Why All the Attention to a “Debunked” Story?

“ALL IT DOES IS LIE”

by Sharon Rondeau

(May 25, 2017) — On Wednesday evening, Yahoo!’s news page featured a now-growing number of stories aimed at convincing the public that the theory that a murdered DNC staffer might have been in touch with the open-government organization WikiLeaks has been “debunked.”

At the same time, a growing number of news organizations, citizen journalists and bloggers are finding reason to delve more deeply into the case involving Seth Rich, who was shot twice in the back last July in what police have called a “botched robbery” despite reports that nothing was taken.

Interest in the ten-month-old case has been rekindled since Fox5 in Washington, DC aired a segment on May 15 featuring Detective Rod Wheeler, who claimed he had seen evidence that Rich had in fact communicated with WikiLeaks.

As if in chorus, left-leaning media pounced on the report, pushing an alleged demand from Rich family “spokesman” Brad Bauman, a former activist for “progressive” causes with links to left-leaning media and the DNC, that the report be retracted.

Fox5 stood by its report.

Following his interview with Fox5, Wheeler provided interviews to additional media outlets but stated his claim differently, including to Fox News’s Sean Hannity. In his altered account, Wheeler contended that he had not personally seen the alleged evidence of a connection between Rich and WikiLeaks, but rather, that he had obtained the report of a federal-level investigator to that effect second-hand.

According to a report issued by Fox News on May 16, the federal investigator had found that more than 44,000 emails and 17,000 attachments had been sent from Rich’s computer to a WikiLeaks-affiliated journalist in London.  The numbers of emails and attachments, respectively, matched exactly those which WikiLeaks reported it had received and published last July just prior to the Democrat National Committee convention.

After Wheeler issued his second statement, Fox5 issued a clarification which for left-leading media was not sufficient. “Seth Rich’s Family Demands Immediate Retraction Of Debunked Fox 5 Story” reads a headline from “DCist” on May 17.

Although Wheeler was said by numerous media sources to have “recanted” his account “thoroughly,” he appeared to have clarified only that he personally had not examined Rich’s computer but rather, received the information about the alleged emails from a federal investigator who “spoke to Fox News.”  Wheeler did not recant his claim that someone within the DC Metro Police Department told him that a “stand-down” order had been issued in regard to finding Rich’s assailants, nor did he recant his claim that a third party appeared to have notified the Rich family that Wheeler had contacted the MPD for information on the case.

It does not logically follow that, while Wheeler may have initially miscommunicated about his access to the alleged evidence, his entire report was wrong, yet the media appears to have lost its ability to critically analyze what has and has not been said.

If these outlets are so quickly able to “debunk” another’s news report, why have they not been able to conduct their own investigation leading to the arrest and conviction of Seth Rich’s killer?  Where have they been since July 10, 2016 when this heinous crime occurred?

In public statements since Rich’s death, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has all but said that Rich was a source (See Newsweek video).

Last Friday, internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom claimed that he has evidence showing that Rich was a WikiLeaks source.  On Tuesday, he issued a statement on his website which reads, in part:

I know that Seth Rich was involved in the DNC leak.

I know this because in late 2014 a person contacted me about helping me to start a branch of the Internet Party in the United States. He called himself Panda. I now know that Panda was Seth Rich.

Panda advised me that he was working on voter analytics tools and other technologies that the Internet Party may find helpful.

I communicated with Panda on a number of topics including corruption and the influence of corporate money in politics.

Although wanted for extradition to the United States on an allegation from the U.S. Department of Justice of copyright infringement and other related crimes, Dotcom stated that he is willing to provide the evidence in person to Special Counsel and former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III or in written form to Congress if his attorneys and the Justice Department can reach an agreement for his safe travel.

Dotcom maintains his innocence in the U.S. case.

Dotcom additionally wrote in the statement, “The Rich family has reached out to me to ask that I be sensitive to their loss in my public comments. That request is entirely reasonable.” However, Rich Bauman was reported to have characterized Dotcom’s statement as “ridiculous, manipulative and completely non-credible.”

Why, without having seen the evidence?

