None of this is an aberration. Quite the contrary, it has become par for the Trump-Russia course. One major story after the next falls apart, and there is no accountability, reckoning, or transparency (neither CNN nor MSNBC, for instance, have to date bothered to explain how they both “independently confirmed” the totally false story that Donald Trump, Jr. was offered advanced access to the WikiLeaks email archive, all based on false claims about the date of an email to him from a random member of the public).

Nor is it atypical for The Guardian when it comes to its institutionally blinding contempt for Assange: During the election, the paper was forced to retract its viral report from political reporter Ben Jacobs, who decided to assert, without any whiff of basis, that Assange has a “long had a close relationship with the Putin regime.”

The U.S media has become very adept at outrage rituals whenever they are denounced as “fake news.” They should spend some time trying to become as skilled in figuring out why such attacks resonate for so many.