As we continue to celebrate the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, it seems rather fitting that a video from a 2017 weekly presser is making the rounds.  It shows House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) explaining to the assembled press what a “wrap-up smear” is and how it can be used to harm political opponents.

It reads like a template for the base and unfounded attacks on Justice Kavanaugh during—and after—his confirmation hearings.

Pelosi:  They [Republicans] don’t want them [voters] to see that contrast, so they focus on something else.  It’s a diversionary tactic. It’s a self-fulfilling prophesy, you demonize and then [trails off].  We call it the wrap-up smear. . . . You smear somebody with falsehoods and all the rest and then you merchandise it.

And then you [speaking to the press] write it, and they’ll say, see it’s reported in the press . . . so they have that validation that the press reported the smear, and then it’s called the ‘wrap-up smear.’  And now I’m going to merchandize the press’s report on the smear that we made.  [Shrugging and smirking] It’s a tactic.  And it’s, it’s self-evident.

Let’s review:

Demonize Kavanaugh, check.
Smear somebody with falsehoods “and all the rest,” check.
Merchandize falsehoods-based smear, check.
Get press to report falsehoods-based smear, check.
Merchandize “validation” of press reports on falsehoods-based smear,  check.

Here’s the clip:

Pelosi begins by explaining the “wrap-up smear” in the context of her claims about Republicans, but her glee is such that it’s clearly a “tactic” that she is happy to use.  Indeed, as you can see from the transcript and video clip, toward the end she shifts from discussing it as a tactic “they” use to one “I” and “we” use.

And here’s the full presser, the above starts at around 24 minutes in:

The press, of course, is complicit in this “tactic.” They no longer bother to check sources or vet information if a report is in any way harmful to a Republican and if checking it would reveal the falsehoods-based smear for what it is; instead, they can be counted on to do their part in “merchandizing” falsehoods fed to them by Democrats and even, as we saw in far too many cases over the past few weeks, gleefully pile on.


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