The mere presence of accusations is now enough to condemn someone – a convenience for those making the accusations.
Washington is all abuzz with the latest tire-fire accusations against President Trump, leading to just the latest calls for impeachment. The Democrats in the House seems to be fully confident that the Ukrainian phone call(s) will become THE downfall of the President they have all dreamed since…well, since before Trump was even inaugurated.
What is second-most revealing about this push to impeach (behind the sheer desperation of it all) is how little attention is being paid to having proof of any wrong-doing first. This has become the hallmark of the press and the Democrats during the Trump era; accusations are enough to claim moral outrage. What we are seeing with regularity is that the accusatory storyline is all that is needed, and even when disproven, or at least unproven, those accusations remain on an individual’s stat sheet.
This was the method used, and still employed, against Brett Kavanaugh. When the New York Times attempted to “prove” an accuser came forward with a “credible accusation” that appeared in its new book on the confirmation debacle it led to all manner of hysteria in media circles. Many claimed this “new” accusation (it was not) from a new source (not the victim) called into question all the prior accusals (while lending no proof to those charges). Eventually the New York Times itself discredited its own claim in its book — with the revelation that this “new” victim had no memory of the supposed event, which appears in the very same book.
But the job was done. The accusation was added to the list, and it allowed all prior claims of Kavanaugh misbehavior to be churned up anew. That every single one of these charges failed to deliver anything substantive is immaterial to the press. They are still brought up, and they are still broadcast as newsworthy.
The latest involves the possibility of a Donald Trump coercion of the new Ukrainian President. There has been no proof that Trump leveraged aid for that nation in order to get oppo-research on a potential rival in Joe Biden. The charge arrived from an unnamed, unknown whistleblower who alleged what was spoken on a phone call between the leaders. The problem? Well, as CNN has grudgingly reported, the source of all of this bluster has no direct knowledge of what took place on the phone call in question. They were told something, by another source, outside the scope of their job.
The whistleblower didn’t have direct knowledge of the communications, an official briefed on the matter told CNN. Instead, the whistleblower’s concerns came in part from learning information that was not obtained during the course of their work, and those details have played a role in the administration’s determination that the complaint didn’t fit the reporting requirements under the intelligence whistleblower law, the official said.
So, this individual actually only heard a rumor. Which means they are not in fact a whistleblower — they are nothing more than a gossip. Seems an important detail that warranted being mentioned earlier in the piece, rather than buried close to the end of things. But this is enough for politicians to launch a Congressional investigation. The press meanwhile has all but convicted the President. There was a time when journalists would be presented with this type of breaking story and actually investigate the claims. Once the details were discovered the entire story would be laid out for the readership.
This is no longer the case. The suspicion alone is enough these days to deliver the implication of guilt. Consider this — whenever these new stories break have you not heard a variation on these phrases: “In yet another Trump scandal…”; “The latest controversy surrounding the President’s actions…”; “Impeachment talks have risen again, this time…”. Whenever these are used in the press they carry with them the implication of prior guilt. The seriousness of the charges is deemed vastly important, and somehow even when shown to be invalid the accusations remain a topic to be brought up.
This Ukrainian story has so far been shown to be meritless, but look at how the media is behaving. Brian Stelter brought formerly esteem journalist Carl Bernstein on his ironically-titled Reliable Sources program. There was the blatant attempt to have this latest unproven act of wrongdoing cemented as a legitimate scandal, and little surprise at the move by Bernstein to have this elevated to “Watergate levels” of outrage.
Amusingly Stelter himself provided all of the evidence to expose his own lack of anything approaching a journalistic skill set. To start, there was Brian blatantly ignoring his own network detailing how the whistleblower was in fact someone incapable of knowing what they alleged. (I guess Stelter does not analyze CNN???) Then he gave us a transcript of Carl Bernstein’s assessment, seemingly unaware of how it was filled with disqualifying prolix.
Bernstein: "I keep getting asked, are there echoes of Watergate in this? And there are, in the following ways" >> rough transcript here >> pic.twitter.com/QgsLqOSx9S
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) September 22, 2019
This is embarrassingly sad, and bordering on laughable when considering the exalted journalistic level Bernstein is placed upon. He tries making Trump out to be a grievous offender, but behold all of the qualifiers Carl is reduced to employing for his charge to resonate:
“Seems to be happening”
“These perhaps dirty tricks”
“If this is what happened”
“It seems to be”
These are not the terms used when you have a story. These are terms when used would have, in the past, had an editor handing your copy back and saying, “Nope, you don’t have it yet.” But here Bernstein intones the high level of dungeon he claims exists with a completely unproven scandal.
And so it continues — they just continue to maintain and catalog any and all negative accusations against targets, using the collective number as a form of indictment. Instead of building the case they point to a pile of raw material they cannot assemble, claiming it is so. Thinking and ethical people would dismiss the baseless charges. Our contemporary media have shown they are not made of such character.