Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 6/28/17 (Yes, It’s The CNN Sting Video)

1. What weight should we place on the latest James O’Keefe Project Veritas sting video? I detest O’Keefe, whose methods are unethical and whose bias is manifest. Nonetheless, what he catches he catches: like the Wikileaks leaks showing Donna Brazile cheating for Hillary, we can’t pretend that damning evidence doesn’t exist because it has been obtained and released unethically.

To track O’Keefe’s latest, I had to search through multiple websites that I don’t trust, like (yuck! pooie!) Breitbart, because the liberal-biased sources either aren’t covering the story or aren’t covering it thoroughly, because, I assume, “There but for the grace of God go we!”, and everything the stung CNN producer said might have been said by someone in their shops as well.

And, of course, since they are not happy about the #1 Get Trump plot by the Democrats and the news media flopping like a dying mackerel on the deck, they want to hide the story from the public as much as they can.

2. Here is the most publicized part of the surreptitiously shot video’s text, which occurs after CNN producer John Bonifield is asked about the Trump-Russia story and the investigation.

“Could be bullshit. I mean, it’s mostly bullshit right now. Like, we don’t have any giant proof. Then they say, well there’s still an investigation going on. And you’re like, yeah, I don’t know. If they were finding something we would know about it. The way these leaks happen, they would leak it. They’d leak. If it was something really good, it would leak…. The leaks keep leaking and there’s so many great leaks, and it’s amazing. I just refuse to believe that if they had something really good like that that wouldn’t leak because we’ve been getting all these other leaks. So, I just feel like they don’t really have it but they want to keep digging. And so I think the president is probably right to say, like, look you are witch hunting me. You have no smoking gun. You have no real proof.”

If any of this surprises you, then you really have to get your ethics alarms checked and your IQ-lowering biases treated, because all this has been obvious except to logic and fairness-deprived members of “the resistance,” Hillary bitter-enders, and people who think CNN and MSNBC are trustworthy. Like most Project Veritas videos, this one only confirms what progressives have denied for political reasons, thus rendering themselves untrustworthy.

3. I was more interested in another quote caught on the video, one which was harder to find because most reporters and bloggers don’t think ethics is newsworthy. After describing a CNN meeting in which reporters were told by CNN brass to stop covering the climate accords with the directive, “Let’s get back to Russia!”, Bonifield says,

“It’s a business, people are like the media has an ethical phssssss…All the nice cutesy little ethics that used to get talked about in journalism school you’re just like, that’s adorable. That’s adorable. This is a business.”

“All the cutesy little ethics…”

4. Several of those untrustworthy conservative sites that I had to use because the untrustworthy liberal sites (that are where the real journalists are, say the conned, gullible, partisan and dishonest) weren’t reporting the whole story wrote descriptions like “CNN producer admits …”

While I have no doubt that this is, in fact, how CNN (and ABC, CBS, NBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post and Fox, et al.) think, this is still an opinion by one man. He can’t “admit” anything on behalf of CNN.

5. CNN’s reaction to the sting video is still so disingenuous that it is funny, especially following the fake Russia collusion story the network released last week leading to a retraction and the firing of three reporters:

“CNN stands by our medical producer John Bonifield. Diversity of personal opinion is what makes CNN strong, we welcome it and embrace it.”

See how they slipped “medical” in there, to suggest that this veteran producer is just spitballing and really has no clue how CNN’s political reporting works or what the culture is in his own organization? Then we have the virtue-signalling progressive buzz-word “diversity”, as if desirable diversity includes “employees who shoot off their mouths to strangers and spill the beans about how unethical CNN is” and those that have some sense and discretion.

And does anyone believe that CNN welcomes and embraces this story?

Question: if a network responds with a blatant lie like this, why would anyone trust its news reporting?

6. It has also been interesting to watch the unstung mainstream media (so far) try to spin this horrible period for CNN into a positive. Ann Althouse mocked this section the  Washington Post column by the paper’s media writer, Eric Wemple, “Three CNN employees resign over retracted story on Russia ties”:

Critics will long cite this episode as evidence that CNN is precisely what Trump has called it — “fake news.” Yet the departure of three journalists immediately following a mangled story provides a counterpoint to this particular slander. Purveyors of fake news, after all, don’t take drastic personnel moves following a bogus story. They rejoice in it.

She wrote,

“They got caught! Publicly. They had to put on a show that they don’t tolerate fake news. That’s exactly what a purveyor of fake news would do.”

Bingo.

7. Meanwhile, President Trump is tweeting about all of this like a giddy junior high schooler, when he should be just sitting back, nodding and smiling.

What an idiot.

95 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Quotes, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Quotes, This Helps Explain Why Trump Is President, Workplace

95 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 6/28/17 (Yes, It’s The CNN Sting Video)

  1. blzp

    Why was that particular CNN news so much worse than other fake news that it had to retract it, disable links and apologize to Anthony Scaramucci? Haven’t they been just as wrong and careless with other reports? The most bizarre thing about it is the retraction, apology and canning of three journalists.

    • It was worse because…

      1) CNN has has had one embarrassing fiasco after another lately
      2) The Russia story is not only falling apart but boomeranging on Democrats, like Obama
      3) CNN had no defense, and even the MSM allies were bashing it.

      • JRH

        If you believe reports, there was also talk of a $100million lawsuit from Mr. Scaramucci. Seems CNN didn’t want that to happen.

  2. Brenda Pawloski

    Thanks Jack, I guess I assumed that they would really never ever hold themselves responsible for any wrongdoing when it comes to the Trump administration. As if they consider Trump and those he hires so awful that adorable journalistic ethics do not apply. I am no apologist for CNN but I started to feel a bit sorry for Bonifield as that video went on and on. It seemed like he thought he was making a friend and trying to impress his new friend and was a bit tipsy at times.

    • The nature of any sting operation involves playing (to a small degree) to another human’s need for inclusion and then betraying trust at whatever level that relationship developed. Which is one of the reasons stings like that are unethical.

  3. ”Diversity of personal opinion is what makes CNN strong, we welcome it and embrace it.”

    Say what??

    You gotta be effin’ kidding me! Reminds me of the old Delbert McClinton refrain: “If you can’t lie no better than that, you might as well tell the truth.”

    In all fairness, there’s thickly caked shit all over their faces; what else could they say?

    That ranks right up there with “I’m tellin’ ya Judge, I met ‘er in a bar!”

  4. Note that the ‘left of center’ sources refuse to provide fair coverage to real stories that expose their political leanings and allies, forcing Jack to get REAL news from ‘conservative’ sites that act just like the leftist ones.

