Archive for the ‘Faked news’ category

Putin Wins Big

June 23, 2017

Putin Wins Big, Jewish Media Resources, Jonathan Rosenblum, June 23, 2017

(Putin is winning because the national focus is on non-events. Hence, our faith in the electoral system has been damaged and the ability of the Trump administration to focus on the agenda Trump was elected to pursue has been limited. The Congress, rather than focus on legislating, is preoccupied with investigations of non-events. That’s good for America’s enemies and bad for America. President Trump’s successes in focusing on his agenda despite the many distractions speak well of him. — DM)

Smith makes an insightful distinction between “consolations, vicious self-sung lullabies” and “conspiracy theories.” Examples of the former would be: Hillary lost because the Russians hacked the election; our children died because the Jews poisoned the wells.

But such “consolations,” as vicious as they may be, only become full-blown conspiracy theories when weaponized through the mass media for political use. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion would be the classic example of such a conspiracy theory. And, Smith points out, Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” do not have the platforms “to proliferate weaponized narratives capable of doing real damage to our polity – the elites do.” And those elites — the press, the intelligence community, political parties – have been used to legitimize a conspiracy theory.

James Kirchik, another anti-Trump pundit (as well as a brilliant analyst on many issues) laments the way the “confirmation bias” has resulted in well-meaning, liberal anti-Trump journalists reporting stories that they want to be true and are emotionally true for them – e.g., stories of threatened or actual violence against minorities – but are factually false.

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It is certain that Russia launched a massive hacking campaign to undermine the U.S. electoral process in 2016. That is a major issue that needs to be thoroughly investigated, and steps taken so that it does not recur.

Though the Russian involvement in the 2016 election targeted both presidential candidates at various times, it likely damaged Hillary Clinton’s campaign more. Confirmation in the emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee that the DNC had actively favored Clinton over her chief rival for the Democratic nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders, infuriated Sanders supporters. Conceivably enough of those supporters could have decided not to vote for Clinton based on those emails to have made a difference in the three crucial battleground states – Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Thus far, however, the primary focus on the Russian hacking has been with respect to the far-fetched claim that the Russians colluded with the Trump campaign fashion in some fashion The obsessive focus on that issue has turned the hacking into a major victory for Vladimir Putin by introducing an unparalleled degree of rancor and paralysis into the American political system.

James Kirchik writing in the May 3 American Interest (“Who Killed the Liberal World Order”), describes how at last September’s G-20 summit in Hangzhou, China, then President Obama confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin about the Russian hacking of the DNC, and told him to “cut it out” or “face serious consequences.” In October, according to Bloomberg News, the White House used a cyber version of the “red phone” to convey to the Kremlin detailed evidence of Russian hacking of voter data banks in numerous states. On both occasions, Putin, who had long since taken Obama’s measure, did nothing in response.

WHATEVER THE REASON Putin decided to interfere with the 2016 election, it was not because he feared Obama or Obama’s legacy-bearer, former Secretary of State Clinton. Starting with Clinton’s declared “reset” of relations with Russia, shortly after the Obama administration entered office in 2009, until Obama issued his warning at Hangzhou, the United States had repeatedly stood down in every possible confrontation with Russia.

The 2009 reset itself took place in the wake of the assassinations by Russian intelligence agents of Alexander Livinenko in London, where the former Russian intelligence operative he had been granted political asylum, and of Russia’s leading investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya. Russia was also busy hardening control of areas of Georgia occupied by Russian troops. As part of the reset, the Obama administration abandoned plans to provide Poland and Czechoslovakia with anti-missile defenses.

During the 2012 presidential debates, Obama mocked his Republican opponent Mitt Romney for listing Russia as the United States’ primary international foe. “The 80s called. They want their foreign policy back,” teased Obama. And even prior to the 2012 campaign, Obama told Putin’s sidekick Dmitry Medvedev that he’d be able to be “more flexible” after the campaign, and asked for a little breathing room from Russia.

All Obama’s shows of good will, however, went unreciprocated by Putin. In 2013, Putin granted asylum to Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee who had exposed the U.S. National Security Agency’s surveillance methods. The same year Putin cracked down on foreign-funded NGO’s, and invaded the Ukraine. Obama refused to supply the Ukrainians with defensive weapons, as the United States had committed to do in the Budapest Memorandum, drafted when the former Soviet republics gave up their nuclear stockpiles.

