Carlson scores mammoth huge win: As the fury of TonedeafGate subsides, we think Glenn Kessler's participation deserves being noted.
Long ago and far away, we declared that Kessler might possibly be "The Man." On this basis of this appraisal, he was named the Washington Post's FactChecker—but it seems to us that he may have succumbed to the mainstream press corps illness, Clinton Derangement Syndrome.
When TonedeafGate took shape this week, Kessler swung into action. His appraisal appears beneath this screeching headline:
Fact-Checking Bill Clinton’s meltdown on NBC’s ‘Today Show’Did Clinton stage a "meltdown" on Today? Especially in a "fact check" report—especially given the sliced-and-diced nature of Today's editing of its interview—that strikes us as a giant overstatement.
The fact check itself was worse. Kessler went to remarkable lengths to fact-check, or pretend to fact-check, a tremendously tangential claim.
At enormous length, he fact-checked, or pretended to fact-check, the tangential matter now known as "the $16 million question." We'd have to say that he may have succumbed to the disease called CDS.
Has Kessler also succumbed to Trump Derangement Syndrome? Yes, there actually is such a disease. You can see corporate stars in its grip on "cable news" every night.
We'd say that Kessler was exhibiting symptoms in his recent treatment of the Spygate matter. This is the way his report began:
KESSLER (5/25/18): President Trump, in a continuing effort to discredit the criminal investigation into his campaign’s possible links with Russia entities, has now seized on “spygate.” This refers to the news that the FBI obtained information from an informant—Stefan Halper, an emeritus professor at the University of Cambridge—who met with at least three members of Trump’s campaign staff suspected of having links to Russia.Truly, that's just awful. A tiny hint of derangement may be in the air
As an informant, Halper openly asked questions; a spy uses tradecraft to obtain information. So far, there has been nothing to indicate that there was a “spy” mandate as part of Halper’s assistance for the FBI, which apparently started after the agency opened a counterintelligence probe. But that has not stopped Trump from trying to fan the flames with often inaccurate information.
For starters, we'll note the way Kessler massaged the facts in this "FactChecker" post. According to Kessler, Halper "met with at least three members of Trump’s campaign staff" and "openly asked [them] questions."
The use of the word "openly" there strikes us as baldly deceptive. Beyond that, Kessler's attempt to describe the semantics of "informant v. spy" is straight outta third grade.
Kessler's own Washington Post keeps reporting a full set of facts about what Halper did. Even in a "fact check" report, Kessler seemed to massage them, with semantic silliness serving as the frosting on the cake.
Alas! Lunatic as Donald Trump is, his opponents can be deranged too. You see this pattern on "cable news" all night every night, where the various corporate stars operate under the self-defeating rubric, No Bait Left Behind.
Whatever bait has been offered that day, the corporate stars rush to consume it. This leads us to Tucker Carlson's program this past Thursday night, as does Kessler's treatment of Spygate.
Alas! During the midnight hour on Thursday night, we felt we couldn't watch another minute of Rachel's latest harangue, and so we flipped over to Fox. Upon arrival, we watched Carlson stage three successive segments in which he mocked the recent behavior of the No Bait Left Behind gang.
Politically, we thought he went 3-for-3, scoring political wins every time.
In the second of these three segments, Carlson massacred the animatronic Richard Painter concerning the facts versus the semantics of SpyvInformantate. Painter was utterly, totally hapless. But in his third segment, Carlson's political triumph was even greater.
Good God! Rudy Giuliani had made rude remarks about Stephanie Clifford that day. Given the mandates of No Bait Left Behind, this led our "liberal" corporate stars to author all sorts of heartfelt remarks about Clifford's moral greatness.
Carlson opened with tape of Giuliani, then played tape of four of these thousand remarks. He then ridiculed the authors of those comments.
Warning to all Democratic voters—the worst was yet to come:
CARLSON (6/7/18): That was Rudy Giuliani, saying what's been obvious to pretty much every living person for a couple of thousand years, that someone is more deserving of respect if they don't have sex with strangers on camera for money.Our view? On the politics of this matter, Carlson was already ahead on points. But then he introduced Mark Steyn and the rout was on.
