Why would big journalists do it this way?

SATURDAY, JANUARY 7, 2017

The New York Times tries to report on the Russkies and on the wall:
At the top of this morning's front page, the New York Times tries to describe the new report about that Russian misconduct.

Shear and Sanger did the report. Below, you see the way it begins, hard-copy headline included.

This all appears on the Times front page. Why on earth would a major newspaper offer that weird fifth paragraph?
SHEAR AND SANGER (1/7/17): Putin Led Scheme to Aid Trump, Report Says

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia directed a vast cyberattack aimed at denying Hillary Clinton the presidency and installing Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office, the nation's top intelligence agencies said in an extraordinary report they delivered on Friday to Mr. Trump.

The officials presented their unanimous conclusions to Mr. Trump in a two-hour briefing at Trump Tower in New York that brought the leaders of America's intelligence agencies face to face with their most vocal skeptic, the president-elect, who has repeatedly cast doubt on Russia's role...

Soon after leaving the meeting, intelligence officials released the declassified, damning report that described the sophisticated cybercampaign as part of a continuing Russian effort to weaken the United States government and its democratic institutions. The report...made the case that Mr. Trump was the favored candidate of Mr. Putin.

The Russian leader, the report said, sought to denigrate Mrs. Clinton, and the report detailed what the officials had revealed to President Obama a day earlier: Mr. Trump's victory followed a complicated, multipart cyberinformation attack whose goal had evolved to help the Republican win.

The 25-page report did not conclude that Russian involvement tipped the election to Mr. Trump.
That fifth paragraph is technically accurate. But why in the world would a major newspaper offer such a misleading account of such a major point?

"The 25-page report did not conclude that Russian involvement tipped the election to Mr. Trump?" That statement is technically accurate.

That said, the report also "didn't conclude" that Starbucks sells the best coffee. This new report "didn't conclude" that Tom Brady throws the best spiral.

This major report by the intel agencies "didn't conclude" a lot of things! Journalistically, the Times did something very strange in reporting its contents that way.

Duh! If you read all the way to paragraph 20, Shear and Sanger (or maybe their editor) finally provide "the rest of the story." Inside the paper, on page three million, they finally tell readers this:
SHEAR AND SANGER: The report, reflecting the assessments of the C.I.A., the F.B.I. and the National Security Agency, stopped short of backing up Mr. Trump on his declaration that the hacking activity had no effect on the election.

''We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election,'' the report concluded, saying it was beyond its responsibility to analyze American ''political processes'' or public opinion.
Duh! Inside the paper, in paragraph 20, Shear and Sanger finally tell all. The intelligence agencies didn't try to assess the effects of the Russian misconduct!

In the language of paragraph 5, the intelligence agencies "didn't conclude" one way or the other. The question of political effects lay outside the scope of their probe.

Why in the world would a major newspaper present this point in the way the Times did? On its own, paragraph 5 will tend to be grossly misleading. But there it sits on the Times front page, shorn of the obvious context which only comes in paragraph 20.

Why in the world would you do it that way? We don't know, but consider another bit of Trump-reporting in this morning's Times.

This second report, by Shear and Huetteman, concerns the possible construction of a wall along the southern border. Why in the world would a major newspaper report the possible cost of the project this way?
SHEAR AND HUETTEMAN (1/7/17): The full cost of a wall as described by Mr. Trump could be enormous. Attaching such a charged issue to annual, mandatory government funding measures could instigate a risky political fight. Those who want to block money for the wall by holding up the bills could find themselves accused of shutting down the government.

The Government Accountability Office has estimated it could cost $6.5 million per mile to build a single-layer fence, with an additional $4.2 million per mile for roads and more fencing, according to congressional officials. Those estimates do not include maintenance of the fence along the nearly 2,000-mile border with Mexico.
From what planet does the Times recruit its reporters and editors? There are two obvious, puzzling problems with that puzzling account.

First problem: presumably, a "wall" is not the same thing as a "single-layer fence." The scribes report that the cost of a wall could be enormous. They then proceed to report the possible cost of a fence!

Journalistically, that decision is strange. But why in the world would you describe the cost of a fence or a wall by the mile?

Amittedly, math is hard. That said, why wouldn't you multiply it out, providing the projected cost for the full two thousand miles?