In 2015, Soviet forces entered Syria in force to shore up the Assad regime, fairly daring the United States to challenge them. Previously, Putin had humiliated Obama by offering him a lifeline, when the latter refused to enforce his own redline against Assad’s deployment of chemical weapons.

PUTIN HAD reasons to prefer Trump to Clinton. He harbors a paranoid belief that Hillary orchestrated protests against him in 2011. And, writes Kirchik in the Los Angeles Times, he appreciated that Trump’s ignorant outbursts made “American politics – and by extension America – look like a foolish country.”

Putin may also have thought that Trump’s neo-Jacksonian, quasi-isolationist campaign talk would serve Russia’s interest in carving out a sphere of interest in its near abroad. But, as Kirchik notes in his American Interest piece, Obama’s “interconnected world,” without American power to back it up, had already resulted in a reduction of American influence and allowed Putin free rein in Russia’s near abroad.

The Russians were as shocked as everyone else, however, by Trump’s victory. Their goal was not so much to defeat Clinton, as to render it difficult for her (or Trump) to govern and to thereby “weaken the world’s last superpower,” writes Professor Mark Galeotti of the Institute of International Relations Prague in Tablet. And their means for doing so was to reduce America’s democratic legitimacy by calling the election results into question and reducing the scope for compromise and consensus in the American political system.

Or as veteran Moscow correspondent David Satter argued in the June 12 Wall Street Journal, Putin did not so much support Donald Trump, as he sought American political paralysis. The differences between Trump and Clinton were simply not that significant in his view.

Putin’s method is to sow chaos, to light a hundred brushfires and see which ones turn into full-fledged forest fires. “Putin is not a chess player,” writes Galeotti. “He and his people are improvisers and opportunists. They try to create multiple potential points of leverage, never knowing which will prove useful or not.”

One of those prongs was the so-called “Trump dossier, compiled by former British intelligence official Christopher Steele based on information “sold” to him by Russian intelligence officials. The document bears all the marks of a classic Russian disinformation campaign. “The kind of gossip that fills the Trump Dossier, writes Galeotti, is common currency in Moscow, “even if very little of it has any authority behind it aside from the speaker’s own imagination.”

One thing is almost certain: The Trump campaign did not collude with the Russians. Both Senator Diane Feinstein and Congressman Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrats on the Senate and House intelligence committees investigating Russia’s electoral involvement, respectively, have confirmed that they have seen nothing to implicate Trump or his aides in collusion with Russia.

The absence of collusion is, moreover, logically demonstrable. If there were collusion, the Russians would undoubtedly possess evidence of it. Since coming to office, the Trump administration has taken a much more aggressive anti-Russian stance than Obama ever did – targeting with cruise missiles an airfield and planes of Russian ally Bashir Assad and just this week shooting down a Syrian plane in a dogfight; allowing Montenegro’s entry into the NATO alliance; denying Exxon-Mobil a waiver for energy exploration in Russia; and sharply criticizing Russian support for the Taliban in Afghanistan. If Putin possessed incriminating evidence on Trump, he would have already revealed it in order to destroy President Trump. Elementary, my dear Watson.

DESPITE THE LACK OF ANY PLAUSIBLE EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION, Russian interference in the 2016 election has set in motion a “self-sustaining process,” in Galeotti’s words, in which “America is tearing itself apart with little need for Russian help.”

It is hard to know for sure whether those most actively promoting the Trump-Russian collusion narrative really believe it themselves or just see it as the best way of bringing down the president. About the latter they might be right. Already the anti-Trump forces have succeeded in gaining the appointment of a special prosecutor, and the scope of the special prosecutor’s investigation has expanded to legally flimsy charges of obstruction of justice against Trump. Once a special prosecutor is in the saddle there is no way of knowing where things will go. The longer the investigation continues the greater the chance of a prosecution for something entirely tangential to the original investigation.

