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The Durham Probe Scares the Hell Out of the Mainstream Media

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Bob Child, File

The mainstream media suffered yet another shock to its system this week when a story that legacy outlets spent more than five years denying found its way to the White House briefing room. The story arose from a filing made last week by John Durham in his ongoing investigation of the Russian collusion hoax’s origins, and it caught the media completely flat-footed.

As it turns out, the mainstream legacy media’s decision to deny, deny, deny any information that suggested Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign was spied on — without evidence to support their skepticism, mind you — is coming back to bite them, the Clinton campaign, and even the White House.

What Durham uncovered and made known in last Friday’s filing was not entirely new. The fact that the Clinton campaign had used information about a Trump server communicating with a bank in Russia — and Senior Advisor Jake Sullivans’s involvement in releasing that information — had already been revealed in another Durham filing late in 2021. But what the latest filing revealed is that the Clinton campaign lawyers contracted a tech firm to get into Trump servers in attempts to construct a narrative tying Trump to Russia.

This filing, of course, shattered the narrative that the mainstream media had been furiously spinning since 2016. And the media didn’t know what to do. Something they had repeatedly informed their readers and viewers was completely false suddenly had new life breathed into it. The obvious, and essentially only, action they could take was to ignore it. And ignore it they did. 

From Friday, when the story broke, through the end of Monday, mainstream outlets dedicated zero seconds of primetime coverage to the bombshell revelation. Across all broadcasts, only CNN covered any part of the filing, and even then only dedicated 2 minutes and 30 seconds to it.

Conservative media reported the filing, highlighted what it revealed about the 2016 campaign and the aftermath of Trump’s win, and pointed out how many within the mainstream media had gotten the story completely wrong. But the mainstream was quiet over the weekend following last Friday’s filing. They thought it would subside and they could continue their charade, maintaining the narrative that claims the Trump campaign was spied on in order to produce evidence that he was working with Russia to steal the election were entirely false.

But then in Monday’s White House press briefing, a reporter asked White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about Durham’s filing and whether the Biden administration thought spying on opposing campaigns was at all concerning.

Instead of attempting to debunk the story as disinformation or saying something generic about how election security is a Biden priority that would have given mainstream outlets the soundbite they needed to avert focus from the real story, Jean-Pierre said she “can’t speak to” the filing. That non-denial non-answer poured gas on the fire being ignored by mainstream outlets.

Finally, days after the story broke, mainstream outlets didn’t have a choice but to address Durham’s filing. Sheepishly, they reported a slanted version of the facts revealed by Durham’s investigation. The New York Times used the defense attorneys for Clinton cronies as alleged experts on what the truth is. They insulted their readers and tried to claim that stories about Durham filings require too much mental energy and time to cover normally, then explained they were only covering the latest revelation because Republicans were the ones pouncing/seizing/etc. It’s bunk. But it’s the only option mainstream outlets had after spending years denying what Friday’s filing brought back into the limelight.

The story’s resurgence to the fore of the news in a cluttered news cycle is exceedingly problematic, not just for those immediately under Durham’s microscope but also Hillary Clinton, her campaign aides, and others who acted as driving forces for the conspiracy theory that Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016 due to collusion with Russia’s government. 

And while Hillary Clinton is mostly powerless now (apart from what’s surely her thrilling MasterClass offerings) a close aide of hers who kicked off the Russian collusion delusion has a key role in the Biden administration today.

In 2016, just days before the presidential election, Hillary Clinton tweeted a screenshot of a statement issued by Jake Sullivan who was then her senior policy advisor describing recently surfaced information that showed a Trump server communicating with a bank in Russia as the closest tie Americans had seen connecting Trump with the Russians.

From there, the fix was in. The Russian collusion narrative was used over the following years to explain why Hillary Clinton had lost, why Donald Trump was an illegitimate president, and why Republicans should be cast aside. And although his job advising Hillary Clinton proved unsuccessful, he’s now failed his way up into the position of National Security Advisor to President Biden, the administration’s principal advisor to Joe Biden on matters of national security. The same guy who played a pivotal role in creating the Russian collusion narrative — that’s since been debunked — now leads the Biden administration’s national security team. What could go wrong?

Yet again Hillary Clinton has egg on her face, the mainstream legacy media is basically submerged in egg, and Jake Sullivan has a lot of questions to answer about the origin of the information on which his 2016 statement was based. A classic ‘what did he know and when did he know it?’ And as President Trump pointed out Wednesday night, more information has yet to come out about who ordered the tech firm to look at Trump servers. And the mainstream media deserves a reckoning for its role in covering up the spying that was taking place, and the resulting cover the mainstream media gave those responsible for the spying.  

So thoughts and prayers to the Americans who got their news solely from Brian Stelter at CNN and the New York Times over the last five years, those for whom the potential that Donald Trump was in fact spied on and the spying was paid for by Clinton lackeys was utterly impossible. The fragile glass boxes in which the mainstream media packed Americans into with their biased news have been shattered by reality. Will the media learn anything? Probably not. Will Americans learn anything? Hopefully more will see the mainstream media’s dishonesty and then look to alternative sources that aren't subject to control from leftist know-betters.


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