Journalistically, both these decisions are strange. By way of contrast, note the way the Washington Post managed to handle this second problem on today's front page:
DEBONIS (1/7/17): There is no reliable price tag on building a border wall, but Trump has estimated the cost at $8 billion. Recent congressional legislation pegged the number at $10 billion, and construction experts say it could be more than double that.
We don't know whose estimate is right. But what could possibly be the point of presenting the cost by the mile?

A deep-dish cynic would answer that question in a deeply cynical way. This is what a deeply cynical person would tell you:

Each of the New York Times' strange decisions tilts things in Trump's favor. Concerning the intel report, that paragraph 5, out on the front page, will tend to give readers a false impression. It will tend to suggest that the intelligence agencies judged that the Russian misbehavior didn't tilt the election.

The agencies didn't reach that conclusion. But inevitably, that's what paragraph 5, sitting all by itself, will surely tend to suggest.

It's astonishing that the Times reported that point that way. That said, a cynic would tell you that the weird reporting about the cost of the wall tilts in Trump's favor too.

Rightly or wrongly, that cynic would tell you that reporting the possible cost by the mile (by the mile!) tends to obscure the large cost of such a project. And by the way, if you read to the end of the Shear/Huetteman report, you will see a slightly weird passage which might give the impression that Nancy Pelosi might be trying to tilt the cost of Trump's wall.

A cynic would tell you that the Times is currying favor with Trump, or possibly with Trump supporters. We aren't saying that cynic is right. But that's what a cynic would say.

For ourselves, We'll say something simpler. Again and again, Times reporters seem weirdly incompetent in an array of ways. They seem like members of a social club rather than highly skilled journalists.

Those Times reports are very weird. Who but the Times jumbles facts this way?

Donald J. Trump would be one such person. How many more can you name?

67 comments:

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  2. So, Bob, do you believe either the first report of 10 days ago or the new one of yesterday actually proved anything? If so, I have beachfront property in North Dakota for sale: https://socraticgadfly.blogspot.com/2016/12/cozybear-fancybear-grizzlysteppe-natsec.html

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  3. "But why in the world would a major newspaper offer such a misleading account of such a major point?"

    I think the reason is that many are making the claim that the Russian involvement DID tilt the election to Trump, as if THAT were a fact. But, I agree that it would have been clearer to say that the Report doesn't answer the question one way or the other.

    BTW the Russian involvement (or whoever was behind the leaks) affected the election only by divulging some embarassing things that the Democrats were actually doing, such as provoking violence at Trump rallies, conniving with print and TV reporters to get favorable stories, cheating on the debates, etc. If the Dems had behaved honorably, the leaks wouldn't have hurt them.

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    1. So far, there is no evidence that the emails released by WikiLeaks are the same as those Podesta sent or received. No comparison has been made and they could certainly have been altered.

      There is also no evidence that any wrongdoing was described in those emails. They are just normal campaign activities. If comparable emails had been released for RNC staff, it is likely they would be similarly embarrassing. On the other hand, we don't know what they contain, since they weren't even given to WikiLeaks. They might show wrongdoing, collusion with Russia, or even black-mailable offenses (which may be why they were not released). We just don't know. "Dishonorable" for the goose is dishonorable for the gander.

      Statisticians, like those at Nate Silver's 538 website, have examined the impact of the leaks and concluded they did impact Clinton's numbers adversely. The NY Times could have reported that. It might have been more honest and honorable (your favorite word) than implying the intelligence agencies believed there was no impact.

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    2. AnonymousJanuary 7, 2017 at 6:06 PM -- you can't have it both ways. If the e-mails only revealed normal campaign activity, then they couldn't have harmed Hillary's campaign.

      The three examples I provided above were not committed by the Republicans (or there's no evidence that they were.) I consider all three to be pretty shocking. Having the campaign collaborate with print and TV media to get stories slanted their way was perhaps the least. But, fomenting violence at the other party's rallies and getting debate questions in advance are way beyond ordinary campaign sleaze.

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    3. You are wrong. Those minor doings were misrepresented and exaggerated and even lied about by Trump and other conservatives, just as blew her use of a private email server way out of proportion and made it seem like wrongdoing had occurred when it had not.

