We have not thought much of the New York Times‘s political coverage this past year. Whether it was sexplaining Hillary Clinton’s continuing crime spree at the State Department — where she committed the unpardonable act of being asked for favors from her Foundation which she did not then give out — or (and this is real!) devoting real estate to the fact that she hadn’t gotten the proper permits for a kitchen renovation, the Times never found a charge against Hillary Clinton that was beneath it to repeat.
But that was for Hillary Clinton. As we ranted back in November, when it came to Donald Trump, and the bombshell report by Mother Jones‘s David Corn alleging that according to a British spy man, the Kremlin had been cultivating Donald Trump as an asset for years, the Times couldn’t light a fire under its own ass fast enough to clear Trump of all crimes past, present and future.
How is that story, by the Times‘s Eric Lichtblau (who also wrote those “questions raised” stories about ties between the Clinton Foundation and Hillary’s State Department), holding up?
Oh, quite poorly. Quite poorly indeed!
Back then, Lichtblau and the Times quoted a “law enforcement official” (James Comey? Sure, why not? Totally definitely probably James Comey) saying
none of the investigations so far have found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government. And even the hacking into Democratic emails, F.B.I. and intelligence officials now believe, was aimed at disrupting the presidential election rather than electing Mr. Trump. […]
The most serious part of the F.B.I.’s investigation has focused on the computer hacks that the Obama administration now formally blames on Russia. That investigation also involves numerous officials from the intelligence agencies. Investigators, the officials said, have become increasingly confident, based on the evidence they have uncovered, that Russia’s direct goal is not to support the election of Mr. Trump, as many Democrats have asserted, but rather to disrupt the integrity of the political system and undermine America’s standing in the world more broadly.
Last week, we learned the Intelligence community was briefing the current president and his enfant terrible successor about all the charges alleged in Corn’s original story (which, remember, the New York Times denied), including the pee hookers and such. You remember.
Today, McClatchy reports the FBI had been investigating Russians ties to Trump, and Russian financing of Wikileaks’s hacking of the Hillary Clinton campaign, as early as last spring:
U.S. intelligence agencies not only have been unanimous in blaming Russia for the hacking of Democrats’ computers but also have concluded that the leaking and dissemination of thousands of emails of top Democrats, some of which caused headaches for the Clinton campaign, were done to help Trump win.
The New York Times also said the FBI had found no ties — NONE — between Trump’s inner circle and Russia, like so:
Intelligence officials have said in interviews over the last six weeks that apparent connections between some of Mr. Trump’s aides and Moscow originally compelled them to open a broad investigation into possible links between the Russian government and the Republican presidential candidate. Still, they have said that Mr. Trump himself has not become a target. And no evidence has emerged that would link him or anyone else in his business or political circle directly to Russia’s election operations.
(Our bold.) Today, McClatchy?
The working group is scrutinizing the activities of a few Americans who were affiliated with Trump’s campaign or his business empire and of multiple individuals from Russia and other former Soviet nations who had similar connections, the sources said.
Why did The Times report extensively on the hacking of the Democratic Party, but not this?
The Times did report before the election that the F.B.I. was investigating claims about Mr. Trump’s ties to Russia — an article that resulted from an extensive reporting effort. The Democratic National Committee and Podesta emails were public, their authenticity was not in doubt, and they contained newsworthy information.
Yes, John Podesta’s risotto recipe was definitely newsworthy, as were DNC staffers bitching among themselves that Bernie Sanders was a poophead. Not newsworthy? Intel agencies investigating whether Russia and Donald Trump were talking amongst themselves about how to steal documents from
the Watergate Hotel the DNC and rig an election. And you know what they linked to there, right? The New York Times stating that the FBI had cleared Trump of Russian collusion.
That must be news to the FBI, which had joined a “working group” with five other Intel agencies investigating just that for almost a year now.
Will the New York Times name the “law enforcement official” who presumably lied to its august self? Will the New York Times admit it was packed full of shit? Sources say no, and fuck you is why.