Interesting Developments in the Don Jr. ‘Collusion’ Saga

The media has gone nuts over the last couple days in regards to a June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manfort and a Russian lawyer called Natalia Veselnitskaya. This reason for the uproar was that the premise of the meeting was the delivery of information by Veselnitskaya to the Trump team which incriminated Hillary Clinton in illegal activities with Russia. Don Jr. was initially approached with the idea by an acquaintance of his, Rob Goldstone, who set the meeting up. I go into the meeting in painstaking detail here.

The media has held this meeting up as a smoking gun for the Russian Collusion Theory which they have propagated for nigh on a year now. At the very least, they claim, it shows that the Trump campaign was willing to collude with Russia in order to influence the election.

Continue reading Interesting Developments in the Don Jr. ‘Collusion’ Saga

On Donald Trump Jr’s Collusion With The Russians

The latest in the growing list of ‘smoking gun evidence’ of the Russia Collusion Theory was unearthed by the New York Times over the weekend when it dropped this story which outlined a June 2016 meeting in which Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manfort and Jared Kushner met with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower. The article was titled ‘Trump Team Met With Lawyer Linked to Kremlin During Campaign.’ The next day, a follow up article, ‘Trump’s Son Met With Russian Lawyer After Being Promised Damaging Information on Clinton,’ focused further on the premise under which that meeting was conducted, which was the potential divulgence by a Russian national of information damaging to Hillary Clinton.

Obviously this narrative, as described by the NYT, sounds bad. For months, the left, in conjunction with their allies on the establishment right, have promoted the Russian Collusion Theory, the idea that the Russian government colluded with the Trump campaign to obtain and disseminate emails from John Podesta and the DNC through Wikileaks. In this regard, the DJT Jr. meeting is a possible smoking gun because it contains the elements ‘emails,’ ‘members of the Trump campaign,’ and ‘Russians.’ However, a sober look at the facts, and applying basic common sense and deductive reasoning will render this smoking gun as nothing of the sort. It will result in a bad week of press for DJT Jr. and nothing more. Quote me on that.

Continue reading On Donald Trump Jr’s Collusion With The Russians

The Meme Heard Round The World (Or, CNN Can’t Take A Joke)

The entirely media-created, faux outrage laden Trump Wrestlemania Twitter ‘controversy’ took an interesting turn when CNN, unable to take its loss like a man, decided to threaten the individual who made the meme which the President so gleefully posted over the weekend.

Of course, CNN will interpret it differently, but a look at what happened would render their interpretation invalid. Analyzing this episode is important for various reasons, which will be made clear as I go on.

But first, to the events themselves. After Trump posted the now famous tweet heard ‘round the world, the Washington Post published this article, detailing that the GIF came from a Reddit user called ‘HanAssholeSolo,’ (HAS). It then chronicled HAS’s history of questionable posts on Reddit. Other journalists took this and began to broadcast the wrongthink of HAS all across Twitter. Continue reading The Meme Heard Round The World (Or, CNN Can’t Take A Joke)

The Dawn of An Era, Part 3: More Anti-Trump Dissent (Trump Derangement Syndrome)

This is Part 3 of The Dawn of An Era, which is a series about the onset of the Trump presidency. Previous Parts:  Part 1, Part 2

In part 2, I described the underlying source of the vociferous anti-Trump dissent which has only grown louder in the months since the election. Long story short, multiple decades of a shift away from more traditional mores both socially and culturally has left the US and the West in general at the precipice of something potentially serious.

Said differently, the set of individuals who want to party every night because it’s fun outweighed those who understood that we won’t pass the final exam unless we hit the books at some point. Now, the night before the exam, the Study Crew won and is demanding an all-night cram session. The Partiers are upset.

The reaction to President Trump initiating an Executive Order to restrict travel to the United States is the latest example of outsized consternation when it comes to anything Trump does. Via Conservative Treehouse:

If you review the actual text of the executive order (copied below in full) what you will immediately notice is the order doesn’t specify ANY countries to be included in the Visa suspension (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen).

President Trump is not suspending visas from countries his team selected, they are simply suspending visa approval from countries President Obama selected.  Additionally, Trump is suspending ALL visa applications from those countries – nothing to do with Muslim applications.

• In 2013 President Obama suspended refugees from Iraq for six months.  • In 2015 Congress passed, and Obama signed, a law restricting visas from states of concern; • and in 2016 Obama’s DHS, Jeh Johnson, expanded those restrictions.  …. all President Trump is doing is taking the same action as Obama 2013, and applying Visa restrictions to the nation states Obama selected in 2015 and 2016.

From the Executive order:

[…] ” to ensure the proper review and maximum utilization of available resources for the screening of foreign nationals, and to ensure that adequate standards are established to prevent infiltration by foreign terrorists or criminals, pursuant to section 212(f) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), I hereby proclaim that the immigrant and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of aliens from countries referred to in section 217(a)(12) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1187(a)(12), would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, and I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order (excluding those foreign nationals traveling on diplomatic visas, North Atlantic Treaty Organization visas, C-2 visas for travel to the United Nations, and G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas). ” (link)

U.S.C.1187 Law Link Here

The President Obama  Department of Homeland Security already targeted those seven listed countries for the past several years as nations of concern.

In February of 2016 the Department of Homeland Security announced that was continuing its implementation of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 with the addition of Libya, Somalia, and Yemen as three countries of additional concern.

These developments led to outrage over the weekend, with protests breaking out in several major airports. The Old Media gave it wall to wall coverage, stressing the size of the crowds (as they are wont to do with anti-Trump protests, versus ignoring the pro-Trump crowd sizes he got campaigning), and inundating the public with the usual tales of innocent families being split up, children crying and so on.

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Why this outrage, when similar actions by the Obama administration, let alone the constant, daily bombings of the countries in question by said administration, were met with silence? This video of a protester is instructive:

In case the video is taken down or doesn’t work, it shows an airport protester being interviewed and asked about the similarity between the Obama and Trump actions, and whether the former’s concerned her. Her answer was that it didn’t concern her because… “I love President Obama. I wish he were still here.”

What that shows is that there is a high level logical bankruptcy in today’s political discourse which has been replaced by emotion. In this battle of rhetoric Trump’s opponents are working with a severe disadvantage. As I articulated in Part 2, the leftist position is essentially one seeks the primacy of r-selection, as opposed to K-selection.  The problem for leftists is that humans as a species are K-selected animals; in terms of civilizations, they only can be established and maintained via applying K-selected traits.

Once civilizations are established, and wealth is generated, on then can r’s flourish. r-selected behavior is never the foundation of civilizational success. As such, leftists are always fighting an uphill battle against nature. It is why communists have always had to take over by force, point the guns at the populace and give them a choice: comply or die.

The battle leftists in America are fighting against is essentially one against sustainability. In a very simplistic sense, leftists live by the dictum ‘whatever feels good, is good.’ This governs decision making, and at a political level, can become government policy. The Partiers vs The Studiers conflict thus becomes deficit spending and credit-fuelled consumption versus savings and investment. For decades, the former strategy has won, with the Keynesians and Cultural Marxists supplying the intellectual backing for economic and social profligacy respectively.

This has created an r-selected society which cannot deal well with conflict and emotional pain. The Anonymous Conservative, who I referred to in part 2, has done fantastic work in this area, showing how the amygdala in the brain of leftists may be behind this trouble to deal with emotional pain. This article, courtesy of his blog, goes into detail about the plight of the Millennial generation, in that its upbringing has left it incapable of dealing with the real world:

Leadership consultant Simon Sinek has been told that millennials – people born after 1982 – are ‘entitled, narcissistic, self-interested, unfocused and lazy’ – but he believes it is not their fault.

The author’s response to the ‘millennial question’ on Inside Quest ‘broke the internet’ after he revealed why many young people may display the undesirable qualities listed by their bosses.

He explained millennials grew up in an environment where ‘every child wins a prize’ only to find the ‘real world’ after school is much different.

Where they were told they were special all the time, they were told they could have anything they want in life just because they want it.

Note that the mere broaching of this view was enough to spark enough outrage to ‘break the internet,’ only proving the point of the observer that Millennials are emotionally fragile, unable to cope with the fact that someone may have a differing opinion.

And Donald Trump might as well be an avalanche of real world, realtalking, counterattacking disagreement, descending upon the straw huts that are the Millennial amygdala with Biblical force.

With respect to Trump’s Executive Order, the logic of it is sound, despite the poor implementation of it. And it has already borne fruit, in that Saudi Arabia, which was left off the list of countries impacted, is now willing to negotiate to construct safe zones for refugees, something they had no interest in doing before.

This development would be infinitely better for the potentially millions affected in the region, who can be better housed temporarily in a part of the world which is more familiar to them than having to risk life and limb to trek halfway around the world to Western Europe and the USA, with its vastly different culture, climate and language, for a start.

