Monday, March 25, 2019

SCHADENFREUDE

"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes"
--Attributed to Winston Churchill


We now have the Meueller Report on President Trump at least in summary, and while it will likely have some important details, the main thrust is this: there was no collusion between the president and Russia to throw the election.

This is after more than two years of official investigation, and about six months previous to that of intelligence operations spying on and digging into the Trump campaign.  There were more than three dozen indictments of various people, but not a single one has anything to do with President Trump or his campaign.  They are all for events and actions taken sometimes more than a decade before the election.

By now you'll have seen and heard the reactions from the left.  The emotionalism, the horror, the shock, the misery, the tears.  News reporters acting like they just got news of their dog's death.  Journalists acting like hearing the president's name being cleared is a national catastrophe that ruins them personally.

On the right there's a great deal of mockery and cheer but as Rush Limbaugh said: this isn't something to celebrate.
Now, I understand the need to want to celebrate, and I understand the need to feel good about this, and I’m not telling you not to do that. But this investigation does not need to be validated. We don’t need a third party like Robert Mueller to pronounce the president legitimate. The president is legitimate because he was elected. He won the election of the Electoral College. He didn’t commit any crimes in the process.

We don’t need a sitting fourth branch of government under constant surveillance of the sitting president one day proclaiming, “Hey, you know what I couldn’t find? That the guy did anything wrong.” (clapping) “All right!” No. Not “all right.” This entire episode needs to be invalidated. It needs to be blown up, and it never needs to happen again. Nobody ought to ever watch CNN ever again. Nobody ought to ever read the New York Times ever again. Nobody ought to ever pick up the Washington Post ever again. These people have besmirched themselves.
But there are some important lessons to be learned from all this and I want to run them down.  First off, remember that there are three main reasons this entire debacle took place, why all the indictments, why people's lives were ruined:
  1. To distract Democrat voters and their donors from the disaster of the 2016 election and the email releases by Wikileaks demonstrating the racism, corruption, and contempt for their voters that the DNC feels
  2. To warn off any supporters and donors from ever publicly supporting or in any way helping President Trump or they'll come for you, too
  3. To protect the corrupt and criminal in the Democrat power machine from a new president in power to find out what they were doing and act on it by making the new president defensive and seem like he's just retaliating to take action against them
I mean, sure, they were hoping against hope this would somehow depose the president but it wasn't any real hope.  And they were counting on this to delegitimize the president to the point it ruined him or anyone from ever being like him again.  But those three are the main reasons.

Yet this all is a horrific indictment on how news is handled today, of the rank unprofessionalism and incompetence on display every single hour of every day at just about every news organization in the country -- and likely in most countries.

FAKE NEWS
Remember these fake news stories?  Each one a ridiculous lie, each one completely repudiated.
  • Duke Lacrosse gang beats and rapes girl
  • Trayvon Martin was a kindly child attacked by evil "white hispanic" for no reason
  • Hands Up Don't Shoot
  • Benghazi was the result of a youtube video
  • Iran deal was with moderates, not mullahs
  • Russian Trump Dossier
  • Border Patrol killed 7 year old girl
  • Trump put children into cages
  • Bannon is a white supremacist
  • Kavanaugh ran a rape gang
  • Ambassador Haley bought $52,000 curtains
  • Trump ordered Cohen to pay off Stormy with campaign funds "If True its huge"
  • Covington Kids
  • Jussie Smolett
  • Russia Collusion
That's just a partial list of the last five years or so.  There's a good dozen each year, most of them forgotten.  Story after story of absurd falsehood, where the press has been forced to retract or correct, and not little outlets, but major news organizations, supposedly the most trusted, respected, and powerful news companies in the nation.

And what's worse is that when the New York Times runs with a story, other news organizations around the world pick it up and run with it, but often not the retraction.  And the retractions are often so buried or muted or limited that many never hear it.  The story gets 24/7 coverage for weeks and the retractions or corrections get page A5 single line and not repeated.

But why does this keep happening?  Why do these news organizations keep getting it so wrong, so often, and so thoroughly?

While its easy to imagine them working together on this and deliberately coming up with lies, that's not what is going on.  News organizations are not sitting around a candle-lit table wearing scary robes in the dead of night and decide to all lie about something. Its not anywhere near that complicated. They don't have to be coordinated. 

WHISPERS IN THE DARK
Check out this apology from The Hill for a hint on what went wrong with the Russia Collusion story that has blown up so painfully and completely in the faces of the press (warning, autoplay video):
We in the media allowed unproven charges and false accusations to dominate the news landscape for more than two years, in a way that was wildly unbalanced and disproportionate to the evidence.