Patrick Fitzgerald, for instance, was appointed special prosecutor to investigate the outing of CIA employee Valerie Flame. From the very outset of the investigation, he knew the source of that information; Undersecretary of State Richard Armitage was the one who told it to columnist Robert Novak. Armitage, however, was never prosecuted. But Fitzgerald carried on for years, until he claimed the scalp of Vice-President Richard Cheney’s top aide, Lewis “Scooter” Libby, on perjury charges, over statements given to investigators about which there were conflicting memories.

Putin has succeeded in driving a wedge between President and the intelligence agencies upon which he must rely for crucial decisions. Every week, a new leak emerges from some anonymous intelligence official – leaks which, if true, would subject the leaker to up to ten years in prison. Yet the source of these leaks has received little attention from the FBI or other investigative bodies.

Lee Smith bemoans in Tablet that the president’s very real flaws, which are “plain to every sentient being on the planet,” have been supplanted as a topic of discussion by a “toxic fabulism typical of Third World and Muslim societies.” “A vulgar conspiratorial mind-set [has become] the norm among the country’s educated elite . . . and is being legitimized daily by a truth-telling bureaucrats who make evidence-free and even deliberately false accusations behind a cloak of anonymity.”

Smith makes an insightful distinction between “consolations, vicious self-sung lullabies” and “conspiracy theories.” Examples of the former would be: Hillary lost because the Russians hacked the election; our children died because the Jews poisoned the wells.

But such “consolations,” as vicious as they may be, only become full-blown conspiracy theories when weaponized through the mass media for political use. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion would be the classic example of such a conspiracy theory. And, Smith points out, Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables” do not have the platforms “to proliferate weaponized narratives capable of doing real damage to our polity – the elites do.” And those elites — the press, the intelligence community, political parties – have been used to legitimize a conspiracy theory.

James Kirchik, another anti-Trump pundit (as well as a brilliant analyst on many issues) laments the way the “confirmation bias” has resulted in well-meaning, liberal anti-Trump journalists reporting stories that they want to be true and are emotionally true for them – e.g., stories of threatened or actual violence against minorities – but are factually false.

He points to the non-stop anti-Trump vitriol from the Twitter feed of the New York Times assistant Washington D.C. editor, Jonathan Weissmann – anti-Trump vitriol that matches his own – as an example of the mainstream press having lost any claim to the public’s trust about the news stories it publishes.

In the short-run the beneficiary of the mainstream media’s reporting of baseless stories, such as that the Russians successfully hacked voting machines in key states, is Donald Trump. By refuting the wilder accusations, he can evade the more substantive ones and, at the same time, stoke the anger that brought him to the presidency in the first place.

But in the long-run, the current state of political toxicity, manifested last week in an assassination attempt against GOP congressman, and the loss of credibility of our major media organizations weakens America and its place in the world. And the big winner from that is Vladimir Putin.

Navy destroyer in Sea of Japan: A sideways collision or more fake news?

June 17, 2017

Navy destroyer in Sea of Japan: A sideways collision or more fake news? American ThinkerBrian C. Joondeph, June 17, 2017

(Please see also, Collision At Sea – U.S.S. Fitzgerald Collides With Cargo Container Ship ACX Crystal Off Coast of Japan… This article provides substantially more detailed information. Clearly, the container ship crashed into the Navy vessel, perhaps on purpose. — DM)

Yesterday’s news, aside from the usual Trump obstructing, colluding, and making money on his investments, included a ship collision. As described by ABC, a “Navy destroyer collides with container ship off coast of Japan.” NBC had a similar headline, “Navy destroyer collides with ship off Japan.”

Fox News worded their headline a little differently, “US Navy involved in collision.” As did CNN saying, “Navy destroyer collision off Japan.”

It was a terrible accident as US sailors are missing and potentially injured or worse, but my point is regarding the choice of words describing what happened.

The dictionary definition of collide is “to hit something violently.” Something hits something else. A verb. Seems straightforward. The word collision is a noun, an event that occurred. Not clear is what hit what.

Two of the above mention stories uses the word “collision”, which is clearly what happened yesterday. Two other stories used the word “collide”, meaning one ship hit the other ship. The headlines, by saying the US Navy ship collided with the Japanese container ship, imply that the Navy ship hit the container ship.

What do the pictures say? This first photo is of the US Navy destroyer.