    My point is that the ‘conservative’ sites are castigated for being just like the MSM is all the time. They just get a free pass.

    This is NOT an indictment of Jack, as he has been more than fair in noting this behavior on both sides.

  5. Chris

    The answer is none. No weight. It is as you say:

    “While I have no doubt that this is, in fact, how CNN (and ABC, CBS, NBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post and Fox, et al.) think, this is still an opinion by one man. He can’t “admit” anything on behalf of CNN.”

    So then…why is this news?

    Right before I came here I saw the story on WaPo, so it is being covered. But why should it be? “Guy disagrees with boss about how a separate division of business is handled” is hardly significant. He doesn’t present any damning evidence of spin, or give any examples of false stories. That the network turned from climate coverage back to Russia coverage is only damning insofar as it reveals news networks prefer sensationalism over coverage of science. That’s not new information.

    And why shouldn’t the network spend significant time covering an investigation into possible inappropriate contact with foreign hackers by members of the president’s campaign? That is a huge story! As is the new investigation into obstruction of justice, which the president himself fueled by misleading the public in order to, by his own admission, influence the testimony of the FBI director he fired because he was, by his own admission, angry over the investigation into his campaign. This matters. This is news, not “fake news.” That one producer out of hundreds working for the network disagrees does not make that any less true.

    • A sad and damning rationalization, Chris. Mostly sad. It would be very helpful if we could track how you got to this sorry state. Like for a medical journal article. Such extreme bias immune to logic when an individual has the capacity for logic verges on pathological.

    • Rich in CT

      The answer is none. No weight. It is as you say:

      “While I have no doubt that this is, in fact, how CNN (and ABC, CBS, NBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post and Fox, et al.) think, this is still an opinion by one man. He can’t “admit” anything on behalf of CNN.”

      So then…why is this news?

      It is a crack in the armor. How CNN reacts will be telling. The could condemn his statement, and offer proof that their coverage was fair, or they could turn red and hemm and haw.

      Right before I came here I saw the story on WaPo, so it is being covered. But why should it be? “Guy disagrees with boss about how a separate division of business is handled” is hardly significant. He doesn’t present any damning evidence of spin, or give any examples of false stories. That the network turned from climate coverage back to Russia coverage is only damning insofar as it reveals news networks prefer sensationalism over coverage of science. That’s not new information.

      Again, CNN can offer proof that this is one employee’s misguided opinion, or it can deflect.

      And why shouldn’t the network spend significant time covering an investigation into possible inappropriate contact with foreign hackers by members of the president’s campaign?

      In the six months since the election, no one in the FBI said or leaked information stating that the Trump campaign was being investigated for collusion. It has always been an investigation into Russia’s efforts to interfere. Publicly and consistently stated to be as much.

      Only the news media has been calling it an investigation into possible collusion. They have said that this was the purpose over and over. Yet they have yet to provide evidence that it is more than at most a tangential matter in the investigation.

      That is a huge story! As is the new investigation into obstruction of justice, which the president himself fueled by misleading the public in order to, by his own admission, influence the testimony of the FBI director he fired because he was, by his own admission, angry over the investigation into his campaign.

      There is no “new” investigation of obstruction. There is one special prosecutor’s investigation that expanded slightly to examine disputed testamony from the fired director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Any competent and thorough investigation would have to examine such circumstances. Yet, the testimony as presented did not indicate the crime of obstruction of justice. At most it revealed the president is an amateur, which is hardly news. The special prosecutor has to examine it, but the necessity of examining does not necessarily mean anything new will come of it.

      This matters. This is news, not “fake news.” That one producer out of hundreds working for the network disagrees does not make that any less true.

      Repeatedly stating that there is an investigation into campaign collusion is not sharing factual and accurate information. The definition of “Fake News” is too fluid, so I won’t use it. Further, it is one producer suggesting that his company has poor journalistic ethics. His company responded by saying they “welcome” his opinion as a matter of diversity. That is non-responsive. They could have offered evidence refuted his statement, but they did not.

      • Chris

        In the six months since the election, no one in the FBI said or leaked information stating that the Trump campaign was being investigated for collusion.

        How is it possible for you to be this misinformed? FBI Director Comey confirmed there was an investigation into Trump’s campaign all the way back in March.

        • Rich in CT

          Le sigh, Chris

          Comey only confirmed that collusion would be one angle among many. Incidental, as I said.

          This confirmation has then been brow beaten by the media repeatedly, while detail after detail of Russia efforts sprung forth, with nary a detail of any sort of collusion coming forth.

          • I have this image of Chris on this and the NYT Lies post as being surrounded by the Walking Dead.

            He’s dead wrong and demonstrably wrong, but at some point its gratuitous and repetitious to keep attacking him, and you know Chris won’t back down.

            • It’s almost as if Chris has a direct hot line to the Administrator of CNN’s Talking Points Department.

            • ” but at some point its gratuitous and repetitious to keep attacking him”

              Is it gratuitous and repetitious to continue demonstrating flaws in his arguments, especially when he generates new flaws and those flaws very easily misinform other engaged readers?

              Is it not a duty to stamp out error? If not for Chris’ benefit, but for the benefit of others?

              • texagg04 wrote, “Is it not a duty to stamp out error?”

                That instantly reminded me of this…

                NOMAD: Faulty!
                KIRK: Nomad, you are imperfect!
                NOMAD: Error. Error.
                KIRK: Exercise your prime function.
                NOMAD: Faulty! Faulty! Must sterilise. Sterilise,

          • Chris

            Rich in CT:

            Comey only confirmed that collusion would be one angle among many. Incidental, as I said.

            No, what you said was this:

            In the six months since the election, no one in the FBI said or leaked information stating that the Trump campaign was being investigated for collusion. It has always been an investigation into Russia’s efforts to interfere. Publicly and consistently stated to be as much.
            Only the news media has been calling it an investigation into possible collusion.

            That is obviously different from saying “collusion would be one incidental angle.” You said no one in the FBI said the Trump campaign was being investigated for collusion at all. That is false.

            This was Comey’s statement:

            “I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts,” Comey said at the time. “As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed.”

            That doesn’t sound “incidental” to me, Rich.

      • Chris

        CNN’s reaction was perfect from a PR perspective. Their stance is “There is absolutely no reason to be bothered by the opinion of this one producer, who isn’t even involved in our political coverage.” Condemning him would make it look like there’s something to condemn, and draw further attention to the story.

        More importantly, their stance is correct: this isn’t, and shouldn’t be, a story.

