Our daily in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, The Berkshire Eagle, keeps chugging along in the midst of coronavirus setbacks which worsened revenue challenges already bad enough. Judged by its peers as “The New England Newspaper & Press Association’s General Excellence Award Winner & Newspaper of the Year for Sunday Editions,” it sets a standard. Every day the Eagle has a number of things worth reading carefully.

Yesterday’s edition carried at least several of possible interest to readers of this blog. One is a New York Times News Service news story headed “White House denies reports of bounties.” It was a follow-up to a previous Times story on the bounties allegation, which the Eagle had also carried. The Times story is linked HERE, but a search will turn up numerous news stories about the alleged bounties matter.

Millions of Americans have heard, read or seen one or another of the news accounts about ‘’intelligence reports” that the Russian government paid bounties to Talliban-allied forces in Afghanistan to kill U.S. soldiers there. And that President Trump and others around him were less than clear or forthcoming about whether he knew about the reports. And how credible they are.

But there’s another side to this story, related HERE and HERE by Ray McGovern and HERE by Caitlin Johnstone. McGovern’s views are headlined by Consortium News “Russiagate’s Last Gasp” (June 29) and “New York Times Deploys Heavy Gun to Back ‘Intel’ on Russian Bounties” (July 1). Johnstone’s are more broad-brush, as the headline, “Seriously, Get the Hell Out of Afghanistan,” indicates.

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Today’s Eagle reports that Jim Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, will be interviewed online Thursday, July 9, by the Eagle’s executive editor, Kevin Moran. The event is hosted by Berkshire Community College’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), and anyone may attend, virtually, for free by pre-registering HERE.

Acosta’s name rang a bell, so I looked him up online with “9/11” in the same flat rectangle as his name and came up with THIS, which is a brief encounter between him and Karl Golovin, a knowledgeable attendee at a forum who prefaced his question this way:

“I’ve previously addressed a question to Jeff Zucker, John King, Wolf Blitzer and Jake Zucker [all of CNN], provided documentation to each of them from that the official story of 9/11 is not true.”

Here’s his question:

”If the official story is not true, isn’t this the biggest story there is? And if CNN will not report the biggest story there is, isn’t everything else they’re reporting just nonsense, and fake news?”

Here’s Jim Acosta’s response:

”I would just say that … I would just say that you are putting out the story that, uh, terrorists did not hijack airplanes and fly them into the World Trade Center on 9/11. [When the questioner tries, unsuccessfully, to interrupt, Jim Acosta drowns him out.] You, sir, are … you, sir, are … you, sir, are bringing us the biggest fake news of all, okay?” [Hand clapping for the CNN correspondent is heard from the audience.]

The questioner retorts: “Mr. Acosta, you are a liar!”

My assessment: Unless the YouTube video was somehow doctored to take out relevant parts of the exchange, the questioner said no such thing. Rather, he asserted that the documents from Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth showed, at least for him, that the official government 9/11 narrative is not true. But that was the end of the exchange, and they were on to the next question for panelists. Acosta prevailed, at least in the short term, because, slightly raising his voice and speaking as if authoritatively into his microphone, he reframed and reworded the question—and viewers, including those present in the live audience, would remember his response rather than the question itself.

— Mark Channing Miller

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