Mainstream Media, 'Russiagate,' and Texas No-Limit Hold'Em

There is a well-known saying in the poker world: “If you’re in a game of poker and you don’t know who the sucker is --You’re the sucker.”

Now imagine “Russiagate” as one big game of Texas Hold’em.  The cards are dealt and you see you are holding a hand made up of 500 search warrants, 40 FBI agents, 2,800 subpoenas, 500 witnesses, 19 elite attorneys, and Robert Mueller. It’s a good hand -- it’s the “Nuts” as they say. Then you notice the folks at the table start pushing large amounts of blue chips into the middle of the table.

Veterans of high-stakes poker understand that while it’s great to be holding four aces, the real difference maker in the final outcome of the game is when your opponents either like their hand or some confident fool with lots of money believes by betting big they can bully and bluff their way to victory.  

The poker bullies in “Russiagate,” of course, are the folks in mainstream media.  They have lots of money and they are used to winning by intimidation. They are the “big stack” -- they know they can outlast their opponents, they have done it for decades. In a way, they believe they own the casino.

Sure, the house will lose a little bit from time to time -- but that serves a purpose. Mainstream media lets the “little people” win small amounts to perpetuate the false narrative that they are, indeed, objective journalists and that America is damn lucky to have people like Brian Stelter serving as dignified cornerstones of the 4th Estate.

And bluffing the American public about evidence of Trump colluding with the Russians is exactly what they did. In fact, an argument can be made that mainstream media was cheating, dealing from the bottom of the deck, by having politicians like Adam Schiff lie on television that clear evidence existed that Trump was compromised by the Russian government.

And now, with the Mueller Report completed and still without any evidence of Trump collusion, Jim Sciutto, Rachel Maddow and the entire staff of CNN just keep tossing chips into the middle of the table.

Make no mistake about what MSNBC, CNN, NBC, NYT, and the Washington Post have done and are still doing -- they have gone “all in” on Russiagate. They have bet their reputations -- their currency -- even though they know that after Attorney General Robert Barr’s letter to Congress President Trump is a very strong hand.  

It’s what suckers do at a poker table. As poker professional Layne Flack said: “Poker is like sex -- everyone thinks that they are the best at it but few actually know what they are doing.”

But mainstream media keeps betting, hoping to hit the inside straight -- a fool’s bet.

Now it’s Rep. Nadler’s turn to make the hand on the “River.”  AP writes:  

The panel (the House Judiciary Committee) will vote to authorize subpoenas related to a number of President Donald Trump’s former top advisers, including strategist Steve Bannon, Communications Director Hope Hicks, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, White House Counsel Donald McGahn and counsel Ann Donaldson. Donaldson served as McGahn’s chief of staff before both left the administration.

The sad, almost pathetic demand to see the “Whole Mueller Report” and issuing endless subpoenas that have real impact on real people are no longer attempts by mainstream media and their pliant cheerleader politicians to “prove” that Donald Trump colluded with Russia; they know the game is lost.

They are only interested in finding tiny threads of words that they can weave together to create a tapestry of mumbo-jumbo that justifies their foolishness. Rachel Maddow has been made to look like a fool and now she demands to see the full report so she can spin it, that’s all. The outcome will not change. What’s really bothering the arrogant media is not so much that Trump got away with treason or God knows what, what really eats them alive is that they have been made to look like suckers. They were outsmarted by the “deplorables.”

As we all know, mainstream media is no longer in the business of serving the public interest for obvious reasons -- they despise the “public.” After all, the public made Donald Trump the President of the United States and they watch Tucker Carlson on Fox News.

Mainstream media is in the business of serving themselves. They exist in a small echo chamber looking to hobnob in the right social circles in Washington, D.C. and New York City while living cowardly lives unable to tell jokes, having to whisper that Jussie Smollett may not be telling the truth, and believing that anybody who does not agree with them is a racist.

The great mystery is why the vast majority of the folks who make up the mainstream media think that’s okay.

Quite honestly, the nation would be better off listening to professional poker players talk about Russiagate on a cable TV show than watching the resting poker faces -- the suckers -- who make up mainstream media.

Stephen Ryan is the author of the Amazon bestselling political thriller The Madonna Files and is the founder of, a Catholic online news magazine with 35,000 followers on Facebook. You can follow Stephen on Twitter

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