This morning, I wrote in Rolling Stone, “Why is Christopher Steele still a thing?” The British ex-spy reappeared as a contributor to a British intelligence report, and I argued his “dossier” tale was a press fiasco similar to the Weapons of Mass Destruction affair.

“The WMD affair showed what happens when we don’t require sources to show us evidence, when we let political actors use the press to “confirm” their own assertions, when we report on the journey of rumors instead of the rumors themselves…”

Some on social media disputed the characterization. But let’s take a look: The Steele story was reported using the same structure as the WMD stories.

On September 8, 2002, in “U.S. Says Hussein intensifies quest for A-bomb parts,” New

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