The Andrew McCabe Hiring: At Least CNN Doesn’t Seriously Try To Hide Its Hypocrisy. That’s Something, I Guess. I Guess…

Andrew McCabe. If only he could dance…

I really am not trying to pick on Brian Stelter, CNN’s indefensible blight on broadcast media ethics, but wow. He tweeted,

Then, seemingly a blink of the eye later, his employer announced that it was hiring Andrew McCabe as a commentator. Never mind the fact that Stelter spends his own position of “fame and privilege”—Did he really refer to Sean Spicer’s gig on “Dancing With The Stars” that way? —-lying his head off, shamelessly spinning for his rotting network, and generally making “broadcast news ethics watchdog” as much of an oxymoron as “Hart to Hart” dramaturg. CNN’s hiring McCabe is infinitely more outrageous than either of the hires he was criticizing.  It’s so obvious it hurts. Yet like Sgt. Schultz in “Hogan’s Heroes,” Stelter sees nothing.

McCabe served as acting FBI director after James Comey was quite properly fired in May, 2017. Then  McCabe was fired himself for lying to the FBI’s  inspector general at least four times regarding his leaks to the press. (Leaks to the press by people in positions like McCabe’s are crimes.)

Next came information that McCabe, while at the bureau, was involved in the illicit and quite probably illegal efforts to spy on the Trump campaign in 2016, as well as to smother the bureau’s  investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email deceptions. McCabe also admitted that he discussed strategies to remove the President from office  with top national security officials.

Just a hard-working, loyal, patriotic public servant, that McCabe.

As the AG report on his misconduct neared release,  McCabe quickly created a GoFundMe page that portrayed himself as a victim of the Bad Orange Man.  As Professor Turley pointed out, “He repeatedly increased the target goal and quickly raised over $500,000 from the hopelessly gullible.” This is called monetizing Trump hate for personal gain.

McCabe may yet be indicted, something neither Spicer nor Huckabee-Sanders face for  doing  their traditionally dirty and thankless job.

Stelter covered the hiring of McCabe on his weekly Sunday spin-fest; he could hardly avoid it. He offered no opinion of his own to match his positions on Spicer and Sanders, resorting to another CNN flack, Irin Carmon, who is a paid CNN analyst (No conflict of interest there!), to cover for the network, badly.

“People on the right said, ‘Well, you’re hiring McCabe. Why can’t Fox hire Sanders?’ Is there a difference?” Stelter asked . (Actually, fair individuals regardless of partisan affiliation asked, “How can these people protest against Sean Spicer being allowed to make a laughingstock of himself on a silly dance contest show and then turn around and hire someone with Andrew McCabe’s record for a position of trust?”)

“Of course there’s a difference,” said Carmon.

Now get this…

“Andrew McCabe is going to bring serious expertise with respect to the FBI and investigations. And he in no way was accused of standing in front of the American people and lying to them,” she said. “He was accused of lack of candor about talking to the press. The proportion, the scale and the substance are utterly non-comparable.”

That isn’t even competent spin! They aren’t comparable, all right: McCabe was found to have lied to investigators (“lack of candor”—hilarious. Try that one on the bar disciplinary committee, Andy.) into misconduct at the FBI. Others have been indicted for less. No press secretary has ever been indicted for obfuscating on behalf of a President, something every one of them did to varying degrees. It didn’t stop ABC from hiring a press secretary who covered up a President’s sexual assaults for years as its Sunday and morning anchor,

White House spokespersons are not law enforcement officers, like McCabe. His proven and admitted misconduct is so far, far beyond the worst characterization one could make of what Sanders and Spicer engaged in that they are in different dimensions. To CNN, and to its collection of paid liars like Stelter, who do exactly for CNN what Spicer and Sanders did for the White House, McCabe is a desirable hire for one reason only. He is a reliable anti-Trump mouthpiece, bitter, angry, partisan and unprincipled.

He’ll fit right in.

