The Four Horsemen of the Media Apocalypse

Watching CNN yesterday evening was like seeing four men who just won a $100M lottery trying to pretend they were not excited.  Jake Tapper, Jim Scuitto, Carl Bernstein, and Evan Perez could hardly contain their glee at getting to report what they fervently hoped could and would be verified as true.  

They kept saying it had not yet been corroborated but they were clearly certain it would be.  They so badly wanted it to be true.  Watching with the sound off, anyone would have thought they were celebrating something electrifying, like man's first walk on the moon.  Then they mentioned BuzzFeed – hint-hint – so of course anyone who was interested in reading the actual dossier could go there and read it.  CNN did not have to discuss the ugly details contained within.  Tapper could spill the beans and pretend his own hands were clean.  BuzzFeed should be done and gone by tomorrow.

Since last evening, millions of words have been written and uttered by partisans on all sides.  The document is fake, authored possibly by one of several different players: Rick Wilson, a NeverTrump Republican or Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, now part of a private company in London.  Or it could be someone who has yet come to light.  Whoever did write it did shoddy, sloppy work.  It has been floating around D.C. for five months, and not one agency could verify a single fake fact.

John McCain is part of the story; "someone" gave it to him, and he, as a good citizen, passed it on to Director Comey at the FBI.  McCain, of all people, should have known better, but the people who loathe Trump are blinded by their distress that he actually won.

Carl Bernstein was positively exhilarated.  He was about to be part of the next Watergate scandal.  Maybe he would be on television every night for months.  Jim Scuitto could not suppress his smile.  Jake Tapper feebly attempted to hide his delight.  He could spread the story far and wide with his disclaimer that it had not been "proven" and know that he was the one getting it out there.  He was "breaking" the biggest news of the year.

It is impossible to have any respect for Tapper, Chuck Todd, George Stephanopoulos, and the lot of them.  They are the hacks, the real dispensers of fake news.  They revel in their power to do it.  They have always reveled in their power to control public knowledge and opinion.  But no more.  The explosion of internet news sites changed that many years ago but the mainstream media have remained in denial.  They mock those sites.  But Trump and Twitter have forced them to realize their irrelevance, and they are having a nationwide tantrum.

But who had the last laugh?  Trump, of course.  Will the media never learn?  He does not play by their rules of incivility; he plays by his own rules of incivility: when attacked, fight back harder.  Thanks to CNN and BuzzFeed, Trump won the day, and the media have egg on their faces.  Someone or more than one someone tried to use classic Soviet-style disinformation to destroy Trump.  They will no doubt try again and again, but each attempt is costing them the last of any remaining credibility they may have. 

Watching CNN yesterday evening was like seeing four men who just won a $100M lottery trying to pretend they were not excited.  Jake Tapper, Jim Scuitto, Carl Bernstein, and Evan Perez could hardly contain their glee at getting to report what they fervently hoped could and would be verified as true.  

They kept saying it had not yet been corroborated but they were clearly certain it would be.  They so badly wanted it to be true.  Watching with the sound off, anyone would have thought they were celebrating something electrifying, like man's first walk on the moon.  Then they mentioned BuzzFeed – hint-hint – so of course anyone who was interested in reading the actual dossier could go there and read it.  CNN did not have to discuss the ugly details contained within.  Tapper could spill the beans and pretend his own hands were clean.  BuzzFeed should be done and gone by tomorrow.

Since last evening, millions of words have been written and uttered by partisans on all sides.  The document is fake, authored possibly by one of several different players: Rick Wilson, a NeverTrump Republican or Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, now part of a private company in London.  Or it could be someone who has yet come to light.  Whoever did write it did shoddy, sloppy work.  It has been floating around D.C. for five months, and not one agency could verify a single fake fact.

John McCain is part of the story; "someone" gave it to him, and he, as a good citizen, passed it on to Director Comey at the FBI.  McCain, of all people, should have known better, but the people who loathe Trump are blinded by their distress that he actually won.

Carl Bernstein was positively exhilarated.  He was about to be part of the next Watergate scandal.  Maybe he would be on television every night for months.  Jim Scuitto could not suppress his smile.  Jake Tapper feebly attempted to hide his delight.  He could spread the story far and wide with his disclaimer that it had not been "proven" and know that he was the one getting it out there.  He was "breaking" the biggest news of the year.

It is impossible to have any respect for Tapper, Chuck Todd, George Stephanopoulos, and the lot of them.  They are the hacks, the real dispensers of fake news.  They revel in their power to do it.  They have always reveled in their power to control public knowledge and opinion.  But no more.  The explosion of internet news sites changed that many years ago but the mainstream media have remained in denial.  They mock those sites.  But Trump and Twitter have forced them to realize their irrelevance, and they are having a nationwide tantrum.

But who had the last laugh?  Trump, of course.  Will the media never learn?  He does not play by their rules of incivility; he plays by his own rules of incivility: when attacked, fight back harder.  Thanks to CNN and BuzzFeed, Trump won the day, and the media have egg on their faces.  Someone or more than one someone tried to use classic Soviet-style disinformation to destroy Trump.  They will no doubt try again and again, but each attempt is costing them the last of any remaining credibility they may have. 

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