        • It shouldn’t be a story because an insider’s belief that the news network he works for ignores journalism ethics standards for profits and ratings and is facilitating what he says, correctly, is a non-story disrupts the anti-Trump narrative. Is that a correct statement of your position?

          • Chris

            No, but you knew that already.

            • Chris

              Sorry, I owe you more of a clarification than that.

              It shouldn’t be a story because an insider’s belief that the news network he works for ignores journalism ethics standards for profits and ratings and is facilitating what he says, correctly, is a non-story disrupts the anti-Trump narrative. Is that a correct statement of your position?

              No.

              First, he is barely an insider. He does not work on political stories. His knowledge of said stories is fairly limited.

              Second, as I said, focusing on certain stories over others because they are more profitable and get higher ratings isn’t inherently unethical. It is unethical to refuse to cover certain stories that are in the public interest, or to unfairly slant them. But the quote this producer gave–“Let’s get back to Russia–” is not evidence of doing that.

              Third, the notion that the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russian agents who are known to have attempted to sway the election is a “non-story” is absurd, and you would realize that if it were an investigation into the Clinton campaign for doing the same. This investigation matters. It is news. That CNN chooses to focus on this news rather than other important stories is NOT news.

              • “First, he is barely an insider. He does not work on political stories. His knowledge of said stories is fairly limited.”

                What about Van Jones? Do you think Van Jones’ “knowledge of said stories is fairly limited”?

                • Chris’s statement is such a desperate rationalization. The man is a senior producer at the network. He is an insider by definition. Only someone who has never worked in a large organization in his life could think that those in different departments don’t know about and experience the entire organization’s culture.

                  • Wonder if it is time to dust off my boiler plate reply to Chris?

                    “Chris has proven himself a smug hypocritical party hack, not interested in actual discussion, debate, or fair treatment. He is unethical, as as such I will not dignify his responses any further. Do not feed the trolls.”

                    • Chris

                      And we were getting along so well for a while there, slick.

                    • Chris,

                      Still love you like a brother. Before this was a frustrated response to (what I consider) dirty tactics you were using. This time, it is cold passionless observation.

                      We agree to disagree on many counts. I am wondering why you don’t let this particular thread go? Agree to disagree, especially when further discussion is a waste of your own time (I know you are out of school: geez, go spend some time surfing or something! I would if I was in Cali: I enjoyed the climate while I lived there. South Texas sucks, outdoor wise, this time of year)

                      It is hurting your ‘presence’ on EA, and seems to me to be a silly hill to die on. You have every right to choose your hill, however.

                      Wish you all the best (I don’t really have a dog in this hunt)

                    • Chris

                      Thanks, slick.

                      I think this is an important “hill,” if you will. I don’t know if I will be able to convince anyone else of this story’s importance. I have no desire to convince anyone that the Russia allegations are true…I don’t even know if they are myself. But the notion I’m seeing here is that the investigation shouldn’t be reported on at all. I cannot support that assertion, nor can I pretend it is valid.

                    • Fair enough, Chris. Come back with your shield, or on it!

                      I still think you should get out into the wonderful Cali climate 🙂

                    • Chris

                      I live in the Central Valley, slick–the weather here has been hellish for the past couple weeks.

                      It was nice today, though–this morning was the first time since I’ve been out of school that I actually felt like taking a morning jog, and didn’t have to worry that doing so would give me an asthma attack. So that was nice. I’ve never been surfing, though, and have no desire to.

                      How’s the weather where you’re at?

                    • Hot, humid with scattered bursts of ineffective rain.

                      Cooler this week due to the little front that came down (low 80s instead of mid to upper 90s) In another month we will hit upper 90s and 100s through August and part of September, if usual weather holds true.

                      Sorry about the asthma. My dad (and son) deal with that, but it skipped my generation as it often does. It can be very scary.

                      Central Valley can be nice. When I lived there, it was also very conservative (for Cali.) I take it that is no longer true?

                      How far are you from the ocean? It cannot be any farther than San Antonio is from the coast, and our coast doesn’t hold a candle to yours.

                    • Chris

                      The asthma usually isn’t bad, but the air here has been awful lately.

                      Yes, Fresno is still conservative for California.

                      We’re about two-to-three hours from any beach.

              • crella

                ‘First, he is barely an insider. He does not work on political stories. His knowledge of said stories is fairly limited.”

                By this criteria, none of us have any right to discuss the issue…

                • Chris

                  Huh? I never suggested he doesn’t have the right to discuss the issue. I said his understanding of the issue of limited, and his opinion proves little about how CNN runs its political division. He can discuss it all he likes, as can we. But his opinion isn’t breaking news.

                  • crella

                    That was an overstatement, I’m sorry. You are saying though, that his opinion should be discounted as he’s not an insider, which made me wonder where our opinions lie

                    • Chris

                      Not “discounted,” crella. You’re still overstating my case. My argument is that his opinion shouldn’t be given the amount of weight that this video and the reactions to it attribute to it. It doesn’t “prove” anything about CNN as a whole.

                    • ”It doesn’t ‘prove’ anything about CNN as a whole.”

                      What “would” prove something about them: “CNN just posted it’s most-watched second quarter in history. Those are the facts”?

                      Or their…um…indeterminate/subject-to-review/purported oodles of Twitter followers?

    • “Guy disagrees with boss about how a separate division of business is handled” is hardly significant.”

      Oh how we forget. PV, for all theri douchebaggery, are masters of the slow roll. They start with tidbits, and then when the progressive ranks close in with the normal defenses of “It’s just one guy, it’s just one time” they release another one. PV’s PP videos were spread out over 8 weeks,

      You sure that’s where you want to hang your hat?

      • Good observation. Progressives cannot contain their ire long enough to wait Project Veritas out.

      • Chris

        Jones said something very similar in a public video he posted to Twitter last week, so this is hardly a revelation, HT.

        http://www.thedailybeast.com/cnn-on-right-wing-sting-video-of-van-jones-lol

        • I don’t understand how you think that helps your position… You just got finished saying about Bonifield “First, he is barely an insider. He does not work on political stories. His knowledge of said stories is fairly limited.”… Well, I don’t think you can say the same about Van, and so it doesn’t matter WHEN he said it, only THAT he said it.

          • Chris

            Did the media report on Jones’ public video statement saying that he doubted the Russia investigation would ever provide a “smoking gun” that would end Trump’s presidency?

            Should they have reported on this?

            If not, why not?

            I don’t think the media should have reported on that video. It’s simply his opinion, and doesn’t impugn CNN in any way.

            Nor does the video Project Veritas leaked.

