NY Times and WaPo successfully redirected the national conversation to Sarah Palin and Donald Trump.
Well that was quick.
I can’t recall as substantial an assassination attempt against one political party as took place Wednesday morning, June 14, 2017. Certainly there have been individual assassinations and shots fired, such as by Puerto Rican nationalists in 1954, but this was a well planned attempt at mass murder directed against one party.
Our prayers are with all the victims, particularly Steve Scalise, who remains in critical condition. But for the chance that Capitol Police officers were assigned to protect Scalise because of his House leadership position, we might be burying dozens of people.
Are we having a “national conversation” yet? Are we in the weeks-long news cycle that would have accompanied the shooting if the political roles were reversed?
The conversation the NY Times wanted to have was about Sarah Palin and Gabby Giffords. The Times Editorial Board regurgitated the false claim that Palin’s electoral map inspired Jared Loughner to shoot Congresswoman Giffords in 2011. I addressed that at the time — there is zero truth to the accusation. Yet it was what the Times Editorial Board saw fit to inject in what was left of the attempted assassination news cycle.
The Times was forced to retract that claim by a near-universal uproar, but only after the Times successfully had distracted from the real story: A progressive Bernie fan steeped in standard anti-Trump talking points found every day in the NY Times opinion pages decided to try to take out a substantial number of Republican Congressmen.
The Washington Post did its part in changing the conversation through leaks from anonymous sources.
The night after the morning assassination attempt WaPo rolled out the report that Trump likely was under investigation for obstruction of justice – but we knew that already from James Comey’s testimony when he said he was sure Robert Muller would consider it. It was on the basis of that testimony by Comey that I wrote on June 11, Robert Mueller should step aside: Friends shouldn’t be investigating friends.
Yesterday WaPo rolled out the second anonymous report, that financial records were being examined, including potentially for Jared Kushner. That’s also not new, everyone assumed that financial records would be examined and everyone knew, from prior anonymous reports, that information would be sought from Kushner.
It’s part of the plan to have a permanent news cycle of the Trump administration under siege — there doesn’t seem to be a stretch of even 3 or 4 days without such phony blockbusters. As one news cycle ends, another is rolled out.
Trump obliges by tweeting in reaction to NYT and WaPo stories in an attempt to vindicate himself in the public eye. But to a great extent that just feeds the news cycle beast and plays into the plan to make it difficult for the duly-elected president to govern.
So it doesn’t look like we’re going to have that national conversation. By their ability to drive news cycles, the NY Times and WaPo successfully redirected the national conversation to Sarah Palin and Donald Trump.
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