NPR Lies By Omission — Fails to Mention Taped Sy Hersh Phone Call When Discussing Retracted Fox News Story on Seth Rich

Originally published Sep 18, 2017

David Folkenflik of NPR has just commented on the retracted Fox News story claiming that Seth Rich had been in touch with Wikileaks:

One thing about this story sticks out like a sore thumb — it doesn’t mention Sy Hersh.

So Folkenflik wants an “explanation” of why Fox ran with their story and then retracted it. Well, if you’ve been paying a modicum of attention and have at least an ounce of common sense, you already KNOW what happened. The Rosetta Stone for this mystery is the taped phone call that Sy Hersh had with Ed Butowsky — which Casandra Fairbanks leaked, and Wikileaks tweeted:

In the call, Hersh states to Butowsky that a source inside the FBI whom he considers highly trustworthy indicated that there is an FBI memo regarding an analysis of Seth’s laptop; the analysis shows that Seth contacted Wikileaks and conveyed to them the DNC emails via dropbox.

Butowsky then got in touch with Fox reporters with this info. It does not appear that Fox itself ever made contact with the FBI insider Hersh referred to; that’s why Butowski subsequently begged Hersh to go on the record regarding this story. Nonetheless, Fox decided to publish their story. This was second-hand reporting from one anonymous source; it really was contrary to good journalistic ethics to run the story. When this became clear to the higher-ups at Fox — who were also under intense pressure from powerful advocates of the Russiagate hoax to backtrack — the story was pulled.

But that really doesn’t matter now, because we have the leaked tape that was the basis for the story. We can conclude either that: 1. Hersh was just totally confabulating and BSing Butowsky for unknown reasons; 2. Hersh actually did talk to an FBI insider. The latter possibility seems more likely to me; if Hersh had been lying, he could have told us so — but he didn’t. If Hersh wasn’t lying, that doesn’t clarify whether the FBI source was telling the truth, but we have Hersh’s assurance that he considers this source quite reliable. In the context of other evidence pointing to Seth as the source of the DNC leaks — the strong hints by Assange; the Wikileaks reward for the apprehension of Seth’s murderer; the retweeting by Wikileaks of stories referring to Seth as the source; the ironclad assurance by Craig Murray that the DNC emails came to Wikileaks via leak, not hack; and Kim Dotcom’s claim that Seth is the source — there is good reason to suspect that Hersh’s FBI source could be telling the truth.

What possible excuse can Folkenflik have for completely ignoring the Sy Hersh tape — particularly in the context of the fact that Hersh is arguably the most distinguished investigative journalist of our time? The authenticity of the tape is beyond dispute — Hersh did not brand it as a fraud, and Hersh’s voice is unmistakable. This type of journalism borders on fraud — it is simply propaganda on behalf of the Russiagate hoax ( that has effectively ignited a Second Cold War. Beyond despicable.

Update - 5-5-2019

A recent essay by Larry Johnson provides grounds for suspecting that Butowsky may win the libel lawsuit he has filed against Folkenflik and NPR:

Another point - the author of the Sic Semper Tyrannis blog - a friend of Johnson's - states to me that Hirsh WAS NOT the source of the Fox News story, but that there were two sources for the story.

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detroitmechworks's picture

And the Corporate Citizens are highly offended by conspiracy theories.

Especially considering that their entire existence is the result of one. I mean, because by definition, a corporation is a bunch of people working together towards a stated or unstated goal...

So therefore, ever suggesting that there's a nefarious motive is offensive. It's very clear what the motivation was. They want to keep everything business as usual, and make money. That's the only motivation any corporation ever has and to suggest otherwise is a conspiracy theory!


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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

What possible excuse can Folkenflik have for completely ignoring the Sy Hersh tape?

Maybe he'd like to find work as a journalist in a job that pays good money reliably? Unless you are willing to rely on youtube ads or donations, those jobs tend to be concentrated in establishment media; and the establishment version of how wikileads got DNC emails is RUSSIA! RUSSIA! RUSSIA!

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