      You are truly an idiot if you don't know that Trump colluded with media repeatedly to obtain his favorable coverage. There is no evidence anyone in Clinton's campaign paid anyone to foment violence at Trump rallies. That is conservative disinformation (lying). This is just garbage concocted by conservatives to smear Clinton.

      Republicans just maintained a private server in Trump's basement to communicate directly with Putin in the Kremlin so that he could coordinate his WikiLeaks releases with the campaign. Aside from that their hands are clean? Not on your life.

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    4. "If the e-mails only revealed normal campaign activity, then they couldn't have harmed Hillary's campaign. "

      Teabagger logic.

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    5. No evidence the Clinton campaign had a strategy to foment violence, aside from the videos of campaign officials saying it.

      "Statisticians, like those at Nate Silver's 538 website, have examined the impact of the leaks and concluded they did impact Clinton's numbers adversely."

      Leaked illegally obtained Clinton campaign emails had no impact on the election unless voters concluded the Democrats were too careless with cyber security.

      The New York Times aggressively solicited Trump's tax information (which they would have gleefully published if it was known to have been obtained through a Russian IRS hack and was sent from Putin's email address).

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    6. Plans to protest are not plans to commit violence. Trump supporters attacked protesters, repeatedly, with his encouragement.

      The videos you refer to are from a discredited rightwing source who fabricated "evidence" in the same way as the so-called stings against Planned Parenthood. Those videos are not real.

      The NY Times was given Trump's tax return and confirmed it was real through his former accountant. It most likely came from Marla Maples who was the co-filer on that particular return.

      The whole nation aggressively solicited Trump's tax returns but he has still not provided them, despite being asked to show them for ethics reasons.

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    7. BTW it has been reported that the Russians also tried to hack into Republican National Committee computers, but failed.

      According to a report from The Wall Street Journal published Thursday night, US intelligence experts said the Russian hackers who tried to break into the Republican National Committee targeted the email address of a former employee.

      The attempts apparently did not go very far, according to two cybersecurity officials briefed on the matter and cited by The Journal, who said a phishing campaign last spring that targeted the sole email address of that former employee essentially failed.

      Messages sent to that address were quarantined by email filters traditionally designed to stop spam and potentially malicious emails, the experts said.

      http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-hacking-republican-party-may-have-failed-2016-12

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    8. David, this doesn't say what you attribute to it.

      This says one guy was attacked by phishing but that attack failed. It says nothing about any other accounts or any other efforts. It does not exclude efforts to hack others.

      In contrast, the official report released this week does say that the RNC was hacked but that the results were not leaked. This one former employee may not have been the person successfully hacked, but someone was.

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    9. Hate to agree with DavidinCal about anything, but he's right that the Russian hack didn't win Trump the election.
      Trump won because Americans, particularly rural Americans, are bigots, and Trump's bigotry turned them on. Everything else you hear are excuses designed to make people forget this fact because they don't want to admit this truth.

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    10. Robert sounds like a paid Russian troll whose job it is to bolster continued support for Mr. Trump.

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    11. @10:44 you are falsely claiming the videos were not authentic. Everyone here who has seen them knows they were. If you actually believe they were not, you're one of the gullible who has fallen victim to fake news. You're not alone.

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    12. The Project Veritas guy who attempted to convince people those videos were genuine is the same guy who is being prosecuted for videotaping people without permission. He has been proven to have fabricated evidence before and this current attempt was so obviously a fraud that no one believes it except conservatives, who will believe anything as long as it confirms their worldview.

      http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2016/oct/20/trump-says-clinton-and-obama-caused-violence-his-r/

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    13. The videos are a joke, I watched them start to finish. They do not show campaign officials. There was no campaign to foment violence, the violence was all from immature Trump supporters. The guy who is running this con, Okeefe, was in fact already convicted, and is likely facing future convictions.

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    14. Wikileaks hacks without permission but the content of their leaks is accurate. Violent acts should be blamed on the person who acted violently, but the Clinton campaign complained about inciting violence before it was known that it was their side doing it.

      "Washington (CNN)A Democratic operative whose organization was helping Hillary Clinton's campaign announced Tuesday that he would be "stepping back" from the campaign after an edited video suggested that he and other staffers hired people to attend Donald Trump's campaign rallies and incite violence.

