Biden Aide Goes Off on CBS Reporter Over Flynn Unmasking
As more and more documents about the Flynn case have been released for all the public to see, it’s only reasonable and quite expected that journalists and reporters from just about every prominent news outlet in the nation would want to share the updates. But apparently, this is nothing but a low-down nasty political trick to some. Or at least that’ what one of presidential candidate and the assumed Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s top aides think.
On Wednesday, GOP Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson published a recently released list of names from the Obama administration who had requested that LGT Michael Flynn be “unmasked.” So naturally, by later in the day, these documents were pretty much public knowledge. It is then that CBS veteran investigative reporter Catherine Herridge tweeted out the news.
Her post read: “SCOOP @CBSNews obtains @RichardGrenell notification to congress declassified “unmasking list” Flynn between late 2016 and January 2017 – Read 3 pages provided by NSA here.” Included in the post were images of the documents with a list of names what type of request they had filed to have Flynn unmasked.
Among one of the many names is Joe Biden, who, at the time of the ‘unmasking,’ was vice president to Barack Obama and a person who was definitely given knowledge about the Flynn case.
Naturally, when something as damning as this is presented as breaking news, the Biden campaign wasn’t exactly pleased. However, his rapid response director Andrew Bates took things a bit farther by personally attacking Herridge for just doing her job.
He rapidly, or as one social media user pointed out, rabidly commented on Herridge’s post by calling her a “partisan, rightwing hack” because she simply failed to contact the Biden campaign before publishing the list.
“SCOOP: Catherine Herridge is a partisan, rightwing hack who is a regular conduit for conservative media manipulation ploy because she agrees to publicize things before contacting the target to ask for comment.”
Bates must have also rapidly realized his mistake because it didn’t long for him to delete the tweet. After all, just ten days before his attack on Herridge, his boss had released a public statement that promised that there would be “no bullying of the media by tweet.”
The statement said, “Attacking the press and attempting to intimidate independent media is a standard part of the authoritarian playbook. Efforts to undermine public confidence in the integrity of fact-based reporting violate our core American values and threaten our very system of government. Journalists hold those in positions of authority accountable, investigate and document abuses of power, and expose the truth for everyone to see. In a Biden White House, there will be no bullying of the media by tweet.”
The announcement was meant as a jab for President Trump, as he has frequently been unashamed to go after journalists who report untruths or partisan lies.
However, Bates must have missed this announcement. Herridge did exactly what Biden said her job was. She held him accountable by investigating and documenting abuses of power, as well as exposing that abuse to the world. And yet apparently, his very own aide can’t see it that way.
Bates, while he did delete his post, only did so as not to taint his boss’s name anymore. But he clearly isn’t sorry for what he said. Not only has Bates not made an apology either personally or on a public forum to Herridge, but he even proceeded to retweet someone else’s similar response to the reporter’s post, calling into question by she had even been hired in the first place.
“Yep- the question is why did cbs hire her.”
While Bates didn’t say this directly to Herridge himself, the fact that he retweeted it implies that he agrees with it. That’s two personal attacks to a well-respected media member within the same day, all for just doing her job.
Even Democrats disagreed with Bates’s reaction, saying that while they expect such “low” actions from Trump, this was “beneath integrity of Biden campaign” and not helping their “candidate.”
These same users, as well as many others, proceeded to defend Herridge and state that she was only doing her job, even implying that if she hadn’t reported it in this way, she would, in fact, have “failed at your job and are actively facilitating a partisan political scheme.”
But ‘partisan hacks’ like Bates will likely never see it that way.