Just as it ever has been: Back in 1935, novelist Robert Graves gave us Claudius the God.
The novel was a sequel to Graves' previous effort, I, Claudius. According to the leading authority, "the Modern Library ranked I, Claudius fourteenth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century."
Was the emperor Claudius really a god? We can't exactly tell you. But just last Wednesday, a leading "journalist" presented us with his successor:
He gave us Comey the God.
Dana Milbank performed the service in the Washington Post.Believe it or not, his column bore this headline:
"On Clinton's emails, no 'reasonable person' can disagree with Comey"
Imagine! Comey, the head of the FBI, had just unloosed a set of pronouncements. Displaying the unmistakable world view of the modern Potemkin press corps, Milbank announced that no reasonable person could disagree with his great decrees!
You'll note that Milbank's editor put quotation marks around two words in that headline. In the body of his piece, Milbank performed no such dodge.
Skepticism be damned! Milbank quoted at length from Comey's "powerful rebuke of Clinton's conduct." He then quoted Comey saying that no reasonable prosecutor would bring criminal charges in the Clinton case.
Plainly, these were the decrees of a god! Here's the way Milbank ended:
MILBANK (7/6/16): Much will, and has, been said about what my colleague Chris Cillizza described as Comey's "devastating" description of Clinton's antics. Conversely, many were saying before Comey even announced his decision that the investigation was rigged to exonerate Clinton.No reasonable person can disagree with Comey the God!
But the bottom line is that a man whose reputation for integrity is as unimpeachable as it gets here in the city of Satan has said unequivocally that Clinton shouldn't be prosecuted. And she won't be, given that Justice Department prosecutors have no reason to overrule the FBI.
Comey's opposition to prosecution is what counts, not his words. He took pains to defend the FBI's integrity, reporting on the "thousands of hours" and the technical sleuthing of the investigation. "Only facts matter," he said, "and the FBI found them here in an entirely apolitical and professional way."
No reasonable person can disagree with Jim Comey.
According to Milbank, the only thing that matters here is Comey's opposition to prosecution. Given the way the upright director savaged Clinton for her alleged misconduct, that strikes us as an extremely naive assessment.
But of one thing there can be no doubt—Milbank had announced the presence of a god. No reasonable person can disagree with the judgments of Comey the Deity!
In a slightly more rational world, it would seem extremely strange to see a journalist say such a thing. But all through the years of the Clinton/Gore wars, our "journalists" have been strongly inclined to see accusers as gods.
For ourselves, we'll assume that Comey was sincere in the judgments he stated last week. But no public official is a god, not even the transplendent Comey. At one time, it was assumed that journalists understood this.
Did Comey show good judgment last week? Were his basic factual claims even accurate? Were his claims perhaps misleading in some way?
These questions need to be hashed out. We'll do so in a series of posts, but acolytes should make no mistake:
At the Washington Post, the accusers of the Clintons and Gore have always been understood to be gods. Last Wednesday, Milbank revived an ancient cult. Yesterday, on the front page, Helderman followed suit.
Some have disagreed with Comey the God. Voters should know what they've said.