20 thoughts on “The Andrew McCabe Hiring: At Least CNN Doesn’t Seriously Try To Hide Its Hypocrisy. That’s Something, I Guess. I Guess…

  1. That isn’t even competent spin! They aren’t comparable, all right: McCabe was found to have lied to investigators (“lack of candor”—hilarious. Try that one on the bar disciplinary committee, Andy.) into misconduct at the FBI. Others have been indicted for less.

    Scooter Libby comes to mind. He didn’t even have intent, unlike McCabe.

    “Drain the swamp” better damn well result in some indictments. This is a perfect example of the swamp, McCabe thinks he is someone too big to fry. I want the whole lot of those that attempted to frame the president to head to prison.

    • This, as much as anything else, is fodder for Civil War. Two tiers of justice.

      Weaponizing cultural issues and politics to destroy reputations, livelihoods, and even to imprison, assault, and murder those progressives disagree with. National media stoking the fires. Red Flag laws. All are playing a part.

  2. “Andrew McCabe is going to bring serious expertise [in how to run a criminal enterprise from within the government] with respect to the FBI and investigations. And he in no way was accused of standing in front of the American people and lying to them, [but rather in conduct that in most free countries would be considered treason],” she said. “He was accused of lack of candor [lying his ass off] about talking to the press [and conspiring to remove and impede a duly elected President without evidence or due process of law]. The proportion, the scale and the substance are utterly non-comparable.”

    There. Fixed that for her.

  3. I believe it is imperative to conclude the investigations by Durham and the IG and make public everthing possible – good or bad.

    We cannot afford to spend any more time pointing fingers. We may not eradicate TDS but we might stop the festering animus and suspicion of both sides.

    If probable cause exists to bring charges of planning a coup against the President for anyone then charge them and do not settle for a plea deal.

    This type of crime is an all or nothing proposition – an attempted to remove a duly elected president happened or it did not. If it did then those responsible should rot in prison for life. These acts have caused more damage to more Americans than any act of the current president. They are not heros.

    • This type of crime is an all or nothing proposition – an attempted to remove a duly elected president happened or it did not. If it did then those responsible should rot in prison for life. These acts have caused more damage to more Americans than any act of the current president. They are not heroes.

      But hold on. It has been asserted that a coup was carried out in the 1960s with the purpose of one specific faction within America gaining or reclaiming political power and control. The Kennedy assassination. There are books and elaborately documented journalistic studies of the ‘structure of power’ that carried this out and — in case you are not aware — direct lines that trace back to the Bush family. I guess that one could dismiss all this research as invented or hallucinated (I have no way to gain certainty), but what is more interesting from my perspective is that we live now in the aftermath of these actions and choices. That is what America is, in the sense of ‘what it has become’.

      You broach a conversation about a supposed attempt on Trump, but in the American Postwar there is a documented record of actions and choices that does not require speculation, it just requires a mind that can put rather large and crude pieces together into narrative order.

      If a ‘crime’ is going on in our present, it is the crime of managing to keep people from seeing the level of corruption and crime which determines the structures of America; those structures which have absolute interest in their continuity.

      There is a very interesting — but difficult — conversation about what has ’caused harm to America’. There is a great deal of confusion about what elements can and should be included in broaching that conversation.

      • Aliza,

        I stated “this type of crime is an all or nothing crime”.

        Point one: I specifically worded it that way to avoid it being relating only to Trump.

        Point 2:
        All or nothing is similar to you cannot be a little be pregnant. You either are or you are not. Anyone convicted of direct involvement in a coup attempt following a legitimate election should face the same charges no matter what the level of participation.

        • See my comments — and my participation in a general sense here — as an attempt to see the present within a larger contextualization. My assertion is and has always been that what we term ‘America’ today is a series of truly admirable things . . . mixed up in terrifying crimes. The things we witness now: the decay of the social glue, the beginning signs of dissolution, the destruction of a national ‘faith’, and the social war — leading quite likely to new wars of a classical sort and scale — is my topic in basic terms.

          • While I agree there is a massive breakdown in the social fabric and a discussion is warranted my comments are directed at the specific not the general.

