mayor-spox-tells-tucker-why-he-left-dem-party-and-voted-for-youngkin-n485383

Jimenez told Tucker Carlson that his conversion started with voting for Republican Glenn Youngkin for Virginia Governor, and he’s now switched parties. The reason: “Biden turned me into a Republican” and “destroyed the economy.”

Wait, I can hear the Democrats saying, are you sure he’s not just a white supremacist racist? Actually, he’s of Dominican background. One of his chief concerns is that Biden’s open borders are letting people stream into the US with guns, drugs and criminal records and harm Hispanic communities. Even good people who just want jobs are undermining the wages of Hispanic American families. He said people can feel the rise in crime and violence, and “everything is crumbling for the Democrats.” He predicted that Youngkin’s victory was the beginning of the end, and more will come in 2022.

Interestingly, he said he knows he’s going against the narrative because Democrats expect him to be a Democrat by default. Funny, I would think that assuming someone has to think and vote a certain way just because of his race would be…racist.

The Democrats can pound the “racist” straw man all they want, but their real problem is that so many Americans are being exposed to the same thing that converted this public information officer: too much public information.

We’ve received many letters in response to yesterday's story on the Salvation Army. (A follow-up story ran today.) Here are few that called out for responses.

From Larry (excerpt):

Love your show and your website, have for a long time. Just want to express a concern about people falling in the trap of using racist terms that are promoted by the left. You used one of the most racist terms in your article when you said " people of color." ...White is a color, it's just not one the racist democrats like.

It's just one of many things that non-Democrats fall prey to because they don't stop to think about a word before they just accept it and start using it.

As I said, we've always thought you were, and still are, one of the smartest people in the public eye that speaks for Conservatives and Christians. Best wishes.

From the Gov:

Thanks for writing, Larry, and for your kind words. We’re really sensitive to the language and how leftists try to shape it, and are glad to see you are, too. Keep in mind that commentaries include quotations, and these are run in quotation marks exactly as they were originally stated. The commentary you refer to included lengthy excerpts from a CRT-based publication, and that’s the term they used. I wouldn’t soften or censor what someone else said unless it was vulgar or otherwise over-the-line offensive.

We all have different ideas on how to use language respectfully to refer to race, and it continues to evolve. Personally, I’m baffled as to why leftists like the abbreviation “POC” for “people of color,” because it also stands for something offensive. But, again, I and my staff didn't use either of these; we were just quoting someone else.

From Jane (excerpt):

I am of heavy Irish descent. In fact I am Irish Catholic, which is amongst the Irish the most discriminated against, including by our own government (my grandfather was only allowed to work for the government if he professed himself to be an orange man)...I guess the existence of Irish slaves in the colonies (who were considered to be less valuable than the black slaves) is an inconvenient truth to yet another position that the Democrats take in order to control people. So, are there any non-woke charities out there that we can donate gently used items to?

From the Gov:

Thank you, Jane, for a history lesson that most people never receive. This is why it does no good for some groups to do a personal accounting of the accumulated grievances that were done to their ancestors. An ideology based on past victimhood poisons the present. As for non-woke charities, I’m sure there are still quite a few, and it’s always good to start close to home.

From Dale:

I am really disappointed that Huckabee would write something that can be damaging to the Salvation Army. They have already recanted and removed those Guides which could be wrongly construed. I will be canceling my daily Huckabee Newsletter because of this!!

From the Gov:

Dale, I hope you’ll stay. Actually, if you see the update today, the SA is “reviewing” those guides but has not recanted. Perhaps they will, and I’ll update the story if they do. But so far, they’ve blamed readers for believing they’ve promoted damaging ideas they actually HAVE promoted. This poison has turned some once-laudable organizations into something very different in 2021.

I did not specifically call for a boycott of the SA, and will not. But it would be a failure on my part not to report on what’s happening to major charities in the U.S. That’s the only way they’re going to be brought back to sanity.

Finally, this from Duncan:

News flash, woke people!!! EVERYONE has 'unconscious bias' about someone or something. If you claim to be completely conscious you better notify the Dalai Llama. He might have some advice for you to help you cope with total enlightenment.

It does behoove all of us to be aware of the possibility that we may be unaware of our faults. On the other hand, let's not let fear(s) paralyze us to living and growing. The most simple and central tenant of Christianity, ‘Treat thy neighbor as you would be treated,' pretty much says it all.

Thanks Governor for your ongoing clear common-sense publications. Keep it going!

