When the year began, an intelligence document from former MI6 agent Christopher Steele landed in the hands of the media. The dossier laid out precisely how Donald Trump and Russia conspired to rig the election. Major media outlets on the left and right initially ignored the document entirely, despite its importance. Once it became public anyway, the media spent all year dissing it as “unverified” (even as this became untrue), while refusing to properly report on its contents. Today, the media proved its own hypocrisy, and indeed its own idiocy, when it came to that decision.
Today the contents of a new book about the Donald Trump campaign leaked. The book is written by some random guy named Michael Wolff who didn’t have any real inside access. Based on what’s leaked, it appears he simply interviewed those around Trump, and then printed whatever they said. None of it appears to be independently substantiated or verified. Yet every major media outlet has immediately begun reporting on the assertions made in the book, presenting them as if they were fact. That doesn’t mean the book should be disbelieved. But if the book should be believed, the dossier should be believed tenfold.
There is no basis – none whatsoever – for assuming that this book is more reliable or believable than the Trump Russia dossier. In fact, the opposite is true. So why on earth is the media eagerly slobbering all over this book after it tried so hard to scuttle the dossier? This can’t be political bias, because the book and the dossier are both decidedly anti-Trump. This can’t be a legal matter; if the corporate media lawyers had objected to reporting on the dossier for fear of lawsuits, those lawyers would be objecting to reporting on this new book for the same reason.
Nor can this simply be about ratings. The dossier was explosive, and included everything from spy novel level treason to the Pee Pee Tape. It would have been a ratings boon, yet the mainstream media wanted nothing to do with it. So what’s really going on here? Only one explanation comes to mind.
When the Trump-Russia dossier first fell into the hands of major media outlets, they initially took a pass on publishing it. They appeared to have mistakenly believed it wouldn’t be of interest to the public. When it went public anyway, they were proven profoundly wrong. For the past year it’s felt a lot like the media has been dissing the dossier simply because its pride was hurt when it guessed wrong about the dossier to begin with. If so, the media is no better than Trump is.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report