Is This The New Media Normal: Manufactured News For Hire?

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Lee Smith via TabletMag.com,

Donald Trump, Jr. appears to be the latest figure in President Donald Trump’s inner circle to be caught in the giant web of the Great Kremlin Conspiracy. Trump the younger said he was promised dirt on Hillary Clinton, but that all he got in his June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer was an earful about dropping the Magnitzky Act, which sanctions Russian officials involved in the death of a Russian lawyer who was killed in detention.

If the Trump, Jr. meeting is just another chapter in the Beltway telenovela about Trump selling out America to the Russians through an ever-changing cast of supposed intermediaries - come back, Mike Flynn and Carter Page, we hardly knew ye - it sheds valuable light on the ways and means by which the news that fills our iPhone screens and Facebook feeds is now produced.

You see, the Russian lawyer - often carelessly presented as a “Russian government lawyer” with “close ties to Putin” - Natalia Veselnitskaya, who met with Trump, also worked recently with a Washington, D.C. “commercial research and strategic intelligence firm” that is also believed to have lobbied against the Magnitzy Act. That firm, which also doubles as an opposition research shop, is called Fusion GPS - famous for producing the Russia dossier distributed under the byline of Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent for hire.

Steele’s report, a collection of anonymously-sourced allegations, many of which were said to come from “high-ranking former Russian government officials” - i.e. not exactly the kinds of people who seem likely to randomly shoot the shit with ex-British spooks - detailed Trump’s ties to Russian officials and strange sexual obsessions. Originally ordered up by one of Trump’s Republican challengers, the dossier circulated widely in D.C. in the months before the 2016 election, pushed by the Clinton campaign, but no credible press organization was able to verify its claims. After Clinton’s surprise loss, the dossier became public, and it’s claims - while still unverified - have shaped the American public sphere ever since.

Yet at the same time that Fusion GPS was fueling a campaign warning against a vast Russia-Trump conspiracy to destroy the integrity of American elections, the company was also working with Russia to influence American policy - by removing the same sanctions that Trump was supposedly going to remove as his quid pro quo for Putin’s help in defeating Hillary. Many observers, including the press, can’t quite figure out how the firm wound up on both sides of the fence. Sen. Chuck Grassley wants to know if Fusion GPS has violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

As the founders of Fusion GPS surely understand, flexibility is a key recipe for success - and the more room you can occupy in the news cycle, the bigger the brand. After all, they’re former journalists - and good ones. Fusion GPS is the story of a few journalists who decided to stop being suckers. They’re not buyers of information, they’re sellers.

***

Fusion GPS was founded in 2009—before the social media wave destroyed most of the remaining structures of 20th-century American journalism—by two Wall Street Journal reporters, Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch. They picked up former colleagues from the Journal, Tom Catan, and Neil King, Jr., who were also well-respected by their peers. When the social media wave hit two years later, print media’s last hopes for profitability vanished, and Facebook became the actual publisher of most of the news that Americans consumed. Opposition research and comms shops like Fusion GPS became the news-rooms—with investigative teams and foreign bureaus—that newspapers could no longer afford.

As top reporters themselves, the principals of Fusion GPS knew exactly what their former colleagues needed in order to package and sell stories to their editors and bosses. “Simpson was one of the top terror-finance investigative reporters in the field,” says one Washington-based journalist, who knows Simpson professionally and personally, and who asked for anonymity in discussing a former reporter. “He got disillusioned when Rupert Murdoch took over the Journal because there was less room for the kind of long-form investigative journalism he thrived on.”

And now, says the journalist, “they’re guns for hire. They were hired to dig up dirt on donors to Mitt Romney’s campaign, they were hired by Planned Parenthood after a video exposing some of the organization’s controversial practices.”

Besides Russia, Fusion GPS has also worked with other foreign countries, organizing campaigns and creating news that furthers the aims of the people who pay for their services—using the fractured playing field of “news” to extend old-fashioned lobbying efforts in a way that news consumers have been slow to understand.

