Or, perhaps, shameless propaganda. It’s hard to be sure.
The Trump/Russian collusion narrative is an odd thing. It is sustained by screaming headlines and breathless tweets. Most of the time the substance of the stories fail to live up to the hype.
And then there are those stories which seem irreconcilable. While each may be plausible, they seem to contradict one another. That is, while either may be true, it is absurd to believe that both can be true. Yet outlets like CNN expect us to do just that.
On one hand we are supposed to accept that Putin is a bloodthirsty totalitarian who has brought High Stalinism back to the Kremlin. He is a rogue autocrat so bent on political murder that he is willing to kill defectors in the West despite the inevitable repercussions to East-West relations.
At the same time we are expected to believe that people high up in the Russian intelligence apparatus are eager to blab about secret active measures. Despite Putin’s brutal record, these “deeply knowledgeable sources” display so little fear that they are happy to help foreign spies and ex-spies compile dossiers that reveal these active measures.
Those spies, ex-spies, operatives, and ex-operatives also manifest a cavalier disregard for source protection and operational security.
Does anyone at the WaPo or CNN think about issues like this before they start hyping their latest scoop? Do they care about the truth?
Steele reported that the friends of Vladimir Putin apprised him of Russia’s efforts to intervene on behalf of Donald Trump in the presidential campaign. Why, you might ask, would the friends of Vladimir Putin entrust Christopher Steele with the goods on Russia’s alleged efforts to intervene on behalf of Donald Trump in the presidential campaign?
I have not seen a good answer to that question and Mayer doesn’t really offer one other than that everybody loves Christopher Steele like she does. And of course there are obvious reasons why knowledgable Russians would not deliver true intelligence to Steele. As Eric Felten puts it in the excellent Weekly Standard article “A doozy of a dossier”: “Given the relative trivialities that can get one beaten to death in a Russian prison, these senior officials would seem to have exhibited an extraordinarily cavalier attitude toward their own health and well-being.”
Or have they succumbed to the Cult of Truthiness in their Trump Derangement?