  6. I thought the “OK, we’re done with Paris, let’s get back to Russia” quote was particularly damning. People compared this to the Malaysia flight that disappeared, which CNN covered for months afterwards… Which produced such gems as this:

    CNN, aside from being biased politically, is also biased towards laziness and sensationalism. They’re doing it for the ratings… And they think that the ratings are in some kind of Russia Trump fanfiction. I think that while they bear some responsibility for offering this tripe, the people eagerly consuming it should feel a little bit of shame. This trend in reporting towards feeding the irrational hopes and dreams of their audience is bad, but the audience is actively hoping and dreaming that the President of the United States is a Russian pawn. It’s disgusting.

    • Chris

      Do you know of a news network that doesn’t shape their coverage based on ratings?

      And the Russia investigation isn’t “fan fiction.” It’s a real investigation. Why shouldn’t it be covered?

      • “Everybody does it.”

        It’s the #1 rationalization on the list for a reason.

        • Chris

          It isn’t a rationalization if the behavior in question isn’t unethical.

          Is focusing on one story over another story because it brings in higher ratings unethical?

          • ”Is focusing on one story over another story because it brings in higher ratings unethical?”

            A larger question: why would a certain story bring in higher (or lower) ratings, or why would a media outlet think that would be the result; because they know what will trigger a target audience’s Pavlovian spittle-flecked slobberfest?

            Higher ratings translate to more viewership/click traffic/ad revenue which thus generate higher profits, am I right?

            And don’t Lefties (most, not all) see profits as part of an EVIL rigged/gamed/fixed/fiddled/engineered/jiggered/doctored/influenced/steered/manipulated/tampered/winked-winked-nodded-nodded exploitative Discriminatory-Racist-Classist-Elitist-Imperialist-Bigoted-Hatefilled-White-Patriarch-Dominated capitalistic system?

              • “No” to all three?

                Surely you jest, the first two are demonstrably true.

                The third? I could summon a tsunami of unequivocal agreement on that baby from my contact list alone.

                • Chris

                  No to 1, because you’ve phrased it in such a biased and hysterical way.

                  Yes to 2. Obviously.

                  No to 3, again on the grounds that you’re crafting a hysterical straw man.

                  • “No to 1, because you’ve phrased it in such a biased and hysterical way.”

                    I don’t recall indicating an ideological distinction for the they in “they know what will trigger a target audience’s Pavlovian spittle-flecked slobberfest.”

                    “No to 3, again on the grounds that you’re crafting a hysterical straw man.”

                    That’s hysterical? You must lead a VERY sheltered existence.

                    I contend that the gimmee-gimmee summa yourn/I’m owed $20/hour whether I work or not/free everything/everything’s a Human Right Occubagger (OWS) morons would see me as not stating that case strongly enough.

                    Question; if you weren’t a card-carryin’ Occubagger, I’ll bet you were symPATHETIC to the cause, am I right?

                    • Chris

                      *yawn* You know, partisan hack comments like yours can be found anywhere, Paul. They don’t offer much to an ethics blog, though.

                    • Chris wrote, “comments like yours can be found anywhere, Paul”

                      Comment’s like Paul’s, not freaking likely. Like it or not, Paul’s commenting style is quite unique.

                      This is just another assertion made by Chris that he cannot support.

                    • Chris

                      Zoltar, why did you cut the “partisan hack” part of my quote?

                    • ”*yawn*”

                      Might I recommend more shuteye at the expense of tediously defending the indefensible, and poorly at that?

                      “Zoltar, why did you cut the ‘partisan hack’ part of my quote?”

                      He may be distracted as he’s setting the stage to bestow upon you a MUCH deserved “Gotchie.”

                      Zoltar Speaks, I suggest you don’t use PwC in the awarding process.

                      ”How’s the weather where you’re at?”

                      If your (sic) an English teacher, small wonder Johnnie, Juan, & Javon can’t read…

                    • ”How’s the weather where you’re at?”

                      Paul, please butt out of my casual conversations, especially if you are going to act like a progressive and attack the speaker’s grammar. THAT is rude, and beneath one who espouses conservative principles.

                      Chris and I have a tenuous form of detente going here, from which I hope we both learn something of each other’s point of view.

                    • Slick;

                      “Paul, please butt out of my casual conversations,”

                      Allow me to clear something up; I wasn’t addressing you or referencing your conversation; it was between me & Chris.

                      You and Chris? In a brief departure from my usual decorum, I personally don’t give a shit what you’re trying to do with him; capisce?

                    • Nice, Paul. Civil behavior at it’s best.

                      That phrase WAS from my conversation. And your ‘usual decorum’ leave a lot to be desired.

                      I am done with you, you may leave.

                    • Slick;

                      “Nice, Paul. Civil behavior at it’s best.”

                      I try my level best.

                      “That phrase WAS from my conversation.”

                      So what, this thread WAS between Chris, Zoltar Speaks!, and myself. And I’m the one butting in?

                      Got it.

                      “And your ‘usual decorum’ leave a lot to be desired.”

                      Tell a friend.

                      ”I am done with you, you may leave.”

                      I’ll get over it.

                    • Chris

                      Paul,

                      The rule that one should not end a sentence with a preposition is actually a relic. Your dig at my skills as a teacher was not only uncivil and out of line, it was based on a false premise.

                    • Chris wrote, “Zoltar, why did you cut the “partisan hack” part of my quote?”

                      Typical Chris; he makes an assertion, I talk about him not supporting another assertion, and Chris launches some nonsense at the messenger because the messenger didn’t include something else in the assertion.

                      Why didn’t you support your assertion Chris and instead launch some nonsense my way; inquiring minds really want to know?

                      P.S. Chris your unsupported partisan assertions, your constant obtuseness, and your unethical rationalizations “don’t offer much to an ethics blog”.

                    • Slick;

                      This may come too late, but everything ought be consumed in moderation, and that includes clay & lead paint.

            • The answer to Chris’s question is yes, it’s unethical. That is not a journalism standard. Stories must be covered according to their importance to the public, not according to what the public is most interested in hearing or reading. That si like arguing that doctors should tell patients what they want to hear, rather than how sick they are.

              I really can’t believe the things Chris is defending in this thread….

          • Chris wrote, “It isn’t a rationalization if the behavior in question isn’t unethical.”

            That was a truly ignorant thing to say on this blog.

            Are you intentionally being obtuse to troll or are you really that lacking in relevant knowledge? That’s not a rhetorical question.

            • Chris

              No, it wasn’t, Zoltar. You can’t rationalize behavior that isn’t unethical in the first place. I stand by this, and I doubt others here will challenge me on it; I’m fairly confident I’ve seen Jack and tex say it before.

