Glenn Reynolds is one of the last of the original right wing “pundit” bloggers. His blog “Instapundit” well known and he parlayed it into a gig on the editorial board of USA TODAY — the newspaper for the subliterate that has lots of pictures™. And today he decided to betray that “trust” by going full PRAVDA:
The Obama administration’s illegal spying may have been worse than Watergate. — In 1972, some employees of President Nixon’s re-election committee were caught when they broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters to plant a bug…
Oooh. Scary OBAMA! But it’s sheerest BS, and toxic BS at that. Listen to the money shot [emphasis added]:
There are supposed to be strict safeguards on who can access the information, on how it can be used and on protecting American citizens’ privacy — because the NSA is forbidden by law from engaging in domestic spying. These safeguards were ignored wholesale under the Obama administration, and to many Republicans, it is no coincidence that intelligence leaks damaged Democrats’ political opponents in the 2016 election.
Really? The GOPs WON the 2016 election, although you wouldn’t know this from Reynolds’ hyperventilating hyperbole.
Worse, he walks this “scandal” into the mainstream as an opinion columnist, quoting a tentacle of the lastest Right Wing Media Octopus Sinclair Broadcasting:
A report from journalists John Solomon and Sara Carter last week, based on recently declassified documents, exposed what went on. As Solomon and Carter write:
And quotes a long, section probably subject to plagiarism charges under the DMCA, which bloggers OUGHT to have realized is well beyond the pale for arrogation of others’ writings. (Not that anyone will complain: journalistic canons suggest that one only quote snippets and summarize the rest; NOT three paragraphs and 177 words of another article!)
He doesn’t mention that it comes from CIRCA, as 2012 web magazine purchased recently and retooled by Sinclair Broadcasting (about which more later). But immediately adds this “impact” statement after eliding his source:
As former anti-terrorism prosecutor and national security expert Andrew McCarthy writes in National Review, this is a very serious abuse. And potentially a crime. If such material were leaked to the press for political advantage, that’s another crime.
So, a Right Wing Reality, otherwise known as “fake news.”
Harm? Well, the GOPs won. But maybe somebody might have been harmed. After all, they have to come up with a fake scandal to counterbalance verging-on-treason Russian interminglings by the Trump Maladministration, right? The defense “but Johnny did it too!” — which has never worked on any mother who ever lived — seems to never be challenged by the so-called “liberal” media.
And the sleazy nature of Reynolds’ attempt to use an Op-ed as hard news, using questionable (and not readily identified sources and clearly biased right wing sources as “validation”) only buttresses the questionable nature of this piece.
Now, Rightie bloggers and “pundits” can quote “USA TODAY” without mentioning that it came from a USA Toady, quoting Sinclair toadies, just a Dick “I am nick-named for that which I do not possess” Cheney quoted the New York Times as the source for a quote that he himself had sourced via Judith Miller (who was later fired for journalistic malpractice — which she continues to tediously defend herself against).
This “story” has now been walked into the mainstream.
OK: I’ve beaten this horse to death, and when you read this in the collected essays version, you will nod your head in weary agreement.
But the short version is simple:
The Right Wing media is blatantly and criminally biased, no matter what you might have heard from them about all the OTHER media. They make up stories and facts and repeat talking points clearly coordinated between outlets.
And this is a perfect example of the incestuous relation between these vile entities. They are not concerned with fact, they are concerned with policy and whatever lies have to be ginned up to push their policies are the fake news of the day. Oh, and then they accuse all other media of “fake news” and “liberal bias.” As Stephen Colbert has noted, facts have a notable liberal bias.
This stinks of “truthiness,” and I will NOT dignify this swill with a point by point refutation. This is the poisoned fruit of the poisoned tree and, as with all disinformation — including Russian, Berniebots — the best policy is to NOT even allow this propaganda into the brain.
Now, a short digression about Sinclair Broadcasting — and, trust me, it will pay off at the end. Wikipedia notes* (and what’s sauce for the goose …):
Sinclair’s stations have been known for featuring news content and programming that promote conservative political positions; the Washington Post noted that WJLA-TV’s news content began to exhibit a conservative slant following Sinclair’s acquisition of the station, while the company also produces pieces from a Washington bureau that similarly exhibit a conservative viewpoint. In April 2017, Sinclair announced it had hired Boris Epshteyn*, who was briefly the White House assistant communications director for surrogate operations for the Trump administration, and a senior advisor [sic] of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, as chief political analyst. Sinclair often mandates its stations to air specific reports, segments, and editorials, referred to as “must-runs”.
