wikileaks

Wikileaks did it again — proving beyond the frailest shadow of a doubt fork-tongued mainstream presstitutes have no interest in legitimate reporting — but would rather spoon feed the American populace whatever mendacious drivel suits their corporate sponsors’ slavishly nationalist, Russophobic agenda.

Facts be damned. Oldstream media tried to hold Wikileaks accountable for yet another exploit for which it had literally no role.

Quelle surprise.

Where the civilians of this once-united nation vociferously defend their preferred mainstream outlet-du-jour for being less slanted than its political polar opposite — as in, how MSNBC could be considered the left’s answer to FOX News — one former titan of bias-free reporting just proved itself no different than a random grocery store tabloid.

Parting with an ostensively factual, if admittedly left-inclined, record of award-winning journalism, NPR — taxpayer-funded, U.S. government-approved, National Public Radio — spun the brazen anti-free press, establishment-friendly narrative into a tweet so poorly vetted, Twitter briefly raised a single collective eyebrow.

That is, before users from around the globe attacked normally mild-mannered NPR with that special scorn only Twitter can muster — because the public outlet threw journalistic integrity to the wayside — in reporting documents pertaining to now newly-elected French President Emmanuel Macron.

“Wikileaks posted 9 gigabytes of Macron’s campaign data, which is said to include both real and fake documents,” the verified NPR account flippantly tweeted with a link to its own article about the leak on Saturday afternoon.

Mais bien sûr, Wikileaks had nothing whatsoever to do with the massive cache of documents being leaked online, no matter how ecstatic the apparent hack staff manning the NPR Twitter account would have been.

Just over an hour after NPR’s foray into the land of make-believe, Wikileaks excoriated the errant information, replying,

“NPR is not a credible news organization.

1) WikiLeaks did not publish #MacronLeaks

2) So far only Macron claims “fake docs”–but names none”

It then took NPR nearly an hour to issue what should have been an immediate response with the lackluster,

“Thank you for clarifying. We have updated our post to correct the implication,” and, later, “Clarification: NPR cannot confirm who originally uploaded the leaked documents to the Internet.”

Worse, though the taxpayer-funded media outlet did indeed retract its statement, albeit without actually issuing an official retraction, NPR still struggled with the facts. With the top of its article now emblazoned with a bold-type notice of update, the actual correction — buried at the very end of its Macron article — somehow veered miles from the truth. Again.

It notes,

“A previous version of this post incorrectly implied that WikiLeaks was first to post the documents. NPR cannot confirm who originally uploaded the leaked documents to the Internet. WikiLeaks says that it has been working to confirm the authenticity of the documents.”

Wikileaks

Loosely true, that lackadaisical retraction subtly intimates Wikileaks had been among the first to post the leaked cache or had been somehow otherwise responsible for damage wrought the Macron campaign. A true retraction, which NPR clearly owed Wikileaks for licentiously dragging its untarnished record through the mud, would have sounded more like,

“NPR previously stated in error Wikileaks was responsible for posting leaked documents online. We regret that mistake and apologize for any implication of complicity.”

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No dice. That half-hearted correction still stands today, as is.

What actually happened lacked the simplicity of a package adroitly and fastidiously wrapped — and that an anonymous 4chan user posted the voluminous leak to a popular board, sans fanfare, made the potentially earth-shaking cache a bit closer to an oddly shaped, Sunday comics-sporting holiday gift, care of that third cousin you know by name, but have never bothered meeting face to face.

NPR sought, with its underhanded but nakedly accusatory tweet, to, well, wrap up the case of an unknown leaker — perhaps hell bent on gifting far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen, the election — with a pretty bow.

But as truth is wont to be, The New Yorker divined the actual facts of the situation, and interviewed the man who, in haste, tweeted a link to the 4chan post without so much as verifying or examining the thousands of documents it contained.

Referencing Friday’s stunning sequence of events, the New Yorker reported its interview with independent journalist Jack Posobiec on Sunday, stating,

“Shortly before 3 p.m., an anonymous 4chan user posted nine gigabytes of information—purportedly hacked e-mails, photographs, and internal documents from the campaign of Emmanuel Macron. Posobiec could not know whether all the information was authentic—he didn’t even have time to glance through most of the thousands of pages—but he considered it his journalistic duty to let his followers know about the leak. ‘Massive doc dump at /pol/,’ he tweeted. He included a link to the 4chan post, along with a hashtag: #MacronLeaks.”

