Krauthammer proves its importance: We've learned a new truth in the past several weeks:
In the future, everything will be hacked!
In the future, everything will be stolen! This helps establish the importance of Pierce's Law, which was adumbrated on October 14:
Pierce's Law: Information doesn't become a bombshell just because you stole it.This week, we added a corollary: Just because something has been leaked, that doesn't mean it's significant.
Just because something has been hacked, that doesn't mean it's important! The fact it's stolen doesn't mean that it's worth discussing at all.
But alas! Within the minds of the mainstream press, the fact that something has been stolen makes it deeply alluring. We've learned this fact in various ways at the Washington Post this week.
Let's start with this appalling piece by the Post's Dan Zak. It's the giant featured piece on page one of today's Style section. It comes to us straight from the sewer, or from a place next door.
Zak is exploring the stolen emails of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The Russians stole them, then gave them to Zak. He searched on the key term, "a**holes."
Beneath a giant photograph of the target, Zak starts by quoting emails Podesta sent to his wife. Not seeming to see how awful this is, he's soon selling us this:
ZAK (10/21/16): What happens if you measure a Washington insider not by his résumé but by his inbox? His correspondence reveals what everyone already knows but is shocked to see confirmed: In private, most of us can be pretty bitchy.Yay yay yay yay yay yay yay! To the tiny small brains at the Washington Post, dirty words are fun!
“An everyday American pompous law professor,” Podesta wrote about Harvard’s Lawrence Lessig.
“Maybe we can rent the Queen Mary for the next 18 months and fill it with [Hillary’s] brothers and assorted crazy hangers on,” he wrote in May 2015.
“F--- these a--holes,” progressive think tanker Neera Tanden wrote July 31 in an email that appears to be about doubters of Hillary’s health.
“Needy Latinos” was the subject line of an August email from Podesta regarding former Clinton cabinet officials Federico Peña and Bill Richardson.
“What an a--hole,” Podesta wrote about the dentist who killed Cecil the lion.
(For a companion item, check this pitiful low-IQ piddle, also from this morning's Post. Thanks to a massive layout, this pitiful piddle dominates the Post's hard-copy op-ed page. This pointless piddle was assembled by Molly Roberts, who graduated from Harvard in June. The Post has her doing this.)
Back to that stolen material! As he presents the two "a**holes" he found, Zak mutters about the important stuff in the leaks—Clinton's "speeches to Wall Street, a campaigner’s disparaging comments about religion, and insinuations that the campaign was getting debate questions in advance."
In this way, Zak pretends that bombshells were found within that stolen material.
Let's start with those speeches to Wall Street. In the dozen excerpts which were first released, only one struck us as strange. That was the excerpt where Clinton seemed to be endorsing "open borders." As part of a secret paid speech!
That comment struck us as peculiar. But uh-oh! Warning! Buzzkill alert! During Wednesday's debate, Clinton said this about that, addressing a worried Chris Wallace:
"Well, if you went on to read the rest of the sentence, I was talking about energy. You know, we trade more energy with our neighbors than we trade with the rest of the world combined. And I do want us to have an electric grid, an energy system that crosses borders."
We went back and read the rest of the sentence, and sure enough! She was talking about energy, although these excerpts were edited in a way which disappeared larger context.
(“My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”)
Do people talk about "open borders" in the context of energy transmission? We have no idea. In this tweet, retweeted by Krugman, Dave Weigel vouches for Clinton, though only in a brief way. Last night, though, we saw Halperin and Heilemann citing this "open borders" remark from the debate as one of Clinton's slippery evasions, full stop.
There was no sign that the boys had bothered to "go back and read the rest of the sentence." But then, what else is new? We're discussing the intellectual practices of a very childish guild.
The guild loves things which are stolen! The love the excitement of the theft, the corresponding illusion of bombshell.
They also love the fruit of FOIA requests. And they love an unexpected release of material, no matter how obscure the material may be. This too conveys the impression of importance, as we learned this week when the Washington Post tried to handle an unexpected release from the FBI of something resembling information.
In fact, the FBI's (irregular) release was extremely murky. It featured a paraphrase written by an unnamed FBI employee—a paraphrase of something (allegedly) said by another unnamed employee.
On Day One, there was no way to interview either employee concerning what had allegedly been said. Meanwhile, a provocative phrase, "quid pro quo," was floating around in quotation marks within the paraphrase of the unnamed employee's remarks, though it wasn't clear who had actually used that term, or if it had ever been said.
In this, the reign of Comey the God, releases from the FBI tend to quite imprecise. In part because this release was so unclear, it was also extremely exciting. The imprecision meant that scribes could imagine the matter as they pleased. At the Post, this meant that a young reporter, atop the front page, imagined that the State Department had "pressured" the FBI regarding a "quid pro quo." Or that two persons had said that it did!
Matt Zapotosky's news reporting was a remarkable mess. In the course of 24 hours, he produced two news report and a taped interview, in the course of which he said everything which could possibly have been said.
First, he reported that someone had said that the FBI had been pressured. In a second news report, he quoted the FBI agent in question saying he hadn't been pressured. Meanwhile, on videotape, Zapotosky was shown saying, in his own voice, that the FBI had been pressured. Kathleen Parker then picked the version she liked and broadcast it to the world.
She had liked the most scandalous version. Ignoring the warning in Pierce's Law, she had spotted a bombshell.
This morning, Charles Krauthammer leaves this bullshit for dead. The passage shown below appears in the Washington Post, written by an experienced scribe who's strongly anti-Clinton.
In an attempt to support the team, Krauthammer is willing to use the term "sensational" to describe the FBI's "disclosure." But as he does, he helps us see that this murky "disclosure" was always a big pile of crap:
KRAUTHAMMER (10/21/16): The most sensational disclosure was the proposed deal between the State Department and the FBI in which the FBI would declassify a Clinton email and State would give the FBI more slots in overseas stations. What made it sensational was the rare appearance in an official account of the phrase “quid pro quo,” which is the currently agreed-upon dividing line between acceptable and unacceptable corruption.As a team player and a Clinton hater, Krauthammer assumes many facts not in evidence. He even agrees to pretend that the "disclosure" was "sensational."
This is nonetheless an odd choice for most egregious offense. First, it occurred several layers removed from the campaign and from Clinton. It involved a career State Department official (he occupied the same position under Condoleezza Rice) covering not just for Clinton but for his own department.
Second, it’s not clear which side originally offered the bargain. Third, nothing tangible was supposed to exchange hands. There was no proposed personal enrichment—a Rolex in return for your soul—which tends to be our standard for punishable misconduct.
And finally, it never actually happened. The FBI turned down the declassification request.
Then, he lists the reason why it actually wasn't sensational—the reasons, why, truth being told, this "disclosure" was nothing at all.
Pierce's Law warned about that. Pierce's Law warned against assuming that such "disclosures" were sensational bombshells.
But alas! In this case, the disclosure was offered to the small tiny minds of the guild. Zapotosky, Parker and Krauthammer rushed to execute their guild's scandal-based dimwitted culture.
Zak was handed stolen fare; quickly, he searched on "a**hole." Zapotosky wrote every possible version of the FBI's murky non-story. Parker picked and chose the version she liked. Krauthammer used the word "sensational" even as he listed the reasons why it actually wasn't.
Halperin and Heilemann didn't seem to have gone back to read the rest of the sentence.
Meanwhile, Roberts is fresh out of Harvard. It's amazing how quickly these kids today can adapt to pathetic new cultures!