An award winning journalism professor is giving the Washington Post and its “national security” reporters all failing grades on fake news stories about alleged Russian-state meddling via hacking to help sway the U.S. election in favor of Donald Trump.
The Washington Post, in a front-page splashes today and on Friday, have fingered the CIA for allegedly confirming the wild rumors of Russian hacking that were concocted and spread by Democratic lawmakers for months preceding the election and the weeks since the GOP win. The Washington Post’s stories, however, contained no CIA sources and in fact, no credible U.S. intelligence agency sources whatsoever. Instead, they hinged on what unnamed lawmakers had supposedly been told by unidentified, supposed CIA-linked sources in “secret” briefings: That the CIA had developed proof the Russian state waged an orchestrated campaign to destabilize the U.S. election to benefit GOP-candidate Trump.
On Monday, True Pundit produced actual CIA sources who loudly debunked the Washington Post’s claims as an “outright lie” and likewise hammered the New York Times who blindly piggybacked the Post’s baseless claims.
Today, the Washington Post doubled down on spreading more fake news with a newly minted front-page story that again, contained no information from CIA or intelligence sources. As a substitute for actual sources, the Post installed rambling paragraphs loaded with more national security innuendo and CIA-based fiction constructed to help dig the embattled newspaper out of the hole it has dug for itself in the last week by spreading multiple fake news stories.
That’s nothing new for the Washington Post, according to a veteran beltway journalist, author and award-winning professor. He said very little has changed at the Washington Post since he worked as a Beltway journalist covering politics in Prince George’s, Maryland.
“They just make news up, fabricate whatever news was required at the time, especially when they were scooped or embarrassed by other publications,” said Gregg Morris. “Sometimes they did it because they believed they were entitled. Nothing has changed.”
Morris worked for Time Magazine, the New York Post, Gannett’s Democrat & Chronicle newspaper in Rochester, NY and Washington Star, D.C. A graduate of Cornell University with a bachelor and Master’s degree, Morris is currently an award winning journalism professor at Hunter College in New York City.
Morris has chronicled the decline of the mainstream media, especially the Washington Post, for 30 years as a professor and journalist and is currently working on a new book about corruption in undergraduate higher education.
Morris said the Washington Post’s latest foray into make-believe journalism with the CIA Russian story contains several glaring inconsistencies that are often hallmarks of fabricated, fake news, including:
- Stories debates themselves. Certain parts of each story directly contradict other so-called facts of the same story. The reader is rendered bewildered; the narrative’s “facts” prove untrustworthy.
- Haphazard construction. The stories share sloppy foundations and the reporting was likely the result of it being constructed on a rush basis or under pressure from editors or the publisher.
- Weak sourcing. BOTH stories fail to nail down a true link between what the Post claims and DIRECT confirmation from CIA sources.
“There are no sources with direct knowledge, it’s just all hearsay,” Morris said. “Who cares what some partisan Senators or lawmakers say they were told. The Post needs real sources on this. Without CIA sources, this story wouldn’t even make it out of my classroom alive.
“The editors should be fired. If you’re covering national security as a reporter for the Post or New York Times, LA Times, and don’t have CIA sources at your fingertips, find another job.”
Apparently, the same Washington Post reporters who keep writing these fictional stories have no national security sources, especially since the lore spun in these over-hyped faux news pieces is reaching folk tale status.
“They always, always lie,” Morris said. “Remember that.”
When Morris competed against the Washington Post as a journalist he became somewhat of a Beltway legend. Invited to appear on television by Howard Kurtz, now with Fox News, Morris would confront Washington Post reporters about their slipshod stories to their faces.
Since Trump’s presidential victory, the Washington Post has trumpeted itself as the left’s self-appointed Fake news Czar but what is has truly uncovered is how the Washington Post itself spreads fakes stories and the outlandish lengths the paper will stretch to defend such problematic pieces of shoddy fiction disguised as objective journalism.
And last week The Washington Post’s malfeasance reached epidemic proportions.
On Monday, The Washington Post began the week attacking General Michael Flynn Sr., Trump’s nominee for National Security Advisor for supporting a True Pundit story in early Nov. which the Post said detailed allegations that Hillary Clinton and her campaign director John Podesta were part of a child trafficking ring in D.C. and beyond dubbed “Pizzagate.”
Sounds quite intriguing except True Pundit never wrote any such story. Flynn on Twitter, had backed a True Pundit story detailing an active FBI investigation into Clinton and her foundation. The Washington Post ignored basic facts and instead anchored its story, again, on fake assertions in an attempt to paint Flynn and True Pundit as “conspiracy” agents disseminating fake news. Simply not true.
More alarming, however, instead of apologizing for smearing General Flynn or True Pundit — or even simply admit its glaring errors — Washington Post personnel tried to cover up the gaffes. Post personnel edited the online story at least eight separate times throughout the day until its contents no longer resembled the original, fabricated edition. The Post then assigned a second story about General Flynn and True Pundit to another reporter to help mask the paper’s first botched story. The Post never mentioned that the original story was altered, edited, or patently incorrect. Also, no reporters ever contacted Flynn or True Pundit prior to publication, a professional tenet which would have saved the newspaper national embarrassment.
By Wednesday, the Washington Post was in the news again but this time with a public apology for publishing a Nov. 24th story on fake news which the newspaper was now publicly admitting was likely based on fake sourcing. That story, titled “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say,” contained a black list of supposed phony news providers. This week the Washington Post admitted it might have unfairly besmirched and ultimately slandered the named sites by labeling them as Kremlin-backed agents of fake news. The newspaper said its reporter had no way to vet the source, a spooky anonymous website called ProporNot. Strike two.
Let’s recap this not-so-epic week in fabricated Washington Post journalism:
- Monday: The Post prints a story about fake news attacking General Flynn and True Pundit. That story turned out to be fake.
- Wednesday: The Post admits its blockbuster Russian propaganda story on fake news, complete with a libelous blacklist, was indeed based on phony, unknown sourcing. That story? Fake too.
- Friday: The Post ends the work week how it started it: publishing another false story, but upping the stakes by misrepresenting the CIA, another work of fiction now proven false by True Pundit.
And today, the Washington Post has returned again to the same well of spreading fake, unsubstantiated news with its latest fictional installment of national security “journalism.”
If a news organization refuses to correct itself when exposed for reporting, spreading, and publicizing chronic falsehoods, how can it hold any moral high ground to denounce fake news?