Beware the gift of fake news and fake resignations
Much has been written about CNN's attempt at a Trump takedown with an email from a certain Michael Erickson to Donald Trump, Jr.
Just to refresh your memory, a breathless news bulletin was issued from the breathless CNN news bulletin team of Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb (I may be mistaken, but I think they used to perform together in the seventies as Peaches and Herb) about an email dated September 4, 2016 that offered a decryption key to the WikiLeaks treasure trove of hacked Democrat emails.
Moments after the embarrassing publication, the actual email was revealed showing the date as September 14 – one day after WikiLeaks had tweeted out the same decryption key, giving the world access to the hacked emails – and ten days later than the breathless Raju and Herb scoop claimed that it was offered to Donald Jr.
Do you get it? It was presented as a smoking gun because it appeared to show that the Trump campaign – Trump's son, especially, and by blood, Donald Trump, the candidate himself – had access to the stolen emails before anyone else. That was proffered as proof of the collusion that allowed Trump to steal the election from the hapless Hillary, thereby depriving poor Bill of perhaps his last chance for a dip in the intern pool.
When it all blew up, CNN didn't retract the story. It just updated it – while also refusing to punish Raju and Herb or out the two trusted sources who fed them the false story. Most conservatives assume they were two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee looking into Donald Trump, Jr's. emails.
This is where it gets complicated. Conservative pundits were up in arms, screaming "fake news," at the top of their lungs.
They didn't see the trap. In fact, it's brilliant, so I don't blame them. It could almost be something Trump would have thought of if he were on the other side and the target were not Trump himself (see the brilliance of his "Pocahontas" nickname for Elizabeth Warren).
In order to scream "fake news," conservatives appear to accept the premise that if the item were true and someone had sent Donald Trump, Jr. an email with a decryption key for the hacked emails, then that would be proof of collusion and therefore evidence for the impeachment of our president.
Just suppose that you are sitting on your front stoop, and someone you don't know drives by in a brand new beautiful S550 Mercedes Benz, your dream car. Suppose also that he double-parks right in front of your house and opens the window and asks you, "What do you think of my car?" Being polite and ignoring your mother's wise words never to talk to strangers, you reply, "I love it," and then you go inside, because even if your mother had never warned you, you know you shouldn't talk to strangers.
The next day, the police come by and arrest you because the car was stolen.
It's the same thing with the decryption email story. Even if the date on the email was September 4, 2016, what does that prove? Even if a person Donald Trump, Jr. apparently didn't know sent him a decryption key to get a first look at hacked emails, so what?
It would be a crime only if Trump Jr., or Trump, or someone in the Trump campaign, had conspired with the source to steal the emails.
Being offered the option to look at stolen property and probably even looking at that stolen property is not a crime.
The purveyors of fake news sacrificed their pawn to support the premise that any knowledge of the other campaign or any contact with Russia or with anything that might have hurt Hillary's dream to become the first billionaire president (after all, we still have 80% of our uranium to sell) prior to the election is a crime.
Any candidate for a job as important as president who doesn't make an effort to contact friends and enemies before the election is probably a fool or, worse, an idiot.
Yet now, if the Democrats produce anything dated before the election, it will be presented as a smoking gun of criminal behavior. Since we acted as if what they thought they had was proof to make the "fake news" label sting, we have fallen into their trap.
It's the same thing with dumping the priapic ex-president Bill Clinton. Likewise with Al Franken and his promise to resign soon. By doing so, Democrats hope to seize the high ground and use sexual harassment as a weapon against Trump.
Clinton and Franken are merely two more pawns Democrats can afford to sacrifice to usurp the will of the people in order to impeach a duly elected president.
Wise up, America. Nothing is as it seems.