      Robert Creamer -- husband of Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky -- announced his resignation in a statement after conservative activist James O'Keefe released a video under his organization Project Veritas Action, which showed Creamer and other operatives purportedly discussing methods for inciting violence at rallies for the Republican nominee.

      One event specifically mentioned by the Democratic operatives to have been 'bird-dogged' was the September incident in North Carolina where a 69-year-old woman was supposedly assaulted by a Trump supporter. In reality, the woman was "trained" by Foval as part of his operation. “She was one of our activists,” he says.

      “I’m saying we have mentally ill people, that we pay to do shit, make no mistake,” says Foval in the video. “Over the last twenty years, I’ve paid off a few homeless guys to do some crazy stuff, and I’ve also taken them for dinner, and I’ve also made sure they had a hotel, and a shower. And I put them in a program. Like I’ve done that. But the reality is, a lot of people especially our union guys. A lot of our union guys…they’ll do whatever you want. They’re rock and roll. When I need to get something done in Arkansas, the first guy I call is the head of the AFL-CIO down there, because he will say, ‘What do you need?’ And I will say, I need a guy who will do this, this and this. And they find that guy. And that guy will be like, Hell yeah, let’s do it.”"

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    15. That video is fake.

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    16. You cherry pick parts of reports to mislead. Here is the CNN report in full:

      http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/18/politics/project-veritas-action-robert-creamer-donald-trump-rallies/index.html


      The bird-dogging you mention has nothing to do with inciting violence and is an old tactic used by all political parties. The violence at Trump rallies was not incited by Democratic operatives. It turns out the assaulted North Carolina woman was not trained by Foval, he did not even claim that in the Okeefe video. There is an arrest warrant out on the Trump supporter that hit her. Foval did make several boasting claims that are demonstrably false, for example he claims responsibility for shutting down the Tump Chicago rally when in reality it was local university students and it was several months before he was subcontracted. Here is report after report debunking Okeefe's con of a video:

      http://aufc.3cdn.net/c4f0061ef064ebab61_p6m6bax1k.pdf

      Turns out Trump actually funded the Okeefe video.

      The violence at Trump's rallies is owned by Trump himself and his supporters. Trump endlessly encouraged and even directed his supporters to use violence against his protesters. Here are reports of that:

      http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/king-donald-trump-history-violence-protesters-article-1.2561656

      http://mashable.com/2016/03/12/trump-rally-incite-violence/#p6WtVtzuIiq5

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    17. We don't need anti-Trumpers preaching about violence after what we all witnessed out of Chicago last week. That showed anyone who didn't already get it the heart and soul of the progressive left anti-Trumpers.

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    18. 8:30 you reason like you have had a lobotomy. The event you refer to has nothing to do with progressives. In fact Trump day after day after day commanded his followers to commit horrible acts of violence, something you willfully choose to ignore, exposing you for the con you are. I can preach to Trump and his immoral supporters like you endlessly about violence because of the violent actions Trump and his supporters took on a regular basis. Indeed Trump did not limit his violence to protesters, in fact Trump was too much of a wimp and wuss to follow his own commands of violence towards protestors, Trump preferred to direct his violence towards unsuspecting women that unwittingly stimulated his bizarre and immature sex hang ups.

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  4. "The 25-page report did not conclude that Russian involvement tipped the election to Mr. Trump.
    That fifth paragraph is technically accurate. But why in the world would a major newspaper offer such a misleading account of such a major point?"

    It isn't misleading to report the fact that the report didn't include any data that would prove any effect whatsoever on the election outcome. It only reported that officials decided there was a preference on the part of Russia and efforts to change voters' minds by using "trolls" and leaking accurate contents of emails. Readers don't always read the reports or the entire news story, so this isn't misleading but actually a rare case of the Times offering an important piece of information, even if it will counter the Democratic political spin.

    No one who reads critically will conclude from that piece of information anything at all about whether any Russian activities had the effect of influencing any American voter. All of the attention on the issue is more likely to lead someone to believe officials did conclude that it had an effect, so it was important to clarify that no such conclusion was reached.

    The blame Comey strategy didn't stick and this appears to be another way of trying to explain why Hillary lost, because the reality that enough voters preferred Trump for reasons having little to do with Wikileaks or Comey is not accepted even though it is true. Obama came closer to identifying the problem than the Clinton campaign has.