            However, before any discussion of why social relationships are breaking down it will be absolutely necessary to have a uniform understanding of all terminology and a set of agreed upon rules.

            Unfortunately, the likelihood of that happening is about the same as me setting a new world record for the fastest mile.

            I am not naive to the fact that we do not live in a world where honesty of purpose is the norm. I recognize that the truth is often distorted by the very institutions to which we choose to belong.

            In a perfect world we could all live a life of evaluation and contemplation in search of the absolute truth, but we do not live in a perfect world. Because of that we must be pragmatic and create the closest approximation of actual truth from the information at hand. Perfection is the enemy of the good.

            • I agree that this sounds pretty good. It sounds like truth or the sensible application of a stance about truthfulness. But it could also function as a way to keep a conversation-investigation of causation from going forward.

              Like you I am interested in pragmatic considerations. That means the rational examination of causation. In relation to certain causal elements I have no doubt that we could establish an agreed-upon terminology. To the degree that we agree to abide by a general Aristotelian method.

              I think that we could identify some of the major destructive events whose effects we are now witnessing and suffering under.

              If you start from this position or assertion:

              While I agree there is a massive breakdown in the social fabric and a discussion is warranted my comments are directed at the specific not the general.

              However, before any discussion of why social relationships are breaking down it will be absolutely necessary to have a uniform understanding of all terminology and a set of agreed upon rules.

              … I assert that you would with that have a base-position from which to understand how different people — from Noam Chomsky to David Duke if you wished to be really inclusive of the totality of America (though I could pull up other polarities and to good effect) — orient themselves in relation to the project that you recognize is vital. One aspect of what I do is to read carefully what these polarized figures have to say so that I understand where they are coming from.

              What I tried to point out by referencing The Assassination is to allude to those events which are extremely telling — determining — but which people lose sight of because they remain shadowed in doubt. Do you understand what I mean? If if do not know and if you perhaps cannot know the source of causation in *your world* you are a victim of the machinations of others: those you never see (as Edward Bernays put it).

              I think there are a group of things we could distinguish and label that are root-causes of dissolution and break-down. If we did not address them, if we could not address them, what then would be the point of all this discourse going on here?

      • Ahh you and Noam have made up.

        Yes, yes, America is one gigantic capitalist and class imperialism conspiracy.

        Geez us.

        You really are too smart to buy into this macro conspiracy crap. Stop yourself.

        • This is where you show yourself, my dear Jim, incapable of free thought. Simply having mentioned what many people understand as having been a paramilitary coup, and simply having mentioned that in powerful states — certainly historically — such power-plays have occurred, your patriotic self, a self that is under the sway of romantic-patriotic notions, is stopped at a point where the only strategy available to it is to engage in ironical exaggeration and, importantly, link the possibility of such free-thinking with a Hated Figure, the evil Noam Chomsky.

          If you even get beyond this syndrome — a sort of intellectual pathology — it will be because you have made a decision to take yourself in hand. That is, to examine the ‘self’ that links itself to these vast machinations of power to which you have no real and tangible relation. You see, you establish this identification between your self and ‘it’ and an attack on ‘it’ is taken as an attack on your very self. There are 5-6 people who write on this forum who have similar internal structures as you. As a result of this defect you cannot really *see* reality because you are projecting a dream or a phantasy about reality.

          You use tools of shame and ridicule — note that this is based in emotional appeal and essentially is an attempt to manipulate the one you attack — to make your point. And what is that point? At the base it is ‘protection of your own self’ because you are — apparently — terrorized by the prospect of having to examine not *conspiracy* (the scare-word you interpose in the same way that other words like ‘white supremacism’ and ‘racism’ are used in other contexts) but the machinations of power.

          What you impose through shaming is a block to the people around you to keep them from intellectual and rational examination of their world. If you were a professor you would be one that keeps his students in ideological line. In this way you show what your relationship is to the ideological control-mechanisms that are visible in many different areas in the culture.

