A leading New Yorker writer omits crucial facts to run interference for Joe Biden against serious allegations of corruption in Ukraine, writes Joe Lauria.
By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News
The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer has gained a reputation as one of the best reporters in Washington, but in her latest piece on Ukraine and former Vice President Joe Biden, Mayer has succumbed to the partisan mania ripping apart this city and much of the country.
There is little subtlety in her argument, as evidenced by the title of the piece: “The Invention of the Conspiracy Theory on Biden and Ukraine.” Rather than taking an impartial, non-partisan view—needed now more than ever in journalism—Mayer neglects evidence that would have produced a more nuanced report on this increasingly volatile story.
Such an achievement required the suppression of a seasoned reporter’s natural curiosity. Maybe the other side has evidence worth examining too.
Mayer is not alone in dismissing serious questions about Biden as merely “a repeatedly discredited conspiracy theory involving Joe Biden and his son Hunter’s work in Ukraine.” In doing so, Mayer has joined an unthinking media consensus protecting Biden and the media’s own interests to save itself from the shame of having pushed the now discredited conspiracy theory of Trump’s collusion with Russia. With the Trump Justice Department digging into the origins of that fiasco it was the perfect time to preempt its findings with a trumped up impeachment scandal. The last thing the intelligence agencies and their compliant media need are revelations about how they together duped the country.
Mayer, who distinguished herself on many stories, including a defense of the wrongly accused National Security Agency senior executive Tom Drake—an actual whistleblower—reduced herself to the journalists’ herd that gave Russiagate credence, and in the process undermined scores of media reputations.
Instead of owning up to it, Mayer writes that the media was manipulated in 2016, not by Democrats or intelligence officials, but by Republican partisans. She produces a line about Ukrainegate that would more credibly describe media accomplices in Russiagate: “News organizations continue to be just as susceptible to manipulation by political partisans pushing complicated and hard-to-check foreign narratives as they were in 2016.”
Mayer’s unwillingness to see the corruption of both major parties is stunning.
She writes: “Anyone trying to track the Ukrainian conspiracy stories that were eventually embraced by President Trump is likely to get mired in the same echo chamber of right-wing news purveyors that misinformed voters in 2016” (except that in 2016 it was an echo chamber aligned with Democrats).
Mayer only blames Republicans who were largely on the defensive during Russiagate. Her exoneration of Democrats then and now for misinforming voters, extends to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s approval of an uranium deal with Russia, after which, Mayer reports, “more than two million dollars in contributions” came to “the Clinton Foundation from the businessmen behind the deal.” She says Clinton is in the clear because other U.S. agencies also approved the deal and the amount of uranium was “negligible.” It was all just a conservative plot, Mayer tells us.
The Biggest Omissions
Mayer attributes the origins of Biden’s appearance of conflict of interest in Ukraine solely to a disinformation campaign run by a shadowy group set up by Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, the right wing activist, Steve Bannon.
This is intended to put a nail in the story at its origins, portraying it as just a nutty conservative conspiracy, and thus no one needs to be concerned about significant evidence that followed. “For nearly two years, conservative operatives have been trying to weaponize the Ukraine-based story that has led Trump to the brink of impeachment,” Mayer wrote.
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She takes at face value Bannon’s braggadocio about his so-called Government Accountability Initiative being “key” and the “predicate” to the Biden-Ukraine story, allowing her to easily dismiss an array of facts, including a public admission of corruption by Biden himself, as merely an “unethically seeming morass.”
Of all the evidence missing from Mayer’s piece, perhaps the most important is the opening act of this Washington drama: the U.S.-backed coup that overthrew an elected Ukrainian government in 2014. Without that evidence it is impossible to understand the context of the nauseating Biden/Ukraine impeachment story. She is not alone in this either. The entire elite liberal media and Fox News won’t mention it in a bipartisan cover-up of rapacious American foreign policy.
The press usually takes 25 years, after the declassification of documents, to admit the United States routinely breaks international law by overthrowing sovereign governments, and not in the name of spreading democracy, but in the interests of capital and geo-strategy. That was the case with Ukraine in 2014.
Can you imagine if the Trump administration finally succeeds in overthrowing the Venezuelan government and a couple of months later Vice President Mike Pence’s son (who wasn’t kicked out of the Navy for drug use) lands a spot on the board of a privatized Venezuelan national oil company?
That is exactly what happened with Biden and his son Hunter in Ukraine.
And then imagine that the U.S.-installed government of Juan Guaidó begins an investigation into corruption at the oil company and wants to question Pence’s son. So Pence flies to Caracas and tells Guaidó he won’t get a $1 billion U.S. credit line until the prosecutor is fired. Six hours later the prosecutor begins cleaning out his desk and Pence later brags about it in an open forum at the Council on Foreign Relations.
That is exactly what Biden did in Ukraine.
The fired Venezuelan prosecutor then gives an affidavit under oath that Pence had him fired because he was investigating his son’s company and that the U.S. had taken over the country’s prosecutor’s office.
That is exactly what the Ukrainian prosecutor testified.
But none of these facts are in Mayer’s story. In the face of the affidavit and Biden’s open admission on video, she still somehow calls these “baseless tales claiming that Biden corruptly intervened on behalf of his son’s Ukrainian business interests.”
Instead Mayer attacks the reporter who revealed most of these facts, John Solomon of The Hill. A partisan reporter attacking another partisan reporter is what passes for journalism these days. Being non-partisan—a requirement to practice serious journalism—means looking past the politics of a reporter or a news outlet, and even overlooking their partisan motivation, if they present documented evidence. The motive is irrelevant if the evidence is substantiated.
There was no such evidence in the Russiagate farce, but that never stopped partisans in the Democratic media. The same lack of skepticism has accepted now two CIA officials as “whistleblowers” without questioning their motives, while showing no interest in real whistleblowers who challenge the Establishment on behalf of the nation.
If the Department of Justice and its investigation into the origins of Russiagate is serious and reveals wrongdoing by intelligence officials and by extension the media, the best move those officials and journalists can make is to go on offense as their best defense. It also gives them another crack at Trump after failing with Russiagate. And Trump gave them the opening to do it.
