Stelter Decries Right Wing ‘Campaign of Confusion’ With Hillary-Russia

Over the past two weeks, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats had been under increased legal scrutiny following the revelations that the FBI had been monitoring Russian spies trying to influence the Uranium One deal, and that Clinton’s campaign and the Democrats had paid a firm to use foreign agents for opposition research. But according to CNN’s Brian Stelter, there really wasn’t any news there and it was all a part of a Fox News conspiracy to leave people confused about the facts.

Defending President Trump can be hard to do, so some of his allies in the media don't even bother trying,” he mocked as he began his rant. “Instead, they change the subject. This is a campaign of confusion. It is one of the most important things happening in American politics today.

Stelter ridiculously claimed that “if you watched the opinion shows on Fox News this week, you might have thought Hillary Clinton was president, not Trump, Clinton.” He cut to a clip of former Trump campaign manager Cory Lewandowski on Fox News where he misspoke and accidentally said “the Clinton administration.” Stelter pounced and asserted that it was a sign that the cable network was trying to twist the facts, as though Fox News viewers would somehow believe Trump wasn’t President for the last nine months.

In describing how Fox News’ “campaign of confusion works,” Stelter distorted the facts and omitted key details which allowed him to construct a false narrative. “First, The Hill newspaper revived a relatively old story about Russian efforts to gain influence in the American uranium industry during the Obama administration,” he said, making it seem as though they were just revisiting an old story. But in fact, there were new details never heard before, even after the first time the story broke.

According to an FBI informant to The Hill, the Bureau had been tracking Russia spies who were moving into positions to influence the sale of Uranium One. That included spies moving around Clinton and donations to the Clinton Foundation. But according to Stelter’s spin, “Fox became fixated on this story and the messaging was clear, the Russian investigations were recast as a scandal for Clinton and the Dems.

Now, Fox got help from Republicans on Capitol Hill who announced fresh investigations into the uranium issue,” Stelter huffed, completely omitting their concern of why the FBI didn’t share their investigation with Congress or the other parties that had to approve of the uranium sale.

But in right-wing media, this uranium story blotted out the sun,” Stelter exclaimed at one point. But despite all his accusations of Fox News weaving a web of lies and untruths, he admitted that “there may be something newsworthy here. I'll leave that to the experts.” Then why is he hosting a journalism show?

On the story of the Clinton campaign and the DNC using foreign agents to compile opposition research, Stelter claimed Fox News “combined the uranium story with the bogus idea that the Dems cooked up a Trump-Russia dossier full of lies. When you know, some parts of the dossier have been confirmed.

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His criticism completely ignored how Clinton and the Dems paid a firm (Fusion GPS) to use a British spy to work with Russian agents to piece together a dubious and salacious dossier. He and the rest of the liberal media talked about parts of the dossier being confirmed as though the only options for the information was either confirm or not confirmed yet. There was very little discussion of what it got wrong, like Trump lawyer Michael Cohen being in Prague to meet Russians when he was still in the U.S.

But perhaps Stelter was the one running the campaign of confusion. When he brought on guest Bruce Bartlett, Bartlett lamented: “What I found interesting in your introduction here is how a completely made-up story, something that's totally out of whole cloth forces its way onto a place like CNN, simply because the right-wing propaganda channel, which is Fox, made it a story.” He also claimed Fox News was just a “propaganda channel” that produced stories that were “complete nonsense, completely baseless.

But none of the news stories surrounding Clinton and the DNC were false and they certainly weren’t a “completely made-up story,” as Bartlett contended. Those things actually happened and were actually investigated by the FBI. Clearly, the real campaign of confusion was the one to cover for Clinton and the left and pretend there weren’t any controversies to be seen.

Transcript below:

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CNN
Reliable Sources
October 29, 2017
11:16:49 AM Eastern

BRIAN STELTER: Defending President Trump can be hard to do, so some of his allies in the media don't even bother trying. Instead, they change the subject. This is a campaign of confusion. It is one of the most important things happening in American politics today. I mean, if you watched the opinion shows on Fox News this week, you might have thought Hillary Clinton was president, not Trump, Clinton.

Here is how the campaign of confusion works: First, The Hill newspaper revived a relatively old story about Russian efforts to gain influence in the American uranium industry during the Obama administration. Fox became fixated on this story and the messaging was clear, the Russian investigations were recast as a scandal for Clinton and the Dems.

(…)

STELTER: The Clinton administration he [Cory Lewandowski] said. Finally, Fox has found the real Russia scandal. That's how it's portrayed. Uranium, uranium, uranium. Now, Fox got help from Republicans on Capitol Hill who announced fresh investigations into the uranium issue. And then President Trump picked up on it. But Clinton is overall a convenient boogie man.

Look, there may be something newsworthy here. I'll leave that to the experts.

But in right-wing media, this uranium story blotted out the sun! And it fit a pattern we've seen before. Trump's media allies downplay, deflect and deny stories that are trouble for the White House. Instead, they tell viewers and readers to hate Hillary Clinton.

(…)

STELTER: No subtlety there. Pero combined the uranium story with the bogus idea that the Dems cooked up a Trump-Russia dossier full of lies. When you know, some parts of the dossier have been confirmed. But here's the question for you: Are you confused yet?

That's the campaign. It's really a campaign of confusion. Just constantly staying the other side is worse, the other side is doing it. And President Trump is leaning into this in a big way. This morning, here's a tweet storm he shared in the past little while. He said:

“I've never seen such Republican anger and unity as I have concerning the lack of investigation on” – here we go, here's the list – “Clinton made fake dossier, now $12 million?” Then it continues, “The uranium to Russia deal, the 32,000 plus deleted e-mails, the Comey fix and so much more. Instead, they look at the phony Trump/Russia collusion which doesn't exist. The Dems are using this terrible and bad for our country witch hunt for evil politics. But the Rs” -- the Republicans – “are fighting back like never before. There's so much guilty by Democrats and by Clinton and now the facts are pouring out.” The last two words are important there. “Do something!” says the President of the United States.

(…)

BRUCE BARTLETT: What I found interesting in your introduction here is how a completely made-up story, something that's totally out of whole cloth forces its way onto a place like CNN, simply because the right wing propaganda channel, which is Fox, made it a story. And they talked about it so much, you felt you couldn't ignore it even though it's complete nonsense, completely baseless, you had to report that it's something that is being discussed among the Trump supporters and thereby lend inadvertently credibility to this nonsensical story.

(…)


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