Thursday, July 28, 2016

The "Russians hacked the DNC" story is wrong

At the very least, it is journalistic malpractice and we should consider it wrong until proven otherwise.  Robert Graham (an Internet Security bigwig) posts at length about this:
People keep citing this New York Times article by David Sanger that attributes the DNCleaks to Russia. As I've written before, this is propaganda, not journalism. It's against basic journalistic ethics to quote anonymous "federal officials" in a story like this. The Society of Professional Journalists repudiates this [1] [2]. The NYTime's own ombudsman has itself criticized David Sanger for this practice, and written guidelinesto specifically ban it.

Quoting anonymous federal officials is great, when they disagree with government, when revealing government malfeasance, when it's something that people will get fired over.

But the opposite is happening here. It's either Obama himself or some faction within the administration that wants us to believe Russia is involved. They want us to believe the propaganda, then hide behind anonymity so we can't question them. This evades obvious questions, like whether all their information comes from the same public sources that already point to Russia, or whether they have their own information from the CIA or NSA that points to Russia.

Everyone knows the Washington press works this way, and that David Sanger in particular is a journalistic whore.
There's more, and you should read the entire post.  In my opinion, this is exactly right.  I've been skeptical about this, but anonymous "tips" basically say "trust me".  I'm sorry, but the last decades have shown that we shouldn't trust the Press.

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