Fusion GPS, according to the company’s website, offers “a cross-disciplinary approach with expertise in media, politics, regulation, national security, and global markets.” What does that mean, exactly? “They were hired by a sheikh in the UAE after he was toppled in a coup and waged an information war against his brother,” one well-respected reporter who has had dealings with the company told me. “I believe they seeded the New Yorker story about the Trump Hotel in Azerbaijan with alleged connections to the IRGC. They may have been hired to look into Carlos Slim. It’s amazing how much copy they generate. They’re really effective.”

Yet it is rare to read stories about comms shops like Fusion GPS because traditional news organizations are reluctant to bite the hands that feed them. But they are the news behind the news—well known to every D.C. beat reporter as the sources who set the table and provide the sources for their big “scoops.” The ongoing transformation of foundering, profitless news organizations into dueling proxies for partisan comms operatives is bad news for American readers, and for our democracy. But it is having a particularly outsized effect on reporting in the area of foreign policy, where expert opinion is prized—and easily bought—and most reporters and readers are only shallowly informed.

***

For the past seven years, I’ve reported on and written about American foreign policy and what I saw as troubling trends in how we describe and debate our relationship to the rest of the world. What I’ve concluded during that period is that the fractious nature of those arguments—over the Iran Deal, for instance, or the war in Syria, or Russia’s growing role in the Middle East and elsewhere—is a symptom of a problem here at home. The issue is not about this or that foreign policy. Rather, the problem is that the mediating institutions that enabled Americans to debate and decide our politics and policies, here and abroad, are deeply damaged, likely beyond repair.

The shape of the debate over the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action illustrated this most clearly. The Obama White House turned the press into an instrument used not only to promote its initiatives, but also to drown out and threaten and shame critics and potential opponents, even within the president’s own party. Given the financial exigencies of a media whose business model had been broken by the internet, mismanagement, and the rise of social media as the dominant information platform, the prestige press sacrificed its independence for access to power. If for instance, your beat was national security, it was difficult at best to cross the very few sources of power in Washington that controlled access to information. Your job depended on it. And there are increasingly fewer jobs in the press.

Ironically, the seeds of the moral and physical collapse of the American press were planted at the moment of its greatest popular triumph - All the President’s Men. Not the book by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, but the 1976 film lionizing the work of journalists whose big story about the Watergate break-in and cover-up was based on information provided by a government official, who steered their reporting until he brought down the President of the United States. Oh sure, have it your way, Mark Felt—aka “Deep Throat”—was a whistleblower, a man of conscience serving the people he protected for decades as a federal agent. But he was also a man who wanted to become Director of the FBI, and became furious at Nixon for snubbing him for the top job. In other words, the hero of this epic tale was an embittered law enforcement official who instead of going public with what he knew about a crime, manipulated a vital American institution, the free press, to pay back his boss, while the reporters manfully withheld that information from their readers.

This is to take nothing away from the sedulous and detailed reporting of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. But the lesson of Watergate has been imprinted on two generations of journalists, and it was only a matter of time before it was raised to the level of a virtue in the Obama years—if you want to break real news, you need to ingratiate yourself with the mid to high-level officials who are in position to leak it to you. And then, the bottom fell out of the news business.

Try to imagine what it’s like for recent graduates from the country’s top journalism schools when they first hit the Washington happy hour scene. It’s their first time out with their senior colleagues, their mentors—whoever still has a job. Everyone is three drinks into the evening and bragging about who’s closer to some deputy assistant secretary at the Pentagon, or the scheduler for the vice president’s chief of staff.

Gee, the apprentice reporter thinks to herself, in my “Sociology of the Fourth Estate” seminar at Medill, my favorite professor told me that as journalists, those who help provide the free flow of information necessary for the electorate to make choices about how we live at home and influence others abroad, we serve the American people. And now you’re saying that what we’re really doing is advancing the interests of certain bureaucrats against their rivals in other bureaucracies. So we’re political operatives—except we get paid less. Much much less.

The news media is dead broke. Print advertising is washed up and all the digital advertising that was supposed to replace lost revenue from print ads and subscribers has been swallowed up by Facebook and Google. But the good news is that people will still pay for stories, and it’s an awful lot easier to bill one customer than invoicing the 1,500 readers of your blog. The top customers for these stories are political operations.

