Newspapers won’t acknowledge that they are dying.Their bottom lines show it, but the execs at the top don’t look. After all, they have their golden parachutes.
They don’t have to go the way of the lemming. But they steam toward the cliff all the while. It’s not the internet that will bury them; it’s their own bias and love of manipulating news that will do it.
Take, for instance, today’s CA.Th It is studded with misinformation. That’s the polite expression. It’s more aptly just lies.
There’s this headline on a story from the AP: “Officials: Priebus asked FBI to dispute Russian claims.” No. False and debunked almost as soon as it came out yesterday.
Rush Limbaugh explained on his radio show:
Headline: “FBI refused White House Request to Knock Down Recent Trump-Russia Stories.” What does somebody who reads that headline think? What they think is that somebody in the Trump White House got so ticked off at all of these stories filled with lies about the Russians that they called the FBI, and they asked the FBI to tell the media to stop.
There’s a name involved in this story by the name of, a man by the name of Andrew McCabe. McCabe is the deputy director or senior deputy director or the third or fourth secretary or deputy whatever at the FBI. Does the name Andrew McCabe ring a bell to any of you? (interruption) Oh, come on! Let me take you back to October 24th, Sunday night. “[T]he Wall Street Journal reported,” on October 24th, a couple of weeks before the election, “McAuliffe’s political action committee…”
Terry McAuliffe, the governor of Virginia, “gave nearly $500,000 to the election campaign of Dr. Jill McCabe in her failed effort to win a seat in the Virginia state senate in 2015. Dr. McCabe was reportedly recruited by Gov. McAuliffe and other state Democratic Party officials to run for the seat. Her husband, Andrew McCabe, was serving as an associate director of the FBI during the state senate campaign. He was later promoted to deputy director of the FBI and assumed an oversight role in the Clinton email investigation.”
Well, that happens to be the guy who told Reince Priebus that the FBI knows that these stories in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are not right. What really happened here — and the CNN story even says it. It’s the headline that’s filled with lies: “FBI Refused White House Request to Knock Down Recent Trump-Russia Stories.” What’s anybody to think reading that? Okay, here are the first ‘graphs of the CNN story: “The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump’s associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple U.S. officials briefed on the matter tell CNN.
“But a White House official said late Thursday that the request was only made after the FBI indicated to the White House it did not believe the reporting to be accurate.” The CNN story never says that the Trump administration lied! The CNN story doesn’t allege anything other than the opposite of what happened. Let me construct for you a hypothetical. Let’s use Reince Priebus, because he’s a central figure in this story. Let’s say you’re Reince Priebus and you’re in the White House. Your either West Wing office or you’re somewhere.
Andrew McCabe, the deputy director of the FBI, comes up to you and says that they know that the reporting in these New York Times stories on Trump and Russia isn’t accurate. Okay, so you’re Priebus. You haven’t done anything yet. You’re minding your own business. The FBI, McCabe, comes over and tells you this — and this story says that this is what happened. They write it later on in such a confusing way that even though they report factually what happened, it’s under a very misleading headline, and then you get deeper into the story and they purposely confuse it so that you’re not sure after you read the story who initiated contact.
But if you know how to read these things, as I do — because I’m a professional, highly trained in these matters — all of this was the equivalent of Priebus minding his own business, not bothering anybody. And somebody in the FBI came along and said, “Hey, Reince we know the stuff in these stories isn’t accurate.” Now if you’re Priebus, what do you with this? You’re minding your own business. You haven’t called the FBI! This headline is not correct. Well, it might be correct. “FBI Refused White House Request…” See, but that headline doesn’t give the timeline or the actual genesis of this story at all.
So you’re Priebus, and you know that this is the story that’s propelling every other lie about Donald Trump and his presidency since the day after the election. Well, even during the campaign they tried to sell this. So here comes the number two guy at the FBI and he tells you that they know. Te FBI is sourced in these stories, by the way. FBI is part of the intel community. FBI is the credible sources, nameless sources. The FBI comes up and tells you that they know what’s in the New York Times story about Trump and Russia are not true. What do you do if you’re Priebus?
Do you say, “You know, it would be great if you guys would tell the New York Times this,” or do you say, “Gee, why are you telling me this? I can’t quote you! This kind of thing is off the record. I can’t go out there and say that you’re telling me this”? So Priebus’s hands are tied. There’s not much he can do with this, and if he asks McCabe to go to the media and tell the media that the FBI knows what they’re reporting is BS, well, then all McCabe has to do is tell the media. “You know Priebus is asking me to talk about this.”
