A correspondent for The Week was inundated with corrections and criticism after arguing the ‘Trump-Russia’ story had been “buried,” as fellow journalists noted the so-called scandal garnered wall-to-wall coverage for years on end.
In an article published in The Week on Wednesday, national correspondent Ryan Cooper asserted that the Russiagate story – which dominated headlines and TV news networks for some three years in a seemingly endless series of hyped up ‘bombshell’ reports – was simply brushed under the rug. Though a sweeping special counsel probe failed to result in any indictments linked to ‘collusion’ between the Trump campaign and Moscow, Cooper argued the core Trump-Russia claims were vindicated by a Senate report published in August.
Cooper’s article soon made waves, though perhaps not the type the reporter hoped for, as colleagues assailed the story for glaring inaccuracies, starting with the main contention blared from its headline about the supposed ‘burying’ of Russiagate.
Mincing no words, Intercept reporter Glenn Greenwald shredded Cooper as “one of the media’s absolute dumbest and banal liberals,” while poking fun at his article’s “unintentionally hilarious” headline.
Cooper has since hit back in his own Twitter thread, accusing Greenwald of misrepresenting the argument made in his article, clarifying that it was only the “resolution” of Russiagate that had been ignored.
Despite Cooper’s objections, however, within hours of publication, The Week was compelled to append two corrections to his story, one of which was noted by Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, who was himself the subject of the error. Cooper later admitted to the mistake and apologized.
A second correction came after several journalists pointed out that Cooper had falsely asserted that Russian ‘oligarch’ Oleg Deripaska took part in an alleged Kremlin-directed hack on Democratic computers in 2016, an allegation that never featured in the Senate report cited in Cooper’s story.
While the president of the Democratic National Committee’s own cyber security firm, CrowdStrike, admitted under oath in 2017 that his company had seen no concrete evidence of a Russian hack, the claim has remained central to the Russiagate mythos, alongside allegations of a conspiracy with the Trump campaign and a Russian “influence operation” on social media.
In a lengthy thread, journalist Aaron Mate challenged a number of other claims made in Cooper’s story, taking the author to task for citing “zero evidence” in his article, instead passing off the Senate report’s “suppositions” as fact.
Though The Week has since corrected Cooper’s story, similar editor’s notes and corrections have not deterred many eager to buy into the broader Trump-Russia narrative. A June report in the New York Times alleging that Moscow paid Taliban fighters “bounties” to kill American troops, for example, refuses to die, even after CENTCOM commander General Frank McKenzie dismissed the story as unverified earlier this week.
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