Trump’s mistake was to get personally involved in the investigations into the origins of Russiagate and the Bidens. By mentioning both in a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, he broke the wall that should exist between the White House and the Justice Department. Though there was no clear quid-pro-quo, Trump hinted that he would release military aid to Ukraine in exchange for the investigations. If Trump did that it is the routine corrupt way the U.S. carries out foreign policy, as Biden openly admitted.
Trump compounded his problems by publicly calling for China to investigate Hunter Biden’s dealings in that country. By getting personally involved, instead of leaving it up to the DOJ to investigate his possible challenger in next year’s presidential election, Trump allowed his enemies in intelligence and the media to portray his conversation as an impeachable offense.
Every move the DOJ or Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, makes in investigating Russiagate or the Bidens’ corruption, including legitimately asking foreign governments for assistance, is now tainted as political because of Trump’s unwise intervention. He threw a lifeline to intelligence officers and journalists like Mayer, who will continue to make the most of it even if it means turning their backs on their professional commitments.
Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe .
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I stopped subscribing to and reading the New Yorker after they published Atul Gawande’s piece justifying the rejection of single-payer health insurance in the United States. (Atul Gawande, “Getting There from Here: How should Obama reform health care?”, The New Yorker, 26 January 2009) It was beautifully written, persuasively argued, and demonstrably wrong in its historical characterizations and economic substance. And the article had real consequences: Obama and his sycophants waved it around, citing it as Rhodes-Scholar, fancy-pants-Harvard-surgeon confirmation of the wisdom and necessity of their across-the-board sell-out to Big Health. Apparently, the New Yorker’s formerly famed article-vetting only goes so far when they have an agenda to push. I see that that hasn’t changed, and by some commenters’ accounts, it’s actually gotten worse. I’m glad Joe Lauria has the stomach to slog through their propaganda and call them out on it; I no longer do.
Mayer’s article shouldn’t be surprising. Her partisanship had already been demonstrated. While her book Dark Money was excellent, it only examined right-wing Republican oligarchs, ignoring the “liberal” billionaires financing the Democrats and their major influence on the political process and policymaking.
Jimmy Dore called this one out already.
Talk about corruption? Trump is small potatoes compared to that crowd of DNC fascist neoliberals.
Jimmy Dore has not done a show on Jane Mayer’s article. Yes he’s done other shows criticizing mainstream reporting on this. Are you suggesting Consortium News shouldn’t because Jimmy Dore already has?
As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!). They must, with Europe and others, watch over…
8:38 AM – Oct 7, 2019
(portion of TRUMP Tweet)
The problem is that this story gets aired in Consortium News. Mayer`s story got printed in one of the nations biggest megaphones.
You do see the problem Mr. Lauria. In your case, you are a prime example of freedom of speech in the USA. You are having your say but no one or at least all of the moron class, ( the vast majority of Americans) does not stand a snowball`s chance in Hell of ever seeing it, and even if they did they would skip to the comics page , something with pictures that they could understand. There was a time when you would just be dismissed as a ” Muckraker”. Thats the sad fact of life in the USA and why the country is going to Hell in a hand basket.
A journalist who doesn’t toe the line soon becomes an ex-journalist. They know that.
An excellent guide to this is Norman Solomon’s “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death”
Media can create any reality it chooses. How this has become something about Trump, and not the incredible corruption of Biden is par for the course. Here is a latest tidbit:
Zero Hedge: “Joe Biden ‘Personally Paid $900,000 By Burisma’ According To Ukrainian MP In Bombshell Admission”
If true, Joe Biden was collecting money for himself as well. It’s a great deal; overthrow a government, flood the country with IMF money and then show up with your carpet bag and start scooping up the loot.
Biden, like Hillary and most top Establishment politicians, is above the law. He even bragged about his corruption in the CFR video knowing that he is untouchable. Anything under a $million (as the $900,000) is pocket change to these people.
It is amazing how Russiagate was dissembled to the American public as serious, while the Ukrainian Black Ledger, which removed Trump’s campaign manager Manafort– a true interference in the 2016 Election by a foreign power– is not mentioned by the CIA-run MSM. Steele claimed to the State Department that his/ the DNC’s dossier on Trump was from Vladislav Surkov and Vyasheslav Trubnikov; there is no possible higher interference in the Election from the Kremlin (except Putin), and in this case clearly interfering on Hillary’s side. Yet this stuff does not fit Brennan’s narrative and never was covered by the MSM in contrast to the fake ‘Bombshells” against idiot Trump.
Trump is a criminal, and in this country, no one is above the law…..he will be taken down and removed from office, and rightly so.
Wow you haven’t been paying much attention these past couple centuries if you believe that not above the law/ accountability stuff
Has anyone without dirt on their hands reported that the fired Ukrainian prosecutor was corrupt? So far as I can see that rumor goes back to our ambassador to Ukraine Pyatt and and the IMF. Pyatt was the same guy on the call with Nuland when they were caught talking about carving up the Ukraine and deciding who was going to run for office in Ukraine and who wasn’t. His big claim was that Shokin’s office failed to help the UK in a probe, which isn’t proof of anything especially considering the case was actually surrounding the president of the Ukraine and had little to do with Burisma at all.
Acting to protect your boss and your country from the UK doesn’t mean you are dirty. The other claim that his office was dirty was based on two different prosecutors who were fired by the previous president, the scandal touched him because it was the same office but what evidence do they provide to say he was dirty? The implication is that the two prosecutors were fired because they found dirt on the president and Shokin wasn’t fired because he was dirty and in bed with the president. Again no evidence is shown that he was dirty it was just assumed . They don’t actually say what he’s even accused of, instead they say protesters wanted him out so that’s their proof. But again these were the same protesters who wanted the entire government gone.
