This week we saw a perfect example of how corrupt journalism has become. There was an opportunity to report the news and journalists and their fellow travelers in the pundit class balked. While that wasn’t unusual, what was is how they did it in the lead up to the news, not bothering to wait until they’d seen what they were attempting to discredit. There was an unprecedented attempt to make the release of the FISA memo NOT NEWS before anyone knew what was in it.
Over the past two weeks, Democrats scrambled to “warn” the public that the release of the FISA memo would “damage national security” were it released. Journalists picked up the mantra and ran with it, unquestioningly parroting it in badgering Republicans about why they would support its release considering this charge. There was virtually no discussion as to whether or not this allegation was true or an attempted partisan distraction, it was simply accepted and repeated as if it had been carved into stone tablets by a burning bush and sent directly to the teleprompter in their TV studios.
The memo, of course, was nothing of the sort. There was nothing that was a threat in any way to national security, no remote mention of sources or methods. It was all a Democratic Party lie immediately adopted by journalists. As with past false stories that needed to be retracted or corrected, there was no comeuppance for those who spread the lie to the media, nor the media figures who regurgitated it. It happened, and when it was proven to be a lie, it was memory-holed. (This story on the subject to not even mention it.)
The lying by Democrats in the lead up to the memo’s release wasn’t surprising, nor was the complicity of journalists in spreading that lie. What was is how there was virtually no curiosity or interest in the memo and its contents in the days leading to its release from the people whose job it is supposed to be to convey information to the public. All journalists did was attempt to taint it’s release so as to foster disinterest in it in their audience when they could finally see it.
Once it was released to the public, the discussion shifted to anything but its contents or the fact that unverified Clinton campaign opposition research was used as justification to spy on an American citizen without disclosing that’s what it was.
Now, I don’t know anything about Carter Page, the subject of that spying, beyond the fact that he’s an American citizen. He could be a Russian robot, for all I know. But he’s apparently been the subject of constant government surveillance since 2013 and hasn’t been arrested. That means he’s either the world’s greatest spy who doesn’t leave a fingerprint anywhere, or he’s just some weird guy who, once the government started watching him, they couldn’t stop. I suspect it the latter since the Clinton oppo file had to be used, at least in part, to justify the continued spying.
No one in the media bothered to ask or seemed to care. (There are two very interesting threads on the FISA warrants here from a Member of Congress and especially here from an attorney. I recommend reading them.)
“Journalists” close to Fusion GPS, the Democratic Party front group that helped keep Clinton’s fingerprints off the oppo research, declared the memo a nothingburger. Liberal journalists who routinely report leaks from the left went so far as to complain that conservative outlets got a small head start. (This is a story that will never be written about NBC News or the New York Times. It’s also wild speculation, which is the exact opposite of what journalism is supposed to be.)
Democrats began leaking their claim there is evidence refuting the memo, but didn’t give any and didn’t have to in order for that claim to be reported.
Before its release, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell wasn’t interested, only “concerned” the American people finding out what our government does will “risk 40 years of congressional oversight of the agencies.” How? No need to explain, just declare it and move on. It’s not clear how the FBI and Department of Justice could cooperate less with congressional oversight than they have been, but if they did, according to Mitchell, this burning of the Constitution would be justified because we got a quick peek behind the curtain.
The media clowns came piling out of their car, too. Evan McMullin declared any potential violation of an American’s civil liberties by the government to be just fine because it involved Donald Trump. Liberal CNN conservative Matt Lewis declared the whole thing a “dud,” much to the delight of other desperate Green Room dwellers. In reading these and other poorly written pieces, it’s fairly clear these conclusions were planned before the allegations were heard. Anything for more airtime.
CNN and MSNBC had panels exclusively of liberals denouncing the memo without discussing its implications or content. If the government can award itself the power to spy on Americans simply because someone got drunk and talked themselves up in front of others (George Papadopoulos) and someone else made allegations about that person (Page), there is virtually no one in the country who couldn’t be subjected to government spying.
Journalists weren’t interested in that, or anything else associated with the memo. They, like McMullin, couldn’t care less about government abusing its power as long as it does it against people they don’t like. We saw this play out with the IRS scandal during the Obama administration – the media ignored it as long as they could, talked about it for a quick minute, then returned to repeating the lie that Obama’s tenure was “scandal-free.”
Were Trump not President, were the Oval Office occupied by any of the other candidates who ran in 2016, the story would be nearly the same. There might not be the personal ferocity or sense of urgency, but the simmering contempt would still be there and it would still dominate the actions of these people.
They don’t care. Journalism is dead. It didn’t die of natural causes, it was murdered by its practitioners in the name of attacking Republicans, in particular Donald Trump.