“If there is one operative rule in Washington’s left-right paradigm, it is to shift the focus of any conversation that seems at risk of revealing something approximating truth-…” Kathleen Parker WP 4-4-2017
It’s wordy but close enough…or would have been if she had left it there. Journalistic professionals think their jobs require improvements on the truth. And they believe they can make them down to a man, a woman or a whatever. So she had to spoil it adding: “…a game at which the current administration and its media surrogates happen to excel.”
“We all cheat but they’re better at it” would have saved the lady quite a few words and syllables.
If Parker really thinks Trump’s mouthpieces “happen to excel” at fooling the people she doesn’t give any great examples. At their very trickiest it’s the old “look over there” scam big brother pulled stealing French fries off your plate. Supposedly Susan Rice, falsely accused of “unmasking” Trump minion liaisons with the Russkies, is the latest victim. She makes her case with the sole citation of ex-administration official Michael Flynn. The general probably wasn’t the only one but how do we keep this is in perspective?
In other words in this day and age, where covering your tracks takes no less than Mr. Peabody’s WABAC time machine, how many other political names remain lurking in the data haystacks? Isn’t it just possible some big wheel Democrats close to the candidate were playing a little footsie with Moscow in the same time frame? Connecting all dots into guilt by association is what the anti-tin-foil hatters have been warning about for decades. Selective exposure of blips on the radar isn’t exactly cricket. This helps us understand Snowden’s point about the inevitably unaccountable power of the comprehensive mass surveillance system.
How stupid is anyone still unconvinced Trump and Putin hatched an evil coup against America in Election 2016? Re-etching that sacred dogma of the 4th estate into reader brains was what she spent her 800 words on. Our president’s character was purported to be no less mushy than his facial features in the thrall of that real alpha-male Prince Vlad. That’s the story major media was sticking to. The plot of it got a wee bit murky and twisted at 4:40 AM April 6 in Syria (9:40 PM April 5 EDT) when the US fired 50 some Tomahawk missiles at the al-Shayrat airbase.
The attack left some of them a little shaken. Dana Millbank’s April 11 column was titled “Don’t fight Trump with baseless conspiracy theories.” Some might be led astray, he warns us, thinking that the rocket volleys on the 6th were a sneaky anti-conspiracy theory conspiracy. That’s grassy knoll, Vince Foster, fluoride type stuff that kooks believe we were told. Going along with it could taint the official truth. That is that democracy was derailed by a diabolical Trump-Putin pact. And if you deny it you’re a heretic deserving at least a metaphorical stake to burn at if not an actual one. Why that idea is so precious and necessary is less than crystal clear.
It’s “base,” from what I can gather, is the unmasking of the fact that Hillaryites were in deep cahoots with some in the media during the 2016 race. It was the modern equivalent of Tammany Hall conniving with the Five Points Gang. So pardon please those who aren’t quite ready to jump on the bandwagon. Isn’t there a trove more evidence Hillary was up to no good than the Russia-phobia fake news conspiracy? Weren’t the Dems caught planting ringers and pretending at spontaneity? It’s the kind of smelly cheese that makes for great reads and maybe a film or two. If the whole scenario was faked by Russian hackers why aren’t corrections of these misleading impressions in daily columns?
Well if you don’t believe us, a media horde insists, just ask the FBI. Richard Jewell, Brandon Mayfield, Steven Hatfill, Abdullah Higazy and several thousand victims of crime lab junk science might have something to say on the reliability of what comes out of the Hoover Building. Federal agencies are manned by human beings and without proof their conclusions are no more valid than anyone else’s. Going by past performance Comey’s assurances could easily be backed by nothing more than a hunch.
Suppose Russian hackers were the ones who aired DNC emails? Where does that leave us? Does it prove there was any connection to Trump’s campaign? Is there some law against having a foreign dictator rooting for you? Rumor has it there are a few in the Clinton camp. And is it actually “treason” if foreigners expose corruption in our ranks? Would it be better if they pulled a Walter Duaranty and covered up powerful people’s sins? Media is constantly up in arms these days as experts are not believed. So they made Hillary a lot more believable with shills and a cheat sheet. Now why the heck aren’t you looking disgustedly at the Trump-Putin good-ole-boy club? Why it’s right over there somewhere.
The gory details of what was arranged between various media figures and the Clinton campaign is a tale that needs fleshing out. If there is evidence of some elaborate deal between the Kremlin, Wikileaks and Trump Tower lets have it. Repeating the same thing over and over again only reinforces the belief of true believers. Most of the skeptics wouldn’t have voted for either of them. That’s why it’s highly doubtful the leaks actually swayed anybody. The Clinton’s sicced the FEC onto Citizen’s United in 2008 to prevent airing of Hillary the Movie. 8 years later they wanted to deploy all the forces of “national security” to suppress circulation of views the HRC campaign wasn’t keen on. It went from “a vast rightwing conspiracy” to an international one. Will the cabal of anti-Hillaryites be calling on the forces of extraterrestrials next time around?
Ex-FEC chairwoman Ann Ravel wants a ministry of truth reigning over social media. She’s scared of Trump and more Trumps’ in the future. So are a lot of people. He’s looking more like Hillary might have every day. Madame Ravel has come around to the idea that disinformation is skewing democracy in some very wry directions. But her notion of where the distortion is coming from is 180 degrees off course.
While Hillary won the popular vote with over 65 million something like 90 million didn’t vote at all. It is damned near certain that considerably more than the 2.9 million votes that made the Democratic margin didn’t like what they saw from either candidate in the election. It wasn’t because of where they weren’t looking. More likely they were scrutinizing far more carefully than would have been possible relying on major media alone. The people who improve on the truth demanded we look at them like Harry Zimm did in the film Get Shorty. Let’s pray they keep getting smashed in the face by the free flow of information the way Ray Barboni let Zimm have it with an old landline.