There is no accurate accounting of how many of the stories you read in the news are the fruit of opposition research, because no journalist wants to admit how many of their top “sources” are just information packagers—which is why the blinding success of Fusion GPS is the least-covered media story in America right now. There’s plenty of oppo research on the right, but most of it comes from the left. That’s not because Republicans are more virtuous than Democrats and look for dirt less than their rivals do. Nor conversely is it because Republicans make a richer subject for opposition research because they’re so much more corrupt. Nope, it’s simple arithmetic: Most journalists lean to the left, and so do the majority of career officials who staff the federal government. There are more sounding boards on the left, and more sources. It’s not ideological, it’s business.

Thus, most of Fusion GPS’s contracts seem to come from the left—except for its most famous project, the Russia dossier. Before it was passed on to the Democrats, it started on the right, when one Republican candidate—thought to be Jeb Bush but never confirmed—hired the outfit to amass damning material on Trump. From humble beginnings, it has taken on the shape of a modern-day legend.

Plugging in various members of the president’s circle as possible accomplices—including his former national security adviser Mike Flynn, Carter Page, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and now Donald Trump, Jr.—the narrative has led the news, print and broadcast, nearly every day for seven months. The Great Kremlin Conspiracy has fueled the energies of the anti-Trump resistance and turned obscure twitter feeds into folk heroes. More importantly, it has helped obstruct the legislative and political agenda of an administration that has had no shortage of big problems of its own making without also being the target of what has turned out to be most innovative and successful campaign of political warfare in recent memory.

The Trump-Russia story has frequently been likened to Watergate, a specious comparison since the latter started with evidence of a crime and the former with publication of an anthology of fables, pornography, and Russian-sourced disinformation put together and distributed by partisan political operatives. The salient comparison is rather in the effect—it has the same feel as Watergate. And it’s taking up the same space as Watergate—and that’s because comms shops-for-hire like Fusion GPS have assumed the role that the American press used to occupy.

***

Brickbats and Bouquets

 

On Wednesday, three major news organization published variations of the same story - about the line of succession to the Saudi throne. It seems that in June the son of King Salman, Mohammed Bin Salman, muscled his cousin Mohammed Bin Nayef out of the way to become the Crown Prince and next in line.

It’s a juicy narrative with lots of insider-y details about Saudi power politics, drug addiction, and the ambitions of a large and very wealthy family, but the most salient fact is that the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Reuters published what was essentially the same story, with minor variations, on the same day—not a breaking news story, but an investigative feature.

In other words, these media organizations were used as part of an information campaign targeting Riyadh, for as yet unknown reasons. Who’s behind it? Maybe an opposition research shop like Fusion GPS, or a less formal gathering of interests, like Saudi opponents foreign and domestic, as well as American intelligence officials.

It’s certainly embarrassing to be played for the sucker and see what you likely assumed was a scoop break in two other outlets the very same day, and some of the bylines involved are capable and talented journalists. But it’s perhaps worst for the New York Times, which was compelled to run what amounted to an article-length correction the next day, under the headline,Saudi Official Who Was Thought to Be Under House Arrest Receives a Promotion.” On Wednesday, the Times reported that Gen. Abdulaziz al-Huwairini had been put under house arrest by a faction loyal to Mohammed Bin Salman. On Thursday, the Times reported that he was in fact named head of a government body overseeing domestic security and counterterrorism issues.

Still, the Times published what was far and away the best piece of foreign news reporting this week, Tim Arango’s July 15 feature, “Iran Dominates in Iraq After US ‘Handed the Country Over.’ ” It’s a terrifically well-reported and well-written piece explaining how the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama are both to blame for bungling one of the costliest and most controversial foreign engagements in American history.

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Blue Balls's picture

I gave up on the MSM as soon as I was able to get talk radio then internet.  

How do you go back to Rebublicans bad zionist banker good bs?

HRClinton's picture

It's somehow reassuring that Call Girls in both countries are more ethical than lawyers in both countries. 

When the former has her hands in your pockets, you know what you're getting. With the latter...

armada's picture

Well then, learn to INTERPRET the news. http://bit.ly/28P8q6j

True Blue's picture

Go spam your fucktarded biblicism institute bullshit elsewhere -you cum-gargling gutter whore.

jeff montanye's picture

imo you are missing a good source of why the world is as it is.  

fleur de lis's picture

The MSM is mixed up in the whole thing, and they vie with their Hollyweird friends to show off their mediocre hysteria acting skills.

