On Wednesday, Joe Biden’s Rapid Response Director Andrew Bates attacked CBS journalist Catherine Herridge for publishing declassified records showing who inquired about unmasking the identity of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
“Catherine Herridge is a partisan, rightwing hack who is a regular conduit for conservative media manipulation ploys because she agrees to publicize things before contacting the target to ask for comment,” Bates wrote in a since-deleted tweet.
The tweet Bates was referencing from Herridge said CBS News had obtained acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell’s “unmasking list.”
“SCOOP CBS News obtained Richard Grenell notification to congress declassified ‘unmasking list’ Flynn between late 2016 and January 2017,” Herridge tweeted.
— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) May 13, 2020
During an ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos, Biden said he knew about the investigation of Flynn, but nothing else.
“I know nothing about those moves to investigate Michael Flynn,” Biden said, calling the topic a “diversion” from the nationwide pandemic.“I was aware that there was—that they asked for an investigation, but that’s all I know about it, and I don’t think anything else.”
The unmasking list, however, showed Biden requested to unmask the identity of Flynn on Jan. 12, 2017.
Bates’ tweet exemplifies the hypocrisy within the Biden campaign. On May 3, Biden tweeted that free press is essential to a free society and called out Trump for attacking and demonizing the media.
“A free press is essential to a free society. That’s why attacking the press and attempting to intimidate independent media is a standard part of the authoritarian playbook around the world. And it’s why Donald Trump’s efforts to demonize the media put us on such a dangerous path,” Biden tweeted.
Biden remains without comment when his own campaign attacks a journalist.
A free press is essential to a free society. That's why attacking the press and attempting to intimidate independent media is a standard part of the authoritarian playbook around the world. And it’s why Donald Trump’s efforts to demonize the media put us on such a dangerous path.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 3, 2020
Herridge simply reported fact, but because the facts were inconvenient for the Biden campaign, Bates deemed her a “partisan hack.”
According to Grabien founder Tom Elliott, CNN and MSNBC made zero mention of the FISA unmasking story on May 13. Meanwhile, Fox News Channel mentioned it 90 times.
Combined CNN & MSNBC mentions of today’s FISA unmasking story: 0 pic.twitter.com/SnPoAMlfwe
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) May 13, 2020
Herridge is reporting on a massive story that is getting an underwhelming amount of coverage in mainstream news outlets.