Monday, July 16, 2018 at 7:34 AM

Special Counsel Should’ve Indicted US Media along with Russian Hackers

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

The Justice Department announced indictments against 12 Russian nationals as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, accusing them of engaging in a ‘sustained effort’ to hack Democrats’ emails and computer networks.

All 12 defendants are members of the GRU, a Russian federation intelligence agency within the main intelligence directorate of the Russian military, who were acting in ‘their official capacities.’

(CNN, July 14, 2018)

Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicting Russians for interfering in the 2016 election seems like a big deal. But it’s no more revealing or consequential than a Honduran prosecutor indicting President Trump for endangering the lives of immigrant children (with his inhumane border separation policy).

This is why the only thing I find worthy of comment is the way this announcement prompted belated soul searching among news anchors, reporters, and commentators — many of whom this indictment implicates. Specifically, it details the propagating role they (and data mercenaries like Julian Assange of WikiLeaks) played in helping the Russians weaponize their hacked e-mails.

This soul searching was particularly animated on Sunday’s edition of This Week with George Stephanopoulos on ABC. It featured Donna Brazilewho chaired the Democratic National Committee (DNC) when much of this hacking occurred. And it was truly gripping TV, watching her vent clearly pent-up outrage and frustration at the reporters on the panel.

Most notably, Brazile accused them of aiding and abetting the Russians by blithely broadcasting the contents of the hacked e-mails. And, their soul searching notwithstanding, this shall redound to their eternal shame.

After all, even Republican Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was pleading for them to stop helping Russia tear the fabric of American democracy apart. Moreover, you’d think the putatively liberal news media would’ve been loath to undermine Hillary’s campaign. Because they knew full well that, in doing so, they were helping the Russians get Trump elected the 45th president of the United States.

Alas, they were too interested in the ratings/views anything related to these hacked e-mails generated.

In fact, I was among few commentators who bothered to sound any alarm. Here is how I did so in “Hey Media, Wikileaker Assange Is Still a Self-Promoting, Bail-Jumping Rape Suspect!” August29, 2016.

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Assange is sharing his hacked loot with any news organization prepared to facilitate his self-aggrandizing crusade. And far too many news anchors and political commentators are playing along — like disciples spreading his gospel. Whereas you’d think they would want to hide in shame after foraging through the e-mails of DNC staffers, then reporting and commenting as if they’re ‘shocked, shocked’ that those staffers were doing, well, as staffers do. …

What’s more, all of the leaked ‘bombshells’ pertain to nothing more than mundane gossip, intrigue, griping, and backstabbing among and between those staffers and officials. Which explains why news anchors are reading these e-mails live on air as if they were nothing more than passages from Mark Leibovich’s 2014 bestseller This Town, which fairly lampoons Washington, DC as a veritable Peyton Place.

Nonetheless, this is what is passing for ‘Breaking News’ every day now — as Assange leaks a new cache of hacked e-mails like manna from heaven for lazy, unconscionable and myopic journalists. But what do you think CNN, Fox News, the BBC, the New York Times, the Guardian, and other news organizations would do if Assange were leaking hacked e-mails of their anchors and reporters — purportedly to expose bias in the media? The obvious answer only hints at why my disgust with the news media compelled me to write commentaries like “Journalism Is ‘Having a Very, Very Pathetic Moment,’” November 13, 2013.

Remarkably, no news organization is bothering to question the prurient nature of Assange’s leaks. Worse still, none of them appear to have any qualms about facilitating his cybercrimes, which serve no compelling public interest and are devoid of any socially redeeming value.

But I cannot overstate that, for every embarrassing or compromising e-mail hackers can hack from the accounts of Democratic officials, they can hack equally embarrassing and compromising e-mails not only from the accounts of Republican officials, but also from those of other political parties, civil servants, corporate employees, and private citizens … worldwide. …

[T]he real story here is the media’s complicity in propagating hacked documents that do far more harm than good. For just as Assange will leak anything for attention, news organizations will broadcast any leak for ratings – even the national security of the country be damned.

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I appreciate the belated soul searching anchors, reporters and commentators are now undertaking. I just hope they come to terms with the willful role they played in helping Russia execute this Manchurian caper, which has saddled the world with a US president who seems beholden to Vladimir Putin above all else.

But these useful idiots should spare us their indignant efforts now to get Trump to give Putin the riot act for this caper, including at today’s Helsinki Summit. After all, this is tantamount to prodding Trump to admit that his election was the biggest political fraud in the history of mankind.

That said, it might be instructive to end this commentary the way I ended the one on the first indictment Mueller handed down:

This first indictment might have little or nothing to do with the Trump campaign colluding with Russia. But Mueller’s investigation could (and I predict will) still hand down indictments that have Trump’s fingerprints all over them. Indeed, I suspect Trump is trying desperately to project the presumption of guilt onto Hillary because he knows this all too well.

(“Mueller’s First Indictment Has News Media Reveling in Speculation,” The iPINIONS Journal, October 29, 2017)

Related commentaries:
border separation policy
Hey, media
Mueller’s first indictment

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