Maybe they are contemplating a fantasy career on the big screen as opposed to a fantasy career on the newscast. 

And there is much, much more to Natalia Veselnitskya than meets the eye.

She started yammering to Don Jr. about the Magnitsky Act, but what is it?

The Magnitsky Act is named after Sergey Magnitsky, a Russian tax lawyer who died in a Moscow jail. 

After that the story goes down the rabbit hole.

Long story short, anyone thought to be part of his death was listed on the Act and prohibited from entering America.

And who should be on the list but our star actress Natalia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnitsky_Act

Very strange circumstances for an adoption lawyer.

Give that girl an Oscar.

How was she mixed up in Magnitsky's death, and why was Congress so affronted by this death that they created an Act for it?

How was Congress mixed up with Magnitsky?

What did the Russians find out about Magnitsky while in custody?

How does Natalia move freely between both nations with so much weird baggage? 

Is she a double Deep State asset?

She can trash Congress, the MSM, DNC, RNC, FBI, CIA, NSA, and all the pestilent inhabitants of the DC Swamp and get away with it, but if she tries that stunt on Putin she will fare badly.

And she knows it.

Nothing about that story makes any sense.

 

 

DavidC's picture

Member for
13 weeks 2 days.

DavidC

Never One Roach's picture

 

In Rolling Stone Defamation Case, Magazine and Reporter Ordered to Pay $3 Million

 

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A federal jury on Monday ordered Rolling Stone and one of its writers to pay $3 million in damages to a University of Virginia administrator over a discredited article two years ago about a supposed gang rape at the university.

The jury in Charlottesville, Va., had already decided on Friday, after a two-week trial, that Rolling Stone; Wenner Media, its parent company; and Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the author of the article, were all liable for defamation in a case that centered on faulty reporting and a failure to apply basic fail-safes in editing.

Because Rolling Stone refused to fully retract the fabricated story, and instead effectively republished it in its entirety with only short note appended, the jury also found the magazine and publisher Jann Wenner’s media company liable for malice.

 

Basically, Rolling Stone completed fabricated the stroy and then republished it knowing that it was fake news...gee, sounds like another news outlet we all know!

 

jeff montanye's picture

thank you so much.  i have disliked jann wenner with increasing ferocity for quite a long time.  he could not handle cocaine or control of the rock and roll hall of fame gracefully, imo.

and his serious news reporting far too often gives the neocons a pass.

nmewn's picture

The good news is, the Alinsky press monopoly is in its death rattle. Its weak & dying voice trying to rise above the cacophony of the internet where BILLIONS of editors instantly fact check & vet articles before they gain a foothold in the mind. 

So as the Dan Rathers, Bernsteins, Brokaws & Brooks of the world lament in their own passing, making sorrowful pleas to once again unite behind their false words & deeds that they promoted over their pampered, pensioned careers we rejoice in pissing on their beds for...a change.

All Fusion GPS dossiers & campaign slogan puns are intended ;-)

shovelhead's picture

GPS Fusion...

"We're more than pissing hookers...Much more.

Use us for all your party needs".

