Unethical Quote Of The Week: PBS Commentator Mark Shields…Or Is It This Unethical Tweet By CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin?

The “resistance’s” freakout over the Mueller report is deep, wide and epic. So many journalists, pundits, celebrities and Democrats are making utter asses of themselves by  throwing  public tantrums, uttering or writing emotional nonsense, and making claims that just aren’t true, and obviously so, except to those in the grip of the Orange Man Bad Fever.

Yesterday gave us two throbbing examples.


Here’s long-time PBS commentator Mark Shields, in a panel discussion about the Mueller report. I’ve met Mark, and used to listen to him regularly. He’s a nice guy, a Red Sox fan, and the kind of old-style Boston liberal–Ted Kennedy, Tip O’Neill, Kevin White, Ray Flynn—that I grew up surrounded by. But this is hysteria:

“[I]f there’s an imperative that comes out of this whole sordid tale, it’s for a new 9/11 Commission…to investigate what happened. How do we avoid it ever happening again? What do we need to do, statutorily, collectively in the country? And the Russians did — they subverted and sabotaged our election. And the Obama administration was remiss in its response in 2016. And President Trump has chosen for two-and-a-half years to deny what Russia did. And the most public of sacraments that we have as a people, a presidential election, was subverted and sabotaged. And they’re about the same evil mission again with no — we ought to have that. It ought to be bipartisan. It ought to be Republicans and Democrats. And we ought to just demand that American elections be only — involve Americans. And it has to bring in all of the Silicon Valley and all the companies, and we have to do this to preserve our democracy and to restore some sense of public trust.”

Shield’s outburst  has to be categorized as clinical, indeed pathological denial, but a helpful variety, since it provides a window in the mid of the deranged, kind of like the hole in a Canadian trapper’s gut that allowed Dr. Beaumont to study the workings of the human stomach.  You can see that the problem hearkens back to November 2016. Amazingly, Democrats still cannot accept that they lost the Presidency to someone like Donald Trump. It has driven them literally crazy. Imagine: Mark Shields, who was once as sane as you or I, is really arguing that after a two and a half year, 20 million dollar investigation of Russian interference in the election, what we really need now is…an investigation of the election. No, we really don’t, and Shield’s ridiculous comparison of the piddling Russian disinformation campaign designed to confuse and confound American morons and sow discord (though that objective has been advanced far more effectively by the news media and the “resistance”) with a terrorist attack that killed more than 3000 Americans in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania shows how conspiratorial and, to be blunt, whacked-out the Left has become.

Let’s try to list the many ways Shields’ statement is both intellectually dishonest and  bats, shall we?

  • To knock off the lowest hanging fruit, the President has not denied  that the Russians  engaged in 2016 mischief for two and a half years. After challenging the claims initially out of his (well-founded) distrust of the U.S. intelligence agencies, he has denied that 1) he cut deals to encourage them and 2) that Russia is the reason he won. All of his previous expressions of skepticism were based on the latter point, though the “Get Trump” mob intentionally ignores what they must know by now about his well-established personality quirks. Trump wants all the credit for pulling off the most astounding upset in American Presidential history, and sees the effort to attribute his victory  to malign forces–the evil Electoral College, Comey’s fecklessness, Wikileaks, Putin—as an effort to deny him his due.

(In many respects his reaction is the photographic negative of Hillary Clinton (Is that metaphor dead yet?), who still refuses to accept that the primary reason Trump won the election wasn’t public stupidity, racism, and sexism, wasn’t the malign forces listed above, but her own inadequacy as a candidate and a human being.)

  • We know “what happened.” What we don’t know is how much the Russian efforts actually changed any votes or altered the outcome of the election, and I have yet to see any convincing evidence that it did. We’ll never have such evidence, but those, like Shields, who are in a state of unshakable denial that in a fair and just universe awful conservative people like Donald Trump don’t become President (but awful liberal people like Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton do), will always cling to their certitude that the election was “subverted and sabotaged.It the Russian social media fakery  was all that, why can’t you prove it changed anything?

We can make a plausible case that the candidacies of Ralph Nader, Pat Buchanan, the “butterfly ballot” and hanging chads “subverted and sabotaged” the  Florida vote in 2000, but those terms are off the charts hyperbole regarding 2016.

