Posted tagged ‘Media and Donald Trump’

Dishonest CIA Director Rips Trump; Trump Should Rip him Back [Updated]

January 16, 2017

Dishonest CIA Director Rips Trump; Trump Should Rip him Back [Updated], Power LineJohn Hinderaker, January 15, 2017

John Brennan’s career in the Obama administration, first as counterterrorism adviser, then as Director of the CIA, has been a disaster. We have written about him many times; just search “John Brennan” on this site. Along with being an inept CIA Director, Brennan is a political hack. Today he went on Fox News Sunday and attacked Donald Trump. But the real news was Brennan’s inability to respond to questions about his agency’s use of the fake “Russian dossier” to smear Trump. That was the topic that Chris Wallace began with:

WALLACE: President-elect Trump has made it clear, as we just discussed, that he believes the intelligence community released, put out information about this unverified dossier in order to undercut him. Here’s what he said at his press conference.

TRUMP VIDEO: I think it was disgraceful, disgraceful, that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out be so false and fake out. I think it’s a disgrace, and I say that and I say that, and that something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do.

WALLACE: Mr. Brennan, your response.

JOHN BRENNAN, CIA DIRECTOR: Well, I think as the Director of National Intelligence said in his statement, this information has been out there circulating for many months. So, it’s not a question of the intelligence community leaking or releasing this information, it was already out there.

WALLACE: But it hadn’t been reported, though. And one of the reasons it hadn’t is because it hadn’t been verified. And when you briefed the president on it, you collectively briefed the president on it, the president-elect, that made it news.

That is exactly correct. Not a single news organization had reported on the fake “Russian dossier” because it was obviously bogus. The CIA, or someone in the intelligence community, deliberately turned fake news into a “legitimate” news story by purporting to brief Donald Trump on the smears against him, and then leaking the fact that they had done so. Brennan’s defense is pathetic.

BRENNAN: Well, nothing has been verified. It is unsubstantiated reporting that is out there, that has been circulating in the private sector and with the media as well by a firm that pulled this information together.

But what I do find outrageous is equating the intelligence community with Nazi Germany. I do take great umbrage at that, and there is no basis for Mr. Trump to point fingers at the intelligence community for leaking information that was already available publicly.

WALLACE: But it wasn’t available publicly. Various news organizations, if I may, various news organization had it, but they weren’t reporting it because it hadn’t been verified. And this brings me to the real question, Director Brennan, why on earth [would our] nation’s intelligence spy chiefs brief President-elect Trump, in your first meeting collectively with him, on this unverified information? First of all, it wasn’t intelligence, it was rumors. And secondly, by briefing him on it, you made it a news event and, therefore, gave news organizations an excuse to report it.

That is indeed the question, and Brennan has no answer.

BRENNAN: Well, I think news organizations should not assume what happened during that discussion with Mr. Trump.

WALLACE: Well, it’s been verified by the Director of National Intelligence that he was briefed on this information.

BRENNAN: Chris, bringing to the attention of the president-elect, as well as to the current president that this was circulating out there was a responsibility in the minds of the intelligence directors, of the intelligence community to make sure that there was going to be no evaluation of it, but just making sure that the president-elect was aware that it was circulating.

This is unbelievably disingenuous. “President-Elect Trump, we have vitally important news for you! You will be shocked–shocked!–to learn that your political enemies are trying to smear you with false claims! Which, by the way, we are about to leak.”

How dumb does Brennan think we are?

WALLACE: But shouldn’t you have done it a bunch of better ways, for instance, had a staff level person, give it to a staff level person, rather than the spy chiefs giving it to the president and the president-elect?

BRENNAN: Well, I think anybody who has read the reports that are out there, I think there are some very salacious allegations in there, again, unsubstantiated, that were circulating. And so, making sure that the president-elect himself was aware of it. I think that was the extent of what it was that the intelligence chiefs wanted to do.

WALLACE: One of the questions, though, is whether the intelligence community is going after — or somehow is going to try to undercut by selective leaks the new president-elect.

Let me ask my question, because former top intelligence officials have been bashing Mr. Trump for months, and I want to put a couple of these on the screen. Former acting CIA Director Mike Morell wrote, “In the intelligence business, we would say Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian federation.”

And then, former CIA Director Michael Hayden said he’d prefer a different term, “That’s the useful fool, some naif, manipulated by Moscow, secretly held in contempt, but his blind support is happily accepted and exploited.”

Can you understand given that and given all these leaks that have been coming out for months, why the president-elect would think the intelligence community had it in for him?

BRENNAN: Well, these are private citizens now for speaking about the current political environment about individuals. So, I’m not going to try to defend or explain what they said. But I can tell you that the intelligence community is prepared to support the president-elect and his incoming team, as we have done throughout the course of our history.