Then you get a headline: “FBI Refused White House Request to Knock Down…” The way this happened, it was initiated by McCabe and the CNN story makes that clear. “A White House official said late Thursday,” last night, “that the request was only made,” meaning the request to the FBI to tell the media to fix it. That request “was only made after the FBI indicated to the White House,” i.e., told the White House “it didn’t believe the reporting to be accurate.” So I’m thinking, “Is there a setup here? Why would McCabe even tell Priebus this?”
It could be any number of… Folks, the possibilities here are limitless. Maybe Comey is getting tired. Maybe McCabe wants to run the place. Maybe McCabe is trying to get close to Priebus. Who knows? If I wanted to speculate on it, I could spend the rest of the hour coming up with credible-sounding reasons for this to happen. “The direct communications between the White House and the FBI were unusual,” CNN reported, “because of decade-old restrictions on such contacts. Such a request from the White House is a violation of procedures that limit communications with the FBI…”
Well, the FBI originated this — and, by the way, the AP backs this up. “White House chief of staff Reince Priebus asked a top FBI official to dispute media reports that President Donald Trump’s campaign advisers were frequently in touch with Russian intelligence agents…. The official said that Priebus’ request came after the FBI told the White House it believed a New York Times report last week describing those contacts was not accurate.” So AP and even CNN, both say that all of this was started by the FBI.
And it ends up in a headline, “FBI Refused White House Request to Knock Down…” as though the stories are true and the White House wanted the FBI to lie. Not so! CNN doesn’t even say Priebus lied. They don’t allege anything. They’re just playing a game here with the timeline in their headline, and trying to make like we’ve got a bunch of authoritarian Russian associates bending on the FBI, leaning on the FBI, to hammer the media. This is… Folks, this is a classic demonstration of collusion, because CNN knows exactly what happened here.
They know the FBI initiated this, and that doesn’t matter. All that matters to them is what reportedly Priebus did. Put yourself in Priebus’s place or anybody else and FBI comes and says, “Hey, we know what you’re saying about you isn’t true.” It’s the FBI saying this! It’s not some aide. It’s not some junior associate. It’s the FBI, the deputy director coming in and telling you that they know what’s in the New York Times story is BS. What do you do?
This is why Donald Trump refers to CNN as “fake news.” Okay. Now, two questions here. First question is: FBI tells Priebus, “Hey — wink, wink — we know that the reporting in the New York Times story about you guys and the Russians is not accurate.” How does that conversation get to CNN? Who told CNN that this even happened? Did McCabe call CNN and tell them? Did Priebus call CNN? Well, we can rule Priebus out. Who might have overheard this? We have no idea. But how does CNN learn about this?
McCabe knocks on the door, comes into Priebus’s office or wherever it happened. I don’t know if they were in the Oval Office. I have no idea. But McCabe says to Priebus whatever he says.; CNN reports it. How does CNN know? In other words, who is leaking? How does CNN find out about it? The second thing is, why isn’t the headline of this story: “FBI Backs White House, Says New York Times Stories About Trump-Russia Contacts Is Not Accurate”? Why isn’t that the headline? Because that’s the story!
The story is that the FBI told Priebus (paraphrased), “We know that these New York Times stories — and the Journal, too — about your dealing with Russia is not accurate.” That event produces a headline at CNN: “FBI Refused White House Request to Knock Down Recent Trump-Russia Stories.” How do you get there? Well, you get there because apparently Priebus responded somehow. I don’t know if he asked McCabe, “Well, can you tell the media that? Why are you telling me! Can you tell the media?” Or, “Can I share what you’ve just shared with me?”
Who knows, folks? This is above my pay grade in terms of the dynamic. But the thrust of the story, the real news in this story is that the FBI knows the story is flat-out BS. That’s the story, and CNN knows that’s the story. Yet not if you read CNN or watch it, and they spend hours with panels discussing how the Trump administration’s flouting the rule of law and trying to co-opt and politicize the FBI. This is why people say the media is in bed with the opposition to Republicans. There’s no question about it!
There’s a lot they don’t tell you. That’s another form of fake news.
Then there’s this headling: “Affordable Care Act’s popularity at its highest point in 7 years.”
Really? Do I believe your polls, which were inaccurate throughout the campaign or do I believe the voters who turned out to protest it in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016? They gave Republicans power so as it root out and destroy this monstrosity. Ask the people in Arizona and New Mexico who saw their premiums skyrocket 50, 80 and 100%.
Then there’s this one: “Trump blasts anonymous sources – after his team demands anonymity.” The story has very little about the administration’s speaking anonymously. It just zeros in on his truthfulness that reporters should not go with unsourced stories. There isn’t any substantive backing up of their claim, but it makes a good headline.
And they wonder why people don’t buy their rags. Unbelievable!