Within hours, Pobosiec’s tweet commanded the attention of much of France, and earned a fat banner on the wildly popular Drudge Report; though the indie journalist — ensconced in festivities at Cinco de Milo, an event held by fellow anti-globalist reporter, Milo Yiannopoulos — had been none the wiser of the attention until after midnight Friday.

Drab details of Pobosiec’s unintentional instant fame aside, the Canadian correspondent for Rebel clearly had no association with Wikileaks, much less the shadowy figure responsible for posting the leak to 4chan. Even less so, the contents of the future French president’s private emails and documents — almost instantaneously derided as at least partly fake by Macron’s campaign, mere hours before that nation’s mandatory press blackout two days prior to an election of any information with the potential to sway the vote.

So, why — amid an ongoing propaganda campaign attempting to discredit alternative and mainstream media, alike, via the label Fake News — would NPR stray so far from the path of integrity in journalism, it would need a saw-edged machete to find its way back to the light?

Worse, the putative news organization blithely refused to label its retraction deeming Wikileaks responsible as an actual retraction — opting instead to mollify its brazen error as a ‘clarification’ in a follow-up tweet, stating,

“Clarification: NPR cannot confirm who originally uploaded the leaked documents to the Internet.”

Twitter was not amused — nor had it been from the moment Wikileaks unfairly shouldered the blame — to an audience of some seven million followers of NPR.

“That was not a problem with clarity,” tweeted one disgruntled user. “That was straight up misinformation.”

Some softened their tone in deference to the public outlet’s previously nonpareil record, asking NPR,

“What is your basis for attribution to Wikileaks?”

One skeptically if rhetorically queried,

“You call yourselves journalists?”

Others found it difficult to imagine NPR could stray quite so far from reality, shaming the public broadcaster, outright:

“Crickey NPR, I usually think the world of u. Do better research. #Macronleaks weren’t released by Wikileaks. This is embarassing 4 u.”

Or,

“False. Retract and apologize to @wikileaks.”

And, simply,

“You are #fakenews.”

In fact, many skewered NPR for pushing the exact Fake News mainstream presstitutes of every stripe have been hollering about for months:

“#FAKENEWS NPR is CLUELESS. Wikileaks did not post the documents. Does everyone see the undeniable #Fakenews??? NPR=FakeNews.”

Although a sizeable percentage of the American public has forsaken ailing mainstream media, like NPR, for alternatives in independent media, the peddling of blatantly fabricated information — whether calculated or hapless — set the stage for an all-out battle between journalism and government-approved propaganda.

That outlets like NPR, the Washington Post, and New York Times have faced intense scrutiny amid the Fake News wars for shameful attempts to manipulate public opinion in favor of the political establishment does not assuage those outlets’ foray into work ordinarily reserved for the U.S. Intelligence Community.

In fact, the nonchalance with which NPR tweeted a heinous lie evinces precisely why the public no longer puts any faith in reporting by once-illustrious outlets which now function more aptly as State mouthpieces.

Fortunately for Wikileaks and media organizations not beholden to a political or corporate agenda, that distrust has effectively rendered mainstream media moot.

This corpse of its former glory — cold, unfeeling, and lacking basic fact-checking skills — is every bit as useless at being a trusted mainstay of journalism it could once proudly claim.

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Claire Bernish began writing as an independent, investigative journalist in 2015, with works published and republished around the world. Not one to hold back, Claire’s particular areas of interest include U.S. foreign policy, analysis of international affairs, and everything pertaining to transparency and thwarting censorship. To keep up with the latest uncensored news, follow her on Facebook or Twitter: @Subversive_Pen.
  • ccoraxmeo

    What a waste of time and space by a, presumably, intelligent person. Decrying an entire news outlet as defective (“fake news”) because of one error/falsehood(?) is a travesty of journalism. I acknowledge there may be others problem but, without other evidence to the contrary, believe them to be few (relative to the total information provided) and minor (relative to party, govenrment, and world deception – not to mention wars in many places). You accuse NPR of journalistic inaccuracies (even falsehoods) and yet fill an article (which was far to long and convoluted for its minor point) with further spin, insults, and accusations. As I said, the person writing this seems intelligent and I lament the fact that they did not spend their talent talking briefly about this issue and then devoting their time and space to something of more vital interest to the country. You will, of course, do what you want but this has led me to question the journalistic integrity of “TheFreeThoughtProject”. (you might consider a closer adherence to “http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp” as one example).