We did a poor job of tracking down leaks of false information. We failed to reasonably weigh the motives of anonymous sources and those claiming to have secret, special evidence of Trump’s “treason.”

As such, we reported a tremendous amount of false information, always to Trump’s detriment.

And when we corrected our mistakes, we often doubled down more than we apologized. We may have been technically wrong on that tiny point, we would acknowledge. But, in the same breath, we would insist that Trump was so obviously guilty of being Russian President Vladimir Putin’s puppet that the technical details hardly mattered.
Did you catch that?  They got tips.  They got inside information.  They got leaks.  They got whispers.  And they believed every one.  They believed each one so much that even when one was proven false, they clung to the rest and downplayed the falsehood.

This is not the work of professionals and capable reporters.  This is not the work of grizzled hard working fact-seekers only interested in the story.  They had a story they wanted to publish, and were so eager that they unquestioningly believed everything they were told even when it turned out to be false.

Ned Price, who worked with Ben Rhodes under President Obama made it clear how it works in regards to the disastrous Iran deal:
"The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing."

"We created an echo chamber," [Rhodes] admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. "They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say"

"We have our compadres, I will reach out to a couple people... And I’ll give them some color," Price continued, "and the next thing I know, lots of these guys are in the dot-com publishing space, and have huge Twitter followings, and they’ll be putting this message out on their own."
Reporters on the whole aren't super smart individuals.  But they combine this with ignorance about most of life, and a worldview of progressive utopianism that they are absolutely sure about.  So if you feed them the correct sort of thing, they'll run with it unquestioningly.  Activist groups have known this for a long time, they can get a press release run, often without editing, if it has the right letterhead or is about the correct sort of topic.

Remember those seagulls in Finding Nemo? Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine! That's the press.  You feed them what they want or believe to be true, and they go with it, unthinking and often without understanding.  They have lost all ability or understanding of professionalism.  They don't have the skills or skepticism required to do their job.  This is not a case of some sinister cabal working to manipulate Americans, they're just easy to manipulate.

And every time they bet burned like this -- and in the last three months it has happened, painfully, four separate times, they stop a while, stunned and shamed, then dig in once more without thinking.  They are not learning the lessons they should from this.  They are not getting the message they should get.  They aren't changing.

THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME
Really, why change?  Nobody ever pays a price for getting things horrifically wrong.  Nobody ever is fired, nobody loses so much face that they are ignored, the story never ends anything.  All it does is make them look for some way they're right despite this.  The spin has already started on the Meuller Report, now they're trying "well collusion wasn't proven but the coverup is the real crime, Trump obstructed justice!" which is another ridiculous, pathetic myth but the whispers are starting up again.

And what should be done about those whispers?  What happened in the past when a source was lying and damaged a reporter's career?  They'd burn that source out them, and savage them in the press.  They would lay bare who caused this and why.

But that just never happens any more.  Why not?  Because the cause, the narrative, that worldview has to be upheld at all costs.  These people whispering, well they're too important. They matter, to harm them would harm the cause and help the Bad Orange Man.  And what is a little professional discomfort compared to that?

I'm not saying that no reporter ever lies or that there's no contact between them working out spin.  They definitely do, one such source -- Journolist -- was uncovered years ago.  They're still doing it, probably on platforms like Discord now.  They're Face Timing on their Iphones and working together on how to present info.  But they're not inventing the info.

They were so certain, so absolutely sure about this story:






That they are literally horrified and shocked in real time on camera having to report that its false.  Some still cling to this myth despite the facts.  Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke recently said he believes no matter what the report says.  Congressman Schiff still is clinging to the  myth.  They were all told by Top Men.  It must be true!

IS THERE A PRICE?
I'd like to believe this harms them severely.  Its one thing to report fake news and get busted by the right on stuff like Benghazi and Jussie Smollett.  Its another to spend two years pushing Russia so hard they did stuff like Rachel Maddow in one single episode of her show:



And it is another for CNN spending every single day for more than two years pushing the Russian stupidity.  Their base was so invested in this, so totally taken in, so convinced, and so warmed by the hope it brought them that this has to hurt.  This has to be damaging to their reputation and their trust level even among the most rabid base.

We'll see, I suppose.  If its like any of the dozens of ridiculous lies the press has pushed breathlessly only to have to back off of and reverse... in a few days they'll be back at it as if nothing has happened.