Epstein Death: Deep Digging Not Welcome in Corporate Media

The Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, Jeffrey Epstein
Reading Time: 4 minutes

When news broke of Jeffrey Epstein’s death in prison, some corporate media were quick to assure the public — as they so often do — that whatever that was about, it should not be viewed as involving any sort of conspiratorial behavior.

They did question why Epstein was taken off suicide watch, especially since he allegedly attempted to kill himself in July, but few considered foul play.

Even before the medical examiner’s final report, they accepted the government’s statement that Epstein had killed himself. Epstein’s death was labeled a suicide, and, basically, that was that.

Some big media quickly criticized anyone who stepped out of line. Even a major competitor.

Although establishment media usually ignore or ridicule non-traditional media when the latter ask questions that don’t conform to a pro-system bias, they have a tougher time when it is one of their own breaking ranks.

That’s what the Washington Post did. It began with a tweet from reporter Carol Leonnig:

People close to Epstein fear he was murdered…as Epstein told authorities someone tried to kill him in a previous incident weeks earlier. He was described as being in good spirits in recent days… https://t.co/J9QNSo1N2v

— Carol Leonnig (@CarolLeonnig) August 10, 2019

In a follow-up tweet the same day, Leonnig reminded readers:

Remember previous incident July 23: it was never cleared up whether Epstein had been attacked, as he said, or if he was covering up his own suicide attempt https://t.co/G7smVLAZqc

— Carol Leonnig (@CarolLeonnig) August 10, 2019

In a rare display, we saw other major news organizations take the Post to task. For instance, Rolling Stone. This progressive journal quoted Tim Gleason — a professor of journalism and director of the Payne Awards for Ethics in Journalism at the University of Oregon — who said “I don’t know why she would have tweeted this — what was she thinking? It’s hard not to read that and think she is suggesting something else happened.”

Something else. As if “something else” was clearly out of the question.

The thing is, many people find the “suicide” scenario suspicious. Of course, quite a few powerful people (even institutions and countries) would potentially be at risk if Epstein were to tell all he knew. Plus, a highly unusual set of circumstances in the jail had to dovetail for possible harm to come to Epstein in jail.

People get that. Which is why recent polls show that just 29 percent of the American public believe it was suicide.

Privately, among themselves, even many journalists whisper their doubts.

Publicly, however, journalism likes to see itself not only as a voice of authority, but as a source of stability and calm — even as we provide the public with a constant stream of revelations that generate anything but.

An unspoken (and occasionally spoken) rule is that the public needs reassurance: that there are limits to the evil that can be done by the powerful.

The system… works.

That’s an essential theme running through American media over the course of time. And it’s a fiction. It explains the gulf between long-running news narratives and what the public thinks or wonders about these narratives — from the assassination of presidents to the possibility of advanced life elsewhere in the universe. All that “crazy” stuff.

So when reporters at the Washington Post reported additional information and analysis that expressed further skepticism about the official line, the system came down hard.

 prison, camera, Metropolitan Correctional Center

Metropolitan Correctional Center, New York City, where Jeffrey Epstein died. Photo credit: www.PrisonInsight.com / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Writing in the CNN newsletter Reliable Sources under the headline “WaPo fuels Epstein conspiracies,” Oliver Darcy recounted his own efforts to debunk a Post piece that expressed doubt about the suicide verdict. He called a bunch of medical sources, including Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, who essentially rebutted what the Post said.

The bottom line: “While Gupta rightly noted that there are not enough details to make a conclusion, conspiracy theorists were more than happy to use WaPo’s story as evidence Epstein was murdered.”

And in Darcy’s next sentence, he managed to suggest that only nuts doubted the official story: “InfoWars, for instance, declared that it was now ‘official’ that Epstein ‘was murdered.’ Other less-than-reliable sites and personalities behaved similarly.”

But look at the words of Gupta that Darcy quotes — but ignores: “not enough details to make a conclusion.”

If that is true, then why is it that Darcy has no problem coming to a conclusion? It seems that he is “more than happy” to use only part of the story to promote the official narrative.

Irrespective of the merit of the various claims — and reporters know that it is not hard to find sources to say almost anything, especially on medical and scientific topics — the message was clear: You’re not supposed to do this.

I emailed Darcy — who, along with his colleagues, frequently (and with justification) expresses concerns about reckless and false “conspiracy theories” — to ask him about his efforts on that front. As of press time, he has not replied.

(It should be noted that the New York Medical Examiner concluded that it was a suicide — but, again, journalists have to decide whether the assertions of government officials are enough to settle a matter.)

It is absolutely true that responsible journalism does not engage in spreading unverified rumors. But it is also true that responsible journalism does not just accept that institutions of power are necessarily telling the truth.

