Opinion

A Brief History of Hoaxes

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Posted: Jun 11, 2019 12:01 AM
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A Brief History of Hoaxes

Source: AP Photo/Bryan Woolston

Ever since that cold Friday in March when Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered his report on the Russia investigation, and instantly dashed the hopes of countless Trump-hating Americans, a new drumbeat has risen from the ashes of the Russia hoax.  “Obstruction!” has rung out from every corner of the DNC, as well as the 23 and counting contenders for the Democratic nomination.  

Forgetting for just a second that accusing Trump of obstructing the Russia investigation is akin to a three-card monte dealer accusing the mark of cheating, the presidential hopefuls would do well to ask themselves, “When did a hoax ever work out well for its propagator(s)?”  Not recently, that much is certain.

Take just a brief look at the last year.  When President Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to replace Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, Washington witnessed a brief calm amidst the ever-present cultural storm.  From his nomination on July 9th through two long and unusually quiet summer months, Brett Kavanaugh enjoyed praise from all sides.  Even left leaning magazine The Atlantic found room to run stories from Kavanaugh’s former colleagues touting the Judge’s credentials and character.

Then, on September 12th, five days after Kavanaugh’s uneventful Senate confirmation hearings had ended, quite dubious charges of an assault 35 years prior at a high school party surfaced.  Senators Diane Feinstein and Kamala Harris, both California Democrats, both Senate Judiciary Committee members, both having met with Kavanaugh over the summer, both with direct knowledge of the allegations since at least July 10th, decided to take up this charge and run wild with it. 

Never mind that both aforementioned senators sat on this information for two months, and what that implies.  What was the end result of the Kavanaugh hearing fiasco?  Did the Left succeed in keeping another conservative voice off the nation’s highest court?  No. Were average Americans able to watch our American experiment go off without Jerry Springer-esque drama?  No. Will there ever again be a Supreme Court nomination without vicious partisan exhibitions of juvenile mudslinging?  Not likely.

Who benefitted from the Kavanaugh hoax? No one.

In January, a 16-year-old boy had the unfortunate experience of being verbally and racially assaulted by several adults while on a school trip to his nation’s capital.  Nick Sandmann also had the unfortunate afflictions of being white, male, Catholic, pro-life, and a Trump supporter.  Too much concentrated evil for the media to pass up.

Nick Sandmann was excoriated, publicly and nationally, to no end.  Sandmann received death threats and his school, Covington Catholic, was forced to temporarily close due to bomb threats.  The mainstream media ran with the story, all the while knowing the narrative was completely, and demonstrably, false.  The Covington Catholic boys were, in fact, the victims, as demonstrated by the full videos the media possessed but refused to air unedited.

In the end, Sandmann and Covington Catholic were vindicated, but at what cost?  Is the media, willful instrumentalities of the hoax, more or less respected as a result? NBC News’ defense to Sandmann’s defamation suit is laughable, that they, the professional media, simply did not know the whole story they were pushing on a 24-hour news cycle was false. How did anyone benefit from this hoax? 

Less than a month following the Covington Catholic debacle, a third-rate actor in Chicago staged one of the most obvious farces of the last hundred years.  

Jussie Smollett, the gay, African American, star of TV’s “Empire” claimed, with a straight face, that he was assaulted, at two a.m., in Chicago, in -10 degree weather, during a polar vortex, by racist, homophobic, Trump supporters who happened to be hanging around a Subway restaurant.  The media, and Senator Kamala Harris, took this very seriously.Seriously.

Of course, the truth, that Smollett had faked the entire attack, did eventually come out.  He did succeed at garnering the nation’s attention for a short time. He did throw considerable insults at those he disagrees with politically.  And yes, he did succeed in making sure that millions of people who never heard of him before did now know his name. But at what cost?

Smollett has been fired. “Empire” has been cancelled.  The liberal State’s Attorney’s office led by Democrat Kim Foxx is in shambles.  Was the hoax worth it?

Finally, there is the Russia Collusion hoax.  Estimates of $40 million dollars spent.  Thousands of hours of relentlessly pandering and condescending MSNBC and CNN coverage.  All simply to learn that no, President Trump did not in fact conspire with Russia while managing to elude and evade the FBI, CIA, NSA, DIA, and entire world media.  Major bombshell indeed.  And at the end of it all, Trump’s poll numbers went up.  Was the hoax worth it?

Now that Mueller has made his final, and only, public statement on Russian collusion and possible obstruction, the Democrats have to take pause and seriously wonder if going down the road of impeachment is really the smartest thing they can do.  Do they really want to create another false narrative when they literally have no end-game solution?

If they choose to try and impeach the president, for somehow, mysteriously obstructing an investigation into a hoax, how is this result going to be any different than the previously mentioned four hoaxes?  They will further divide the country.  The Senate is guaranteed to acquit. And they will assure the re-election of President Trump.  Well, have at it if you must.

Isn’t the definition of insanity trying the same thing and expecting different results?