[* NOTE: on his recent appearance on Bill Maher’s Real Time (HBO), Epshteyn claimed that he’s now in charge of the content of the “must-runs.” Epshteyn was forced to resign from the Trump Maladminsitration following controversy over his embrace of fascist organizations and symbols. Born in Moscow, speculation has persisted that Boris is a Russian agent. ]
But that’s not the worst of it (ibid. emphasis added):
On December 16, 2016, Jared Kushner, son-in-law of then-President-elect Donald Trump, stated that it had reached deals with Sinclair to give the company extended access to the Trump campaign, in exchange for airing, without further commentary, interviews with the Republican Party candidate on its stations, which Kushner said had a better reach than cable networks such as CNN. […] In May 2017, in response to Sinclair’s announced intent to acquire Tribune Media, Craig Aaron, president/CEO of media advocacy group Free Press, accused Sinclair of currying favor with the Trump administration through the interview arrangement with Trump, the group’s February hiring of former Trump campaign aide Boris Epshteyn as a political analyst, and executive chair David Smith’s meetings with then-FCC commissioner Ajit Pai prior to Pai’s appointment as the agency’s chair in exchange for deregulating media ownership rules to allow the company to expand its broadcasting portfolio.
Now, let me tell you MY little Sinclair story. In 2013, Sinclair snapped up Fisher communications, which included both my local CBS affiliate AND my local NBC affiliate. BOTH now suck, BTW (i.e. Sinclair insists on hiring just-out-of-college, almost amateur, CHEAP on-air journalists and the drop in quality shows every damned day).
And BOTH now air former CNN/CBS aggrieved right wing “investigative” “journalist” Sharyl Attkisson’s fake 60 Minutes, “Full Measure” — on right BEFORE 60 minutes on our CBS affiliate — on Sundays. Thanks, monopoly. Thanks Sherman Antitrust Act! (OK, this was one of the provisions of the 1996 Telecommunications Act that I really didn’t like, and which allows Murdoch to own multiple TV stations and newspapers in various markets, including Manhattan. This also allowed Clear Channel* a near monopoly over American radio stations, notably evil in the Dixie Chicks Boycott and the post 9-11 playlist blacklist.)
[* Clear Channel is now rebranded iHeart Media — to dump the negativity associated with its media monopoly – but are the same bastards, please note.]
Circa, cited by Reynolds as his “source” is a Sinclair property: “Sinclair confirmed on December 7, 2015, that it had acquired Circa News, its intellectual property, and assets earlier in 2015, and aimed to relaunch Circa in the spring of 2016.” Wikipedia. Original Sinclair Press Release story is here.
And, as for the “must run” GOPaganda pieces, I told my wife over the weekend about it, and she admitted to not hearing anything about it. Then when we watched the piece, she was apalled. Pure propaganda, but stealthily introduced, as Roger Ailes originally created under Nixon, to put “friendly” news stories on local TV stations, neatly bypassing the networks.
And so, to battle the scandal, a demonstrably Trump friendly media octopus gins up a supposed “scandal” in the 2016 election created by the Obama Adminstration (and note that in all this sleazy coverage, Obama the person and Obama the Administration are intentionally used interchangeably AS IF any action undertaken by anyone in the Federal Government was directly ordered and approved by President Obama himself; the news article itself is nearly as sleazy as Reynolds’ KKKonservative Infomercial.)
Which is hard to claim as a “great scandal and crime” since the GOPs WON the 2016 elections nearly across the board.
Yes. They ARE sore winners. But, worse, the entire GOP echo machine is ginning up to defend Vladimir Putin.
I remember when this would have caused Right Wingers’s heads to explode.
Oh brave new world, that has such people in it.
UPDATE 2016 hours PDT 1316 hours UT
August 16, 1942 (US NAVY PHOTO)
Looks like Mr. Reynolds (and now, Koch Attorney and former CATO Board Member John Hinderaker of Powerline) got their facts by reading reflected on a funhouse mirror:
Fox News: New York Times boycotted Obama surveillance story. Fox News: Oops, maybe not.
By Erik Wemple May 30 at 5:32 PM
Washington Post – Conservatives last week devoured a story by John Solomon and Sara Carter at Circa with this title, “Obama intel agency secretly conducted illegal searches on Americans for years.” The Obama administration, noted the story, had “routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall.”
And the actual story has nothing to do with the Circa fever dream of reinterpreting a story from April 28!
Even RedState chimes in:
In Their Zeal To Have A Gotcha Moment, Fox News Blows It On Criticism Of NY Times
Posted at 9:04 pm on May 30, 2017 by Jay Caruso
… Sometimes the need to “prove” how some mainstream media outlets are supposedly “ignoring” news, the critics just get it wrong.
And like a giant soufflé made of Roc eggs, the grand “scandal” silently deflates until there is just a yellowish tortilla lying on the ground like a deflated blimp.
Deflated blimp • August 16, 1942 Daly City, California
(An interesting little mystery)