The real irony here is that, on a daily basis, major news organizations tell stories whose subtext is that the authorities cannot be trusted. Yet, when the rest of the population doesn’t trust the authorities’ line, and says so… Wham! Down comes the hammer.

It’s important to recall that, historically, journalism has not had such a great track record. Media did not report American involvement in foreign coups and assassinations. They did not report on MK ULTRA mind control experiments. They participated in the hagiography of J. Edgar Hoover and his invincible FBI for many years while people in the know understood the darker story. Add your favorite examples of failures to dig or be skeptical.

It was always outliers, “nuts” pooh poohed by the media as “irresponsible,” until the establishment media belatedly came around to the harsher truth. Typically, without having the decency to admit they were wrong, and others right.

This is what the media does — and another reason why the public does not trust them. 


Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Luca Sartoni / Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Where else do you see journalism of this quality and value?

Please help us do more. Make a tax-deductible contribution now.

Our Comment Policy

Keep it civilized, keep it relevant, keep it clear, keep it short. Please do not post links or promotional material. We reserve the right to edit and to delete comments where necessary.

print

15 responses to “Epstein Death: Deep Digging Not Welcome in Corporate Media”

  1. Thank you Dr. Janney (comment above) for your lifetime dedication to Mary’s Mosaic, this most tragic and horrid of events and times… important for everyone to know about. Seek the truth, persevere, and it shall be found. From my site Links pg:

    http://www.marysmosaic.net/bio.htm (Peter Janney – CIA and death of Mary Meyer, JFK)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYi9R7534wE (Peter Janney talk – Mary’s Mosaic CIA JFK)
    Roundtree, Dovey J. Justice Older than the Law

    http://www.marysmosaic.net/disc.htm
    “The Lone Voice of Justice in the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer”
    “…Someone had to pay for the murder of a woman like Mary Meyer. And everyone, from the government’s attorneys to the CIA colleagues of Meyer’s ex-husband, assumed that Ray Crump would be that person. Everyone, that is, except a lawyer named Dovey Johnson Roundtree. From the moment she met with Ray Crump in his prison cell at the request of his mother, Dovey Roundtree knew he was innocent…”

  2. Chris Patton says:

    Whitney Webb’s series seems to lead to the conclusion that Epstein was the manager of a blackmail operation that was funded and set up by an organization. Kim Iverson posted a video about her theory on who that organization was that was really interesting, albeit speculative. In any event, it probably would have been that organization that had Epstein murdered, not any of the admittedly powerful people who had been targeted by the operation. Exposing that scandal- the deliberate use of children to compromise politicians, media leaders, judges, etc. would shake our society’s idea of our government to the very core, and possibly result in real instability. Which is why the media is so keen to cover it up and move on.

    I think the msm coverage on Syria is actually the best recent example of deliberate misinformation on the part of the corporate media/ corporate govt complex. Its been atrocious, and hard to believe how many people have fallen for it. Speaking of, still terribly disappointed in Russ for believing Russiagate in the first place, and now having nothing to say about the fact that the whole thing is looking more and more like a counterintelligence operation. Talk about lacking skepticism and curiosity…

  3. dwfreeman says:

    Russ, there is an echo of Epstein in the final investigative piece WhoWhatWhy.org did on the Weiner laptop case. The echo is found in a link to a Breitbart live interview given by Eric Prince to the outlet in late October 2016 in connection with “weaponizing” that phony Lolita honeytrap in which he lies wildly about the content of alleged findings from the FBI search of Hillary emails on Weiner’s laptop.

    Among the lies he tells is a reference to allegations of sexual misconduct found in some 640k emails he contends were found as part of the October Surprise case that actually produced about a dozen new emails, the rest of which (a tiny fraction of the Prince estimate) were ultimately determined to be copies of previously reviewed ones.

    In any case, Prince’s aim in this interview is to tar Hillary and her campaign with as many last minute charges as possible to stir up the Trump base. And he references emails containing suggestions of alleged evidence of private island sexual misconduct with underage girls among those found on the laptop.

    The references would, of course, relate to Weiner and Bill Clinton’s conduct, not Hillary, per se. But at that point, hours before the 2016 presidential election, truth and consequences for lack of any context, was beside the point.

    The point is, however, that there was no such email evidence of such an allegation. He condemns the behavior alleged as “disgusting.” But offers no other supporting details for this remarkable finding.

    The fact that Prince would have knowledge of this behavior and contend that its origin was derived from police or FBI investigatory leads resulting from the Weiner laptop search implicates both himself and the authorities he references with this direct knowledge and how he learned of it.

    If Prince and the Trump campaign possessed such knowledge and were willing to link Weiner to behavior that first surfaced in the public domain involving Epstein in 2008, without mentioning him or references by name, then it assumes they had more complete background knowledge than the campaign would have wanted to publicly explain at that point.

