I hadn't meant to start something continuous about NYT reporting standards, but Josh Marshall's observations (edited here for brevity) drag me back in:
* The fact that it has been publicly known for more than a year that the Fusion GPS investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia began with funding from Republicans and was later funded by Democrats. This has been known since David Corn’s report in October 2016 and reported in numerous other reports since. This is never mentioned in the Times article.
* The fact that the Fusion GPS’s investigation into Russia began as a project funded by Republicans. This is never mentioned in the Times report, although it’s alluded to in the letter from Perkins Coie Managing Partner Matthew J. Gehringer.....
* The Times report can be read to suggest that the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid $12.4 million for the Fusion GPS research. But as the Post notes, these tabulations date back to June and November 2015, fully a year before Elias signed up Fusion GPS. So by definition, it can’t all be for that research.
* Leaving out the first two points makes the Times piece seem quite misleading to me. In a different category is another detail left out. As the Post notes, the Democrats stopped funding the Fusion GPS the day before the election. But Steele had already shared his findings with the FBI because he was so alarmed by what he had found. The FBI was sufficiently disturbed and confident in Steele’s work that they agreed to continue funding his work. (They eventually stopped once Steele’s name became public.) This is highly relevant information for determining the quality and credibility of Steele’s findings. But it doesn’t appear in the Times report even though the lede of the Times report focuses squarely on Republican accusations about Steele and Fusion GPS.
Let me quote the third and fourth paragraphs of the Times piece …
"The revelation, which emerged from a letter filed in court on Tuesday, is likely to fuel new partisan attacks over federal and congressional investigations into Russia’s attempts to disrupt last year’s election and whether any of Mr. Trump’s associates assisted in the effort.
"The president and his allies have argued for months that the investigations are politically motivated. They have challenged the information contained in the dossier, which was compiled by a former British spy who had been contracted by the Washington research firm Fusion GPS."
The FBI’s confidence in Steele’s work and going so far as to agree to keep funding it seems highly relevant information in evaluating those attacks. At the end of the day, what seems relevant to me is that the funding behind the Steele/Fusion GPS effort has been known since last year. It had details about at least the outlines of the Russian subversion campaign long before they were publicly known. How there’s anything bad about money from the campaign and the DNC helping to fund it is a complete mystery. The only problem is why they didn’t do more with it since this was critical information for the public to know. But the public was left in the dark.
Ms. Wilson’s decision to go public with her criticism of the president, even as Ms. Johnson was at her husband’s coffin to receive his body, was a reflection of the unbridled anger and frustration among many Democrats, black Americans and others as Mr. Trump tries to dismantle Barack Obama’s legacy.
The congresswoman’s actions were consistent with those of a member of the “resistance” to Mr. Trump, primed to react harshly to whatever he says.
It's funny because the bulk of the dossier is about Russian interference in the 2016 election, especially by using the e-mails stolen from John Podesta's account. Well, that and meetings between Russians and Trump campaign officials. I'm not sure how that proves the DNC colluded with Russia to interfere against their candidate, but I'm sure Mr. Fleischer can explain (and no, he's not alone; that argument is trending among conservatives on Twitter, apparently).Hard 2read this w/o concluding Clinton campaign colluded w Russia 2interfere in US election. https://t.co/lH5wNiUlzT pic.twitter.com/fy5aycEbzT— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) October 25, 2017