The Washington Post on Wednesday attempted to discredit Dotcom without having investigated his claim or interviewed him.  The article, penned by Dave Weigel, states:

When Seth Rich’s Gmail account received an alert this week from Mega.com, attempting to start a new account on a website created by the New Zealand-based Internet businessman and convicted hacker Kim Dotcom, his family knew that something was off…

According to experts and Rich’s family, the emailed invitation from welcome@mega.nz appeared to be an attempt to gain access to Rich’s email. Joel Rich, who monitors his late son’s Gmail account when new emails come in, did not click the link. Dotcom had not worked at Mega itself for years, but he was promising on Twitter to prove that the younger Rich had been in contact with WikiLeaks — and Fox News host Sean Hannity was telling his 2.37 million Twitter followers to be ready for a ­revelation.

The existence of an email appearing to have been sent from a certain domain address does not make it so.  What does the DC Metro PD have to say about it?

Last Sunday, Weigel called Hannity’s reportage on the case “fake news.”  Wednesday’s article is titled, “The life and death of the Seth Rich conspiracy theory.”

Where are The Post’s curious investigative reporters on this case?

Where is the DNC?  With $245,000 in reward money pledged to anyone producing information leading to the perpetrator, why has no one stepped forward?

Further, outlets such as ThinkProgress and Media Matters for America have gone so far as to pressure “Hannity” advertisers to withdraw their support from the show because Hannity is allegedly pushing the “conspiracy theory” about Rich’s death.

Hannity has now been silenced, whether by his Fox News bosses, the specter of lost advertising revenue, or both.  “This was dangerous stuff, and Hannity knew it,” crowed Newsweek on Wednesday.

Why has the mainstream media reacted so convulsively to the new developments in this story?  Why are they devoting so much time and energy to something that is supposedly “debunked?”

Or are they lying and attempting to stifle free speech which could lead to the truth?

Although The Post’s new slogan is “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” is that outlet, along with a myriad of others, truly seeking the light?

Interestingly, the same technique was used by the Associated Press and many other media sources after a criminal investigator from Maricopa County, AZ in March 2012 declared Barack Hussein Obama’s long-form birth certificate and Selective Service registration form fraudulent.

Over a more-than-five-year investigative period, more evidence was released to the media and the public demonstrating that the “probable cause” standard to believe a crime had been committed in the forgery of Obama’s purported documentation had long been surpassed.

Still, the media did nothing other than relegate the findings to a “conspiracy theory.”  The suppressing of evidence presented to the public by investigator Mike Zullo was a phenomenon which Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who commissioned Zullo’s work, said he had never witnessed before.

Without conducting its own investigation, the media insisted that Zullo’s investigative findings were “debunked.”  When, how and by whom?

Despite Arpaio’s finding that Obama’s fraudulent documentation posed a risk to “national security,” the media did nothing other than ridicule the messengers.

Do we now live in a “1984” America where lies are truth and evil is good?

Why did they shut down Hannity and force Fox News to retract an article by a journalist with a solid reputation who reported having spoken with a “federal investigator” claiming to have seen the crucial evidence on Rich’s computer?

Is not journalism about finding the truth, wherever it may lead?

A study guide for George Orwell’s “1984” states of the novel’s “Ministry of Truth:”

How does one oppress an entire superstate of people? Through a carefully orchestrated, super specialized system of government. The Ingsoc Inner Party members — those guys behind the scenes pulling all the strings — came up with an ingenious idea when they rose to power after World War II, according to the mythology of the novel.

With the help of constant surveillance, a completely new language called Newspeak (designed to weed out words deemed unnecessary and therefore shrink the potential for free thought), and several specialized government ministries, the Inner Party would keep the masses oppressed and diligently serving Ingsoc. One of these ministries is the Ministry of Truth, shortened to Minitrue, dealing with history, art, news, and education.

The Ministry of Truth is a propaganda machine, and the irony is that all it does is lie. How genius is that, as a political tactic? Name your bureau of propaganda and outright deceit the Ministry of Truth. No wonder the Ingsoc guys manage to hold onto their power!

 

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