Accusations of corruption are of course believable because before we threw the coup, the media was reporting that everything in Ukraine is corrupt and since that’s business as usual in our country as well, it’s easy to believe. The knee jerk reaction is to assume it’s all corrupt. But where is the proof that this prosecutor in particular was corrupt, which doesn’t come from dirty hands? And is there any law that says a prosecutor, even if dirty doesn’t also work on legit cases when he thinks that it would benefit him or his country? Isn’t it entirely possible he was corrupt AND working to prosecute corruption because prosecuting corruption in certain places could be profitable? Are we to assume that no dirty prosecutor has ever worked on legit cases but in fact isn’t that normal? Don’t most dirty people stay clean and do their jobs most of the time and do their dirty work part time?
One certainly can’t accept the word of the IMF or our disgraced ambassador both who were neck deep in dirty deeds, yet their word seems to have been enough to find this man guilty. That’s rather like bank robbers pointing fingers at the shoplifter and shouting “look over there cops, go get em”, while the robbers are driving off into the sunset.
Great article. Shows that Mayer drank the Democrat Kool-Aid and lost objectivity, an all too common problem nowadays.
Gender trumps journalism.
From the ‘transcript’ of the phone call, I didn’t see any quid pro quo either. Still, further detail might come out later so we wait and see on that score. The thing that most interested me in the call was Trump’s opening point – the favour he asked for related to Crowdstrike. Info on Crowdstrike is crucial to tracking down the origins of Russiagate.
thanks to joe luria for a wonderfully detailed and informative piece..the only thing that possibly makes the white house egomaniac look good is the substance (?) of his opposition..we’ve taken lesser evil democracy as far as it can go when conservatives begin to seem polio by comparison to liberals who begin to seem cancer..and left out completely from all this russo-ukrainian nonsense is the only foreign power with massive control of political hacks in bi-partisan d.c. with trump easily the most blatant pro-israeli president ever ..
impeachment liberal freaks have hardly noticed while wetting themselves in anticipation of paydays for lawyers to be followed by paydays for therapists when impeachment fails…other presidents have politely gone along with israel while demurely saying jerusalem should be its capital and doing nothing while accepting lobby money but trump passionately plunged into israeli arms and accepted a foreign policy blunder avoided by wiser political pimps .. this rich hustler’s sincere beliefs once again make it clear that rulers must get rid of him for making america so obviously what it really is, rather than the cosmetic monster so many buy at the mall.
… none so blind as they who cannot see !!!
How many of you here believe in that “patriotism” Bull Spit associated w/ 9/11 / SADDAM HUSEIN /USAMA BIN LADEN
“LETS TAKE IRAQ’S OIL” – and – While We’re At It, START A BIG WAR INSIDE THE ENTIRE MIDDLE EAST THAT’LL CAUSE ARABS AND AFRICANS TO FLEE INTO EUROPE, UNSETTLING WHOLE TRANS CONTINENTAL NATIONS, INITIATING USURPATIONS OF FAMILIES AND NATIONALITIES AND GOVERNMENTAL CONTROLS OF NATIONAL BOUNDARIES…
…WE SEE IT UP CLOSE ON OUR SOUTHERN BORDERS — WAVES OF HUMANITY FLEEING THE INJUSTICE OF POVERTY INFLICTED UPON A PEOPLE AND CAUSED BY THE ECONOMIC CONTROL INFLICTED UPON THEM BY USA COMMERCIAL POLICIES AND EDICTS.
BLISSFUL IGNORANCE AND MADISON AVE COMMERCIALISM
IS AS THE BANALITY of a BLINDLY DEPRAVED/NEFARIOUS/
WILLFUL FALL INTO A SUBLIMINAL PERCEPTION OF REALITY
HUXLEY’S BRAVE NEW WORLD (THE NEW BANALITY) IS HERE !!!
THIS IS THE STATE OF ALL OF YOU TRUMP SUPPORTERS HERE
ANOTHER IN-NUMERAL#’S OF HILLS OF INNOCENT BODIES
PILEING INTO/UNTO THE RAVAGES OF “WEAPONS OF WAR”
MANUFACTURED AND SOLD BY INDUSTRIAL GIANT PROFITEERS
WHICH NEGOTIATE INDUSTRIALIZED ARMS DISTRIBUTIONS
LIKE DAYS OF SLAVE TRADE AS INDUSTRIAL COMMODITIES
TOOLS OF TRADE/ HUMAN BEINGS MANDATED FOR SLAUGHTER
DEHUMANIZED AS ARE NOW THE KURDISH PEOPLE THAT
FOUGHT ON OUR SIDE AGAINST THE MONSTROUS “ISLAMISTS”
AS IF THE ISLAMISTS ARE NOT TRUMPS FRIENDS /COHORTS
LINING HIS POCKETS W/SWEET PRIVATE / CORRUPT “DEALS”
FEATURING WEAPONS SALES/ARMS AGREEMENTS AS WHEN
WE (the) US, IN 1979 DONATED GREAT SUPPLIES OF WEAPONS
TO “BIN LADIN” IN ORDER TO -ACTUALIZE / OBJECTIZE/
AND /OR, EXTERNALIZE BIN LADEN AS THE ARCH VILLIAN/
WITH FANTASTIC DEATH-DEALING POWER OVER SIMPLE PEOPLE/
UNINFORMED AMERICANS HAVE YET TO LOOK-IN-THE-MIRROR
WE AMERICANS UNHINGED / DESTROYED THE NATION
OF IRAQ BY REASON OF US OIL COMPANY EXECUTIVES
MAPS OF IRAQ OIL FIELDS THAT WERE DIVIDED UP AND
“REPOSSESSED”/ DISPOSSESSED BY EDICT OF AMERICAN
USA – MILITARY SPONSORED ROBBER BARONS WHO /
WENT TO IRAQ FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF TO STEAL/
DESTROY ALL LIVING FIBER OF THE IRAQ CIVILATION/
THAT SUMS UP THE CULTURE OF “THE PALE WHITE MAN’
WHICH COME, HISTORICALLY, TO STEAL,KILL DESTROY
THEIR CANESCENCE, OR ALBICATION IS PROJECTED
IN THE COLORLESS PALE WHITE SKIN OF DONALD TRUMP
WHOM IS, BY ALL PRECEPTS, THE PALE WHITE MAN
AS DESCRIBED IN HENRY DAVID THOREAU’S “WALKING”
EXCEPT THE FACT OF TRUMP’S COMIC STUPIFACTION
AND/OR SELF-ADORATION AS OF THAT OF PONTIUS PILATE
TRUMP’S EPITATH HAS ALREADY BEEN PROCREATED. …
@ … Hillary Clinton’s approval of an uranium deal with Russia, after which, Mayer reports, “more than two million dollars in contributions” came to “the Clinton Foundation from the businessmen behind the deal.” She says Clinton is in the clear because other U.S. agencies also approved the deal and the amount of uranium was “negligible.”
