Friday, September 1, 2017

The Nation As Putin Asset? As Trump Asset?

Well, well, The Nation magazine has walked back an article claiming that the Russians couldn't have been behind the hacks of the Democratic Party during the presidential campaign which contradicted The Nation's own expert on the issue.  They haven't, though,  withdrawn the article.

The Nation magazine acknowledged on Friday that an article claiming it would have been "impossible based on the data” for Russia-backed hackers to be behind the leak of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails was not supported by its own evidence.  

The article, penned by reporter Patrick Lawrence and published in early August, hinged on technical claims roundly disputed by technical experts — including the expert brought in by The Nation in its review of the article. 

“As part of the editing process, however, we should have made certain that several of the article’s conclusions were presented as possibilities, not as certainties," The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel wrote in a lengthy editor's note added to the article...

... Despite acknowledging that the article’s central arguments that Russia could not have hacked the DNC are only “possibilities,” the magazine has not withdrawn the original article. 

“The most recent VIPS memo, released on July 24, whatever its technical merits, contributes to a much-needed critical discussion. Despite all the media coverage taking the veracity of the [intelligence-community assessment] for granted, even now we have only the uncorroborated assertion of intelligence officials to go on,” wrote vanden Heuvel. 

The Nation has, however, printed reports from its own technical expert, Nathan Freitas of the Guardian Project, a response by the members of VIPS who disputed the original memo and a follow-up letter by other members of VIPS defending their original work.

Somewhere, I noted back during the campaign and afterward that The Nation had been one of the main sources on the supposed left in a tizzy about Democrats raising the roof about Russian hacking of the DNC, John Podesta's e-mail, etc.  shrieking about them starting "a new cold war" on behalf of the United States intelligence establishment, soft peddling Russian ratfucking of our election in order to aid the election of Donald Trump, notably in a series of articles by the Russian Studies (formerly a frequent media-consulted Sovietologist) Stephen F. Cohen, who happens to be Katrina vanden Heuvel's husband.

When you google Stephen F. Cohen, you're likely to get a page full of links to articles and media appearances in which he pooh-poohs the Russian interference in our election and is mighty eager to promote close relations between Trump and Putin.   It sort of makes you wonder what Cohen's relationship with Putin or his criminal regime might be, or why The Nation has taken the tone it has on this serious attack on egalitarian, representative democracy by a regime of billionaire gangsters on behalf of their counterparts in the United States.   It makes you wonder just what the hidden history behind that might be and how far back it might go.  There was a time I'd never have believed that there could be one but I'm certainly not sure of that, anymore, especially with their other coverage of the 2016 election.   I certainly don't trust them like I used to.

1 comment:

  1. When did The Nation hire Greenwald as managing editor?

    (It's a better explanation than whatever the truth is....)