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The headline image is from the BBC story Russia-Trump: Who's who in the drama to end all dramas?

The BBC names the key players, but it missed one: the media.

On December 9, Glen Greenwald at the Intercept reported The U.S. Media Suffered Its Most Humiliating Debacle in Ages and Now Refuses All Transparency Over What Happened.

I covered the story in Trump Accuses CNN of Purposeful Fake News "Fraud on American Public".

In a nutshell, three news outlets, starting with CNN and followed by MSNBC broke a bombshell story on Trump that false. CBS jumped on the bandwagon but later blamed CNN.

Supposedly, multiple, credible sources said Trump had access to Wikileaks information on Russia before Wikileaks posted it.

The story timeline was false.

Coverup Begins

Days later, CNN refuses to disclose its sources or say what happened.

Greenwald blasted CNN in a Tweet again today.

How Did It Happen?

The Slate reports We Still Don’t Know Why Three Different Outlets “Confirmed” the Same Bogus Russia Story Last Week.

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"None of the outlets disclosed anything about the identities and/or motivations of the sources—and there are supposedly at least two of them!—who made such a consequential error of reading comprehension. Nor did any of them provide further information when I contacted them this afternoon asking whether they’d found out anything more about last week’s mysterious, sudden D.C.-wide inability to distinguish between 4 and 14," says the Slate, offering six possibilities.

Six Possibilities

  1. The outlets were relying on solid sources who all made the same honest mistake.
  2. The outlets were relying on secondhand sources who were just B.S.-ing the whole time and repeating a bad story that had gotten to them via a game of national security telephone.
  3. The outlets were relying on bad-faith sources who were intentionally trying to make the mainstream media look bad. (The Sept. 14 email in question is in the possession of the House Intelligence Committee; maybe some Trump loyalists on the committee pulled a James O’Keefe.)
  4. Only one source ever actually misread the date of the email; the rest of the sources that “confirmed” the story simply confirmed the existence of the email, not when it was sent. These “confirming” sources were then all conflated together by outlets overeager to rush out a big scoop.
  5. “Fake news.” (As in, the reporters made all of it up to GET TRUMP.)
  6. Aliens.

Trump Blasted CNN

That Tweet was on the day it happened. Here are some followups.

Trump on Fake News

Trump on Dumbest Man on Television

Trump on Coverup

Which Door?

The Slate writer opted for door number four. I suggest it's safe to rule out door number one, an honest mistake, and door number six, aliens.

After that, many combinations are possible. But regardless of the answer, it's clear that CNN is willing to rush unconfirmed garbage to the press, from sources that are not exactly credible

Mike "Mish"Shedlock