Have you noticed the torrent of corrections, deletions, and “explanations” by mainstream media outlets when it comes to stories about Trump and Russia? And that doesn’t include “analyses” of the White House and the president’s actions that have proven to be false.
Some enterprising blogger may want to take the time to add them all up, but in my experience, the number is unprecedented — and astounding.
Yesterday, CNN posted a story about a Russian investment fund and its supposed ties to Trump associates. But by Friday night, the story was gone from the website and all links to it were scrubbed from CNN’s social media sites.
“That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted,” CNN said in an editors note posted in place of the story. “Links to the story have been disabled.”
Neither Frank or CNN immediately responded to requests for comment, and a spokesperson for the Senate Intelligence Committee wasn’t available to comment.
Frank, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist, had reported that the Senate Intelligence Committee was investigating a “$10-billion Russian investment fund whose chief executive met with a member of President Donald Trump’s transition team four days before Trump’s inauguration.”
In addition to retracting its story, CNN also apologized to Anthony Scaramucci, an adviser to Trump during the presidential campaign and a member of his transition team’s executive committee, who was mentioned in the story as having met Kirill Dmitriev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) that the network said is overseen by Vnesheconombank, a state-run bank that is currently under U.S. sanctions.
According to the report, the meeting between Scarmucci and Dmitriev could have included the issue of sanctions being lifted, but a spokesperson for the RDIF told Sputnik News, a state-run Russian news channel, that the fund is not a part of Vnesheconombank.
“RDIF always operates in full compliance with relevant regulations and legislation and its operations do not violate sanctions,” the spokesperson said.
Multiple news outlets have reported on the meeting, which took place at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland just four days before Trump’s inauguration. As Bloomberg noted, it was “the first public contact between the incoming administration and Kremlin-backed business.”
This isn’t only a story about CNN “out to get” the president. They are. But more than that, it reveals the stupidity and laziness of networks and newspaper outlets that take any and all contact with Russians — no matter if they’re even related to the Russian government — and try to build a narrative about nefarious dealings between Trump and Moscow.
I have yet to read a story about any of these contacts that should raise eyebrows — unless you’re predisposed to believe the absolute worst about the president and his people. In a real way, this narrative drips with irony. Sixty years ago, the left was vilifying the right for seeing Russians under every bed. Now the left feels perfectly at ease in looking for — and finding — Russians everywhere.
My how times have changed.