Chris Wallace never asked, and John Brennan certainly didn’t answer, the obvious question: who leaked the fact that the intelligence agencies briefed Trump on the fake news dossier, and then leaked the agencies’ own memo summarizing the smears against Trump? Donald Trump didn’t. Who, then?

We know for sure that intelligence officials–I assume either Brennan or his subordinates at the CIA–were feeding reporters classified information about the fake dossier in order to damage Trump. Their conduct was so reprehensible–criminal, actually–that it disgusted even the New York Times. I wrote last Wednesday that it is time for heads to roll at the CIA:

[A] reasonably respectable newspaper like the Washington Post takes this [the CIA’s leaked briefing of the president-elect] as a green light to report the slanders against Trump:

A classified report delivered to President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump last week included a section summarizing allegations that Russian intelligence services have compromising material and information on Trump’s personal life and finances, U.S. officials said.

The officials said that U.S. intelligence agencies have not corroborated those allegations but believed that the sources involved in the reporting were credible enough to warrant inclusion of their claims in the highly classified report on Russian interference in the presidential campaign.

Note that, while the report is “highly classified,” “U.S. officials” didn’t hesitate to tell the Post and other news sources all about it.

***
This excerpt from the New York Times’s account tells you all you need to know:

[I]ntelligence agencies considered it so potentially explosive that they decided Obama, Trump and congressional leaders needed to be told about it and informed that the agencies were actively investigating it.

Intelligence officials were concerned that the information would leak before they informed Trump of its existence, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the summary is classified and talking about it would be a felony. [Emphasis added]

Right. So “intelligence officials” think nothing of committing a felony if it will help serve the cause of the Democratic Party. The CIA is a sick agency. Heads need to roll.

The first head that ought to roll is John Brennan’s, but he won’t survive the Obama administration in any event. There are more who should be sacked. Reporters are getting the vapors over the fact that Trump doesn’t trust the CIA. But if “intelligence officials” think it is better to commit a felony than to give Trump a fair shake, why should he?

UPDATE: The Associated Press never mentions Brennan’s humiliation, and instead tries to fool newspaper readers into thinking that the story from today’s Fox News Sunday appearance was Brennan’s chiding Trump with respect to Russia. Unbelievable. Or, it would be unbelievable if it weren’t the Associated Press.

The Trump Dossier Puts the Deep State in Deep Doo-Doo

January 15, 2017

The Trump Dossier Puts the Deep State in Deep Doo-Doo, American ThinkerClarice Feldman, January 15, 2017

Mr. Garfinkle of Garfinkle’s New Method Hebrew School in Milwaukee used to frequently echo King Solomon’s admonition; “There’s nothing new under the sun.” I was reminded of that this week when the rapidly unfolding “scandal” of Trump’s purported dealings with Russia hit the news. It has more than a few similarities with the Dan Rather faked-up story of GW Bush’s National Guard service where an anonymous, never-found source supposedly gave Bill Burkett a demonstrably fake report and Dan Rather ran with it. This time a Bush (Jeb) is involved but as an instigator of the story, not a victim. John McCain acts as the intermediary passing the junk on to the Intelligence Community, which makes sure it is published.

If you’re confused about it, let me put it in the context of the most reliable information I’ve been able to put together, noting that I think the story is likely to become even more clear over the next few days. As you will see, the dossier is so ridiculous, if anyone in the Intelligence Community fell for it, he’s too stupid to allow in place, and if no one did but they still played a role in publicizing it, everyone involved needs to be fired

A. Digging Up Dirt on Opponents

In September of 2015 someone — now revealed as a Jeb Bush Super PAC donor — paid  Fusion GPS, a Washington, D.C. outfit, to compile a dossier of dirt on Donald Trump. Fusion engaged Christopher Steele, a former MI-6 agent in London, to do the job. While early accounts of the story refer to him as a “respected source”, he has a history of dumpster diving for Democrats.

Kimberley Strassel at the Wall Street Journal has been reporting on his work for some time and explains why he keeps getting hired: “to gin up the ugliest, most scurrilous claims, and then trust the click-hungry media to disseminate them. No matter how false the allegations, the subject of the attack is required to respond, wasting precious time and losing credibility.”

Steele hadn’t been in Russia for decades and as a former British spy could not have done the work himself. So, as the account in the New York Times continues, “he hired native Russian speakers to call informants inside Russia and made surreptitious contact with his own connections in the country as well.”

Beginning in June and until December Steele delivered his findings — a series of short memos — to GPS. Although post-election no one was paying, Steele continued on this muckraking operation,

The memos suggested that the Russians were trying to influence Trump and stated that one of Trump’s lawyers, Michael Cohen, had met with a Russian official in Prague. (A claim Cohen has credibly rebutted.)

Word of the dossier made it to the FBI via Senator John McCain, a man with an apparently insatiable desire to betray.  McCain, who heard about the dossier from a former diplomatic colleague of Tony Blair (Sir Andrew Wood), dispatched someone (apparently former State Department official David J. Kramer) to London to pick it up, then handed it off to the FBI.

