The whole panoply of Republican disinformation was on display this week, leading up to the traditional Labor Day kickoff of the presidential campaign (after the “Death March to Bataan” primaries and year preceding them): lies, deception, lies, mendacity, lies, prevarication, lies and manipulation of a bought and complicit “mass media” owned by the One Percent via six media companies. And then came the Clinton Foundation “scandal.” It was ubiquitous this morning. And it was false:
The AP’s big exposé on Hillary meeting with Clinton Foundation donors is a mess
Matthew Yglesias / Vox
— Tuesday afternoon, Stephen Braun and Eileen Sullivan of the Associated Press released the results of a review of State Department appointment data that they used to make some striking claims about Hillary Clinton’s schedule as secretary of state…. Except it turns out not to be true. The nut fact that the AP uses to lead its coverage is wrong, and Braun and Sullivan’s reporting reveals absolutely no unethical conduct.
I will not belabor the fact further here, because there is a wider issue at play and, given what we’ve seen this week, the double standard of “reporting” and “facts” will continue to hold sway, to the detriment of the voters and to the republic for which they stand in line to vote.
The usual suspects are all present. There’s Judicial Watch, a gang of legal thugs who attempt to use FOIA lawsuits and the law to embarrass and harass their political “enemies,” led by Larry Klayman, you may recognize them from their founding in the FIRST Clinton Administration and their endless pursuit of the Paula Jones lawsuit, which eventually led to the counterproductive and destructive impeachment (which ended as a disaster for the Right Wing, even though they successfully stymied the votes of tens of millions of Americans). Listen to Right Wing Watch:
Larry Klayman: ‘Revolution’ Needed After Clinton Email Announcement
SUBMITTED BY Miranda Blue on Wednesday, 7/6/2016 10:54 am
Larry Klayman, the founder of the Clinton-hounding conservative group Judicial Watch, has spent the last several years calling foramassuprising or a coup to depose President Obama and prevent Hillary Clinton from winning the presidential election. Unsurprisingly, Klayman returned to this theme yesterday in response to FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that his agency would not recommend that prosecutors press charges against Hillary Clinton for misuse of email at the State Department.
“This thing has been rigged from the start, Donald Trump is absolutely right, I said it long before Donald Trump,” Klayman told Newsmax’s J.D. Hayworth*. “Our legal system is corrupt to the core and I think, you know, we just celebrated our Independence Day. We’re back to 1776. I advocate civil disobedience a la Martin Luther King. It’s going to take another revolution to bring this country back.”
[* Note: Hayworth was a congressman from Northern Arizona, referred to as “Little Rush” for his talk radio background. Voters kicked him out in 2006. He entered politics again before losing to John McCain in the Arizona GOP Senate primary in 2010 and returning to right wing “news.” I discussed him in 2012’s “The Battle of the Little Greenhorn.“]
Right. Because if Americans vote for someone Klayman doesn’t like, we need a revolution, an impeachment or violent overthrow. That’s not democratic. That’s not American. That’s treasonous.
Klayman, hilariously, says that King George III
better than either Clinton. (click for video)
Note that he’s fronting for yet ANOTHER astroturf group.
Why should you care?
Because it’s Klayman behind the “15,000” emails figure you keep hearing, as a result of a FOIA lawsuit against the State Department looking for ANYTHING to disallow Americans like me from voting for Hillary Clinton, and, I guess, to get Donald Trump elected — even though it is obvious that Judicial Watch has zero interest in learning about our Pig in a Poke: Trump keeps making promises that he’ll “fix” this or that, but cannot answer the simplest question “HOW”? That is, kids, the DEFINITION of a pig in a poke:
a pig in a poke
something that you buy without knowing if it is good or not When you buy a used car, you may be getting a pig in a poke.
Etymology: based on an old meaning of buy a pig in a poke (buy a pig in a bag), which you would buy without first seeing it.
-Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2003. Reproduced with permission.
The fact that Klayman appears on NEWSMAX is an indicator of just how successful this anti-fact jihad of the Right has been. NEWSMAX was founded by Christopher Ruddy with his “Western Journalism” money, doled out by Joseph Farah as they both made cash out of Vince Foster’s corpse. Yes, Virginia, I said CORPSE.
Ruddy and Farah made their modern “rep” on their endless Vince Foster Was Murdered By Bill and Hillary conspiracy reporting and fake facts. Farah spun his end off into WorldNetDaily (which then made cash off of endless “Birther” stories) and Ruddy used his to found NEWSMAX (which first popped up in hand-held signs during the theft of the Florida election in 2000).
So, how appropriate is it that Klayman is repping ANOTHER astroturf* organization that he owns on Ruddy’s NEWSMAX fake-news empire?
[* “Astroturf” = “fake grassroots”]
I do not condemn the Right Wing for continuing to lie like a rug. It is, to paraphrase the famous Aesop tale of the Scorpion and the Frog, just their nature. They can’t help it. But the Mainstream Media OUGHT to not fall for the same horsehockey that they fell for in 1993 (Whitewater) through 2015. They’ve had nearly thirty years to figure it out, but, like Pavlov’s sad dog, the Right wing rings the bell and the reporters drool. Right on cue.
