Fake News

Are NBC and CNN Paying Off Top Spies Who Leaked Info With On-Air Jobs?

by Lee Smith,
from The Tablet,

How the ‘Trump-Russia collusion’ sausage gets made.

The White House Correspondent’s Dinner Saturday night was a platform for the media to push back against the most powerful man in the world, the president of the United States. While Donald Trump constantly derides the top brands in American journalism as Fake News, the WHCA’s prize committee presented the Merriman Smith Award for broadcast journalism to CNN’s Evan Perez, Jim Sciutto, Jake Tapper, and Carl Bernstein for their Jan. 10, 2017 story reporting that Barack Obama’s four intelligence chiefs briefed Donald Trump that Russia had compromising information on the President-elect.

CNN has never disclosed the close relationship between Evan Perez, one of the reporters on the Jan. 10, 2017 story, and his former Wall Street Journal colleagues who went on to start Fusion GPS, including the company’s founder Glenn Simpson. Nor did the Merriman Smith prize committee acknowledge how the dossier on which the leading lights of the news business have again staked their institutional credibility was disseminated to the public. That story is now coming into focus with the recent release of seven government documents that together detail a working partnership between spy agencies and the press that helped a political attack meme go viral, even though the evidence on which it was based was demonstrably false. While this type of relationship—let’s call it collusion—may be routine in Third World countries, it does not bode well for the health of the American press, or our democratic institutions. Of the seven memos written by former director of the FBI James Comey to document his meetings with Trump, two tell the first part of the story. Comey was one of the four intelligence chiefs who met with the president-elect at Trump Tower on Jan. 6, 2017. Comey wrote that at the end of the meeting, the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper specifically wanted him to speak to Trump “alone or in a very small group.”

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