Dan Rather’s Pearl Harbor

Dan Rather took some time out of his forced retirement to chat with Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show last Friday, and the subject–as it almost always does–turned to Donald J. Trump, and the  unusual election of 2016 that sent him to the White House.  Rather expressed concern over how allegations of Russian interference in the election have imperiled Trump’s presidency, and put the entire country in danger by undermining the public’s confidence in the electoral process:

RATHER:  I would say the Trump presidency is in peril, and because it’s in peril, we are in some danger ourselves, because there’s a lot that needs to be done in the country. But you know, there’s so much talk about Trump and Comey, and who’s telling the truth, and who isn’t telling the truth, I think it’s really important for Americans to understand, the big question: How this all started and how it, the direction where it should go, is what did the Russians do?

MADDOW: Yeah.

RATHER: Because, here you have a situation, the Russians pulled off what I call a psychological Pearl Harbor. A surprise attack that was devastating to the confidence of our whole situation of elections, and therefore our whole system of government. It’s one of the great psychological warfare victories in the history of —

MADDOW: And it’s interesting because you can look at history, recent history, and see them do the same thing to small countries, and other countries in their geographic and ideological orbit, you know, former Soviet states, and small countries on their borders, so we can see them doing it. But it was a shock and a surprise to us because we thought hey, we think of ourselves as a country that’s protected by our oceans, but also we think of ourselves as the great power in the world, the sole surviving superpower in the world, someone who would never be susceptible to the kind of tactics that work against these smaller countries Russia’s been influencing –

RATHER: And I believe, if it was tried, it wouldn’t work against us, in our hubris, if you want to use that word, we were too confident, we were overconfident. ‘Listen, if the Russians ever tried that here, it would never work in America.’ Well, it worked to a devastating, if not catastrophic effect, and I call it a psychological Pearl Harbor.

It was a catastrophe, all right–but to Rather, Maddow and the rest of their media brethren, it had less to do with the Russkies and more to do with their chosen candidate, Hillary Clinton, blowing an election that was supposed to be hers to lose.  That’s because the media thought they had handed it to her on a silver platter.  Donald Trump was the Republican she most wanted to face in the general election, as she thought he’d be the easiest to defeat–and so the media gave him a billion dollars worth of free publicity, hoping against all hope that he would get the nomination.  That Trump was also great for ratings was just a sweet bonus.

But then a funny thing happened.  The country didn’t play along with the media’s game and elected Trump anyway.  Talk about a psychological Pearl Harbor!

Dan Rather’s disingenuousness goes even deeper than that, however.  This is the same man, after all, who attempted to sway the 2004 election to John Kerry when he used fabricated memos to back up a phony story about George W. Bush going AWOL from his service in the Texas Air National Guard.  For him to be going on about how the Russians undermined the sanctity of our elections by spreading fake news is a real knee slapper.  Or perhaps he just thinks that’s the American media’s job.  Sucks to be outsourced, doesn’t it, Dan?

As for Rachel Maddow, she’s also not taking her share of the responsibility when it comes to making this great and powerful nation more susceptible to the kind of tactics she and rather dished about in between thoughtful nods and furrowed brows.  Did it ever occur to her that maybe the Russians didn’t even really care about who won the election, so long as they achieved their objective of a weakened president?  Let’s assume for a moment that all the conspiracy theories are right, and that Pooty-Poot Putin really did phish John Podesta’s emails and then handed them over to Wikileaks to damage Hillary Clinton.  Based on all projections, Putin still would have had no reason to believe that Trump would pull out a win–so it’s far more likely that he would have simply been trying to diminish Clinton’s ability to govern.

Also, if Maddow and Rather are so concerned about the dangers of undermining faith in the electoral system, why are they relentlessly hyping that the Russians tried to help Donald Trump–a story for which there is literally no evidence?  They’ve already got half of the Democrat electorate thinking that Putin literally compromised voting machines to alter voting tallies, an outrageous falsehood that the media have been perpetuating through innuendo by saying that the Russians “hacked the election.”  There’s a big difference between spreading propaganda in an attempt to influence the vote–which is something that the Russians certainly do–and actual hacking.  And yet the media deliberately blur the distinction between the two, all because they want to weaken the Trump presidency.

So doesn’t that mean the media are, in effect, helping Putin?

Rather might want to give the matter some thought before he opens his yap again.

Rachel Maddow Bombshell: Karen Handel Likes Tacos And Margaritas!

It’s always refreshing to see the mainsteam media doing their jobs and covering the important issues of the day. This time we have MSNBC to thank for this breaking bombshell: Karen Handel’s campaign filmed B-roll footage when they created her commercials!

Yes, the Handel camp engaged in typical practice for a political campaign and filmed her smiling and carrying on conversations, which a PAC or other organization will presumably use. But in this case there’s a catch: they neglected to erase the audio, so we get to hear the small talk in all its awkward glory.