The second photo is of the Japanese cargo ship. Both photos courtesy of the Associated Press.

Seems the cargo ship had bow damage while the destroyer was smashed along its side.  Given that ships move in a forward direction, not sideways, isn’t it fairly obvious which ship hit the other one?  In a car collision, if one car had front bumper damage and the other had side door damage, it would be clear which car hit the other.

Wording is important.  Sky News ran a headline, “USS Fitzgerald collides with cargo ship.”  NPR says, “Navy destroyer collision with merchant vessel.”  The verb versus the noun.  One assigning fault, the other not.

There will be plenty of time to assign cause and blame in this tragic accident, but how hard is it to accurately report what occurred without implying cause that is contradicted by the photos?

Maybe I’m being picky here, but given the proliferation of fake news, this caught my attention.  Words are important and carry implications.  Remember George Zimmerman as the “white Hispanic”?

It’s Donald Trump’s Navy now.  If the Navy does wrong, it must be Trump’s fault.  For some media outlets, the reporting bias is that the blame must somehow flow to him.  Much like how CNN blames him for the Alexandria baseball field shooting this week.

 

Kellyanne Conway Full One-on-One Explosive Interview on Fox & Friends | Video | Fox News (5/30/2017)

May 30, 2017

Kellyanne Conway Full One-on-One Explosive Interview on Fox & Friends | Video | Fox News (5/30/2017) via YouTube, May 30, 2017

(“Explosive?” — DM)

 

Destroying Donald Trump is all that matters in the newsrooms of the mainstream media

May 19, 2017

Destroying Donald Trump is all that matters in the newsrooms of the mainstream media, Washington Times,

(America can survive, and probably prosper, under President Trump. The “mainstream media?” Maybe not. — DM)

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Now anything goes. All restraints are loosened, all self-discipline trashed. There’s no cure or even treatment for Trump Derangement Syndrome, a disease as wild and as swiftly lethal as anything imported from the Ebola River valley of the dark continent. The rules and taboos that once guided even the sleaziest excuse for a newspaper no longer apply.

Destroying Donald Trump is all that matters in the newsrooms of the mainstream media, so called, and by any means necessary. Rarely have so many hysterics contributed so much of the national conversation.

A columnist in The New York Times, ground zero in the epidemic of Trump Derangement Syndrome, suggests that a mutiny at the White House is the “more appropriate” way to rid the nation of the legitimate 46th duly elected president of the United States. Why waste time on impeachment? Mike Pence, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell could organize the ambush. The columnist likens them to “stewards for a syphilitic emperor.”

Ross Douthat is regarded as a “conservative” at The New York Times, and he thinks impeachment would take too long, be too messy, and recommends invoking the Twenty-fifth Amendment, which permits the president’s Cabinet to remove the president if a majority of the secretaries tells Congress that the president can no longer perform his duties.

Ultimately, he writes in the newspaper once known as “the old gray lady” and which has become “the old crazy lady,” he does not believe “our president sufficiently understands the nature of the office he holds, the nature of the legal constraints that are supposed to bind him, perhaps even the nature of normal human interactions, to be guilty of obstruction of justice in the Nixonian or even Clintonian sense of the phrase.”

A half-century ago a certain magazine thought a long-distance psychiatric examination of a presidential candidate was in order, and asked 12,000 psychiatrists (who knew there were so many headshrinkers on the fruited plain?) whether they thought Barry Goldwater was crazy, and 1,189 responded with a diagnosis: Mr. Goldwater, the Republican nominee for president in 1964, was nothing less than nuts. The American Psychiatric Association, sensitive to the public outrage that followed, told their members never to do it again.

But since the psychiatrists wouldn’t do it, Ross Douthat was fitted out with degrees in medicine and psychiatry (honorary degrees, we must hope), and told to get to work. (He is expected to retire his shingle once President Trump has been dispatched to the nut house, but who knows? On the Upper East Side there’s never enough psychiatrists.) Dr. Douthat writes that the president has no aides, friends and confidantes who have any remaining regard for him. “They have no respect for him, indeed they seem to palpate with contempt for him, and to regard their mission as equivalent to being stewards for a syphilitic emperor.”