CryptBrain's picture

MSM News is impossible to watch.  The only show I can stand is Tucker; and even he gets FFed at times- the first 20 min are good, then it starts to go down hill.  Hannity is like on Loop on many days: repeating the same points over and over again.  Non-MSM news sites AND YouTube is the way to go-  Oh wait, and Twitter.  Can't forget the dam bird, of course you have to be following more than 1k sources- then filter at will.   But at least with twtr one can be a spectator; unlike  FB, which is for complete morons.  Might as well be downloading all your pics, videos and connections right into the a government's website; and into the mother-load corporation for profit dissemination.  We are definitely living during the middle of a media paradigm shift.  "The medium is the method" has resurfaced as a relevant explanation of what this shift implies.  Of course there are significant differences between that period and now, but the information the author presents is too important to forget.  To think that one of Bill Gates top 5 summer reading recommendations, is the the South African junior immigrant book from Noah Trevor, of the Tonight Show on Comedy Central.  Nice one Bill.  Keep the sheep dead a sleep listening to the rants of newly-entered American novice, living the American Dream times 10 to the seventh power, thinking we are the shinny house on a hill.  The kid is now a multi-millionaire, with outer-ring understanding of what we've done, and what we are doing.  Thinks the Deep State is a conspiracy theory from Alex Jones, and David Ike.  Yes Noah, you just got off the boat and got the whole thing figured out.  Jon Stewart, or whatever his name is, picked you because you were the smartest out of the bunch. /sar/ I mean, The kid must know right.  He must know that he was selected because he's most gullible right?  Because the beauty about this kid -- and let me clarify:  i'm using "kid" in a derogatory manner -- the beauty about him is that he actually believes the nonsensical message that his (Jon's & CC's) writers have him spewing.  Noah, baby!  You're the rich idiot.  (Ok not such an idiot)   Although one day this kid is going to wake up (next to hot blond, or two, (notice I didn't specify sex) and a bottle of Booze) and realize that you've been played big time.  I don't think your money is going to help you with the blast of depression hitting you all at once.  You'll try to deny it, block it, ask peeps bout it- but the dots will all come together like Keyser Zose.  Welcome to America fool.  Nothing here is free.  When things are given to you, as they have been given to you in such a grand scale, it's not because America is full of great, amazing people trying to help a South African brother out, its because they're buying one of you're most precious, personal assets: your Innocence.  Your adorable innocence reflects well among the sheep, and it keeps them undoubtedly watching.  Now here's what they didn't write in your contract.  When the day comes that you figure things out,  The innocence will obviously die.  Just like that it will be gone; like at the end of an ecstasy trip- from the 90s. (lol)  Which means- and I'm sorry for having to be the one to tell you this- the show must go on, and you'll have to go out there and pretend to not know, what you're becoming fully aware of.  That the whole thing is pretend.  The virtues you imagine behind the curtain, are nothing but a group of people pulling on a bunch of levers.  Oh but it gets worse.  See now that your innocence is gone, and you start to become in the "know", there are new expectations of you.  Because the interests you represent are sick, paranoid, psychopaths, now you'll have to show loyalty to the cause.  This is around the time when many in your field check out.  Oh and I don't mean like rescind your contract, take your money and go back to South Africa with the girl friend.  See Noah, when Bill Gates recommends your book, when you become a tool of the political machinery, when you serve- even though unwittingly- oh boy, this ain't gonna be easy is it?  To quote a funny coroner "I hope the ____ of ____don't have a crash on their head later"  ba-dum-TSH   Welcome to America. 

Bopper09's picture

Yet by subscribing to cable you're supporting them.  Pull the plug.

fleur de lis's picture

Your post is interesting but difficult to read.

Could you please use paragraphs?

Thanks.

shovelhead's picture

No. Really, it's not.

Keep the word soup. It makes it easier to skip.

jamesmmu's picture
Cast Aside Everything You Thought You Knew – This Is How It Really Is.

http://investmentwatchblog.com/cast-aside-everything-you-thought-you-kne...

LetThemEatRand's picture

Yes, it is the new (and old) normal.  So long as we're not talking about the Fed, the $4trillion missing from the MIC, the increase in MIC spending this year anyway, why Jamie Dimon is richer than you, why Corzine is walking free, why Hillary can bleachbit her server filled with public emails, and all the rest, it's cool.

Ignatius's picture

My breakthrough on "the press" came once I realized it's no different than building a house.  The first question the contractor asks you is, "What kinda house you want?"  It's no different for a journalist as he asks the editor, "What knida stories you want?"

All news is fake news.*

*Unless and until one knows otherwise.

Ms No's picture

I came out of the shoot a born conspiracy theorist.  The first three books I remember reading that weren't about dinosaurs, sharks, Myrtle the Turtle and elephants (kid stuff) were about heinous shit we did in Vietnam, covert ops in central and south america and not too long after that a book about the silver conspiracy.  I shit you not.  I was highschool and later age.  I was just drawn to it.  I also remember reading some Graham Hancock stuff pretty early about how they have lied about our planets history (which I still believe).  So I basically came to the conclusion that everything was a lie.  Then sometime later I bought the books "Everything you know is wrong". 

