"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"...doesn't philosophy amount to the sum of all thinkable and unthinkable errors, ceaselessly repeated?"--Jean-Luc Marion

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Living in Interesting Times

And it would be worse if the news were reporting it just that way; but they aren't.

NPR in headlines this morning (no separate story) reported on the IG report, and only at the end included the "he said/she said" of competing interpretations (although one is a false interpretation, the other is simply the Democrats accepting the conclusions of the report.  Almost "Is the earth flat?  Opinions differ," so not exactly a triumph for sensible journalism.),  The New York Times portrays it as:  "Trump Lashes Out at F.B.I. Director Over Report on Russia Inquiry" which is hardly the same thing as "Opinions differ."  WaPo focusses on  the IG report:  "In opening an investigation of the Trump campaign, the FBI felt it had reached a ‘tipping point,’ IG finds." WaPo also doesn't exactly mince words about the report, or the pushback against it:
CNN is not hiding the ball, either:

“There has been this tremendous lying operation, even by the standards of the Trump administration,” [Jeffrey] Toobin said. “It did say that certain lower level FBI employees behaved improperly, and in a seriously bad way, but at the core accusation that the FBI targeted the Trump campaign, spied on the Trump campaign, is just a complete repudiation in this report. And, you know, to pretend otherwise is just a disgrace.”

CNN’s David Gregory expressed a similar sentiment about the dishonest way Trump and his allies have portrayed the FBI’s actions.

“It’s shocking the level of deceit that’s going on about what actually happened,” he said. “But there are people in this government who believe in institutional integrity and [FBI Director] Christopher Wray is one of them who is not going to allow the FBI to be battered despite mistakes they’ve made.”
And coverage of the Barr efforts to suppress or reject the report is not entirely of the "opinions differ" variety:
In fact there's a great deal more interest in Chris Wray, because news loves a conflict above all else:
If anything, there's more attention on what the Democrats are doing:
Which is to say:  Trump may be moving Sean Hannity's audience (but not that of Chris Wallace) and Grandma and Grandpa on Facebook, but I'm old enough to remember when everyone lamented that Trump controlled the media narrative with his tweets alone.  Granted there could be a bit more direct coverage like this:

But outside of the tweets about it, I haven't heard anything about Steve Scalise's response to the IG report.  And frankly, reporting on it would just raise it's visibility, which really isn't needed because, well, it is a lie.

And those lies are not getting much traction outside the fever swamps where they've always thrived.


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