From sources as yet unknown, news of the Steele report made it to journalists who investigated and finding no verification after investigating refused to print it.

The FBI, tried to get permission to tap into a server in the Trump Tower, which was denied, then in a strangely odd act tried twice to get a warrant from FISA to tap into it. Whether this was in response to the dossier, I do not know.  Andrew McCarthy writes in National Review Online:

To summarize, it appears there were no grounds for a criminal investigation of banking violations against Trump. Presumably based on the fact that the bank or banks at issue were Russian, the Justice Department and the FBI decided to continue investigating on national-security grounds. A FISA application in which Trump was “named” was rejected by the FISA court as overbroad, notwithstanding that the FISA court usually looks kindly on government surveillance requests. A second, more narrow application, apparently not naming Trump, may have been granted five months later; the best the media can say about it, however, is that the server on which the application centers is “possibly” related to the Trump campaign’s “alleged” links to two Russian banks — under circumstances in which the FBI has previously found no “nefarious purpose” in some (undescribed) connection between Trump Tower and at least one Russian bank (whose connection to Putin’s regime is not described). That is tissue-thin indeed. It’s a good example of why investigations properly proceed in secret and are not publicly announced unless and until the government is ready to put its money where its mouth is by charging someone. It’s a good example of why FISA surveillance is done in secret and its results are virtually never publicized — the problem is not just the possibility of tipping off the hostile foreign power; there is also the potential of tainting U.S. persons who may have done nothing wrong. While it’s too early to say for sure, it may also be an example of what I thought would never actually happen: the government pretextually using its national-security authority to continue a criminal investigation after determining it lacked evidence of crimes.

The second thrust of the Steele “investigative” report suggested Trump had engaged in some scatological conduct while in Russia, hiring prostitutes to urinate on the bed the Obamas had used there.

These claims were not only unverifiable, they were ludicrous as well, as was the Intelligence Community’s justification for giving them one second’s worth of credence.

As Iowahawk tweeted: “Unconfirmed Denial of Unsourced Blockbuster Allegations Raises Questions, According To Insiders Who Requested Anonymity.”

At American Digest, Gerard Vanderleun explains precisely why:

1) An international business man who has spent decades in the rough and tumble world of real estate development and skyscraper construction and may be presumed to have some sophistication when it comes to wheeling and dealing with governments of all sorts throughout the world travels to

2) Moscow. Not Moscow, Idaho, but Moscow in Russia. That would be Moscow the capital of one of the most paranoid and intrusive governments in the world (Both now and for the 19th and 20th centuries). It is a society and a government with a long history of…

3) Secret police and the clandestine surveillance of its own citizens and visitors to the extent that the US was digging bugs out of the walls of its own embassy in Moscow for decades. When he gets to Moscow he stays at…

4) The Moscow Ritz-Carlton in the “Presidential Suite.” Since such accommodations are typically only taken by the filthy rich and/or representatives of foreign governments such as, say, presidents. And then this sophisticated and reasonably intelligent billionaire real estate developer…

5) Assumes that such a suite in such a capitol city of such a government has no surveillance equipment at all installed in its rooms, bathrooms, closets, and — most importantly — bedrooms. He then asks the hotel staff to show him…

6) The bed in which Barack Obama and his wife slept in when they were in this same “Presidential Suite.” Upon being shown the bed our businessman then…

7) Contacts two high-dollar Russian hookers (who would never, ever, have anything to do with the KGB or other intelligence organs of Russia) and instructs them to…. Wait for it….

8) Urinate on said bed in order to give said businessman some odd sort of thrill and…

9) Said businessman remains utterly positive no agency of the Russian state is running cameras and microphones from every possible angle in the master bedroom in a “Presidential Suite” in a top hotel in the capital of Russia and…

10) The two damp hookers will never, ever, reveal a word about their golden shower in the Ritz Carleton’s “Presidential Suite.”

While I know that millions of morons are nodding like the drinking bird over the glass in their deep and abiding belief in this overflowing crock, I still find it hard to believe that there are smart people out there that really are this stupid. But of course they are not that stupid, not the smart ones. Instead they know this is a crock and yet they find they must drink from it lest their #NeverTrump fantasy world dissolve.

Sad. Their repetitive manic desperation now has foam flecking their lips and jowls as they dive down deep, and not for the last time, into this fuming septic tank of their own political sewage. Without even a snorkel. If they ever get out of the tank they will need a long, long golden shower

B. The Intelligence Community Peddles the Dirt (then feigns dismay that it makes its way into the press).

Among the morons apparently “drinking this up” besides John McCain were high officials in the Intelligence Community, which passed the rumors on to the president and key congressional staff, although — despite conflicting reports about this — apparently never shared it with president-elect Trump. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper claimed to have been “dismayed” that this leaked out after having passed it on. He claimed as well that the Intelligence Community “hadn’t made any judgment on whether the claims within the document were reliable”

As my online friend Cecil Turner observes:  “Former U.S. intelligence officials described the inclusion of the summary — drawn from ‘opposition research’ done by a political research firm — as highly unusual.

