You've got to love journalistic integrity when an article opens with:
"The allegations are unverified, and the report contains errors."
"The dossier, which is a collection of memos written over a period of months, includes specific, unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations"
Let's not let truth get in the way of a good story eh? A story that apparently many mainstream news outlets chose not to run with, including the New York Times, probably because it was just too damn legally risky. Even CNN hedged its bets when it published its story that there was this document out there with some you know, really bad unverified stuff in it, that we can't tell you about lest we get sued, but well you know, we wanted to let you know it was out there anyway.
Let's face some facts here... nothing in the dossier is actionable intelligence, none of is corroborated, and the few things so far that seem readily verifiable such as the Prague Meeting have been deemed false, not only by those journalists that bothered to look into it by also by the FBI. An anonymous source, allegedly Christoper David Steele, Director of Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd. (yeah two can play a that game), provides anonymous intelligence to a paying client looking for dirt. Well I suppose he has to provide them something otherwise he wouldn't get paid, would he? I've read the full document and with a passing familiarity for what passes for modern intelligence, can say I can understand why he's an "ex" intelligence agent as it is sloppy and full of errors.
Journalism? Here are a few points from media helping media about the importance of fact checking.
Are you preventing thorough fact checking? Are you investigating the situation because you have a desired outcome in mind? Are you trying to make the facts fit a headline you have already prepared in your head? If so, you may have compromised your objectivity which will make it difficult to produce a piece of journalism that is strictly factual.
The Two reliable sources rule. Most media organizations have a rule that all facts should be confirmed by two reliable sources. Often the wires will be counted as one source. The journalist then has to find another source that is willing to go on record to verify the information.
Who can a journalist trust? Well, the truth is, nobody. A journalist must never accept what they are told without scrutinizing the information. Journalists should take a skeptical view of every piece of information shared with them. They should not blindly trust contacts – even if those contacts have proved reliable in the past.Which is probably why the NYT didn't publish it, or the other legitimate news outlets that it was shopped to. The question is then why did those who did publish it, do so?
Me I tend to believe Trump when he says he previously cautioned other people that you're never alone in Mother Russia. It's pretty much taken as fact and given as a warning to government personnel traveling to more countries than just Russia.
What do you think?