However, it is Donald Trump who is doing it, so it must be bad. The direct dichotomy established by the airport protester above (Obama = good, Trump = evil, similar to the manner in which conservatives believe leftists are just misguided, while leftists believe conservatives are evil) comes from that base inability to deal with the harsh truths of the real world.

Unfortunately, after multiple decades of cultural Marxist influence, this deficiency has pervaded every strata of our society, from the general population, through to the elites in our media and in government.

A great example of this is seen in the examination of this video of President Clinton, which is now doing the rounds after the Immigration ban chaos:

Here, Clinton, speaking at his 1995 State of the Union address, sounds very Trumpian, yet he is still revered 22 years later, to the extent that he was a selling point for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. Meanwhile Trump is continued to be held out as Literally Hitler. However, if Trump is Hitler, and about to turn the US into Nazi Germany, why are leftists then so keen on importing millions of refugees to be subjected to that horror? Once again, the intellectual deficiency of their position creeps through.

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In terms of the leftist opposition, the media and the government will be whom Trump will be fighting the loudest battles with, and the first indications are that he is up to that fight.

With respect to the media, he has been employing the ‘flooding the zone’ strategy since his Inauguration. In the first 10 days of his presidency, Trump has signed 18 executive actions. They have been:

  1. Dismantling Obamacare
  2. A regulatory freeze
  3. Stopping US government funds going to international organizations which fund abortions
  4. Withdrawing from TPP
  5. Federal hiring freeze
  6. Granting Keystone Pipeline
  7. Granting Dakota Access Pipeline
  8. Expediting Environmental Reviews
  9. Using American materials to build the Pipelines
  10. Speeding up Manufacturing Reviews
  11. Targeting Sanctuary Cities
  12. Building The Wall
  13. Rebuilding the military
  14. The Aforementioned ‘Muslim Ban’
  15. Plan to Defeat ISIS
  16. Steve Bannon to NSC
  17. Lobbying restrictions for executive branch officials
  18. Reducing regulations

With the exception of defeating ISIS, ALL of these orders are outrageous to leftists, as they either diminish the structures artificially supporting an r-selected society, or actively promote the establishment of K-selected strategies. Each of these orders on their own are meaty enough to require a minimum of two or three days of solid 95% negative media coverage, yet they have all been dropped on the media in the span of 10 days. Even as I write this, Trump has scheduled his pick to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for later tonight, moving it up from later in the week, further intensifying the flooding of the zone.

This has led to nothing short of pandemonium amongs the chattering classes. Michael Tracey explores this further:

More than once over the past few days, I have been asked both online and off: “How in the hell am I supposed to keep up with everything that’s going on? How do I, as a non-professional, somewhat casual consumer of news, figure out how to process all this information constantly being thrown at me from every direction, knowing that some of it will be phony hysterics and misdirection, while some of it will also be gravely serious and demand my attention?”

My answer is: I…don’t know. I’m working on it.

Even journalists whose “one job” is to sort the news on any given day are failing immensely at this task — often their “heart is in the right place,” but the task is extremely daunting. For one thing, clearly Trump has calculated that it’s in some sense to his benefit when everyone is completely overwhelmed and suffering from a form of cognitive overload; it allows him to move briskly from issue to issue without staying there for very long — he’s essentially breaking the national attention span by saturating it with information, controversy, hysteria, real problems, fake problems, fights, feuds, tweets, and all the rest. He is keenly aware of how to prod the media into indulging its worst instincts, so a vicious cycle emerges where Trump does something outlandish, and then the media responds by acting outlandishly in its own right.

Tracey, despite subscribing somewhat to the leftist baseline view that Trump is an authoritarian dictator-in-waiting, simply for being in defiance of the r-selected primacy of Cultural Marxism, is one of the few prominent journalists who understands what is going on.

Trump is flooding his opposition with so much outrage-inducing stuff that it cannot focus on one specific thing, deconstruct it, and drive home to the public why it is bad and Trump should be admonished. Instead, the commotion is unfocused and seemingly random, such that from the outside, it looks like a bunch of children whining about everything, making incoherent noise that is probably best ignored.

The problem for the media is that Trump has unlimited ammunition in this war. He has the support of the population, which elected him, and gave him a friendly Congress to work. More importantly, he is immune to the biggest weapon the media has – shame. For decades the media has bullied anyone with a traditionally conservative view of the world into submission, labeling them knuckle-dragging racists, sexists and homophobes.

Trump does not give one scintilla of shit about any such charges leveled at him by the media. In fact, he laughs at them, both on Twitter and in real life. Chuck Schumer found this out when his emotional statement regarding the ‘Muslim ban,’ made while fighting through tears, was met with an inquiry from Trump about which acting coach he used.

In the face of near universal outrage over the immigration actions, including wall to wall crisis coverage on network nightly news this weekend, Trump’s team released a statement calling the immigration order a ‘massive success.’ In short, Trump is a master troll, who is outwitting a millennial class, who having been raised in the internet era should be wise to trolls and should know not to feed them.

But remember, we’re talking about millennials, leftists, and millennial leftists. That cohort, highly subject to emotional incontinence, packs Old Media newsrooms and left leaning upstarts, and thus these organizations can’t help but to play right into Trump’s hands.

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The fight with the government should be similarly messy, but President Trump has shown he has the stones for that as well. Part of the reason the Immigration order is down to the fact that Trump is working with a skeleton crew of a cabinet, owing to obstruction from the Democrats in the Senate. This was probably what led to the messy issuance of the immigration order, and the public relations mess that followed.

The order was further challenged by a few judges, leading to a situation which pitted border agents against federal courts. Early this evening, acting Attorney General Sally Yates announced in a statement that she instructed the Department of Justice to not defend Trump’s order. Here is part of her statement:

I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right. At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful.

It is telling that Yates, a holdover from the Obama administration until Senator Jeff Sessions is confirmed, cites the leftist, highly subjective concept of (social) justice and ‘standing for what is right,’ before concerning herself with legality. The construction of that statement speaks to the typical leftist, r-selected desire to place comfort (feel good platitudes) over cold reality (the law).

Trump responded by firing Yates hours later, in a display of business-like ruthlessness. The NYT article on the events of the day quotes Press Secretary Sean Spicer who had this to say regarding government officials who may seek to stand in the way of the Trump Doctrine, amid rumors of a mutiny in the still-Obama dominated State Department:

“These career bureaucrats have a problem with it?” Mr. Spicer said. “They should either get with the program or they can go.”

The defiant combativeness of the Trump administration is unlike anything we have seen in decades, certainly in my less-than-40 years on this earth. To a slothful, emotionally weak, r-selected society such as ours has become, the aggressiveness, speed and calculation with which the Trump administration has acted in just 10 days on the job is potentially fatal.

What is more, given the Trump administration is seeking moves that are towards the K direction, they have with them the Truth, as it were, if indeed buttressing and advancing Western Civilization is the goal. It is no different to the wisdom of preparation and study when one knows the exam is near, and eschewing partying until the job is done.

That orders to further American energy independence, secure a porous border and direct cities to actually follow existing US law can be deemed worthy of such a stern backlash, from the legions of protesters to the obstructionists in the highest ranks of government, only speaks to the level of the rot and the difficulty of the task. Fortunately for Trump, and those who agree with what he stands for, the solution is merely one of will. The weakness of the opposition means that it can be continually disoriented with continued jabs to the emotional midsection.

Trump understands this.  Rather than take it easy with his early moves, Trump has eschewed the idea of ‘political capital,’ understanding that his power rather comes from ‘electorate capital.’ Trump understands that he has tons of it behind him, including among the rank and file in government agencies and the military, as a result of his drive and efficiency in Getting Things Done. He has used this early position of strength to double down, subjecting the opposition to continued horror by turning up the Emotional Pain dial past 11. With every tweet, signature ceremony and TV appearance he is triggering the left, which at some point will go apoplectic as a result, flaming out in a blaze of glory – a phenomenon known as Trump Derangement Syndrome.

The irony of all of this is the ‘tolerance’ which social justice warriors demand others show towards them, but not vice versa, was shown in spades for decades by the K-selected. They stood by as tradition evaporated, along with God, leaving behind a moral wasteland. The K’s tolerated this not because they liked it, but because of their loyalty to the group. As long as the West was chugging along in peace and continued wealth, a few gay night clubs, higher taxes, welfare and abortion clinics were ok. Now that the abundance of the West has deteriorated, and culture has frayed, the excesses have become less tolerable, and it is precisely at this time that the r-selected are demanding more excesses, and more tolerance of deviance. When this has not been granted, the response has been the outbursts we are seeing in the infancy of the Trump era.

