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Columbia Journalism Review documents major lapses in ‘RussiaGate’ reports

As part of a joint plot of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to stop Donald Trump from becoming president in 2016, the bogus and most scandalous ‘RussiaGate’ allegation was enthusiastically reported by The New York Times and The Washington Post, which later received Pulitzer Prize. But recently released four-part series in the Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) documents major lapses in journalistic standards in how establishment media pillars, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, reported on alleged Trump-Russia collusion or RussiaGate.

Awarding Pulitzer Prize to The New York Times and The Washington Post was subsequently criticized as those reports were published based on bogus information provided by a gang of liars. Following publication of report by CJR, the Pulitzer panel which awarded those prizes has decided to clam up.

In response to media request for comment on the CJR series, Pulitzer Prize Administrator Majorie Miller wrote, “Due to pending litigation regarding these matters, I am not able to comment on the story”.

The “pending litigation” Majorie Miller mentioned is likely a lawsuit filed by former President Donald Trump. After the Pulitzer board had initially stood by giving the prizes to the Post and Times, Donald Trump — the central target of the narrative, which grew out of opposition research commissioned by his 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton — filed a defamation lawsuit against them in December.

Donald Trump wrote in a Truth Social post: “The Pulitzer Board should have long ago rescinded awards given to the Washington Compost (known to some as the Washington Post) & the Failing NY Times for their fake stories on the Russia, Russia, Russia Hoax. However, Pulitzer refuses to do the right thing! The Hoax has now been further exposed by the devastating, irrefutable piece in the Columbia Journalism Review, and Pulitzer has no comment. I am suing the Pulitzer Board to set the record straight and continue fighting for TRUTH in America!”

The 19-member Pulitzer Prize board, which awarded the prizes, was comprised of various journalists, professors and writers, including several current or former staff members of the New York Times and Washington Post.

Media outlet ‘Just The News’ reported on February 3, 2023 that it had reached out to 13 members of the panel “to find out if the CJR exposé had prompted second thoughts about the Russiagate prizes. Neil Brown, president of the Poynter Institute had an auto reply set, saying he was out of the office, while Steve Coll, former dean of Columbia Journalism School, had an auto-reply saying he is on sabbatical. None of the other board members replied”.

The Pulitzer board had reportedly agreed to conduct a review of the awards, but concluded, “No passages or headlines, contentions or assertions in any of the winning submissions were discredited by facts that emerged subsequent to the conferral of the prizes”.

Trump’s lawsuit states: “On the facts known to Defendants at the time these reviews were allegedly conducted, it would have been impossible that a single objective, thorough and independent review would have reached such a conclusion, much less two. Defendants knew this and published the Pulitzer Statement anyway”.

Despite the CJR exposé, The Washington Post continues to stand by its “reporting”, with Vice President of Communications Shani George declaring: “We are proud of our coverage of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign, including our stories that were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for furthering the nation’s understanding of this consequential period.

We approached this line of coverage with care and a great sense of responsibility. On the few occasions in which new information emerged that caused us to reexamine past reporting, we did so forthrightly”.

Here is the evidence of how The Washington Post has shamelessly expressed pride at publishing reports based on fake information centering Russia’s alleged collusion in America’s internal politics. They do not have no shame in still stating “We are proud of our coverage of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign…”. Through the recent statement following CJR exposé, The Post is again making notorious attempt of giving credibility to RussiaGate hoax. If this newspaper had minimum sense of ethics of journalism, they should have sought apology for publishing reports on such a notorious hoax.

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