The Pulitzer committee is yet to respond to a media watchdog’s scathing review of multiple media outlets’ coverage of the now-debunked Trump-Russia collusion narrative.
The Columbia Journalism Review spent 18 months looking back on the press coverage of the former president in a report published on Jan. 30, and took aim at a number of publications, including The New York Times and the Washington Post for their coverage of what became widely known as “Russiagate.”
“Seven and a half years ago, journalism began a tortured dance with Donald Trump, the man who would be the country’s forty-fifth president—first dismissing him, then embracing him as a source of ratings and clicks, then going all in on efforts to catalogue Trump as a threat to the country (also a great source of ratings and clicks),” the review read.
“No narrative did more to shape Trump’s relations with the press than Russiagate. The story, which included the Steele dossier and the Mueller report among other totemic moments, resulted in Pulitzer Prizes as well as embarrassing retractions and damaged careers.”
Specifically, the Columbia Journalism Review took aim at what it called “serious flaws” in the media’s reporting of the false Trump–Russia narrative, particularly when it comes to both The New York Times and the Washington Post, which it said had failed to follow its own rules for using anonymous sources, upon which many of their stories reportedly heavily relied upon.
Pulitzer Prize Winners
The report also cited both publications’ use of false or misleading statements regarding Trump as well as their misleading use of statistics, noting that “when those storylines were authoritatively undercut, the follow-ups were downplayed or ignored.”
The New York Times and The Washington Post both shared the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for their “deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the President-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration,” according to Pulitzer’s official website.
Donald Trump has since asked that the Pulitzer board rescind its awards to the two publications but his demand was rejected.
Following the publication of the report last month, Trump released a statement saying that the report was a “STAGGERING, detailed account of the lies, disinformation, and complete lack of journalistic integrity exhibited by the purveyors of Fake News at the Washington Compost (sometimes known as the Washington Post), the Failing New York Times, and many others.”
“This proves, once again, that the corrupt, woke, radical Democrats stole the 2020 election, making it impossible for that fact to be called ‘the Big Lie,’ as the Marxists and Communists in our Country attempt to portray it,” he added.
Steele Dossier Discredited
Former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele’s infamous “Steele dossier,” which has since been widely discredited, was used to obtain a spy warrant on members of the Trump 2016 presidential campaign.
The dossier was paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. A number of the spy warrants were later declared invalid while officials admitted the spying shouldn’t have been carried out.
In a statement to Fox News, a Washington Post spokesperson said: “We are proud of our coverage of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign, including our stories that were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for furthering the nation’s understanding of this consequential period.”
“We approached this line of coverage with care and a great sense of responsibility. On the few occasions in which new information emerged that caused us to reexamine past reporting, we did so forthrightly,” the statement added.
The Epoch Times has contacted The New York Times and the Pulitzer committee for comment.
From The Epoch Times