Breitbart is often entertaining, on the order of the National Enquirer. It has its biases too. One thing it does well is gather hysterical statements from left-wingers. The anti-Trump hyperbole coming from these folks is astounding. It’s so far out that it’s laughable.
We can count on Rob Reiner for a laugh. After the Mueller indictment was released, he said: “It is now crystal clear that Russia had a profound impact on the 2016 election. They have attacked US, they are continuing to attack US. If Trump is unwilling to acknowledge this and unwilling to protect US, the word TREASON is now center stage.”
Russia is attacking the U.S.? A “profound impact”? Russia had nil impact on the election or its results. On the other hand, the DNC and its Steele dossier combined with the behind-the-scenes machinations of intel officials did have an impact, not on the election, but on anti-Trump sentiment, on mobilizing left-wingers into an anti-Trump movement, and on interfering with Trump and his agenda. Reiner’s “treason” accusation continues this impact, which hasn’t let up in vituperation since Trump won.
Trump’s Florida remarks were very sensible. He said “Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”
Let’s understand that this statement is both concrete and SYMBOLIC. Its symbolic to say that the FBI didn’t process the Florida tip because it was working on the empty box of Russian collusion. It’s not meant to be literal. The FBI failure in Florida is a symbol of misdirected efforts elsewhere in its organization. “Get back to the basics” is sound advice.
Nevertheless, CNN’s Brian Stelter, beside saying Trump sounded “troubled” and “unhinged”, thought that connecting the FBI general incompetence or the empty search for Russian collusion was “nonsensical”. He just could not grasp the use of symbolic language.
David Gergen takes the cake for his hyperbole. “David Gergen said the ‘chaos’ President Donald Trump was causing through his attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe and the media could be ‘the beginning of an authoritarian rule.’
We can grant Gergen the idea that a dictator might close down a free press in order to consolidate rule, but is that what Trump is doing? Far from it. He could never get away with it if he tried. A recent case of authoritarian rule in this country that had profound implications occurred when George W. Bush steamrolled the nation into the War on Terror and the Iraq War. The major legacy media went right along with him and Congress, to their everlasting discredit and shame. We do not need literal authoritarian press control to reach the same dreadful end, not when the press gobbles up government-planted stories written by infiltrators in its ranks who are loyal to government agencies. Trump, if he is doing anything beyond defending himself by attacking the press, is perhaps helping to break down the hold that major legacy media have in influencing public opinion. That’s anti-authoritarian.
Gergen actually wants a more authoritarian society. He pines for “our sense of being a single people that we have some sense of unity about our country.” He lauds bipartisanship: “…we have long traditions and norms, but we have to protect those, in a bipartisan way. We must come together…”
7:20 pm on February 18, 2018
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