This must be the latest talking point put out by the DNC because every writer in the mainstream media has hopped on this train in the last week. On Sunday, I posted about an op-ed written by Politico reporter Jack Shafer, who challenged readers to show him one shred of evidence of misconduct by the Obama Administration or “I’m going back to bed.” I provided 3,500 words of evidence and afterward realized how much I’d left out.
“Until the president comes up with actual evidence for his allegations, we’re under no obligation to pay attention,” Shafer asserted. Trump “has forfeited the automatic right to our investigative attention.”
There’s no point in unpacking this theory here because it’s bulls**t and everyone knows it. (If you need an explainer, my Vox colleague Jen Kirby has you covered.) But for the sake of a reference point, here’s the simplest version possible: “Deep state” holdovers from the Obama administration allegedly spearheaded the prosecution of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn as part of a broader scheme to undermine the Trump presidency.”
I really don’t want to offer any more details because, again, this is a bulls**t story…
Barack Obama’s 21st-century intelligence hierarchs and their minions systematically outdid Richard Nixon’s plumbers, spooks, and spies. Obama appointees and loyalists surveilled American citizens, doctored or destroyed evidence, and monitored their communications. They deceived FISA courts to justify such illegal surveillance, set perjury ambushes to snare perceived political opponents, and used informants to spy on political enemies. They leaked classified information to damage opponents, paid foreign nationals during a political campaign to gather dirt on a presidential candidate, and repeatedly either flat out lied under oath to Congress or on hundreds of occasions claimed they “could not remember” when asked factual questions.
What was the alleged justification to justify such extralegal extremism?
The Steele dossier?
Knowing how close we are to Election Day, the left is doing their best to mislead voters.
This is gaslighting, a technique that has been used by dictators and tyrants (and Democrats) throughout history as a means of gaining and maintaining power.
Illing’s version of the Russian Collusion conspiracy is the equivalent of describing WWII as Adolph Hitler’s alleged attempt to dominate the world and create a master race.
At one point in his piece, Illing writes, “The Flynn case is a nothingburger.” I have no words. In fact, the Flynn case is a significant part of the conspiracy. Recent developments in the case have not only dominated the news cycle, but have engaged the nation.
Obviously, after the shocking revelations of the last few weeks, during which incontrovertible evidence was produced showing top FBI officials discussing plans to set up Gen. Flynn in a perjury trap, Democrats are feeling the heat. There’s also the knowledge that John Durham’s criminal investigation has added new FBI agents, additional prosecutors, and two more U.S. attorneys.
The most amazing thing about this is that once again, they are accusing President Trump and his supporters of what they’ve been doing.
Here are several excerpts from Illing’s dishonest attempt to manipulate his readers:
Watching the media pounce on this story like greyhounds chasing mechanical rabbits has been painful, but also deeply familiar. It’s a pattern we’ve seen unfold countless times. The president unleashes a tweetstorm, millions of people retweet it, right-wing media boosts the signal, and then mainstream media outlets cover it, often breathlessly…
So now we find ourselves engaged in an endless game of whack-a-mole, debunking and explaining one false claim after another. And false claims, if they’re repeated enough, become more plausible the more often they’re shared, something psychologists have called the “illusory truth” effect…
The media, then, is caught in a loop. Trump — or one of his supporters — says something we all know is absurd and false. The rest of the right-wing media and members of the GOP establishment add to the cacophony. And then we dignify the absurdity with coverage that treats it as worthy of rebuke. And in the process, we amplify the false narrative we’re debunking and flood the zone with more and more shit. That leaves people confused and exhausted, unable to discern fact from fiction and inclined to disengage altogether or, even worse, retreat further into partisan bubbles…
We still haven’t fully reckoned with the 2016 election and the incessant coverage of Hillary Clinton’s emails. That was another bulls**t story elevated by journalists who felt it was their duty to “objectively” report it. That impulse for fairness and proportionality might have tipped the election — in any case, it was hugely consequential. And the whole saga demonstrates how even the attempt to disprove a false or exaggerated claim can contribute to zone-flooding…
Obamagate is another example of this systemic failure. Here we have — and I can’t say this enough — a complete non-scandal. There’s no “there” there. It’s pure misinformation. But we’re still talking about it. And I’m writing this piece about it. This is a massive problem…
But we should see Obamagate for what it is: Trump’s reelection strategy for November and the latest test of our hackable media system.
Does Illing realize he has just described precisely the strategy the left has followed for nearly four years?
I often wonder if they actually believe the rubbish they spew. I think they do because, as Illing writes above, due to the “illusory truth” effect, when something is repeated often enough, people start to believe it.
The truth is that Democrats, aided by a complicit media, including deceitful reporters like Illing and Shafer, sought to nullify the results of the 2016 presidential election. As they typically do, the left is acting in unison as they desperately try to spin this story.
Normally, this game plan works for them. This time, however, there’s too much evidence out there. Additionally, none of their charges stuck. The Mueller investigation, along with a Senate and a House probe, failed to prove that Trump had colluded with the Russians. A partisan impeachment based on bogus accusations ended with the President’s acquittal. And all of the lesser allegations along the way have fizzled as well.
After four years, the story of the biggest scandal in U.S. political history has become too big for them to hide. And at such a critical time, too.
Illing may realize the jig is up. He ends his piece by telling readers, “if the past few days are any indication, we’re screwed.”
I certainly hope so.