July 10, 2019
NOTE: Do not be confused by the way this “Critical Hour” is described (namely; “Acosta Sticks to Script as Media Points Out Holes in Sex Scandal Story.”) That title refers only to the first segment. The two segments on which Ray and Mark Sleboda are interviewed start at minute 18:50 and go to 38:50 (for the 1st segment); after a very short break the second segment begins at minute 39:16 and goes to the end at minute 57:10.
On July 10, 2019 Ray, Mark Sleboda, an international affairs analyst in Moscow, and Dr. Wilmer Leon, moderator of Sputnik’s “Critical Hour” discussed recent developments in the Russia-gate/Deep-State-gate story, most of which are being avoided like the plague in corporate media. Earlier, when Leon’s producer called with the invitation, Ray mentioned that he had just tweeted out related comments, giving his take on a new tidbit from the NY Times, of all places. Here’s the tweet [Horowitz is the Department of Justice Inspector General]:
Uh-oh! More horror from Horowitz? Has sleazy Christopher Steele ratted out his pro-Hillary US/UK intelligence handlers? NYT p1 above-the-fold article today hints at this https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/09/us/politics/ig-russia-investigation-steele.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_190710?campaign_id=2&instance_id=10739&segment_id=15062&user_id=e69a6cb2bbba5cd47ffe27ec9fb45fbe®i_id=695407010 … but you must read between lines. Will NYTimes fold before Isikoff & Wheeler do?
Skimming through the article linked immediately below can provide additional context: https://consortiumnews.com/2019/07/08/ray-mcgovern-ex-fbi-cia-officials-draw-withering-fire-on-russiagate/
Ray’s fortuitous mention in his tweet of Yahoo News’s Michael Isikoff, Yahoo’s “chief investigative correspondent and also editor at large for reporting and investigations,” turned out to be timely, since Dr. Leon wanted to discuss Isikoff’s latest attempt to give disingenuousness a bad name — you guessed it, by blaming the Russians again. This time for allegedly exploiting the murder of former DNC employee Seth Rich. (If you have the stomach for it, see: https://news.yahoo.com/exclusive-the-true-origins-of-the-seth-rich-conspiracy-a-yahoo-news-investigation-100000831.html .)
Isikoff has been way out in front for a long tme in pushing the theme of Russian interference in the 2016 election. This can be seen, for example, in the way his reporting played a key role in facilitating the infamous “FISA application” to approve surveillance of Carter Page. A September 23, 2016 Yahoo News article written by Isikoff was actually cited by federal authorities in a FISA warrant application — even though some of them were fully aware that his article was no more than circular confirmation — “false confirmation” is what we called it in the trade.
Despite all that, Ray had harbored some hope that Isikoff might let a little more light shine through, after the “modified limited hangout” he managed to perform last December (See: https://consortiumnews.com/2018/12/19/michael-isikoff-cuts-his-loses-at-russian-roulette/ ) while cutting his losses on “Russian Roulette” — the name, actually, of a book he and David Corn wrote, promoting, inter alia, the “Steele dossier.” Alas, Isikoff evidently decided to choose the safer, more lucrative course; namely, to double down on the Russians instead writing what might have been a highly instructive apologia. It may be, of course, that Yahoo’s owner, Verizon, prefers to keep the saga of Russia-gate going.
Ray and Mark discussed other front-burner issues with Dr. Leon, but this particular “Critical Hour” saw a lot of criticism of what might be called “the Isikoff Syndrome,” since his behavior seems emblematic of the recent experience of many folks who are no dopes, and who used to be keen, honest reporters.
The discussion provided a chance for Ray to point out that, although the media has been bought — and today’s media is more corrupt than any Ray has ever observed — this is hardly a new phenomenon. Ray appended this bit of sad-but-true history to the piece he wrote on Isikoff’s short-lived flash of honesty cum a bit of contrition back last December:
One evening, probably in 1880, John Swinton, then the pre-eminent New York journalist was honored at a banquet given him by the leaders of his craft. Someone who knew neither the press nor Swinton offered a toast to the independent press. Swinton outraged his colleagues by replying: “There is no such thing as an independent press. You know it and I know it. … What folly is this toasting an independent press?
“We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks; they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”
Plus ca change ….