The Atlantic’s Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Goldberg called reporting of Friday’s disinformation conference a “disinformation campaign.”
The editor spoke at the “Disinformation and Erosion of Democracy” conference at the University of Chicago where he claimed news outlets’ reporting on the conference has been the subject of “disinformation campaigns” on social media.
“I think one darkly humorous but inevitable measurement of our success is that our disinformation conference has been the subject of disinformation campaigns on social media already,” he said onstage. “So yeah, congratulate yourselves for that. We’ll study that at next year’s disinformation.”
BREAKING: The Atlantic Editor-in-Chief calls the Chicago Thinker’s reporting a “disinformation” campaign pic.twitter.com/4hvaIByPCQ
— The Chicago Thinker (@ThinkerChicago) April 8, 2022
Goldberg cultivated conspiracy theories in the wake of the Iraq War by arguing that Saddam Hussein “trained and harbored terrorists” such as operatives in al-Qaeda. The editor also pushed the conspiracy that Hussein had a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program, Matt Taibi reported in Rolling Stone. (RELATED: ‘CNN Pushed The Russian Collusion Hoax’: Student Confronts Brian Stelter During Conference)
In 2002, Goldberg published “The Great Terror” in the New Yorker arguing that Hussein had partnered with Al-Qaeda, who later won a prize for best reporting on human rights, according to Mondoweiss. He criticized opponents of U.S. involvement in Iraq by exaggerating Hussein’s efforts to use WMDs and “weaponize biological agents.”
In 2010, Goldberg propagated the idea that Israel would attack Iran within a year if the U.S. did not attack the country first in his Atlantic article “Point of No Return,” the outlet reported. Israel did not want to attack Iran, leading to a variety of criticism from public figures and journalists.
Goldberg then misconstrued information about former President Donald Trump in his 2020 Atlantic piece “Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ And ‘Suckers'” accusing the former president that he refused to visit the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018 because those who died in war were “losers” and “suckers.”
“Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers,” he accused the former president of telling senior staffers.
“According to sources with knowledge of the president’s views, he seems to genuinely not understand why Americans treat former prisoners of war with respect. Nor does he understand why pilots who are shot down in combat are honored by the military,” Goldberg wrote.
He also accused Trump of calling former President George H.W. Bush a “loser” for getting shot down during World War II. The article claimed the former president also called the late Republican Sen. John McCain a “loser.”
Trump immediately denied all of the accusations saying, “if people really exist that would have said that, they’re lowlifes and they’re liars.”
Goldberg conceded that anonymous sourcing was “not good enough” after receiving backlash on the story on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” in 2020. Trump called on Fox News reporter Jennifer Griffin to be fired after she backed details of the story.
“These are people just like other people, and they have this anxiety,” Goldberg said. “It is a reasonable question to ask why people who have had direct exposure to Donald Trump, who know what Donald Trump has said, who know what Donald Trump has done, won’t simply come out and say it.”