“Assuming, of course, that it is. The problem with this sort of thing is that it’s on the borderline between unknown and unknowable. Every character involved is either anonymous or has a name that sounds pseudonymous, and the sources are professional liars.

“Roll eyes, wait for actual evidence. The fact that it leaked strongly suggests there is none.”

CNN, however, lapped it up, informed its readers of the existence of scandalous reports on Trump, and BuzzFeed, a clickbait site owned in part by NBC, then published the dossier, a portion of which, it seems, was provided by infonerd bulletin board 4 Chan.

Asked why it had published an account of this nonsense which other news agencies had refused to print because it was completely unverifiable, CNN blamed BuzzFeed, noting it had not released the details, presumably on the assumption that readers whose curiosity had been piqued by the news wouldn’t want details.

Steele has gone to ground ostensibly because he fears Russian reprisals, but I think it’s because he wants to avoid answering questions about what are obviously fabrications to satisfy political interests who paid for this shoddy product.

As John Bolton commented:

Kassam asked if Bolton had ever heard of the man revealed as the creator of the dossier, former British MI6 officer Christopher Steele. “Could it be the case that somebody has just paid this guy to write these things, so this leak came out?” Kassam asked.

“Well, actually, that thought occurred to me because it’s so bad. I haven’t found anybody, including friends who are experienced in both diplomacy and military and intelligence affairs, who haven’t just laughed at most of it,” Bolton replied.

“It’s filled with anonymous sources, single-source information and whatnot. If I were a corporate customer, and I wanted, in effect, a private investigator — I think that’s what this firm basically is — and I got something back like this, I would refuse to pay. You or I could sit down at a computer right now and type out these 35 pages, just let our imaginations run wild, and if somebody would pay for it, I suppose it’s nice work if you can get it,” he said.

c. Is it Just IC Incompetence or is the Deep State Deliberately Undermining Faith in Trump and Aiding a Russian Disinformation Campaign?

Glenn Greenwald (hardly a Trump fan) thinks it’s more, and on examination of the Intelligence Community’s handling of this tripe, it’s hard to disagree with him. He points out the unprecedented support for Hillary Clinton in this “deep state,” and takes issue with their advancing the Steele memos

…the Deep State unleashed its tawdriest and most aggressive assault yet on Trump: vesting credibility in and then causing the public disclosure of a completely unvetted and unverified document, compiled by a paid, anonymous operative while he was working for both GOP and Democratic opponents of Trump, accusing Trump of a wide range of crimes, corrupt acts, and salacious private conduct. The reaction to all of this illustrates that while the Trump presidency poses grave dangers, so, too, do those who are increasingly unhinged in their flailing, slapdash, and destructive attempts to undermine it.

[snip]

Once CNN strongly hinted at these allegations, it left it to the public imagination to conjure up the dirt Russia allegedly had to blackmail and control Trump. By publishing these accusations, BuzzFeed ended that speculation. More importantly, it allowed everyone to see how dubious this document is, one the CIA and CNN had elevated into some sort of grave national security threat.

ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER it was published, the farcical nature of the “dossier” manifested. Not only was its author anonymous, but he was paid by Democrats (and, before that, by Trump’s GOP adversaries) to dig up dirt on Trump. Worse, he himself cited no evidence of any kind but instead relied on a string of other anonymous people in Russia he claims told him these things. Worse still, the document was filled with amateur errors.

David Goldman, who did support Trump, was more succinct: “Warning the intelligence communities about salacious and politically motivated leaks: the president-elect threatened to drag their shenanigans into the daylight. No one has ever done that to the spooks before. I’m lovin’ it.”

In any event, McCain’s much-touted hearings on Russian interference with the election should prove to be a million laughs.  He obviously believed this nonsense was credible enough to seek it out and pass it on, so I hardly imagine he’s in a position to make credible calls on what the hearings involving these now discredited documents reveal or on  the wisdom and good faith  of the officials involved in leaking them.

 

 

The AP Spins Lewis vs. Trump

January 15, 2017

The AP Spins Lewis vs. Trump, Power Line, John Hinderaker, January 14, 2017

The biggest news story of the day, apparently, is the dustup between Rep. John Lewis and Donald Trump, about which I wrote this morning. Although the story has little real significance, the Associated Press, the most influential news source in the U.S., spins it furiously to drive its anti-Trump narrative.

