Part 3—Journalistic porn: Yay yay yay yay yay yay! It's going to be so exciting!
As Joy Reid mentioned on Monday night, we liberals are popping our corn. At least by yesterday afternoon, CNN had its countdown clock in action:
According to the countdown clock, it was 39 hours 24 minutes 17 seconds until the God would start to speak! Yay yay yay yay yay! We could hardly wait!
Needless to say, the air of high drama was being built around Thursday morning's testimony by James B. Comey—AKA, Comey the God.
Comey has succeeded in casting himself in opposition to Donald J. Trump, the craziest, lest credible person in American political history. For that reason, his godlike status is being restored as we count the seconds down toward the thrilling words he will speak.
His endless errors and apparent misconduct are now being erased. Within the mainstream and liberal press, he's being restored to his long-standing status as The World's Most Forthright Man.
Comey isn't the world's most forthright man, but he also isn't Trump. For dramatic purposes, the rather large wrinkles in his game are therefore being widely erased and ignored.
A clownish example of this process appears in this morning's Washington Post. We refer to this parody of journalism—a report which appears under the names of two experienced upper-end Washington journalists.
What happens when godlike status is restored? Yay yay yay yay yay! Hard-copy headline included, the Post reporters started like this:
BARRETT AND NAKASHIMA (6/7/17): On Thursday, all eyes will be on Comey. Again.Yay yay yay yay yay! According to the Post reporters, "some are predicting" that Thursday's hearing is going to be historic! The hearing may involved "bombshell testimony," Tracy Schmaler has even said.
When James B. Comey sits down before a microphone Thursday in his first public appearance since he was fired as director of the FBI, a key question he is likely to face is whether he believes President Trump tried to obstruct an ongoing federal probe of his associates.
Even before Comey has uttered a word, some predict the hearing will be historic—a moment in which a former senior official has a nationally televised platform to repudiate a president who has lashed out at the federal government he leads.
"Comey has made a career of providing bombshell testimony to Congress,'' said Tracy Schmaler, a former Senate Judiciary Committee staffer who attended a 2007 hearing in which Comey captivated the capital with an account of apparent White House interference with Justice Department decision-making. "In that respect, Thursday will be what everyone's expecting—the most anticipated hearing so far in the Trump administration."
Who the f*ck is Tracy Schmaler? You're asking a very good question! Clownishing, he or she is an otherwise unconnected person who is being used, in this report, to establish the novelistic framework for tomorrow's high drama.
Schmaler's expert status is based on the fact that he or she once attended a congressional hearing. On the basis of this qualification, Schmaler's statements are used throughout this report to establish the framework being built around the highly anticipated appearance by Comey the God.
Let's give the tiniest bit of credit to the Post's "reporters." Before they proceed to full framework mode, they manage to cite a recent error by the godlike figure himself.
In fact, this god has made so many mistakes that Kellyanne Conway even gets to be right about something! That said, the following paragraph—paragraph 5—will be the reader's last tiny link to journalistic reality:
BARRETT AND NAKASHIMA: White House staffers have signaled they will try to portray Comey as an unreliable witness. "The last time he testified under oath, the FBI had to scurry to correct the testimony,'' adviser Kellyanne Conway said earlier this week. That was a reference to Comey's May 3 congressional testimony, in which the then-FBI director, as he was describing the bureau's probe of Hillary Clinton's emails, misstated the number and type of emails forwarded by a Clinton aide.Say what? The god's recent testimony had to be corrected?
Remarkably, Conway's statement is accurate; it may even be relevant. But at times like these, a great god's errors must be wiped, like with a cloth.
As they continue, the Post reporters describe the highly principled things Comey is expected to do at the hearing, according to his unnamed "associates." But good God! Before they provide that messaging service, they actually type this:
BARRETT AND NAKASHIMA (continuing directly): After the president abruptly fired Comey last month, associates of the former FBI director revealed the president had repeatedly pressed him about the investigation of possible contacts between his associates and Russian operatives. They said Comey felt the conversations with the president often veered into improper areas, and the FBI director took pains to prepare for the talks with Trump and to make detailed written records after each one.Say what? Comey's associates "revealed" that Trump had done those things? Were these journalists searching for the well-known words "alleged," "reported" or "said?"
