Louise Mensch and Her Enemies
Yes-I’m going there. I’ve been meaning to write about this for a week but some early morning tweetfests have made me decide now is the time.
Uh… not how the FISA court works. At all.
An Actual Attorney https://t.co/NqLp2R7G3d
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) May 14, 2017
— eric (@eriContrarian) May 14, 2017
A few things. It seems that a number of people have made it their cause to discredit Mensch. Seth Abramson for one, Naveed Jamail for another.
Abramson talks a lot about being an attorney. Great. I’ve read him and I like a lot of what he’s written-we disagreed about Bernie to say the least. But what Mensch is not a lawyer she’s a journalist. Abramson has implied that Mensch claims to be a ‘seer.’
No-she just has really good sources. As has been explained to me by some who have been journalists, just because someone is a prominent MSM journalist doesn’t mean they have great sources. Sources are cultivated over time. They need to see your track record of establishing their trust.
Claude Taylor has lots of top quality sources from his time working in the Bill Clinton WH in the 1990s.
Mensch is certainly not always right but she’s often been. She told us on November 7 that there was a FISA warrant. This has only been established in the MSM much later. She and Taylor spoke of grand juries at a time that no one in the MSM had breathed a word about it.
Only now, post Coney firing is this being revealed in the MSM. Abramson has said that the only Trump Russia claims that should be taken seriously are those from the Steele Dossier. But that’s just it-Mensch was one of the first to argue we should take the Dossier seriously. At the time the MSM treated it being ‘unverified’ as if it being just phony speculation. Then later, parts of it started being corroborated.
But Mensch was one of the first-if not the first at least that I was aware of-who said we should presume the Dossier is true. Here she was three months ago:
When the Steele dossier was published by Buzzfeed, with an entirely appropriate amount of caveats, other journalistic outlets rushed to pour cold water on it, and wrongly so.
Chief among these was CNN. Acting as if Buzzfeed had not offered caveats alongside the publication, CNN blasted the news site as though they had irresponsibly published ‘fake news’.
In fact, the credibility of Chris Steele was sky-high in the intelligence community, and the heads of all three agencies had included his dossier as an addendum to the Russian hacking report they produced for the President (Obama, at the time; but Trump was also given a version of it).
One bit of journalistic malfeasance committed by CNN was that they rubbished the dossier’s claims on Michael Cohen without doing independent journalistic research of their own.
I took as my starting point the idea that the Steele dossier should be believed and would be for the most part correct; and that it was more likely to be right than wrong. The reason I took this attitude is that all three heads of US intelligence agencies had included Steele’s dossier as an adjunct to their report to the President.”
This is a phenomenon regarding journalism. The MSM-for better and worse-is very cautious in what it reports. It requires a minimum of 3-4 solid sources to publish anything. This keeps them out of legal trouble for one thing but it also keeps our public discourse honest, I think I’ll agree.
But the MSM isn’t everything. They are usually going to be late for the party because of their caution-and because often MSM journalists are not good at building quality sources.
Mensch has been someone running ahead of the pack during this entire Trump Russia scandal. A lot of times when she-or Claude Taylor-report something based on their sources it’s treated as absurd on its face and proof they’re charlatans.
But there is a difference that’s elided between saying something that’s demonstrably false and something which hasn’t been corroborated by 3-4 MSM quality sources.
So when she talked about the FISA court in November this was unverified but not demonstrably false, to the contrary know it to be a fact as we do about the Grand Juries. Sometimes a journalist gets a story wrong. Arguably Mensch would do better to admit when she does get things wrong-some argue that’s a problem for her.
If so she’d be better off with a different approach. I say if so as I don’t know that for a fact but it is something I’ve heard.
It seems though that a lot of MSM and other folks jealous of Mensch and Taylor have different standards of what counts as ‘getting it wrong.’
For instance-someone claimed Taylor was laughably wrong as he said a source said Chaffetz would step down the next day back in April-and he didn’t.
Ok, but what Chaffetz did do was announce on the very next Monday-that was a Friday-that he’d be taking a leave of absence to deal with a preexisting foot condition from 10 years ago-Chaffetz has an Obama like setup for his healthcare.
Then four days later there was a House vote to take away ObamaCare for the rest of us-though Chaffetz voted to keep his own-and somehow Chaffetz got back from foot surgery in three days. The timing of things with Chaffetz are always very convenient.
But I digress. Point is what Claude Taylor’s source told him was in the ballpark. It’s not possible to say it was ‘wrong’ just because the precision wasn’t perfect as these are developing stories. When a source in the House gives info it may well be time sensitive. Maybe the idea of leaving the next day was floated then Chaffetz decided to wait for the next Monday then feign a foot injury. Or what have you.
Some do claim Mensch doesn’t admit mistakes. If so, then she’d be wise to change that. Though I don’t know that to be a fact, just something some folks say.
Really I haven’t worked very hard to get to the bottom of these skirmishes between Mensch and Seth Abramson, etc. Because I don’t care.
My focus is: we have a Constitutional crisis on our hands and need to get to the bottom of Trump Russia. Anything else is a diversion we can’t afford.
I focus on reading authors who increase my knowledge, understanding, and insight into Trump Russia. In my judgment Mensch does that even if she makes mistakes.
If others disagree-why not just not read her and move on? I think Abramson is a talented guy but doesn’t he have better time to spend his time and energy on?
— Sandy Beall#resist (@bluedgal) May 14, 2017
One other point on the Steele Dossier: the entire MSM knew about it for many months-even prior to election-and chose to sit on it. So there are issues with the MSM too.
Starting with the NY Times’ much less than stellar record. But that’s the story for another post-coming soon to a laptop near you!
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.