With Flynn’s departure, the intrigue only deepens. Many questions still need to be answered: Why did Trump, who apparently was aware of Flynn’s dissembling for weeks, wait so long to force his adviser out? What did Trump himself know directly about Flynn’s conversations with Russian officials? Did Flynn potentially make false claims to the FBI, who quizzed him in the first days of the administration? Could Flynn face prosecution?
Where are the leaks coming from? If there were phone calls between Trump advisers and spooks for the Kremlin, were they recorded, and if so will they also be leaked? Will Democrats find other people whose malfeasance is tiny compared to Bill and Hillary Clinton’s, and destroy them?
How many ways can the press remind us about Russia tampering with the election, without pointing out that at worst, the Russians leaked private email, which is a shadow of the leaks involved here? If the worst tampering they did was to show what schmucks the Democrats are, is that really a big deal?
I don’t like this crap from any angle. Flynn screwed up, and I don’t want somebody that careless advising the president. It’s not as if he lost thousands of emails, or deleted them from a server stored in the bathroom.
I really don’t like the fact that in Washington, taking someone’s scalp is a partisan blood sport. And I really didn’t like seeing Wolf Blitzer with that sanctimonious smirk on his face.
Some folks should not threaten to strike.
A few stories about Fake News have crossed my well-worn desk this week.
One is from America the Good and the Bad, and it looks like they’re quoting another source on this:
IN THE PAST six weeks, the Washington Post published two blockbuster stories about the Russian threat that went viral: one on how Russia is behind a massive explosion of “fake news,” the other on how it invaded the U.S. electric grid. Both articles were fundamentally false. Each now bears a humiliating editor’s note grudgingly acknowledging that the core claims of the story were fiction: The first note was posted a full two weeks later to the top of the original article; the other was buried the following day at the bottom.
The other example is from a site called Church Militant (written by and for Catholics) and the group and its message was examined by the New York Times. They claim the Times distorted the views of someone quoted in the article:
The Times did this in this report by using a quote from Theology Professor John Cavadini at Notre Dame, whose responses they manipulated to try and give the impression that we here at Church Militant are distorting the actual theological meaning of the Church Militant. Professor Cavadini gave a superb explanation of the Church Militant in theological terms, which exactly coincided with the one I gave during the interview.
He also told the Times that sometimes there is an intersection of this theological concept with the secular world, as he put it, that spiritual struggle sometimes requires social and political correlates. But they chose not to print that further explanation. How do I know? Well, I communicated with Professor Cavadini after the article came out, and he told me that he told them that. [There is a transcript of Cavadini’s interview. Never talk to a reporter without your own recorder running the whole time! — Dave]
The Times created an area of disagreement where none existed, according to the Church Militant. By the way, they’re not militant in the military way. They seem to believe in a fairly active presence of the church in public life.
The specifics on either of these stories don’t matter to me. Journalists should be the last folks asking for Fake News to be stopped. Clearly the Times, the Washington Post and every outlet the news business have screwed up a time or two. In some cases laziness is to blame, and at times reporters carry their own preconceived notions to the story.
At Times, they are just lying twerps.
There are bad actors trying to twist opinion with fake news and unsubstantiated stories. The difference now is that The Times, Post, and the TV news outlets have competition for lies and distortions.
And they don’t like it.
I love Christmas music, and Burl Ives was a musical genius, but if I hear ‘Holly, Jolly Christmas’ one more time, I’m going to flip.
It is the ‘You Light Up My Life’ and ‘La Bamba’ of Christmas tunes.
I am pleased to announce that I have been chosen to join the Ministry of Facts, a select elite group of writers whose job it is to eliminate fake news. [Our original name, the Ministry of Truth, was apparently already in use. — Dave]
I think we can all agree that certain stories, thoughts and ideas are fake, and therefore should be suppressed. My personal list:
- Barack Obama is a secret terrorist who was born in Kenya. Not true.He was born in Hawaii. While not actually a terrorist, the president is really bad at his job. Unless his job was supposed to be screwing up the United States of America. In that case, Mission Accomplished.
- Hillary Clinton lost the election because of Russian interference. Hillary Clinton lost the election due to growing evidence that she was mentally unstable and physically unfit for any job requiring one to sit quietly outside while others speak about someone other than Hillary Clinton. My working theory on this: her servos and internal circuitry were damaged when she was inadvertently left outside in the rain while undergoing a software breakdown in 2013. That might be fake news.
- Melania Trump was once a highly-paid escort. Mrs. Trump is an attractive woman who makes all of the Democratic Party female leadership look like fellas. The last male Democrat to marry a woman that good looking was in fact, Donald Trump. After 8 years of breathless reporting on how ‘glamorous and attractive’ First Lady Michelle Obama is, such reporting will become passe.
