Self-awareness isn’t a common attribute within the legacy media. One only needs to spend five minutes on Brian Stelter’s Twitter feed for ample proof of that and The Washington Post wants to make sure they get in on the action.
How? By publishing a critique of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow for pushing the dumpster fire that is the Steele dossier. HotAir provides the excerpts.
“Name a host on cable news who has dug more deeply into Trump-Russia than MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow,” Wemple writes. And no one got it more wrong, either — and no one ran as fast from it when it fell apart. “She was there for the bunkings, absent for the debunkings,” Wemple concludes, “a pattern of misleading and dishonest asymmetry.”
Now, to be sure, Maddow has been one of the worst offenders when it comes to ridiculous Russian conspiracy theories. Every week night, she’s had some new crazy, almost always false story to tell. She’s also been there to fall for every fake bombshell that’s been dropped in the last three years. By no means is this article meant to be a defense of her position.
Yet, I’m struck by the complete lack of accountability here in regards to Post’s own culpability. I must have missed their front page apology for all the bad reporting they did on the dossier. That would seem to put them squarely in the same category as Maddow, forming a “pattern of misleading and dishonest asymmetry.”
The truth is, Maddow at least has the veneer of not being a journalist to hid behind. What’s the Post’s excuse? Further, the Post also ran an unfathomable amount of op-eds over the same time period fluffing Russian conspiracy theory after Russian conspiracy theory. This is the same outlet which pushed the “McConnell is a Russian agent” narrative.
In closing, while I’m loathe to defend Maddow and have no intention of doing so, it should be pointed out that all these “real” news outlets were just as wrong in their coverage and conclusions about the dossier. They were also just as guilty in pushing wild eyed Trump-Russia conspiracy theories. They should be called out just as much as some plainly partisan commentator on MSNBC, perhaps more so.