Opinion

Democrats and Media Told us 'Turbulent Times' Was a Call with Ukraine. Now They're Trying to Rewrite the Story.

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Posted: Mar 23, 2020 3:30 PM
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Democrats and Media Told us 'Turbulent Times' Was a Call with Ukraine. Now They're Trying to Rewrite the Story.

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

“These are turbulent times,” the headline in the Washington Post declared. “But we will persist and prevail.”

Amen.

But that editorial was published on Feb. 6. It began mourning the loss of a vocation that took decades to build: “After nearly 34 years…I said goodbye to a career that I loved.”

Had she started a small business from scratch? Were her employees forced to stay home, missing paychecks amid mandatory store closings during a global pandemic?

Well, no. It was an unelected bureaucrat who decided to retire after, not losing her job, but being transferred from a diplomatic post where she served at the pleasure of the president. This, she said, was “perhaps the most challenging” turbulent time “that I have witnessed.” Main street disagrees.

A day earlier, President Trump was acquitted of the nebulous articles of impeachment brought by House Democrats, whose case alleged no crime, and rested largely on the hurt feelings of career officials, like Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. Though most Americans had long since tuned out, Democrats were upset the trial was ending. Over five months grinding Congress to a halt, with fantastical arguments that pausing aid never delivered by the Obama administration was suddenly our number one national security priority, was not enough.

Flash forward six weeks and her complaints seem even more trivial now than they did then. This is not to pick on the Ambassador, we certainly wish her well. Presumably, Yovanovitch – who remained on the taxpayer-funded State Department’s payroll for months after her removal – is in a better position than most. It is unclear if she is social distancing at her home in Boca Raton, Fla. or the one in Alexandria, Va., where she will have time to work on her forthcoming book, for which she got a seven-figure advance.

With the benefit of hindsight, we can see just how inconsequential the Democrats’ impeachment gambit was. There are, in fact, more pressing national security concerns. We could start with global supply chains, or how 80 percent of antibiotics come from China.

But now the media is trying to rewrite history. Forget Ukraine! The media’s intel leakers, who tried and failed for months to stoke fear about our election, tell them the real story was they were warning of the coming pandemic. Curiously, they just started leaking this now.

The Washington Post story claims “intelligence reports” were issued by our vast intelligence community about the virus outbreak in Wuhan that China’s communist regime was covering up.  Well, one would hope so. They claim these reports said a pandemic was “likely,” though they “didn’t predict when,” or “recommend particular steps that public health officials should take.” The story was attributed to “U.S. officials familiar with spy agency reporting.” In other words, even in a time of crisis, the Post is happy to peddle whatever a biased intel leaker gives them, no matter how short of facts or manipulated it may be, as long as it attacks the president.

These reports occurred “while President Trump and lawmakers played down the threat and failed to take action that might have slowed the spread of the pathogen.” Really? The Trump administration issued a travel notice for Wuhan Jan. 6; established a coronavirus incident management system Jan. 7; started screening airports Jan. 17, before there was a recorded U.S. case; activated its emergency operations center on Jan. 21; began working on a vaccine Jan. 20; sought emergency authorization for state testing Jan. 23; and formed the coronavirus task force Jan. 29.

By the end of the month, travel from China was shut down, which experts credit for saving lives and buying precious time.

What were Democrats doing? Congress was at a standstill. The media was glued to an impeachment trial that scored worse ratings than soap operas.

A time of crisis is a good time to reassess and get back to basics. Washing hands. Making things in America again. Journalists should reassess, too. Now, when accurate information is more critical than ever, reporters should go back to the basics, with stories confirmed by at least two on the record sources. As President Trump said, false reports during this pandemic are not an insult to him, but to the tireless work of the professionals standing behind him.

It is not to say the Post did not have any coverage in late January on, yes, the “Chinese virus.” The Post’s front page headline on Jan. 27 read, “Chinese virus infections and death toll spike.” It ran right above, “Manuscript leak spurs calls for Bolton testimony.”

If the intel leakers and Democrats had gotten their way, the Senate would have been shut down countless more weeks with needless testimony, while the pandemic worsened. At least now it is up and running, despite Nancy Pelosi’s best efforts to torpedo bipartisan relief packages for American workers.

Contrary to what they told us, a phone call with Ukraine and disgruntled bureaucrats do not meet the threshold for "turbulent times.” In her editorial Yovanovitch spoke of the promise of America as “a government that sought to advance the interests of its people.” That is what President Trump has been doing all along.