              • Chris wrote, “You can’t rationalize behavior that isn’t unethical in the first place.”

                The behavior IS unethical and it doesn’t matter how many others do the same thing, so using your own standard, that I quoted above, since it IS unethical it IS a rationalization; period. If you can’t understand that what they are doing is unethical then you have likely reached the capacity limit of your grey-matter or you’re just intentionally being obtuse.

                Jack wrote above, “I really can’t believe the things Chris is defending in this thread….”

                Personally I think you’re intentionally being illogical and obtuse in this thread in an effort to troll the thread and drag the discussion into the absurdities of trying to fix a person that’s being publicly portrayed as ignorant, obtuse, or better yet just plain stupid. That’s how you’re coming across; if you don’t like that perception then spend a little time changing your style of trolling. You are trolling, own it.

                Never argue with stupid people [or a troll], they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience. Mark Twain

      • Look, Chris… The BEST case for you to make right now is that Russia “hacked” our election, not by hacking an election machine, but by hacking the DNC and telling Americans the truth. There’s no evidence Trump was involved, in fact, there’s a mounting pile of evidence that not only was he not involved, but that none of his administration was either. In fact, Pulitzer winning journalists have been shitcanned for straight up making things up to fit the narrative, which you know, they might not have had to do had there been an iota of real story to follow,

        “This MIGHT have happened, even though we have no reason to really think it did.” is the definition of a fanfic.

        Or maybe I’m wrong. I challenge you to even put into words what you think there’s any evidence of someone in the Trump administration having done.

        • Chris

          There is plenty of circumstantial evidence that members of Trump’s campaign were involved.

          –Flynn and Sessions both lied about meetings with Russia. Why do this if they had nothing to hide?
          –Jared Kushner lied about meeting with Russia on his security clearance forms, which is a crime. Why do this if he had nothing to hide?
          –Kushner asked to set up private communications with Russia. Why?
          –Multiple campaign staffers were fired during the campaign when their ties to Russia were exposed.
          –Trump continues to be overly friendly with Russia, proposing rolling back Obama-era sanctions on them in exchange for nothing. Why?

          This is a short list, and again, this is all circumstantial. I assume the investigation has more to it than this, but I don’t know for sure. It may turn out to be nothing, in which case Trump may still go down obstruction of justice and witness tampering. Or he might not.

          But the investigations exist. Do you think the intelligence community is run by morons? Do you think they are stupid to be investigating this? You must; you think the evidence that nothing happened is so strong that none of us should ever give it a moment’s thought ever again. And yet the investigations persist.

          • “Are you or have you ever met with a Russian Official?”

            And if that reference wasn’t enough:

            • Chris

              Wait, what? Are you accusing security clearance forms of being McCarthyist?

              • *snort* Yes Chris, THAT’s what I was saying.

                • Chris

                  Don’t be snarky; explain your point. You seemed to be saying that asking Sessions, Flynn and Kushner about their contacts with Russia is similar to McCarthy’s tactics. But that is a normal and necessary part of a security clearance.

                  If that’s not what you meant, then what did you mean?

                  • The reason I think calling this Red Scare 2.0 is because of the parallels.

                    Take Flynn for example… He’s “charged” with the offense of “meeting” (and I’m using that word especially loosely) a diplomat on two occasions, and then saying he didn’t.

                    First off, I can’t count the number of Democratic house and senate members that conveniently forgot that they’d ever been in a room with that exact same Russian diplomat the moment attacking Flynn was the cool kid thing to do. If forgetting you’d ever met with a Russian was actually actionable, a quarter of the senate would have had to vacate.

                    Second, It’s like… all of a sudden, there’s a perception that there aren’t legitimate government functions between Russia and America. It was Flynn’s JOB to talk with diplomats, even if he wasn’t confirmed yet… He was going to have to deal with those people.

                    And third: Let’s say that your best case scenario comes out of this: Let’s say that Flynn actually talked to the diplomat, as opposed to just being in the same room as him, which is what one of the instances we’re talking about was. Let’s say that Flynn lied about the meeting, purposefully, either because they actually talked about the hacks, or because Flynn thought with all the rhetoric around Red Scare 2.0, it would be damning to admit even talking to a Russian…. He talked to a Russian.

                    At that point, if they had talked about hacks…. The hacks had already happened. Nothing in that meeting could possibly have contributed to something that already occurred. So what are you out for?

                    “Have you, or have you ever, talked to a Russian?”

                    “Well, I’m not right now, but there was this time.”

                    “So you talked to the Russians”

                    “Not about the hacks, and not before they took place”

                    “Yes or no please, did you ever talk to a Russian?”

                    • Chris

                      The reason I think calling this Red Scare 2.0 is because of the parallels.

                      What does the word “this” refer to in this sentence? My comment? The FBI investigation? The forms asking whether or not these people met with Russian officials in the first place? The media coverage of the investigation?

                      If you’re not clear about your terms, HT, you end up conflating totally separate things.

                      Take Flynn for example… He’s “charged” with the offense of “meeting” (and I’m using that word especially loosely) a diplomat on two occasions, and then saying he didn’t.

                      You’re simply wrong on this. I don’t even blame you for it…the fact pattern here is extensive and confusing. But there is a lot more to it than what you’ve said here.

                      Flynn is accused of having five separate phone calls with Kislyak the day the sanctions were put in place, and of discussing those sanctions, which he later denied, then said he wasn’t sure of:

                      https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/national-security-adviser-flynn-discussed-sanctions-with-russian-ambassador-despite-denials-officials-say/2017/02/09/f85b29d6-ee11-11e6-b4ff-ac2cf509efe5_story.html?utm_term=.20bad9ecfc86

                      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-idUSKBN14X1YX

                      First off, I can’t count the number of Democratic house and senate members that conveniently forgot that they’d ever been in a room with that exact same Russian diplomat the moment attacking Flynn was the cool kid thing to do.

                      No, please do count them. I’m only aware of one.

                      If forgetting you’d ever met with a Russian was actually actionable, a quarter of the senate would have had to vacate.

                      You’re misrepresenting the situation in order to draw a false equivalence. “Forgetting you’d ever met with a Russian” is, of course, not actionable. Discussing the sanctions in the role of ambassador before Trump was sworn in may well be.

                      Second, It’s like… all of a sudden, there’s a perception that there aren’t legitimate government functions between Russia and America. It was Flynn’s JOB to talk with diplomats, even if he wasn’t confirmed yet…

                      !

                      No, it absolutely was NOT Flynn’s job to talk with diplomats at this time. This happened BEFORE Trump was sworn in. If it had been Flynn’s “job,” we wouldn’t be discussing this. How can you think this?