Ask any 5 year old how well it has worked to throw a tantrum in public in an attempt to get his or her way. In all of history, the child tantrum-thrower has recorded a very low success rate. This is what is coming to the left if it doesn’t wise up. With every car smashed, with each road blocked, with each Trump supporter knocked cold, with each politician crying on television, the public will grow wearier and wearier of their antics.

This alone will gain Trump more converts, and to the extent his policies work and a saner culture devoid of the degeneracy of a decadent age emerges, the leftist, r-selected position will wither into obscurity as the very nature of social justice warriors will work against them. The same susceptibility to emotional pain, which leads them to seek comfort over anything else will lead them towards Trumpism, as the emotional pain anti-Trump ostracism will engender in the new Trumpmerica will become too great to bear.

One day, we’ll look at the Trump riots and shake our heads in amazement, wondering how anyone could have thought negatively about what he stood for, let alone being angry enough to launch a fierce, mouth-frothing, soft insurrection.

Trump vs The Media: Fake News Edition

Last week saw the latest round in the war between President-elect Donald Trump and the News Media, with the Jim Acosta exchange in particular drawing plenty of attention. In case you live in a cave somewhere and missed it, here it is:

That moment, brandishing a respected news organization such as CNN to be ‘fake news,’ was perhaps a seminal moment. It was the culmination of a brutal back and forth which has lasted the better part of two years. While both sides relish this fight, the media as a class have, at times tried to act as though they have been innocent victims of a brutish Trump.

They accuse Trump of threatening the freedom of the press, a concept uniquely American and central to our way of life. Referring to the press conference, Esquire writer Charles Pierce called Trump’s performance that of ‘an aspiring American dictator.’

All of this, because Donald Trump is the first politician on the right in decades who can attack and defend himself just as effectively as his ideological opponents in the press do, and then some. Some in the media are finally starting to take note of this, and are scrambling to make sense of it. For the last 18 months and more, the media has persisted with its tired tactic of screaming ‘RACIST! SEXIST! HOMOPHOBE!’ at those expressing any opinion to the right of Mao, only to find that Trump was impervious to this tactic when it was tried on him.

Having lost that battle on November 8, the press lurched to the next strategy – delegitimize Trump’s victory. This came about via the promotion of Jill Stein’s recount effort (which ended up in Trump gaining votes), the justification of violent anti-Trump rioting across the country, the justification for the Electoral College to ‘vote it’s conscience,’ the popular vote, and more emphatically, the idea that Trump is some sort of Manchurian Candidate, personally installed by Vladamir Putin.

It is this Russian meme specifically which led to the Acosta moment last Wednesday, as the night before Buzzfeed published an unsubstantiated ‘dossier’ comprised of material collected by Donald Trump’s political enemies, which was implied to have been real intelligence, and put forth as evidence that the Russians had a trove of blackmail material against Trump. (more here)

It was a document which had been floating around political and news media circles for months, and because of the fact that virtually none of it could be verified, it was never reported on, until Buzzfeed decided to introduce it to the world. This set off a firestorm, which culminated in an angry Trump lashing out at the media, and the intelligence community.

The Acosta moment has seemingly woken up the media properly to the idea of Trump as a real force to be reckoned with. The analysis so far has been summed up as ‘Trump is trying to destroy the media by divide and conquer. We must band together and fight him.’

Slate writer Will Oremus goes through this argument in detail. After describing the way Trump singled out CNN and Buzzfeed for scorn over their reporting on the ‘dossier,’ while praising other news organizations (specifically the New York Times) for not running it, he surmises that it is tactical. He writes:

Trump’s words were tactical, not literal. And his purpose became clear during the Q-and-A: to isolate and punish the two specific news organizations whose coverage he found objectionable.

It worked. BuzzFeed was so anathematized that by presser’s end, fellow journalists were picking up their lunch trays and moving to the other side of the cafeteria. “I can understand why President-elect Trump would be upset” with BuzzFeed, said CNN’s Jake Tapper, a co-author of the very story that had just been impugned in the press conference. “I would be upset about it, too.”

Trump had exploited weaknesses—not just the tendency of the press to eat itself, but also its own status anxieties. In particular, he exploited traditional media outlets’ intense desire to be perceived as sober and objective, and thus to be respected by conservatives and liberals alike—a business imperative that has been transmuted into an ethical injunction.

This last point is particularly interesting. The genesis of the battle between Trump and the press is the ideological differences between the two, as I mentioned above. In a very broad sense, Trump is a traditionalist and a nationalist. The vast majority of the press are left leaning, and thus embrace a cultural Marxist, globalist world view.

There is nothing wrong with each side harboring those views; however the press, by virtue of its purported role as a distillery for the truth, has much less room to imbue ideology and engage in opinion. That’s why Editorial Pages were invented, but it seems as though that the entirety of the mainstream media has become an Editorial page.

The reason the media desires to be thought of as completely rational and objective is that because if it is not, it becomes merely just another source of opinion in an ocean of opinions. Preserving the view that the media deals in cold, hard analysis of the truth allows it to float angelically above the rest of us.

The reality is that the media is as biased and as opinionated as the rest of us. Of the publications that most people immediately think of when one thinks of ‘respected news organizations’ (New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and Fox News), only Fox News and the WSJ do not lean demonstrably to the left.

Indeed, many would scoff at the fact that I even included Fox News in a list of ‘respected’ news publications given it its place in American society as the butt of jokes about objectivity. That the most right-leaning publication on this list also is subject to the most scorn is exactly the sort of isolation and punishment that Oremus accuses Trump of doing to Buzzfeed and CNN.

On the ‘status anxiety’ of the media in general, he writes:

There are status anxieties and resentments within the media just as surely as there are in the electorate, and on Wednesday, Trump deftly seized on them. Americans’ trust in media is at a low point, thanks in part to a highly effective conservative campaign to discredit mainstream outlets as biased. Fake news, a phrase coined to describe fabricated stories devised by hoaxsters, has become the default conservative epithet for historically respected institutions such as CNN and the Times. For journalists at those sorts of outlets, who worked for decades to reach the summit of their profession, nothing could be more deflating. It gives them a pressing incentive to distinguish and distance themselves from less-esteemed outlets, including upstarts such as BuzzFeed, whose “irresponsible journalism,” as CNN’s Tapper put it, “hurts us all.”

Oremus puts the blame for the increased perception of the media as biased on an effective conservative campaign. The reality is different. As mentioned before, the contrast between the cultural Marxist globalism of the left, and the traditionalist Nationalism of the Trump Right underpins the current ideological battle for hearts and minds.

To that end, it is the former viewpoint which has the most currency in modern culture. Concepts such as equality, diversity, and tolerance, as defined by leftists, are the highest ideals sought. This cultural Marixist, globalist view has risen to the level of being the objectively rational way to view the world. The media, in all of its forms, has aided this ascent what is really mere opinion to the level of perceived inviolable laws of humanity over the last three or four decades and more. Trump, who is considered to be in constant opposition to the achievement of these leftist-defined values, has thus become an enemy.

The result has been a sort of Clown World in which expressing a view which does not comport with leftist orthodoxy is a marker for insanity. In that world, the media, by virtue of being leftists, are afforded the position of veneration it seeks, as arbiters of Truth.

This is why the ‘campaign to discredit mainstream outlets’ necessarily has to come from conservatives. That conservatives and mainstream outlets are opposition says a lot – the latter can hardly paint themselves as truly objective if they wholly reject any conservative view to the point it is considered insanity to hold such views.

The ‘fake news’ saga Oremus refers to is indicative of this point. Oremus laments the fact that the term has been transformed from referencing made-up news stories by hoaxers to being used to criticizing anything conservatives don’t like. That would be a fair gripe, until one notices that it was the mainstream media who first used the ‘fake news’ terminology as one of the many excuses as to why Hillary Clinton lost the election.

Actual fake news, as in Macedonian pranksters writing stories about the Pope endorsing Trump and spreading it on Facebook, were hardly consequential in terms of shifting the electorate into voting for Trump. For a start, the actual fake news mostly resided in the realm of social media, the domain of the young, who are both smaller in number and turn out to vote at lower rates than their elders. Furthermore, these older generationsstill get most of their news from ‘traditional’ formats, such as television, radio and newspapers.

The mainstream outlets cleverly paired the ‘epidemic’ of fake news on social media with the rise of the ‘alt-right,’ inserting the likes of Breitbart, Infowars and others into the fray when the discussion of ‘legitimate news’ was being had. Consider this article from The Guardian, which leads with the following subheading:

The ‘alt-right’ (aka the far right) ensnared the electorate using false stories on social media.

In the aftermath of the election, lists like this one from a liberal professor were widely disseminated, but lumped opinion sites which leaned Right in with the fake news. This New York Times article in part disparaged Mark Dice, a YouTuber who regularly roasts progressives, in an article tiled ‘As Fake News Spreads Lies, More Readers Shrug at the Truth.’

