Fake News: NBC News Botches Russiagate ‘Bombshell’

Collage of Manafort and NBC building

The suits at NBC News are, no doubt, lighting candles in gratitude to Gaia for Harvey and Irma, two natural disasters that distracted the country and, by extension, saved the left-wing outlet from the kind of scrutiny and fake news humiliation that has rocked CNN and dropped it into last place behind MSNBC.

Naturally, what I am referencing here is yet another massive pile of fake news connected to this laughably stupid Russiagate scandal.

The August 31 NBC News headline was a BOOM, a smoking gun, a game changer: “Manafort Notes From Russian Meet Contain Cryptic Reference to ‘Donations.’”


The story went on to breathlessly lay it all out:

Paul Manafort’s notes from a controversial Trump Tower meeting with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign included the word “donations,” near a reference to the Republican National Committee, two sources briefed on the evidence told NBC News.

The references, which were not previously disclosed, elevated the significance of the June 2016 meeting for congressional investigators, who are focused on determining whether it included any discussion of donations from Russian sources to either the Trump campaign or the Republican Party.

It is illegal for foreigners to donate to American elections. The meeting happened just as Trump had secured the Republican nomination for president, and he was considered a longshot to win. Manafort was the campaign chairman at the time.

Holy schmikoly! This is it! We got him! That whole Donald Trump Junior meeting is blown wide open! We hold the thread that unravels the sweater…Donations from the Russians! Yes! Yes! Yes! High-Five! On the side! Down low! Here we go! This is me doing the Impeachment Hustle.

Great job, NBC News!


Not a word of it is true. But as we are all learning, in the craven world of journalism today, a couple of anonymous sources are currently good enough to drop a stinkbomb–because this is not about journalism, this is not about the truth, and this is not about holding power accountable.

This is only about using whatever fake news that sticks to overturn a presidential election.

About four hours after the original story ran, NBC News added the following correction. Naturally, the correction, which completely blows the original story to pieces (everyone knows there was a “donor” at the meeting), is buried at the bottom:

CORRECTION (Aug. 31, 6:30 p.m.): An earlier version of this article used an incorrect quotation in describing Paul Manafort’s notes. According to a spokesman for Sen. Charles E. Grassley, whose committee staff has reviewed them, the notes did not include the word “donation.” A source who provided the information said the notes used a word that referenced political contributions, and another source said the notes used the word “donor.”

NBC News also rewrote the headline and a bit of the story, but the overall smear remains, a smear based on the word “donor,” which could mean practically anything. But we are led to believe that it means that “on the speakerphone, Vladdy-Vlad laughed sinisterly recounting his in-kind donation of hacking all those swing state voting machines on behalf the Trumpster.”

But CNN’s behavior–Sorry, I meant to say that NBC‘s behavior–is even worse than that because after the left-wing Politico reported that the word “donor” in Manafart’s notes was as innocuous as can be, NBC has still not updated the piece, nor has NBC done what it should have done originally: retracted the flaming ball of fake news.

Closing thought: CNN was burned– Sorry, I meant NBC News was burned (I keep doing that!)–by two anonymous sources with an obvious agenda. That gives NBC News the ethical go-ahead to burn these sources, to out these liars to the public, to hold them up as bad players so no other so-called journalists are duped by them.

But NBC News won’t burn these two anonymous sources, even the one who “declined to be more specific,” because these anonymous sources are telling NBC News the lies NBC News so desperately wants to hear…and spread.

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC.  Follow his Facebook Page here.


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