Wow If True
Trump's alternative media
By Mark Hemingway
The news that former national security adviser Susan Rice was responsible for "unmasking" the identities of associates of President Trump in government surveillance reports sent shockwaves through Washington. But almost as newsworthy was the identity of the man who got the scoop: vociferous Trump booster and blogger Mike Cernovich.
Though it was Bloomberg's foreign policy reporter Eli Lake who nailed down the details of the Rice story on the morning of April 3, the evening before Cernovich had published a short report on Medium, an Internet platform open to anyone, headlined "Susan Rice Requested Unmasking of Incoming Trump Administration Officials." The post had a few original details, but beyond the revelation in the headline, the article was notable for its attack on New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman. According to Cernovich, Haberman had been sitting on the story "in an effort to protect the reputation of former President Barack Obama."
Then, the day after Lake had produced his much more credible and detailed account, Cernovich lashed out at him, claiming Lake, too, had been sitting on the story.
"Eli Lake had it. He didn't want to run it and Bloomberg didn't want to run it because it vindicates Trump's claim that he had been spied upon. . . . I'm showing you the politics of 'real journalism.' 'Real journalism' is that Bloomberg had it and the New York Times had it but they wouldn't run it because they don't want to run any stories that would make Obama look bad or that will vindicate Trump."
Haberman tells me she "first heard the Susan Rice detail in the Cernovich piece." Lake says, in no uncertain terms, that Cernovich's grasp of "real journalism" is wanting. "I don't think Cernovich understands what we do," he says. Lake notes that he had to nail down the facts before publishing. "I get information and verify it," he says. "Why would I sit on it? It's a huge story. He's a fake news artist."
There's no question who the White House thought deserved the most credit for the Rice story. On April 4, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted, "Congrats to [Mike Cernovich] for breaking the #SusanRice story. In a long gone time of unbiased journalism he'd win the Pulitzer, but not today!"