Post and Times flee the scene of the crime: Last evening, in the 1 A.M. hour, a certain red-faced cable talker presented "A Special Late Night Edition of Hardball."
Two nights earlier, the red-faced man in the big orange shoes had joined four other corporate clowns in a clownishly unprofessional discussion of Melaniagate.
As they spoke that night, the pundits had no way of knowing what had actually happened. But so what? The pundits swore that the prettiest lady simply couldn't have done it!
How silly did the pundits' discussion get that night? Instantly, our red-faced talker said the lifting of lines from Michelle Obama must have been an act of "sabotage"—sabotage conducted by someone inside the Trump campaign!
Needless to say, Lawrence O'Donnell quickly agreed. Things went downhill from there.
The lifting of lines had been an "assault on" Melania, the sillybills went on to say. The children kept this up for twenty minutes without commercial break. For more detail, click here.
Late last night, the red-faced talker completely flipped about Melaniagate. Two nights before, the prettiest lady had been the victim of an act of sabotage, an assault. Now, Melania was "the culprit," the red-faced talker declared.
The victim had become the culprit! Here's the background to the talker's flip:
Yesterday afternoon, a Trump employee, Meredith McIver, published a patchy "explanation" of the way the borrowing occurred. Noting some of the oddness in McIver's story, the red-faced talker said last night that McIver was "falling on the grenade" in service to the real evildoer.
The real evildoer was Melania Trump, the red-faced talker now said.
McIver's patchy explanation was "a nice way of letting off a civilian," the talker declared last night. A bit later in the 1 A.M. hour, the talker put it like this:
MATTHEWS (7/21/16): We know it was Melania's fault. She did it, but she's an amateur.A bit later, after a break, the talker turned to Politico's Ken Vogel and said this:
MATTHEWS: Good work today at your org, by the way, getting all that stuff on Melania, the culprit.We don't know to what specific work the excitable talker referred.
Was Melania Trump "the culprit" in this trivial, but utterly thrilling, pundit corps adventure? It all depends on what the meaning of culprit is!
If we can believe the basics of McIver's statement, it seems clear that Melania Trump must have known that she was reading lines from Michelle Obama's 2008 address.
According to McIver's statement, Trump was the one who introduced the purloined lines into the speechwriting process. When she gave her speech Monday night, she must have known she was reading lines from Michelle Obama's address.
Please note: It still isn't clear that McIver knew the source of the purloined material. In her patchy explanation, McIver said that Melania dictated the lines from Obama's speech during a phone conversation.
She didn't say that Melania told her where the lines came from. This may or may not have been a deliberate attempt at deception on McIver's part.
Matthews didn't seem to have noticed this problem with McIver's statement. But so what? Thunder being his game, he flipped from "sabotage" to "culprit" in the course of 48 hours.
In this morning's editions, the Washington Post and the New York Times are heavily fudging this story. They seem to be going out of their way today to avoid a basic fact:
If we accept the basics in McIver's account, Melania Trump was the original source of the purloined lines. She knew she was reading purloined lines when she delivered her speech.
This matter is utterly trivial, of course—but until Melania's role was revealed, the pundit world thought it was major fun. It's exactly the kind of silly, waste-of-time piddle our corporate pundits adore.
By way of contrast, the children were all too frightened last week to challenge the sayings of Comey the God—and yes, this includes the orange-shoed players named Matthews, Hayes, Maddow, O'Donnell.
Comey the God is a powerful god; he's feared all through the land. The children will stay away from his edicts, no matter how faux they may seem.
That said, the children adored Melaniagate, until it turned out that Melania herself seemed to be involved. Now, the Washington Post and the New York Times seem to running away from the tale. And good lord! At the Post, Robert Costa is kissing ascot today in a truly remarkable way.
This phony report about the affair represents ascot-kissing of the most ridiculous kind. But now that Melania looks like a "culprit," the Post and the Times seem to be running away from the amusing affair.
That said, the children have played many games this week. We'll bring you such games as we can today.
Coming next, an anagram:
Costa kisses ascot.
Concerning transcripts and video: As far as we know, MSNBC isn't providing much in the way of transcripts or video this week. We can't link you to any such sources on-line.
As a member of the Comcast family, we're able to watch video of MSNBC's horrible "coverage" through our On Demand feature. We're transcribing the pundits' orange-shoed comments from that invaluable source.