Dear friends, you’re going to have to continue having that good grip on your mind and what goes in it.
In the last week, the frenzy of insane, vituperative falsehood from the mainstream media (quick, somebody, think of something else to call them) has crescendoed. I don’t know how long they can keep it up, but however long it is, that’s how long you’ll have to mentally discount it and put it in its place.
The story burst across the Washington Post’s site today that “Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister and ambassador.”
But, in short, Trump did no such thing. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who was at the meeting, says he didn’t. Since WaPo’s editorial position on McMaster has been that he’s a wonderful relief from the hideous nightmare of Michael Flynn, and that he’s a gratifying counterweight to, let’s be clear here, the unspeakable Steve Bannon, WaPo can hardly argue now that McMaster is non-credible on the issue.
Although it doesn’t even matter, because multiple officials have corroborated McMaster in asserting that Trump did not reveal highly classified information, the particulars of the story demonstrate that Trump did not reveal highly classified information. That confirmation is actually in the original WaPo story:
“The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation,” said H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, who participated in the meeting. “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”
McMaster reiterated his statement in a subsequent appearance at the White House on Monday and described the Washington Post story as “false,” but did not take any questions.
Jeff Dunetz points out that Rex Tillerson and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell have also said the WaPo story is false.
What WaPo did was find one of their usual sources – a “former senior U.S. official who is close to current administration officials,” but who wasn’t at the meeting – to spin what he claims was said in it, and give WaPo juicy soundbites on how lost and incompetent Trump is.
You’re welcome to read the claptrap if you want, at the WaPo link. It’s nothing but prejudicial characterization. Fill your mind with it, and you turn into a quivering mess of doubt and worry.
But after you read it, you don’t actually know anything. You’ve only heard someone whose identity you don’t even know spin his opinion of Trump at length.
Other lies were trumpeted today. I get a kick out of checking in at the Memeorandum aggregator each day, because it’s always a faithful representation of the big-lie factory’s suite of products.
Huh??? A senior member of the Trump team said that to the Israelis?
No. That’s not what happened. An official of the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem, which has been notoriously hostile to Israel for years, and deep in the tank for the Palestinian Authority, said something close to that. Haaretz reports the following from sources in the prime minister’s office (PMO):
A senior Israeli official who was involved in the incident, but asked to remain anonymous, said that when the PMO employees asked the Americans what help they needed [to prepare for Trump’s visit to the Western Wall], diplomats from the American consulate in Jerusalem, which is responsible for relations with the Palestinian Authority, told the U.S. delegation that it couldn’t discuss this issue with Israeli government officials.
The consular diplomats asserted that the Western Wall is part of the West Bank, implying that Israel has no sovereignty over the site.
American consular officials are not members of Trump’s administration team; they are career federal employees. The Trump administration promptly repudiated the comment, clarifying that the consular official(s) had spoken out of school, and misrepresented the administration’s position:
“These comments, if true, were not authorized by the White House. They do not reflect the U.S. position, and certainly not the President’s position,” a White House spokesman told Haaretz.
The lies just keep coming. A whole Politico piece is built around the premise that Trump is getting “fake news” from his staff, and it’s causing him to go ballistic. The big, shining example of “fake news”? A meme-thing that someone allegedly put on Trump’s desk showing a fake Time cover from the 1970s warning of a coming ice age. It was juxtaposed with a global-warming cover from 2008. (You’ve probably seen the meme.)
Politico laments that Trump’s staff had to intervene quickly to keep Trump from tweeting about it (although there is only an implication that he might have gone on to tweet; no actual assertion is made that there was a tweetus interruptus moment).
Since the 1970s Time cover was faked, you wouldn’t want Trump holding it up as evidence. But that’s because being duped by a fake magazine cover is bad for the noble project of endorsing reality; i.e., that the media have been treating science like an exotic carved totem for decades, overhyping political agendas in science’s name.
In any case, Trump wasn’t a victim of “fake news”; the meme with the falsified Time cover is a propaganda hoax, not fake news.
Which is exactly what the Politico post is: a propaganda hoax. It’s thoroughly impressionistic. It tells you a series of things that maybe seem plausible, but that you can’t verify for yourself. You can’t do anything about these things either. But you’re supposed to believe that because one undeniable hoax data point is included in the story – though you have no way of verifying that anyone really did put the fake Time cover on Trump’s desk – that throws into doubt everything Trump and his aides do and say.
(Hilariously, in its zeal to make the point, the Politico post even seems to imply that Obama himself had to have his information diet managed, to keep him from going off the rez. Apparently these presidents are a dim lot.)
The larger fact is that there’s no reason why Trump shouldn’t point out how the pendulum of “settled science” has swung over a 40-year period. There was “ice age” hysteria in the 1970s. (Jim Geraghty observes that Newsweek did have a lugubrious, influential global cooling article in 1975.) There was “global warming” hysteria in the 2000s. There is now a shapeshifting “climate change” hysteria in the 2010s. Trump could tweet about that and be accurate and on solid ground – but Politico’s implied point is that he’d be completely wrong, because someone showed him a meme with a faked magazine cover.
Read the whole piece if you like. It’s an extended fable, as far as we know. The headline Politico slaps on it – “How Trump gets his fake news” – is an effective lie, because no verifiable evidence is offered that Trump gets fake news at all. The whole thing is a tower of innuendo and ellipsis. At most, a truthful headline would read “Some people told us that other people try to slip stuff to Trump in the Oval Office.”
My guess is that your mind was already fortified against the “Trump gets fake news” theme. But it’s going to have to be fortified against everything you hear from the MSM about Trump (as, indeed, about everything else the MSM oppose).
Don’t forget that the big, insistent media themes you see at this time are lies. The MSM don’t even bother now to get the disprovable facts right. Here’s another look at the Memeorandum page from today, showing how the “Trump told Russians our secrets” theme has metastasized throughout the day, even after Tillerson, McMaster, and Powell affirmed categorically that the original WaPo story was false.
Make the connection in your mind. If you can’t trust the MSM on impressionistic mood-fables about Trump and fake news, and you can’t trust them on whether Trump told the Russians things he shouldn’t have, and you can’t trust them on simple yes-no stuff like who egregiously misrepresented U.S. policy to the Israelis – can you trust them on anything else?
When they tell you that Kellyanne Conway secretly hates Trump, and Trump is thinking about throwing Bannon and Priebus out (which was also reported over a month ago), and the White House is in chaos (take your pick; the MSM have LITERALLY said this every week since 20 January), and everything is just completely falling apart, like, everything in the whole entire world, and it’s all because Trump Trump Trump Trump TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP !!!! – remember everything else they have lied to you about. Ask yourself if it’s really likely that this stream of psychotic caterwauling is suddenly, for no apparent reason, the truth this time.
Don’t feel bad about concluding that it isn’t. Welcome to the club where the center does hold.