Fake news is everywhere. You simply can’t get away from it. Ridiculous headlines get people to click links, and all of the big media players in America know that. When the New York Times reported this week that Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Donald Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort attended a secret meeting last June with a Russian lawyer, I knew the article was going to be good.
Let’s get one thing straight: Trump Jr. has admitted that he indeed did have a meeting with a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskay, last June. Ms. Veselnitsky, by all accounts, has absolutely no affiliation with the government of Russia. Trump Jr. said in a statement that the meeting was setup by a third party with the pretext that Ms. Veselnitsky would provide damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
However, in the meeting, Ms. Veselnitsky actually wanted to talk about the Magnitsky Act, a US law that prevents the entry of several Russian officials suspected of being involved in the murder of the law’s namesake in a Russian prison, lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, Trump Jr.’s statement added. Putin, in 2012, had suspended the US adoption of Russian children in retaliation for the act. According to the statement, Ms. Veselnitsky thought Trump Jr. would be interested in trying to influence change in the situation to restart the US adoption of Russian children.
Trump Jr. has maintained that he did not attend the meeting as a representative of his father’s campaign, and that the two men joining him, Jared Kushner and campaign manager Paul Manafort, were only there to offer advice. He continued by saying that there was no followup to the meeting and that nothing was passed on to his father. President Trump’s lawyer recently put out a statement vehemently denying that the President had any knowledge of the meeting at the time.
Trump Jr. Story the Latest Russia Boogeyman
The newest New York Times article on the matter starts out by citing “three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it.” Using anonymous sources to push reporting further than what’s been confirmed is a popular media tool. It allows companies to report stories with facts that have been stretched further than what’s cited so that the story closer resembles the message the company is trying to send (the narrative). There is little to no accountability concerning anonymous sources in reporting.
It’s a deceitful practice and one that’s far too common. Beside eroding trust in the media, it shamelessly skirts around libel laws that, if the statements were written differently (i.e. we can’t confirm this with someone you can go and talk to, so we’re just going to say someone told us these things), would surely result in a lawsuit. It is unfortunate that the mainstream media’s opinion of the average American’s intellect is so low they think they can get away with these unethical journalistic practices. They cannot.
Once upon a time, anonymous sources were used responsibly by the press to report on matters so sensitive that there was no way anyone could attach their name to it without being harmed. Now they’re used daily to sell article clicks and airtime. Accountability in this practice has vanished.
It is no wonder why the popularity of alternative media that sticks to the facts and is honest with their audience continues to rise while conventional media, such as CNN, suffers massive viewership losses.
Russia Denied it Meddled in the 2016 Election
During the Friday meeting between Presidents Trump and Putin, Putin extended his government’s outright and complete rejection to the notion that it meddled in the 2016 election. President Trump has apparently accepted that assertion and has said that it’s “time to move forward.” Meanwhile, US Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 Election continues, and there’s bound to be plenty more sensational news stories until and certainly after the investigation concludes, regardless of the result.