His critics picked up on the salaciousness of it, and still believe that it is verbatim true and that using it to get secret warrants on members of the Trump campaign staff was justifiable.
Last week, Special Counsel John Durham indicted one of the authors of the piece for lying to the FBI, and in the indictment, indications are that the man worked with a publicist for the Hillary Clinton campaign during the creation and dissemination of the piece to the mainstream media.
As the investigation inches closer toward Hillary and her inner circle, another group involved in the entire affair may end up in the middle of the crimes of deception. The Washington Post’s media critic explains.
“The Danchenko indictment doubles as a critique of several media outlets that covered Steele’s reports in 2016 and after its publication by BuzzFeed in January 2017 … CNN, MSNBC, Mother Jones, the McClatchy newspaper chain and various pundits showered credibility upon the dossier without corroboration — and found other topics to cover when a forceful debunking arrived in December 2019 via a report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz,” Wemple wrote…
“News organizations may face a mismatch as they place their reporting alongside the indictment,” he wrote. “Where the indictment relies on emails, interviews, and other powerful investigative tools, the Journal’s initial scoop cited a single anonymous source. The sourcing for the Post’s reporting about Millian’s alleged conversation is unclear, while ABC News attributes its primary assertion to ‘a person familiar with the raw intelligence provided to the FBI.’
“These news outlets now face a steep journalistic challenge — that of returning to their source(s) in an effort to back up the original claims that Millian was an unwitting source for the dossier,” Wemple added. “If that effort doesn’t produce enough evidence to surmount the allegations in the indictment, there’s only one option: Retract the stories. Allowing one version of events to sit awkwardly alongside another — and leaving it to the reader to decide — won’t cut it.”
The media critic also called out MSNBC host Rachel Maddow after she suggested that Durham was trying to, as she put it, “discredit the whole Russia investigation by arresting various sources for that investigation, to discredit the Steele dossier because so many people have been led to think that was the reason for the investigation.”
“Just as Durham can’t use the dossier to deflect from the larger Trump-Russia tableau, however, people such as Maddow and others can’t use the larger Trump-Russia tableau to deflect from their coverage of the dossier,” Wemple concluded. “A reckoning is years overdue.”
Now that things are falling apart with the entire narrative, will the media be held accountable?
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