Since impeachment would take so long, Dr. Douthat would “respectfully ask Mike Pence and Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell to reconsider their support for a man who never should have had his party’s nomination, never should have been elevated to this office, never should have been endorsed and propped up and defended by people who understood his unfitness all along.”

It’s hard to imagine anything more calculated to invoke a Second Amendment answer to such a Twenty-fifth Amendment coup, and it would be nothing less than a coup by the Republican elites and the press that so many Americans believe have “rigged” the elections meant to express the nation’s will. You don’t have to be a Trump friend, supporter or voter to see where this would inevitably lead. The United States has never been a banana republic or a third world dump where elections are ultimately determined in the streets, but this would be the ultimate national indignity, wrought by just those who would go to civil war to depose an indignity.

The two stories that have dominated the news this week were the work of the very two newspapers, The Washington Post and The New York Times, that have become the not-so-loyal opposition, drivers of the coup with tales told in every edition. The Post accuses the president of dispensing national secrets to the Russians, based on the word of an anonymous source who concedes he wasn’t in the meeting, and denied by those who were. The New York Times says it heard a passage read from a memo written by James Comey, telling how the president asked him go easy on Mike Flynn, and denied by the White House.

All this to support tales of Trump campaign collusion with the Russians, which Democrats and Republicans agree that no one has yet found any evidence of. There’s no fire and only a few wisps of something that might be smoke, or more likely, the passing of partisan gas.

The Anonymous Sources of Washington Post and CNN Fake News

May 18, 2017

The Anonymous Sources of Washington Post and CNN Fake News, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, May 18, 2017

Media fake news is everywhere.

No, the new health care bill does not treat rape as a pre-existing condition and Republicans did not celebrate its passage with beer. 

The latest media outrage is driven by a Washington Post story about intelligence disclosures based on claims by anonymous sources. The Post’s big hit pieces are mainly based on anonymous sources.

Its latest hit piece runs a quote from, “a former senior U.S. official who is close to current administration officials.” That’s an anonymous source quoting hearsay from other anonymous sources.

This isn’t journalism. It’s a joke.

Last week, the Washington Post unveiled a story based on “the private accounts of more than 30 officials at the White House.” The fake news story falsely claimed that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened to resign.

Rod had a simple answer when asked about that piece of fake news. “No.”

So much for 30 anonymous sources and for the Washington Post’s credibility.  But the media keeps shoveling out pieces based on anonymous sources and confirmed by anonymous sources while ignoring the disavowals by those public officials who are willing to go on the record.

The Comey memo story is based on, according to the New York Times, “two people who read the memo.” And then “one of Mr. Comey’s associates read parts of it to a Times reporter.”

And his dog.

The supposed memo contradicts Comey’s own testimony to Congress under oath.

The Times hasn’t seen the memo. No one has seen the memo except the anonymous sources that may or may not exist. The media’s fake news infrastructure relies heavily on anonymous sources. And anonymous sources are the media’s way of saying, “Just trust us.”

The question is why would anyone trust the media?

Comey fake news is popular on the left because it is convinced that he is the key to reversing their election defeat. Recently CNN got its fake news fingers burned with a story claiming that the former FBI Director had asked for more resources for the Russia investigation before he was fired.

Where did CNN get its story from? Anonymous sources. Or, as the story put it, “two sources familiar with the discussion.”

Sources “familiar with the discussion” is up there with “a former senior U.S. official who is close to current administration officials.” And their neighbor’s dog who barks exclusively to CNN.

Rod Rosenstein and Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe both shot down CNN’s fake news.  CNN’s headline was, “New Acting FBI Director Contradicts White House on Comey.” Its fake news was referenced only as, “Amid reports that Comey had asked for more resources for the Russia investigation, McCabe testified that he believed the bureau had adequate resources to complete the job.”

CNN did not acknowledge that the fake reports had come from it. It phrased it in passive and vague language. And it left out a crucial part of McCabe’s response. “When we need resources, we make those requests here. So I’m not aware of that request and it’s not consistent with my understanding of how we request additional resources. That said, we don’t typically request resources for an individual case. And as I mentioned, I strongly believe that the Russian investigation is adequately resourced.”