  4. Jm says:

    PS: Gupta is not the expert I would consult on prison medical care, prison assaults or prison suicides. He’s not an expert in that at all, not a clue.

    And it’s possible – open question – that the dispute over the suicide attempt in July informed the psychologist’s decision to take him off suicide watch.

  5. Jm says:

    WaPo wasn’t standing alone in recognizing open questions. A couple things to keep in mind reporting on a story like this are the well-known dangers of prison culture, which would include both systemic neglect and weaknesses, and well-worn paths of unofficial retribution that takes place in them. That’s not fantasy

    Secondly, Epstein’s lawyers keep saying he was attacked in prison in July.

    Thirdly, the judge acknowledged that the cause of the incident in July was never settled, attack/suicide attempt.

    WaPo didn’t have to be that brave to do this, and regardless, their reporting was just basic, sound reporting.

    Anyone who has covered the justice system would be reporting the same way.

  6. Butch says:

    “Are media gate-keepers keeping us in the dark regarding __________”. Fill in the blank. They merely propagate the manicured narratives of the “owners” who have lied to us since the dawn of “media”.

  7. Peter Janney says:

    “Fundamentally,” said the former CIA Counter Intelligence Chief James Jesus Angleton near his deathbed, “the founding fathers of U.S. intelligence were liars. The better you lied and the more you betrayed, the more likely you would be promoted. These people attracted and promoted each other. Outside of their duplicity, the only thing they had in common was a desire for absolute power. I did things that, in looking back on my life, I regret. But I was part of it and loved being in it. . . . Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, Carmel Offie, and Frank Wisner were the grand masters. If you were in a room with them, you were in a room full of people that you had to believe would deservedly end up in hell.”

    “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false,” said CIA Director William Casey at an early February 1981 meeting of the newly elected President Reagan with his new cabinet secretaries.

    (https://www.quora.com/Did-CIA-Director-William-Casey-really-say-Well-know-our-disinformation-program-is-complete-when-everything-the-American-public-believes-is-false)

  8. Very true, and important (and scary) …

  9. Derek Nutt says:

    The public is getting wiser to the MSM charade. However, will that change anything in terms of society or government. Perhaps all that can happen is change the consciousness of many so that they can at least have a more accurate worldview. I greatly appreciate this piece, the clear logic presented, and will stop here again.

  10. Shark says:

    Epstein was blackmailing Democrats AND Republicans.
    The FBI must’ve known all along what Epstein was doing.
    Somebody with a lot of power got Epstein a sweetheart deal, back in 2008, when he faced 32 accusers in FL.

    Who was he working for? To what purpose?

  11. This story is why I am a monthly contributor to WHOWHATWHY.ORG. Russ digs & questions the government’s official story. This ”suicide” was suspect the moment he was found dead. The Medical Examiner has determined the cause of death as a suicide. NO ONE OTHER PERSON OR GOVERNMENT ENTITY commented. The extremely high percentage of Americans who do not believe the official story is telling. I am very knowledgeable about Operation Paperclip & MK-ULTRA. What is missing is OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD? That CIA infiltration into the vast newspaper, TV & magazine industries, ”officially” ended in 1976, essentially has been converted to SIX CORPORATIONS that own 97% of the news today, is comparable to MOCKINGBIRD. As stated above, the end of the story, move on with reality TV, soccer, etc. Pathetic!!!
    Thank you, Russ. I am sharing this with as many people I know.
    Stephen Courts

  12. Raven says:

    When Epstein was arrested I said he was a dead man. Of course the MSM keeps repeating “suicide,” and eventually that will be the only acceptable story because, clearly, only a nutcase would ever question the official narrative. But his raison d’être was to entrap, compromise and enable the blackmail of powerful people, and no one who has the dirt on the powerful will ever be allowed to live once they’re caught. I also expect that Ghislaine Maxwell will be history, and the whole story will basically disappear. Move along, nothing of interest going on here.

  13. John Parulis says:

    Google Whitney Webb and the Mega Group. Sorry, posted a link previously.

  14. John Parulis says:

    The Epstein rabbit hole goes amazingly deep as Whitney Webb explores in a series on Epstein brought to my attention by venerable Project Censored and Professor Mickey Huff.

    • Comments Editor says:

      Thankyou.

      To all readers:
      This story can be found on our Everything Epstein page here. https://whowhatwhy.org/everything-epstein/

      If you’d like to receive each Everything Epstein update as a newsletter (and of course you may unsubscribe at any time), the link is on that same page.

      If a story catches your eye that you think would make for an interesting item, send it to us at epstein@whowhatwhy.org

      Comments Editor.