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Anatomy of a Media Smear Against Former US Congressman from NC Charles Taylor

By David Morgan- The establishment media arm of the Democrat Party has distinguished itself with a new code of journalism ethics: Never let the facts get in the way of a good story if it can support the anti-Trump narrative.

Days after Robert Mueller’s report laid waste to the desperate campaign to validate the completely unfounded fiction that Donald Trump colluded with the Russians, what was the reaction?

Did anyone expect the discredited national media to issue multiple corrections and a major apology to their audience?

Au contraire. They continue to latch on to any morsel of information that they can fabricate into some sort of connection, labeled “news,” of dastardly doings between Russians and American conservatives, especially Republicans.

Hence Bloomberg, the Associated Press, The Washington Post, The Charlotte Observer, Gannett, the Asheville Citizen-Times and others came up with a North Carolina angle to a minor Russian banking story.

Bloomberg’s headline was typical: “Ex-Congressman’s Russian Bank Loses License for Money Laundering.” The target of the smear was ex-Republican Congressman Charles Taylor of Western North Carolina.

The headlines were damning, but what were the facts?

The Tribune has obtained a copy of the Russian Central Banks statement. Neither Charles Taylor nor other bank stockholders were ever mentioned in the release. And while the bank was seized on April 5th the general statements mentioned violations of rules and money laundering, as a matter of course.

In all of the 800 banks that have been closed in Russia in the last few years roughly the same language was used. In fact it will take weeks to determine whether there were any serious violations in the bank and where they came from.
In the case of the Commercial Bank of Ivanovo, about which the media were so excited, Charles Taylor said he had never been an officer or director of the bank nor had he ever received any fees or dividends from it. Taylor has many times stated that he has complete confidence in the Bolshakov family stockholders.

Of course, the AP spun its report to say he “distanced himself from…any leadership role in the operation…” and “denies being an ‘officer or director’ of embattled Russian bank,” which the record of the bank clearly shows. Just exactly how does one ‘distance’ oneself from something one never had, nor ‘deny’ something that was never said?

How much do these “reporters” and their readers know about what is going on in Russia? Not much apparently. Ten years ago, there were approximately 1300 banks in Russia, and in the past five years or so some 800 banks have been closed. Reuters reported from Moscow in March, 2017 that “Russia plans to extend a review of bank licenses for another two years, shutting down scores more banks after closing hundreds in the past four years.”

One month earlier, Bloomberg reported about the fate of the Peresvet Bank as follows: “Peresvet was just the latest casualty in a financial purge presided over by Central Bank chief Elvira Nabiullina, a bookish economist who’s a favorite of Vladimir Putin. The regulator closed almost 100 banks in 2016, and in a cleanup with few precedents, Nabiullina has shut almost 300 over the past three years.

Some of these banks were closed due to fake loans, but a number were closed because the assets used as collateral were decreasing due to the weakening economy. For instance, a home that was worth $150,000 might have decreased in value to $75,000 and hence the bank would have been ‘accused’ of lying about the value of its assets. The bureaucrats would look good; the bank operators would look dishonest.

Taylor says he learned of the bank’s being taken over at 9:00 am on Friday, April 5 from the media – namely, AP and Bloomberg – who had gotten the story at 8:30 a.m. How do you suppose that happened?
The Asheville Citizen-Times wasted no time and put the story up immediately on their web site without bothering to contact Taylor.

Deborah Potter, Taylor’s assistant, knowing that the Times would run it in Saturday’s paper, called the Times to say they wanted to refute the report and were told that if they got it in before 4:00 pm, it would run. They submitted Taylor’s statement by 3:00 pm, but it did not appear in Saturday’s paper. Taylor was quoted later in an updated article online.

The initial media reports said that Taylor could not be reached for comment. Nonsense, says Taylor.
“No news media representatives from Bloomberg nor any other news outlets have tried to reach me, although I have had the same telephone number in Brevard for over 50 years,” he told the Times as reported in their updated online report of April 6.

So why would one bank closing, out of hundreds, that never mentioned Congressman Charles Taylor in the Central Bank’s release, printed in a derogatory way against the former Congressman and a North Carolina Republican generate so much interest in the mainstream media?

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure this out.

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