Hillary Clinton’s “claim” that “17 intelligence agencies agreed” on Russian interference with our election last year, a host of media outlets claimed the statement as 100 percent FACT. And now, a mere nine months later all those same media outlets are coming out saying that the claim is false… so what happened?
As written for The Daily Caller by Rachel Stoltzfoos:
When Hillary Clinton claimed “17 intelligence agencies” agree on Russian meddling in the third presidential debate, a host of media outlets including The New York Times rated the claim as 100 percent true. Nine months later, those same outlets say the stat is obviously false, and there’s been a “simple” explanation as to why all along.
A closer look at how the claim survived and thrived over those nine months reveals a startling lack of skepticism in the press when it comes to the Russia narrative. The truth is the great majority of the 17 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community had nothing to do with the investigation and made no judgments about the matter.
“The reason the views of only those four intelligence agencies, not all 17, were included in the assessment is simple: They were the ones tracking and analyzing the Russian campaign,” The New York Times now reports. “The rest were doing other work.”
Strange admission for the paper, since its star political reporter recently reiterated the false claim as she was in the middle of writing an article characterizing President Trump as stubbornly foolish.
“The latest presidential tweets were proof to dismayed members of Mr. Trump’s party that he still refuses to acknowledge a basic fact agreed upon by 17 American intelligence agencies that he now oversees: Russia orchestrated the attacks, and did it to help him get elected,” Maggie Haberman wrote. Her story was later corrected to reflect the — basic fact — that only three agencies working under the Director of National Intelligence contributed to the intelligence community’s conclusion.
A few days later, the Associated Press echoed that correction in a “clarification” bulletin acknowledging there’s no truth to the claim the wire service had repeatedly blasted out for publication to news outlets all over the world.
The bizarrely timed corrections put the media in a bit of a truth pickle, especially after Trump drew attention to the corrections at a high-profile press conference in Poland. “They had to apologize, and they had to correct,” he noted.
The New York Times, CNN and others quickly spun up articles and tweets aimed at steering the conversation away from this uncomfortable truth about their proliferation of an outright false claim, and back to the more comfortable “isn’t Trump an idiot?” narrative.