OpEd by: Stu Cvrk
In the Age of Trump, perhaps the most important lesson we have learned is to simply not trust the breaking news stories in the legacy media at all. He has exposed their lies to us on a nearly daily basis in his tweets and public statements, as we have watched breathless story after breathless story accusing the President of a string of horrible offenses unravel and be forgotten after having been debunked one after the other. The Russia collusion hoax – especially the allegation that Russia “influenced the 2016 election outcome” – is at the top of the list, and a special counsel spent two long years failing to produce evidence to verify the contexts of what turned out to be a completely false “dossier” compiled by a former British intelligence officer from second-hand sources.
While the likes of the NY Times, Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC churned out fake news stories seemingly without end, a whole host of independent media patiently dissected each claim and, in many cases, forced retractions and corrections by the originators of the stories in the legacy media. Those independent media and researchers spanned the political spectrum, from The Intercept on the Left to Epoch Times and UncoverDC on the Right.
The result for the legacy media, including a number of Never-Trump periodicals such as The Weekly Standard and National Review, has been near-catastrophic – a significant loss of readership, viewership, market share, and ultimately revenues. For example, as this Washington Examiner article reported, Rachel Maddow has lost over 800,000 viewers since January 2019. This was attributed to the Mueller report’s conclusions having disproved her nightly crackpot claims over the past two years about President Trump’s “assured guilt.”
While these precipitate losses haven’t resulted in any perceptible behavioral changes by the legacy media (logically one would expect to see more accurate and politically-balanced reporting in an attempt to regain market share), the legacy media have instead continued their fake news narratives and periodically disparaged and attacked their competitors in the independent media. In the lexicon of the legacy media, right-wing media exist, but there are no left-wing media. I can’t remember the NY Times or Washington Post EVER explicitly referring to “left-wing media” in any of their news articles or even commentary.
As a new contributor to Redstate.com, I recently had a personal experience with the legacy media that illustrates the tension between legacy and independent media. Last Thursday, I wrote a speculative article on Red State that discussed who I thought the complainant was in the ongoing Ukrainian phone call kerfuffle (perhaps better characterized as the latest political hit-piece on the President!). My speculation that Ned Price, a former CIA officer in the Obama Administration, was the source of the complaint was based on a single anonymous State Department source plus supporting analysis. On Friday, Drew Harrell from the WaPo contacted me for a statement about my article. On Saturday, he incorporated parts of my response in a story published in the WaPo. The main theme of his story was to examine “far-right amateur sleuths” who are trying to expose the Ukraine complainant and paint us all with a very broad brush. Here are the excerpts in his article that specifically referred to me.
The guessing game took another twist after the New York Times reported the complaint was made by a CIA officer detailed to the White House. A conservative writer, Stu Cvrk, tweeted out his guess a few hours later.
“Is This Guy The Ukraine Phone Call Whistleblower?” Cvrk tweeted, linking to a post he wrote on RedState, a conservative news and commentary site.
“A source known to me at the State Department, who will remain anonymous, tells me that everyone is pointing to Edward ‘Ned’ Price as the whistleblower who came forward with the accusation that President Trump ‘abused his office’ during a phone conversation with the Ukrainian president,” wrote Cvrk. Price is a former CIA officer who retired in 2017 and is now a political analyst for NBC News.
Price, who was more amused than upset at the claim, said it made him concerned about the development of “discourse that is just divorced from the facts.”
“It’s part of the political atmosphere that we live in now,” Price said. “People are looking for anything on which to hang their tinfoil hats.”
Cvrk, in a direct Twitter message to The Post, stood by his assessment. “You didn’t seriously think he would admit it, did you?” he wrote, adding that he was insulted by the inference “that I am a tinfoil hat guy.”
I’ll gladly accept the pejorative of being lumped in with “far-right amateur sleuths” and being called a “tinfoil hat guy” by an Obama political hack like Price. We independents, not the legacy media, are doing the real digging and exposing the truth about both the Russia hoax and now the Ukraine political hit-job. Now Harrell kindly quoted bits of my reply to him accurately in his article, but he left out the other important statements which place the above comments in complete context
I took the following verbatim from an exchange we had
[Price is] a political hack. You didn’t seriously think he would admit to it, did you? It is no coincidence that his Twitter feed aligns with the evolution of the evolving hit piece aka “WB.” Just as Steele was the face of the dossier (hiding people who contributed to it), someone served the same function in this charade, as the “complaint” was a composite almost certainly written by multiple people including Democrat lawyers. Whether Price was the frontman or not, it’s clear he knew abt it and is serving as an agit-prop disseminator. Same modus operandi as the Russia hoax is in play. My piece was speculative. The fact that the complaint was not based on firsthand info and has demonstrably false info should lead investigative journalists (almost an oxymoron these days) to find out who and why the complaint was false, as well as who specifically wrote it, not go after those of us who are actually trying to find that out. It is absolutely clear that whoever submitted the false complaint was a political operative acting under false pretenses.
[W]ho at WaPo is looking into who actually wrote the complaint and why nobody with firsthand knowledge of the phone call didn’t submit a complaint if it was all so “egregious.” Do u seriously think the complaint was written by the person who submitted it after it was laundered thru Schiff’s office beginning in August?
One would think that the WaPo would be interested in the truth, as opposed to attacking people who are attempting to “Uncover DC” and expose those truths to everyone. But I guess it’s no surprise that they perpetuate the Democrats’ Ukraine narrative, as the WaPo has been virulently anti-Trump since before he was inaugurated. Their news and editorial pages have led the charge specifically on this Ukraine complainant hit-job from the very beginning. Their real problem is that, thanks to independent researchers, the story has been unraveling from the start – just like many other similar allegations have been debunked in the Age of Trump!
Stu Cvrk served 30 years in the US Navy in a variety of active and reserve capacities, with considerable operational experience in the Middle East and the Western Pacific. An oceanographer and systems analyst through education and experience, he is semi-retired and presently works part-time for a defense contractor in support of a number of Navy command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance programs ashore and afloat. Stu is a graduate of the US Naval Academy where he received a classical liberal education which serves as the key foundation for his political commentary. He threads daily on Twitter on a wide range of political, military, foreign policy, government, economics, and world affairs topics.
Follow Stu on Twitter @STUinSD