The Sy Hersh effect: killing the messenger, ignoring the message
by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos
Absolute crickets. That is the sound in the major mainstream media — both foreign and domestic — following the charges by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh that the United States led a covert operation to blow up the Nord Stream pipelines in September 2022.
The story, released on Hersh's new Substack last week, unleashed a Twitter war between Hersh's defenders and detractors, but a simple Google search betrays a dearth of mainstream coverage, with only brief reports by Bloomberg, Agence France Presse, The Times (UK) and the New York Post (a conservative holding of Rupert Murdoch's media empire). The Washington Times editorial board, also squarely on the right, wrote sympathetically about it on Monday, and Newsweek has covered it as well.
All other newspapers of record — the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal — and European outlets — BBC, the Guardian, and most German newspapers (an interview on Berliner Zietung dropped late Wednesday ) — have ignored it. Tucker Carlson and other hosts covered it on FOX News, another Murdoch staple, but the rest of the cable news circuit — CNN, MSNBC — are seemingly on board with what appears to be a total MSM blackout.
Maybe not an entire blackout: Business Insider published an unflattering report topped with this unwieldy headline: "The claim by a discredited journalist that the US secretly blew up the Nord Stream pipeline is proving a gift to Putin."
Moving outside of this relative void to social media and Substack, there appears to be two primary lines of open attack against Hersh's reporting, which details the story of a covert unit of expert U.S. Navy divers, directed from the very top of the Biden administration, engaged in sabotage plans that were set into motion "in December of 2021, two months before the first Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine."
The Sy Hersh Effect
The Sy Hersh Effect