CNN didn’t just push fake news. It covered up its crime. And it’s the cover-up that proves the crime.

Media outlets like CNN and the Washington Post often knows that they’re pushing lies. WaPo’s fact checkers shot down the claim that rape is a pre-existing condition. But the paper ran a piece titled, “I Was Raped. Thanks to Republicans, I Could Be Denied Insurance.” The editors know quite well which of these pieces will have more of an impact.

But the Post has a dozen stories mentioning the Comey resources fake news.

The Washington Post isn’t in the news business. After its takeover by Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, it’s in the business of manufacturing viral Trump hit pieces. It got a viral fake news hit with its lie that Press Secretary Sean Spicer was hiding in the bushes to avoid them. There was an equally snarky correction issued that was largely irrelevant. Having manufactured a piece of fake news fit for a Saturday Night Live skit, the Post then dutifully reported  on the Saturday Night Live skit featuring its fake news item.

In the past there would have been a world of difference between the Washington Post and Saturday Night Live. Today they are part of the same lefty echo chamber. The media, all the various parts of it, is now one big influence operation. The machine works by developing and taking fake news attacks viral. WaPo and SNL are in the same business. There isn’t even much of a stylistic difference.

The Washington Post’s “Trump fired Comey because he’s taller” could easily have come from Saturday Night Live, The Onion or the Daily Show.

The truly damning epitaph of American journalism is that there isn’t much of a difference. Saturday Night Live isn’t doing comedy and the Washington Post isn’t doing journalism. They’re both manufacturing viral Trump attacks.

Getting your news from the Washington Post is as worthless as getting it from Saturday Night Live.

While more respectable papers like the Post and the Times occupy the top rung of the fake news ladder, CNN has become the National Enquirer of Trump bashing. No story is too petty or fake to get airtime or site space. Recent examples that have gone viral include, “Is the President Afraid of Stairs” and “President Gets 2 Scoops of Ice Cream, Everyone Else 1.”

CNN’s fake news is constantly being shot down by the facts. But it just doubles down on its lies.

“We will not insult your intelligence by pretending it’s legitimate. Nor will we aid and abet the people trying to misinform you,” CNN’s Don Lemon had blustered when trying to suppress the Rice spying story.

CNN insults the intelligence of its viewers every minute that they watch it. It offers up a stream of misinformation while trying to suppress legitimate news. Much of this misinformation takes the form of spreading lefty fake news memes whether it’s rape as a preexisting condition or Republican beer.

And even when corrections appear, they exist only for the purpose of plausible deniability. The original fake news gets rolled into multiple news stories, blog posts and editorials that never get updated or corrected.

And even if they were to be, the damage would be done. That’s the way fake news works.

CNN and the Washington Post are throwing mud and assuming that some of it will stick. And even when it’s officially corrected, it still sticks around. Months later, the Post site still carries an uncorrected reference to the AP fake news story which claimed that Trump had threatened to invade Mexico even after it had been denied by both governments and had been pulled for being unverifiable.

It’s a safe bet that rape as a preexisting condition and Comey’s Russian resources will also stick around.

“Applying the fake news label is an attack on the truth. It’s reckless and corrosive to democracy, and elected officials attempt to deliberately and systematically erode the credibility of news organizations because they object to factually accurate reporting,” the CEO of the Washington Post insisted last month.

But it’s the media that is reckless and corrosive to democracy. It has eroded its credibility with fake news. Factually accurate reporting has become too difficult and unrewarding. The idea of waiting months or years for an investigation to pay off is alien to the nanosecond news cycle. That’s why every fake Trump scandal is the new Watergate. And fake news is constantly being manufactured.

News organizations are throwing away their credibility to reverse the results of a democratic election. And it’s not only their own credibility that they are throwing away. The marketplace of ideas was based on reason and objectivity. Without them, there was no longer a public square we could all live in.

Media bias began to corrupt the marketplace. But bias meant the selective reporting of facts. Falsehoods could creep in. But generally the media would not just casually run stories that were completely false. It would happen from time to time. But it wouldn’t be a constant practice.

And then a tipping point was reached.

