Who needs the Russians to undermine democracy when the elites will do it themselves?
Where to start? Right before Obama’s epic, long-winded exit tour de self last night, CNN and Buzzfeed broke the news that they had access to intel. Multiple sources confirmed the intel. Russians. Talking. Connections. All very hush-hush and unspecific. According to this scoop, Donald Trump paid hookers to pee on a bed in a hotel room that the Obama’s had slept in. From the scintillating report:
A dossier making explosive — but unverified — allegations that the Russian government has been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” President-elect Donald Trump for years and gained compromising information about him has been circulating among elected officials, intelligence agents, and journalists for weeks.
The dossier, which is a collection of memos written over a period of months, includes specific, unverified, and potentially unverifiable allegations of contact between Trump aides and Russian operatives, and graphic claims of sexual acts documented by the Russians. BuzzFeed News reporters in the US and Europe have been investigating various alleged facts in the dossier but have not verified or falsified them. CNN reported Tuesday that a two-page synopsis of the report was given to President Obama and Trump. [Emphasis added.]
Feel free to go to the link and read the two-page report.
This was a real thing that news sources reported. A couple thoughts:
- If the story fits your personal biases and seems too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true.
- If you don’t confirm the parts of the reporting that are confirmable, you’re not a reporter. You’re a rumor-monger.
- If you do confirm the parts that are confirmable and they are revealed as lies, it’s best not to report the lies.
- If multiple parts of the story are lies, perhaps the whole thing is garbage? Just spitballing here…
- If you regurgitate opposition research to let readers decide, you’re not reporting, you’re Wikileaks Lite (except they seem to be more factual these days.)
The media indicts itself, yet again, but the clicks are good, so they’ll proceed.
At a moment when journalists are up in arms about “fake news,” what BuzzFeed has done here is take fake news to a new level. Its editor, Ben Smith, acknowledges “there is serious reason to doubt the allegations.” In other words, there is almost certainly fake news inside these memos, and it might all be fake, or some parts of it might be true but buried so deeply under falsity that it would be impossible to separate it out.
“Publishing this dossier reflects how we see the job of reporters in 2017,” Smith writes. This is an amazing thing to say, because if you think it through, it means publishing open libels and slanders is the job of reporters in 2017.
Twitter continues to be in an uproar about this story and probably will be tomorrow, too. Trump’s lawyer is named in the report. Supposedly he met Russian operatives in Prague but has never been there and produced evidence of where he was.
In October, the FBI got a court to give them surveillance powers for members of Trump’s team. Comey was uncharacteristically quiet about that question during the inquiry on Capital Hill. Four intelligence agencies talked about the Russians but couldn’t confirm anything noteworthy.
Democrats and Republicans who hate Trump were gleeful and grave at the same time. Bombshell! This will change everything. This will affect what the Republicans can accomplish!
significant potential for Russia issue to slow-down and/or stall big parts of GOP agenda
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) January 11, 2017
Who needs the Russians? Intelligence agencies, the media, delusional Democrats, and angry Republicans are doing a better job sowing doubt than any Russian ever could. Their collective irresponsibility is undermining democracy.
In a paroxysm of loathing and existential angst, power brokers feel their influence ebbing away. Desperate, like Gollum, they’re destroying themselves to hold the ring of power one more time. No matter that they’re killing themselves and maybe the Republic in the process — it’s more important to kill their political enemy. The view seems to be, “If I can’t keep control, no one can have it.”
America is more powerful than Russian operatives, but America is not above destruction. Abraham Lincoln said it best: “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
The media making hackish asses of themselves, intelligence agencies lashing out in a fit of pique, Democrats consumed with a will to power, and Republicans who see their own influence dwindling in the face of a force they never imagined asserting itself, thrash around in an effort to escape their inevitable diminishment.
What they don’t understand is that their own mismanagement made the way for a might they underestimated: the American people. Donald Trump is but a symbol. For four election cycles now, the American people have been saying, “No.” Wave after wave election, “No.”
It’s taken a Donald Trump to be a mouthpiece for this relentless force of discontent. What those in power don’t understand is this: if it’s not Trump, it will be someone else. This sentiment is not going away.
Why not give Donald Trump a chance and quit with the fake news and outrage eruptions? Or would the elite angry mob prefer to provoke destruction? That’s the path they’re taking.
There’s no need for the Russians. The provocateurs are here.