Yes, but including the donations made by the same individuals before the deal was inked raises the total contributed to $145 million, a fact that in my opinion Mayer should have mentioned.
Can we wonder what the Dem leaders will say if Trump’s pullout of Syria leads to a more peaceful world?
I see a difference between my good friends, mostly Dems and their party leaders and the difference for me is Liberals aren’t Liberal anymore.
Love and Peace
Great piece, Joe. Trump richly deserves to be impeached for a host of offenses, but Ukrainegate is perhaps the weakest of all. This scandal is quite obviously the work of the intelligence community, and calling it an act of whistleblowing drains that word of all meaning. However, Trump’s refusing to cooperate with Congress’s investigation, something that he has done previously in other investigations, is clearly grounds for impeachment.
I would hope that the House will not hang its impeachment hat on Ukraine alone but will draw up a list of charges that will be irrefutable. Do I expect the Dems to manage the process well? Of course not. They are bunch of hacks and not very bright ones at that. Compare them to Mitch McConnell, a really smart hack. Mitch is thoroughly disgusting, but he routinely runs circles around the hapless Dems.
Trump’s refusal to cooperate with the inquiry is sound because Pelosi has refused to hold a floor vote in the House to make an impeachment inquiry legal, allowing Trump’s side to request discovery. It would also put the impeachment proceedings in the House Judiciary Committee and not the Intelligence Committee where it now is. Once these things are done the White House would be compelled to cooperate, but not before that. Right now the White House has every legal right to ignore what the Intelligence Committee is demanding.
“Manufactured consent/outrage/dismissal (or whatever)” is a known thing, and we know it when the MSM just push stoopid BS at the top of their lungs.
That experienced journalists do this, is the clearest indicator of the problem; group think and editorial control.
Joe I’ll say this about Ms. Mayer, who I know almost nothing about other than her book “Dark Money”. If you have not read it I understand because you very well may not have needed to. Your wisdom on these issues far exceeds mine. I was very late to this party.
What the book did for me was to solidify my take on the Deep State by informing me of the damned enormous volumes of money that changes hands and goes undetected. What happened after I read the book was like serendipity. I soon after learned about the ICIJ.
I had found what I thought completed the trifecta of International intrigue. The CIA a rogue element of our government, the money men who support that rogue entity and finally the super hero who would seal the fate of the evil doers. I still feel that way.
Thanks to CN I now feel like I’m one of those who have found a winning side. Thanks Joe for so much dedication from your selfless heart.
Now I will send you guys a “CHECK”
excellent piece Joe. I have found this in academia too where everyone is critical of the republicans but refuse to apply the same critical judgment in assessing the democratic party and its record. Hence they are failing to present a complete picture of the corruption of American politics and work to advance a partisan political agenda. Democracy Now seems to fall into this trap more and more too, only criticizing trump and failing to provide any critical scrutiny into the deep state forces behind Russia Gate. A lot of the so-called progressive media.
Phenomenal piece by Mr. Lauria. Bravo!
You remember when President Obama went out of his way to get Yulia Tymoshenko arrested in Ukraine, thereby doing a favor for pro Russian Yanukovich, because she (Tymoshenko) was investigating corruption by billionaire Victor Pinchuk? What kind of “policy” action was that? It was quid pro quo pure and simple, because US “policy” can’t align around doing a solid for ONE individual!
Consortium News has done outstanding reportage and commentary. However, I think this piece falls short. It assumes too much foreknowledge, like tuning in halfway through a murder mystery’s complex plotline.
Given the multiple players and their conflicting interests and interactions and intersections, a diagram or other infographic might work better as a unifying element to give readers like me a clear view of what’s going on.
Oh foolish ‘citizens’ of America, how have you been beguiled / fallen-into-the-mendacious trap
Of the Trump illusion/delusion and sham of an honorable, veracious, truth-telling, guileless
When he exhumes and exhibits not even a pretense of honesty and/or fidelity to any notion of
Truth – Justice – and “The American Way”
As Trump (the leader of the “Free World”)
GIVES A GREEN LIGHT TO THE TURK’S
To SLAUGHTER our Allies, The KURDS,
A Sovereign PEOPLE, as were the BOSNIANS
AS IN AN EARLIER US INCURSION INTO
ANOTHER HUMANITARIAN SLAUGHTER
Into the now-defunct Nation of YUGOSLAVIA
Which was Taken Down & dismantled / disassembled
Under the Auspices of US President William Clinton
Whose lies do you love /
— BECOME —
The reason for the season /
— AND —
The 3/fiths rule still applies/
See: asiatimes.com/2019/10/ Trump Could Pay Political Price for Betraying Kurds
Say what? Go back and read the article again. Its very clear what Mayer is doing. She’s throwing her principles out the window by pretending there’s nothing to Biden’s (admitted!) corruption vis a vis Ukraine.
I disagree with one aspect of this story. So far we don’t really know if there was any connection between the dismissal of the Ukrainian prosecutor and Hunter Biden’s role in the energy company.
This looks like an old fashion case of nepotism, which is sleazy, but according to the piece in todays Times by Peter Schweizer was not illegal. Nepotism is as old as politics itself. In fact it was an allegation of political nepotism that created the jurisdiction of our modern Supreme Court in the case of Maubury vs. Madison.
But what Schweizer points out is that what would clearly be illegal if done by a foreign corporation in the US is not illegal under current law, as long as their was no quid pro quo from Joe Biden to the Ukrainian government.
