This Business Insider Story Illustrates What’s Wrong With Mainstream American Journalism


One thing we can say about Michael Cohen, a former New York attorney, is that he has no respect for the former president whom he served before Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.

Cohen said it more bluntly than usual in a Salon interview. He told “Salon Talks,” and Sirius Radio host Dean Obeidallah, that Trump can do “anything and everyone to protect himself.” According to the lawyer who was barred, Trump will even throw his family members under the bus.

Cohen and Trump can be described as “serving” in two different ways. Cohen was once described as Trump’s “fixer” in Manhattan by the mainstream media. Cohen was sentenced to three years imprisonment in federal court in 2018. He pleaded guilty to tax evasion and making false statements to a federally insured bank.

Here’s what the Department of Justice (DOJ), said about Cohen’s guilty plea.

“The plea was entered following the filing of eight-count criminal information. It alleged that COHEN concealed over $4 million in personal income from IRS, made false statements in connection to a $500,000 loan for home equity, and in 2016 caused $280,000 to be paid to silence two women, who had otherwise planned to talk publicly about their affairs with a presidential candidate.

It’s not surprising that Cohen is publishing a book entitled “Revenge” in the next few days.

Cohen had much to say to Salon. But one thing struck Joshua Sitzer, an Insider senior news reporter, as so newsworthy, that he wrote an October 9 post entitled “Trump believed the Mar-a-Lago classified documents were his ‘get out jail free card.'”

Sitzer stated that Salon interviewee Michael Cohen claimed that former President Donald Trump had seen the classified documents at Mar-a-Lago and used them as his “get out of jail free” card. He told Salon magazine in an interview.

Cohen stated that Cohen was only interested in one thing, the card to get out of jail for free. Cohen said that he had seen the documents and it was exactly that.

In a Salon interview, Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, and fixer suggested that Trump might be able to leverage the confidentiality of these documents for his own benefit.

Cohen stated, “Imagine Trump saying these things. Really? I was the ex-president of the United States. These documents are so harmful to the country’s security. You can indict me and throw me in jail. Let’s see what happens. ‘”

Sitzer noted that Cohen did not make this first speculation in the Salon interview. Cohen said that Trump would share the location of all U.S. nuclear launch pad locations with America’s enemies while promoting his book last month. Cohen could have imagined Trump’s deeper betrayal, and he would have shared it with CNN.

Why should anyone reading this care what Cohen thinks about Trump these days? PJ Media readers won’t trust Salon or Obeidallah. Obeidallah declares on Twitter that the “Real Patriots” are Democrats.

It is important to pay attention when you are dealing with a “senior reporter” for an internet site. This website, despite its history of misfortunes, won the Pulitzer Prize last year for its excellent coverage and commentary on China’s genocide against Uyghurs.

What makes Cohen’s explanation of Trump’s actions regarding classified documents even worth being presented as newsworthy? There is no way to do that on God’s green earth. This article is only intended to be clicked bait for some readers who are looking for reinforcement and not straight news.

Here’s why. I am an old-school journalist and all. Journalism 101’s first lesson on evaluating the credibility of sources should still be applied.

Cohen could be considered credible for a number of topics, but Trump’s actions are not one of them. There are at least two reasons why.

First, Cohen wasn’t in a position where he could know Trump’s thoughts or his rationale for any actions he might have taken during his final day at the White House. Cohen was in his final house arrest sentence owing to Covid pandemic, while Trump was preparing to move out of Joe Biden’s new quarters.

Cohen’s statements about Trump taking classified documents, White House napkins, 17 official portraits, and other information are speculation. Cohen fails to meet the first requirement that a source must be credible: being able to verify what he or she claims.

It is second that it is an understatement to state that Cohen has a motive for discrediting Trump in every way he can. To understand the extent of Cohen’s hatred for Trump, one only has to read the Salon interview. Cohen is not credible as a source for information on the former chief executive.

Yet, Sitzer and Insider editors — which attracts between 90-100 million monthly visitors — considered it an important news story. It’s a mystery to me, and I suspect that I’m not the only one with this curiosity.

Cohen isn’t the only one to suggest Trump views classified information as a “get out of jail” card. So did Sen. Tim Kaine (D.Va.). But Kaine’s position provides at least an arguable note that Trump is genuine newsworthiness.

Sitzer is not the only mainstream media journalist to have a jaundiced view of the former president. Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS), has been a problem in newsrooms across the country, from Manhattan to Monterrey for years.