Whatever! After Comey's associates get through describing the great things Comey is going to do, the Post reporters return to their named expert witness.
In this passage, you are seeing James B. Comey's godlike status being restored. It's being done through expert testimony by someone who isn't an expert witness—by someone they grabbed off the street:
BARRETT AND NAKASHIMA: In 2007, Comey offered riveting testimony to a Senate panel about a confrontation he had at a hospital with senior White House aides over a classified surveillance program. His dramatic telling of that story helped lead to the resignation of President George W. Bush's attorney general, Alberto Gonzales.Yay yay yay yay yay yay yay! In that passage, we're being reminded of what we're now supposed to think about Comey.
The showdown did much to cement his reputation as a law enforcement official willing to stand up to his political bosses when he thought they were wrong. Comey's testimony then was "riveting," Schmaler said—a rare moment when lawmakers essentially stopped talking and just let a witness speak for 20 minutes straight. As important as that hearing was, the stakes—and the buildup—to Thursday's appearance are even bigger.
"Now we're actually going to know what Comey's views, thoughts and reactions were when the president asked him those questions," Schmaler said. "I will be curious to see whether and how he tries to lay a foundation for possible obstruction of justice."
Ten years ago, on one occasion, he offered testimony which was "riveting" and "dramatic," the two reporters assert. Comey is "a law enforcement official willing to stand up to his political bosses," we're also being reminded.
After that, up jumps Schmaler, with his or her otherwise irrelevant, framework-establishing statements again. Schmaler repeats what the reporters just said—ten years ago, Comey's testimony was "riveting." As he or she continues from there, he or she goes into full stool pigeon mode:
"Now we're actually going to know what Comey's views, thoughts and reactions were," the non-expert says. This leaves no room for the possibility that Comey's godlike statements tomorrow morning will be shaded, tilted, inaccurate, erroneous or anything but forthright.
Also, yay yay yay! We're headed toward a possible criminal charge against Trump, our non-expert says. The reporters then turn to another witness who is restoring a god:
BARRETT AND NAKASHIMA (continuing directly): Analysts who have studied Comey's career expect he will tell the tale in a way that draws clear moral lines through what might otherwise be murky legal matters. "James Comey has the quiet confidence and a track record of knowing how to dominate, how to direct the story," said Karen Greenberg, the director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University.Truly, this man is a god! Remember how he "wasn't afraid to stand up to Candidate Clinton? By deviating from established procedure and making claims which were misleading and wrong?
"He trusts his conscience, and he's not afraid to stand up to people who he thinks are wrong," she said. "It's where he sees morality intersect with the law."
Meanwhile, does Comey "know how to direct the story?" It isn't hard when the nation's "reporters" are willing to frame you in the ridiculous manner on display in this novelized non-report.
This Washington Post report is journalistic porn. It relates to journalism in much the way a tweet by Donald J. Trump relates to classic world literature. That said:
For decades, the upper-end Washington press has told us who we should believe in ways as clownish as this. Over Here in the liberal world, we've accepted this sh*t every step of the way. People are dead all over the world because we're so dumb and compliant.
Tomorrow morning, we plan to return to Joy Reid's popcorn monologue. We'll show you what one of our own liberal analysts said about Comey the God right before Reid's remark.
Last July, this famous god launched an attack on Candidate Clinton. The children at MSNBC all ran off and hid in the woods, just as they'd done, four years before, when Republicans were sliming Susan Rice on their way to inventing Benghazi.
Rachel never mentioned Comey's name in the months after he launched his attack. She clowned us in exactly the way she'd clowned us in the past.
None of the children were willing to speak. This week, they're still behaving like corporate clowns, clownishly getting in line.
"Yay yay yay yay yay," we declare. "This will be so great!
Tomorrow: "Really, it could be explosive..."
Important warning: Your lizard is saying that we're all wrong. You should consider the possibility of ignoring your lizard.