In short, it was many left leaning, mainstream media voices that started using the term ‘fake news’ to reference any ‘hyper-partisan’ view from the right. The goal of that effort was to reestablish the Clown World Order I described earlier – Leftist views are objective reality, anything else, insanity. Such a drive was necessary thanks to the victory of Trump, a data point which called that Order into question in the most grand way possible.

To the extent there was a ‘conservative campaign’ to co-opt the ‘fake news’ terminology, it was merely a counterattack to this attempt to delegitimize non-left opinions. It succeeded because it had the truth on its side, in that leftists and rightist opinion is just that, opinion, and the mere fact that the former is in vogue does not render the latter to be illegitimate. Thus, the death of the term ‘fake news’ as a weapon.

Dossier-gate showcased a different sort of media warfare. CNN in particular went to great pains to justify its reporting, on the basis that it merely reported on the existence of said dossier, rather than the sordid details within.

However, by doing so, it made the existence of the document news, in a way in which hadn’t been done before. It was the equivalent of someone coming up to you and saying ‘hey, I know something that could totally change your life forever, but I can’t really tell you what it is.’ You’ve done that person no favors at all; in fact you’ve harmed that person by introducing something that will play on his or her mind until that secret information is revealed to them.

CNN may have not published the specific details, and even went to considerable lengths to repeat how unsubstantiated and unverified they were, but they did make it known exactly where such details could be found, nudge nudge, wink wink.

The goal was just to get the information out there in the public domain, because once there it could be used to stir up chaos. Remember, that this dossier was released after a lengthy campaign by the media and the intelligence community to paint Trump out as some sort of Russian state actor personally installed by Putin, a campaign which has been blared with unbearable loudness over the last few weeks in particular.

The Russians having compromising video of Trump cavorting with Russian prostitutes in The Ritz Carlton Moscow is fiction, but it is fiction that comports with the general post-election narrative of Trump-as-Manchurian Candidate, if you hold a predilection for that erroneous view. It allows the media to discredit Trump on the grounds that he was not legitimately elected, and in the future it allows the media to question any and every action of his it dislikes on the grounds that the action in question might be Trump just doing the bidding of the Russians.

Putin’s response to the dossier was classic, not because of him making light of the idea of Trump needing to indulge in prostitutes after having access to supermodels all his life, but for denouncing those who push the dossier as the worst sort of individuals:

Prostitution is an ugly social phenomenon… But those people who organize such frauds, which have been circulated and promoted against the elected president of the United States, those who fabricate information and use it in the political struggle, they are worse than prostitutes, they have no moral limits.

Putin is absolutely right. In citing the fabrication of information to use in a political fight, he describes the way the mainstream media generally does business with respect to those it opposes. More importantly, however, it draws the mainstream media into the realm of the same ‘fake news’ domain it sought to relegate others to. This is what worries the media the most, hence the seminal nature of the Acosta spat.

I’m not saying that the media prints outright lies, although it has happened before. What the media does do more frequently, however, is to deal in willful misinterpretation, editorializing, and intellectual dishonesty. This is the only way you get narratives such as ‘Russia hacked the election,’ or ‘Trump committed treason by imploring the Russians to breach US national security by attacking Hillary Clinton,’ or the intentional mention of ’17 US intelligence agencies’ in nearly every report about the Russian hacking saga, solely done to give undue weight to what would follow, which was a statement of unverified opinion about who hacked what. It has been repeatedly stated that not one vote was tallied incorrectly, and Trump’s ‘call’ for Russian hacking was a tongue in cheek mocking of the media, when viewed in context.

Another blatant example of this was shown in the CBS reporting of the kidnap and torture of a disabled white teenager by four of his black peers in Chicago a couple weeks ago. The following report was given on a CBS radio station:

The viral video of a beating and knife attack in Chicago suggests the assault had racial overtones. CBS’s Dean Reynolds tells us the victim is described as a mentally-challenged teenager.

In the video he is choked and repeatedly called the n-word. His clothes are slashed and he is terrorized with a knife. His alleged captors repeatedly reference Donald Trump. Police are holding four people in connection with the attack.

That account is factually true, but it is constructed to convey something completely different to what took place. It starts by saying that the attack had a racial component before describing how the victim was called the n-word, with several references made to Donald Trump. Given that description, combined the narrative advanced by those on the left that Trump is a racist who wants to return black people to slavery, any listener would conclude that the victim was black and that the assailants were white, when in fact it was the other way around.

Even more spectacular is that this video, as the report notes, went viral. It was a widely discussed topic for several days so what exactly was this report trying to do by being do deceptive? In this light it reads as a petulant attempt to lash out at the destruction of a popular narrative.

This sort of brazenness is what colors the likes of Jake Tapper’s thinking, when he denounced Buzzfeed’s irresponsibility as ‘hurting us all.’ It completely exposes the game for the public to see, and makes it that much harder for the media to claim the solemn objectivity it craves. When the true, leftist views of many in the media are made so naked, more and more of the public recognize that most of these reporters are in the business of disseminating opinion disguised as news, and they’ll act accordingly, as shown already in diminished views of the media, as Oremus notes.

This phenomenon of the media exposing themselves as uniformly opinionated vis a vis Trump isn’t new – it has been a feature of his campaign. What is new are the heights to which Trump took the manner of his riposte this week – elevated by his stature as the elected President – when he referred to CNN as ‘fake news.’

This, in conjunction with Putin’s smackdown yesterday means that Putin and Trump, having access to the loudest megaphones on earth, are prepared to turn the ‘fake news’ moniker around on the mainstream media itself. Trump has already done this several times in his Tweets in addition to the Acosta moment. Even before that moment, some in the media saw the writing on the wall and were begging for the term to be gracefully put down. Too late. That’s an own goal the media will have to live with.

The reality for those in the media is that the two most powerful men in the world have positioned themselves as a traditionalist, nationalist tag-team who won’t fold under their pressure. And they control the bulk of the world’s nukes.

It’s little wonder why those cultural Marxist globalists in the media are squirming.

Fake News Reaches New Highs (Lows): Intelligence Dossier Gives New Meaning to ‘Yellow Journalism’

Is this what Chuck Schumer was talking about last week when he said that the US intelligence community had countless ways to strike back at Trump for daring to question them? Yesterday evening, CNN posted this article, about an alleged briefing of President Obama and President-Elect Trump concerning allegations that Russian intelligence had been collecting compromising information about Trump for years:

Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.

The allegations were presented in a two-page synopsis that was appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. The allegations came, in part, from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible. The FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, which are based primarily on information from Russian sources, but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Mr. Trump.

The classified briefings last week were presented by four of the senior-most US intelligence chiefs — Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers.

One reason the nation’s intelligence chiefs took the extraordinary step of including the synopsis in the briefing documents was to make the President-elect aware that such allegations involving him are circulating among intelligence agencies, senior members of Congress and other government officials in Washington, multiple sources tell CNN.

Things really kicked off when Buzzfeed decided to publish the entire 35 page memo. As the New York Times pointed out in its piece, the existence of the document had been known in Washington DC circles for months now:

The chiefs of America’s intelligence agencies last week presented President Obama and President-elect Donald J. Trump with a summary of unsubstantiated reports that Russia had collected compromising and salacious personal information about Mr. Trump, two officials with knowledge of the briefing said.

The summary is based on memos generated by political operatives seeking to derail Mr. Trump’s candidacy. Details of the reports began circulating in the fall and were widely known among journalists and politicians in Washington.

The first thing to note is that there are a lot of words like ‘alleged,’ ‘unsubstantiated,’ ‘unconfirmed,’ and of course the sources are vague ‘senior officials,’ and British and Russian ‘intelligence operatives.’ In short this is one giant pile of innuendo. Indeed, as the New York Times points out, this story has been circulating for months. Earlier this morning, Tom Brokaw, speaking on Morning Joe on MSNBC, stated that he had received this information four months ago. He and his team tried to verify it, and could not, which rendered the story ‘unreportable,’ to use his word.

Other journalists came out on Twitter implying they had been approached with the story, including Julia Ioffe.

Apparently, the Clinton campaign had the memo as well, but obviously didn’t use it. That a Trump-hating Russophobe such as Ioffe couldn’t be persuaded to run a story that surely is the stuff of dreams for her, let alone the Clinton campaign, which could have easily ended Trump’s chances had this been true, is a clear sign that the story is garbage. Furthermore, if the likes of Tom Brokaw had it, all of the ‘top’ news organizations had it, and like Brokaw, none could verify the story to a ‘reportable’ level.