Start with the headline: “Trump unleashes Twitter attack against civil rights legend.” Most people only read headlines, and this one gives no clue that it was Lewis, not Trump, who started the fight by saying on Meet the Press that Trump will be an illegitimate president. And Lewis is identified as a “civil rights legend,” not as a hyper-partisan Democratic politician, which is what he is. Now to the article:

Donald Trump tore into civil rights legend John Lewis for questioning the legitimacy of the Republican billionaire’s White House victory, intensifying a feud with the black congressman days before the national holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. and as the first African-American president prepares to leave office.

Enough with the “civil rights legend”! That was 50 years ago, and has nothing to do with Lewis’s claim that Trump is an illegitimate president-elect, or Trump’s Twitter riposte to the effect that Lewis is an ineffective Congressman. Nor does the impending Martin Luther King day, or the departure of Barack Obama from office, have any relevance. These references are just thrown in so you know whose side you are supposed to be on.

And oh, by the way, did you know that Donald Trump is a billionaire? Is that going to be injected into the first paragraph of every story about Trump for the next four years?

Lewis, among the most revered leaders of the civil rights movement, suffered a skull fracture during the march in Selma, Alabama, more than a half-century ago and has devoted his life to promoting equal rights for African-Americans.

Oh, please. Lewis has devoted his life to being a hack Democratic Party politician. John McCain was a hero 50 years ago, too, but has that ever stopped the Democrats from criticizing him? No.

It also demonstrated that no one is untouchable for scorn from a president-elect with little tolerance for public criticism. Trump has found political success even while attacking widely lauded figures before and after the campaign — a prisoner of war, parents of a slain U.S. soldier, a beauty queen and now a civil rights icon.

The AP doesn’t mention that all of these people attacked Trump first, like John Lewis. And it doesn’t occur to the AP that Trump’s success might be in part because of, not in spite of, the fact that he defends himself against scurrilous attacks.

By the way, here is a drinking game: take a shot for every article you can find about John Lewis that does not include the phrase “civil rights icon.” You will go to bed sober.

The AP takes the opportunity to rehash its “Russians hacked the election” theme, and adds more irrelevant, anti-Trump spin:

Democrat Clinton received 2.9 million more votes than Trump but lost the Electoral College vote.

Translation: she lost the election.

This is the kind of nonsense we are going to see for the next four years. It is all-out war between Donald Trump and the Democratic Party press, and so far, Trump is winning.

Journalists: How Should We Cover Trump?

January 14, 2017

Journalists: How Should We Cover Trump? Power LineJohn Hinderaker, January 14, 2017

We all know the answer to that question. But The Hill reports that on January 25, representatives of Slate, the Huffington Post, Univision, the New Yorker and CNN will put on a public program on the topic at NYU:

Journalists from The Huffington Post, Slate and Univision will gather days before Donald Trump’s inauguration to publicly discuss “how the news media can and should proceed to cover” the president-elect.

Slate will host the event next Wednesday, called “Not the New Normal.” CNN’s Brian Stelter will moderate the panel at New York University.

Interesting that CNN is willing to associate itself with that group.

The focus of the discussion will include “how journalists and media companies at large can play a bigger role in making sure that fact prevails over fiction in the coming months and years,” according to Slate.

“Fact” means anti-Trump, anti-Republican and anti-conservative narratives. “Fiction” means anything liberals would prefer you didn’t know.

Slate’s editor-in-chief, Julia Turner, and Slate Group Chairman Jacob Weisberg — who hosts “Trumpcast,” a podcast dedicated to covering the president-elect — will participate in the panel.

Joining them will be Borja Echevarría, Univision Digital’s vice president and editor-in-chief; Huffington Post editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen; and New Yorker editor David Remnick.

Most of the panelists were staunchly critical of Trump during the campaign and have remained so since Election Day.

“Most”?

ZeroHedge adds this image of a ticket to the event:

ticket

 

Everyone knows what is in store. It will be open warfare between Trump and the press for the next four years.

The Hill, by the way, makes this contribution to illiteracy, adjacent to the article on the NYU program:

hillwithenglish

That’s our “elite” news media.

Trump vs. the Media: New Sheriff in Town

January 13, 2017

Trump vs. the Media: New Sheriff in Town, PJ MediaMichael Walsh, January 13, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to reporters at Mar-a-Lago, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President-elect Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to reporters at Mar-a-Lago, Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

At the Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes has some thoughts on the president-elect’s recent press conference:

Donald Trump is in the rare position of loathing the media and dominating them—simultaneously. What more could a president-elect want as he enters the White House? Not much.

Reporters, columnists, talk radio blabbers, and even the elite media in Washington and New York think Trump is obligated to deal with them pretty much on their terms. Trump doesn’t agree. The notion of catering to them has never crossed his mind. And probably never will.

Instead we get wild events like Trump’s first press conference since winning the presidency. It was on his home turf at Trump Tower. He was in charge. The reporters were an unruly mob. As they tried to attract Trump’s attention, he coolly surveyed them before deciding who should ask him a question. He was dominant, the press pitiful.

