This is pretty simple from a journalistic perspective. But it’s important, even to those who get their news from non-mainstream media sources because it goes to the growing “two worlds” divide in the nation over what people think is really going on.
The broad arc of the story is fairly well known now — well, to conservative readers who consume news sources outside the mainstream media: The Trump-Russian collusion story continues to disintegrate, being replaced with a competing narrative that turns the original story on its head.
That’s tricky business for the people, including most of the Washington media corps, who have totally vested themselves in the original narrative of Trump-Russia.
What we have are investigations by five congressional committees into apparently irregular, unprofessional and possibly criminal actions by federal investigators in probably the two most sensitive political inquests since Watergate: Hillary Clinton’s dangerous and probably illegal handling of classified information while Secretary of State, along her 30,000 missing emails; and now the probe into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russian bad guys to influence the election, which is netting a second narrative.
Further, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice has been running its own investigation of these alleged improprieties within the FBI and DOJ and has come out with more incriminating evidence.
The result so far has been the reassignment, demotion and firing of at least six mid- to high-ranking FBI and DOJ officials. All of these relate to the second narrative of collusion against Trump.
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In recent weeks, well-sourced, named documents have been released that are condemning of the FBI and dramatically build the narrative that far from being the perpetrator of Russian collusion, the Trump campaign may well have been the victim of it.
At the same time, Trump-Russia collusion has gone virtually dormant even in the media that will take any anonymous source to run stories and reactions for 48 hours.
Now, see what happens in this atmosphere when two blockbuster stories on apparent FBI malfeasance come up in the same day that further expands the narrative of government officials working to overtly undermine President Trump, possibly with Russian help.
One of the leading, experienced, careful voices analyzing this issue, former Assistant United States Attorney Andrew McCarthy, wrote in National Review:
“The Grassley-Graham memo corroborates the claims in the Nunes memo: The Obama Justice Department and FBI used anonymously sourced, Clinton-campaign generated innuendo to convince the FISA court to issue surveillance warrants against Carter Page, and in doing so, they concealed the Clinton campaign’s role. Though the Trump campaign had cut ties with Page shortly before the first warrant was issued in October 2016, the warrant application was based on wild allegations of a corrupt conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Moreover, the warrant meant the FBI could seize not only Page’s forward-going communications but any past emails and texts he may have stored — i.e., his Trump campaign communications.
With its verification by the Grassley-Graham memo, the Nunes memo now has about a thousand times more corroboration than the Steele dossier, the basis of the heinous allegations used by the Justice Department and FBI to get the FISA warrants.”
The Nunes memo and the Grassley-Graham memo with its boatload of information are one set of major explosions inside the FBI pointing to high-level collusion. Mammoth stories by any standards — and in this case, the standards are much higher, and met, than the tenuous and fleeting possibility of Trump-Russia collusion. Grassley and Graham (both of them long-time, play-by-the-rules Senators) had to fight tooth and nail to get the FBI to allow the release of the information. And for obvious reasons. The FBI looks terrible in these reports.
So, as a former long-time journalist, I could see tons of juicy news angles on top of the banner stories. Award-winning material to be digging into and investigating. The Grassley-Graham memo is particularly blockbuster-heavy.
Well, let’s look at the big three in national political coverage on the collusion angle where Trump is the victim.
The “all the news that’s fit to print” New York Times did manage to fit one story to print on Page 19A of the newspaper under the snoozy headline, “2 Senators Issue Letter To Support House Memo.” It mostly focused on the Democrats’ response, while glossing over the actually meat of the memo.
The Washington Post never ran a story on it. A Post blogger partisanly mischaracterized the memo, calling it “an effort to breathe life into the deflating Nunes effort.” It was literally a Democratic talking point.
Politico didn’t even bother to have a blogger write something partisan. Just nothing. It’s not news if it’s not reported. (Which is why alternative news sources are just so critically important. Maybe the best aggregator of those sources for conservatives is www.whatfinger.com, an excellent alternative to Drudge.)
In the same day last week, there was the little incident of more texts being discovered and released between the disgraced top FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that “POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing” in regards to the Clinton email investigation. This, despite Obama, on the record on video, saying he never asked the FBI about the investigation.
This is another huge story in the unfolding narrative of corruption in the Obama administration, providing more evidence that the President himself was not just aware of the unethical and illegal activities, but perhaps actively a part of them.
But again, it was snoozeville for the media. A few national political reporters tweeted about the “POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing” text. And those were mostly questioning the validity of the report or using what sure sounded like more Democrat talking points.
Virtually no coverage by the old media of Obama clearly caught lying on what the old media itself considers the biggest story of 2017.
A good way anyone can gauge the media coverage quickly is by doing a Google search of the relative news terms. In this case, a quote of the text shows every news story in the first pages are conservative sites. One exception, NBC News did a minimal story for online, but not on the air. Conversely, a story furthering the slim-picking Trump-Russia narrative will be a flip on coverage. All of the old media outlets will show up in a Google search, but few conservative ones.
This is driving the two worlds narrative. And more than anything, it rests on the old mainstream media by dishonestly telling their consumers they are providing fair and objective news. Most of us on the right understand there are two sets of competing news options and if we choose the conservative ones, we aren’t getting the other. But those consuming only the old media, think they are getting the full truth.
And we end up with Americans living side by side but in two worlds.
Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.
Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.