UK Press

I DO love the National Review. I really shouldn’t be writing this (I should be promoting TCW, not another website) but credit where it’s due. Of all the digests that drop into my inbox every day, this is the one that guarantees me a daily dose of sceptical comment.

Yesterday’s Morning Jolt by Jim Geraghty is a wonderful example, headlined ‘The Ten Stories that Dominated News Headlines – and then Disappeared’.

Some of his entries might not have much resonance for the British reader but these from his list certainly should:

One: Whatever happened to that BuzzFeed story claiming that President Trump ‘directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow’? Did those ‘two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter’ ever give reporters Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier any more information? Did they ever show them the documents? Did BuzzFeed ever give a good explanation as to why the office of special counsel Robert Mueller made a public statement that the story was ‘not accurate’?

Two: Whatever happened to that McClatchy wire-service story that justice department special counsel had evidence that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and confidant, Michael Cohen, secretly made a late-summer trip to Prague during the 2016 presidential campaign? Since Cohen’s a more co-operative witness now, wouldn’t that be an easy thing to corroborate?

Five: Did Kavanaugh accuser Julie Swetnick — who described weekly parties of drugging and assaulting women going on for three years in the Washington DC area involving dozens of individuals — ever name anyone else at those parties?

Nine: The Washington Post learned, after Jamal Khashoggi’s death:

‘Text messages between Khashoggi and an executive at Qatar Foundation International show that the executive, Maggie Mitchell Salem, at times shaped the columns he submitted to The Washington Post, proposing topics, drafting material and prodding him to take a harder line against the Saudi government. Khashoggi also appears to have relied on a researcher and translator affiliated with the organization, which promotes Arabic-language education in the United States.

‘Editors at The Post’s opinion section, which is separate from the newsroom, said they were unaware of these arrangements, or his effort to secure Saudi funding for a think tank.’

While these actions by no means justify Khashoggi’s brutal murder, they do complicate the established narrative of a noble reformer using his pen to fight brutality within the Saudi state. In that light, out of all the slain reporters the Post could have spotlighted . . . why was Jamal Khashoggi included in the newspaper’s Super Bowl ad?

Ten: After producing one of the most highly discussed, praised, and hated commercials in recent years, Procter & Gamble said Gillette sales remained the same after the airing of the ad. The company declared the ad a success. Is the goal of advertising campaigns to keep sales at the same level?

We should be asking questions of the media like this all the time. We wondered whether The Conservative Woman’s readers would like to help, with their suggestions of stories that have likewise ‘disappeared’ over here and the unanswered questions they raise. If after some checking you find stories for some inexplicable reason have gone cold, please post in the comments below the line.

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