They’ve been pitiful for a long time; it’s just that nobody’s pointed it out quite as forcefully as Trump. A bunch of Ivy League-credentialed throne-sniffers willing to suffer any indignity as long as they can stay close to the seat of power, they’ve long since confused themselves with those they cover. They’ve violated the first rule of working for a major media organization, which is confusing their sense of self-worth with whom they represent.

Reporters — even the vaunted White House press corps! — need to remember two things: 1) they can be fired at any time, and nobody will care, and 2) they need their employers more than their employers need them; these days, with journalistic standards at rock bottom, anyone with half a brain and a full set of teeth can work for the dying MSM.

With Trump, rules have changed. CNN was oblivious to this. It had played up the dubious “dossier” story about Trump. Yet, after Trump denounced the story, CNN correspondent Jim Acosta thought he was entitled to ask a question. Trump refused. “You are fake news,” he said, looking at Acosta.

Which leads us to the first change. And by the way, it applies across the board, not just to the media. The new rule is simple: When you attack Trump, he will hit back harder than you could have imagined. “He learned this in the New York media when he was a businessman,” Newt Gingrich said in a speech in December.

This is “Trump’s core model,” says Gingrich, who understands how Trump operates better than anyone else. There’s a reason for Trump’s counter-punching. He always wants to be on offense. “He’s on permanent offense,” Gingrich says. This, too, is a change. “He gets up in the morning, figuring out, how am I going to stay on offense?”

The media, like the Hun, is always either at your feet or at your throat. In collaboration with their Leftist buddies, they’ve been striking at the new president since Nov. 9 in an effort to de-legitimize him. They’re not going to like what’s about to happen to them, not one bit. Then again, that’s what soup kitchens and jobs retraining are for.

Obama’s White House, 2009: ‘Don’t Pretend’ Fox News Is a ‘Legitimate News Organization’

January 12, 2017

Obama’s White House, 2009: ‘Don’t Pretend’ Fox News Is a ‘Legitimate News Organization’, PJ MediaDavid Steinberg, January 11, 2017

trumpnewsconfPresident-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, in New York. The news conference was his first as President-elect. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Now, here’s a more insightful take: since Obama’s done it since it his first year in office; since Obama went two entire terms without taking more than a handful of questions from any center-right outlet, never mind singling out just one; and since not being one of the lucky dozen or so people out of 300 million Americans who gets to ask the president-elect a question does not infer that your rights have been violated . . . .

****************************

Donald Trump refused to take a question from CNN reporter Jim Acosta today, labeling Acosta’s employer as “fake news.” Since then, mainstream media and celebrities are hyperventilating over Trump as if he bears the same viciously totalitarian impulses as, say, Fidel Castro — and that Trump is SCARY and GOING TO GET THEM.

As comforting as tweeting one’s victimhood status to millions appears to be to today’s left — and as ironic as exercising one’s free speech to millions via Twitter to claim the death of the First Amendment is to everyone else — this reactionary response sure doesn’t look good for the left in terms of ideological consistency.

Or sanity. For example, here’s one-percenter Patton Oswalt, who I’ll assume is tweeting from an in-home hyperbaric chamber:

Did the New York Times fear freedom of the press had been eradicated? No, the headline was simply that “Fox’s Volley With Obama” was … “Intensifying.”

Ironically, current CNN host and Trump critic Brian Stelter wrote the article. It begins:

Attacking the news media is a time-honored White House tactic but to an unusual degree, the Obama administration has narrowed its sights to one specific organization, the Fox News Channel, calling it, in essence, part of the political opposition.

We’re going to treat them the way we would treat an opponent,” said Anita Dunn, the White House communications director, in a telephone interview on Sunday. “As they are undertaking a war against Barack Obama and the White House, we don’t need to pretend that this is the way that legitimate news organizations behave.”

In 2009, the White House’s position on Fox News was that it was “an opponent,” at “war(!)” with the White House. And that they were not, in fact, a legitimate news organization.

They were to be treated as fake news. It was White House policy.

Here’s Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post:

John Harwood of NBC:

Mother Jones:

Media Matters:

Here’s George Takei:

Now, here’s a more insightful take: since Obama’s done it since it his first year in office; since Obama went two entire terms without taking more than a handful of questions from any center-right outlet, never mind singling out just one; and since not being one of the lucky dozen or so people out of 300 million Americans who gets to ask the president-elect a question does not infer that your rights have been violated, this tweeter brings some sanity whether you’re a Trump supporter or not:

Much better.

The Worst of MSNBC in 2016 | SUPERcuts! #408

December 30, 2016

The Worst of MSNBC in 2016 | SUPERcuts! #408, Washington Free Beacon via YouTube, December 30, 2016

About That “Vote Trump” Church Burning

December 22, 2016

About That “Vote Trump” Church Burning, Hot Air, Jazz Shaw, December 22, 2016

churchburning

You probably recall the shocking story which headlined every major paper in the country and ran in a loop on all the cable news stations during the final week of the election. Some horrible, racist Trump supporter burned down a church in Mississippi, scrawling the words, “Vote Trump” across the side of the gutted building. It was clearly yet another example of the Basket of Deplorables who were supporting Trump’s bid for the presidency and one more reason for Americans to turn their backs on such hatred and intolerance. This was the picture which was literally burned into everyone’s retinas.