Enter Rachel Maddow. The MSNBC host has gotten her hands on the Handel B-roll and is treating it like it’s going to wreck the very foundations of the republic. Maddow likens the footage to a Bad Lip Reading video that’s all too real:

Some other hack at MSNBC – complete with ironic hipster mustache – posted a link on Twitter, and he, like Maddow, treats it like the smoking gun to a major scandal.

Look, here the thing: the Karen Handel video is funny – and, yes, it’s awkward as all get out. But there’s nothing in the footage that could even come close to ruining her campaign, just some innocuous small talk. (But I do feel sorry that she had to listen to that guy tell his tale of having his nose hair waxed.)

So my suggestion to Rachel Maddow is – fall off the smile. Your boy Jon Ossoff is going to have to defeat Karen Handel fair and square.

Trump 2005 Tax Leak: Journalist Speculates Trump Was The Source

The AP and Boston Globe are reporting that the White House has confirmed Rachel Maddow has a genuine copy of President Trump’s 2005 tax return. And to make it more interesting, the journalist who received the anonymously mailed pages mused that Trump himself could be the source.

Maddow’s big “scoop” is a few pages from over 10 years ago. Big stinking deal, except that the poorly-rated MSNBC host got a 30-minute boost by teasing the documents.

The White House responded in typical fashion (was that written by Trump himself?). “You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago,” the statement read. It continued, “it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns.”

But it was really investigative journalist David Cay Johnston who got the scoop.

On Maddow’s show, Johnston speculated that Trump himself might have leaked his own tax return.

Johnston, a 2001 Pulitzer-winning veteran investigative reporter specializing in tax and finance issues, said he didn’t know where the pages had come from. He said it was possible that Trump himself had sent the documents, saying the president has a history of leaking materials to journalists.

“Donald creates his own reality. … He doesn’t live in the world that you and I live in, a world of verified facts,” Johnston said on the show.

I wouldn’t put it past Trump to leak his own tax returns from a decade ago. But this whole thing is a nothingburger with cheese. It’s a distraction, which makes it even more likely it came from Trump. But on the other hand, it makes no sense at all.

Just another stop on the mysterious mystery tour of Trump nonsense. As long as Obamacare is repealed and the administrative state is dismantled, MSNBC can have all the scoops they want.

Trump Speaks, MSNBC Trashes. . .the Democrat Response?

You can always tell whether or not Donald Trump is effective by observing the media reaction to whatever it is he did.  When Trump lays an egg, pundits will immediately assume that smug, I-told-you-so demeanor as they discuss how the president has a thin skin, spends too much time on Twitter, and doesn’t know how to govern.  On the other hand, when Trump hits a home run–well, let’s just say that having their cognitive dissonance smashed and their confirmation bias turned inside-out can turn the media into a cornered beast, and that makes for some mighty fine television.

Take MSNBC, for example.  During a panel last night after Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress, Rachel Maddow and Eric Schmidt had some pretty harsh words to say–but not about who you might expect:

“The Democratic Party is at its lowest point of power in this country since the 1920s, and the response was made by a 72-year-old retired two-term governor of Kentucky, not by Kamala Harris, not by Kirsten Gillibrand, not by the Castro brothers, not by anyone who has a future in the actual Democratic Party,” said Schmidt, an MSNBC political analyst.

 

“Just amazing ineptitude for a party out of power like the Democrats are,” he continued. “On the personal note, I do wish the hostages behind him well.”

Rowr, MSNBC!  And they weren’t the only ones.  It didn’t take too long after the speech to find stuff like this in my Twitter timeline:

To which even Kirsten Powers responded:

 

https://twitter.com/KirstenPowers/status/836797046275342339

So, basically, the Democrat Party is old, white and dead.  And this is coming from liberals!  I take back what I said about a home run.  With this much wailing, Trump must’ve hit a grand slam.

As to the response itself, I’d personally be more inclined to cut poor Steve Beshear some slack.  He was just the delivery man, and quite frankly he didn’t know what to expect.  If Trump had come off as arrogant and blustery, perhaps the message Beshear tried to convey wouldn’t have landed with such a resounding thud.  As it was, he was given a thankless task:  trying to convince working class white voters that the Democrats kinda-sorta still care about them–a ham-handed attempt made painfully obvious because, as Jamal Simmons observed, there were no black and brown faces there.

And that’s where the Democrats had their big fail.  They’ve spent so long staring at politics through a racial lens that they’ve forgotten how to connect with those same white working class voters on a human level.  Until they get that figured out, any attempt to make inroads with them will seem forced and artificial.

Which means we’ll probably be seeing a lot more panels like the one on MSNBC last night.