Time magazine’s parent company is a top donor to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — a factor that may help explain the publication’s obsession with blaming Russian president Vladimir Putin for “rigging” the U.S. presidential election.
This year, alone, Time Inc., the organization behind Time — one of the most prestigious American weekly news magazines in history — donated nearly $15,000 to the Clinton campaign. A second organization, Time Warner, which was deeply tied to Time until 2014, is also a major Clinton fan. The company gave her campaign $327,308 in individual contributions in 2016, alone.
But perhaps most telling of the organization’s preferences is the presence of Nancy Gibbs as Time’s managing editor. At the tender age of 53, she “shattered a glass ceiling” by taking over for Richard Stengel, who in 2013 “[stepped] down from his news magazine job to join the Obama administration at the Department of State,” Politico reported.
Gibbs is a competent writer, whose impressive resume includes writing for Time for 28 years. This makes her “one of the most published writers in the history of the magazine, having been an essayist and lead writer on virtually every major news event of the past two decades,” according to Magazine.org.
But Time’s praise for Clinton since Gibbs became managing editor, much like her former colleague Stengel’s dedication to President Obama as the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, is also part of her legacy. Gibbs, herself, has praised Clinton in her articles, and on one occasion, she participated in a Clinton Foundation annual meeting.
The magazine’s latest effort to paint Clinton and the DNC’s leadership as the victims of media bias comes in the form of a cover piece entitled “How Russia Wants to Undermine the U.S. Election.”
Amid reports of electoral fraud perpetrated by the Democratic Party, which places Clinton as the top beneficiary, the story suggests the Obama administration, along with U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, have “seen mounting evidence of an active Russian influence operation targeting the 2016 presidential election.” The article does not acknowledge the DNC’s own meddling and manipulation.
Admitting “the Russians” would have a hard time “[swaying] the actual vote count, because our election infrastructure is decentralized and voting machines are not accessible from the Internet,” Time’s Massimo Calabresi argues they may still “sow disruption and instability up to, and on, Election Day.”
Basing an entire report on testimonials given to Time by “a dozen senior U.S. officials” who were left unnamed, the piece mostly dwells in metaphysical “mumbo-jumbo,” claiming the dangerous Russians could “[undermine] faith in the result [of the elections] and in democracy itself.” [emphasis added]
Still, Calabresi adds that U.S. officials do not have evidence to support their allegations regarding Russia’s role in “rigging the election.” Instead, the article suggests that “while U.S. officials have ‘high confidence’ that Russia is behind what they describe as a major influence operation, senior U.S. officials tell TIME, their evidence would not yet stand up in court.” He added that the two main hacking groups, believed to be tied to Russian intelligence, prove Russia is involved in rigging the election.
Despite Time’s wishful thinking, the only three characteristics officials have used to connect the hackers to Russia are:
“[E]xpensive digital tools, suggesting state sponsorship; an interest in pursuing sensitive, embarrassing or strategically significant information, rather than financially beneficial data; and a choice of targets that align with Russian political objectives.”
Further, Calabresi adds, “U.S. law-enforcement agencies are scrambling to uncover the extent of the Russian operation, counter it and harden the country’s election infrastructure.” This is all while “a murky network of Russian hackers and their associates” works to “[step] up the pace of leaks of stolen documents designed to affect public opinion and give the impression that the election is vulnerable, including emails from the computers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).” Here, he effectively but subtly ties Julian Assange, the Australian computer programmer, publisher, journalist, and editor-in-chief of the organization he founded, WikiLeaks, to “the Russians.”
In an August interview, Assange gave a compelling explanation as to why members of the mainstream U.S. media, who are often backers of Democratic presidential nominees, have repeatedly accused him of being a Russian intelligence plant.
“Everyone accepts that the emails that we published, the 20,000 leaked DNC emails, are accurate. Nobody is saying that they did not say something that was listed in the emails,” he told RT.com. Over the past ten years, Assange added, “WikiLeaks has [had] a perfect … record of never getting it wrong — it is an impressive record and it is the reason why it takes a while before we publish information — because we want to keep that record.”
“Given that the real source is known, in this case it is the DNC, it is Debbie Wasserman Schultz, it is Luis Miranda the Communications Director — we know these are their emails so there’s quite a difficulty for the Clinton campaign to try to outmaneuver WikiLeaks. The content itself is unquestionable so instead you have to bring in another actor, so they had to bring in Russian intelligence agencies.”
Unfortunately for Time and its managing editor, these emails, which come from the DNC and its top-ranking officials, “show the DNC rigged and manipulated the Democratic primary in favor of Hillary Clinton,” and that is a problem for the Clinton campaign and its narrative.
Instead of discussing these matters — which would all be tied to the story’s main theme of “election rigging” — Time’s Calabresi chooses to slam Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for comments made after the DNC leak was publicized.
After being part of a classified intelligence briefing on the Russian “threat,” Calabresi admits, Trump said “nobody knows with definitive certainty that [the hackers behind the DNC leak were] in fact [from] Russia. It may be, but it may also be China, another country or individual.”
Ignoring the fact the presidential nominee had been part of a classified briefing on the matter, Time’s Calabresi still condemns the candidate for choosing not to blame Russia without evidence — again choosing to ignore facts and, instead, using solely speculative arguments to defend his story.
“The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”
Well President Obama, how about that? Ronald Reagan called and asked you to bring that wall down and wipe that smirk off your face. You’re now a cold war instigator, and your mouthpieces can’t wait for Mrs. Clinton to win. After all, her campaign has already promised to go full force against Syria, prompting the beginning of a conflicting period that could put the United States and Russia on a warpath.
Unless solid proof linking these hacks to Russian intelligence is produced, former National Security Administration (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden once tweeted, it’s hard to believe Russia is behind all this. After all, if the Kremlin were behind it, the NSA would know. And if the NSA knows, why won’t it show us proof?