In a bizarre article published in the New York Times, Jeremy Peters attempted to discredit right wing journalists — but ended up coming across like a petty and jealous teenager.
The article published on Saturday was titled ‘A Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theorist, a False Tweet and a Runaway Story’ and was a full scale attack on independent media. Peters specifically took aim at journalist Jack Posobiec and infamous researcher Charles Johnson’s website, Got News.
Peters, perhaps feeling intimidated by his waning influence, begins by claiming that a tweet by Posobiec in which he directly quoted the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey was “fake news.”
“Comey said under oath that Trump did not ask him to halt any investigation,” Posobiec tweeted, along with a screenshot of a quote from his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
“I’m talking about a situation where we were told to stop something for a political reason, that would be a very big deal. It’s not happened in my experience,” Comey had said during the hearing.
It would seem that Posobiec’s statement was a logical conclusion to be drawn from Comey’s remarks — yet the New York Times, perhaps desperate to defend their previous reports which contradicted Comey’s assertion, disagreed.
For his article, Peters focused more on his opinion of independent journalists and their outlets than refuting the statement. He argued that “it mattered little that Mr. Comey had said no such thing. The tweet quickly ricocheted through the ecosystem of fake news and disinformation on the far right, where Trump partisans like Mr. Posobiec have intensified their efforts to sow doubt about the legitimacy of expanding investigations into Trump associates’ ties to Russia.”
Peters conveniently left out the fact that his own peers, including fellow MSNBC talking head Chris Matthews, are now conceding that the Russian collusion theory has fallen apart.
It seems as though nobody has ever told Peters that you shouldn’t throw stones while living in a glass house — as during the hearing in question, Comey himself stated that the Times had published fake news. When asked about a recent report in the newspaper about communication between Trump’s advisers and Russian intelligence officials, Comey stated that “in the main, it was not true.”
“As a Navy vet and former Philly construction worker, it is amazing to see my reporting reach he desks of the great Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Alex Jones, and the Oval Office. I work hard to maintain my standard of journalistic integrity and I don’t know if I will ever match the bar of the New York Times,” Posobiec told Big League Politics. “Then again, the director of the FBI hasn’t ever testified under oath that I am fake news.”
Peters next took aim at Got News, an outlet with an impressive record of hard hitting investigative journalism — who happens to have a history of exposing the New York Times.
Following the hearing, Got News had reported that Comey’s testimony blew apart a recent report by the Times, based on an anonymous source, in which they claimed that “on Feb. 14th, the day after National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned, Trump had asked Comey to end an investigation into Flynn’s connections to Russia.”
Additionally, Got News asserted that Comey may have perjured himself on the stand.
Instead of defending his own publication’s reporting or refuting the claims by Got News, Peters blamed President Donald Trump for “elevation and legitimization of dubious news accounts and the sources that spread them.”
Peters also bellyached about the fact that Melania Trump reads Got News — and passed along an article to her husband.
“In February, the president was spotted with a printed copy of a GotNews article in the Oval Office. The article, which claimed to pinpoint a source of leaks from within the West Wing, was shown to him by his wife, according to one person with knowledge of the encounter — first reported by Politico — who did not know how the first lady had come across it,” Peters wrote.
Responding to Peters’ attempt to cast doubt upon his publication, Johnson implied that the hit piece is retaliation for their reporting.
“Jeremy peters is mad that Melania reads us and that we outed one of their sources,” Johnson told Big League Politics. He added that “they are trying to cartel the media.”
Peters recently made waves by claiming that right wing commentators who attempt to speak in Berkeley are asking for the violence imposed upon them and their supporters by AntiFa and their supporters. He wrote that “conservatives like [Ann Coulter] are eagerly throwing themselves into volatile situations like the one at Berkeley.”
— Charles Murray (@charlesmurray) April 27, 2017
I'm sure Milo & Ann just picked Berkeley by throwing a dart at a map. https://t.co/t09FzKQrhA
— Jeremy W. Peters (@jwpetersNYT) April 27, 2017
NY Times to conservatives: What did you think would happen if you wore that mini skirt to Berkeley? https://t.co/acYn7tseS8
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) April 27, 2017
Many took to Twitter following the article’s publication to denounce Peters’ comments as similar to saying that a woman wearing a short skirt was asking to be raped.
In a time when the voices of independent journalists and alternative publications are seeing millions of social media impressions and views daily, it is easy to see why those at old dying print publications would be intimidated by their declining influence and lack of control over narratives driving public opinion.
BABY: CNN’s Brian Stelter Becomes Early Adapter of New Twitter ‘Disable Replies’ Feature
The mainstream media operative doesn’t want feedback.
CNN presenter Brian Stelter has become a quick adopter of a new Twitter feature that enables users to shut down replies to their tweets, essentially cutting off any potential for negative feedback and allowing unpopular verified journalists to propagate their own echo chambers.
The feature was implemented on Thursday by Twitter, and was roundly criticized by many of the platform’s users as a betrayal of the free-speech and democratic ideals the website originally stood for. The feature essentially allows verified and artificially promoted mainstream media personalities to escape criticism for dishonest reporting, lies, and political bias.
Stelter utilized the feature in a tweet about business challenges to the model of traditional print and local media. It would’ve gone without saying that his narrative would’ve been challenged by many Twitter users keen to point out that the erosion of traditional print media has coincided with rampant left-wing and institutional bias within the industry.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 21, 2020
Replies to the tweet are disabled, but many users found a way to ensure that Stelter’s lightweight media proclivities were responded to in kind by those who are critical of cable mainstream media. Users who Stelter follows are able to reply to the tweet, and some who he deems acceptable within his own echo chamber were keen to call him out.
Is this the kind of "news" that needs to be saved? This looks like state TV to me. (P.S. why do you have the comments restricted? Can't take criticism?)https://t.co/LyzHr811jh
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) May 21, 2020
It’s almost certain that CNN hacks such as Stelter will continue to use the anti-democratic and elitist feature, hoping to shield themselves from accusations of dishonesty.
We’ve entered a new dark age of the internet where the original late 1990’s principles of free expression, intellectual curiosity, and open dialogue are being eroded by political and media elites terrified that their neoliberal vision for society is quickly becoming discredited. The ‘disable replies’ feature on Twitter is merely the latest indicator of such a phenomenon, but self-proclaimed ‘objective journalists’ such as Stelter might not prove as able to shut down criticism of themselves as they might hope.
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