Under the political section of the New York Times’ website I read this jarring headline:
“Trump Falsely Says U.S. Claim of Russian Hacking Came
”, written by Julie Hirschfeld Davis and David Sanger. [This article has since gone missing from the NYT, with the original link
going to a revised article, but it can still be found
If Russia, or some other entity, was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act? Why did they only complain after Hillary lost?
- Donald Trump
As they have taught us to do, I went and did a little “fact-check”. On the subject of Trump’s tweet I found this headline on Politifact:
“Pants on fire!
Trump tweet about Whitehouse, Russian hacking probe
”. What else can I do? Both a respectable news agency and a respectable fact-checking
service have proven Trump wrong.
But upon reading these articles there appears a glaring issue. These two headlines, one from the NYT and the other from Politifact, have something
else in common besides their author’s infatuation with Trump’s tweets: they are both piffle—but worse, piffle disguised as fact.
Like the journalism that was prevalent during the election, everything about these articles are gross misrepresentations, or in other words,
thread-bare straw men. As straw men are designed to do, the reader is duped into believing that Trump's concerns were refuted—all this while the
real story is met with a hand-wave, if touched on at all.
The Revelations of Obama’s probe into the Russians hacking the US elections was mentioned only recently, and in combination with leaks from a
battalion of anonymous CIA officials to the Washington Post, which left pundits to lament
the illegitimacy of Trump's presidency
a full month after the election
was over, it is not difficult to understand what Trump was (oh lord) tweeting about.
But in their attempts at debunking (as if a question can be true or false), they not only glossed over Trump’s concerns, but also ignored an issue
bigger than Trump’s tweet.
NBC News had more pressing concerns
the journos at the NYT:
The Obama administration didn't respond more forcefully to Russian hacking before the presidential election because they didn't want to appear
to be interfering in the election and they thought that Hillary Clinton was going to win and a potential cyber war with Russia wasn't worth it,
multiple high-level government officials told NBC News.
Pants on fire, NBC. Remember, according to Politifact and some writers at the NYT, Obama did
do something. He told Putin to “cut it out”.
Obama gave Putin a stern talking to back in September. We would mention that he also spoke to Putin briefly in November, but not about hacking, so we
According to multiple high-level government officials Obama didn’t think a cyberwar was worth it when he thought Hillary was going to win, and now,
a month after the election, he orders an investigation and suddenly vows to retaliate. Might Trump be questioning things like these?
Of course not. According to fact-checkers, Trump is clearly saying “US claim of Russian hacking came after the election.”, all without really