Comment Of The Day: “Labor Day Weekend Kick-Off Ethics Warm-Up: The ‘I’m Baaaack!’ Edition” [Item #3]

I’m still not ready to post the COTD from the Battle of the Ethics Alarms Stars in the recent open forum, but that will be up tomorrow. This comment by Greg involves the ongoing news media effort to spin and bury the Inspector General’s report yesterday explaining what an untrustworthy disgrace to the FBI James Comey was.

I like Greg’s comment for three reasons: it is concise and well-written, it is about one of the most important topics here, which is how the news media has abandoned integrity and responsible reporting for propaganda and efforts to manipulate public opinion,  and because it saved me a post, since I had been preparing to write a similar essay after reading and listening to the usual media suspects.

I will say up front that Greg’s last sentence is too pessimistic. Abe was right, as I know I say too many times: you can’t fool all of the people all the time. The news media is destroying its own credibility even with those who are naive, lazy and gullible. It keeps doing this—burying stories that the pubic has a right to know but that undermine the media’s narrative, what Joe Biden and the Democrats regard as “the truth” that doesn’t  rely on facts, and little by little even its most stubborn defenders (those who aren’t corrupt) are figuring out that they have been conned. Right now I’m thinking of a lamented Ethics Alarms exile who accused me of “drinking the Kool-Aid” before he left. He’s biased, and he was gullible, but he’s not an idiot, not by any means. He knows he was wrong, and I was right by now. Sadly, he apparently doesn’t have fortitude to come crawling back with the apology he owes me. Well, that’s his tragedy.

Here is Greg’s Comment of the Day on Item #3 of the post, “Labor Day Weekend Kick-Off Ethics Warm-Up: The “I’m Baaaack!” Edition.”

The frustrating thing, though, is that most of the public has been misinformed and deceived about the Inspector General’s report. Comey immediately claimed the report had cleared him, on the grounds that it said he did not leak “classified” information. You know and I know that nobody had ever accused Comey of leaking national security secrets, so the report had “cleared” him of an accusation that had never been made, while finding him guilty of all of the accusations that had actually been made. But most people have no idea about this.

For a few minutes after the report came out, MSNBC, CNN and the other usual suspects played it straight: they admitted that the report was damning of Comey. But then they immediately fell into line: The IG had “cleared” Comey of leaking classified information but “criticized” him for “violating departmental policy.” It had “criticized” him, “scolded” him and “reprimanded” him; but it had “failed to vindicate” Trump and had “contradicted Trump’s accusations.” The IG’s report “found that no crimes were committed” and “acknowledged that Comey was candid with investigators.” It contained “nothing new that hasn’t been known for two years.” And, of course, Republicans have “pounced” on the report to make a “power grab.” The New York Times editorialized that the report was “boring,” while criticizing the IG for making a fuss about nothing. The Washington Post editorialized that “Comey saved democracy with his memos.”

Proof of gross misconduct, some of it criminal, by top officials at the Justice Department, the FBI and the CIA will continue to gush out of the ongoing investigations, but the anti-Trump media will continue to report all of this evidence as “no big deal,” “old news,” “clearing” the guilty, and “contradicting” Trump.

Conservative bloggers are convinced that the gusher of proof of crimes committed by the deep state is going to propel Trump to a huge victory in next year’s election. But the vast majority of voters don’t read conservative blogs or watch Fox News. They will hear nothing about any of this proof, except to the extent that they come away with the impression that the investigations have come out with more dirt about Trump.

7 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Labor Day Weekend Kick-Off Ethics Warm-Up: The ‘I’m Baaaack!’ Edition” [Item #3]

  1. One of my major projects is to convince my brother to register though he preferred Trump earlier. (he cannot afford being on jury duty. I’ve only had one employer that made up the pay difference and I’d family to support) You may be overworrying about comparing viewership of mainstream vs opposition media, as people like my brother don’t consume either filters, they watch the culture itself.