Trump was not wrong in at least asking that question what really happened? But it’s the same question that should be asked about his daughters business deals in China and his son’s deals in the Middle East. And is it mere coincidence that the Saudi’s rent out an entire floor of Trump’s hotel in DC?
Most politicians are smart enough to get favors with a wink and a nod. And corporations intent on currying favor have learned to do the same. Schweizer calls for stronger laws and more transparency. I would go further and simply ban politicians from accepting anything of value from any foreign entity for themselves or a family member.
Agreed. I doubt the Bidens are as clean as some would make them.
Nepotism on coattails sewn by the dad’s efforts at overthrowing a sovereign democratic state.
It crossed from old fashioned nepotism when Biden got the prosecutor fired that was looking into his son’s company. Burisma has a lot of shady stories attached to it starting with the guy who owns it. But you are right that people in government do nepotism on a grand scale. Look at Nancy’s husband. He has fattened himself off contracts that congress sends his way and he definitely is not alone. McConnell’s wife elaine chao is Trump’s secretary of transportation and she has lots of family connections in China. Biden’s brother has a history of using Joe’s name to further himself and he is right now being sued for another Ponzi scheme.
The thing to do is find a way to clean up our government somehow. Wish I knew how to do this.
…”In fact it was an allegation of political nepotism that created the jurisdiction of our modern Supreme Court in the case of Maubury (sic) vs. Madison. ”
The Adams family ?
In 1803 the extreme court took judicial review ; and elevated the body , to no longer a co-equal branch of government .
We , the People… lost .
Good story but you missed the connections of Hunter and father to the development of Nazi forces in Ukraine.
Ukraine is full of Nazis and has been for more than 70 years.
Reinhardt Ghelen, the chief of the Eastern Front for Hitler organized Ukrainian fascists while working for the CIA.
This story of US involvement in Ukraine is an old story going back to the rise of the CIA and its fascists compatriots.
People need to have a background in the Operation Gladio phenomenon to appreciate the fact that those on the Far Right in Europe were the natural enemies of the Soviet Union, and that that animus has been transferred to Russia in more recent times.
Fantastic article by Joe Lauria. I love how he sets up the imaginary Venezuelan scenario. It makes it so easy to see the partisan divide that keeps truth from prevailing in today’s media environment. Frank Zappa said politics is the entertainment division of the MIC. In recent times it has devolved into a “Theater of the Absurd”.
I would love to see a study on the effect of MSM viewership and the growth of sites like CN due to the transparency of the propaganda narratives being spouted. We can only hope that more and more people are realizing that the emperor is naked. It’s donation time again. Let’s dig deep and try to grow outlets like CN that speak truth to power.
Great article. I suspect someone will accuse Joe Lauria of being a Trump apologist however absurd we know that is. I think the strategy here by those who want Trump’s hide is spelled out by Mr. Lauria.
“If the Department of Justice and its investigation into the origins of Russiagate is serious and reveals wrongdoing by intelligence officials and by extension by the media, the best move those officials and journalists can make is to go on offense as their best defense.”
In a nutshell. And I agree with the assessment of Trump’s strategic mistakes but they probably don’t matter to the blood thirsty crowd after Trump’s derrier.
Mr. Shanahan, in his comments, mentions the treatment of Colbert of Tulsi Gabbard and I can only guess what it was. Colbert is a panderer and I didn’t see the performance because I never watch the guy.
I call it the Blob and it keeps growing and absorbing people. It took Risen a few years back. AOC got absorbed only a few weeks into her term. My personal friends who seemed sane through Russiagate have now been swallowed by it.
Miranda, good one.
Miranda, good imagery, which I will remember. My friends were absorbed in Russiagate.
Joe, excellent article. The New Yorker has been losing it’s famous fact-checking reputation for some time and after decades of subscribing, I’m dropping it. All one has to do is notice the excellent reporters who can no longer be read there…such as Sy Hersh, Chris Hedges, Bob Parry (R.I.P.), etc. and notice who has been hired, such as the odious Masha Gessen. Thank god for honest coverage found in CN.
Miranda, the (inter)national delirium that erupted in 2016 when Trump was elected brought to mind Eugene Ionesco’s play “Rhinoceros”– a surrealistic, Kafkaesque story of ordinary people turning into rhinoceri.
At first only a few people are transformed, but gradually more and more rhinoceri appear. At first this freakish transmogrification appalls the humans, who fear the monstrous animals lumbering or charging down Main Street.
But as rhinoceri become the “new normal”, those who haven’t been transformed gradually begin to admire and envy the rhinoceri.
Someone I correspond with liked my parallel; just as you refer to people as being “absorbed by the Blob”, my correspondent and I refer to both mutual relatives and friends, as well as public figures, as having turned into rhinoceri.
I’m not surprised that Jane Mayer is a rhinoceros– or, to use another well-worn expression– “drank the Kool-aid”. Even when she was doing solid muckraking during the Dubya Bush administration, it was always obvious enough that she was no radical or contrarian; she was one of the many Beltway journalists who believe that the government, military, and state-security apparatus are fundamentally virtuous, decent, and benevolent.
I couldn’t disagree more with the attitude that Mayer and others like her are more to be pitied than censured, that it’s understandable that she joined, or goes along with, the Blob because the alternative is so risky, etc. Bah! Humbug!
The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012 allows the State Department, and thus the Intelligence Agencies, to control any narratives dissembled to the American public. Propaganda is a critical component of the Police State, which was advanced initially by Bush Cheney and then, as if the Stasi on steroids, by Obama/ Biden/ Hillary and Brennan and the CIA and NSA (with strategic input from think tanks and New Knowledge and CrowdStrike. ) Their bottom line is that Trump Must Go! (he may be one of ‘them’ but interferes with their agendas, and exposes stuff in self protection that will not be allowed.) Anyone looking at the bi-partisan advancement of the Police State, the corruption, the torture, the endless exposure of sanctioned criminalities (arrest of REAL whistleblowers, the Awan brothers, Epstein, “Russian” interference in the Alabama special Senate election, the BS bombshells that flew like clockwork during Russiagate and the lack of ‘exoneration’ by Mueller) can see that Electing Trump as President crossed a red line that Establishment politicians and bureaucrats refuse to accept. If these endless MSM lies are ineffective Trump will likely be forced to resign or face assassination. The lies from the New Yorker is the basis for its publication. Journalists like Lauria, Johnstone and Mate’ may fill counter narratives with facts, but such investigative journalism will not be tolerated long (Americans working for RT have already been branded as ‘traitors’ for deviating). At some point none of the facts matter and America is very close to that point today.
