Readers of this blog are well versed with the Starkman Approved Principle, which holds that organizations and individuals who publicly profess superior values and uncompromising ethics invariably are exposed as frauds. I’ve called out American Express, Centene, and Ford for making a mockery of their corporate codes of conduct (see here and here), CEOs Tina Freese Decker and Jennifer Tejada (see second item here), Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (see here), and Betsy Reed, the editor of The Guardian’s U.S. edition (see here).
On the hypocrisy front, Hillary Clinton makes all the corporations and leaders I’ve cited look like rank amateurs.
Depending on your sources of information, it’s possible you are unaware of the findings of special prosecutor John Durham’s 305-page report issued Monday documenting that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, the FBI, and the media conspired to spread the false claim of collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government. The CIA and FBI were in on the con, and President Obama and members of his administration were also made aware of the smear campaign before it was executed.
In my mind, the wrongdoing was more egregious and alarming than Watergate because the media played an instrumental role legitimizing the deceit. Watergate was brought to light by the Washington Post. The Durham report makes clear that the Post and the New York Times served as communications handmaidens for the Clinton campaign’s deceit. Underscoring the Post’s arrogance and flailing leadership, the ailing publication said it stands behind its reporting.
If you are unfamiliar about what I’m talking about or are understandably just too worn down to bother making sense of it all, this column by George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley and this Wall Street Journal editorial provide easy to read synopsizes. Unfortunately, Turley and the Journal’s editorial writers failed to mention what makes Durham’s findings especially alarming.
A recurring theme of Hillary Clinton and her corporate media enablers was that Trump was a threat to America’s Democracy. Clinton was peddling that charge years before Trump said the 2020 election was stolen from him, much like Clinton said Trump was an illegitimate president when she was defeated.
“Imagine if (Trump) had not just Twitter and cable news to go after his critics and opponents, but also the IRS – or for that matter, our entire military. Given what we have seen and heard, do any of us think he’d be restrained?” Clinton asked in a July 2016 speech.
Still emerging disclosures have shown who Americans should rightfully fear as a threat to their nation’s Democracy. Clinton’s campaign, the FBI, and the media derailed the Trump presidency for three years spreading a politically manufactured lie. Twitter’s former management, in cahoots with Democratic political and intelligence officials, suppressed before the election a New York Post story about a laptop owned by Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, revealing some damning foreign dealings that the elder Biden, a.k.a. “The Big Guy,” allegedly profited from. Even the New York Times, Washington Post, and CBS News have since conceded the laptop was authentic, not Russian disinformation as the corporate media and some 50 former “intelligence” officials first insisted.
Clinton’s IRS warning was telling, although it wasn’t Trump who weaponized the agency for political purposes. An IRS agent mysteriously showed up at the home of independent journalist Matt Taibbi on the day he was voluntarily testifying before Congress about how Twitter censored content and users critical of Biden Administration’s pandemic and other policies. Taibbi was one of the reporters who reported on the so-called “Twitter files” detailing the aggressive censorship of conservatives before the company was acquired by Elon Musk.
For the record, a year after Clinton warned about Trump weaponizing the IRS, the tax agency issued an apology for targeting conservative groups. The targeting happened under the Obama Administration in which Clinton served as Secretary of State.
Clinton, of course, won’t be held accountable for her dishonesty, which has been firmly established and widely known for decades. Former New York Times columnist William Safire in 1996 declared Clinton “a congenital liar.” No protests as of yet from pious students at Columbia University where Clinton has a teaching gig.
Notably, Obama a few weeks ago recorded a video for the two-day Democracy conference sponsored by Columbia’s journalism department urging journalists and historians to search for solutions in fighting disinformation and to work to strengthen US democracy ahead of the 2024 presidential election. You can’t make this stuff up.
There have been calls for the New York Times and the Washington Post to return the Pulitzer Prizes they were awarded for their bogus Trump/Russia collusion stories, but your chances of getting hit by lightning are considerably better. The Times has retained its Pulitzer for its discredited “The 1619 Project,” overseen by amateur historian Nikole Hannah-Jones, despite a public letter by The National Association of Scholars declaring Hannah-Jones’ historical revisionism pure bunk. Pulitzer Prize committees have a formidable history of controversy.