          If you are a ‘conservative’, and I have no idea how you define yourself, and if you agree that you use such emotion-based and irrational tools as shame and ridicule, I suggest that you are involved in a terrible error. And that has been my point for years now. It is a form of cowardice. You pretend that it is ‘patriotic defense’ but it has more in common with simple cowardice.

          To see the present, to see ourselves, to see the actual condition of the culture — in the most basic sense to be able to see — means breaking through these blinders that you have established for yourself and which you impose on others through social coercion (shame and ridicule in this case).

          Therefore and in my view: you are the one who requires work on the self. It is *you* that needs to be reached and communicated with. Again, this has been my point for years now: the classic American Conservative is not a helper in processes of renovation, but an inhibitor who has more in common with his ‘progressive enemy’ than he is willing to see and to admit.

          I have been saying this in dozens of different ways for years now.

    • We cannot afford to spend any more time pointing fingers. We may not eradicate TDS but we might stop the festering animus and suspicion of both sides.

      From your lips to God’s ears.

  4. What kind of publicity shot is that? Was the goal to make the subject look devious? Machiavellian? Is that a really expensive suit or a really inexpensive one? Is it tailored to hang that way or is it supposed to look as if it’s right off the rack? Were the suit and the photo paid for out of his go fund me account?

  5. McCabe’s new book, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” is self-described as “a dramatic and candid account of his career,” and details the behind-the-scenes events that unfolded between Trump’s election and McCabe’s firing.

    This quote from that book interested me a great deal:

    “Through the fall, the president’s anger seemed difficult to contain. He threatened North Korea with “fire and fury,” then followed up with a threat to “totally destroy” the country. When neo-Nazis and white supremacists held a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and one of them killed a protester and injured a score of others, he made a brutally offensive statement condemning violence “on many sides … on many sides”—as if there was moral equivalence between those who were fomenting racial hatred and violence and those who were opposing it. He retweeted anti-Muslim propaganda that had been posted by a convicted criminal leader of a British far-right organization. Then as now, the president’s heedless bullying and intolerance of variance—intolerance of any perception not his own—has been nurturing a strain of insanity in public dialogue that has been long in development, a pathology that became only more virulent when it migrated to the internet. A person such as the president can on impulse and with minimal effort inject any sort of falsehood into public conversation through digital media and call his own lie a correction of “fake news.” There are so many news outlets now, and the competition for clicks is so intense, that any sufficiently outrageous statement made online by anyone with even the faintest patina of authority, and sometimes even without it, will be talked about, shared, and reported on, regardless of whether it has a basis in fact. How do you progress as a culture if you set out to destroy any common agreement as to what constitutes a fact? You can’t have conversations. You can’t have debates. You can’t come to conclusions. At the same time, calling out the transgressor has a way of giving more oxygen to the lie. Now it’s a news story, and the lie is being mentioned not just in some website that publishes unattributable gossip but in every reputable newspaper in the country. I have not been looking to start a personal fight with the president. When somebody insults your wife, your instinctive reaction is to want to lash out in response. When you are the acting director, or deputy director, of the FBI, and the person doing the insulting is the chief executive of the United States, your options have guardrails. I read the president’s tweets, but I had an organization to run. A country to help protect. I had to remain independent, neutral, professional, positive, on target. I had to compartmentalize my emotions. Crises taught me how to compartmentalize. Example: the Boston Marathon bombing—watching the video evidence, reviewing videos again and again of people dying, people being mutilated and maimed. I had the primal human response that anyone would have. But I know how to build walls around that response and had to build them then in order to stay focused on finding the bombers. Compared to experiences like that one, getting tweeted about by Donald Trump does not count as a crisis. I do not even know how to think about the fact that the person with time on his hands to tweet about me and my wife is the president of the United States.”

    What interests me is that he is speaking not only in false terms — what he is saying has false elements — but in typically superficial terms. He does not fundamentally understand *what is going on*. For example it is not correct, and it is certainly not fair, to characterize the Charlottesville protestors as ‘neo-Nazis’. Of course everyone has done this and keeps doing it. If you proceed in that mis-characterization you will not be able to perceive the real social truth. To be able to understand Trump’s base — the people who respond to him — requires a far more subtle sociological mind.