So why is it leaking now? To this point we’re not entirely sure, but there are some interesting theories. It starts with the fact that the document itself reads like opposition research from Never Trump Republican types and the Democrats during the election. The Never Trump angle of this is particularly of interest, given the following Pastebin:

On january 10, Buzzfeed posted a story under the byline of Ken Bensinger, Mark Schoofs and Miriam elder titled “these reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia” and posted a link to a document alleging, among other things, that russia has been cultivating trump for 5+ years, that trump has been in constant contact with the kremlin for information on his opponents, and perhaps most inflammatory, that there are many recorded instances of blackmail of trump in sexual misconduct. A prominent claim is that trump rented the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel in moscow, where he knew that the Obamas had slept in; he them hired a number of prostitutes to perform a ‘golden shower’ (pissplay) on the bed and in the room.

Noted #nevertrump voice Rick Wilson later commented on twitter, stating that the report “gave a new meaning to Wikileaks” and that the report was the reason everybody was fighting so hard against the election of Trump.

The remarkable thing? It’s all fake. And not only fake; it’s a prank perpetuated by 4chan, on Rick Wilson himself. A post on 4chan on october 26 stated “mfw managed to convince CTR and certain (((journalists))) on Twitter there’ll be an October surprise on Trump this Friday” along with a picture of a smug face with a hash name.

on november 1, a person without a picture but is assumed to be the same person posted “So they took what I told Rick Wilson and added a Russian spy angle to it. They still believe it. Guys, they’re truly fucking desperate – there’s no remaining Trump scandal that’s credible.”

on january 10, moments after the story broke and began to gain traction on social media, a person with the same smug grin face, and the same hash title for the picture, stated “I didn’t think they’d take it so far.”

This story has taken on something of a life of it’s own. Going through Rick Wilson’s twitter, you can find many different stories from the time that he had shown the story to a wide number of anti-trump news sources, trying to find a news organization that would actually publish the story. During that time period, he referred to it often as ‘the thing’, and often playing coy with followers on the content with the story with anybody who was not also a #Nevertrumper. Unconfirmed sources has people as high up as John McCain giving the story to FBI Director James Comey to attempt to verify the story. Given that Rick Wilson runs in Establishment circles, it is not an impossible scenario that long-serving senators are falling for what amounts to a 4chan troll trump supporter creating an ironic October Surprise out of wholecloth to punk a GOPe pundit who derogatorily referred to them as single men who masturbate to anime.

Leaving out the possible 4chan element (which would really take this saga into a new level of ignominy), and leaving out NeverTrumper Rick Wilson, consider John McCain. This article from The Guardian confirms that McCain forwarded this dossier to the FBI last month.

Now, consider the players here, and consider the nature of this dossier. On one side you have CNN, Buzzfeed, John McCain and the FBI (part of the Intelligence Community), and on the other side you have Donald Trump. This is basically a continuation of the same split which has been in place for the better part of two years now, in which the globalist, establishment interest in the media and in both major political parties have been fighting against a nationalist interloper in Trump who poses a threat to their standing.

Every single step of Trump’s rise has been met with severe resistance from this establishment group, their goal being to stop him from becoming president. Having failed at achieving that goal, they went on to delegitimize the President-Elect at every turn, by bringing up the meaningless popular vote, by heavily publicizing recount efforts in targeted states, by inciting post-election riots, and finally by hyping up the narrative that Russian involvement was at least partially responsible for Trump’s victory.

This latest dossier leak is an extension of that Russian angle, released at a moment just after the intelligence community released its ‘comprehensive’ report asserting that Vladimir Putin himself directed hacking attempts into the DNC to leak information with the view to assist Trump. This dossier, with its ‘compromising information’ is the next phase of the Russian involvement, seemingly showing that the Russians have Trump by the short hairs. In that, given the ‘fact’ that the Russians did the dirty work to get Trump elected, Trump better do what they say or else that compromising information would be released.

Note that this leaked hours before Rex Tillerson, Trump’s pick to run the State Department, is set to have his confirmation hearings. Tillerson has been criticized for his ‘soft’ stance on Russia. The circus created by this dossier leak simply muddies the waters for his confirmation hearings. It will certainly be brought up in the hearings, and Tillerson will be grilled about it.

McCain being involved in this sort of thing is not surprising, but it should really highlight what is going on here. McCain and the globalists, which include leftist politicians and the leftist media, really hate Russia. This story has shown that this Russian antagonism in those quarters has gotten to a point that any slight information, regardless of how absurd it is on its face, is jumped upon as though it were a smoking gun. These interests seemingly won’t rest until there is nuclear war with Russia.

CNN and McCain in this instance are proxies for the wider globalist interest, and in concert with the intelligence community (the much maligned ‘deep state’), it has taken its fight with Trump to the next level. It’s a sign that, despite its defeat, the globalist interest has no plans of relinquishing its place in the world. It is also a confirmation that Trump really is a threat to that order.

But the farcical nature of the information itself renders the whole gamut to be impotent. Yes, in the eyes of the unthinking masses, it may look as though Trump is a Manchurian Candidate. And given that half of the American electorate sides with the Republican and Democratic establishment, the media, a politicized intelligence community, as well as academia in hating Trump and everything he stands for, the slightest of improprieties, real or perceived will be taken to the highest of heights in no time.

This is exactly what happened on Twitter last night in the wake of the Buzzfeed release. The millions who dislike Trump immediately jumped on it, uncritically and dutifully believing that he hired Russian prostitutes to pee on a Muscovite bed that President Obama may have slept on years ago. It goes beyond wishful thinking, and highlights the deluded nature of the anti-Trump crowd.

The irony is that the same globalists, backed by the intelligence community, accused the Russians of interfering in our election in part by creating chaos, when those same interests have been interfering with the start of the Trump era by creating chaos over questions of his legitimacy.

The final aspect of this is the media. As stated before, this dossier had been making the rounds for months, yet it was such nonsense that no respected journalist could run with it. CNN took the plunge yesterday, and when it, a ‘respected’ name had already gone out with the story, other mainstream outlets were almost obliged to follow, in fear of losing clicks, ad revenue and so on to CNN and Buzzfeed. CNN gave them cover, as long as they made a reference to the original CNN report.

Without being dramatic, we are potentially seeing another nail pounded into the coffin of the mainstream press. As mentioned before, they conspired to take Trump down from day one. Having lost that fight, they blamed it on every outside factor they could think of, including the now maligned ‘fake news,’ which they defined as any news item or opinion which ran counter to their world view.

To this end, consider this tweet from Donald Trump, in response to the leaks:

Trump, the President of the United States, referring to mainstream, leftist organizations like CNN and Buzzfeed as ‘fake news,’ is further driving home the current divide that exists. The already waning trust of the public in these institutions will continue to slide. This tweet also highlights Trump’s unique trolling ability, adding in the ‘Nazi Germany’ swipe, which is relevant given that the leftist old media continually compared him to Hitler. Using this story to reframe the situation as the ‘lugenpresse’ having one last shot at him outlines his mastery of the media.

In any case, by putting forth this dossier as a real news story, the old media has forever ruined its right to be the arbiters of ‘fake news,’ if it ever had that right in the first place. Indeed, just the other day, the Washington Post was begging the public to retire the term, having observed that it had been overrun by those on the right, who were correctly redirecting the term to mean ‘the intellectually dishonest drivel emanating from old, legacy media,’ not to mention the outright lies that publications such as the WaPo themselves post.

This saga is yet another example, and given the nature of the salacious details involved, gives new meaning to the term ‘yellow journalism.’

Election Influencers, Part 2

Yesterday, I wrote about the DNI report which was released over the weekend which declared that the Russians had influenced the 2016 election by hacking into the DNC and John Podesta, among others, as well as putting forth pro-Trump ‘propaganda’ on their state backed television networks.

I described how the charge as presented by the intelligence community is absurd; in short the fact that RT or Sputnik put forth a pro-Trump opinion, to mostly a Russian audience, speaking in Russian is hardly the most effective means to affect the US election. With respect to the leaked documents, those documents and emails were legitimate, as confirmed by the report, and thus merely exposed the bad actions that the DNC and the Clinton campaign engaged in. The net effect of ‘Russian involvement’ was more transparency and a more informed electorate, something which the US press and its lawmakers claims they are forever working to achieve.

The response by the media, and most lawmakers has been quite different. The prevailing attitude can be summed up by former CIA acting director Michael Morell, who said last month that the Russian intervention (whatever it actually was, if anything) was an ‘existential threat to our way of life’ which was ‘the political equivalent of 9/11.’