I recently subscribed to The New Yorker. After reading Jane Mayer’s article regarding Biden and his son’s crimes in Ukraine, I am now canceling my subscription.
What is wrong with educated people in the USA. Are they all in the game of ‘damn the torpedoes and let’s grab the money’. Isn’t there an honest Government Official who should come forth and investigate the Bidens. OR… is everyone just accepting that USA Imperialism gives the Bidens and every other criminal in the USA a Free Pass to commit crimes on the way to becoming rich Oligarchs. The whole thing stinks to the highest heavens. Jane Mayer should go back to Journalism Classes and get it correct this time. She is a failed Journalist.
Raymond Comeau: Re”What is wrong with educated people in the USA.”
For me, historian Hajimu Masuda opened the door to the answer to your question in his “Cold War Crucible” about the illusions and delusions that permeated the air and seduced millions into Cold War thinking through fear and intimidation. Even today, we are thoroughly indoctrinated with this thinking. Our “highest institutions” like the JFK School allowed itself to be bullied by Pompeo and Morrell into withdrawing an honorary degree from one of the most heroic people we have, Chelsea Manning, who risked everything to warn us of wrongdoing done in our name. I was told by one of their 200 professors who I emailed to share my outrage was that “national security” trumped all and warned me that I was out of step with the majority of people in this country and was wrong in my thinking…..
This latest effort to ignore the easy target of financial wrongdoing of Donald Trump over his working life (which should be a simple thing to unravel) and choose instead a twisted version of the truth about a stolen election risks further damaging the Dems in the eyes of skeptical voters. The Dems somehow can’t bring themselves to admit that perhaps Hillary Clinton was a flawed candidate who was not trusted (along with most traditional politicians) because their policies continued to wreak havoc on the middle class. That “truth” will not see daylight in the MICIMATT.
Why? Examining that possibility publicly threatens to upset the whole apple cart of corruption of both parties. They both push short sighted unsustainable policies that steal from the poor give to the rich, threaten the planet and destabilize whole regions that have been victimized by endless regime change wars for natural resources and political power.
I wonder how long that big lie can be sustained before the corrupt political class is tossed out of office….
Mr. Lauria, thank you very much for your admirably objective article in a time of mass madness. However, I have read the transcript of the Trump-Zelensky phone call many times, and I cannot find any basis for one of your statements. You write that “….Trump hinted that he would release military aid to Ukraine in exchange for the investigations.” This seems prima facie to have no basis in the phone conversation. It is well known that Trump held up several military payments to several countries to get them to pony up more themselves, but that had no known connection to the exertion of pressure regarding investigations of the Bidens by Ukraine. In addition, Trump made no mention of speed or alacrity in relation to investigating the Bidens. Government investigations take a long time to carry out (witness Mueller’s investigation), and Trump made no attempt to ask for speed, and yet a speedy investigation would be necessary if the investigation were to affect the 2020 campaign. There seems to be no implication in Trump’s words that he wants a speedy investigation. Rather, his emphasis is on getting to the bottom of Russiagate/Spygate and the whole culture of corruption flourishing on the US-Ukraine interface. And yes, Giuliani is just making things worse for Trump, but remember, he was approached by the former Inspector General of Ukraine even before Biden decided to run for president. To me, it seems as if the no-confidence Dems are projecting their own desire to interfere in the 2020 election onto Trump while also trying to create a counter-narrative that might hide the results of the current Durham DOJ investigation. I ask, Cui bono, and I at least find that the Dems have much more to gain.
Also, I hope that in the future you will focus on the Intel Community’s role in this apparent impeachment psyop. If the IC is allowed to directly complain about politicians it doesn’t like while hiding behind dubious “whistleblower” status, even though the whistleblowing complaint in this case went beyond the jurisdiction of the IC IG, then the US is no longer a democracy in any meaningful sense. If the IC is allowed to meddle in civilian politics and influence civilian editorial rooms, then surely the early stages of fascism are upon us. We must maintain and strengthen firewalls between politics, journalism, and the surveillance state if we are to remain a democracy.
Thank you. I have not trusted Trump. But if honesty is the goal, then Democrats should welcome an investigation of the “investigation.”
Additionally, at the last election, both political parties experienced a revolution among their voters that has never happened before; Trump won within the Republican party, and the Oval Office, and Hillary Clinton’s “nomination” was exposed as the fraud that it was. Neither was supposed to have happened. The Establishment was shocked. Hence we need to get rid of Trump (and he does need to go), but in the meanwhile the Republicans do not have a viable replacement, and the Democratic party is afraid of Elizabeth Warren.
Dennis, if by “Democratic party” you mean Establishment insiders, I would contend that Warren, though perhaps not completely trusted, is considered malleable enough for them to go with. The Dems are afraid of Sanders and Gabbard.
The comments stating they can’t fault Jane Mayer for wanting to not put her career in jeopardy are weak. Surely she has accumulated enough wealth over these many years that she can afford to tell the truth. Otherwise, these excuses are nauseating. I have no respect for someone like Jane Mayer’s disregard for professionalism.
The New Yorker, Time Magazine, etc. are status quo magazines in a world of sociopathic neoliberals. I read the New Yorker weekly for 8 years straight until the 2016 election, and then my eyes were opened to the jaded, neoliberal religion of all its writers. Time Magazine is this week pushing Kamala Harris as their personal favorite for the Democratic primary. The New Yorker has articles questioning historically famous people (Thoreau, for example) as acceptable for their neoliberal agenda. It’s as if the radical tide of the right-wing in this country has obscured the right-wing drift of the so-called “liberals” of the press to the point that even they don’t believe they can drown in the same tide. Money talks, and truth walks straight to the bank and deposits the check it received for reporting what it was told to report. Truth doesn’t need to influence, it is simply truth. For most of our journalists, truth is a fungible quantity with dollar signs for eyes.