From the Gov:

Thanks, Duncan. You have indeed said it all, so you get the last word.


"Infrastructure"

December 1, 2021

I’ve repeatedly warned readers not to fall for the idea that the $1.2 trillion “infrastructure” bill was actually going to buy $1.2 trillion worth of roads, bridges and airport improvements (hence our habitual use of quotation marks around “infrastructure.”) That’s partly because only a fraction of the money goes to things that any sane person would consider to be actual infrastructure (Democrats only win arguments by redefining words, in this case turning “government giveaway programs” into “human infrastructure.”) But it’s also because Democrats, in thrall to environmentalist donors, have created so many laws that make it darn near impossible to build a new road, highway, dam or any other major construction project.

We went through the same thing under Obama. Remember the promise that spending nearly a trillion tax dollars would create thousands of “shovel-ready jobs?” Then we discovered that it took a 10-year environmental impact study just to get permits to buy a shovel. Even Obama himself admitted that he found out there were no “shovel-ready jobs.”

Well, one of the hallmarks of modern liberals is that they never learn from prior mistakes. So now we have a freshly-signed $1.2 trillion “infrastructure” bill, and the New York Times, which pushed hard for passage, has suddenly realized that it probably won’t actually build or fix very much infrastructure.

https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/business/joseph-vazquez/2021/11/29/shocker-nyt-throws-cold-water-bidens-massive

The Times actually printed an analysis by independent journalist Ralph Vartabadian in which he found that the bill “carries enormous risks that the projects will face the same kind of cost, schedule and technical problems that have hobbled ambitious efforts from New York to Seattle, delaying benefits to the public and driving up the price tag that taxpayers ultimately will bear.”

It would have been nice if the Times had looked that closely at the bill before it was passed with their support and we taxpayers got stuck with the tab. But even if it never results in a new road or bridge, it will accomplish its actual goals of (A.) giving Biden a legislative “win,” (B.) expanding government size and control, and (C.) showering money on Democrat donors and voting blocs.

In short, the Times will never learn because keeping their readers willfully ignorant until it’s too late advances the left’s political agenda. But the rest of us can learn from this never to pay attention to the New York Times.

Fauci faces the crowd

November 30, 2021

Sunday on “Face the Nation,” I think Dr. Anthony Fauci might have finally reached his “A Face in the Crowd” moment. In that classic movie, Andy Griffith plays a “man of the people” drunk on his own power who falls from public grace after an open microphone reveals what an arrogant, power-mad demagogue he really is. In Fauci’s case, he knew the mic was on, he (as always) sought out the camera, but he still revealed in shockingly clear terms that he’s suffering from a terminal case of galloping egomania.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/rand-paul-blasts-fauci-astounding-alarming-represent-science

When asked about the justifiable criticism of him by such Senators as Ted Cruz and Rand Paul for denying under oath that his NIH funded gain-of-function research when it was later revealed that it had, Fauci scoffed that it was just “noise.” As for Cruz pointing out that lying to Congress is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, Fauci laughed and asked, "What happened on January 6th, Senator?

For the record, Ted Cruz had nothing to do with January 6th, but the lies about gain-of-function research came directly from Dr. Fauci’s mouth. And he wasn’t wearing three masks at the time, so we all heard it clearly.

But then came the really telling moment, when Fauci tried to dismiss any criticism of him as invalid by declaring, “They’re really criticizing science, because I represent science. They’re dangerous.”

Cruz responded bluntly, blasting Fauci not only for being an "unelected technocrat who has distorted science and facts in order to exercise authoritarian control over millions of Americans" and for “ad hominem insults parroting Democratic talking points,” but also for his jaw-dropping hubris in declaring that any questioning of him is dangerous because he is the living embodiment of “science.” As I’ve had to remind people countless times over recent years, science is the process of asking questions and developing evidence that points to the truth, even if it disproves what everyone believed up to that point. This is why anyone who says, “The science is settled!” is actually admitting that they don’t know jack squat about what science is.

But now, we all know what science is. Dr. Fauci is “Science!” If he says it, it cannot be questioned! Too bad there’s no vaccine to prevent his head from swelling up bigger than a Macy’s Parade balloon. Frankly, I’m at the point where I’d put more faith in Mr. Wizard than in Dr. “Science.”

I’ll give the last word to Sen. Paul, who unlike Fauci is a doctor who’s actually treated patients:

"It’s astounding and alarming that a public health bureaucrat would even think to claim such a thing, especially one who has worked so hard to ignore the science of natural immunity."