                      And third: Let’s say that your best case scenario comes out of this: Let’s say that Flynn actually talked to the diplomat, as opposed to just being in the same room as him, which is what one of the instances we’re talking about was. Let’s say that Flynn lied about the meeting, purposefully, either because they actually talked about the hacks, or because Flynn thought with all the rhetoric around Red Scare 2.0, it would be damning to admit even talking to a Russian…. He talked to a Russian.

                      At that point, if they had talked about hacks…. The hacks had already happened. Nothing in that meeting could possibly have contributed to something that already occurred. So what are you out for?

                      You really still don’t understand this? The worst case scenario is Flynn promising Russia favorable treatment as a quid pro quo for the hacks. But I doubt that such promises were ever made explicit, or that any “smoking gun” will ever be found.

                    • Chris

                      Forgot to mention two other important accusations against Flynn: failing to notify the military when he visited Russia to give a speech to RT, which was legally required, and failing to disclose his work on behalf of Turkey, which later led him to register as a foreign agent after he resigned from the Trump administration. Boy, these allegations *are* hard to keep track of.

                    • “What does the word “this” refer to in this sentence? My comment? The FBI investigation? The forms asking whether or not these people met with Russian officials in the first place? The media coverage of the investigation?”

                      I’m more embarrassed that I left out the word “the” then that I left “this” as open ended. The answer to all the questions in that paragraph but the first is “yes”, this situation and all the satellites to it is, as facts stand now, a hopped up, over excited, heavy breathing, pornographic political fanfiction that even the people pushing it refer to as a nothingburger.

                      “Flynn is accused of having five separate phone calls with Kislyak the day the sanctions were put in place, and of discussing those sanctions, which he later denied, then said he wasn’t sure of:”

                      So… What? Flynn, as the national security adviser, talked to a Russian diplomat… While there was a major (and negative) foreign affair happening? Be still your beating heart, and reign in that breathing. My take on this is that the reason lied was the same reason that he was asked about an action that would for any other administration not so much as raise a single brow follicle: The left has been pushing hard to make a story out of dust, and the Red Scare 2.0 was in full swing. I mean really… Under what fact pattern, other than as a response to liberal lunacy regarding Russia, do those phone calls carry and shame or culpability? Why does merely talking to a foreign dignitary have you all so hot and bothered?

                      “No, please do count them. I’m only aware of one.”

                      Seven Democratic senators sat down with Kislyak in March of 2017 alone: Claire McCaskill, who tweeted that she had never met with any Russian Diplomat, let alone the very same one that were so busy talking about, as well as Sheldon Whitehouse, Mary Landrieu, Amy Klobuchar, Dianne Feinstein, Jack Reed and Bob Casey. Why stop at senators when you can include names like Nancy Pelosi, who insisted that she had never in her life met with Kislyak… At least until pictures surfaced of her sharing a meal with him in 2010? And, just as a cherry on top, here’s a picture of Chuck Schumer having coffee and a doughnut with Vladamir Putin:

                      Did I mention that Kilslyak had signed the White House visitor logs 22 times during Obama’s tenure?

                      “One”.

                      “Discussing the sanctions in the role of ambassador before Trump was sworn in may well be.”

                      I doubt very much that the people who would make those kinds of determinations would agree with you… But even if they did, I reject the premise that Flynn acted as an ambassador. There’s no proof of that… And barring that, we’re back to: You’re trying, in this case, to make ‘actionable’ the mere act of talking to a foreign diplomat. If you’re trying to say that Flynn perhaps overstated his position, I’d like to point out that there was absolutely no chance that Kislyak didn’t know exactly the situation and procedures surrounding the transfer of power in America.

                      “No, it absolutely was NOT Flynn’s job to talk with diplomats at this time. This happened BEFORE Trump was sworn in.”

                      Semantics and technicalities. There was no universe where Flynn would not have a job description in a matter of weeks that not only let him, but would often require him to have the kinds of talks we’re discussing. Were this any other administration the act would have gone unnoticed because it’s the norm, and it’s the norm for good reason: Why the hell would ambassadors waste their time talking to someone attached to an administration that could not conceivable act on their discussions even if they wanted to? Foreign relations don’t take a two month break while America shuffles people around.

                      “The worst case scenario is Flynn promising Russia favorable treatment as a quid pro quo for the hacks.”

                      Do you even know what quid pro quo means? “A favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something.” If they’d done the work, If Flynn was aware they’d done the work, even if there was some kind of collusion to the work… Why would Flynn promise the Russians anything months after they’d already done the work?

                    • Chris

                      I’m more embarrassed that I left out the word “the” then that I left “this” as open ended. The answer to all the questions in that paragraph but the first is “yes”, this situation and all the satellites to it is, as facts stand now, a hopped up, over excited, heavy breathing, pornographic political fanfiction that even the people pushing it refer to as a nothingburger.

                      So you think the FBI is engaged in “political fanfiction.” Ok…wow. This goes a bit further than what you said last week, when you said it wasn’t stupid for the FBI to investigate…what made you change your stance on this?

                      And was Van Jones really “pushing” the Russia story?

                      So… What? Flynn, as the national security adviser, talked to a Russian diplomat…

                      Stop. Why are you repeating what you know to be a falsehood? You KNOW he was not national security adviser at that time.

                      Meaning that discussing sanctions was illegal.

                      Flynn also lied about a trip to Russia on his security clearance, which is also illegal.

                      http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/05/22/cummings-says-documents-prove-mike-flynn-lied-on-his-security-clearance/

                      Unprosecutable? Probably. But don’t tell me it doesn’t matter that Flynn broke the law, twice, and that both instances of lawbreaking involved his relationship with Russia. It matters.

                      I mean really… Under what fact pattern, other than as a response to liberal lunacy regarding Russia, do those phone calls carry and shame or culpability? Why does merely talking to a foreign dignitary have you all so hot and bothered?

                      Because it’s illegal.

                      Seven Democratic senators sat down with Kislyak in March of 2017 alone: Claire McCaskill, who tweeted that she had never met with any Russian Diplomat, let alone the very same one that were so busy talking about, as well as Sheldon Whitehouse, Mary Landrieu, Amy Klobuchar, Dianne Feinstein, Jack Reed and Bob Casey. Why stop at senators when you can include names like Nancy Pelosi, who insisted that she had never in her life met with Kislyak… At least until pictures surfaced of her sharing a meal with him in 2010? And, just as a cherry on top, here’s a picture of Chuck Schumer having coffee and a doughnut with Vladamir Putin:

                      Wow, are you ever moving the goalposts.