  • Shields has to know that no “blue ribbon” bipartisan investigation ever settled anything. The Warren Report is still being attacked as a cover-up after 60 years. The 9-11 report hasn’t silenced the Truthers one iota. The news media set out on an extensive hand count of all the 2000 Florida ballots, confident that they would prove that the recount halted by the Supreme Court would have made Al Gore President. It didn’t: the recounts indicated that Bush would have won anyway, but never mind—Democrats (and Gore) still say that that Bush “stole” the election.

As I said, Shields knows all this. He just wants to make sure that Trump is never treated as a legitimate President as long as he is in office, because his election will be under perpetual “investigation.”

Or Mark has lost his mind.

  • I have to giggle when I hear a Democrat say that American elections should only “involve Americans.”

The party has been waging a non-stop, cynical  battle to make it easy for illegal immigrants to vote, since they vote the “right” way.

  • Mark Shields actually thinks that the big tech companies are the secret to restoring public trust in the electoral process! The companies are partisan, ruthless, autocratic, dishonest and secretive. I guess Mark really means, “Let’s make sure our elections are only rigged by Americans, and only to benefit Democrats.”

Is that what you meant, Mark?

  • To state the obvious, except that the news media refuses to admit it, the growth of distrust in our institutions began when Democrats refused to follow the well-established “democratic norm” and accept the 2016 vote and the election of Donald Trump as legitimate.

It wasn’t the Russians who seeded most of the current distrust. It was Hillary, the Democrats, the “resistance,” and journalists—Mark’s colleagues and pals. The Russians haven’t been trying to impeach the President since 2016. The Russians haven’t been attacking citizens wearing MAGA hats.

One cheer for Mark is warranted: at least he didn’t spare Barack Obama. We now know that the Scandal-Free President was aware of Russian intentions to interfere with the 2016 campaign perhaps as early as 2014, and did nothing about it.


Don’t worry, this one is short and self-evident. Jeffrey Toobin is second only to CNN’s fake media ethicist  Brian Stelter in my list of unethical media hacks who abuse their authority for partisan objectives. Toobin is a lawyer, which may even make him worse that Stelter. The CNN legal analyst is like Jonathan Turley’s evil twin–strong legal credentils, easy TV manner, but unlike Turley, so biased he makes my teeth curl.

On April 18,  he tweeted this as a response to the Mueller report:

“Happy people don’t obstruct justice. Trump’s frustration at leaks and investigation are evidence of guilt, not innocence.”

The responses to this asinine statement on Twitter make the case as well as I could. Such as..

President Trump was justifiably upset that nitwits like you were trying to ruin his presidency. 

and this…

“They were eager to destroy Kavanaugh for getting angry at being falsely accused of rape, and they’re eager to destroy Trump for getting angry at being falsely accused of collusion. They sic the FBI on you for spurious reasons and then call you guilty if it bothers you.”

Toobin is saying that innocent people who are being falsely accused of vile crimes are happy, and that being angry that your life, work, and reputation are being trashed by a politically motivated investigation is “evidence.” Toobin knows this is nonsense—an angry reaction to an accusation  isn’t evidence of anything. He is exploiting ignorant readers’ trust in his legal credentials to spread a false and insidious misconception.

So who’s more unethical between these “resistance” enablers?

25 thoughts on “Unethical Quote Of The Week: PBS Commentator Mark Shields…Or Is It This Unethical Tweet By CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin?

  1. I apologize to the first readers, who had to read through several typos. My computer and its Windows 7 system literally turns itself off for no discernible reason, or freezes, several time a day. When it does this before I post an entry, all the tags are lost, if not the whole thing. So I hit the PUBLISH button, then go back to check for typos and make minor edits. I recently found out that Althouse does the same thing.

    • I recently found out that Althouse does the same thing.

      You mean, Althouse also relies on an obsolete operating system that’s no longer supported by its creator, and grumbles when her computer crashes? 😉

        • I agree. Windows 10 seems to be a low grade version of Apple OS

          I like being able to find files without relying in OS magic to make them locatable.

          I run 8 gig of ram on windows 7 on my homemade system and have no crash problems. The only issue I have is windows sends updates the mouse driver does not reload on a soft reboot.

  2. I chose both. Shields offers a more sophisticated argument to appeal (fool) the more educated while Toobin, channeling Elle from Legally Blonde, uses an idiotic argument to appeal to the hoi poloi.