Like firstpersoninfinite I read The New Yorker for many years, gave it as a gift and loved it. I stopped reading any part of it in 2016 and struggled with the dilemma of giving a gift that I knew would please and refusing to support a magazine leading the herd. It’s no longer a dilemma. It saddens me to have lost a magazine I enjoyed and the friends it has swallowed.
Great synopsis of the Russiagate farce and now the Ukrainegate fiasco, neither one legitimate nor as portrayed in the fake MSM. Targeting Jane Mayer, while apparently accurate and legitimate criticism, seems a bit over the top, but a spade is a spade.
Agreed, Trump seems to have stepped in it deep and the spooks have him up against the wall. Maybe he can fight his way out of it and prove wrongdoing by intelligence officials and by the media, then the whole thing blows up and turns in his favor before the elections. Maybe Biden will eventually implode as he never shuts up. Regardless, there isn’t anyone else to vote for either. They’re all filth. Lose-lose.
Of course this is not the case with Mayer, but often the best way illustrate the falseness of a narrative is by absurd, outrageous, “agreement” with it. A bit like, “Yes, Sir, I agree with Lenny the Loon here!”
I disagree that Trump made a mistake. He shined a bright light on the Biden’s and the whole corrupt deep state, Democratic Party, etc. He has become the most visible antiwar voice in the country. I would expect him to legalize cannabis nationwide as prohibition industry is very corrupt.
Trump is 100% correct about the Bidens. But, the USA interfered with the election in Ukraine to get their criminal noses in Ukraine in order to do exactly what the Bidens did. The USA wants everyone else’s resources.
Trump’s motivation may be wrong, but he did the right thing in exposing the pompous Bidens.
Poor Heidi, I am almost without words to explain the simplicity of your views! I don’t mean to be mean and critical of your view of this article but you are obviously biased toward Trump and partisan as is plain to see. It is partisan politics that is a huge part of the problem in the first place. You have to understand that both parties have sold out to the highest bidder and we the American public have ben fed false narratives our entire lives so stop drinking the koolade and start from the position of a critical thinker! It takes years of study to find out that the Gods of money have a plan to rule the world and it takes this kind of brainwashing to get the sheep to go along with the grand chessboard that is world domination by these people who actually run the world. The plan involves the destruction of all the oil rich countries in the middle east and former Soviet satalites and bleeding in to Russia and China so they can not form an alliance economicaly and shut the US out and that is why we are in a war with all of these countries! It is about control of the world and to do this they need control of the OIL,OIL,OIL,OIL get it. No God and Country flag waving patriotism! That’s what they use us for. All the heroes are really jus cannon fodder and it has always ben so! Read some history and get your mind changed and freed at the same time. It will be ugly and it will make you mad but the truth is still worth knowing.
Jack Williams – good job of mansplaining it to “Poor Heidi” who made a short, but perfectly logical statement. And actually, there is nothing “simplistic” about her view. I fear the “simplicity” lies elsewhere. If there is a “critical thinker” in the mix, well, that would be Heidi.
“A fool does not care whether he understands a thing or not; all he wants to do is show how smart he is.” >>( Donald Trump )<<
If the Kurds are betrayed by withdrawing fifty American troops from Syria, where they have been illegally, uninvited for years, then so be it. There is much more than fifty troops at stake; just the principle of “withdrawal” (America’s military adventurism is a one way process of unending war, there can be no “retreat”) and the amount of money being sprinkled on someone important involved in Syria may be at risk (how many relatives does Joe Biden have?)
“I would expect him to legalize cannabis nationwide as prohibition industry is very corrupt.” Whaaaaaaaat? Trump, yes, hasn’t started another illegal war, but he actually likes corruption, at least for himself.
This is aside from Joe’s article, but bear with…I used to speak to legalize marijuana, but have change my mind totally after reading “Tell Your Children” by Alex Berenson. So will anyone who reads it. This drug is very dangerous, had no idea previously.
These last three years have certainly separated the wheat from the shaft for me.
I no longer listen to NPR.
John Oliver’s vapid comments on Maduro had the same effect.
Colbert’s interview of Tulsi was enough to gag a maggot.
The New Yorker has been at it for a while; Yellow Cake David Remnick & George Packer, my-oh-my! Remnick then doubled down on Russiagate.
They enlisted a young new tool: Adam Entous, check out his drivel.
Really bad.. They cannot believe their own writing, it is clearly the end justifies the means mentality.. a la delusionally obsessed David Corn
I do want to thank Consortium for helping me stay sane.
It’s so lonely out here in this fascist reality.
You have a companion in me, Clark.
I guess PBS’ Newshour was always bad, but I used to like Democracy Now!.
Now, Aaron Mate has moved on, and he regularly pans them.
I also used to like The Intercept, but James Risen, Robert Mackey, and Betsy Reed have the same TDS as Jane Mayer.
I still like Glenn Greenwald, so I hate that collaboration with Pierre Omidyar will always be part of his legacy.
I take no pleasure from the rise and fall of Marcy Wheeler’s Empty Wheel
There’s obviously no room on this page to name shames at the New York Times or Washington Post.
I’m grateful on a daily basis for Joe Lauria and everyone who contributes to Consortium News.
Forgot/ Saccharine doesn’t go far enough:
A Reporter at Large
July 8 & 15, 2019 Issue
Will Hunter Biden Jeopardize His Father’s Campaign?
Joe Biden’s son is under scrutiny for his business dealings and tumultuous personal life.
By Adam Entous July 1, 2019
I agree. If you want a good critique of our current capitalist system/government – wsws.org can be a good read.
Tom’s Dispatch, MintPress & CounterPunch have all been very good, too.
The wise Max Blumenthal’s Grayzone is very worthy, also.
On the ME, Juan Cole’s ‘Informed Comment’, is a must.
Consortium is a true journalistic standard setter.