                      This was your initial assertion:

                      I can’t count the number of Democratic house and senate members that conveniently forgot that they’d ever been in a room with that exact same Russian diplomat the moment attacking Flynn was the cool kid thing to do.

                      Yet when I asked for examples, you could only think of TWO Democrats who “conveniently forgot” they’d met Kislyak. Then you padded your list with tons of examples of Democrats who met with him…but who never denied meeting him.

                      Why did you do this?

                      Two is not a very big number, and I know it wasn’t hard for you to count that high, so your initial assertion was an absurd exaggeration.

                      And even looking at those two…it is not remotely the same situation. Neither had spoken to Kislyak about subjects that were legally prohibited for them to discuss, as far as we know. And neither gave false information on a security clearance form about meeting Kislyak. Yes, their statements are still hypocrisy, but you’re still drawing a false equivalence by acting as if the situations are the same and therefore we shouldn’t care about Flynn’s denials.

                      Did I mention that Kilslyak had signed the White House visitor logs 22 times during Obama’s tenure?

                      I don’t understand why you think that’s relevant. Again: the issue is not that Flynn met with Kislyak. The issue is that he did so illegally, then lied about it, as well as lying about another trip to Russia. You simply do not understand the issues here, which is causing you to make lots of embarrassing false equivalences.

                      I doubt very much that the people who would make those kinds of determinations would agree with you… But even if they did, I reject the premise that Flynn acted as an ambassador…

                      Semantics and technicalities. There was no universe where Flynn would not have a job description in a matter of weeks that not only let him, but would often require him to have the kinds of talks we’re discussing. Were this any other administration the act would have gone unnoticed because it’s the norm, and it’s the norm for good reason: Why the hell would ambassadors waste their time talking to someone attached to an administration that could not conceivable act on their discussions even if they wanted to? Foreign relations don’t take a two month break while America shuffles people around.

                      You are completely contradicting yourself here. If Kislyak expected any part of their discussions to be acted on, then Flynn was absolutely acting as an ambassador.

                      It isn’t “semantics.” It is illegal for citizens to negotiate with foreign countries on behalf of the United States. That the Logan Act has never led to prosecution doesn’t make this any less true. It doesn’t matter that Flynn would have been legally able to do so in a matter of week. Jack has written about the “two presidents” problem. There is plenty of reason to think Flynn was sabotaging the sanctions that Obama imposed that very day.

                      Do you even know what quid pro quo means? “A favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something.” If they’d done the work, If Flynn was aware they’d done the work, even if there was some kind of collusion to the work… Why would Flynn promise the Russians anything months after they’d already done the work?

                      It could have been a recommitment to a promise that was made long before. But like I said, I doubt there was ever any explicit promise. An understanding? That’s more likely to me, given Trump’s favorable treatment of Russia. “You help me, I help you” doesn’t always have to be explicitly stated.

                    • “So you think the FBI is engaged in “political fanfiction.” Ok…wow. This goes a bit further than what you said last week, when you said it wasn’t stupid for the FBI to investigate…what made you change your stance on this?”

                      I can’t find the exact quote, but during his testimony James Comey said that the FBI has tens of thousands of open investigations, but only one of them has almost around the clock media coverage. It’s not wrong to investigate anything, what’s wrong is to assume facts that aren’t in evidence, pretend that they’re true, and then pretend that they’re meaningful. Remember what James Comey said about the New York Times in particular? Something along the lines of: Nothing they said was true, but the FBI isn’t in the business of fact checking?

                      “Stop. Why are you repeating what you know to be a falsehood? You KNOW he was not national security adviser at that time.”

                      And you KNOW he was going to be. Flynn wasn’t some hobo on a corner Chris, this argument is BAD for you.

                      “Meaning that discussing sanctions was illegal.”

                      Bullshit. Cite that.

                      “Yet when I asked for examples, you could only think of TWO Democrats who “conveniently forgot” they’d met Kislyak. Then you padded your list with tons of examples of Democrats who met with him…but who never denied meeting him.”

                      Chris… Just because I didn’t quote their statements doesn’t mean that they didn’t make them. Feinstein in particular had to eat her words too. And I only picked the seven who had met with Kislyak, specifically, in March of 2017, specifically. It’s not my job to provide you with a properly sourced report on Democratic douchebaggery. It boggles my mind that anyone not hiding under a rock around that time might actually not remember the constant stream of Democratic criticism for meeting Russian officials or the glee in which Republicans presented pictures detailing their hypocrisy. I’m not playing your game. Google it.

                      “You are completely contradicting yourself here. If Kislyak expected any part of their discussions to be acted on, then Flynn was absolutely acting as an ambassador.”

                      That is a hot and heavy take on the definition of an ambassador.

                      “It isn’t “semantics.” It is illegal for citizens to negotiate with foreign countries on behalf of the United States. That the Logan Act has never led to prosecution doesn’t make this any less true. It doesn’t matter that Flynn would have been legally able to do so in a matter of week. Jack has written about the “two presidents” problem. There is plenty of reason to think Flynn was sabotaging the sanctions that Obama imposed that very day.”

                      The Logan Act has never led to prosecution despite soon-to-be administration officials acting in a way to seemingly contradict it because the Logan Act was never meant to impede incoming administrations, and even more specifically, because the incoming president would almost invariably pardon them.

                      As to the “Two Presidents” dilemma.. Jack did write about that, but did you read it?

                      “Adams’ appointments were unethical. The government of the United States is meant to run efficiently and in the best interests of the public, and that kind of intentional sabotage of a new Chief Executive is driven by non-ethical considerations and distrust. In a reasonable, bi-partisan system, the President-Elect and the outgoing President would sit down, negotiate, and cooperate with each other. The current President would agree not to make any crucial decisions or policy moves that he knew his successor would oppose or have to reverse.”

                      Yes, there was much in there about how Trump is an ass too, but there’s no universe where you can reasonably read that post with any understanding and come away with: “It was Trump’s legal and ethical duty to sit on his hands while Obama poisoned the well.”

                      “It could have been a recommitment to a promise that was made long before. But like I said, I doubt there was ever any explicit promise. An understanding? That’s more likely to me, given Trump’s favorable treatment of Russia. “You help me, I help you” doesn’t always have to be explicitly stated.”

                      So…. They talked to say something they didn’t have to say. Understood.

                      Chris, I’m done here. By all means have the last word, but this has gone on too long and I have better things to do.

                    • Chris

                      I can’t find the exact quote, but during his testimony James Comey said that the FBI has tens of thousands of open investigations, but only one of them has almost around the clock media coverage.

