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Glenn Greenwald: Media ‘Echo Chamber’ Responsible For Anti-Trump Cassidy Hutchinson Fail

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald took the media to task again last week over its collective response to testimony from former junior Trump administration official Cassidy Hutchison.

Greenwald, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, railed at the modern state of journalism in general in a Twitter thread in which he argued that the left-wing ideological echo chamber that is pervasive in the industry is why falsehoods spread so rapidly and are allowed to endure despite counterclaims that disprove the initial narrative.

For example, he cited the so-called “Russiagate” claim that former President Donald Trump colluded with Moscow to steal the 2016 election — a narrative that continued despite the fact that several investigations by Congress and a special counsel turned up no evidence to support it.

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He also cited a more recent example: Former Trump White House official Cassidy Hutchison’s claim before the House committee looking into the Capitol incident that Trump attempted to grab the steering wheel of the presidential limo and that he got physical with Secret Service agents — both claims that have been refuted by agents who were named.

In a post that contained screengrabs of tweets from left-wing journalists, he wrote: “JOURNALISTS, all day yesterday: Trump assaulted his Secret Service agents and grabbed the wheel of the presidential limo!!! Headline news. Smoking gun!!!!

SECRET SERVICE AGENTS: That never happened.

JOURNALISTS: That was never an important part of the testimony.”

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“As any lawyer will tell you (if being honest), few things are less reliable than a proceeding with no adversarial component. These hearings have zero,” Greenwald added, noting that Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) handpicked committee does not permit cross-examination of witnesses.

“One can assign whatever blame one wants for that, but perhaps it means journalists should be…skeptical…of assertions there,” Greenwald continued.

“If, yesterday, you followed conservative journalists or analysts — and really, why would anyone do such a thing: just block and ignore them — you’d have heard instant skepticism even over the physics of Hutchinson’s claim that Trump was able to grab the wheel of the ‘Beast,'” Greenwald continued in his thread.

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“Maybe parts of Hutchinson’s story is true (although the part that got the instant attention and calls for prosecution — Trump assaulted his agents and grabbed the wheel of the Beast! — was highly dubious on its face), but *journalistic* skepticism, not cheerleading, is needed,” he added.

He then cited a tweet from Julie Kelly, a reporter for American Greatness, who noted:

The national news media today took thus-far uncorroborated testimony from an unknown aide with a thin resume who offered mostly secondhand accounts of conversations and incidents and reported it as fact without any attempt to verify what she said. It would have been easy to at least confirm claims about rifles or dispute her description of what happened in the president’s vehicle. These reporters have access to all sorts of records and sources to contradict her testimony—which is the JOB of a journalist.

Trump was right about the media.

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“This is exactly what happened: largely due to Twitter dynamics,” Greenwald noted. “If, as a journalist, you don’t *instantly* join the liberal mob — if you wait to see how facts emerge — you stand accused of sin.

“But if you jump on board, applause, virality and cable bookings are yours,” he continued.

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“It’s literally impossible to count how many times during the Trump years some *blockbuster!* Russiagate event materialized – the thing that was going to be the fatal blow – and journalists spent all day on Twitter reflexively peddling it, only to watch it fall apart over and over,” Greenwald said, wrapping up his thread.

“For many (I’d say: most) corporate journalists, ‘Twitter’ = ‘liberal Twitter’ = ‘the only constituency that matters.'”

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