The Washington Post is liberal. MSNBC is even more so.
So for the Post to bash a MSNBC host is quite remarkable.
But that’s just what Jeff Bezo’s newspaper did on Thursday, publishing a scathing article about Rachel Maddow’s biased coverage about the Steel dossier.
The bogus dossier was put together by counterintelligence specialist Christopher Steele, a former head of the Russia Desk for British intelligence (MI6). The dossier included allegations that members of the Trump campaign joined forces with Russian operatives to interfere in the 2016 election to help President Trump win. The report — partially funded by the Clinton campaign — also alleged Russia sought to damage Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and claimed Trump was with prostitutes peeing on each other in Moscow in 2013.
Maddow had been pushing the dossier for years.
Earlier this month, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz released a 434-page report, declaring that requests from the FBI and Obama administration to conduct surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser were rife with errors and omissions — and maybe some flat-out deception.
The report said that the dossier played “a central and essential role in the decision by FBI [Office of the General Counsel] to support the request for FISA surveillance targeting Carter Page, as well as the FBI’s ultimate decision to seek the FISA order.”
FISA stands for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which created a secret court by which federal officials can petition a judge to conduct physical and electronic surveillance and the collection of “foreign intelligence information” between “foreign powers” and “agents of foreign powers” suspected of espionage or terrorism.
Said the Post:
Claims in the 35-page dossier fell into three pails, according to the report: “The FBI concluded, among other things, that although consistent with known efforts by Russia to interfere in the 2016 U.S. elections, much of the material in the Steele election reports, including allegations about Donald Trump and members of the Trump campaign relied upon in the Carter Page FISA applications, could not be corroborated; that certain allegations were inaccurate or inconsistent with information gathered by the Crossfire Hurricane team; and that the limited information that was corroborated related to time, location and title information, much of which was publicly available.”
But Maddow relentlessly pushed the dossier.
The Post summed it all up with this: “The case against Maddow is far stronger. When small bits of news arose in favor of the dossier, the franchise MSNBC host pumped air into them. At least some of her many fans surely came away from her broadcasts thinking the dossier was a serious piece of investigative research, not the flimflam, quick-twitch game of telephone outlined in the Horowitz report. She seemed to be rooting for the document.