                      If you can’t figure out why an FBI investigation into a presidential campaign gets more coverage than other FBI investigations, I can’t help you. Do you think the media coverage of the Clinton investigation was excessive?

                      It’s not wrong to investigate anything, what’s wrong is to assume facts that aren’t in evidence, pretend that they’re true, and then pretend that they’re meaningful. Remember what James Comey said about the New York Times in particular? Something along the lines of: Nothing they said was true, but the FBI isn’t in the business of fact checking?

                      He was referring to one story in particular. Unfortunately, he didn’t say what they got wrong. The NYT stands by their pieces and says they’re not sure what he’s claiming they erred on.

                      And you KNOW he was going to be.

                      Yes, and I know that doesn’t matter according to the law.

                      Bullshit. Cite that.

                      You know what the Logan Act is. I don’t have to.

                      Chris… Just because I didn’t quote their statements doesn’t mean that they didn’t make them. Feinstein in particular had to eat her words too. And I only picked the seven who had met with Kislyak, specifically, in March of 2017, specifically.

                      And again, my critiques of Flynn do not apply to them for the reasons I’ve already given: none of them discussed issues they were prohibited from discussing, and none of them lied on their security clearance.

                      The Logan Act has never led to prosecution despite soon-to-be administration officials acting in a way to seemingly contradict it because the Logan Act was never meant to impede incoming administrations, and even more specifically, because the incoming president would almost invariably pardon them.

                      Expecting incoming administrations to not conduct foreign relations while the previous administration is still in office does not “impede” them, HT.

                    • Chris

                      How appropriate that we’ve been discussing Flynn, given today’s news!

                      The Journal reports that U.S. investigators, as part of the probe of Russia’s election interference, have examined reports from intelligence agencies that describe Russian hackers discussing how to obtain emails from Clinton’s server and then give them to Flynn through an intermediary.

                      https://www.wsj.com/articles/gop-operative-sought-clinton-emails-from-hackers-implied-a-connection-to-flynn-1498770851

                      Now, I have no idea whether Smith was telling the truth, or if Flynn was involved. But if these claims are verified, then what he did was collusion.

                      Even without the confirmation, this story absolutely should be reported. Do you disagree?

  7. None of this is a surprise, it’s all just confirmation of what people have been saying for quite some time.

    The far left should be jumping all over this, it fits right into their mantra about evil corporate greed business practices flushing ethics and not caring about anything but the bottom dollar.

    • The Left, progressives, liberals, Democrats and any honest Americans of any persuasion should be equally upset about that statement. The fact that the news media is untrustworthy is a matter of patriotic concern, not partisanship.

      By not criticizing unethical journalism just because they benefit from it, one entire side of the political spectrum is condemning itself.

  8. I am confused by this whole Russia hacked the election business. I thought President Obama told us that, even though Moscow published some private stuff that was hurtful and mean to the Clinton Campaign, there was absolutely no truth to the rumors that Russia had a direct and significant impact on the election process or the outcome of the 2016 election.

    Now, we learn from NBC News, the Obama Administration didn’t respond more forcefully to Russian hacking before the presidential election because they didn’t want to appear to be interfering in the election and they thought that Hillary Clinton was going to win and a potential cyber war with Russia wasn’t worth it. Let that sink in for a minute:

    According to the Washington Post, in August, Barack Obama received a highly classified intelligence report outlining that high-level hackers with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin were going through the Democratic Party’s computer networks with the aim of damaging Clinton’s reputation and helping Donald Trump’s candidacy. Yet, instead of pounding on Russia, the former administration ejected 35 Russian diplomats from the country, issued a series of warnings and brought in sanctions against Russia that many saw as merely symbolic.

    The more this probe digs, the more dirt is dug up on the Obama Administration’s feckless (reckless?) handling of our foreign and national security policies. Furthermore, the investigation has yet to corroborate any allegation that the Trump Campaign colluded with Moscow to affect the election results. None. To date, after six months of government investigation and new media sourcing, nothing has been discovered the links Trump or his campaign to Russia. Did some of the meet with foreign dignitaries? Probably. Did that change the election? Nope.

    jvb

    • Chris

      john,

      Are you saying the Obama administration should have been harsher on Russia?

      That may well be. Do you oppose Trump’s efforts to scale back the sanctions on Russia?

      • I am saying the constant droning on of Trump’s dastardly and nefarious Russian connections has led to nothing substantial against Trump.

        Do oppose I Trump’s efforts to scale back Russian sanctions? Oh, I don’t know. If the Obama Administration’s sanctions were merely symbolic, as noted by the Washington Post, then what is the point of continuing them?

        Do I think Russia meddled? Yep. I would be shocked if Russia had minded its own business. However, there is no evidence that voter results have been altered or modified in any way to ensure a Trump victory: The popular vote? Clinton won it. The electoral college? She lost it. She blew it by taking Michigan and other traditionally blue states for granted. That half a a basket full of deplorables (working class, white, middle-American yokels are sick of being dismissed as irrelevant by the elites – oddly enough, a Nebraska farmer’s vote is just as valuable as a Manhattan Master of the Universe’s vote). Go figure. The election loss? Lay it at her campaign’s feet.

        Yet, we learn more about how the prior administration acted like rank amateurs, especially in the high stakes of foreign policy. The examples are legion but Syria is a perfect example of how dawdling in international affairs created a whole host of unholy horrors for the Middle East, Europe, the US.

        jvb

        • Chris

          john,

          All available evidence suggests that Trump is completely unconcerned about both the unprecedented cyber attack on our country by Russia, as well as possible future attacks. According to Sessions, Trump never even discussed the attack with the DOJ. His attitude is “I won, so whoever helped me win is good by me.”

          Washington (CNN)As President Donald Trump lashes out at former President Barack Obama for failing to take a harder line against Russia for election meddling, Trump’s own advisers are struggling to convince him that Russia still poses a threat, according to multiple senior administration officials.

          “I just heard today for the first time that Obama knew about Russia a long time before the election, and he did nothing about it,” Trump told Fox News in an interview that aired Sunday. “To me — in other words — the question is, if he had the information, why didn’t he do something about it? He should have done something about it.”
          But the Trump administration has taken no public steps to punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 election. Multiple senior administration officials said there are few signs the President is devoting his time or attention to the ongoing election-related cyber threat from Russia.

          http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/28/politics/officials-struggle-convince-trump-russia-threat/index.html

          It is nonsensical to criticize Obama for not being tough enough on Russia while ignoring what he did, and ignoring the fact that Trump has done nothing.

          Trump’s attitude during the campaign implicitly condoned the attack and encouraged more attacks. Do you find that responsible leadership?

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