I also remember being around gradeschool age and coming home to Rush Limbaugh pushing some war rhetoric.  I was very upset and I told my mother some man was on TV and wanted to start a war.  She told me not to worry because he was just a propagandist.  Wrong!  Many on the right dont want to acknowledge it but Rush is one of the greatest war propagandists, or propagandist in general that ever lived.  Look where we are now.  Kid's instinctually know if nobody tells them that they are wrong. 

Ignatius's picture

I was aware of a lot as a teenager (60s, 70s), but put it out of mind.  9/11 and the shit that followed snapped me out of my sleep.  Thanks for sharing and good on you.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Holy Shit, Ms. No.  I think the British and/or Americans did a whole series of movies about the West fighting your dad, Mr. No.  

I don't want you to talk Republic, I want you to die.

Ms No's picture

It was some time around this period of time, I think.  Wow times have changed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z15uiwHfhbI

Edit: Wow, he mentioned the Jewish lobby in that interview.  That's weird.  I don't remember him ever complaining about that later.  I guess I haven't listened to him since the beginning and occasionally why I was held captive by somebody else listening.

 

shovelhead's picture

I knew that guy was a fake right from the start.

Fuck him and his Green Eggs and Ham.

Golden Showers's picture

Serious. Let's listen to the Jizz from the day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-idbqUzwxs

It's Saturday, so, crack that 40 oz of St. Ides like you all motherfuckers doing anyway.

It all make cents. Just take a bump up that proboscis and keep it up.

khnum's picture

Im sick of this Russians under the bed in black pyjamas crap

Yen Cross's picture

  Compliments of Lloyd Blankfein

  Us & Them

 

   Make No mistake, I live a high quality life. I don't take or steal from others, and will always protect my Z/H brethren.

 Earlier today I was going for a walk.   I noticed a red ferrari f-430 Berlinettta.

   This is why my 599-GTO[07] that happens to be black, only gets driven to special events and places.

   I was amazed by ter libtards, ogling everything they stand against, if it doesn't come with a campaign contribution.

Ms No's picture

Oh yes, libtards will drop trou or suck pole for anyone they think has money or could be a Hollywood greasy rocker. 

disagreeableness's picture

I'll bet my one good remaining testicle that the Republican who ordered up said dossier was none other than John McTumor. None of Trump's GOP adversaries were dumb or mean enough. He probably shopped that shit around to them and found no takers. Hell even Hillary is smart enough to pass on that shit. The NYT though........ 

peippe's picture

9 out of 10, it was the esteemed retard from Arizona.

he now gets what he bargained for.

Ms No's picture

Thanks for reminding us to have a drink in honor of his tumor again.

Yen Cross's picture

 Is that woman related to 'Valerie Bertinelli?

MuffDiver69's picture

Been thinking that since story broke...That broad had some snap in the last interview I saw...

rejected's picture

Print advertising is washed up and all the digital advertising that was supposed to replace lost revenue from print ads and subscribers has been swallowed up by Facebook and Google.

Anything digital touches,,,it destroys.  Oh, many think it's an advancement but it's really setting the world up. In a serious conflict or global disaster we won't even know how to work a mimeograph, much less build one.  And this goes for all the more durable technology wonderful digital is replacing.

DoctorFix's picture

Yep.  I've told people that when the SHTF or some EMP takes everything out... anything and everything on any electronic device is GONE.  So unless you have some books or hard copy somewhere you can kiss it all goodbye.  Progress my ass.

shovelhead's picture

I got 150 square foot of bookcases.

No worries.

PeeramidIdeologies's picture

One MUST learn to read between the lines. Taking any media word for word is ignorant at best.

Learning to understand the objective and restrictions in any statement is crucial to gaining insight to what is unfolding in the world.

*hat tip ZH*

Sokhmate's picture

The world, unfortunately, and sadly, is, simply, slowly, but surely,  leaving  the USA eating dirt in the slow lane, on the international highway.

MuffDiver69's picture

What is this 'world' you speak of...or was that Fusion GPS again...

MuffDiver69's picture

Good article and the last example on all three Fake News outlets getting played is good stuff too...What wasn't mentioned is how a decades long media manipulator like Trump uses this...He's having a blast...it's like his days playing John Barron in NYC tabloids...

