Here is a lesson for Americans: Donald Trump came to drain the swamp and in the end the swamp drained him. His diagnosis was as correct as his cure was ineffectual. Notwithstanding Trump’s self-inflicted wounds that led to his defeat,* the primary organisms that constitute the swamp rose up, used all their nefarious powers, betrayed their professions and sometimes their oaths, and triumphed. And America is the great loser for it. Those two organisms are the media-intelligence complex that makes or breaks people.
Chuck Schumer said one true thing almost four years ago. He offered that Trump was “really dumb” for challenging the intelligence community (that means mainly FBI and CIA) because “they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” Oh, and did they ever!
Isn’t it fascinating that President Biden has spoken to several world leaders in the last week – and no one listening saw fit to leak anything? It stands to reason that a certain point, Biden will say something to a world leader that will be newsworthy. (It might be enlightening to hear if he talks coherently, engages in conversation, or simply reads from a text in front of him written by others.) When he says something newsworthy, perhaps even a tad controversial like entertaining a change in US policy or committing to something that Biden does not want publicized, and the details of that conversation are leaked, what do think the reaction would be?
Here is an educated guess. During the Trump era, the leaker was lionized as a hero whistleblower, protected like an etrog, and celebrated throughout the swamp. It happened almost a half-dozen times. In the Biden administration, such a leaker would be fired, vilified, tarred, feathered, and prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned as a traitor and a dire threat to national security. The same pertains to the loquacious and hypocritical opposition politicians who left the Oval Office and ran directly to the media to reveal the private conversations that took place there. That was the past . Today, if that happened, and the off color language was shared with the mainstream media, the media would not print it, the politician would never be invited back, he would be ostracized and pilloried, with the ultimate goal to end his career posthaste.
There are dozens of examples of the way in which the intelligence community betrayed their oaths, and fabricated evidence or testimony, and all to take down a president they, for whatever reason, despised. Odd, isn’t it, that during the transition, Biden officials met indirectly with Iran and directly with Canadian authorities to discuss matters of interest – and yet no one raised the evil specter of the Logan Act! Heavens! Nor did the FBI launch a perjury trap investigation of any Biden official questioning their activities during the transition, fishing for information, and seeking to muddy the waters. Well, they tried to get Trump and eventually they did, but at great cost to their credibility and efficiency. For all their so-called vaunted reputation for excellence, the intelligence agencies seemed to know little about the attack on the Capitol on January 6, which reflects poorly on their competence.
These two organisms (the media-intelligence complex) work together, as an essential tool of the intelligence swamp is feeding damaging information to friendly reporters who then publish it under the rubric of “intelligence sources have revealed…” It doesn’t matter whether the information is true or not because the purpose is not news but character assassination. The anonymous personal attack has become the staple of modern journalism – and no one will ever ascertain the veracity of the information or the identity of the leaker. It is so prevalent that former FBI Director Jim Comey (billed by the media – probably his media source – as “DC’s Boy Scout,” which doesn’t say much for the Boy Scouts) shamelessly admitted leaking classified information to a friend who gave it to a reporter who published it, with, of course, no consequences for anybody. He didn’t even try to hide it once it was uncovered but pretended that, of course, this is normal, we leak all the time.
Even worse than the sleaze in the intelligence division of the swamp is the corruption and collapse of the free media in America. It is a waste of the First Amendment, as the mainstream media perceived itself as a tool of the resistance under Trump and as the official government press organ under Biden. I remember Watergate quite well, but bear with this analogy.
There was a little over a year between the burglary at the DNC headquarters in the Watergate building and the damaging testimony before Congress of Nixon’s counsel John Dean – a year and eight days to be precise. Imagine if during that entire year, after the burglary that had involved one member of President Nixon’s re-election campaign team but no evidence had surfaced of presidential involvement, the Washington Post – a Nixon ally (play with me) – just published day after day the single trope that “there is no evidence of any White House connection…” Every time a Democrat raised the issue, the Post slapped him down writing that “this claim is false. There is no evidence of a White House connection.” Imagine if Democrats who suggested an investigation were banned from having their voices heard, their megaphones were cut off, the media stopped interviewing them and they were derided as kooks. And all because, for a year, there was “no evidence of any White House connection.”
