Part 1—Along with the Washington Post: Two striking reports in the Washington Post point to an existential threat—an existential threat which has been posed by the nation's resurgent "music men."
Tomorrow, we'll define the term. For today, let's consider those two reports in the Post. Also, let's consider the way the reports have been treated by two of our top "music men."
Is Donald J. Trump a "music man?" As always, that's a matter of judgment.
That said, Joe Scarborough denounced Candidate Trump this morning for his "reprehensible" discussion of the death of Vince Foster. (In 1993, Foster committed suicide. In 1997, the original findings to that effect were confirmed by Kenneth Starr.)
Trump's conduct is described today in this morning's news report in the Washington Post. DelReal and Costa wrote the report. Please note the highlighted passage:
DELREAL AND FOSTER (5/24/16): One issue on Trump’s radar is the 1993 death of Foster, which has been ruled a suicide by law enforcement officials and a subsequent federal investigation. But some voices on the far right have long argued that the Clintons may have been involved in a conspiracy that led to Foster’s death.Scarborough denounced Trump today for those quoted remarks—and indeed, the quoted remarks are true "music man" material. That said, please note the passage we have highlighted, which appears to say that Trump made his remarks only after being asked about the death of Foster.
When asked in an interview last week about the Foster case, Trump dealt with it as he has with many edgy topics—raising doubts about the official version of events even as he says he does not plan to talk about it on the campaign trail.
He called theories of possible foul play “very serious” and the circumstances of Foster’s death “very fishy.”
“He had intimate knowledge of what was going on,” Trump said, speaking of Foster’s relationship with the Clintons at the time. “He knew everything that was going on, and then all of a sudden he committed suicide.”
He added, “I don’t bring [Foster’s death] up because I don’t know enough to really discuss it. I will say there are people who continue to bring it up because they think it was absolutely a murder. I don’t do that because I don’t think it’s fair.”
Why would an inexperienced youngster like DelReal ask Trump about that subject? This raises a question the liberal world has ignored, avoided and disappeared for the past twenty-four years.
Why on earth did the Washington Post raise that topic with Trump? We can't answer your question, which is perfectly sensible. For now, let's consider that second report in this morning's Post.
This report was written by Matt Zapotosky, the fresh-faced scribe who guested last night as Rachel Maddow played music man in support of some hot new excitement.
The hot new topic has arrived just in time to serve as a type of fodder in this year's White House campaign. The murky claims involve Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, a long-time Clinton aide.
Zapotosky's report in the Post starts as shown below. As anyone but a corporate Rhodes scholar could see, the claims in Zapotosky's report are extremely murky. For anyone but a naif, a partisan, an inexperienced youngster or a hopeless "music man," the timing of these murky claims would rouse a bit of suspicion:
ZAPOTOSKY (5/24/16): Federal prosecutors are investigating campaign contributions to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), and what they consider to be suspicious personal finances, as part of a public integrity probe that has lasted for more than a year, according to two officials familiar with the inquiry.The Post's report cites two anonymous sources. The Post's information is very murky, to the extent that it qualifies as "information" at all.
Justice Department officials would not confirm or deny the investigation. Many details, including what prompted it, remain unclear, and one official said there is skepticism among prosecutors about whether it will lead to charges.
That official said investigators have been scrutinizing McAuliffe’s finances—including personal bank records, tax returns and public disclosure forms that date back many years—and are interested in foreign sources of income.
The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing and those who discuss it might face discipline. CNN first reported the probe and said that investigators were interested in a contribution to McAuliffe from a Chinese businessman, Wang Wenliang, through his U.S. businesses.
A McAuliffe spokesman referred questions to lawyer Marc Elias, who said in a statement: “We cannot confirm the CNN report. Neither the Governor nor his former campaign has knowledge of this matter, but as reported, contributions to the campaign from Mr. Wang were completely lawful. The Governor will certainly cooperate with the government if he is contacted about it.”
According to the Post, the new report got its start with CNN. By last night, the music man known as "Rachel Maddow" was pimping it very hard, in line with frameworks which are familiar on her clowning, low-IQ, corporate-owned TV show.
Maddow offered an entire segment on the murky report about corruption in the great state of Virginia. As usual on the Maddow Show, an indictment was taken as equal to guilt and the rumor of an investigation was taken as equal to an indictment.
As usual, Maddow already had McAuliffe convicted of the corruption charges which don't yet exist. She didn't evince an ounce of suspicion about the timing of this exciting and unsourced report.
Maddow's segment included an interview with the fresh-faced Zapotosky. It didn't include the tiniest hint of the types of concerns which anyone with a hint of sense or historical knowledge would have brought to this hot new report.
If we assume that she behaves in good faith, Maddow is one of the stupidest people ever invented by the bosses who run our corporate "cable news" channels. Trump is a candidate like no other candidate in either major party in the recent past.
Are these players "music men?" As always, such judgments are subjective. But Trump's response when asked about Foster was par for his deeply disordered course. So was Maddow's behavior last night as she gamboled and played with the murky, anonymous hot new report.
Candidate Trump is like none before him. To a large extent, neither is Broadcaster Maddow. Here's a major part of the problem:
Our tribe is able to picture Trump as a modern "music man." We can't see the problem with Maddow, and our leaders have spent decades disappearing the role played by entities like the Post in these death-dealing matters.
Trump's response to the Post was an unholy mess. So was Maddow's segment. Each performance was par for the course for these possible "music men."
Tomorrow: Maddow's ridiculous conduct
What the Sam Hill is a music man: As usual, the professors are involved!
We refer to Professor Harold Hill. For background from the leading authority, just click here.
Our culture's "music men" are resurgent. In the narrow sense, this has been true for the past twenty-four years.