Such heightened language has become par for the course for analyzing this topic for purely political reasons. This politicization tabled by Brian Stelter in this interview with Glenn Greenwald:

After declaring that it is a possibility that there was Russian involvement, Greenwald had this to say about having blind trust in the intelligence community:

…but there’s a lesson, a really critical lesson that I thought we had learned back in August 1964, when the US Senate stood up and authorized Lyndon Johnson to escalate the war in Vietnam with two dissenting votes, based on the intelligence communities’ claims about what happened in the Gulf of Tonkin which turned out to be total false, and the same lesson in 2002 when a group of bipartisan senators assured the nation that the intelligence community convinced them that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and was in an alliance with al-Qaeda, and the same lesson we learned in 2013, when just months before the Snowden reporting, James Clapper, President Obama’s top security official, lied to the faces of the country when he said he wants to assure the country that the NSA doesn’t collect data  on millions of Americans.

And that lesson is, we don’t just blindly and uncritically accept the claims of the intelligence community, especially provocative claims about a foreign adversary without seeing convincing evidence presented by them that those claims are true, and we absolutely have not seen that in this case.

Greenwald is absolutely right here, yet on this issue the narrative has been established that one has to blindly and uncritically accept whatever the intelligence community says or else there will be big problems. Here’s Morell, speaking on Face the Nation yesterday:

If the men and women of CIA don’t believe the President is listening to what they have to say, to the facts the put on the table, and the fact based analysis they put on the table, their interest in working there will go way down.

[…]

The other practical effect it has is that we tell people who are spying for us, who are actually putting their life on the line to spy for us, that their information is going to the highest levels of our government, and is being used to make the world a better place. If we can’t tell spies that, if they see that on TV, they’re not going to spy for us. So I think there are significant effects if the disparagement continues.

With respect to this particular instance, the ‘fact based analysis’ put forth by the intelligence community, that revealing the truth about the rigged game the DNC was playing constitutes foreign meddling in our electoral process, to the point that we face an existential threat to our way of life, is hard to take seriously. Morell’s interpretation that having such a reasonable second guessing of the intelligence analysis could lead to a sort of mutiny in the ranks of the CIA can only stem from a political bias.

Greenwald makes this point in later his interview with Stelter, noting the fact that Republicans put forth the idea that not agreeing with the intelligence community when they advocated war in 2002 was unpatriotic. Recall George W. Bush’s repeated utterances of the phrase ‘you’re either with us or against us’ in making his case. Democrats at the time were highly skeptical of intelligence, in their general stance against war.

It seems as though the roles have reversed today, with Democrats beating the drum for retaliation against Russia for meddling in the election. However, the political fault line causing the divide is not necessarily Republican versus Democrat. It is anti-establishment nationalists versus establishment globalists. This explains why the likes of John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and pundits such as David Brooks are all on the same side as Adam Schiff, Hillary Clinton, President Obama and the entirety of the mainstream US press.

Trump’s victory was a tremendous blow to this globalist set, and they have sought to strike back by in delegitimizing Trump’s presidency. They are in opposition to Russia, for varying reasons, which I’ve outlined before. The media, which is the mouthpiece for that establishment globalist view, has worked overdrive in recent weeks to heighten magnitude of what may or may not have happened with respect to the election, playing on patriotic feelings of the electorate to undermine President-elect Trump.

By creating this cloud of doubt around Russian involvement, the globalist defeat can be mitigated. The goal is to grind Trump down to a point where he ‘acknowledges’ that Russians may have played a role in the election. The second he does that, the intellectually dishonest narrative will be spun furiously. You can almost see the New York Times headline should Trump ever give in to some of these claims:

‘TRUMP HAS ADMITTED VLADAMIR PUTIN PERSONALLY INSTALLED HIM AS PRESIDENT’

It would be a box that would forever constrain his presidency, as anything he would hope to accomplish would be dogged by concerns about ‘Russian handlers,’ and the like. The globalists would have achieved their goal of a neutered Trump presidency. Trump is right to resist the intelligence conclusions to this point.

As for the media and lawmakers, their naked politicization of this issue will continue to harm their credibility. A facet of the intelligence report was focused on RT, the state-owned media outlet which was accused of disseminating pro-Trump ‘propaganda.’ This continues in the line of ‘fake news,’ which was a concept established after the election as an excuse as to why Hillary Clinton did not win.

‘Fake news’ is better described as ‘opinions the establishment media disagrees with,’ as evidenced by the outrageous treatment of Beppe Grillo, the outspoken Italian politician. Last week, he had the temerity to put forth his opinion that the mainstream media was the biggest purveyors of fake news themselves.

His views were met with massive backlash from globalist politicians, one of whom declared that the idea that random members of the public should decide what is and isn’t fake news ‘is called Fascism, and those who play to down are accomplices.’ His opinions and solutions were hailed as Mussolini-like. This shows you the state of mind of the globalist set. They put forth a set of options: agree with their consensus opinion, or be declared a fascist dealing in fake news.

Meanwhile, one of the organizations deemed to be ‘real’ news, the Washington Post, has just been caught publishing the most fake of fake news stories, accusing the Russians of hacking into the electric grid. Virtually every word of that article is false, yet the Post went with it enthusiastically, as it is in line with their globalist view.

The inflammatory nature of that claim that the Russians were tampering with the electric grid is orders of magnitude greater than anything that the Russians may have done in terms of hacking. It is potentially an offense warranting a military response. Yet the globalists have no qualms in falsely fanning these flames because it is in their interest.

In this vein, consider the following video from Chuck Schumer last week, in regards to the ongoing row between Trump and the intelligence community:

Shockingly, Schumer all but threatens Trump that his stance against the intelligence community would provoke retaliation by the intelligence community against Trump. It truly is a stunning thing to say, that the American intelligence community would literally strike back against the American President, as though they are mortal adversaries, all over a mere difference in opinion.

However, once you introduce the political aspect, and beyond this the ideological difference between the globalists and nationalists that trumps everything, such claims make a bit more sense.  Globalists such as Schumer, McCain and the mainstream media care more about preserving their power and the propagation of the globalist ideology than what is best for the American people. To them, saber rattling for World War 3 with nuclear-capable Russia is superior to allowing the nationalist bent of Trump and Putin to run unchecked, despite the latter having the potential to achieve real peace and prosperity for the respective peoples of the United States and Russia.

As more and more people on the ground understand these concepts, the credibility of the media and the globalist politicians they shill for decreases and decreases.

Election Influencers

This past Friday, the US intelligence community released what the New York Times would later call a ‘damning report’ about their findings with regards to the involvement of Russia in the US election. This issue was a hot subject of contention over the last 6 months or so of the election, with the multitude of WikiLeaks and other revelations from the Democratic National Committee showing the organization to be corrupt, and in many cases working in league with mainstream media outifits to its own ends.

In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s defeat, the media and the DNC beat the ‘Russians hacked the election’ drum ever louder. Some establishment Republicans, such as John McCain and Linsey Graham cottoned on to this as well, perhaps hoping to parlay these allegations into the increased US military offensive they’d been dreaming about.

All of this noise set up the report that was released by US intelligence on Friday. It was a de-classified effort, which aimed to outline exactly what the Russians did to influence the US election. Both the report itself, and the media coverage of the report and the issue generally are important to analyze with respect to the larger issue of a legitimate Trump presidency, and beyond that, a political intelligence community and heavily biased media.

Analyzing The Report’s Findings

The meat of the report begins as follows:

We assess with high confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election, the consistent goals of which were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. When it appeared to Moscow that Secretary Clinton was likely to win the election, the Russian influence campaign then focused on undermining her expected presidency

Given that the report was declassified for public consumption, it makes note of the fact that it could not be very extensive in terms of providing direct evidence as this would betray some of its ‘collection’ methods and perhaps compromise sources. Thus, phrases such as ‘assess with high confidence’ are littered throughout the report in lieu of concrete evidence. In short we’re supposed to just take their word for it that the conclusions reached are valid.

According to the report, Putin masterminded an influence campaign aimed at altering the US election by undermining faith in the electoral process and harming Clinton. The Russian government had a preference for Trump, and when it looked as though Clinton would win they focused on stopping her.

If that warrants a deeper look by US intelligence agencies with a view to determining foul play, then surely the actions of the ‘globalist influence campaign’ require a second look as well. After all, the Russian government was not the only foreign entity which was shown to have a clear preference for one of the candidates in the 2016 election.

Hillary Clinton says foreign leaders are privately reaching out to her to ask if they can endorse her to stop Donald Trump from becoming president of the United States.

“I am already receiving messages from leaders,” Clinton told an Ohio audience at a Democratic presidential town hall on Sunday night.

“I’m having foreign leaders ask if they can endorse me to stop Donald Trump.”

The likes of Matteo Renzi of Italy (when he was still PM), and Francois Hollande of France did so publicly, and many other former heads of state such as Tony Blair and Vicente Fox did as well. UK Parliament was forced to debate a motion to ban Donald Trump from the country, after receiving the requisite number of signatures to a petition.