Corporate media apologists and defenders will argue that the Times’ and Post’s Trump/Russia collusion stories were legitimate because it was “news” that the FBI investigated Trump. They also are quick to say that the campaign to discredit Trump was initially funded by presidential hopeful Jeb Bush. So much for the media serving as a watchdog against government wrongdoing.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Taibbi, the independent journalist for whom the IRS makes personal house calls, put together this graphic making it easy to understand the Times published what is commonly referred to as “fake news.”
Taibbi also performed a valuable public service compiling some clips from SNL, Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show, and other “entertainment” shows spreading the Trump/Russia collusion hoax.
Reading Taibbi’s account of the Durham report I initially shared his verdict that it’s “Too Late to Stop the Madness” and briefly checked out reading the news. On reflection, indications are most of the public is aware of the corporate media’s dishonesty.
A Gallup poll published last July revealed that only 16 percent of Americans have considerable faith in the print media, and 11 percent have trust in broadcast media. The Washington Post reportedly lost 500,000 readers since Biden took office and is losing money. The news operation of BuzzFeed, which published details of the Clinton campaign financed “Steele Dossier,” was recently shuttered.
Apple last fall chose not to pick up Maggie Haberman’s book on Trump, which was in development. Haberman, the stenographer of choice for anti-Trump media leakers, was among the Times reporters awarded a Pulitzer Prize for its Trump/Russia collusion coverage.
The cable news networks are also being served their just desserts. The combined audiences of CNN, MSNBC, and FOX are a fraction of the 11 million viewers who watch comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast. CNN’s ratings are so pathetic that Newsmax, which has considerably more limited distribution, commanded a bigger audience last Friday.
Has CNN been chastened or taken meaningful steps to reverse its decline? Not on your life. The network announced today that Kaitlan Collins, who Donald Trump mercilessly steamrolled at a town hall meeting last week, will anchor the 9 pm time slot formerly hosted by Chris Cuomo, another disgraced former CNN personality.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is fast emerging as a worthy rival to Hillary Clinton when it comes to dishonesty and hypocrisy.
Whitmer, who multiple corporate media publications tout as a viable and desirable presidential candidate, had the audacity to send a message to constituents about the importance of protecting the state’s fresh water supply. Yes, this is the same Whitmer who spearhead more than $5 billion in tax breaks and subsidies so Ford, GM, and a China-based company can build lithium battery plants on fertile Michigan farmland.
Residents who live near lithium battery plants are advised to check their water twice a year because of material risk of contamination.
Charlie LeDuff, the reporter who exposed Whitmer for telling a bald-faced lie about a trip to Florida at the height of the pandemic when her lockdowns were in force, last week put together an insightful column on the nursing home pandemic debacle “That Woman From Michigan” was responsible for. LeDuff also recently published a column making clear that in addition to lacking a modicum of legal acumen, Michigan AG Dana Nessel hasn’t a scintilla of ethics.
As for Whitmer being presidential material, a report released this week by the by the Citizens Research Council, which focuses on Michigan public policy, and Altarum, a Michigan-based nonprofit focusing on health, painted a very dire picture of their ailing state’s future. In addition to a steady population decline, Michiganders have suffered a meaningful decline in income.
As reported by the nonprofit Bridge News, Michigan and Minnesota in 1990 had median household incomes that were virtually identical. Since then, Minnesota’s population grew at more than three times the rate of Michigan’s (30 percent, compared to 8.4 percent). Today, the average Minnesota household brings in $15,000 more per year than those in Michigan ($74,000 in Minnesota, compared to $59,000 in Michigan).
Comically, the report recommended that Michigan invest more in its natural resources so the state can better attract “climigrants,” people who are moving to areas they believe are more climate friendly.
Yeah, that’s the ticket. In addition to using taxpayer funds to build Stephen Ross’ Detroit Center for Innovation, maybe Whitmer can hold another midnight legislature session and approve funding to build housing to attract climigrants to rural Marshall, where Ford Motor Co. is building its lithium battery plant.
Marshall residents can speak with great authority about Whitmer’s disregard for Democracy. Some Marshall residents openly disparage Whitmer as, “The Gretch Who Stole Michigan.”