Consuming Journalism: Unnamed Intelligence Officials

We’re in a bad place with journalism and news. It’s sometimes difficult to explain why. Sometimes it’s best to point to an example and discuss it from there.

U.S. Probes If Russia Is Targeting Biden in 2020 Election Meddling ~ Chris Strohm, Bloomberg

Gosh, that sounds pretty bad. Take another sip of your coffee, and then read it again. That’s a powerful headline from Bloomberg. Let’s say that’s all you read before heading to work. Would you feel prepared to discuss what you’d read? How would you respond if people asked you questions?

The U.S.? Who specifically?

What does probes mean? Aren’t there probes on Mars? Are they probing?

Ahh, targeting. The descendants of the KGB are at it again. They’re targeting, and we all know that means…well, it must mean something, right? What does it mean?

I like to state my biases. I need to get these down to a copy-paste paragraph form, but here’s the gist.

Russia meddles in our elections. The United States meddles in elections. Meddle is a vague term. I believe Trump is a terrible president who has no interest in leading, governing, or researching the policies he rails against or supports. I believe his primary objective is to do undo anything Obama did. His obsession with Obama is weird. I think Trump loves autocrats, but I don’t think he’s a Russian asset. I think the Left’s Russia obsession might doom us to another Trump term.

Let’s look at that Bloomberg article. It’d be best if you read it first. Think Who What Where Why When How. Go ahead, I’ll wait here.

U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials are assessing whether Russia is trying to undermine Joe Biden in its ongoing disinformation efforts with the former vice president still the front-runner in the race to challenge President Donald Trump, according to two officials familiar with the matter.

Who: Unidentified U.S intelligence and law enforcement officials. That clears it all up, doesn’t it? The U.S intelligence and law enforcement machine is huge.

Who (2): According to two officials familiar with the matter.

All of your alarm bells should be going off. Our elections are the key to our democracy. If they’re bad or corrupted (more), the game’s up. Russia or anyone else altering our elections is a huge concern. Fortunately, some unidentified people are doing some assessing.

X is assessing the damage to your house following the tornado. It sounds bad, doesn’t it? But that statement doesn’t tell you anything. There might not be any damage. What was your take away from that opening paragraph in the Bloomberg article? I’ll tell you mine – I definitely got the impression that Russian spooks are undermining Biden to help Trump. That might actually be the case. But the paragraph is worded to lead you to that conclusion even though it’s built entirely on conjecture and might not be happening.

The probe comes as senior U.S. officials are warning that Russia’s election interference in 2020 could be more brazen than in the 2016 presidential race or the 2018 midterm election.

The probe comes as…Wait, what probe? We saw probe in the headline. What’s the definition of a probe? Is it an actual investigation? Who’s doing the investigation? Is a probe a report? Will there be a report? If you tell your 15 year old kid they’re probing to see…your 15 year old kid is smart enough to call you out and tell you that you can’t explain with any confidence or specificity what probe means.

Part of the inquiry is to determine whether Russia is trying to weaken Biden by promoting controversy over his past involvement in U.S. policy toward Ukraine while his son worked for an energy company there.

The Russians might be doing that, but so is all of America. That is fact. Joe Biden was involved in U.S. policy toward Ukraine while his son Hunter Biden made a fortune working for an energy company there. And “working” is a generous term here indeed. I’d like to think that most of us would agree that Joe Biden was faithfully executing Obama’s policies/guidance. But it looks shady as hell. The whole rotten affair was the last nail in the coffin for me (is that a mixed metaphor?). The second most powerful person in the United States (well, maybe 15th most powerful, but still…) has to know how corrupt that looks. If they can’t, it means they have been in office way too long. Biden needs to go.

A Kremlin strategy to undermine Biden would echo its work in 2016, when American intelligence agencies found that Russia carried out a sophisticated operation to damage Democrat Hillary Clinton and ultimately help Trump, according to the officials, who asked not to be identified discussing the sensitive matter.

A Kremlin strategy…fellow readers, that’s gone back into theory or hypotheticals or conjecture, or whatever the appropriate term is. And it’s according to officials who asked not to be identified.

We’re well into the article now, and we still don’t know shit. No names, no identified agencies or organizations. Probes, inquiries, unnamed officials, Kremlin strategies.

I’m stopping there. The article is garbage, and it’s from one of the leading media entities in the country. It could all be true, but that’s not the point.