Furthermore, in the vein of the reports’ allegation that the Russians tactically switched focus when they thought Clinton was set to win, when Trump actually won the election, the focus of the ‘globalist influence campaign’ switched to undermining his presidency.

Nationwide rioting, Jill Stein’s recount effort, the focus on getting the Electoral College to ‘vote its conscience,’ and of course the Russian hacking angle, were all tools used to undermine the incoming Trump presidency by planting the seed that something was ‘wrong’ with outcome on November 8. To date, I haven’t seen much in the way of outrage at this blatant attempt to question Trump’s legitimacy, let alone official intelligence inquiries.

The report continues on, painting a picture of a Russian revenge plot, seeking retribution for the US-backed release of the Panama Papers, as well as the Olympic Doping scandal. Putin personally is supposedly holding a grudge against Clinton for negative comments she made about him back in 2011 and 2012.

The report says that Putin preferred Trump owing to his ‘stated policy to work with Russia’ (the horror) versus ‘Secretary Clinton’s “aggressive rhetoric.”’ Yes, intelligence community, Secretary Clinton’s insistence on a no-fly zone above Syria, an action which US Generals are adamant would lead to war with nuclear-powered Russia, qualifies as aggressive rhetoric. No need for the dismissive quotes. The report continues:

Moscow’s use of disclosures during the US election was unprecedented, but its influence campaign otherwise followed a longstanding Russian messaging strategy that blends covert intelligence operations—such as cyber activity—with overt efforts by Russian Government agencies, statefunded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users or “trolls.”

By ‘cyber activity,’ the report suggests that hackers such as Guccifer 2.0 obtained access to the DNC over a period of at least a year, and leaked the information it gathered to organizations such as WikiLeaks, which are also alleged to have had ties to the Russian government. The report alleges that Guccifer 2.0 is actually a Russian, and not a Romanian as is claimed.

One of the most important lines in the entire report is as follows:

Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries.

In other words, the content that was released by the leaks was true. As for statefunded media, this ‘Russian Propaganda’ section of the report details the efforts of the likes of RT and Sputnik:

Russia’s state-run propaganda machine—comprised of its domestic media apparatus, outlets targeting global audiences such as RT and Sputnik, and a network of quasi-government trolls—contributed to the influence campaign by serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences. State-owned Russian media made increasingly favorable comments about President-elect Trump as the 2016 US general and primary election campaigns progressed while consistently offering negative coverage of Secretary Clinton.

Starting in March 2016, Russian Government– linked actors began openly supporting President-elect Trump’s candidacy in media aimed at English-speaking audiences. RT and Sputnik—another government-funded outlet producing pro-Kremlin radio and online content in a variety of languages for international audiences—consistently cast President-elect Trump as the target of unfair coverage from traditional US media outlets that they claimed were subservient to a corrupt political establishment.

[…]

RT’s coverage of Secretary Clinton throughout the US presidential campaign was consistently negative and focused on her leaked e-mails and accused her of corruption, poor physical and mental health, and ties to Islamic extremism. Some Russian officials echoed Russian lines for the influence campaign that Secretary Clinton’s election could lead to a war between the United States and Russia.

If positive coverage of Trump by Russian media is deemed to have been a factor in nefarious intervention in the US election, then the overwhelming negative coverage of Trump by US media is also such an attempt to influence the election. Consider this chart, obtained from the Washington Post.

This overwhelming negative bias by US media has not been classed as an attempt to install Hillary Clinton as president in the way the converse claim has been, let alone received any closer scrutiny by intelligence agencies.

It was through the leaks themselves that the public learned of the ways in which the media coordinated with the Clinton campaign. Multiple reporters, including Glenn Thrush of Politico and John Harwood of CNBC were caught colluding with the Clinton campaign, allowing it to shape their reporting. Then DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was observed threatening MSNBC anchor Mika Brzezinski over her coverage of Hillary Clinton.

Despite the report characterizing the paradigm of press as subservient to a corrupt political establishment to be propaganda, the leaks showed that this is exactly what happened.

That comprised about half of the meat of the report. The other half was almost entirely focused on RT specifically, breaking down its political views, TV show lonely, and metrics such as its YouTube and Twitter subscribers.

As mentioned before, there is no hard evidence of any claim made in the report, and many of the claims are conjecture based on inferences and critical interpretations of fact. As discussed before, the leaked information was all true and beyond that, the report also contained this important line, with respect to Russian alleged targeting of US election boards:

DHS assesses that the types of systems we observed Russian actors targeting or compromising are not involved in vote tallying.

Again, the information which was leaked was true, and not one vote was tabulated incorrectly.

Media Response

As such, any media outlet which has used phrases such as ‘Russia hacked the election’ have been deliberately obfuscating fact. The Russians did not change the vote totals, nor did they put any pressure on any individual to vote one way or another.

At the very most, the Russians used their media outlets to express their views on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and beyond this, Russian actors may have leaked pertinent, factual information in that regard. In terms of Russian media, expressing a pro-Trump, or anti-Clinton view is not propaganda as is claimed in the report, but merely expressing a political opinion.

RT or Sputnik have not done any different to the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, NBC or CNN in terms of offering opinionated coverage of the election. If RT can be classed to have ‘influenced’ the election, in the pejorative manner that it has been accused, so too has the NYT and CNN influenced the election in this same manner.

Furthermore, RT and Sputnik together have nowhere near the level of influence over the American voter that the likes of the NYT, WaPo, ABC, NBC, CNN, CBS, the LA Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and Fox do, in total, not to mention foreign outfits such as the BBC, The Guardian, Der Speigel and Al Jazeera. The efforts of that collective favored Hillary Clinton on balance, not Donald Trump. Yet US intelligence and those media outlets themselves are asking the American public to believe that plucky RT and Sputnik outweighed them all, to such a degree that it tipped the scales for Trump.

As for the leaked content, it bears repeating – none of it was false. The intelligence report confirmed it, as did the victims of the leak by not challenging the veracity of the emails themselves. Not one person piped up to say ‘Hey! I didn’t write that!’ Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was forced to resign as DNC chairman owing to the fact that the coordination among the DNC to boost Hillary Clinton at the expense of Bernie Sanders was true.

In short, what these Russian (to the extent that they were Russian) leaks showed was that the DNC and the Clinton campaign were running a corrupt operation, which used the power structure of the Democratic Party to freeze out Bernie Sanders, and tried to use the media power structure to do the same to Donald Trump.

The leaks exposed the fundamentally un-American position Hillary Clinton held with respect to things such as international trade and open borders. It exposed the dubious links between Clinton, her global charity foundation, and favors done for foreign businessman, politicians and other dignitaries, implicating her as using her position as Secretary of State to personally enrich herself selling influence to foreigners.

This was all pertinent information to the American electorate. As such, the media and the intelligence community are in effect saying that it was wrong for the American electorate to know about the duplicitous and perhaps illegal activities engaged by Clinton and her campaign. It is an argument for a less informed electorate.

On top of all of this, the manner in which some of the leaked information was obtained  presents another side to the story. It was not mentioned in the report, but it is widely accepted that John Podesta was the victim of a basic phishing attack which compromised his email account. This Vox article explains what happened in further detail. In short, it was Podesta’s incompetence which was more responsible than any other factor for his emails falling in the hands of those that would leak them. It is a relief that the likes of Podesta are no longer in the halls of power on this basis.

This hasn’t stopped the media angst. From the NYT article describing the report (emphasis mine):

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia directed a vast cyberattack aimed at denying Hillary Clinton the presidency and installing Donald J. Trump in the Oval Office, the nation’s top intelligence agencies said in an extraordinary report they delivered on Friday to Mr. Trump.

The officials presented their unanimous conclusions to Mr. Trump in a two-hour briefing at Trump Tower in New York that brought the leaders of America’s intelligence agencies face to face with their most vocal skeptic, the president-elect, who has repeatedly cast doubt on Russia’s role. The meeting came just two weeks before Mr. Trump’s inauguration and was underway even as the electoral votes from his victory were being formally counted in a joint session of Congress.

Soon after leaving the meeting, intelligence officials released the declassified, damning report that described the sophisticated cybercampaign as part of a continuing Russian effort to weaken the United States government and its democratic institutions. The report — a virtually unheard-of, real-time revelation by the American intelligence agencies that undermined the legitimacy of the president who is about to direct them — made the case that Mr. Trump was the favored candidate of Mr. Putin.

The voluminous, dramatic writing in this, the opening three paragraphs of the article, is amazing when juxtaposed with the ‘substance’ of the report – that showed that Russian media had a favorable opinion of Trump, and that Russian hackers potentially leaked accurate information pertinent to the election. Through Michael Creighton-level spy thriller narration, the media has pyramided this into a tall tale of international espionage, warranting a counter attack of sanctions and perhaps more.

