Over the last two weeks, the Steele Dossier, which was pushed for years as a credible source of dirt on Donald Trump, has been completely discredited. While it’s been obvious for a long time that the dossier was unverified and full of false conspiracy theories, John Durham’s indictment has given us an eye into exactly how the sausage was made and put the last nail in the coffin.
Igor Danchenko, now indicted for lying multiple times to the FBI, was the chief source for Christopher Steele, but it was a Hillary Clinton operative who actually fed Danchenko many of the salacious claims.
And with those revelations have come the ritual rewriting of history. The Washington Post has begun to delete parts of past articles that discussed the Steele Dossier.
The Washington Post on Friday took the unusual step of correcting and removing large portions of two articles, published in March 2017 and February 2019, that had identified a Belarusian American businessman as a key source of the “Steele dossier,” a collection of largely unverified reports that claimed the Russian government had compromising information about then-candidate Donald Trump.
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The newspaper’s executive editor, Sally Buzbee, said The Post could no longer stand by the accuracy of those elements of the story. It had identified businessman Sergei Millian as “Source D,” the unnamed figure who passed on the most salacious allegation in the dossier to its principal author, former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.
Of course, what the Post didn’t do was reveal who their fake news sources were from their original reporting. You’d think that when a source lies to you, that would be grounds to expose them in order to prevent it from happening again. But doing that would be too much of an admission of defeat for the Post, and a very public one at that.
Instead, we are getting relatively quiet editing of years old articles to make it seem as if the nation’s second-largest newspaper didn’t completely botch this story. That way, years from now, there’s no real record of their failure for people who are otherwise ill-informed. There’s something really sketchy about that, especially since Post reporters literally won Pulitzers for their garbage reporting on Trump and Russia.
Will anyone in the media pay a price? The answer is obviously no. For most of Trump’s presidency, the Trump-Russia hoax dominated the news. Journalists claimed bombshell after bombshell, only to have their stories and lying sources fall flat time and again. But their mission was accomplished. Trump is no longer president and his term was severely handicapped by a witch-hunt special counsel. That was always the goal, not accurate reporting.
In the end, nothing changes except a few articles long after the damage is already done.