In the excitement — some might say panic — surrounding Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump official and TV surrogate leaving White House: reports Biden: I regret not being president De Blasio blames Trump for 'dynamic of hatred' in US MORE's upset victory, many people are forgetting what helped propel him there.

In addition to an Electoral College system that Trump had previously criticized, an inept FBI, and a poorly executed campaign by the Democrats, there was, of course, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

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Strangely enough, despite being obsessed with Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonComet Ping Pong shooter pleads guilty Time for 'J. Edgar' Comey to take his leave Corruption trial could roil NJ Senate race MORE's emails, the television news media is somehow not obsessed with the hacking of emails and the threats against our cybersecurity.

Think about this: Here we have an agency bent on anarchy, fueled by Russian hackers who are very possibly supported by the Russian government, and the story is getting hardly any coverage whatsoever.

As reported in The Washington Post, Trump and a number of his surrogates have had extensive business dealings in Russia. In 2007, Trump said that "Russia is one of the hottest places in the world for investment." His son, Donald Trump Jr., told a real estate conference in 2008 that "Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets," adding, "we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia."

Trump repeatedly tried to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, though deals there consistently fell through. He also hosted his 2013 Miss Universe contest in the city, inviting Russian President Vladimir Putin as an honored guest. Putin canceled at the last moment, but was thoughtful enough to send a gift along with his regrets.

Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, also had extensive ties to Russia through his work in Ukraine. A recently unearthed ledger found his name listed alongside large cash payments.

And, of course, Assange, that anti-Clinton cyber-terrorist who may have been Trump's second-best ally (after FBI Director James Comey), had his own Russian TV show not too long ago.

Meanwhile, Interfax is reporting that the Russian deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, has stated that the Russian government was in contact with the Trump campaign throughout the election.

And so we have a story here that plays like a James Bond movie — Russian oligarchs; a smart, but immoral anarchist bent on destroying the U.S. government in Assange; a president-elect with suspicious business ties; Russian hackers; and a Russian dictator who literally even looks like a Bond villain.

Yet, there's no massive news story here?

Why not?

After all, WikiLeaks is a true threat to our democracy, our way of life, our intelligence agencies, and our Departments of State and Defense.

Is the fact that they hacked into Democratic Party emails and effectively disrupted an American election not worthy of coverage?

Should we not be increasing efforts to capture Assange?

I understand that there's an innate media bias here. After all, WikiLeaks dumps are often a treasure trove of information that can be used to hype up scandals, real and fake ones alike.

But is there not a great irony in the media utilizing the stolen documents of Assange's anarchist outfit to "shed light" on things while simultaneously failing to do anything to shed light on WikiLeaks, its Russian connections, and the aid each gave to Trump?

Wouldn't any decent standard of journalism dictate that there's a major story here? 

Is our news media the Fourth Estate or the Fourth Restate, to be used as megaphones for those that would seek to do us harm without questioning the motives of such malevolent actors?

We were already facing persistent cyber threats from the Chinese and North Korean governments, as well as from extremist Muslim groups and others. 

Now the U.S. has chosen a man for president whose business dealings and beliefs are still the subject of much speculation, especially since he never released his tax returns. A cyber-terrorist organization, aided by Russian hackers, helped that man get elected.

As Donald Trump might say, this could be bigger than Watergate.

Why isn't there more being done to see if it is?

 

Rosenfeld is an educator and historian who has done work for Scribner, Macmillan and Newsweek and contributes frequently to The Hill.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.