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    1. The statement is misleading because it implies that the agencies did examine the issue and found no support for it. In fact, they didn't evaluation the impact. So that makes the NY Times statement false and because it is false, including it leads readers astray.

      Conservatives have already concluded that the Russians hacks had no effect on the election -- because papa Trump told them so.

      If you were following the election closely, you would know that Clinton lost because her voters didn't come out for her, not because there were more Trump supporters than Democrats likely to vote for Clinton. Those likely Clinton voters had insufficient enthusiasm to go to the polls. That was highly likely to have been affected by the various attempts to weaken her reputation and image among Democrats and liberal-leaning Independents. So, your statements about Comey and about WikiLeaks are incorrect and contradict analyses by any number of experts who have weighed in on this since the election.

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    2. In what universe does someone read "The report did not conclude involvement tipped the election" as "The report indicated the impact of Russian influence on the outcome was studied but officials concluded there was none"?

      If a voter didn't show up because of factual information reported by Comey or inconclusive innuendo about Russia, they weren't likely voters . "Analysis by a number of experts" should only provoke laughter after no analyst or expert came close to predicting what happened. There were too many moving parts in every moment of this election and too many voters lying to pollsters to conclude anything about the impact of anything. All we know is Trump won enough votes in three blue states and no one saw it coming.

      It's much more likely the Clinton campaign's arrogance in the last weeks in predicting victory and talking about the election as already over resulted in voters not showing up. There isn't an imaginary group of stupid voters who equate a factual investigation update by the FBI chief with guilt. Also unlikely Wikileaks had any influence because what was already known to Trump voters was worse than anything the factual reporting of those emails revealed.

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    3. What would be called confidence in a male candidate is called arrogance in a female candidate -- and that goes double for a Clinton.

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    4. Trump won because Americans, particularly rural, Americans, embrace bigotry.
      That truth is harsh for the media, since they've been telling us these heartland people are the "real Americans" for over 4 decades, and that Americans are the greatest people in the world for even longer.

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    5. It doesn't work anymore, Robert. The good thing is every time a Trump voter reads words like those they decide to be a Trump voter again in 2020. Americans who appreciate American values and especially commit their lives to them in military service are the greatest people in the world. Greater than Islamists, greater than communists.

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    6. Robert -- Which of these statements demonstrates bigotry:

      1. "50% of Trump voters are irremediably deplorable."
      2. "50% of African Americans are irremediably deplorable."

      Answer: Both demonstrate bigotry. Hillary lost the election because she appealed to bigotry.

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    7. David, which of your two sentences is true? I believe the 1st is true and the 2nd is not, making it bigoted.

      Generalizing is a human cognitive trait underlying memory. Everyone does it, unless they are brain injured. Hillary didn't lose because she called Trump's deplorables what they were. Trump however lied when he said she was using that term to describe all of his followers and started selling T-shirts to them. Her remark may have been politically stupid but it wasn't an example of bigotry and it was definitely not false. (Go look up what deplorable means.) Why shouldn't she express strong condemnation of anyone during a political campaign? It is what the two sides do.

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    8. Nice try David.
      Rural Americans are bigots.
      All the misdirection (Russian hacking, "economic anxiety", the rigged economy, etc) isn't going to change that fact.
      "Grow up, and get over it."

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    9. David, I agree, I think Robert is not using appropriate diction. Bigotry is ill-advised, but not necessarily immoral. One of the impressive things about liberals, in sharp contrast with Republicans, is that they may display intolerance of people with differing opinions rhetorically, and yet fight hard for policies that help those same people, often at the expense of liberals.

      Robert may mean racism. David your statement 1 may demonstrate bigotry, although completely defensible since Hillary was referring to people with immoral traits; your statement 2 does not demonstrate bigotry, it demonstrates racism.

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    10. 4:17 PM,
      I use the term "bigotry", and not "racism", because it's not only about race, but religious affiliation, sexual orientation, and sexism as well.

      The fact is, these "real", heartland Americans are bigots. If we want to open a discussion about why they are bigots, that's a separate debate.

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    11. They think you're a bigot too. You're both right by your own retarded definitions and wrong by the other's retarded definitions. There's the entire substance of a discussion between people with simplistic views, who made up a small portion of Trump voters and a much larger portion of Hillary voters.

