“Russiagate” Collapse Ethics: Don’t Trust These People Again…Ever.

Debra Heine has compiled a useful list of the worst liars, hate-mongers, ethics corruptors,  and civic disrupters in he past three years of framing the President of the United States as a traitorous usurper who conspired with Russia to steal his high office. I was happy to find that I already distrusted all of those on the list that I had heard of, for this was hardly their only example of unethical instincts and corrupt behavior. Heine, a conservative blogger and pundit, used a rather high standard to make her list; I would have added several more. For example, ex- MSNBC star Keith Olberman, now again doing sports punditry on ESPN, has repeatedly tweeted such messages to the President as “Resign, you traitorous fuck!” and “Read up on the ADX Florence Supermax prison in Colorado. You’ll be celebrating your next birthday there. Enjoy!” But maybe nobody pays any attention to Keith any more—I hope not—so Debra was wise leaving him off. I definitely miss seeing Richard Painter on the list. He was President Bush’s ethics counsel, and has abused that credential (unethically exploiting credentials to deceive is a theme) to make one  specious impeachment argument after another, from “emoluments” to obstruction of justice to collusion.

Here is her list, which I will periodically comment on, though she has added extesnive documentation on each. It  is important that there be consequences for what all of these public figures, journalists, politicians and others have done to the nation, its institutions and our culture by pushing the Big Lie that the President made a deal with Russia absent any evidence at all. As I see it now, most of these individuals are refusing to acknowledge what they did or make any effort to undo the damage they have done to all of us. Suggestions that they served Putin’s interests by promoting discord and distrust of our institutions more than anything the President has done are quite correct.

A related list, focused only on the news media’s “fake news” regarding the Russia investigation and other efforts to impugn the President, was released yesterday by rebel reporter Sheryl Attkisson. She also ended up with an incomplete list, but a full list of the news media’s deceptions, incompetent errors, false predictions and wildly biased analysis would require days to scroll through. You can read it here.

Now Heine’s list…

Brian Stelter

The CNN media reporter probably deserves his #1 status on the list, as he has enabled, covered-up and made excuses for his employer’s biased and often dishonest reporting, which is a direct contradiction to the job he pretends to do, that of an objective journalism ethics commentator.

Jim Acosta

Manu Raju

Rachel Maddow

MSNBC, as may have pointed out, used the Mueller investigation and a continuous drum-beat of rumors, speculation and “bombshells” pointing to Trump’s imminent impeachment to swell ratings and increase profits. Maddow was hardly the only talking head on the network who engaged in the company scam, but she is generally regarded as the most admirable journalist. That warrants her place on the list as the symbol of MSNBC’s disgraceful journalism.

Benjamin Wittes

Carl Bernstein

Joy Reid

David Corn

Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski

Ken Dilanian

Natasha Bertrand

Jonathan Chait

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.)

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.)

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

Joaquin Castro (D-Texas)

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)

Hillary Clinton

Clinton seeded the suspicion that Trump has used dastardly means to win, and did so after lecturing him on the importance accepting the the results of the election. She is a genuine villain in this fiasco. She has no defense.

James Clapper

John Brennan

Brennan and Clapper, Obama’s intelligence chiefs, used their presumed expertise and special knowledge to convince the public by innuendo that they had unrevealed information that proved Trump guilty.

John Schindler

Ralph Peters

Tom Nichols

Phil Mudd

Malcolm Nance

Laurence Tribe

Like the two Obama intelligence chiefs, Tribe kept telling his huge social media audience that the President was guilty, using the mantle of special expertise and prestige to make people believe what wasn’t so.

Bradley P. Moss

Krassenstein brothers

Louise Mensch

Eric Garland

Amy Siskind

Scott Dworkin

Jeffrey Guterman

Seth Abramson

Peter Daou

Michael Avenatti

Heh, heh, heh…

Kathy Griffin

George Takei

Rob Reiner

Joy Behar

Alyssa Milano

Bill Maher

The six above could easily be fifty. Where is Stephen Cp;bert, who called the President Putin’s “cockholster”?

William Kristol

Max Boot

Rick Wilson

Steve Schmidt

Jen Rubin

This is the pathetic “NeverTrump” group, who gleefully embraced the Russia collusion lie because they lacked the character to prevent their personal revulsion at the elected President from swallowing their fairness, judgment, integrity and objectivity. Kristol, at least, has paid a price: his anti-Trump antics probably killed his magazine,  “The Aeekly Standard.”

5 thoughts on ““Russiagate” Collapse Ethics: Don’t Trust These People Again…Ever.

  1. Suggestions that they served Putin’s interests by promoting discord and distrust of our institutions more than anything the President has done are quite correct.

    Ouch. That’s going to leave a mark.

    The traitor-sayers are themselves guilty of acting traitorous. How droll.

    From Sharyl Attkisson’s piece, echoes:

    Our repeat mistakes involve declaring that Trump’s claims are “lies” when they are matters of opinion, or when the truth between conflicting sources is unknowable; taking Trump’s statements and events out of context; reporting secondhand accounts against Trump without attribution as if they’re established fact; relying on untruthful, conflicted sources; and presenting reporter opinions in news stories—without labeling them as opinions.

    This is chapter and verse of what you have pointed out many times, Jack. Trump often shoots from the hip, but the media have treated his every utterance as a statement of fact. Therefore, any inconsistency, inaccuracy or simple disagreement is characterized as a “lie.”

    This may be the most consequential and insidious of the media’s “mistakes,” as Attkisson characterizes them. She is being generous. They were not mistakes, they were intentional attempts to undermine the duly (and fairly) elected President of the United States and paint him as incapable of telling the truth about anything, just so they could enjoy they profits from the attention to the constant accusation of “collusion” with Russia by their own members, both opinion and hard news “journalists.”

    More Attkisson:

    What’s worse, we defend ourselves by trying to convince the public that our mistakes are actually a virtue because we (sometimes) correct them. Or we blame Trump for why we’re getting so much wrong. It’s a little bit like a police officer taking someone to jail for DUI, then driving home drunk himself: he may be correct to arrest the suspect, but he should certainly know better than to commit the same violation.

    Again, ouch, and a great companion from your commentary, Jack. That cuts to the bone, and will leave more than a mark. It should leave a deep, lasting, painful scar on a profession that is no longer worthy of the description. It has become a caricature of itself the most skilled and cruel cartoon satirist couldn’t intentionally depict.

    I hope every one of the people who used to comment here are afflicted with major distress over the Special Council’s findings. I hope it keeps them up at night, and haunts their dreams. Schadenfreude is me, and I’m just getting started, ethical or not. A price must be paid, and I don’t want to have to pay it in blood.

  2. Well, the major social media platforms all have policies against conspiracy theories. Will they yank, or at least stop promoting content from, these sites? If they don’t, does that leave them open to charges of lying to Congress since Facebook, Twitter, and Google all said they have no ‘ideological bias’ and all have taken action against much less prominent and damaging conspiracy theories?

  3. Keith Olbermann. Remember during the Clinton Lewinsky affair Keith did his daily Worst Person in the World shtick? Ironically, he’s claimed that distinction all to himself. Oh the humanity! What a jerk.

  4. An interesting metric might be how many of these remain dedicated traitorous liars as the 2020 presidential campaign begins. Especially considering the field they will, no doubt, be supporting.

  5. Why is the “it doesn’t prove he didn’t….” even important? I’m sure it doesn’t prove I didn’t do X either, but that doesn’t matter

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