Gerard Henderson’s book on the George Pell pile-on exposes journalism’s mob mentality
CHRIS MITCHELL, The Australian, 29 November 2021
The release last Wednesday of a book about the media pursuit of Cardinal George Pell, and an earlier decision by The Washington Post to re-edit slabs of its own reporting about Donald Trump and Russia, highlight the need for journalists to reflect on how they are being used by their own sources.
The Post probably helped restore some lost credibility after special counsel John Durham on November 4 charged Igor Danchenko with lying to the FBI over the now notorious Christopher Steele dossier. The Steele material was used by the FBI, the Democrats and the media to build the Russian collusion case against Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign.
This column had outed links between the dossier and the Democrats, but ABC’s Four Corners went on to run a three-part special on the subject in June 2018, grandly called The Story of the Century.
Four Corners has never corrected the record. Nor has it admitted one of its main sources, former Barack Obama security chief James Clapper, had already told a secret congressional hearing he had seen no credible evidence against Trump even before he told Four Corners reporter Sarah Ferguson the opposite.