But this is 2018. We don't live in a normal America, but in a liberal carnival version of it instead. A version in which pornography isn't degrading, it's dignifying and empowering to women, just like Haiti is a beautiful country with functioning sanitation and MS-13 gang members are great people.
Well, today, the press scrambled to praise Stormy Daniels' illustrious career.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
STEPHANIE RUHLE: You just heard Rudy Giuliani's reaction, which in essence is "Porn stars aren't people too."
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: We've always had women who worked and worked on the street. A lot of them have put their kids to college.
SAM STEIN: She is one of the most successful porn stars in recent history. A lot of people have "just looked at her." Honestly. You can question her career choices, but I think she's made a successful career for herself.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI [stricken, as alwayss]: She's a mother and she's a woman with a voice. And she's going to use it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: These people are beyond—they're literally beyond parody.
Below, you see the start of their colloquy. Forgive us, but we'd have to say that Steyn produced one the greatest comedic frameworks we've ever seen on TV:
CARLSON (continuing directly): Author and columnist Mark Steyn joins us.Good God! Steyn had authored one of the most successful comedic frameworks we've ever seen. Given the rules of our "no bait" approach, we hate the swimsuit competition, but we take numbers and stand in line to praise Clifford's greatness.
Mark, I should just say that I actually, by temperament, am pretty non-judgmental. I'm not mad at Stormy Daniels or anything. But I notice—I can't help but notice—the impulse on the left is always to elevate and celebrate anything that is repulsive, degrading, bad for you. Anything that is low and ugly, they deify. What is that about?
STEYN: Yes. I think there's an element of—I would say—I thought originally it was confusion, but I think it's actually intentional because— On the one hand, you have Miss America saying we're not going to have a swimsuit round anymore, because that's demeaning to women.
STEYN: So you can't have a swimsuit round. But if you take off your swimsuit and you have sex with 37 different guys on screen in one motion picture, then people will hail you.
CARLSON: I want to make sure I get the correct quote here. "One of the most successful porn stars ever." That's a really great thing to be!
We apologize for saying this, but that's a one-punch knockout. Trust us! You simply can't hope to defeat a political joke that good.
The political pummeling only got worse Carlson and Steyn continued. Just to be clear, we're speaking here about the politics, not about the ultimate wisdom, which of course, by definition, always resides with Us.
If we're speaking about the politics, we'd better hope that very few Undecideds were watching Carlson that night. In our view, he defeated our No Bait crowd in three consecutive segments—and he left us unconscious, on the carpet, as he spoke with Steyn.
Final point—we don't have an ultimate problem with Clifford's career choice either, especially since it's legal. We did have a problem with the way the cable nets, and the liberals journals, kept flashing her photos around during StormyGate in ways which were blatantly exploitive.
Eye candy over here! Come take a look at Stormy's parts! That's what the barkers at our "liberal" news orgs kept saying again and again.
We also had, and have, a major problem with what Clifford did in 2016. Not unlike Vladimir Putin, not unlike Gennifer Flowers, she tried to interfere in a presidential campaign, in her case by trying to sell her thrilling story about alleged sex, on one occasion, with Donald J. Trump.
She tried to interfere in pursuit of sacks of cash. At some point, we the people will have to decide that we have to stop rewarding that.
At any rate, Mark Steyn scored a one-punch knockout with that comedic framing. We liberals hate the swimsuit stuff, but we rush to praise the porn star!
Given time, your lizard brain will find a way to say that this all makes perfect sense. But out in the world of American voters, our lizard brains had choked on bait.
Our lizards were left for dead.
Final point: Your lizard will tell you not to believe this. Your lizard keeps trying to lose!
Meanwhile, new rankings of greatest uses of humor ever:
Greatest uses of humor ever:In truth, we made it easier for Steyn through our tribal adoption of No Bait Left Behind.
1) The final use of "round up the usual suspects" in Casablanca
2) Mark Steyn's one-punch knockout on Fox this past Thursday night