Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Thoughts on the News

I know, I know.  Everybody and their brother has been offering their thoughts on the Special Counsel’s report and what it means.  And since everybody has done it, that means I need to jump on the bandwagon, too, right?  Actually, there are some things I think need to be said.  I’m seeing some of them be said, but I want a chance to put my thoughts down.  And since this is my blog, I get to do just that.

First of all, I’m going to cheat and link up to this article.  It shows a timeline going back to 2016 on how this entire mess started.  And make no mistake about it, this is a mess.  And it is a mess of political making.  Like Trump or not, this article makes a compelling case that the special counsel of the last two years was a shame from the very beginning.  Honestly, the article goes further than I think we can realistically go yet, but it makes a compelling case that we need more investigations and we need indictments, just not of President Trump or anyone associated with his administration, but people in the government who were working to undermine if not overthrow him.

Now, I can already hear some of you.  “But Mark, this came from the Federalist.  It’s a conservative site, so it can’t be trusted.”  HOGWASH!!!!!  I’m sorry, but this very argument is one of the reasons I am making this blog post.  Over the past few days, I’ve seen people attacking CNN for not spinning the results that Mueller found that there was no collusion.  Those are the facts.  I’m sorry you don’t like them, and I’m sorry you didn’t expect them.  But that is because the media was lying to you for the past two years during the investigation.  Yes, lying.  They’d come on with breathless reports saying that there was  bombshell, and implying if not outright stating that the walls were closing in and we’d see proof of collusion against Trump any day now.  And it all turned out to be a lie.  Yet, these people I’ve seen are only willing to trust the very news organizations who have been lying to them.  Something is very wrong here.

This goes back to the desire that we have right now to only get news that conforms to our biases.  So if you are only getting your news from MSNBC or CNN, then you are getting only half the story at best.  I’ve been saying for over a year that people were going to be very upset when the special counsel came back and found no evidence of collusion.  And I was right.  If the rest of the stuff in that article is follow up on and people are arrested and jailed (as it looks like they should if this is right), then there will be more people shocked because they know nothing about this.  Why not?  Because they are going to news sources that are actively trying to cover this up and focus on things that make Trump look bad, whether they are true or not.

That isn’t healthy for any country.  Or for anyone period.

We have a serious problem with the news in our country right now.  If you aren’t outraged by how they are spinning the news and burying stories they don’t want you to hear, then either you agree with them, or you aren’t doing enough to stay informed on what is truly happening.  We need journalists.  Real journalists.  We don’t have them, however, at least on a national level.  Instead, we have spinners for the Democrats.  Defend them however you want, but I don’t think you can after what we have witnessed over the last two years.

Now here’s the thing.  I do believe that Russia tried to interfere with the 2016 election.  There is plenty of evidence that they were placing ads and using bots to stir up trouble.  They wanted us fighting with each other.  Exactly like we’ve done for the last two plus years.  So, we’ve given them what they wanted.  Heck, we probably gave them much more than they ever thought they’d get.  And the news media, who has been screaming the loudest about Russian influence, has been doing exactly what Russia wanted us to be doing.

Then there are the conspiracy theorists.  I know, I know, that’s rich after the article I linked earlier, right?  Some of the comments I’ve seen on Twitter have been eye rolling.  And they’ve been coming from journalists.  Yes, I want the entire report released, but the fact that is hasn’t been released yet isn’t a sign of a cover up.  It’s a sign that it has to be handled correctly – you know, legally.  There are things that have to be redacted for national security reasons.  And everyone knows that.  But they are conveniently forgetting that and using it to spin that the summary we got from the AG on Sunday is a lie.

This part of things is reminding me of the birthers.  Remember them?  Back during President Obama’s first term, there was all kind of talk about how he wasn’t really a natural born US citizen, so he wasn’t eligible to be President.  Proof?  He wouldn’t release his birth certificate.  And then, when he did release it in 2012, the talk didn’t die down.  It got worse, with people trying to prove it was fake.  Meanwhile, I was over here rolling my eyes thinking to myself, give it a rest people.

I’m doing the same thing now and people twist themselves into pretzels trying to figure out how they can still prove that Trump colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election.  This just plays into the charges that this has always been a witch hunt.

And yes, I used that term on purpose.  I’ve seen people saying that the Mueller investigation wasn’t a witch hunt because of the indictments that were handed down.  That’s all well and good, but let’s look at them.  Almost all of them were for Russians who did try to interfere in the 2016 election.  As I said, I believe it happened.  This doesn’t prove that Trump had anything to do with it, however, which was the entire argument we were hearing, however.

The ones that actually harmed American citizens?  None of them were related to the actual investigation.  Now, I’m someone who believes in pretty black and white right and wrong.  And people should be punished for breaking the law.  But being punished for crimes you committed over a decade ago?  That doesn’t mean the investigation was correct or there was anything to the charges.  Instead, it means that someone committed a crime a long time ago and almost got away with it.  And I think a good case can be made that some of the people who were arrested for lying were actually either entrapped or got a date or two wrong and misspoke.  Honestly, I feel sorry for them because they were trying to cooperate and yet are still being punished for it.

So yes, this was a witch hunt.  Still don’t think innocent people can get caught up in hysteria?  Let’s look at the original witch hunt, the Salem Witch Trials.  Do you think that any innocent people got arrested, tried, and executed during that sad chapter in history?  I’d bet all of them were innocent.  Want something closer to the present?  How about the McCarthy hearings.  Surely, innocent people got brought in and had their reputations ruined during that.  At least, that’s what I’ve always been told.

You don’t have to like President Trump.  There is much about him I don’t like.  But he is our President right now.  And the fact that he didn’t collude with Russia and isn’t a Russian agent should be good news that all Americans should be able to celebrate.  And the fact that the outcome isn’t want the media has been predicting for years should give you pause the next time they say anything – anything at all.

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