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    12. "and yet fight hard for policies that help those same people, often at the expense of liberals."

      Like supporting government fines to put bakers out of business for not writing out words on a cake that violate their sincerely held religious beliefs. Progress.

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    13. Statement #1 also displays bigotry, unless the person endorsing that statement has a sound basis. It's sheer bigotry to slam millions of people one has never met.

      You cannot judge people's bigotry based on who they voted for. E.g., one could make a case that Hillary voters are bigots. Trump campaigned on treating Israel better. He campaigned on a new approach to the poor that would help black people. Does that mean that people who voted for Hillary are anti-Semitic racists? Of course not. Voters might disbelieve Trump or think that he can't achieve his stated goals. Or, other issues might be more important.

      It's just as wrong to assume that Trump voters are bigots based on your dislike for Trump (or, more precisely, your dislike of what you think Trump stands for.)

      Delete
    14. Day one after the election: Listen to the rural, Trump voters!
      I did. Beyond the gibberish (Obama's a dictator always shoving things down my throat. I like Trump, because he does what he wants, to hell with those who don't like it), I heard people who are hurting (economically, substance abuse, etc). And who are they blaming their troubles on? Corporate executives who shipped their jobs out of town? Pharmaceutical lobbyists? No thank you. They instead blame BLM, muslims, gays, etc.
      They could have just as wrongly blamed it on sun spots. But what's the sport in that, when there are "others" to be kicked?

      Delete
    15. I heard Hillary Clinton blaming troubles on Trump voters. Her big basket notably didn't contain any lobbyists or corporate execs.

      Delete
    16. Robert, how many rural Trump voters did you listen to? Even if it were true that someone who criticizes BLM and Muslims are definite bigots, is it fair to extrapolate the bigotry of a handful of Trump voters to 30 million of them? I don't think so.

      Delete
    17. DinC,
      You make it sound like painting everyone with a broad brush, based on the words and actions of a few, won't get you elected President nowadays.
      Got any proof of that?

      Delete
    18. No proof of that, 12:25. That wasn't the point I was trying to make. The point I wanted to make is that painting the entire group (or a substantial percentage of them) negatively based on words and actions of a few is bigotry.

      Delete
    19. David you are being willfully dense. Perhaps Hillary was being bigoted (bigotry |ˈbiɡətrē| noun: intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself) when she denounced half of Trump's supporters as deplorable. She called them out for being racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic or Islamophobic, which are deplorable. It is reasonable to me to be intolerant of people like that, I suspect you yourself are not tolerant of racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic or Islamophobic people. Hillary admitted she was being "grossly generalistic" the very next day and went on to clarify her views in speech after speech:

      https://hillaryspeeches.com/tag/deplorable/

      Bigotry towards racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic or Islamophobic people is not really something to be concerned about. The concern DAVID, should be about those people, and the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and Islamophobic clown they elected as President.

      David, will you stand against racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic or Islamophobic people? As of now I am uncertain, I hope you have the strength to clarify your position as Hillary did, or perhaps you are, as I fear, someone of low character, just like Clown Trump.

      Delete
    20. 4:55 says "Like supporting government fines to put bakers out of business for not writing out words on a cake that violate their sincerely held religious beliefs. Progress."

      Yes this is America and here in the US you can not use your religious beliefs to break the law. This is straight forward, bone simple stuff. Take a civics class.

      Additionally, the concern you raise (ignorant as it is of good ol USA laws) does not counter the fact that liberals work hard to help those in need. Even worse, those bakers willfully chose to break the law (and for really petty reasons), any harm to their businesses is their own doing. Republicans always struggle with owning up to their misdeeds, they always try to blame others.

      Delete
    21. DavidinCal,
      Listen to them.
      They could have wrongly blamed their problems on sun spots or Bugs Bunny cartoons. But they didn't. Instead they wrongly blame BLM, Muslims, homosexuals, and immigrants.
      They can be both, woefully misinformed AND bigots. Stop making excuses for them.

      Delete
  5. This sounds thin.

    "The report provides no new evidence to support assertions that Moscow meddled covertly through hacking and other actions to boost the electoral chances of Donald J. Trump and undermine his rival, Hillary Clinton, but rests instead on what it describes as Moscow’s long record of trying to influence America’s political system.

