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The anti-Watergate

Did you ever watch All The President’s Men? It was a true story about two heroic journalists doggedly tracking down and bringing to light a scandal at the heart of American politics. “The list is longer than anyone can imagine. It involves the entire US intelligence community. FBI, CIA, Justice. It’s incredible.”

There won’t be a sequel any time soon.

Gerard Baker, the sole Times regular who is not rooting for Biden, writes,

Anti-Trump censorship threatens democracy

For all the media hysteria about the existential menace Donald Trump supposedly represents to American democracy and western liberalism, there’s a softer but more pervasive authoritarianism that poses a greater threat to the freedoms on which our way of life rests.

Suggestions that four years of Trumpian oppression have left America’s journalists and news organisations cowering in fearful submission to the iron fist of a repressive regime would be hilarious if they weren’t so widely believed.

There can’t have been a better funded, more vocal, less suppressed “Resistance” in all of human history. Flick through the TV channels any evening and watch “pundits” and “entertainers” loudly mouthing uniformly expressed complaints about the condition of the nation. Media companies that were dying a quiet, unmourned death from sheer tedium and obsolescence before Bad Orange Man came along have sprung back to life on a saline drip of Trump-hatred. Online, search and social companies play host to every conceivable form of critique, ridicule and denunciation of the president, his administration, his party and anyone associated with them.

And good luck to them all. If liberty means anything, to paraphrase the man, it means the right to tell me things I don’t want to hear. But that’s the problem. It’s not Trump-loathing that the people with the best access to the public square don’t want us to hear. It’s everything else.

The much larger threat to the sort of free and challenging debate about issues of public importance is socially enforced ideological conformity to the prevailing orthodoxy of our cultural leadership.

and

Typically, such a story from one of the nation’s most well-known newspapers would have birthed a frenzy of follow-up reporting to confirm, expand or clarify the original reporting. Not in today’s media.

Instead what we got was a fullbore effort by virtually every major media and company in America to discredit the reporting. Journalists dashed to social media and TV studios to defend the Bidens and condemn fellow reporters. Beating up on another news organisation is not unheard of. But this was more than that. The story was not just sloppy or biased, they claimed, it was the result of a campaign of Russian disinformation, planted by the Kremlin’s ubiquitous intelligence people.

19 comments to The anti-Watergate

  • bobby b

    I don’t normally watch the presidential “debates” live, but I might watch this one two hours from now, mostly because of this new topic. Promise of fireworks, of mutings, of early departures. Hoping that Trump brings it, but in control.

    And then looking forward to watching the press attempt to spin what they couldn’t suppress.

    Giuliani undoubtedly has more fun stuff in reserve, to be released once the press throws out more lies. The Trumpian trick of waiting for them to hang themselves before dropping the next shoe is fun!

  • George Atkisson

    The farthest Left in the US has been talking a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” after Biden becomes President. Former President Trump and all high visibility members of his administration will be imprisoned. All lower level supporters and those who voted for him will be spared prosecution upon publicly confessing their crimes. For the record, of course. And barred from future employment at the state and federal level, probably any woke private employment also.

    Heaven forbid such a commission be be empowered if Trump is re-elected to go after the Biden family, the Deep State, the Media, the entertainment industry, Silicon Valley, Academia, etc. That would just be wrong and properly denounced by all the best people.

  • Flubber

    The farthest Left in the US has been talking a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” after Biden becomes President.

    Ah yes Robert Reich. A former US Cabinet Secretary. Not exactly The farthest Left.

    If anything highlights the US’s lefts descent into fucking madness, it is supposedly serious people like Robert Reich polishing their 9mm and dreaming of gulags like soviet Bolsheviks, presumably with a death toll to match.

  • James Strong

    I went to the betting shop yesterday, I don’t know whether or not they’ll be open under Drakeford’s new oppression, to put a bet on President Trump winning.

    I recently saw a clip of the talking head Cuomo of CNN making all sorts of derogatory comments about the President but with no quotations from any of his speeches and no analysis of any of his policies or achievements.

    Just in one area: how many Nobel Peace Prizes would Saint Obama (back of the queue) [h/t Jonathan Frisby] now have if he’d been in office when the UAE moved towards normalising relations with Israel.

    A free press is essential but really we must treat them with scepticism.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Once you notice that, in the US, being a member of “the Resistance” means agreeing with the Establishment, you’ll understand that a large fraction of the US population has become delusionally insane.

    (As you might know, i blame it on the American diet, especially the vegan-American diet. But you do not have to agree with me on the subject of dietary effects on mental health to come to terms with this insanity: all what you need is not to be insane yourself.)

    Once you have come to terms with this insanity, you will not be surprised by anything anymore.

    I still think that the insane fraction is not large enough to carry Biden over the line, but i would not be surprised if it is.

  • staghounds

    Once he leaves office, President Trump will be the Press’ and Democrats’ Tsar/ Trotsky / Farmer Jones.

    Everyone who disagrees with our Masters will be accused of having been a Trump supporter, agreeing with Trump, or wanting Trump back.

  • Lee Moore

    If liberty means anything, to paraphrase the man, it means the right to tell me things I don’t want to hear.

    Not quite sure I follow this one. Why should my liberty not include not being required to listen to what you want to tell me ? You should be free to speak or not as you please. I should be free to listen, or not, as I please.

