Even Liberal Guest Schools Maher on Russiagate's Fake Steele Dossier


On Friday’s Real Time show, liberal HBO host Bill Maher demonstrated that, even though he has been recently showing a moderate streak on his show, often being critical of his fellow liberals, he still has a ways to go in accepting just how much the Russia probe of the Donald Trump campaign was a political hit job pushed by very biased, untrustworthy figures.

As former Rolling Stone contributing editor Matt Taibbi appeared as a guest, Maher picked up on his recent reaction to the Durham investigation of wrongdoing in the anti-Trump investigation, the liberal host challenged his guest for dismissing the Democrats’ accusations of espionage against Trump, which Taibbi has also compared to the search for WMD after the Iraq War.

At one point, Maher was still trying to give credibility to the infamous Steele dossier that was used as a basis to start the investigation of Trump in spite of its lack of credibility. Taibbi brought up this aspect of the probe: “I think the more significant thing is that there were such a massive quantity of fake stories that did go through from the Steele dossier.”

 

 

Maher responded: “Well, but the Steele dossier got right two very important things. … They got right that, you know, Russia was waging a broad campaign to elect Trump, and that was before that was established. The other thing he got right was the WikiLeaks leak, I mean, that the Democrats –“

Taibbi — who himself notably is generally politically liberal — jumped in to correct him and defend Trump on the issue:

This was all being written during the time when this was already coming out. The FBI actually even concluded that they couldn’t find any original reporting in the Steele dossier that actually panned out. The stuff that was actually original in the Steele dossier — everything from the pee tape to the well-developed conspiracy of five years (inaudible) and Trump. None of that panned out.

After Maher brought up WikiLeaks releasing embarrassing emails that were stolen from the DNC, the two further debated:

TAIBBI: No. Look, the Roger Stone indictment proves that the collusion theory was wrong, Even at that very late date, they were trying to reach out to WikiLeaks. If there was actually a conspiracy between WikiLeaks, Russia and Trump, it wouldn’t have had Roger Stone reaching out and being told to fuck off, by the way, by WikiLeaks…

MAHER: But it was not a coincidence that those emails were released right after —

TAIBBI: Yeah, but that’s a completely different thing than talking about an espionage conspiracy where, you know, Trump and the Russians got together and plan to fix an election. I mean, they’re allowed to talk to WikiLeaks if they have — if they think they have a big story that’s going to hurt Hillary Clinton.

Even media critic Erik Wemple of the Washington Post called out Maher for clinging to the discredited Steele dossier. But, to his credit, at least the HBO host had on a couple of guests who disagreed with him on the issue. That’s more than most of the more serious cable news outlets will do in the current environment in which political discussions have just become echo chambers of journalists and guests who mostly agree about the subjects they discuss.

Including people who actually disagree and will challenge one another, if done right, can help bring out stronger arguments that might otherwise be overlooked. If only such debate would spread to more shows, it might lead to a more informed public.

Transcript follows:.

HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher

October 1, 2021

MATT TAIBBI: I think the more significant thing is that there were such a massive quantity of fake stories that did go through from the Steele dossier.

BILL MAHER: Well, but the Steele dossier got right two very important things. … They got right that, you know, Russia was waging a broad campaign to elect Trump, and that was before that was established. The other thing he got right was the WikiLeaks leak, I mean, that the Democrats —

TAIBBI: This was all being written during the time when this was already coming out. The FBI actually even concluded that they couldn’t find any original reporting in the Steele dossier that actually panned out. The stuff that was actually original in the Steele dossier — everything from the pee tape to the well-developed conspiracy of five years (inaudible) and Trump. None of that panned out.

MAHER: Well, the pee tape, I agree, was a tragedy —

TAIBBI: But that was such a massive story for years — we weren’t talking about —

MAHER: Well, it was a massive story because people make — obviously, people would rather talk about pee than the budget. … We talk about both. But that was confirmed by Mueller that the hacking — Roger Stone — right? — told WikiLeaks to release the Democratic email — the Podesta emails — right after the Hollywood Access (sic) tape came out. And they did it within an hour — within a day after Trump said publicly, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you can hack those emails,” they started to do it. That’s not collusion?

TAIBBI: No. Look, the Roger Stone indictment proves that the collusion theory was wrong, Even at that very late date, they were trying to reach out to WikiLeaks. If there was actually a conspiracy between WikiLeaks, Russia and Trump, it wouldn’t have had Roger Stone reaching out and being told to fuck off, by the way, by WikiLeaks…

MAHER: But it was not a coincidence that those emails were released right after —

TAIBBI: Yeah, but that’s a completely different thing than talking about an espionage conspiracy where, you know, Trump and the Russians got together and plan to fix an election. I mean, they’re allowed to talk to WikiLeaks if they have — if they think they have a big story that’s going to hurt Hillary Clinton.



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *