Category: Thomas Lifson

FBI-gate: The Outlines of the Story Are Coming into Focus


Thanks to the work of smart and hardworking (non-mainstream) journalists, we can peek just a bit over the horizon and see where the story of the weaponization of the FBI via a senior-level cabal is going from here.  I use the word “story” deliberately, because that is the way public opinion forms itself on major political affairs.  The progressives in the media and politics  have long understood this.  The cast of the story is now set, and some dramatic plot points have been identified.  The ending hasn’t been written yet, of course, but the villains are identifying themselves or being exposed, and some of the heroes are emerging.  We are on the cusp of a drama much bigger than Watergate breaking open, and its story elements are compelling.

In the calm before the storm breaks, the mainstream media and the Democrat attack squad from the House Intel committee [i] are in the midst of utterly discrediting themselves.  Once the story breaks into the open, indictments will be handed down, and the witnesses, hostile and cooperating, will be heard in hearings and in court.  They have worked together to cover up and distract from the story, but the truth will out, and now it is becoming clear how that will happen.

The fake controversy over the ten-page Schiff memo is keeping the morale of the #resistance crowd up, but Schiff himself will go down in history as the guy who kicked sand in the eyes of the investigators.  All that media effort in pushing the phony narrative of Russia collusion will make them into dupes and laughingstocks, once the solid evidence is brought to light that a conspiracy to push that phony narrative was run with key members of the Clinton machine working hand in glove with the cabal.

Sharyl Attkisson has done us a great favor in identifying the dramatis personae who formed the FBI “secret society” that protected Hillary and spied on Trump.  She has organized a chart depicting the senior-level personnel changes at the Justice Department during the campaign, the Russia probe, and the Clinton email probe, highlighting in yellow the individuals James Comey appointed.

In the space of a year, as the presidential campaigns got rolling in the fall of 2015, James Comey moved his team into top positions in the intelligence and counterintelligence apparatus of the FBI.  That’s where the surveillance capacity exists.  Thanks to the efforts of Chairman Devin Nunes of the House Intel Committee and Senators Grassley and Graham, we have the basic story already outlined and have received the first installment of the plot: the issuance of the FISA warrants on the basis of a fiction pushed by the Clinton campaign.

Disclosure of some of the lovebird texts of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page already has provided plenty of drama – romance, secrets, hatred, and a break-up text calling off the affair – and there are more texts to come.  Strzok’s firing from the Mueller special counsel’s team was the first manifestation of the cabal being busted, and last week’s flurry of senior-level FBI officials departing is another sign that insiders know that the jig is up.  

Meanwhile, our own Clarice Feldman presents evidence that the guilty plea of General Michael Flynn, the pre-eminent scalp hanging from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s belt, may be thrown out of court when he appears for sentencing by Judge Emmet Sullivan, following the mysterious recusal of Judge Rudolph Contreras and the equally or even more mysterious request by Mueller to delay sentencing.  Something’s up, and it is big.

The forthcoming Department of Justice inspector general’s report, believed to be slated for next month, is a wild card.  With a staff of 250, I.G. Michael Horowitz should have uncovered much, and Horowitz has a sterling reputation.  But then again, so did James Comey at one point.  Lots of people putatively on our side have vouched for Horowitz, but we don’t know the scope of the report, nor do we know what evidence of corruption will be presented.

However, a game-changer is about to drop.  Last Saturday, we got the first indirect, inferential evidence of a major revelation on its way: there is an informant from among the cast of characters Sharyl Attkisson highlighted in yellow, a canary singing to save himself.  

This mystery figure is the man who, a number of observers noticed, has never been mentioned as the information has dripped out of the FBI.  His name is Bill Priestap, and he was brought in by James Comey as assistant director of the FBI, Counterintelligence Division, in December 2015.

Preistap’s identity as the DOJ’s informant was inadvertently and indirectly confirmed Saturday night by Chris Stewart, a member of the Nunes committee, under informed and targeted questioning by Judge Jeanine Pirro, a former prosecutor and skilled courtroom interrogator.  

Watch below as she blindsides Stewart with Priestap’s name, he deflects the question, and then she circles back in, softening him up by saying, “I don’t like that I haven’t heard of him.”  Then she went in for the kill, laying out the way Comey “threw him under the bus” (more on that later from Sundance) and then says, “The fact that we haven’t heard from Priestap tells me that he’s cooperating with someone or…what?”

Poor Stewart, an honest man, then gives away the game by responding, “Well, look, I’m gonna be careful because I’m not sure what we can say on this, and believe me, I don’t want to be the headline when Chris Stewart reveals a bunch of sensitive or classified information[.]”  Okay, he didn’t say, Yes, Priestap’s a cooperating witness, but it’s clear to me that such an inference is justified.

Sundance of Conservative Treehouse has a brilliant analysis that should be read in its entirety laying out why Priestap is the songbird.

His analysis of the moment Comey “threw him under the bus” is persuasive:

On March 20th 2017 congressional testimony, James Comey was asked why the FBI Director did not inform congressional oversight about the counterintelligence operation that began in July 2016.


FBI Director Comey said he did not tell congressional oversight he was investigating presidential candidate Donald Trump because the Director of Counterintelligence suggested he not do so. *Very important detail.*


I cannot emphasize this enough. *VERY* important detail. Again, notice how Comey doesn’t use Priestap’s actual name, but refers to his position and title. Again, watch [Prompted]

… At that moment, that very specific moment during that March 20th hearing, anyone who watches these hearings closely could see FBI Director James Comey was attempting to create his own exit from being ensnared in the consequences from the wiretapping and surveillance operation of candidate Trump, President-elect Trump, and eventually President Donald Trump.


In essence, Bill Priestap was James Comey’s fall guy.  We knew it at the time that Bill Priestap would likely see this the same way.  The guy would have too much to lose by allowing James Comey to set him up.


Immediately there was motive for Bill Priestap to flip and become the primary source to reveal the hidden machinations.  Why should he take the fall for the operation when there were multiple people around the upper-levels of leadership who carried out the operation[?]

Already, despite the mainstream media’s best effort, half of the public now believes that senior law enforcement officials broke the law to hinder the Trump presidency, according to Rasmussen.  A grand narrative of breathtaking conspiracy and corruption awaits us as the biggest political scandal in American history unfolds.  The story now has a face and a narrator named Priestap, even though his information can’t yet be revealed.  All in good tine, but preferably before November.


[i] Formally, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence or HPSCI.

Thanks to the work of smart and hardworking (non-mainstream) journalists, we can peek just a bit over the horizon and see where the story of the weaponization of the FBI via a senior-level cabal is going from here.  I use the word “story” deliberately, because that is the way public opinion forms itself on major political affairs.  The progressives in the media and politics  have long understood this.  The cast of the story is now set, and some dramatic plot points have been identified.  The ending hasn’t been written yet, of course, but the villains are identifying themselves or being exposed, and some of the heroes are emerging.  We are on the cusp of a drama much bigger than Watergate breaking open, and its story elements are compelling.

In the calm before the storm breaks, the mainstream media and the Democrat attack squad from the House Intel committee [i] are in the midst of utterly discrediting themselves.  Once the story breaks into the open, indictments will be handed down, and the witnesses, hostile and cooperating, will be heard in hearings and in court.  They have worked together to cover up and distract from the story, but the truth will out, and now it is becoming clear how that will happen.

The fake controversy over the ten-page Schiff memo is keeping the morale of the #resistance crowd up, but Schiff himself will go down in history as the guy who kicked sand in the eyes of the investigators.  All that media effort in pushing the phony narrative of Russia collusion will make them into dupes and laughingstocks, once the solid evidence is brought to light that a conspiracy to push that phony narrative was run with key members of the Clinton machine working hand in glove with the cabal.

Sharyl Attkisson has done us a great favor in identifying the dramatis personae who formed the FBI “secret society” that protected Hillary and spied on Trump.  She has organized a chart depicting the senior-level personnel changes at the Justice Department during the campaign, the Russia probe, and the Clinton email probe, highlighting in yellow the individuals James Comey appointed.

In the space of a year, as the presidential campaigns got rolling in the fall of 2015, James Comey moved his team into top positions in the intelligence and counterintelligence apparatus of the FBI.  That’s where the surveillance capacity exists.  Thanks to the efforts of Chairman Devin Nunes of the House Intel Committee and Senators Grassley and Graham, we have the basic story already outlined and have received the first installment of the plot: the issuance of the FISA warrants on the basis of a fiction pushed by the Clinton campaign.

Disclosure of some of the lovebird texts of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page already has provided plenty of drama – romance, secrets, hatred, and a break-up text calling off the affair – and there are more texts to come.  Strzok’s firing from the Mueller special counsel’s team was the first manifestation of the cabal being busted, and last week’s flurry of senior-level FBI officials departing is another sign that insiders know that the jig is up.  

Meanwhile, our own Clarice Feldman presents evidence that the guilty plea of General Michael Flynn, the pre-eminent scalp hanging from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s belt, may be thrown out of court when he appears for sentencing by Judge Emmet Sullivan, following the mysterious recusal of Judge Rudolph Contreras and the equally or even more mysterious request by Mueller to delay sentencing.  Something’s up, and it is big.

The forthcoming Department of Justice inspector general’s report, believed to be slated for next month, is a wild card.  With a staff of 250, I.G. Michael Horowitz should have uncovered much, and Horowitz has a sterling reputation.  But then again, so did James Comey at one point.  Lots of people putatively on our side have vouched for Horowitz, but we don’t know the scope of the report, nor do we know what evidence of corruption will be presented.

However, a game-changer is about to drop.  Last Saturday, we got the first indirect, inferential evidence of a major revelation on its way: there is an informant from among the cast of characters Sharyl Attkisson highlighted in yellow, a canary singing to save himself.  

This mystery figure is the man who, a number of observers noticed, has never been mentioned as the information has dripped out of the FBI.  His name is Bill Priestap, and he was brought in by James Comey as assistant director of the FBI, Counterintelligence Division, in December 2015.

Preistap’s identity as the DOJ’s informant was inadvertently and indirectly confirmed Saturday night by Chris Stewart, a member of the Nunes committee, under informed and targeted questioning by Judge Jeanine Pirro, a former prosecutor and skilled courtroom interrogator.  

Watch below as she blindsides Stewart with Priestap’s name, he deflects the question, and then she circles back in, softening him up by saying, “I don’t like that I haven’t heard of him.”  Then she went in for the kill, laying out the way Comey “threw him under the bus” (more on that later from Sundance) and then says, “The fact that we haven’t heard from Priestap tells me that he’s cooperating with someone or…what?”

Poor Stewart, an honest man, then gives away the game by responding, “Well, look, I’m gonna be careful because I’m not sure what we can say on this, and believe me, I don’t want to be the headline when Chris Stewart reveals a bunch of sensitive or classified information[.]”  Okay, he didn’t say, Yes, Priestap’s a cooperating witness, but it’s clear to me that such an inference is justified.

Sundance of Conservative Treehouse has a brilliant analysis that should be read in its entirety laying out why Priestap is the songbird.

His analysis of the moment Comey “threw him under the bus” is persuasive:

On March 20th 2017 congressional testimony, James Comey was asked why the FBI Director did not inform congressional oversight about the counterintelligence operation that began in July 2016.


FBI Director Comey said he did not tell congressional oversight he was investigating presidential candidate Donald Trump because the Director of Counterintelligence suggested he not do so. *Very important detail.*


I cannot emphasize this enough. *VERY* important detail. Again, notice how Comey doesn’t use Priestap’s actual name, but refers to his position and title. Again, watch [Prompted]

… At that moment, that very specific moment during that March 20th hearing, anyone who watches these hearings closely could see FBI Director James Comey was attempting to create his own exit from being ensnared in the consequences from the wiretapping and surveillance operation of candidate Trump, President-elect Trump, and eventually President Donald Trump.


In essence, Bill Priestap was James Comey’s fall guy.  We knew it at the time that Bill Priestap would likely see this the same way.  The guy would have too much to lose by allowing James Comey to set him up.


Immediately there was motive for Bill Priestap to flip and become the primary source to reveal the hidden machinations.  Why should he take the fall for the operation when there were multiple people around the upper-levels of leadership who carried out the operation[?]

Already, despite the mainstream media’s best effort, half of the public now believes that senior law enforcement officials broke the law to hinder the Trump presidency, according to Rasmussen.  A grand narrative of breathtaking conspiracy and corruption awaits us as the biggest political scandal in American history unfolds.  The story now has a face and a narrator named Priestap, even though his information can’t yet be revealed.  All in good tine, but preferably before November.


[i] Formally, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence or HPSCI.



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The Left is Already Preparing Tomorrow's Fake News


A reader strolling down the street in Chicago spotted a recruiting poster for “Activist Jobs,” a bit of an oxymoron. “Activism” by implication is volunteer work undertaken because the goal sought by the acts in question is so important to the “activist.”  Goal-oriented acts that are compensated are called “work,” not “activism.”  But in the photograph below, the two different categories of endeavor are conflated:

Photo credit: Werner Buol

The confusion is deliberate and speaks to a larger strategy of the Left, also based on deception.

The American Left has relied on its mastery of the media – enthusiastically aided and abetted by the 90% of national political journalists today that are progressives of one stripe or another – for its political power for decades. Ever since the 1950s, the left has been deliberately creating events in order to attract media attention that pushes a narrative confirming the justice of their demands.  It learned that the new medium of television was perfect for creating artificial dramas that would sway support its way.

The Civil Rights Movement was the first to discover this video dramaturgical approach to politics, when racist politicians in the South (every one of them a Democrat, a fact that has been consigned to Orwell’s Memory Hole) brutalized black demonstrators asking for the right to eat at a lunch counter next to whites, or other perfectly just demands. Television audiences worldwide grasped who the villains and heroes were, and the struggle was won once the narrative took hold among Americans.  Inevitably, defenders of the old order were marginalized, looking horrible.

In the case of the civil rights struggle, justice triumphed from the activism, as this powerful new weapon was exploited.  But the media lesson was learned principally on the Left, as conservatives, and Republicans especially, generally are inept (at best) in managing appearances, which is why the title “Stupid Party” has more than a little justification.

In the later 1960s, the leftist sympathizers with the Communist regime of North Vietnam quickly adapted the tactics of the civil rights demonstrators to their own cause and launched what became disguised as the “anti-war movement” – a movement that was fine with a war won by the communists, but that did not want America fighting for its own ally, South Vietnam. It pretended to be about “peace” but really was about “suurrender.”

The Leftists created “street theatre,” and other telegenic events that attracted coverage, while in Vietnam itself, a few Buddhist monks immolated themselves before television cameras, providing invaluable evidence of the sincerity and dedication of the cause. No American Leftists deliberately offered their lives, of course. But they did stage all sorts of events, building up to huge mass demonstrations in cities hosting large numbers of college students. Without the fear of being drafted and sent to Vietnam, there would have been far fewer men turning out for those demonstrations.

The era saw occasionally brilliant propaganda, such as this poster aimed at creating a sexy façade for the men that evaded their duty, in effect offering the prospect of sexual favors for evading the draft.

Once again, the use of activism, video drama, and demonstrations by a political movement led to victory, though in this case it was tyranny in the form of a brutal Communist dictatorship, not justice, that triumphed. From the standpoint of the hard left, this was a feature, not a defect. It proved to the thinkers on the left that the tool they had generated (activists, street theatre, and a narrative pushed out to a mass audience via television) could be used for any cause, no matter if the narrative being peddled was absolute fiction.  Generate an event that grabs attention, and let the progressives who write and comment on the news tell the public what the story is: the left’s cause is good (compassionate, scientific, etc.) and the Republicans or conservatives opposed to them are mean, stupid fanatics.

It has worked on issue after issue. And here we are today with transgender bathrooms and other ornaments of the progressive worldview imposed on the public.

However, with the emergence of Fox News and the internet, alternative narratives gained enough prominence that the propaganda machine started failing, losing its hegemony at first, and at an increasing pace, its credibility.  

Donald Trump’s election was in no small part an active rejection of a manufactured narrative that was relentlessly pursued by the media (especially television), aided and abetted by demonstrators creating manufactured drama. The media-political deepthinkers decided that Trump’s crowd should be portrayed as dangerous, violent thugs reminiscent of Hitler’s rise to power. So Robert Creamer, husband of Rep. Jan Schakowski (D-IL) and a longtime shadowy Democrat operative, deployed “troublemakers” to stir up a hoped-for violent response, which could then be televised in an appropriately edited form. The resulting drama was eagerly lapped up by the media lapdogs, and is still believed to be an accurate vision of Trump’s supporters by many people whose media diet follows the priorities of the editors of New York Times.

But this time around, James O’Keefe secretly videotaped Creamer and his colleague Scott Forval chortling about their coup, and released the tapes before the election. Hillary’s campaign was shocked, shocked by the revelation and condemned the tactics, of course.  So did all Democrats who try to look respectable. Creamer lost his gig for a while, but has not slunk away in disgrace. He is far too valuable to be shunned. And he is suing O’Keefe for a million dollars.

When candidate Trump popularized the iconic expression “fake news,” he coined a meme that served to throw off balance not just the ostensible current target CNN, but the entire progressive media establishment. Their ability to manufacture outrage has drastically declined along with their credibility. As a result, Democrats have more trouble selling fantasy narratives, such as the outlandish claims made that a GOP revision would cause mass suffering on a horrific scale, The high bidder on the deal was Maxine Waters, who buffoonishly claimed that 700 billion people will lose their insurance.

The progressive worldview is entirely based on fantasies about human nature. From there they go on to create entered systems (communism, socialism, and progressivism) based on the idea of perfecting mankind through the wisdom of the state.  Gramsci taught the communists to grab control of education and the media, where they create imaginary worlds for the masses to consume. This technique has been in place for decades, winning its battles no matter which party controls the White House or Congress. Politics is downstream from culture, as Andrew Breitbart taught us.

But that dream machine finally is breaking down, rotting from within as the old media establishment continues to decline, and as the internet lowers entry barriers for newcomers to mass communications like Matt Drudge and this website, among countless other examples.

The workers disguised as “activists” in the posters pictured above may well earn their wages, but I don’t think the donors of the funds paying them will get much for their money, as science in the form of fetal imaging is changing more minds than any abortion fake-activists can.

By breaking up the Gramsciites’ control of mass media, technology has fundamentally damaged the Left’s ability to impose its narratives. And now they face a president who uses the tools of that technology to communicate around them directly to the public in the millions.

Yet because they have no idea what else to do, they compulsively return to the fantasy narrative of Russian “collusion,” and will persist until it backfires, exposing the web of connections of Hillary Clinton, the green movement, and many others, to the Kremlin.

A reader strolling down the street in Chicago spotted a recruiting poster for “Activist Jobs,” a bit of an oxymoron. “Activism” by implication is volunteer work undertaken because the goal sought by the acts in question is so important to the “activist.”  Goal-oriented acts that are compensated are called “work,” not “activism.”  But in the photograph below, the two different categories of endeavor are conflated:

Photo credit: Werner Buol

The confusion is deliberate and speaks to a larger strategy of the Left, also based on deception.

The American Left has relied on its mastery of the media – enthusiastically aided and abetted by the 90% of national political journalists today that are progressives of one stripe or another – for its political power for decades. Ever since the 1950s, the left has been deliberately creating events in order to attract media attention that pushes a narrative confirming the justice of their demands.  It learned that the new medium of television was perfect for creating artificial dramas that would sway support its way.

The Civil Rights Movement was the first to discover this video dramaturgical approach to politics, when racist politicians in the South (every one of them a Democrat, a fact that has been consigned to Orwell’s Memory Hole) brutalized black demonstrators asking for the right to eat at a lunch counter next to whites, or other perfectly just demands. Television audiences worldwide grasped who the villains and heroes were, and the struggle was won once the narrative took hold among Americans.  Inevitably, defenders of the old order were marginalized, looking horrible.

In the case of the civil rights struggle, justice triumphed from the activism, as this powerful new weapon was exploited.  But the media lesson was learned principally on the Left, as conservatives, and Republicans especially, generally are inept (at best) in managing appearances, which is why the title “Stupid Party” has more than a little justification.

In the later 1960s, the leftist sympathizers with the Communist regime of North Vietnam quickly adapted the tactics of the civil rights demonstrators to their own cause and launched what became disguised as the “anti-war movement” – a movement that was fine with a war won by the communists, but that did not want America fighting for its own ally, South Vietnam. It pretended to be about “peace” but really was about “suurrender.”

The Leftists created “street theatre,” and other telegenic events that attracted coverage, while in Vietnam itself, a few Buddhist monks immolated themselves before television cameras, providing invaluable evidence of the sincerity and dedication of the cause. No American Leftists deliberately offered their lives, of course. But they did stage all sorts of events, building up to huge mass demonstrations in cities hosting large numbers of college students. Without the fear of being drafted and sent to Vietnam, there would have been far fewer men turning out for those demonstrations.

The era saw occasionally brilliant propaganda, such as this poster aimed at creating a sexy façade for the men that evaded their duty, in effect offering the prospect of sexual favors for evading the draft.

Once again, the use of activism, video drama, and demonstrations by a political movement led to victory, though in this case it was tyranny in the form of a brutal Communist dictatorship, not justice, that triumphed. From the standpoint of the hard left, this was a feature, not a defect. It proved to the thinkers on the left that the tool they had generated (activists, street theatre, and a narrative pushed out to a mass audience via television) could be used for any cause, no matter if the narrative being peddled was absolute fiction.  Generate an event that grabs attention, and let the progressives who write and comment on the news tell the public what the story is: the left’s cause is good (compassionate, scientific, etc.) and the Republicans or conservatives opposed to them are mean, stupid fanatics.

It has worked on issue after issue. And here we are today with transgender bathrooms and other ornaments of the progressive worldview imposed on the public.

However, with the emergence of Fox News and the internet, alternative narratives gained enough prominence that the propaganda machine started failing, losing its hegemony at first, and at an increasing pace, its credibility.  

Donald Trump’s election was in no small part an active rejection of a manufactured narrative that was relentlessly pursued by the media (especially television), aided and abetted by demonstrators creating manufactured drama. The media-political deepthinkers decided that Trump’s crowd should be portrayed as dangerous, violent thugs reminiscent of Hitler’s rise to power. So Robert Creamer, husband of Rep. Jan Schakowski (D-IL) and a longtime shadowy Democrat operative, deployed “troublemakers” to stir up a hoped-for violent response, which could then be televised in an appropriately edited form. The resulting drama was eagerly lapped up by the media lapdogs, and is still believed to be an accurate vision of Trump’s supporters by many people whose media diet follows the priorities of the editors of New York Times.

But this time around, James O’Keefe secretly videotaped Creamer and his colleague Scott Forval chortling about their coup, and released the tapes before the election. Hillary’s campaign was shocked, shocked by the revelation and condemned the tactics, of course.  So did all Democrats who try to look respectable. Creamer lost his gig for a while, but has not slunk away in disgrace. He is far too valuable to be shunned. And he is suing O’Keefe for a million dollars.

When candidate Trump popularized the iconic expression “fake news,” he coined a meme that served to throw off balance not just the ostensible current target CNN, but the entire progressive media establishment. Their ability to manufacture outrage has drastically declined along with their credibility. As a result, Democrats have more trouble selling fantasy narratives, such as the outlandish claims made that a GOP revision would cause mass suffering on a horrific scale, The high bidder on the deal was Maxine Waters, who buffoonishly claimed that 700 billion people will lose their insurance.

The progressive worldview is entirely based on fantasies about human nature. From there they go on to create entered systems (communism, socialism, and progressivism) based on the idea of perfecting mankind through the wisdom of the state.  Gramsci taught the communists to grab control of education and the media, where they create imaginary worlds for the masses to consume. This technique has been in place for decades, winning its battles no matter which party controls the White House or Congress. Politics is downstream from culture, as Andrew Breitbart taught us.

But that dream machine finally is breaking down, rotting from within as the old media establishment continues to decline, and as the internet lowers entry barriers for newcomers to mass communications like Matt Drudge and this website, among countless other examples.

The workers disguised as “activists” in the posters pictured above may well earn their wages, but I don’t think the donors of the funds paying them will get much for their money, as science in the form of fetal imaging is changing more minds than any abortion fake-activists can.

By breaking up the Gramsciites’ control of mass media, technology has fundamentally damaged the Left’s ability to impose its narratives. And now they face a president who uses the tools of that technology to communicate around them directly to the public in the millions.

Yet because they have no idea what else to do, they compulsively return to the fantasy narrative of Russian “collusion,” and will persist until it backfires, exposing the web of connections of Hillary Clinton, the green movement, and many others, to the Kremlin.



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CNN has fallen into Trump’s pro-wrestling trap and it can’t get up


The media swells outraged at President Trump’s CNN wrestling tweet do not understand the level at which he communicates to his base, primarily out of their disdain for vulgar mass culture, including reality television and pro wrestling.  (Remember that the root of the word “vulgar” is the Latin “vulgus” or “common people.”)  The president, by contrast, is one of the most successful impresarios (and stars) in the history of American mass culture. Celebrity Apprentice was the most successful reality TV program in the history of the American medium.

President Trump knows how to reach the great mass of the public using images, music, and words, while those who disdain him primarily operate on the level of discourse they consider far superior: an appeal to intellect. Now, as somebody who went to the trouble of acquiring three graduate degrees and teaching at a couple of Ivy League universities, I can make a plausible claim to value intellectual discourse as much as anyone. And I do.  But I don’t kid myself that this is the only meaningful level of communication – in politics, art, human relations, or anywhere else.

The visceral reactions to the wrestling takedown by Trump of a character with a CNN logo photoshopped on his head backfired immediately, as the first stage of the trap sprung.  The primary outrage was that this could incite violence against journalists, which is laughable considering that most of the media establishment shrugged off the Kathy Griffin ISIS-style beheading photo as a harmless exercise of the First Amendment.  President Trump, the impresario, understands the potency of an image such as this:

He knows that these memories do not completely fade. Don’t forget that he is also in the branding business, and understands the nature of keeping images and associations alive on a continuing basis.  The comparison with his own cartoonish image takes place subconsciously even if not in the front of mind:

Griffin is part of the CNN brand, even though they fired her from her New Year’s Eve gig, an iconic annual event, thereby affecting CNN’s brand.  It was her highest profile engagement, a major part of her brand, too.  So CNN’s outrage over violence just makes them look ridiculous, even though they did fire Griffin after waiting a day to gauge public reaction.

I wonder how many of the media Trump haters ever attended a pro wrestling match? I therefore wonder if they understand the mentality of Americans who happen to enjoy pro wrestling? My guess is that few among them have either first-hand experience or the interest in knowing anything about the subject. They probably are a little ashamed of their country for supporting such a loutish and obviously phony spectacle that has the potential of stirring up the undesirables and deplorables. The critics of Trump for inciting violence certainly didn’t know at first that the man who was taken down by Trump was Vince McMahon, the owner of WWE, indicating the obvious comic and friendly nature of the stunt.

As a teenager in Minneapolis in the early 1960s, back when local television stations broadcast live pro-wrestling matches, my pals and I would bicycle down to a local station that offered free tickets for a studio audience on its Saturday Night Wrestling show. Quite often, since it was free and something to do on a Saturday night. We were a bunch of cheeky smart alecks there to laugh at them. But we quickly got it that the rest of the audience and the wrestlers themselves got it, too.  Everything was taking place with a giant wink.

And that gave us permission to act out our parts in the drama with enthusiasm, screaming at the designated villain, jumping up and threatening to run at the ring to attack. All play, mimicking terrible tantrums, but permitted because it was a wink and a nod. It was kind of therapeutic, this permission to act out primitive urges in public, I guess. But it was also making fun of the people that made fun of wrestling fans.

And CNN – despite being in the entertainment business — understands none of this. They have just, in fact, stepped even deeper into the trap Trump baited with the video. Piecing together accounts from CNN, HuffPost, Vox, the New York Daily News, and Sundance of Conservative Treehouse, once the White House tweeted the video, a person who posts under the pseudonym “HanA**holeSolo” on Reddit identified the account as the source of the photshopping of the CNN image. It was actually a gif moving image, posted last Wednesday, that superimposed the CNN logo on Vince McMahon’s body. (The White House has issued a denial that Reddit was source.) But once HanA**Hole identified himself, his post on Redddit was noticed and publicized on Twitter by journalist Jared Yates Sexton:

 

 

It turns out that he is a troll who has published a lot of nasty racist, antisemitic stuff, and therefore President Trump must endorse everything he ever wrote because he used a video (not a gif, by the way) that may have originated from HanA**holeSolo. I gather that is the line of reasoning being employed by the sophisticated intellectuals outraged at Trump.

Once CNN got wind of the story, it writes that:

…CNN’s KFile identified the man behind “HanA**holeSolo.” Using identifying information that “HanA**holeSolo” posted on Reddit, KFile was able to determine key biographical details, to find the man’s name using a Facebook search and ultimately corroborate details he had made available on Reddit.


On Monday, KFile attempted to contact the man by email and phone but he did not respond. 

Gee, I wonder what they said to him?

They don’t offer us a clue, other than to report that the man behind Han A**holeSolo suddenly changed and offered the type of fulsome apology (full text at the end of this article) practiced by captives of the North Koreans while blinking out S.O.S. in Morse Code.

Now what do you suppose sparked this sudden burst of conscience?

Of you guessed blackmail, then you are following the same logic as Sundance:

In an article identifying the originating source of the wrestling gif tweeted last week by President Donald Trump, CNN says they’ll keep his name private so long as the person remains compliant to the media thought police.


The direct threat is: “CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.”



Bingo!

It seems to me that a few days ago President Trump was accused of blackmailing MSNBC’s Joe and Mika. Now CNN has outed itself for currently blackmailing a private citizen with exposure unless he complies with their demands.  

The drama being played out to people who understand pro wrestling is clear. CNN has cast itself as the villainous wrestler in the match, its hypocrisy and duplicity making the case so convincingly that it doesn’t even need a mask or outrageous costume to mark its role in the drama.

And they still don’t get it.

 

HanA**hole’s apology (via CNN):

On Tuesday, “HanA**holeSolo” posted his apology on the subreddit /The_Donald and deleted all of his other posts.


“First of all, I would like to apologize to the members of the reddit community for getting this site and this sub embroiled in a controversy that should never have happened,” he wrote. “I would also like to apologize for the posts made that were racist, bigoted, and anti-semitic. I am in no way this kind of person, I love and accept people of all walks of life and have done so for my entire life. I am not the person that the media portrays me to be in real life, I was trolling and posting things to get a reaction from the subs on reddit and never meant any of the hateful things I said in those posts. I would never support any kind of violence or actions against others simply for what they believe in, their religion, or the lifestyle they choose to have. Nor would I carry out any violence against anyone based upon that or support anyone who did.”


The user further apologized for calls for violence against the press in his statement on Reddit.


“The meme was created purely as satire, it was not meant to be a call to violence against CNN or any other news affiliation,” he wrote. “I had no idea anyone would take it and put sound to it and then have it put up on the President’s Twitter feed. It was a prank, nothing more. What the President’s feed showed was not the original post that was posted here, but loaded up somewhere else and sound added to it then sent out on Twitter. I thought it was the original post that was made and that is why I took credit for it. I have the highest respect for the journalist community and they put their lives on the line every day with the jobs that they do in reporting the news.”

The media swells outraged at President Trump’s CNN wrestling tweet do not understand the level at which he communicates to his base, primarily out of their disdain for vulgar mass culture, including reality television and pro wrestling.  (Remember that the root of the word “vulgar” is the Latin “vulgus” or “common people.”)  The president, by contrast, is one of the most successful impresarios (and stars) in the history of American mass culture. Celebrity Apprentice was the most successful reality TV program in the history of the American medium.

President Trump knows how to reach the great mass of the public using images, music, and words, while those who disdain him primarily operate on the level of discourse they consider far superior: an appeal to intellect. Now, as somebody who went to the trouble of acquiring three graduate degrees and teaching at a couple of Ivy League universities, I can make a plausible claim to value intellectual discourse as much as anyone. And I do.  But I don’t kid myself that this is the only meaningful level of communication – in politics, art, human relations, or anywhere else.

The visceral reactions to the wrestling takedown by Trump of a character with a CNN logo photoshopped on his head backfired immediately, as the first stage of the trap sprung.  The primary outrage was that this could incite violence against journalists, which is laughable considering that most of the media establishment shrugged off the Kathy Griffin ISIS-style beheading photo as a harmless exercise of the First Amendment.  President Trump, the impresario, understands the potency of an image such as this:

He knows that these memories do not completely fade. Don’t forget that he is also in the branding business, and understands the nature of keeping images and associations alive on a continuing basis.  The comparison with his own cartoonish image takes place subconsciously even if not in the front of mind:

Griffin is part of the CNN brand, even though they fired her from her New Year’s Eve gig, an iconic annual event, thereby affecting CNN’s brand.  It was her highest profile engagement, a major part of her brand, too.  So CNN’s outrage over violence just makes them look ridiculous, even though they did fire Griffin after waiting a day to gauge public reaction.

I wonder how many of the media Trump haters ever attended a pro wrestling match? I therefore wonder if they understand the mentality of Americans who happen to enjoy pro wrestling? My guess is that few among them have either first-hand experience or the interest in knowing anything about the subject. They probably are a little ashamed of their country for supporting such a loutish and obviously phony spectacle that has the potential of stirring up the undesirables and deplorables. The critics of Trump for inciting violence certainly didn’t know at first that the man who was taken down by Trump was Vince McMahon, the owner of WWE, indicating the obvious comic and friendly nature of the stunt.

As a teenager in Minneapolis in the early 1960s, back when local television stations broadcast live pro-wrestling matches, my pals and I would bicycle down to a local station that offered free tickets for a studio audience on its Saturday Night Wrestling show. Quite often, since it was free and something to do on a Saturday night. We were a bunch of cheeky smart alecks there to laugh at them. But we quickly got it that the rest of the audience and the wrestlers themselves got it, too.  Everything was taking place with a giant wink.

And that gave us permission to act out our parts in the drama with enthusiasm, screaming at the designated villain, jumping up and threatening to run at the ring to attack. All play, mimicking terrible tantrums, but permitted because it was a wink and a nod. It was kind of therapeutic, this permission to act out primitive urges in public, I guess. But it was also making fun of the people that made fun of wrestling fans.

And CNN – despite being in the entertainment business — understands none of this. They have just, in fact, stepped even deeper into the trap Trump baited with the video. Piecing together accounts from CNN, HuffPost, Vox, the New York Daily News, and Sundance of Conservative Treehouse, once the White House tweeted the video, a person who posts under the pseudonym “HanA**holeSolo” on Reddit identified the account as the source of the photshopping of the CNN image. It was actually a gif moving image, posted last Wednesday, that superimposed the CNN logo on Vince McMahon’s body. (The White House has issued a denial that Reddit was source.) But once HanA**Hole identified himself, his post on Redddit was noticed and publicized on Twitter by journalist Jared Yates Sexton:

 

 

It turns out that he is a troll who has published a lot of nasty racist, antisemitic stuff, and therefore President Trump must endorse everything he ever wrote because he used a video (not a gif, by the way) that may have originated from HanA**holeSolo. I gather that is the line of reasoning being employed by the sophisticated intellectuals outraged at Trump.

Once CNN got wind of the story, it writes that:

…CNN’s KFile identified the man behind “HanA**holeSolo.” Using identifying information that “HanA**holeSolo” posted on Reddit, KFile was able to determine key biographical details, to find the man’s name using a Facebook search and ultimately corroborate details he had made available on Reddit.


On Monday, KFile attempted to contact the man by email and phone but he did not respond. 

Gee, I wonder what they said to him?

They don’t offer us a clue, other than to report that the man behind Han A**holeSolo suddenly changed and offered the type of fulsome apology (full text at the end of this article) practiced by captives of the North Koreans while blinking out S.O.S. in Morse Code.

Now what do you suppose sparked this sudden burst of conscience?

Of you guessed blackmail, then you are following the same logic as Sundance:

In an article identifying the originating source of the wrestling gif tweeted last week by President Donald Trump, CNN says they’ll keep his name private so long as the person remains compliant to the media thought police.


The direct threat is: “CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.”



Bingo!

It seems to me that a few days ago President Trump was accused of blackmailing MSNBC’s Joe and Mika. Now CNN has outed itself for currently blackmailing a private citizen with exposure unless he complies with their demands.  

The drama being played out to people who understand pro wrestling is clear. CNN has cast itself as the villainous wrestler in the match, its hypocrisy and duplicity making the case so convincingly that it doesn’t even need a mask or outrageous costume to mark its role in the drama.

And they still don’t get it.

 

HanA**hole’s apology (via CNN):

On Tuesday, “HanA**holeSolo” posted his apology on the subreddit /The_Donald and deleted all of his other posts.


“First of all, I would like to apologize to the members of the reddit community for getting this site and this sub embroiled in a controversy that should never have happened,” he wrote. “I would also like to apologize for the posts made that were racist, bigoted, and anti-semitic. I am in no way this kind of person, I love and accept people of all walks of life and have done so for my entire life. I am not the person that the media portrays me to be in real life, I was trolling and posting things to get a reaction from the subs on reddit and never meant any of the hateful things I said in those posts. I would never support any kind of violence or actions against others simply for what they believe in, their religion, or the lifestyle they choose to have. Nor would I carry out any violence against anyone based upon that or support anyone who did.”


The user further apologized for calls for violence against the press in his statement on Reddit.


“The meme was created purely as satire, it was not meant to be a call to violence against CNN or any other news affiliation,” he wrote. “I had no idea anyone would take it and put sound to it and then have it put up on the President’s Twitter feed. It was a prank, nothing more. What the President’s feed showed was not the original post that was posted here, but loaded up somewhere else and sound added to it then sent out on Twitter. I thought it was the original post that was made and that is why I took credit for it. I have the highest respect for the journalist community and they put their lives on the line every day with the jobs that they do in reporting the news.”



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CNN busted trying to send false ‘Russia collusion’ story down the memory hole


Anti-Trump madness has seized control at CNN, causing the network to disgrace itself so badly that even a progressive outlets are grossed out. The latest humiliation to the propaganda organ that has repelace the news network came at the hands of Buzzfeed (of all places!).  Jim Dalrymple II writes:

CNN late Friday deleted a story from its website that claimed Senate investigators were looking into a Russian investment fund whose chief executive met with a member of President Trump’s transition team, later issuing a retraction in the story’s place.


The now-deleted story, by investigative reporter Thomas Frank, was published Thursday and cited a single, unnamed source who claimed that the Senate Intelligence Committee was looking into a “$10-billion Russian investment fund whose chief executive met with a member of President Donald Trump’s transition team four days before Trump’s inauguration.”


But by Friday evening, the story had vanished from CNN’s website. It was not immediately clear when the story was removed, but a tweet linking to the story, from CNN’s Politics account, was also deleted sometime Friday evening.

Did they think nobody would notice? Nothing ever simply disappears from the internet thanks to cache memories.

After noticing the story’s disappearance, BuzzFeed News contacted CNN. More than an hour later, an editor’s note appeared on CNN’s website. A company representative sent BuzzFeed News a link to the note, but did not answer other questions about why the story was removed.

There is a lot more to the story. Read it here.

What is the likelihood of consequences for Thomas Frank? Low, I would suspect.  Having cast its lot with the forces seeking to oust President Trump, CNN is stuck and will continue to fight.

Anti-Trump madness has seized control at CNN, causing the network to disgrace itself so badly that even a progressive outlets are grossed out. The latest humiliation to the propaganda organ that has repelace the news network came at the hands of Buzzfeed (of all places!).  Jim Dalrymple II writes:

CNN late Friday deleted a story from its website that claimed Senate investigators were looking into a Russian investment fund whose chief executive met with a member of President Trump’s transition team, later issuing a retraction in the story’s place.


The now-deleted story, by investigative reporter Thomas Frank, was published Thursday and cited a single, unnamed source who claimed that the Senate Intelligence Committee was looking into a “$10-billion Russian investment fund whose chief executive met with a member of President Donald Trump’s transition team four days before Trump’s inauguration.”


But by Friday evening, the story had vanished from CNN’s website. It was not immediately clear when the story was removed, but a tweet linking to the story, from CNN’s Politics account, was also deleted sometime Friday evening.

Did they think nobody would notice? Nothing ever simply disappears from the internet thanks to cache memories.

After noticing the story’s disappearance, BuzzFeed News contacted CNN. More than an hour later, an editor’s note appeared on CNN’s website. A company representative sent BuzzFeed News a link to the note, but did not answer other questions about why the story was removed.

There is a lot more to the story. Read it here.

What is the likelihood of consequences for Thomas Frank? Low, I would suspect.  Having cast its lot with the forces seeking to oust President Trump, CNN is stuck and will continue to fight.



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