Well, yesterday they made an arrest in this tragic case of hatred but the story seems to be changing. (WREG)

Mississippi authorities have made an arrest in the burning of an African-American church spray-painted with the words, “Vote Trump.”

Mississippi Department of Public Safety spokesman Warren Strain says Andrew McClinton of Leland, Mississippi, who is African-American, is charged with first-degree arson of a place of worship.

McClinton was arrested Wednesday. Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi, was burned and vandalized Nov. 1, a week before the presidential election.

That’s certainly awkward. If you read the Washington Post’s coverage of the story (which was nowhere near the front page, by the way) you’ll need to scroll down five paragraphs to discover that Mr. McClinton is African-American. He’s also got a rather impressive rap sheet and more than a decade of cumulative time in prison.

Here’s the interesting part: the local authorities who had initially been checking into this as a hate crime are now describing it somewhat differently. (Emphasis added)

We do not believe it was politically motivated. There may have been some efforts to make it appear politically motivated,” Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney, who is also the fire marshal, told AP.

Absent some sort of statement from McClinton himself it’s impossible to say for sure, but it’s not too hard to read between the lines here. You can’t simply say that it’s “not politically motivated” just because it turns out to be a different political motivation than the one you originally suspected. Let’s stop and think about this for a moment. Now, I’m never going to deny that there is still some residual racism left in the country and it can even bubble up into politics. But what sort of room temperature IQ moron would think that the best way to get out the vote for Trump would be to burn down a black church? What sort of result was the arsonist expecting?

Oh, well… I was going to vote for Hillary Clinton, but if the other side is willing to take the time to burn down our church, maybe I should give this Trump fellow a second look!”

Compare that against the second possibility. If you really want to drive out the black vote against Trump, what better way to incite them to action on election day than torching the church and making it look like it was related to Trump? As I said, that’s unproven at that point but you can apply Occam’s Razor to the question for yourselves.

This would be less remarkable if it was happening in a vacuum, but as our friend Mickey White pointed out last night at Red State, this is turning into something of a pattern.

Remember that spike in hate crimes the media keeps reporting? They may need to begin a feature dedicated to corrections after this week. We’ve been following the story of Yasmin Seweid, a young Muslim woman arrested for lying to the police, after her story of a Trump inspired hate crime went viral. Adam Saleh a serial hoaxer claimed Delta airline discriminated against him for “speaking in Arabic, already other passengers are coming forward to discredit his version of events.

Just something to ponder going forward. When you see a story of some sort of racially motivated incident of violence which looks too incredibly overt and stupid to be true… maybe it’s not.

The Trump Nail in the Media Coffin

December 22, 2016

The Trump Nail in the Media Coffin, Town HallVictor Davis Hanson, December 22, 2016

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News outlets such as The New York Times and NBC have no more credibility than most websites or the National Enquirer.

Is it any surprise that we are witnessing the funeral for traditional journalism as we once knew it?

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President-elect Donald Trump probably will not often communicate with the nation via traditional press conferences. Nor will Trump likely field many questions from New York/Washington journalists.

What we know as “the media” never imagined a Trump victory. It has become unhinged at the reality of a Trump presidency.

No wonder the fading establishment media is now distrusted by a majority of the public, according to Gallup — and becoming irrelevant even among progressives.

Once upon a time in the 1960s, all the iconic news anchors, from Walter Cronkite to David Brinkley, were liberal. But they at least hid their inherent biases behind a professional veneer that allowed them to filter stories through left-wing lenses without much pushback.

When Cronkite returned from Vietnam after the 1968 Tet Offensive and declared the war stalemated and unwinnable, no one dared to offer the dissenting viewpoint that Tet was actually a decisive American victory.

The mainstream-media narrative in 1963 that Lee Harvey Oswald, the Castroite, communist assassin of President John F. Kennedy, was a product of right-wing Texas hatred was completely crazy — but largely unquestioned.

That old monopoly over the news, despite the advent of cable television and the internet, still lingered until 2016. Even in recent years, Ivy League journalism degrees and well-known media brand names seemed to suggest better reporting than what was offered by bloggers and websites.

Soft-spoken liberal hosts on public TV and radio superficially sounded more news-like than their gravelly-voiced populist counterparts on commercial radio and cable news.

Yet the thinning veneer of circumspection that had supposedly characterized the elite liberal successors to Cronkite and Brinkley was finally ripped off completely by a media meltdown over Trump.