Instead, what journalists did was go out and find the evidence, look for sources, and leave no stone unturned (even occasionally fabricating along the way). They were not content to hear from the White House “there is no evidence,” or that “the alleged criminals have been arrested and their matter is being adjudicated, and so further comment is inappropriate. And by the way, there is no story here.” No, they went out to find the story. That was journalism then.
An honest, objective person might think that if there are allegations of election fraud, real journalists might actually send reporters to investigate, interview the people who claim to have driven trucks of ballots to far flung locations, inquire why third party observers were unlawfully barred from observing the vote counting in numerous places, hear the stories of individuals who went to the polls and were told they had already voted, ask why counting facilities were closed for several hours overnight after election day (to all but a few workers) and get a cogent explanation why suitcases were being brought into counting facilities during those off hours and why other facilities covered up their windows so outside viewers could not see.
This is not to say that there was enough fraud to overturn the election – who knows? But it is to wonder how it is that the American media was so spectacularly incurious about the major news story of 2020. Instead, this incurious media kept parroting the official line, all saying “there is no widespread evidence of fraud,” as if they were all singing from the same hymnal. Or, “there was no evidence of fraud that would overturn the election.” Or, “the courts have unanimously concluded there is no proof of anything .”
Well, by those standards, the courts in 1972 uncovered no evidence of presidential wrongdoing, nor “widespread evidence of dirty tricks,” nor “evidence of anything that would change the election.” Somehow, and for some strange reason, the media was much more inquisitive then, and they went in search of the evidence. Not so here.
Furthermore, take the Hunter Biden “nothing to see here” media response. There was a time when an honest media would have lapped up such a story of obvious “pay for play” corruption involving the highest levels of government – and during an election campaign in which the same parties were running for high office. Instead, we again heard the “no evidence of any wrongdoing,” “no investigation has reported anything criminal,” and, the best, “that story has been debunked.” How could it have been debunked – it was never bunked in the first place? Again, it was the spectacularly incurious American media that ignored this story in order to remain partisans, faithful denizens of the swamp.
For sure, there are dozens of other examples, not least of them the weekly drumbeat over the summer of some negative book comment against Trump, what some anonymous scandalmonger claimed Trump said about soldiers or someone about something. None of this was real journalism but just partisan prattling.
Instead, the suddenly docile American press corps allowed Biden to run a stealth campaign, acquiescing in his avoidance of the media and any free and open verbal exchange. Everything was choreographed. It was obvious that during the limited times he engaged the media, the questioners and the questions were known to him in advance, and the written answers were in front of him. I am hard pressed to conclude that anything has changed even now that Biden is president. Biden’s health and mental acuity were never investigated or even challenged, something unprecedented in recent American history. It is equally obvious the media is covering for him now as well, fawning over every decision, ignoring his gaffes and noticeable maladies.
The media do not cover the swamp. They are the swamp. And with the drive underway to suppress all alternate viewpoints or any focused challenged to the Biden administration, a free press has become an oxymoron. They are free to hate Trump, and free to love Biden, but the press historically had a role as the watchdog of government. They are no longer watchdogs but have gone from being attack dogs against Trump to being lap dogs for Biden.
Hunter Biden, whatever he did, will get away with it. The FBI and Justice miscreants – Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein, Strzok, Page, and the others – whatever they did, the alleged lying and the leaking, the plotting and the coup attempt (a real coup), will get away with it. Expect nothing from the Durham investigation. That is how the swamp covers its tracks. It will someday disappear of its own accord, the media will avert its gaze, and the public will never know.
That is dangerous for many reasons, but primarily because the swamp successfully protected itself and prevailed. Its victory thus deepened the divide between DC and the people, at least many of them. That polarization, blamed on Trump but fed and nurtured by the press for two decades now, long before Trump, will not engender happy outcomes. The future then is less freedom, more suppression, more polarization, and governance by anonymous aides to an enfeebled president, all with their own agendas.