    I am sorely disappointed because an excessively excessive (sic) exaggeration and polarization of a relatively minor point, in this culture of hate and argumentation, ” … is why we can’t have nice things” like civil discourse and national societal progress.

    • Lilly Horvath

      If a major news outlet can’t even be bothered to check a single source for something so monumental, they’re worthless. Literally of no value. Let me spell it out for you, and it’s unfortunate that you need me to: THEY DIDN’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO USE GOOGLE TO VERIFY SOMETHING. IN 2017.

      • SouthBender

        Does THAT sound even remotely plausible to you? That, in 2017, a news organization as prolific as NPR did NOT know how to vet & verify a story source? REALLY? *REALLY?*
        This doesn’t even seem like the professionals at NPR we’ve known as the professional, and respectable journalists for many years!
        Remember who’s in the WH right now. And who the AG currently leading prosecutions is!
        Would I believe this burn is a CIA plant unfolding before our very eyes – in a NY minute!!

    • junktex

      Sorry.Aint buyin’

    • Mick Price

      “Decrying an entire news outlet as defective (“fake news”) because of one error/falsehood(?) is a travesty of journalism.”
      When the error (actually a falsehood unless the journalist is functionally retarded) is defeened and excused, that makes th e entire news outlet fake news. It’s not that they got something wrong. It’s that they were uninterested in getting it right.

  • SouthBender

    Unfortunately, Assange and WikiLeaks are now in the cross-hairs of the US NSA, CIA, and FBI to arrest, prosecute, & convict them by ANY means possible – legalities, ethics be d#amned.

    This reeks of a subversive plant by any of those entities, being forced upon NPR. Or they were victimized, too, as well as being prevented from performing a true journalistic retraction to keep the pressure on WikiLeaks, AND to smear “left-leaning” NPR, in one nasty little snafu! That would be a great win-win for folks like, say –
    Sessions!!

    Something ain’t RIGHT here, and I’ve seen too many of these “plants” thrown down by OUR OWN GOV’T to interfere with foreign elections – just like they’re accusing the USSR & Putin of doing – and they have the software to do it! Remember?

    • WeAreYourGods

      NPR has been on a slide towards complete corporate news status for years now. I used to listen to them everyday, can’t stomach them anymore. They have their moments, but the soul of NPR is long gone and they are obviously a propaganda outlet these days.

      • Steve

        Indeed. I still like their format. A story deserves more than 30 seconds.

  • WeAreYourGods

    Yeah, NPR’s local NYC station has been grating on my sense for some time now, I usually refer to them as CNN on the radio. They regurgitate the same corporate media memes that you see on TV, without question or analysis. They don’t have a functional news department and haven’t for some time now. Definitely not the station my father used to listen to, I remember hearing Orwell’s 1984 read live on the air back in the 80’s… oh, the irony. Now they’re part of MINITRUTH.

  • David Lewis

    ALL off the media are engaged in these practices – both liberal and conservative….fox news is no shining example of american journalism as is npr or any of the others…

    • Steve

      They all have their spin… they all have their target audiences. Imagine NPR or CNN having a ‘positive Trump day,’ or Fox having a ‘positive Hillary day.’ Obviously, even this webpage has its market and frames stories to fit.

  • Alana Forsyth

    And people are running around talking about “Russian meddling” in the U.S. election as if it really happened. That’s PBS I’m talking about — Judy Woodruff and Robert Costa, in particular, he of Washington Week and she of the PBS NewsHour.

  • Karlin

    Okay so this would qualify as a DISTRACTION from bigger issues with NPR, namely that NPR continues to report that Syria’s government used chemical weapons recently. SO WHAT if NPR said “Wikileaks published the Macron files”?? – that is small potatoes compared to attaching blame for a chemical weapons attack