Demonstrating the power of fake news to influence uninformed people, just-elected Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire brought up a thoroughly discredited Washington Post story at the Senate confirmation hearing for Former General John Kelly. President-Elect Donald Trump has nominated Kelly to be the nation's next head of the Department of Homeland Security. Hassan brought up the Post's story on a late-December "infrastructure" attack by "a hacking group connected with the Russian government" on a Vermont utility as if it was an established fact — which, of course, it's not.



Monday evening, just three days after causing an uproar by reporting that "Russian hackers penetrated (the) U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont," the Washington Post is now saying that "Russian government hackers do not appear to have targeted Vermont utility, say people close to investigation." In other words (cue the late Glida Radner's famous Saturday Night Live character Emily Litella): "We told you we had a story, but we really never did. So ... Never mind."



UPDATE, January 3: "WashPost on Russian Connection to Vermont Utility Hack: Never Mind" 

A not very funny thing happened to the Washington Post after its Juliet Eilperin and Adam Entous posted a story on Friday (now time-stamped as if it was Saturday) claiming in its headline that "Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont." The claim, according to the utility involved, is false. As a result, the paper, in an "Editor's Note," told readers that "The computer at Burlington Electric that was hacked was not attached to the grid." 



The mounting archive of WikiLeaks emails between Hillary Clinton and her staff continues to reveal the Democratic presidential candidate’s special relationship with members of the liberal news media. Not only did she hold an off the record dinner with “influential reporters, anchors, and editors” just before officially launching her presidential bid, but reporters also asked for interviews promising the kind “she wants” or submitting copy for pre-approval before publishing it.



As Mike Ciandella at NewsBusters noted Thursday morning, newly obtained documents indicate that the White House and Secretary of State John Kerry's underlings worked aggressively to "crush" any chance that he might be questioned about Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email account for public business or her stationing of a private server registered under a pseudonym at her Chappaqua, New York home on the March 15 edition of Face the Nation — and he wasn't. Fox News, apparently alone among the major broadcast and cable networks, aired a segment on the matter on Friday. It included a weak response from CBS News. Additionally, a review of the transcript from the related Face the Nation broadcast shows that Mrs. Clinton's email and private server were discussed — just not with Kerry.



Items found at the Associated Press, the New York Times and the Washington Post, in reporting that President Obama plans to visit Roseburg, Oregon later this week, have all failed to report that community leaders have said that his visit is not welcome.

The 4:10 p.m. PT (7:10 PM ET) entry at a running timeline at AP announced that "Barack Obama will travel to Oregon this week to visit privately with families of the victims of last week's shooting at a community college." None of the four previous items in the timeline as of 9:00 PM ET tonight mentions that town leaders, who believe they are appropriately expressing the community's sentiments, would prefer that he stay away.



On page A7 of the July 16 paper, Washington Post staff writer Juliet Eilperin hacked out 12 paragraphs of goo over President Obama's Tuesday visit to the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, Va., where he "[made] a case for pouring more federal funds in U.S. infrastructure" and also got behind the wheel of "a self-driving car stationed at a simulator." "Man, this is so exciting.... I haven't been on the road in a long time," Eilperin quoted the president, who added a 1980s pop-culture reference. "It was sort of like 'Knight Rider,' Eilperin quoted Obama, noting  that it "[prompted] laughter from a crowd of nearly 200 of the center's employees."

One person not chuckling, however, was John Foust. He's the Fairfax County Democrat running for Congress in the district where the facility is located. The Weekly Standard notes that the Democrat was curiously absent from the presidential visit, eschewing the opportunity for a photo op with the president in a district Obama carried twice (but which is represented currently by Republican Barbara Comstock  retiring Republican Congressman Frank Wolf):



Protests are usually designed as attention-grabbers, publicity-seeking events. But liberal reporters cannot be dragged to a conservative protest. Thursday’s “March for Marriage” was blown off by The Washington Post and The New York Times. Attendance too small? The Post has written 10,000 words glorifying three anti-nuke protesters. The Times thinks four illegal aliens hiking is a hot protest story.

Only pro-gay news is news. Friday’s Times led the National section with “Presbyterians Allow Same-Sex Marriages,” complete with happy color photo. Friday’s Post wrote a story previewing the Obama administration’s move to include same-sex couples in family-leave policies (updated version online).



What better day than Easter Monday for the Washington Post to publish a 31-paragraph page A1 fluff piece celebrating the health nuts in chief at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?

Staff writer Juliet Eilperin was positively saccharine sweet about how the Obamas "have so transformed the culture inside" the White House "regarding nutrition and fitness" while painting conservatives as foot-stamping toddlers throwing a tantrum about their right to eat junk food (emphasis mine):



It’s the bland leading the bland as Obamacare enrollment (sort of) ends. The front page of Monday’s Washington Post carries the headline “New fronts in health battle: Challenges after sign-up milestone.” (Yawn.) The pull quote inside on A-2 is “The unresolved issues mean it is far too soon to know how President Obama’s signature domestic achievement will turn out.”

In that case, why use the word “achievement”? Did they describe the Iraq War as Bush's "signature achievement"?  In doing so, the Post sounds just like Obama adviser David Plouffe, whom they quoted from ABC saying “The law’s working” and it’s a “seminal achievement.” The Post account left out Bill Kristol’s response on ABC that Democrats aren’t saying “the law’s working” on the campaign trail.



On Friday, Washington Post reporter Juliet Eilperin filed a Style section front-pager on Marlon Marshall, the “deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, where he is charged with helping to sell the Affordable Care Act, which remains politically polarizing and was damaged by a disastrous Web site rollout last fall.”

What sticks out most in this profile is how Planned Parenthood – which receives hundreds of millions of dollars in federal money each year – is an integral part of selling Obamacare door to door, and this is somehow not seen as controversial:



Yesterday afternoon three red state Democratic senators -- plus Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.) -- joined a number of Republican legislators and the Canadian ambassador to the United States at a press conference called to publicly press President Obama to approve the long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Such a show of bipartisan and international agreement on an economic-development issue is surely worthy of attention by the broadcast news media, and yet ABC, CBS, and NBC all ignored the development on both the February 4 evening newscasts and the February 5 morning news shows. Here's how Matthew Daly of the Associated Press reported the development in his Tuesday afternoon piece, "Broad coalition backs Keystone XL oil pipeline" (emphasis mine):