    • Agreed. What does happiness have to do with obstruction of justice. Toobin is a moron. I reached that conclusion during the Trayvon Martin trial when he thought the surly girl had even an ounce of credibility. Since then, he has established his permanent residency in Moronville.

      I did vote that they were equally awful, though. Shields sounds like he us losing his mind. Toobin, as previously stated, is a moron. I don’t know who it was on CNN, but now Trump should be shot for “passive collusion”. Think about that.


  3. If Toobin believes that unhappy people are guilty then what can we infer about those at CNN, MSNBC and the others with TDS?

  4. Regarding #2: isn’t this a classic example of a Kafka Trap? Once the accusation is made, guilt is assumed – and *any* reaction, no matter how unhinged and reactive on one end of the spectrum or thoughtful and measured on the other end, is treated as proof of that guilt.

    “You deny it calmly? Only a practiced liar could lie like that with a straight face!”

    “You’re frustrated and feel attacked? CLEARLY a sign of a guilty conscience!”

    Worth noting, this is the same tactic that was used (and is still used) to pillory Justice Kavanaugh.

  5. To what extent are these calls for studies on how to prevent foreign influence in presidential elections intended to suck all the air away from Senator Graham’s efforts to investigation the genesis of the Trump collusion narrative? Shields’ (and others’) calls for an investigation seem disingenuous. As Jack notes, the evidence is slim that Trump won because of foreign involvement. And what could be done to prevent foreign intrigue into the U.S. electoral process? Preventing foreign agents from posting on social media would likely exclude citizens from their free speech rights. Asking the big social media firms to do the policing will exclude American citizens and denies the value of free speech debates (ala J.S. Mills’ arguments from On Liberty). Laws preventing foreigners from influencing elections wasn’t/isn’t a priority for Democrats, e.g., laws prohibiting foreigners from contributing to campaigns already exist, and are regularly abused (the Clinton administration and Al Gore campaign returned donations from the People’s Republic of China only after significant pressure was brought to bear on them, similarly Obama’s online fundraising had weak protections against foreign contributions). And, as Jack points out, Democratic efforts continue to give illegal immigrants the vote. I wouldn’t mind stronger measures to protect the integrity of our electoral process, but it seems the most cost effective measures would be paper ballots. We don’t need a major commission to know this. What other measures could a serious and sincere commission recommend?

  6. Toobin is far worse. Shields is in denial, but Toobin is flat out lying. He’s an experienced lawyer and knows better. He is not in denial, he is not mistaken, he is lying.

  7. It just occurred to me that every Republican who has won a presidential election in this century has stolen that election. Hmmm. Is “stolen election” simply a default Dem talking point?

  8. Well, these two people need to take their logic and apply it to the fact that Obama knew about Russian interference and did nothing. Why did he do nothing when he helped infiltrate and spy on Trump’s campaign? Was it because this wasn’t an attempt to defeat Clinton? Was it because it was negligible. Was it because it served his interests?

    Soon after the election, I saw analyses that found that many of ads promoted Hillary Clinton’s platform. Later, that was listed as an attempt to help Donald Trump (letting people know what Clinton stands for is apparently anti-Clinton meddling). It turns out that Russia spent ~$75,000 total on this campaign. That’s right, $75,000. For reference, Dollar Shave Club spends $140,000,000/year. This ‘Russian Meddling’ was lower budget than a single Clinton Foundation dinner. Not only that, but less than 10% of that was targeted at the campaign. Most of it was geared towards stoking racial strife. That’s right, why would Obama ever try to stop people from stirring up racial hatred?

  9. Someone calling himself or herself “Harris” wrote this twaddle (apparently someone can comment separately on the poll itself. I’ll be blocking that in the future.)

    “Toobin regularly states his interpretation of Shields words as fact, but they don’t line up with the facts. Shields is speaking for democracy (one American vote for each American voter.) Trump campaign interacted multiple times with Russian agents to influence the election. Those are the facts”

    Garbage. They weren’t “Russian agents,” they were Russians. The meetings neither affected the election, nor did the meetings facilitate influencing the election, as Shields falsely states. It is not even a fact that the Russian foolery influenced the election, and what any of this has to do with “one vote” is beyond me.

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