False recollections

False recollections

PE Bias Grade : F

By: Allen Nitschelm on April 7, 2020 | Article Review

This is a review of the following Boston Globe Article:
Article Title Fired official urges whistle-blowers to speak up
Date 04/07/2020
Article Link Boston Globe ( Page A2 )
Syndicated From New York Times
Journalist Charlie Savage
Article Summary

The NYT syndicated article falsely recounts the impeachment hoax saga.

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It has only been a few months since the impeachment hoax failed, but the Boston Globe and NYT still can’t seem to correctly remember the details. Funny, since it was the main topic of continuous conversation for the Democrats in government and the media for three months.

The article laments the firing of the intelligence community’s Inspector General, the one who allowed the impeachment hoax to begin by deeming the complaint credible. That required the forwarding of the complaint to Congress. That allowed Schiff, Pelosi, Nadler, and the Democrat campaign machine to begin doing their work on trying to remove President Trump from office to spare the country from a pesky election in November. The Democrats used to believe in democracy and allowing people’s votes to count, but I guess that only matters when showing identification at a polling place.

This article says that the former IG believes Americans deserve “honesty” in government. Well, that may be true, but we also deserve “accountability” and that is what IG Atkinson got.

Normally, I take photos of offending paragraphs, sentences, or words to illustrate the article, but I had too many to choose from, so I’ll just quote from the article and give my response.

Let’s start off with the very first paragraph:

The intelligence community inspector general whom President Trump fired late Friday has called on whistle-blowers to overcome any fears and come forward with information about waste and illegality in the government despite the administration’s reprisals.

The so-called “whistleblower” has suffered zero reprisals from the administration. This reprisal is for the IG who wrongly deemed the “whistleblower’s” complaint to be proper and legal. He is not the whistleblower.

Atkinson, who was appointed by Trump in 2018…

This is supposed to make readers think Trump is turning on a loyalist (like he did with Sessions.) That does not appear to be the case, as the article later states that  prior to his appointment, Atkinson “worked in the Justice Department’s National Security Division.” So this is a misleading reference to advance another media narrative, that Trump has no friends and no loyalties.

…he received a whistle-blower complaint from an intelligence community official accusing the president of abusing his power over foreign policy to coerce Ukraine’s government into announcing investigations that could deliver him personal political benefits.

This has several errors. First, while the complainant can be rightly termed a “whistleblower,” his complaint was not a whistleblower complaint. It was improper since it referenced someone outside the Intelligence Community and thus not an employee that would be covered by the whistleblower laws.

Second, he didn’t coerce Ukraine’s government. He asked to do “us a favor.” That is a request, not coercion.

Third, he did not ask them to announce an investigation, he asked them to conduct one, to look into the Bidens and Burisma and the server. (It was only later that some alleged that a mere announcement of an investigation would be sufficient, but even that is debatable because President Zelensky might be risking his political career if he publicly announced something and then never followed through.)

Fourth, it is highly debatable whether Trump asked for these favors to “deliver him political benefits.” That could have been a byproduct, but was not necessarily or even probably the main motivator.

Atkinson deemed the complaint to be credible and to have raised an “urgent concern.’’

This is why Atkinson was fired.

But the Trump administration initially attempted to withhold it from lawmakers, before reversing under political pressure.

The law was misapplied by Atkinson and then when the complaint became public, the White House had to let it proceed. So Atkinson made a terrible blunder and it is now being dealt with.

“He did a terrible job, absolutely terrible,’’ Trump said, adding: “He took a fake report and he brought it to Congress with an emergency, OK?

Correct.

Although witness testimony during the impeachment inquiry confirmed the essential facts of the complaint, Trump also continued to portray it all as a hoax.

Here, the article says there were witnesses. It says the essential facts of the complaint were confirmed, except the conclusions the Democrats drew (that this conduct was impeachable) were false.

…in which a rough transcript shows he pivoted from discussing the prospect of military aid to asking for political investigations as “a favor, though’’

Trump did not tie military aid to the request for an investigation, and it was an accurate readout of the conversation, as Col. Vindman, the Democrats’ star witness, testified. Note also how the reporter leaves out “do us a favor” because “us” isn’t “me.”

The Republican-controlled Senate then swiftly acquitted him without hearing witnesses.

Wait, I thought we heard from many witnesses, as referenced earlier in this article?

A key vote in protecting Trump from witnesses, Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican from Tennessee, said that the evidence proved Trump did withhold aid from Ukraine for personal political benefits but said while that was “inappropriate,’’ it was not an impeachable offense. Several key Republicans said Alexander’s view was widespread.

Many people do not view Trump’s call as perfect. I am a strong Trump supporter and I don’t think he should have mentioned Joe Biden whatsoever. There was no reason to and it was something Trump should have stayed away from because of the appearance of a conflict of interest. But it is not impeachable, just ill-advised.

But note again how the reporter said Trump was being protected by the Senate not calling witnesses. I think it is just as plausible that Joe Biden was being protected, and the “whistleblower” was being protected, because Senate Republicans wanted those witnesses called.

Trump has subsequently been purging federal officials he sees as disloyal because they testified about what they knew when Congress subpoenaed them during the House inquiry phase. Atkinson became the latest, and Trump told congressional leaders that he had lost confidence in him.

Well, disloyalty is a fine reason to get rid of deep-state operatives, but besides that, many of the witnesses voluntarily testified (while or while not under subpoena) while others refused or sought legal guidance. Some of those willingly testified when they could have refused. Also, there is a question whether the Congressional subpoenas were legal and valid as the full House had not voted to open an impeachment inquiry when the subpoenas were ordered by Chairman Schiff.

——=——

Allen Nitschelm is publisher of PublicEditorMA.com. He critiques the Boston Globe, mostly focusing on the bias in their news reporting. News articles are graded for bias, and the website has a listing of the average bias ratings for all reporters reviewed. See our website for more information and the four categories of articles we publish.

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