Fusion GPS is in for a beat down...It's very easy to put the players into the scam they tried on Don junior..We have literaly watched democrat congressmen in session reading verbatim from a retired British spies Fake Dossier using Russian sources to push a Fake conspiracy...Who's guilty of foreign influence again...You can't make it up....ahahahhehehe

swmnguy's picture

The whole "Russia Hacked The Election" story is a red herring and always has been.  The real objective this whole time has been Trump's finances and money laundering in New York real estate for organized crime figures and shady oligarchs of many nationalities, including Russian and US.  

It was obvious and strange the topic didn't come up in the GOP nomination campaign or in the General Election; the "curious behavior of the dog in the night-time."   Maybe both parties ruled that topic out of bounds, as everyone involved in high-end real estate from the 1990s on, particularly in New York City, was implicated in that trade.

Starting with the diversion got a lot of people on the record with falsehoods, so they're compromised and vulnerable to the real push of the investigation.  Manafort and Flynn are clearly hiding their financial connections.  Kushner looks vulnerable too.  As for Trump, he had Joseph Cinque at his New Year's party this year at Mar-a-Lago, and has had prior dealings with the Gambino family.  This is where the real investigation has always been headed.

doctor10's picture

If Trump's opposition could'nt find squat in the primaries, anything Mueller claims he has found is assuredly BS. And that includes ANYTHING regarding the President's preceding business activities.

Mebbe the Deep State could go find another country to parasitize since they are so sick of the USA

Schmuck Raker's picture

tl;dr... ugh

I blame Andre Agassi, "Image is everything"

JailBanksters's picture

News for Hire is certainly NOT new, what's NEW is Americans now know, but

out outside of the US, I've known since the GWB Days by joining the Dots.

The White House gives money to CNN, FOX and MSN to do Favorable News Stories.

The Pentagram gives Hollywood Military access to those that do favorable Movies to the US Military and Unfavorable Movies towards their Enemies.

You can decide for yourself if Favorable means Propaganda.

Ms No's picture

The same oligarchs and friends that control the banks control the media and doubtless every monopolized industry in the US.

Rebelrebel7's picture

It is clear that the establishment is merely on a fishing expedition with one of 3 possible outcomes that could work to their advantage which would be terrible for our country;

1.) Destroy the office of the presidency by a barrage of warrantless accusations so that he is unable to govern.

2.) Find a criminal act that they can blackmail and control him with.

3.) Find a criminal act that they can impeach him with.

It seems that Al Capone, Osama Bin Laden, and Adolf Hitler, have  been channelled by the C.I.A. This is illegal terrorist level intimidation.

Ms No's picture

They should be pretty worried since they created a kingship presidency.  The President can pretty much do anything without approval by the stroke of a pen now.

beijing expat's picture

There is simply no point wasting time on the corporate media. The story has been broken wide open on the internet while the legacy media pretend Muh Russia has legs.

Haven't watched tv news for months. It's BS. Haven't read a paper for years. They just don't get it.

My fear is that after Trump they will shut free speech down. On the internet and between individuals.

These last six months have been the greatest challenge to Oligarchical rule since 1848. There will not be a repeat.

Tunga's picture

Who’s behind it?

Outbrain;

The Technical officer;
http://www.outbrain.com/about/team/

"Ori Lahav is Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer at Outbrain. ... Ori is also a Major (reserve) officer in the Israeli Navy." - snip from above

"Yaron Galai is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Outbrain. ... and is a Major (reserve) officer in the Israel Navy." - snip

"David Sasson is the Chief Operating Officer at Outbrain. ... David was also co-founder of Advocacy Inc., a leading interactive agency for political campaigns, congressional offices and issue advocacy."- snip from link above

"Gilad de Vries is Senior Vice President of Strategy at Outbrain.

Gilad was a Senior Director of Marketing and Product Management at Comverse Technology, a leading provider of value-added services for Telco Providers. Gilad holds a B.A. in economics and business management from Bar-Ilan University and a Global MBA cum laude from the IDC Herzelia. Gilad is also a first lieutenant (reserve) in the Israeli Army's technology unit (Mamram)." - snip from link above

"Patrick Kelly is Vice President of Finance. ...Before joining Quigo in 2003, Patrick held positions at The Blackstone Group and Morgan Stanley." - snip from link above

How they do it to ya;

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=4202819834404&set=vb.1402100826&type...