It is an old journalistic trope: no one reads the correction … or the retraction. No matter how serious the error or profound the implications of the misreporting. Like, let’s say the entire range of mainstream media took the word of unnamed intelligence sources as gospel and reported that the only other nuclear superpower – which supposedly rigged our last election, and runs our current president as an “asset” – had been offering Afghan militants bounties for the scalps of dead American soldiers.
The US military has been unable to find any evidence that the Russian government paid bounties on US troops to Taliban-linked fighters in Afghanistan, confirming what was already obvious to anyone who hasn’t had their brain stem hijacked by mass media-induced Russophobia. NBC News reports the following: Two months after top Pentagon officials vowed to get to the bottom of whether the Russian government bribed the Taliban to kill American service members, the commander of troops in the region says a detailed review of all available intelligence has not been able to corroborate the existence of such a program.
Corporate media are binging on leaked Kool Aid not unlike the WMD concoction they offered 18 years ago to “justify” the U.S.-UK war of aggression on Iraq. Now Michael McFaul, ambassador to Russia under President Obama, has been enlisted by The Washington Post’s editorial page honcho, Fred Hiatt, to draw on his expertise (read, incurable Russophobia) to help stick President Donald Trump back into “Putin’s pocket.” (This has become increasingly urgent as the canard of “Russiagate” — including the linchpin claim that Russia hacked the DNC — lies gasping for air.) In an oped on Thursday McFaul presented a long list of Vladimir Putin’s alleged crimes, offering a more ostensibly sophisticated version of amateur Russian specialist, Rep. Jason Crow’s (D-CO) claim that: “Vladimir Putin wakes up every morning and goes to bed every night trying to figure out how to destroy American democracy.”
Within just one week the recent attempt to revive 'Russiagate' has failed. It was an embarrassing failure for the media who pushed it. Their 'journalists' fell for obvious nonsense. They let their sources abuse them for political purposes. On June 27 the New York Times and the Washington Post published stories which claimed that Trump was informed about alleged Russian bounty payments to the Taliban for killing U.S. soldiers and did nothing about it: A Russian military spy unit offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to attack coalition forces in Afghanistan, including U.S. and British troops, in a striking escalation of the Kremlin’s hostility toward the United States, American intelligence has found. The Russian operation, first reported by the New York Times, has generated an intense debate within the Trump administration about how best to respond to a troubling new tactic by a nation that most U.S. officials regard as a potential foe but that President Trump has frequently embraced as a friend, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive intelligence matter.