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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.

Wednesday, the Supreme Court Justices drilled attorneys during oral arguments over Mississippi’s ban on abortion before 15 weeks, the most serious challenge yet to Roe v. Wade.

The general consensus among legal analysts was that the conservative Justices were trying to force the pro-abortion attorneys to offer some kind of concrete rationale for why abortion should be legal, the liberal justices were pushing to maintain the status quo, and Chief Justice John Roberts was looking for some way to split the difference, to allow Mississippi-like restrictions while still preserving the idea of a right to abortion under some circumstances. But even he didn’t seem inclined to defend Roe v. Wade, comparing its arbitrary “viability” standard to those in China and North Korea, which we don’t need to emulate.

https://www.westernjournal.com/normally-moderate-roberts-savages-roe-v-wade-becomes-hero-saying-everyone-else-thinking/

I linked yesterday to an article about four things the SCOTUS had to keep in mind in making their decision, and the liberals' push for maintaining the status quo was one of the logical fallacies mentioned. If a ruling is bad and has terrible consequences (in Roe’s case, the slaughter of over 60 million children in the womb), then saying it’s been around so long and so many people depend on it that we have to keep it is not a rational argument. If a ruling is that bad, then it should have been overturned sooner, not preserved forever. Under that thinking, we’d still have slavery. And preserving a bad ruling doesn't protect the Court's integrity or reputation, it erodes it.

https://www.westernjournal.com/four-things-supreme-court-must-keep-mind-takes-abortion-question/

In this exchange, Justice Clarence Thomas practically had to get his pliers and pull some teeth to get the pro-abortion attorney to admit that they were there to defend the right to abortion rather than just some vague manifestation of the rights to liberty, autonomy or privacy. It appeared that not even the person arguing that there’s a right to abortion in the Constitution wanted to be put in the position of trying to point out where it is.

https://www.cnsnews.com/article/national/susan-jones/justice-thomas-what-specifically-right-here-were-talking-about

Justice Sonia Sotomayor gave a great example of how foolish it was with the original Roe decision to expect lawyers in robes to make medical decisions, such as when a fetus becomes viable. Sotomayor argued, contrary to recent medical discoveries, that it was a “fringe” idea to suggest that babies in the womb can feel pain before 24 weeks, and compared fetuses to “braindead” people.

https://dailycaller.com/2021/12/01/follow-science-pro-lifers-slam-justice-sotomayor-compared-unborn-babies-braindead-people/

I can think of someone I could compare to braindead people, but that doesn’t mean she can’t feel pain.

For more, this is a good article from PJ Media, summarizing 10 key moments during the oral arguments.

https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/chris-queen/2021/12/01/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-todays-oral-arguments-in-dobbs-v-jackson-womens-health-organization-n1538007

Finally, Larry O’Connor at Townhall.com shows how Justice Kavanaugh hit the nail on the head by pointing out that you cannot accommodate both sides, you have to choose. What does the Constitution say? Does it protect the right of humans in the womb to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, or does it protect the right of a pregnant woman to abort her child?

https://townhall.com/columnists/larryoconnor/2021/12/01/justice-kavanaugh-just-boiled-the-abortion-debate-down-to-its-most-fundamental-core-n2599912

All I can say is that I’ve read the Constitution a fair number of times, and I’ve never found the word “abortion” in it anywhere.

Where the money is

December 3, 2021

Wondering why leftism and wokeness are poisoning the sciences? Partly because of peer pressure and fear of the Twitter mob, but also because that’s where the money is.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/government-science-grants-increasingly-promote-woke-ideas-study-finds

A Ph.D. candidate in computer science at Northwestern University was studying how to make a grant proposal when he noticed the same woke buzzwords popping up in all the proposals he read. So he did a study and found that nearly a third of the abstracts for grants from the National Science Foundation, the government’s primary science grant distributor, contained highly politicized terms. He found that 30.4% of them included at least one of these terms: “equity,” “diversity,” “inclusion,” “gender,” “marginalize,” “underrepresented” or “disparity.”

This was especially common in education and human resources grants (53.8%), but even 22.6% of math and physical science grants contained them, up from 0.9% in 1990. Wokeism is doing the same thing to science grants that crabgrass does to lawns: rapidly expanding and choking out the good stuff.

The researcher said this is evidence that the NSF is getting increasingly politicized, and the growing sameness of the grants reflects a political litmus test that discourages conservative researchers from applying or being honest on applications. Ironically, this rewarding of woke leftism is resulting in less diversity, as only grants from one viewpoint get funded. In other words, there's a big disparity in grant awards diversity and inclusiveness because conservatives are being marginalized and underrepresented.

But I guess that’s okay, since being woke means you define “diversity” as giving a fair chance to people of every race, gender and skin color, as long as they agree with you 100%.