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On Thursday, Washington Post Media Critic Erik Wemple slammed far-left MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, claiming that she “seemed to be rooting” for the veracity of the now-infamous Steele Dossier before the document’s credibility ultimately “fell apart.”
“Name a host on cable news who has dug more deeply into Trump-Russia than MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow,” Wemple wrote. “She’s read hundreds, maybe thousands, of court filings; she’s read the plume of literature on Russia-Trump; and she’s out with a new book on the bane of petro-states: ‘Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth.'”
Wemple, entering the realm of full-on snark, then excoriated Maddow’s self-obsessed “Russianist phase.”
“As part of her Russianist phase, Maddow became a clearinghouse for news increments regarding the dossier,” he continued. “Just days after BuzzFeed published the dossier in its entirety, she reported on the frustration of congressional Democrats with then-FBI Director James B. Comey, who was declining to divulge whether his people had opened an investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.”
Wemple systematically walked the reader through a timeline of Maddow’s on-air reporting from 2017–2018, during which Maddow repeatedly glommed onto snippets of left-leaning reporting to tendentiously give off the impression to MSNBC viewers that the dossier was something other than the salacious rumormongering that Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General has since confirmed it indeed was.
Wemple continued to describe the release of former DOJ Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s eponymous report on 2016 Russian electoral interference as a “kick in the derrière” for those who were invested in the Steeler dossier’s overarching narrative of nefarious Trump-Russia collusion.
“The release of the Mueller report in April provided a kick in the derriere for backers of the dossier.
Wemple wrote. “As Glenn Kessler pointed out in The Post, the central allegation of the dossier — an ‘extensive conspiracy between campaign team and Kremlin, sanctioned at highest levels and involving Russian diplomatic staff based in the U.S.’ as well as an ‘agreed exchange of information established in both directions’ — found no corroboration from Mueller’s investigation, even though the special counsel’s team was charged with probing just this matter.”
But Maddow didn’t seem to care for the Mueller’s report dismissal of the dossier, Wemple opined.
“Several days after the Mueller report emerged, Maddow addressed not the dissonance between Mueller and the dossier, but a point of possible corroboration,” he wrote. “In perhaps its most famous allegation, the dossier claimed that Trump had rented a suite at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow and ’employed’ prostitutes to perform a perverted ritual for him. It suggested that there were tapes of the show, the better to amass kompromat against Trump. A footnote in the Mueller report, noted Maddow, bore a possible connection to this part of the dossier.”
Wemple concluded by comparing the relative merits of the “case for Maddow” and the “case against Maddow,” and concluding that the latter is “far stronger.”
“The case against Maddow is far stronger,” Wemple stated. “When small bits of news arose in favor of the dossier, the franchise MSNBC host pumped air into them. At least some of her many fans surely came away from her broadcasts thinking the dossier was a serious piece of investigative research, not the flimflam, quick-twitch game of telephone outlined in the Horowitz report. She seemed to be rooting for the document.”