Like you, I love half the Intercept and the new editor for The Nation, DD Guttenplan, has me concerned. (Bacevich has a daring one in this week’s Nation/ Centrists Elites Want Trump Impeached for Their Own Political Gain
We certainly need international law extensions and enforcement to cover secret wars, bribes, and nepotism, regardless of intermediaries. But of course the US and NATO have institutionalized such corruption at home and abroad. That corruption will continue until a majority are hopelessly oppressed by domestic tyrants, and cannot be appeased by bread and circus.
A good sign would be broad embargoes against the US for secret foreign wars and corruption, but that is more likely an East-West division. As the US bankrupts and is forced back militarily, the West may abandon rash US schemes and perhaps isolate the US. The sooner the better for the People of the United States.
And the people of the world.
” By getting personally involved, instead of leaving it up to the DOJ to investigate his possible challenger in next year’s presidential election, Trump allowed his enemies in intelligence and the media to portray his conversation as an impeachable offense”
“He threw a lifeline to intelligence officers and journalists like Mayer, who will continue to make the most of it even if it means turning their backs on their professional commitments.”
The key reasons why so-called journalists akin to Jane Mayer continue to nag loudly with the use of downplay strategies. In a sense, it’s possible we may not even get to see an entire (unredacted) set of results of the Ukro-kleptocracy investigations – this probably being due to forceful hiding of the incidents.
Hey Joe, I agree that at first it might seem like a bit of a shock that JM would turn this way but closer to home, Robert Parry suffered marginalization and eventual exit from the MSM for not going along with the “big story” and sticking his nose where others felt it didn’t belong in what he lamented was the “group think” in the MSM during the Iran Contra investigation. There was a whole lot of treason that was being covered up back then and we don’t know if it will ever come to light but the eventual fact for Mr. Investigator Robert Parry was he was made a pariah for his honest inquiry’s.
The lesson learned by the founder of this website was that Washington and its media elites will only tolerate so much deviation from the status quo. Anyone following has either learned that lesson, that you can contribute truth up to a certain point after which it begins to threaten you career, or has been dealt with like Dan Rather and formerly Robert Parry.
Think about how much the MSM have invested in the Russia Gate Story and how they have completely ignored and unreported news uncovered by Robert Parry about how the US was involved in the Ukraine Civil War during the Obama administration.
In a real sense, to the victors go the spoils of war including the news stories and the reporters who have a brain in their head who have been on one side will reassess their positions based on the overall mass movement.
I’d like to thank Jane Mayer for her excellent reporting and years of investigative journalistic contributions to the truth. Under the circumstances, I cannot fault a human being that cherishes their livelihood under these extremely unusual times where truth in the media does not matter one bit.
I’m convinced that CN and other honest brokers are ignored by the masses because they can’t live with the idea that their side could be wrong. Most people really don’t want the truth–they want their team to win.
Okay torture it I will. Unfortunately I have to agree with you.
I have a neighbor who is one of this mass of fools you describe. Poor tortured thing.
His justification for supporting Trumps is , “I like his policies.” Really the truth I swear to DOG! The guy is so stupid that he doesn’t understand his own ignorance.
The classical dumb-assed, ” brain dead” narcissist. 35 years of his bigoted drivel. Funny funny shit to watch.
We see way too much of this today in America today and have for years. People sticking their fingers in the ears and yelling “na na na na ” and then expecting to have their opinion respected. Congress is full of them.
His comeback to me is according to him I would never consider backing Trump because I’m a liberal. And I am. One who reads about both sides of this shit storm because it gives me license to criticize both parties. Parties who are morally and ethically bankrupt.
Freedom can be a state of mind and I find solace every day in knowing I support not one part of this immense farce called American politics.
Now, what did I do with that water board? :-)
Your point is that she will be thrown to the wolves by the corporate media is a good reason why she has decided to write this scourge.
Bad thinking that plays right into the fascists’ hands.
Please, Joe, have Douglas Valentine on to let people know exactly how the CIA controls media and those who perform it.
Hi Citizen One, I always enjoy your comments. It’s my belief though what you say is true, that humans who happen to be journalists, “cherish their livelihoods” and therefore often compromise on telling the truth, that ultimately, it comes down to whether or not reporting the truth is more important to one’s core beliefs vs the money and perhaps prestige that comes with being part of the mainstream press. I can see where dangling lots of cash is tempting, especially to someone who has a family to raise. Still, Robert Parry had several children and he stood by his principles. He probably never became monetarily wealthy, but he has the deep respect that comes with integrity in upholding the core principle of journalism – “monitoring the centers of power and reporting back to the people.” Pretty priceless. He is an honored hero for his authenticity and courage. At this point in time, Ms. Mayer seems to lack this quality. And that is very much a shame.
The amount of torture that one is wiling to tolerate is proportional to the good one can achieve. Not too many human beings have the nerve to go all the way to tell the truth. This is particularly true in the present since the “truth” is broadcasted and propagandized as a lie and remaining true to the truth will cause the government disinformation leading up to the new cold war to come down on your head.
The reality that Russia has suffered under economic sanctions enacted by a bunch of politicians who have clout and the ability to economically starve any nation including Russia, Turkey and Iran that is not willing to go along with the global agenda of the USA is a practice formerly aimed at third world nations. The consequences of economic warfare against first world “enemy” nations cannot be underestimated. It will ultimately lead to real physical war between nuclear superpowers that have every means to mount an offensive nuclear attack.
Think hard ye war hawks.
Seems like an acknowledgment that Jane is a careerist first and a journalist second, as priorities go.
“The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer has gained a reputation as one of the best reporters in Washington,”
If that is true then it shows how delusional and radically out of touch the political elite in Washington are. I remember reading a couple of early articles in the New Yorker by Jane Mayer about Trump and his Russian “collusion”. The articles were filled with half truths, assertions without factual support and outright lies but it was welcomed by the people suffering from TDS. Friends (Harvard graduates) referred me to those articles as proof of Trump’s guilt. We need to get the CDC involved, it must be something in the water that is making people lose their minds. Invasion of the mind snatchers?
Mayer and her ilk seek recognition and acceptance along with access and thus they will eventually do what the CIA tells them to do.