- The Unites States government can solve problems. Various presidents have declared wars on poverty, drugs, terrorism and crime. We have more poverty, drugs, terrorism and crime. The federal government is unqualified to accomplish much, and is remarkably unable to defeat anything other than prosperity.
- The best way to help the environment is to listen to environmentalists. Environmentalists promote bird-killing wind turbines and electric cars powered by poisonous batteries. Most environmental leaders are lawyers, not scientists. I wouldn’t take legal advice from a biologist either.
- Donald Trump supports racist groups. What happened to nuance? With the election of Donald Trump, the logic circuits of some people exploded.
If some random racists support Trump, that does not mean that he supports racists. Small numbers of asshat racists supported Trump. On the other hand, Mrs. Clinton said she admires Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood and a woman who hoped abortion would reduce or eliminate the black population. I’m not saying Hillary actually wants to eliminate or reduce the population of black Americans, but it at least makes more logical sense. I don’t know of anyone who is a racist who Trump has stated that he admires.
- Liberals like diversity. With liberals, diversity is skin deep. Elizabeth Warren is as pale as Custer, but she added diversity to the Harvard University faculty, even though she never expressed much interest in her supposed Native American ancestors’ culture. She claimed Native American ancestry when it suited her, based upon ‘high cheekbones’ and family lore. Faker. True diversity means ideological diversity, differences of faith and culture. Hire a conservative Christian for the political science department in the college, then maybe you can brag about diversity.
- When a reporter says “Critics say…” that means they have spoken to more than one critic. No.This phrase is similar to ‘veteran court observers’ or ‘experts suggest…’ It means nothing except that the reporter wants to add their own opinions, or those of other reporters. These phrases also imply that reporters figure you’re stupid.
- Guns make you unsafe. It depends on who is holding the gun. I wouldn’t trust some people with pointed sticks. Most active shooter scenarios end when good people with guns show up.
- The Constitution is a ‘living’ document. It is a written document, subject to amending as needed. If a beating heart inside an embryo within a woman’s womb is not living, then neither is the U.S. Constitution. You want to change it? Amend it. Wanna piss off more voters? Get a judge to rewrite it. Oh, please do.
- Christians are dogmatic and rigid. Hang around some liberal college students for a while. Visit the women’s center. Wear a Trump button. Call someone a ‘gal.’ Read them number 6 above.
- Journalists have a set of standards which are applied consistently across all situations. A lie. Journalists can choose the facts to fit the story, and do. Interview someone for ten minutes and use ten seconds. Visit a rally with thousands and find the one guy with dental and grammar issues. Is a politician corrupt? Democrats are isolated incidents. (Like four out of the last seven Illinois governors who have been convicted and went to jail. Coincidences.) Find a Republican in trouble? It has broad implications for the party as a whole.
- “Hands up, don’t shoot.” A lie.
- The American people need someone to guide us toward reliable news organizations like MSNBC or CNN. Brian Williams. Candy Crowley. Yes. Folks like that need more influence in our lives. With the possible exception of the ten people who thought that lady was smuggling cookie dough out of Walmart in her vagina, we are smart enough to find the truth. If we want to identify fake news, we’ll turn on the cable TV.
No. Not this year, from 2015 to 2016. No. Last year.
…but when CNN starts trying to pour fuel on the fire of excessive hysteria, it becomes far more challenging. This particular article from CNN really ticked me off, ” FBI: Hate crimes spike…” with the strategically placed byline, “Reports of racism, bigotry post-election.” If that doesn’t get you all riled up, there is “anti-Muslim hate crimes in the United States rose 67%.”
That is exactly what I received, a hastily flung accusation that since Trump’s election, “anti-Muslim hate crimes in the United States rose 67%.” Nobody ever bothers to actually read the articles these days, they just pick up on the subliminal bylines and strategically placed pictures. That is exactly what this kind of propaganda is designed to do, exploit our ever declining attention spans.
If they had read the fine print hidden underneath the hyperbole, brainwashing, and rhetoric, they would have discovered that these statistics are from 2014-2015, long before the election ever occurred. Who was President in 2014? 2015?
This could not possibly have anything to do with “post-election hate crimes” on account of the fact that the election was just a week ago and these statistics are really from 2 years ago. There was a spike in hate crimes, but even that must be placed in the proper perspective. In 2001 there were 481 anti Muslim hate crimes. In 2015 there were 257.
You do the math, but I think we could call that a decline. As far as I know 481 is still greater than 257.