We are just hours away from what is being billed as one of, if not the most important, election in our lifetime. There is no doubt that the stakes and the consequences are enormous. We will either face two years of hearings, subpoenas and investigations into the Trump White House led by Democrat congressmen like Adam Schiff and Maxine Waters, presumably leading to impeachment hearings. Or, on the other hand, the Democrats could be so demoralized by not winning either house of Congress that they will amp up their “resistance” and double down on their hatred and contempt for Trump and his supporters.
A big question that has largely faded from the news is one of collusion. Did the Trump administration criminally collude in a conspiracy with Russia to help win the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton? What will the Mueller investigation have to say about that, and when? And why aren’t Democrats making an issue of it in this election? In the meantime, however, there is collusion that is undeniable.
I wrote about Hillary’s financial ties to Russia more than two years ago. The record was clear back then. Since then we’ve learned much more about Hillary’s ties to Russia. Hillary and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) paid millions of dollars to Perkins Coie, an international law firm based in Seattle, Washington. Perkins Coie hired Fusion GPS, which in turn hired former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who obtained dirt – opposition research – and compiled a dossier supposedly representing compromising information that Russia had on Donald Trump. This was used to help obtain FISA warrants on Carter Page as a means of surveilling the Trump campaign and administration. This after Hillary was given a pass on being indicted for violations of the Espionage Act by then-FBI Director James Comey, where the fix was clearly in. Comey has referred to parts of the dossier as “salacious and unverified.” The FISA court was apparently not told about that.
When people refer to Trump’s lies, it is as if they believe that Hillary is a person of integrity, and would have made a better president. This exchange between Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and former FBI Director Jim Comey serves as an important reminder of Hillary’s true character, and some laws that she clearly broke.
The contrast in the coverage of these two stories – Clinton-DNC collusion with Russia versus Trump collusion with Russia – is the essence of fake news. The alleged collusion involving Trump is a conspiracy theory being pushed by the TV networks and the Democrats for nearly two years now, while the collusion involving Hillary and Obama is well documented but is treated as a phony distraction that exists only among Trump and his followers, and a few folks at Fox News.
The other collusion is between the Democrat Party and a corrupt establishment media. Together, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, among others, serve as an arm of the Democrat Party, burying stories that hurt the Democrats, and spending the vast majority of their coverage blasting Trump, conservatives and Republicans.
Fake news is also the constant editorializing against Trump, calling him a racist, a white nationalist, a traitor, and comparing him to Adolph Hitler. And there is an imbalance of news coverage when, for example, there are envelopes with suspicious white powder sent to the White House, the Pentagon and members of the Trump family “which contained the natural ingredients used to make the deadly poison ricin,” according to USA Today. Was the Navy veteran arrested for the crime, William Clyde Allen III, motivated by the hatred he hears from Don Lemon of CNN, or Chris Matthews of MSNBC, or Bernie Sanders? It doesn’t even come up. It is very hard to find any coverage of the act from when it originally occurred last month (October 3), or now. And where was the concern for the victims?
Compare that to how Donald Trump is inevitably blamed in days of virtual non-stop coverage for supposedly inspiring or inciting the acts, such as the recent murder of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh. Trump is also held responsible for supposedly setting the tone of incivility that might have set off a man like Cesar Sayoc Jr. to send out so-called pipe bombs to a number of people who have running feuds with Trump. Yet Hillary recently said that “civility can start again” only when Democrats win back the House or Senate.
The media fixated for days on the fact that Trump refused to accept any responsibility for the alleged bomber, while failing to address whether the media itself had any responsibility. It turns out that in a recent Morning Consult/Politico poll (page 5), 56 percent of those polled said that Donald Trump has done more to divide than unite the country since he became President, while 64 percent said that the national news media has done more to divide than unite the country. Shouldn’t they be taking some responsibility, or at least asking the question?
Fake news is really part of a larger, shall we say, fake media landscape. The news is just one part of it, albeit the most important part, since it has a responsibility to try to be objective and unbiased most of the time. CNN is part of the Time Warner family, along with HBO (all now owned by AT&T), which includes “Real Time with Bill Maher,” “Pod Save America,” “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” and now “Axios” the TV show. Showtime, long part of the Viacom family, is owned by CBS (you need a scorecard to keep track of all these mergers and acquisitions), with Stephen Colbert’s “Our Cartoon President” and John Heilemann’s “The Circus.” What all of these shows have in common is a purpose to destroy, denigrate and dehumanize Trump and his family, and all Republicans who don’t repudiate him. And by the way, they want you to go vote for Democrats. And that is just on premium cable.
The evening cable news shows feature panels stacked with Trump haters from the left, and never-Trumper Republicans who enable the networks to claim they are balanced. There is the occasional Trump supporter, but normally they are way outnumbered and usually interrupted.
Then come the prime time network shows. The revived “Murphy Brown” show brims with hatred toward Trump, and Candace Bergen admitted that she never would have brought the show back if it wasn’t for Trump. This scene gives an idea how these so-called sitcoms have become propaganda tools presented by the networks like CBS. Recall that CBS News president David Rhodes is the brother of former Obama deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, who admitted to creating the echo chamber to sell the phony Iran nuclear deal. And that barely scratches the surface of the incestuous relationships that exist between the networks and Democratic administrations, particularly the Obama administration.
On a recent episode of CBS’s “Madam Secretary,” the series about a decent, well-intentioned secretary of state that was supposed to have humanized Hillary and help get her elected president, it featured a scene with former secretaries of state Colin Powell, Madeleine Albright and the real Hillary Clinton in a transparent but slightly more subtle attack on Trump.
And this promo will tell you all you need to know about the point of this episode of “Law and Order: SVU:” Trump is tearing families apart at the border.
This bias extends to late night shows that used to be about comedy, celebrities and variety acts. Now it is about how the hosts have been driven to the verge of insanity and depression by Trump. The humor is gone, especially from Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers. They want to be taken seriously, when really they’re no different than Chris Matthews, Don Lemon, or Anderson Cooper. Just a slightly different format.
Despite this multi-billion dollar advantage of airtime given by the cable and broadcast networks meant to help Democrats, Republicans have won enough elections to currently control the House, the Senate, the White House and most state governments.
Conservatives have talk radio and Fox News, which really does present both sides of the news, while leaning to the right. That is the Republicans’ advantage. On Tuesday the world will change, or maybe not. But there is a lot of angst and anxiety awaiting the outcome. Will the folks at NBC and CNN and MSNBC be as glum as they were two years ago this week? Maybe somebody knows what’s coming. A lot of people think they know, but in reality, we’ll all find out together Tuesday night. Or maybe Wednesday morning.
The views expressed in CCNS member articles are not necessarily the views or positions of the entire CCNS. They are the views of the authors, who are members of the CCNS.