We have multiple and competing lies to deal with, based on the old legal proverb: when the facts are on your side, pound on the facts. When the law is on your side, pound on the law. And when nothing is on your side, pound on the table:
- The “Hillary is too sick to serve” lie, which has been debunked in the real world, but has caught fire in the fake world of fake GOP facts.
- The Benghazi “scandal” which, while having been debunked by SEVEN separate GOP-led Congressional inquiries has turned up nothing, but they’re going to go ahead and try again ANYWAY.
- The fake email “scandal” which came up with nothing, and which comes to nothing, but they’re going to keep going mostly because they’re so invested in the fake narrative at this point, and even though Kevin McCarthy, majority leader in the House, admitted the inquiries are meant to harm Hillary, and which Trey Gowdy (chair of the Select Committee) was caught dead to rights falsifying emails.*
- The “swiftboat” attack on the Clinton Foundation, even though it is rated as “A” by independent non-profit watchdogs, has made a vast difference in saving and improving lives around the globe and spends very little on overhead and very much on charity, period — without bothering to compare with stingy, lying Donald Trump who didn’t even donate the Play-Doh® he infamously distributed in his 49 seconds of Louisiana flood photo-op.‡
- Huma Abedin (Clinton personal aide, Anthony Weiner’s wife) is actually a radical Muslim (terrorist, undoubtedly, as the GOP plan of religious bigotry continues to bear the fruit of the bigotry.)
retasked from Gustav Doré [PD]
[* “The historical significance of this moment can hardly be overstated, and it seems many Republicans, Democrats and members of the media don’t fully understand the magnitude of what is taking place. The awesome power of government—one that allows officials to pore through almost anything they demand and compel anyone to talk or suffer the shame of taking the Fifth Amendment — has been unleashed for purely political purposes. It is impossible to review what the Benghazi committee has done as anything other than taxpayer-funded political research of the opposing party’s leading candidate for president. Comparisons from America’s past are rare. Richard Nixon’s attempts to use the IRS to investigate his perceived enemies come to mind. So does Senator Joseph McCarthy’s red-baiting during the 1950s, with reckless accusations of treason leveled at members of the State Department, military generals and even the secretary of the Army.” – Newsweek.]
[‡ The link is to RedState, who hate the Clintons almost as much as they dislike Trump. Even in the Land of Fake Facts, Trump’s endless mendacity irks, evidently.]
We expect this, of course. You would either have to have been in a coma, or named Rip Van Winkle to have failed to notice to Modus Operandi of the GOPs, who seem convinced that they would lose in any fair election or lose any fair debate using facts, to judge by their repeated and almost ritualistic use of standardized lies, fallacies and false logical constructs.
What we DON’T expect is that the “reporters” of NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, et al would still fall for the same easy lies, would still be breathlessly bamboozled by any accusation, no matter how flimsy, and would continue to pretend that the “Clinton Email Scandal” was now or ever HAD been an actual scandal.
Meantime, they let the Koch network’s stealth takeover of the GOP slide, let the Koch network’s stealth funding of congressional and state legislative races slide, and let newsgathering per se slide, because, as Les Moonves infamously put it:
The Trump Campaign: Bad for America, but Good for CBS
By Jim Naureckas, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) [emphasis added]
… Speaking to the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference at San Francisco’s Park Hotel, Moonves observed that “in local [broadcasting], the No. 1 word is ‘political’ [advertising],” and continued: Man, who would have expected the ride we’re all having right now? This is pretty amazing…. Who would have thought that this circus would come to town? But, you know—it may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS, that’s all I got to say. So what can I say? It’s—you know, the money’s rolling in, and this is fun.
Moonves noted that the election has been a boost for ratings—“We had a debate a couple of weeks ago, it was 14 million people on a Saturday night. You know, it’s amazing, that’s all I can say”—but, more importantly, the spending by candidates on political advertising goes directly into CBS’s coffers:
Yeah, [Trump’s] getting a lot of free media, but all that’s happening out there, there’s a lot of money in the marketplace, there’s a lot of money in the marketplace….
Listen to it here. It’s even creepier in its original context than transcribed on paper.
You see, the entire media model has been turned on its ear, and the emphasis is in 1. Pleasing the One Percent of management, and 2. Assuring as many clicks as possible. Fake scandals fit both criteria. Reporting the facts does NOT.
But you might still be wondering what I meant by “Clinton Rules” in the title?
More than a year ago, Jon Allen wrote for Vox about the special “Clinton Rules” that have governed much reporting on Bill and Hillary Clinton over the past 25 years. On the list are the notions that even the most ridiculous charges are worthy of massive investigation, that the Clintons’ bad faith will always be presumed, and that actions that would normally be deemed banal are newsworthy simply because the Clintons are involved. [ibid.]
Well quod erat demonstrandum.
And, lest you worry that it’s not working, both Berniebots and GOPs on Facebook were instantly hostile to the notion that there WASN’T a big Clinton Foundation scandal, because, well, “the MSM lies!”
Given what they’re dishing out to us, I was hard-pressed to refute the allegation.
Which is how far into the cesspool of non-fact-based, magical thinking/superstition we’ve descended into.
You might want to hold your nose.