    • Marie hit the nail on the head. Those not glued to Fox or CNN are watching these stories playing out in real time and are scratching their heads, wondering “Wait. This is the greatest country on the planet and we have these bozos running the place?” They are wondering why Flynn was convicted but Comey (and possibly McCabe) are not hauled off in shackles. They are also watching the campaign wondering, “you know, there was a time when the Democrats supported workers and the middle class; why are the DNC front runners promising to tax everyone into oblivion (submission?) only then to turn around and celebrate illegal aliens who depress wages and make it even harder to find a job?” And, “why am I a racist because I think there should limitations and qualifications for immigrants?”

      They are also looking at Republicans who got us into endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, only then to talk about supporting veterans but doing very little to help them?” They saw in PresidentTrump a rejection of the Power Establishment. They don’t like his bombast but the economy is strolling along and he is making fairly decent trade deals. They are watching the apparatchiks in DC, concluding there is a “deep state” determined to get rid of Pres. Trump, someone they voted for who represented a message to the Establishment that the Swamp fears and loathes. The result will be another four years.


      • I’ve always been somewhat independent, but the democrats are lost. You can’t run a country with fifteen number one goals. And you cannot expect to sweep up more of the mass in the middle of the bell curve on any issue if all you do is insult and devalue the people you want to vote for you. Some issues are luxuries, and a lot of people don’t care for the new ‘gig’ economy that has little financial stability. “It’s the economy, stupid.” Who cares about bakeries or hugging, when their kids can’t get a decent job after graduating? When the economy stumbles, there is just fewer caused that can be supported. The Dems need to choose say 2 and only two causes, and choose wisely. Choose causes that are more bi-partisan instead of naggy, and benefitting only a fraction. (my local Congress-critter is pushing an anti-robocalling bill for example) A president represents the entire people, not just the loudest minorities.

        • Great Points. One of the things Trump should have going for him is that he actually has made progress on the issues he campaigned on in 2016. The fact that he hasn’t made more progress can be explained when you realize that change is hard. Generally speaking, people don’t like change, whether it is in their personal life, job, or their nation. The TDS epidemic of the past several years has only made this harder, as even beneficial changes tend to be opposed just because Trump is proposing them.

          I suspect the main obstacle Trump is facing right now for reelection is the chance that the economy will crater. I believe that this was a major reason Obama was elected, both in 2008 and 2012 — he not only reaped the benefit of the Great Recession but the inevitable bounce back from it.

          If we are starting to see some Democrats yearn for a recession (on the theory that that will hurt Trump) — well, I don’t know if that is one of the self-fulfilling prophecies the economy runs on. On the other hand, if too many come out in favor of a recession and it happens — there could be a backlash of voters wondering why these folks were rooting against the well-being of the nation. Hard to figure.

  2. Well, the report manifestly vindicated Trump’s firing of Comey. To what other extent Trump needed vindicating is in the eye of the beholder.

    It is significant that Comey did not leak information actually classified under some national security classification — he was accused of that by Trump and many Republicans. That wasn’t borne out by the report, and that is an important fact in whether or not Comey should be indicted. He should not be, based on the report.

    But Comey’s actions were demonstrated to be manifestly unethical, unprofessional, and downright conspiratorial if not strictly illegal. Trump wasn’t just right to remove him, he was also wrong — for not removing him soon enough.

    I think most people paying any attention at all will get that, other than the TDS-afflicted. Those with late-stage TDS will take the fact that the report doesn’t detail evidence of a crime as somehow complete vindication for Comey, but that’s just because acknowledging anything positive about Trump would cause their instant demise from cranial detonation.

    Great points in your comment.

  3. It is significant that Comey did not leak information actually classified under some national security classification — he was accused of that by Trump and many Republicans.

    Trump did often use the word, “classified,” to describe what Comey had leaked. But I think that was just another example of Trump using terms in the layman’s sense. To most people, “classified” means secret government information that you’re not allowed to disclose. The distinction between “classified” national security information and “sensitive” law enforcement information is inside baseball for FBI/CIA types. Once again, Trump’s unfamiliarity (or carelessness) with technical language has come back to bite him.

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