People wonder why journalism is dead.
There was one mention that relates to Matt Osborne, which I found interesting:
The worst stories were the ones never corrected. A particularly bad example is “After Florida School Shooting, Russian ‘Bot’ Army Pounced,” from the New York Times on Feb 18, 2018. The piece claimed Russians were trying to divide Americans on social media after a mass shooting using Twitter hashtags like #guncontrolnow, #gunreformnow and #Parklandshooting.
The Times ran this quote high up:
“This is pretty typical for them, to hop on breaking news like this,” said Jonathon Morgan, chief executive of New Knowledge, a company that tracks online disinformation campaigns. “The bots focus on anything that is divisive for Americans. Almost systematically.”
About a year after this story came out, Times reporters Scott Shane and Ann Blinder reported that the same outfit, New Knowledge, and in particular that same Jonathon Morgan, had participated in a cockamamie scheme to fake Russian troll activity in an Alabama Senate race. The idea was to try to convince voters Russia preferred the Republican.
The Times quoted a New Knowledge internal report about the idiotic Alabama scheme:
We orchestrated an elaborate ‘false flag’ operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet…
The Parkland story was iffy enough when it came out, as Twitter disputed it, and another of the main sources for the initial report, former intelligence official Clint Watts, subsequently said he was “not convinced” on the whole “bot thing.”
But when one of your top sources turns out to have faked exactly the kind of activity described in your article, you should at least take the quote out, or put an update online. No luck: the story remains up on the Times site, without disclaimers.
There is direct evidence of individuals colluding to influence an election within the borders of the United States and it wasn’t Trump or his campaign colluding with a foreign power. And yet, there are no investigations or indictments of these individuals if you were to apply the same standards.
Whether or not Trump has committed any crimes, the media destroyed itself pushing narratives sourced from bad and tainted actors. They failed in their due diligence to get the facts straight. Instead, it became wall-to-wall headlines that often turn out wrong and, now that Mueller’s report has been submitted, may prove even more devastating.
The self-appointed guardians whiny push-back against damning criticisms and overwhelming evidence of malfeasance becomes more hollow for every instance they fail to correct their own mistakes.
As the author states in the article:
Worse, in a brutal irony everyone should have seen coming, the press has now handed Trump the mother of campaign issues heading into 2020.
Read the article.