Journalists such as Jim Rutenberg of The New York Times and Christiane Amanpour of CNN said that they could not — and should not — be neutral reporters, given their low opinion of Trump.

When the press is unashamedly slanted, even its benefactors want even more partiality — media heartthrob Barack Obama included.

In his last press conference as president, Obama attacked pet journalists for reporting on WikiLeaks’ release of John Podesta’s emails, supposedly at the expense of his own legacy and Hillary Clinton’s accomplishments.

The WikiLeaks trove certainly proved another disaster to the media — but only because it revealed that mainstream journalists conspired with the Clinton campaign.

CNN’s Donna Brazile leaked possible debate questions to Clinton. One op-ed columnist, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, even asked Clintonites for research to help him attack Trump.

Politico’s Glenn Thrush sent a story to the Clinton campaign team to be audited before publication. He begged to keep his collusion quiet and admitted that he had become a “hack” for such journalistic impropriety. Thrush may have been rewarded for his predictable left-wing bias, recently being hired by the New York Times as a White House correspondent.

Last week, New York Times op-ed columnist Paul Krugman grotesquely suggested via Twitter that Trump might welcome another 9/11-like attack, given that such a human catastrophe supposedly helped win support for George W. Bush.

Recently, another Politico reporter, Julia Ioffe, used Twitter to relay a news story about the possibility that Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, would get an office at the White House. In her tweet, Joffe suggested that Trump was either having incestuous relations with his daughter or skirting nepotism laws.

Politico fired Ioffe — sort of. She had already announced that she was moving from Politico to the Atlantic.

Yet the Atlantic announced that it would not rescind her hire — suggesting that her political bias, despite the accompanying unprofessionalism and uncouthness, could almost be interpreted as a plus.

In today’s media, all of this progressive distortion serves as an insurance policy for lapses of personal integrity like those of Thrush and Joffe.

MSNBC anchor Brian Williams sermonized about the so-called “fake news” epidemic. Williams failed to remind us that he was removed as NBC’s evening news anchor for serving up all sorts of fake details about his supposedly brave trips abroad in search of edgy news stories.

After the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the co-hosts of the show “CNN Newsroom” collectively put up their hands in “hands up, don’t shoot” solidarity — echoing a narrative of police murder later proved to be completely false by a lengthy federal investigation.

Decades-long journalistic one-sidedness was apparently tolerable when there were no other news alternatives. Mainstream-media monopolies once were also highly profitable, and long-ago liberal news people were at least well-mannered.

All of those assumptions are no longer true. News outlets such as The New York Times and NBC have no more credibility than most websites or the National Enquirer.

Is it any surprise that we are witnessing the funeral for traditional journalism as we once knew it?

Democrats Threaten, Harass Electors: Where is the Outrage?

December 19, 2016

Democrats Threaten, Harass Electors: Where is the Outrage?, Power Line, John Hinderaker, December 18, 2016

(In the highlighted paragraph, it seems very likely that Mr. Hinderaker meant “Obama administration.” — DM)

The Democrats’ ongoing campaign of harassment against Republican members of the Electoral College is a scandal. It shows a complete lack of regard for our democracy. Politico describes how bad the situation has gotten:

In the aftermath of a uniquely polarizing presidential contest, the once-anonymous electors are squarely in the spotlight, targeted by death threats, harassing phone calls and reams of hate mail. One Texas Republican elector said he’s been bombarded with more than 200,000 emails. …

There have been ad campaigns targeting electors and op-eds assailing their role. One Democratic member of Congress has called to delay the vote for president while an investigation of Russian involvement in the election is underway. Two others have pleaded with electors to consider Russia’s role when deciding how to vote. Progressive groups are preparing protests across the country at sites where electors will meet to cast their ballots. Personal contact information for many electors has been posted publicly — and it’s been used to bury them with massive email campaigns. …

Last week saw the release of a video of celebrities like Martin Sheen pleading with Republican electors to vote for someone other than Trump. On Saturday, Unite for America — the group behind the video — began sending personalized versions to electors in which Sheen and more than a dozen others call them out by name.

This is insanity. The election is over, and Trump won. The United States slid down the slope toward becoming a banana republic during the Trump administration, and if electors were bribed or threatened to overturn the result of a presidential election, the process would be complete.

Meanwhile, those who rely on the Democratic Party press for news may not even be aware of the Democrats’ disgraceful behavior. A reader writes:

I cannot find a single news report or, indeed, ANY reference at all in the New York Times that any of this harassment of electors has occurred. None, zero, nada.

Proof, as if any were needed, that the real news is what is not reported; everything else is propaganda. And the Times is the agitprop organ of the liberal establishment’s Inner Party, shamelessly and unhesitatingly so. Intentional spiking of reports unfavorable to the image and, supposedly, as the self-proclaimed “newspaper of record,” to the history of the Party is standard operating procedure for the MSM.

Where is George Orwell when you need him?

Where, indeed?