Historians of journalism will argue over when the dam broke. Was it the age of Obama or of Trump? But the day arrived. The sun rose over the CNN Center in Atlanta, the K Street digs of the Washington Post and the offices of other media organizations. And it was no longer a question of selective reporting. We were no longer arguing about the injection of opinion into news stories or journalistic double standards.

The age of fake news had arrived. We no longer have a free press. All we have is a fake press.

The Nuclear Option: Comeygate Latest Fake News Hysteria for Trump/Russia Conspiracists

May 13, 2017

The Nuclear Option: Comeygate Latest Fake News Hysteria for Trump/Russia Conspiracists, Breitbart, Charles Hurt, May 12, 2017

(Scandal? Scandal? What scandal? Comeygate was nothing! Here’s a real scandal, certain to bring Trump down: Media throw hissy fit because Trump gets more ice cream than them. Not only is Trump devious, he tries to starve poor, struggling reporters and is the cruelest president evah. — DM)

Every time the Washington political press freaks out and goes into full panic mode against President Trump, the blockbuster, Watergate-volume story always unfolds the same way.

First, the news starts leaking or breaking. Newsrooms from the Potomac to the Hudson become seized and fixated on every morsel of the delicious story. News flashes zing around the internet.

Then it hits cable television and the press starts slinging the most salacious and scandalous accusations they can whip up, charging the president with the highest crimes imaginable.

Each time, these reporters sink deeper and deeper into a fantasyland as they dream bigger and bigger. THIS TIME, they keep thinking, we FINALLY got him!

Reporters and Democrats alike — not to repeat myself — are actually now speculating about whether Mr. Trump will survive the certain impeachment hearings to come.

But then, as the heavy breathing subsides and the adrenaline rush gives way to factual, concrete reporting, the most damning charges fall away.

Turns out Mr. Trump is a germaphobe and wasn’t in that Russian hotel room.

The bust of Martin Luther King is still in the Oval Office.

He didn’t abandon conservatives by naming his sister to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Trump’s Tower — and people involved in his campaign — were, in fact, surveilled.

Slowly, agonizingly, Truth becomes very inconvenient for all these people predicting Mr. Trump’s certain demise.

In the end, they are all left clinging to the smallest Styrofoam shard of their original story, bobbing in the harsh sea of Donald Trump Derangement Syndrome.

The last remaining wastrels pontificating about the “scandal” formerly larger than Watergate are left with just one flimsy accusation.

“Well, he could have handled it better,” they sniff. “He didn’t follow Washington political protocol.”

Are you freaking kidding me? It all starts with charges of high crimes and misdemeanors — impeachment imminent — and when it all turns out to be fake news these people walk away grumbling about how Mr. Trump could have handled it better?

Just look at this latest “Watergate” scandal.

The upshot is that Mr. Trump finally fired a man who every single person in all of Washington, except perhaps James B. Comey’s wife, has said at one time or another in the past year should have been fired.

Why was he fired? For all the reasons every single person in Washington has stated at one point or another during the past year.

But if you are among the legions around here suffering from Donald Trump Derangement Syndrome, it is always much more sinister.

Russia!

The FBI was closing in on Donald Trump’s sordid connections to the Russians! (Minus the laughably debunked Moscow hotel room scandal that was one of Mr. Trump’s previous “Watergate” scandals.)

The FBI had just asked for more money to pursue the Trump-Russia connection, we were breathlessly told. Subpoenas were just being issued to known associates of known associates of President Trump!

So incensed by the lies of the scandal’s cover-up, it was reported, that a top official in the Justice Department was threatening to quit in protest rather than carry on working for such a criminal in the White House.

And then inconvenient reality unfolds again.

One by one, each of these blockbusters came under clouds of scrutiny. Nobody quits in protest.

By Thursday morning, the whole scandal had substantially come unraveled.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Chairman Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, said he and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the committee, had recently met with Mr. Comey and came away with the clear impression that, in fact, Mr. Trump is not a target of any investigation by the FBI.

“Sen. Feinstein and I heard nothing that contradicted the president’s statement,” he said.

And in a stunning display of nonpartisanship, Mrs. Feinstein agreed.

Well, OK. But the White House should have handled it better.

Ever wonder what fake news is?

May 7, 2017

Ever wonder what fake news is? IsraeliPM via YouTube, May 7, 2017