    “Russia, like its Soviet predecessor, has a history of conducting covert influence campaigns focused on U.S. presidential elections that have used intelligence officers and agents and press placements to disparage candidates perceived as hostile to the Kremlin,” the report said. This campaign, it said, blended covert activities like hacking with public action by “Russian government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries and paid social media users or ‘trolls.’ ”

    The public report did not include evidence on the sources and methods used to collect the information about Mr. Putin and his associates that intelligence officials said was in a classified version."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is also not an accurate description of the totality of the evidence presented in the classified version of the report.

      Delete
  6. Few care about the inane idea of a wall, or Russia hacking on behalf of P.T. Trump.

    If we cared at all, then Trump would not be president.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are going to count people who voted, then you know that the words "few" do not describe the popular vote. The oddities of the electoral college vote that nullified the votes of nearly 3 million people, many in California, doesn't mean that those voting didn't care about the crap Trump does.

      I would buy it if you said that a bunch of millennials and minority voters in the Rust Belt didn't care enough to keep Trump out of office. People cared a whole lot in CA and the other blue states.

      Delete
    2. My point is that few voted in this election. Apathetic idiots. Turn out was low, as it always is. DUH!

      Delete
  7. Oh God, you lunatic, Bob Somerby. It's not the job of intelligence agencies to report on election results. Not their job, so in this particular case no need to attack the NYTimes for accurately reporting what those agencies actually said. What a bunch of grasping at straws.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go back and re-read the article. That is NOT what Mr. Somerby was conveying.

      Delete
  8. The media has been trying to come up with alternative reasons for how Trump won the election for two months now.
    First they tried voters "economic anxiety" , then they tried backlash over the rigged economy, now they are trying Russian hack.

    Nice try media, but we're on to you---and we KNOW the reason Trump won. His bigoted statements were sweet, sweet, music to the ears of rural, heartland Americans. This is who the American people are. In the words of Mitch McConnell, "grow up, and get over it."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And sweet sweet music to everyone who enjoyed him pointing at the press and calling them out as liars. Sweet music to Bernie supporters. Sweet music to several disparate types of voters.

      Delete
    2. Alternative reasons have been discussed because there were several causes for what happened. Life is complex.

      Trump's simplistic, black and white, promises, expressed in easy-to-understand language were sweet music too. No heavy lifting needed to change "Lock her Up" at a rally designed to simulate a sporting event. Bernie's millennials are similarly limited by their lack of life experience.

      Delete
    3. The press kept saying there was no way Trump would win because, "America is better than this."
      That whole theory has been shot to hell (America isn't better than this), so now they are scrambling for alternatives.
      Alas, telling America the truth (they're bigots) isn't a going to help the press' bottom line.

      Delete
    4. It didn't get much black-and-whiter than the famous campaign killing "basket of deplorables" speech. One of the few off-script moments of the Clinton campaign but a doozy.

      Delete
    5. "Bigots" is all they got and it no longer works the way they hoped. Wise Russian or Breitbart trolls did a lot of "bigot" bomb throwing with the help of Clinton supporters. It won the GOP the presidency, both houses, and biggest prize, the supreme court.

      Delete
    6. True 4;44 PM.
      Calling bigots "bigots" doesn't win elections. You have to promise them something they want. Kicking down usually suffices.

      Delete
    7. 6:18 as Democrats pandering to Black Lives Matters terrorists demonstrates.

      Delete
    8. 8:21 PM,
      BLM = terrorists?
      Did you learn that attending Rush Limbaugh's madrassa?
      I hear that's where the rurals, are radicalized after first-world technologies and know-how leave them behind.

      Delete
  9. There seems to be a new infestation of trolls here. Somerby should be flattered that his blog is considered worth paying people to pollute.

    ReplyDelete
  10. there is no bigotry like that of the deracinated cosmopolitan.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Turns out thw poor woman Bob denounces us liberals for not caring about...you know, the "name witheld" lady from Kentucky who said can't afford to see her doctor on Obamacare due to a $6,000 decuctible? She represent 1% of Obamacare purchasers.

    Thanks Honest Bob. You sound a lot like D.J. Trump.

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2017/01/heres-truth-behind-obamacares-horror-story-deductibles

    ReplyDelete
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