This fiction is intended to undermine the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency, just as the report itself. By hyping up the scale of Russian involvement, consistently dropping in phrases like ‘the disruption of our ELECTORAL PROCESS’ to highlight the sanctity of what was done, the media establishes an Us vs Them scenario vis a vis Russia, a country with which we already have priors.

The media then takes the next step and attacks Trump, who has been consistently skeptical of the Russian hacking angle. That the dramatization of the Russian involvement has a shred of truth embedded in it has allowed media pundits to be driven into a frenzy, tripping over themselves to express their shock that ‘Trump is ‘siding’ with a HOSTILE foreign power over US intelligence!!’

What is truly shocking is the fact that the media, and the intelligence community is siding with agitators for war such as McCain and Graham, all because Hillary Clinton, the media’s favored candidate also sided with the warmongers, as discussed before.

It is little wonder why Putin favored Trump – he was the candidate which wants cooperation with Russia. As I’ve discussed before, cooperation with Russia is a non-starter for the globalist influence campaign waged by leftists, which detests the country for its refusal to play ball with American hegemony geopolitically while rejecting imposing Cultural Marxist dogma on its people.

As a result, Russia has been fashioned, incorrectly,  as the mortal enemy of the United States once again. Fake news indeed.

Chronicles in Old Media Delusion

Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times thinks he has found the solution to the pandemic of ‘fake news,’ which he and others in the Old Media are convinced cost Hillary Clinton the election. Of course, this ‘fake news’ is most accurately described as ‘news and/or opinions which do not line up with the views espoused by those on the left.’

In his article, he points to the latest outrage sparked by yet another Donald Trump tweet, in which he took umbrage to a Vanity Fair review of his own Trump Grill.

(Tweet: “Has anyone looked at the really poor numbers of Magazine. Way down, big trouble, dead! Graydon Carter, no talent, will be out!”)

Rutenberg, as with most old media journalists, treat these mini blasts from Trump as though they had been chiseled onto Moses’ stone tablets, such is the importance they give to 140-character, largely throwaway streams of consciousness.

In fairness, they can be quite entertaining, and given that Trump is going to be the next president of the United States, and an avid Twitter user, I can understand the fixation on them. In this particular tweet, Rutenberg sees the seeds of a victory for the old media he represents against Trump, who has been at odds with them since he embarked on his campaign for the presidency.

As Mr. Trump tries to burn the media village down, he may just be saving it.

His running campaign of Twitter attacks, declarations of failure and vows to punish the traditional news media is threatening to do what so many years of cost-cutting and re-envisioning could not do as easily: put the industry on more solid economic footing, where customers who realize its value are willing to pay for it more regularly.

It’s early. And, in traditional media, hope is the province of masochists.

But in the weeks since the election, magazines like The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Vanity Fair; newspapers including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post; and nonprofits like NPR and ProPublica have been reporting big boosts in subscription rates or donations.

It’s as if Mr. Trump’s media attacks have combined with the heightened attention on the perils of fake news to create one big fat advertisement for the value of basic journalism.

“The fake news business is going to be great for journalism in the long run,” Mr. Carter told me Friday, referring to Mr. Trump as “the Fake Newser in Chief.” “Proper news organizations should thrive under this.”

The irony if this is that Rutenberg’s conclusion describes the exact dynamic which existed between his Old Media and Trump throughout the campaign. That is, the constant attacks by the old media against Trump probably did more than anything to galvanize his supporters and turn those who originally opposed him. Take this quote from Slate Star Codex, who noted that he was an anti-Trump supporter, but understood the fact that the media, by ‘crying wolf’  enabled what should have been a joke candidate (in his eyes) to ascend to victory:

Stop fearmongering. Somewhere in America, there are still like three or four people who believe the media, and those people are cowering in their houses waiting for the death squads.

Stop crying wolf. God forbid, one day we might have somebody who doesn’t give speeches about how diversity makes this country great and how he wants to fight for minorities, who doesn’t pose holding a rainbow flag and state that he proudly supports transgender people, who doesn’t outperform his party among minority voters, who wasn’t the leader of the Salute to Israel Parade, and who doesn’t offer minorities major cabinet positions. And we won’t be able to call that guy an “openly white supremacist Nazi homophobe”, because we already wasted all those terms this year.

Stop talking about dog whistles. The kabbalistic similarities between “dog-whistling” and “wolf-crying” are too obvious to ignore.

Stop writing articles breathlessly following everything the KKK says. Stop writing several times more articles about the KKK than there are actual Klansmen. Remember that thing where Trump started out as a random joke, and then the media covered him way more than any other candidate because he was so outrageous, and gave him what was essentially free advertising, and then he became President-elect of the United States? Is the lesson you learned from this experience that you need 24-7 coverage of the Ku Klux Klan?

In that now-viral post, SSC points out the fact that the KKK has a memebership of about 5,000, which is about 0.02% of the population and orders of magnitude fewer numbers than groups like the Nation of Islam, Church of Satan and Harare Karishnas. Yet none of these groups are taken seriously at all, let alone feared by the media to have had the ear of a presidential candidate such that we should all cluth our children closer at night.

SSC notes Trump has explicitly ignored and denounced David Duke, the media’s KKK go-to figure of note, on a consistent basis since the year 2000. Yet this didn’t stop the media from beating on and on about Trump and his white nationalist base.

SSC tears apart many other similar old media talking points which were used to batter Trump with on a regular basis during the campaign. The problem for the old media was that their propaganda drives took place in the age of the internet, and more importantly in the age of social media. The existence of ALL of the source material and primary sources meant that the false narratives the old media could be deconstructed in real time, and spread to the public as a whole.

And in the face of this, the old media kept crying wolf, to the point where Rutenberg’s own employer had to print a mea culpa of sorts, in which it stated it would ‘rededicate’ itself ‘to the fundamental mission of Times journalism.’

Indeed, those last two words, Times journalism printed in that manner are quite curious. One would think that good, or even great journalism would be more appropriate an aim. By referring to their own special brand of journalism, one that had been categorically shoddy (recall, Rutenberg himself argued that it was right for journalists to treat Trump with open hostility earlier this summer), the piece from the Editorial Board reads less mea culpa and more ‘we’re doubling down.’

One of the NYT’s more famous columnists, Paul Krugman is in the midst of such a doubling down, a multi-day effort of Wrong spanned out across multiple outlets. To be sure, Krugman is an opinion writer, but in the context of this discussion, we live in a current journalistic climate in which doing ‘real’ journalism is to give the opinions of a leftist. To take an opposing view isn’t just disagreement, but heresy, worthy of censure. In that climate you can’t just have a difference of opinion, you are considered to be evil if you disagree.

Krugman’s meltdown began with this tweet last weekend in which he stated that Trump would be politically incentivized by a 9/11 style terror attack:

(Tweet: “Thought: There was (rightly) a cloud of illegitimacy over Bush, dispelled (wrongly) by 9/11. Creates some interesting incentives for Trump”)

He then frothed at the mouth after the Electoral College confirmed Trump’s Nov. 8 election victory:

(Tweet: “So it’s official, and it’s vile: the loser of the popular vote installed by Russian intervention, a rogue FBI, and epic media malfunction.”)

Then kept fighting the good ‘Trump is White Nationalist’ fight:

(Tweet: “To join Trump admin, you have to be white nationalist conspiracy theorist, but must also be always wrong re your supposed area of expertise)

His last three columns he wrote (here, here, here) were all to do with the fact that the election was stolen by the Russians and the FBI, and that our corrupt institutions let us down. On that final score he is partially right – our corrupt institutions have let us down – and it was because of that the electorate was galvanized by Trump and his call to ‘drain the swamp’ to take action against them.

The institutions didn’t want Trump. The problem was that in Clinton stood a candidate so corrupt herself that the institutions couldn’t deflect Trump’s charges. Clinton would have skated by a Jeb or Rubio, neither of whom were willing to ‘go there,’ and thus the public wouldn’t have cared about the alleged misdeeds of Clinton. If no politician was willing to stand up, the people would have trudged to the polls to elect Clinton, despite the stench of corruption.

Trump was different, Trump stood up to Clinton and the media who backed her. That’s why he won. And in the wake of it all, that same media has rushed to decry the constant discussion of that Clinton Stench during the campaign as ‘fake news.’

It’s been said repeatedly, but the post-election stance has shown that the old media has learned nothing. As they continue to define the fake news/proper news spectrum as pro-Trump/anti-Trump opinion respectively, they continue to dig themselves into a deeper hole.

Rutenberg is absolutely right in saying that proper news organizations will benefit wildly from the coming journalistic landscape, which in many ways is already here. However, given the waning trust in old media outlets like his, followed by his own shop posting middling profits, as well as an office space downsize in the offing, it is clear he has the specific organizations on each side of the real/fake news divide backwards.