Klavan On The Culture

The Trouble With Maggie Haberman

Journalist Maggie Haberman speaks at the More Magazine's Noisemaker Luncheon at the Lamb's Club on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012 in New York. (Photo by Mark Von Holden/Invision for MORE/AP Images).

Maggie Haberman is shocked — shocked — to find that Hillary Clinton’s people are dishonest. Some of you may remember Hillary Clinton. This is the woman who lied about her husband’s infidelity, her trip to Bosnia, the cause of the Benghazi massacre, her illegal emails and just about everything else she’s ever talked about. But when the Clinton people told Haberman that they had nothing to do with the now-infamous Steele dossier filled with dubious Russian dirt on Donald Trump, Maggie apparently bought it hook, line and sinker. “Folks involved in funding this lied about it, and with sanctimony, for a year,” she complained on Twitter. Shocked.

It now turns out that Clinton and the Democrats paid for the dossier, thus colluding with the Russians to help skew the outcome of an American presidential election. Reports that the Republicans also had something to do with the dossier are a smokescreen: they didn’t. And drawing a moral equivalence between this and Donald Trump Jr.’s meaningless meeting with a Russian lawyer is nonsense. Clinton and the Democrats did what they have been accusing Donald Trump of doing all this time. That’s the story.

So how’d the Democrats get away with peddling the phony version of the Russia scandal for so long? Let’s take a closer look at Haberman and her gullibility in context.

Haberman is a White House correspondent for the New York Times, a former newspaper. Haberman’s father was a long-time Times journalist and Maggie herself got to know Donald Trump while covering him for the New York Post, giving her a useful relationship with the president.

The job she holds now was once held by Jeff Zeleny, who famously used his first chance to ask Barack Obama some tough questions by asking him what “enchanted” him most about being president. In doing so, Dreamy Jeff kicked off eight years of embarrassing non-coverage of one of the most corrupt administrations in American history. At the end of Obama’s IRS scandal, the Fast and Furious scandal, the Benghazi scandal, the Lynch-Clinton scandal and — as we’re now finding out — a possible spying on Donald Trump scandal, the American press corps almost universally declared Obama “scandal free.” Like Admiral Nelson putting his telescope to his blind eye, they really did not see the corruption! They thus sacrificed their credibility on the altar of their politics, leaving themselves open to Trump’s Godzilla-like destruction of whatever moral authority they had left.

And what was Maggie Haberman, then a reporter for Politico, doing during that time? Let’s turn for answers to actual journalist Sharyl Attkisson. Attkisson had to leave CBS News because they repeatedly quashed her exposes about Obama administration corruption. During her reporting on Fast and Furious, she claims Obama’s corrupt Justice Department broke into her computer, planted classified documents and riffled through her files. She says the DOJ not only tried to smear her but also her whistle-blowing source as well.

In her excellent new book Smear, Attkisson describes how political operatives use friendly journalists to skew coverage.

“In a January 2015 strategic memo about ‘Shaping a Public Narrative,’ Clinton officials describe Politico reporter Maggie Haberman as an ideal, friendly journalist willing to generate positive press for the campaign. Under the title ‘Placing a Story,’ the memo states, ‘We feel that it’s important to go with what is safe and what has worked in the past. We’ve had a very good relationship with Maggie Haberman of Politico over the last year. We have had her tee up stories for us before and have never been disappointed. While we should have a larger conversation in the near future about a broader strategy for re-engaging the beat press that covers HRC, for this we think we can achieve our objective and do the most shaping by going to Maggie.’ It almost makes it sound as if Haberman is on the payroll of the Clinton campaign.”

It does, doesn’t it?

Since we now know that Robert Mueller’s FBI covered up Russian malfeasance during Vladimir Putin’s successful attempts to acquire some of our uranium supplies — malfeasance that seems to have included millions of dollars in payoffs to the Clintons — Haberman’s friendliness with the Clinton people brings much of her other reporting into question. For instance, who are Haberman’s sources and what are they using her for when they anonymously feed her stories about Muller’s current investigation into Trump’s dealing with Russia?

But then, Haberman says the relentlessly left-wing, anti-Trump Times has no bias whatsoever. “I think we try and play this straight down the middle,” she says. Imagine how shocked — shocked — she’s going to be when she finds out the truth!

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