    Certainly there will be questions as to how my liberty not to listen should be reconciled with your liberty to speak, in different contexts, eg public space / private space, volume etc; but there’s certainly no liberty to force other people to listen to you. By definition.

  • Paul Marks

    I am torn between despair – and some desperate hope.

    Evil appears to control everything – from the media to the FBI.

    But something in me refuses, even in the face of this, to give up.

    Most likely I will feel a total fool when Biden, the puppet of the international totalitarians, wins – and wish I had not lived to see it.

    But that nagging hope remains.

    Hope is torment – it really is.

  • Fraser Orr

    Perhaps I am a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist, but I think a big part of this is being missed. The problem of this is not the story but the timing of the story. The press can hold this back only so long, but really they only need it to be held back till Nov 3., less because it has diminishing returns as pre-voting is going on.

    But then on Nov 3rd, this is a good story for the Democrat establishment. They never wanted Biden in the first place, they always wanted Kamala Harris, even though their own electorate didn’t want her. So the press goes full on with this story Nov. 4th after Biden wins (which is far from a certainty, but play a long) then they have a few months of the scandal, force Biden to resign, and they get their gal in the big seat. Even if he “resigns” in November during the lame duck they are still good because the voting Nov 3rd is for electors who are mostly free to vote in the HoR for whomever they wish within limits, and can certainly transfer their vote to Harris if Biden is gone.

    So this plays well for the smoke filled rooms assuming they can prevent it from causing Biden to lose the election.

  • Snorri Godhi

    Fraser: your ‘conspiracy theory’ is not far-fetched, except that i’d think that the media would have a modicum of decorum (pardon my Latin) and hold on at least until December, possibly later than February, before ganging up on Biden.
    But that is a minor detail.

    The main issue:
    Your theory is based on the assumption that the media relies on the assumption that (most) American voters are insane.
    If media people are wrong in the latter assumption, then you have to admit that they are themselves insane.

  • bobby b

    “The problem of this is not the story but the timing of the story. The press can hold this back only so long, but really they only need it to be held back till Nov 3., less because it has diminishing returns as pre-voting is going on.”

    I think the story is out. I suspect that the timing of the story was very purposeful and well thought out. There’s not enough time left to do a well-researched knock-down of it, but the allegations will be peaking in the week before Nov 3.

    The media may be in the tank for the Dems, but I doubt they’d self-immolate for them, and that’s what it would be if they kept a lockdown until the day after the election and then it became (more) widely known. I think they rightfully fear what kind of backlash that would generate. Once the story is out there to a certain extent, I think they have to go with it. Heck, the WSJ is on it big, and that’s no small-time right-wing blog.

  • Alex

    Paul Marks if this election and the present state of the world distresses you so much may I suggest you take a long break from the 24-hour news cycle and from following such matters closely. Your mental health seems to have been suffering for some time now. I say this as someone who wishes you well from afar.

    There is now, and always has been, much more to life than politics and news. Though certainly times are worsening and things look bleak for those who value individual liberty. But this too shall pass, whether we live to see better times or not there’s nothing to be gained by distressing yourself. A better way to resist is simply to live according to those excellent values I know you have at heart and do not become distressed over what you cannot change.

  • Fraser Orr

    Just a follow up, I am not suggesting that the Dem establishment planned this, not at all. Just that there is a certain upside to it for them. However, I hope this story does get the coverage it merits, and it swings a few voters, and convinces a few lefties to stay home in embarrassment.

  • Flubber

    “There is now, and always has been, much more to life than politics and news.”

    Difficult, when the bastards wont leave you alone.

  • G6loq

    Trump issues sweeping order stripping job protections from tens of thousands of federal employees
    @:https://www.stripes.com/trump-issues-sweeping-order-stripping-job-protections-from-tens-of-thousands-of-federal-employees-1.649559

  • Lee Moore

    Fraser : So the press goes full on with this story Nov. 4th after Biden wins (which is far from a certainty, but play a long) then they have a few months of the scandal, force Biden to resign, and they get their gal in the big seat.

    I don’t think so, because THIS IS NOT A SCANDAL. This is business as usual. If they torpedoed poor old Joe for selling his office to foreign bidders, they’d hit a whole flotilla of Senators (of both parties) as collateral damage.

    When they want to move him out, they’ll move him out for senility, not for graft. Graft is what proves he’s mainstream. It’s Trump who is truly dangerous because he’s not in the game, and has nothing to lose by blowing it up.

    What will be fun, if Trump loses (currently about 2-1 on in the betting markets) will be watching Trump trying to blow things up in the three months he has left, without the constraint of his advisers saying it’s bad politics.

    Apres moi, le deluge ! OK, let’s get the wellies on.

  • Snorri Godhi

    if Trump loses (currently about 2-1 on in the betting markets)

    Looks like a bargain to me.

    But i probably won’t bite. The main purpose of betting is hedging, and the hedging that i need — that we all need, even those who do not realize it — is against Biden. And at 2 to 1, it is a very expensive hedging.

  • Lee Moore

    Yeah, I’ve done psychological hedge betting before. Lost a grand betting on Kerry in 2004, and was delighted to lose it. Won five grand in 2012 betting on Obama. Pleasant, but not really satisfactory. Not enough compensation.

  • […] have the right to remain silent (and to help Biden remain […]

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