    He asserts — and of course many do believe — that those who take issue with the toppling of monuments, and many related concerns such as the loss of super-majority status in their own country and a whole range of legitimate social concerns, are ‘fomenting racial hatred and violence’. The issue of ‘framing’ is so obvious here.

    Were those ‘opposing’ this (‘Antifa’ to use a quick term, though their side is far more complex) really acting in constitutional righteousness? The real story here is much more complex than he seems to understand.

    Trump retweeted Jayda Fransen a bold woman who is advocating for the rights of her people in Britain. That is, she is opposed to the Islamification of her country. She has been jailed for her activism and de-platformed of course. What is most salient in this is that it shows alarming anti-speech state action to shut down people who do not accept the status quo and refuse to remain silent and to stand by as their country is ruined. It is interesting in my view that an FBI agent can show himself in support of this, in essence, and it casts light on what a political police force like the FBI can do and is doing. That is, who and what it really serves.

    This is interesting too:

    “Then as now, the president’s heedless bullying and intolerance of variance—intolerance of any perception not his own—has been nurturing a strain of insanity in public dialogue that has been long in development, a pathology that became only more virulent when it migrated to the internet.”

    No, it is different! It is that now, rather suddenly, people who had not been able to communicate their views and ideas are doing so, and gaining influence. While the MSM’s influence wanes. That means too ‘state influence’ through its normal outlets, the journalistic enterprises. This is ‘insanity’ from their perspective. A sane social situation is one where people are docile.

    It is true that Trump is a kind of boisterous loud-mouthed uncontrolled bully-of-sorts. But if the topic is ‘intolerance of variance and any perception’ not accepted by the status quo, the entire media-structure of the US right now should be called to task!

    The ‘strain of insanity in public dialog’ implies some sane defined core of what is proper discourse. Of what is proper and right to think about, to be concerned about. What has ‘migrated to the Internet’ is the possibility of an open and wide-ranging conversation on themes and ideas completely blocked from the public sphere!

    This is interesting:

    “How do you progress as a culture if you set out to destroy any common agreement as to what constitutes a fact? You can’t have conversations. You can’t have debates. You can’t come to conclusions.”

    Boy this is knotty. I’ll unravel it. When he says ‘progress as a culture’ he means to progress under a specific set of notions: the politically correct I assume. True, if you begin to have disagreement about what these are or should be you confront a difficult time. But in that situation — in fact — you will have conversation and you will have debate . . . if those things are allowed. That is, if the opposition is validated. If you take their concerns seriously. True, coming to conclusions will be difficult, and it may not be possible to arrive at agreement, but you cannot force a population to accept your imposed terms. If you totally deny the validity of your opposition, and if you deplatform them and drive them underground and into poverty, and if the State takes on this enforcement role, there you will have real problems.

    • He’s a Democratic Party operative, Alizia, isn’t he. It’s right there in his recitation of Democratic Party talking points.

  6. I’ve always wondered about these hosting and commenting slots at CNN and other cable networks. Maybe Dan Abrams can clear this up if he has time. I’ve always wondered whether these slots are sold to the highest bidder, a commodity to be monetized by the networks, as opposed to paid positions requiring the networks to pay people to fill them.

    For example, Eliot Spitzer. He’s a trust fund baby who was trying to resurrect his career. Didn’t his crisis manager come up with the idea of putting him on TV to get him rehabilitated? Didn’t Spitzer’s people go to CNN and offer to pay CNN to let Spitzer get on the air?

    Tucker Carlson. Swanson frozen food heir. Are we supposed to think Roger Ailes paid Tucker to host a show? Didn’t Tucker have to pay to get that much air time?

    Anderson Cooper Vanderbilt? CNN pays a Vanderbilt to look cute in front of a camera and read copy?

    So who is paying whom? Does Andrew McCabe pay CNN to be legitimized by being on the air or does CNN pay him? How does this work?

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