Glenn Greenwald blasts liberal media for 'deceitful playbook' of 'corroborating' false stories
Joe Concha on Washington Post’s correction to Trump-Georgia election story: ‘Big stuff’
Fox News contributor Joe Concha rips the Washington Post for saying Trump did not tell a Georgia ballot investigator to ‘find the fraud’ or that she would be a ‘national hero’ if she did.
Journalist Glenn Greenwald criticized the “deceitful playbook” of media outlets confirming one another’s anonymously-sourced stories after a single-sourced Washington Post story had to be massively corrected for wrongly quoting former President Donald Trump.
Asking how media outlets so often independently confirm stories that fall flat, Greenwald blasted them for continuing to employ the “shoddy tactic” from the years of Russia investigation so-called bombshells in the Trump era.
“With liberal media outlets deliberately embracing a profit model of speaking overwhelmingly to partisan Democrats who use them as their primary source of news, there is zero cost to publishing false claims about people and groups hated by that liberal audience,” he wrote.
In its Jan. 9 report, the Post originally quoted Trump telling a Georgia elections investigator to “find the fraud” in the state, telling her she would be a “national hero.” However, a newly surfaced audio tape revealed Trump did not use those words, leading to a 130-word correction affixed to the top of its original article.
Multiple outlets confirmed the Post story at the time, including CNN, NBC News, and ABC News. Instead, Trump pressed her to examine Fulton County’s mail-in ballots and continued to wrongly insist he had won Georgia by “hundreds of thousands of votes,” which he also did in a separate phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
The Post’s mea culpa set off a firestorm of criticism, given it passed off things Trump never said as direct quotes. But it also raised questions about why so many other outlets “confirmed” Trump’s language.
Greenwald likened the episode to CNN’s retracted story in 2017 that Donald Trump Jr. had received hacked Democratic National Commitee emails from WikiLeaks before they were publicly released.
WASHINGTON POST PANNED FOR MASSIVE CORRECTION TO TRUMP-GEORGIA ELECTION STORY: ‘SO, THEY MADE UP QUOTES’
The story was wrong though. Despite two sources telling CNN Trump Jr. got an email providing access to the emails on Sept. 4, 2016, he actually got the email on Sept. 14, one day after they had been released to the public, rendering the scoop moot.
Yet, NBC News intelligence reporter Ken Dilanian said he could independently confirm the report before it fizzled, also citing two sources who said congressional investigators had discovered the email. CBS News also independently confirmed the story, and it exploded in liberal media before the email’s true date was revealed.
The implication is troubling, Greenwald wrote. Rather than truly providing “corroborating” evidence for another outlet’s claim, other outlets merely reached out to the same misinformed source and fed it to the public. The effect is to misleadingly enhance the credibility of the original report.
“How ‘multiple sources’ all got the date on the email wrong — mis-reading it as September 4 rather than the real date of the email: September 14 — was never explained by CNN. That is because corporate media outlets believe they owe the public no explanation or accountability for the massive errors they commit,” Greenwald wrote.
“The reason this matters is because the term ‘independently confirm’ significantly bolsters the credibility of the initial report because it makes it appear that other credible-to-some news organizations have conducted their own investigation and found more evidence that proves it is true. That is the purpose of the exercise: to bolster the credibility of the story in the minds of the public,” he added.
The left-leaning Greenwald, best known for his coverage of the Edward Snowden data breach, has emerged as a sharp critic of corporate liberal media outlets. He resigned from The Intercept last year and now writes independently at Substack.
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Media experts told Fox News on Tuesday the Washington Post saga showed the dangers of relying on anonymous, possibly agenda-driven sources.
“This ‘correction’ is more than a correction, it calls into question the pervasive reliance of the liberal media on anonymous sources in order to attack and undermine Republicans,” Cornell Law School professor and media critic William A. Jacobson told Fox News. “Almost the entirety of the Russia collusion media effort was based on anonymous sources which turned out to be overblown at best, false at worst, after the Mueller Report was released.”
Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.
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