In the heat of the morning's New York Times!

THURSDAY, JULY 20, 2017

Scribes have salacious fun:
It's too hot to get much done here in Baltimore today.

We have several explorations to finish before the week is done. For today, let's consider the New York Times front-page report about their latest Trump interview.

Donald J. Trump has gone to war with everyone around him. He's gone to war with Sessions, Rosenstein, Mueller and Comey, with Andrew McCabe thrown in.

We want to get to a follow-up regarding McCabe, who was left for dead by Rachel Maddow is a peculiar report last month—a furious, vaguely-sourced report she has long since abandoned. For today, we just thought it was worth reviewing a bit of peculiar Times writing.

The passage concerns Trump's remarks on Comey the God. The passage in question starts like this:
BAKER, SCHMIDT AND HABERMAN (7/20/17): The president added a new allegation against Mr. Comey, whose dismissal has become a central issue for critics who said it amounted to an attempt to obstruct the investigation into Russian meddling in the election and any possible collusion with Mr. Trump’s team.

Mr. Trump recalled that a little more than two weeks before his inauguration, Mr. Comey and other intelligence officials briefed him at Trump Tower on Russian meddling. Mr. Comey afterward pulled Mr. Trump aside and told him about a dossier that had been assembled by a former British spy filled with salacious allegations against the incoming president, including supposed sexual escapades in Moscow.

Question:

Was that famous dossier really "filled with salacious allegations against the incoming president?" We recall one salacious allegation, which cable stars hoped to call Trickledowngate until they were told they couldn't.

(As President Trump is alleged to have raged, "Again with the leaks!")

Still, that was one salacious allegation. There were other incriminating or semi-incriminating allegations in the dossier. But was the dossier "filled with" salacious stuff, the way the Times said today?

We don't know the answer to that, although we suspect we know. That said, we were also struck by the way the Times writers continued. Looking again at the passage above, this is their full second paragraph:
BAKER, SCHMIDT AND HABERMAN: Mr. Trump recalled that a little more than two weeks before his inauguration, Mr. Comey and other intelligence officials briefed him at Trump Tower on Russian meddling. Mr. Comey afterward pulled Mr. Trump aside and told him about a dossier that had been assembled by a former British spy filled with salacious allegations against the incoming president, including supposed sexual escapades in Moscow. The F.B.I. has not corroborated the most sensational assertions in the dossier.
"The F.B.I. has not corroborated the most sensational assertions in the dossier?"

As far as we know, that statement is technically accurate. Still, that sentence seems to imply that the FBI has indeed corroborated many, indeed probably most, of the sensational assertions.

As far as we know, that isn't true. And by the way:

In context, wouldn't that imply that the FBI has corroborated a lot of the salacious allegations? Were the Times reporters maybe having some fun with their material today?

What kind of journalists write that way in a major front-page report? People, we're just asking! We'll also note the paragraph with which the reporters ended today's report. As we start the passage in question, Trump is discussing his recent, highly sensational second conversation with Putin:
BAKER, SCHMIDT AND HABERMAN: “The meal was going toward dessert,” he said. “I went down just to say hello to Melania, and while I was there I said hello to Putin. Really, pleasantries more than anything else. It was not a long conversation, but it was, you know, could be 15 minutes. Just talked about things. Actually, it was very interesting, we talked about adoption.”

But the president repeated that he did not know about his son’s meeting at the time and added that he did not need the Russians to provide damaging information about Mrs. Clinton.

But the president repeated that he did not know about his son’s meeting at the time and added that he did not need the Russians to provide damaging information about Mrs. Clinton.

“There wasn’t much I could say about Hillary Clinton that was worse than what I was already saying,” he said.
“Unless somebody said that she shot somebody in the back, there wasn’t much I could add to my repertoire.”
There wasn't much the Russkies could have told him that was worse than what he was already saying!

Unless they could say that she shot someone in the back! The way Rush and Jerry and Gennifer Flowers used to do!

Let's give credit where due! Just for the record, Donald J. Trump was certainly right in those closing remarks. Here's something else that's certainly true:

Your favorite liberals tolerated these slanders against Hillary Clinton from 1992 forward. Indeed, many of our favorite "corporate liberal" cable stars were very active participant, down through the years, in the endless, often misogynist slanders aimed at Hillary Clinton.

Others simply ran off into the woods and hid, like big cable star Maddow. Dearest darlings, careers wer at stake! Ten million dollars per year!

We should also add this:

The New York Times—the very paper to which Trump was speaking—had played a very active role, from 1992 on, in creating and spreading those allegations. Big cable stars of the "corporate liberal" type will never tell you that!

It seemed to us that the Times reporters were stretching the salacious material reference a bit today. On the other hand, Donald J. Trump was right as rain as their report reached its end.

He referred to the basic game which has ruled the discourse for twenty-five years:

Chris and Brian and Lawrence all played significant roles in the endless slanders aimed at Hillary Clinton from 1992 on. A new generation of cable stars then came along and told us how great those men are.

This is the way the game has been played. No one is going to tell you, though. Dearest darlings, it just isn't done!

In case you're the type: In case you're the type who likes to check, the dossier is here.

22 comments:

  1. "The F.B.I. has not corroborated the most sensational assertions in the dossier."

    Why should the FBI care about anyone's "supposed sexual escapades in Moscow" anyway?

    Yes, I know: blackmail. But still, is this really FBI's role - to investigate if Mr Peskov has videos of Mr Trump's "perverted sexual acts"? Blackmail would be a crime, but an allegation that someone may have materials that could be used for blackmail doesn't seem to warrant any FBI involvement. Am I wrong about this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Blackmail would be a crime, but an allegation that someone may have materials that could be used for blackmail doesn't seem to warrant any FBI involvement. Am I wrong about this?'

      Certainly the possibility that an unfriendly government has blackmail material on a senior Government official -- the MOST senior government official should not warrant any FBI involvement. They should not even bother to investigate the possibility that it may have been or could be used for blackmail.

      What were those Clarice Starling wanna-be's thinking ?

      Delete
    2. Yes you are wrong. The FBI would/is investigate/investigating such a case. Various items in the dossier have turned out to be accurate.

      The allegation is not exactly sexual acts; Trump allegedly hired prostitutes to pee on the bed the Obama's slept in when they visited Moscow. One does not know if Trump got a sexual rise out of that, but it displays a unique variant of being a flaming asshole.

      Trump has a long history of perversion: rape of his ex wife, good friends with fellow party buddy Jeffrey Epstein - convicted sex offender, unwarranted groping, barging in on teenagers changing clothes at his beauty pageant, rape accusation from a teenager, etc.

      Delete
    3. "Certainly the possibility that an unfriendly government has blackmail material"

      Not that it makes any difference in respect to the FBI involvement, but just a small correction: the current government of the Russian Federation is not unfriendly to the US of A. In fact, Russia is quite friendly, it offers cooperation at every occasion. It's the current US government that's extremely unfriendly towards Russia.

      "They should not even bother to investigate the possibility that it may have been or could be used for blackmail."

      Correct; that's what I'm saying. The FBI are the cops, the federal branch. I got the impression that the cops investigate the actual crimes, not 'the possibility' of them. Not YET anyway, and thank god for that.

      Delete
    4. "it displays a unique variant of being a flaming asshole"

      Might be. But if that's a reason to be investigated by the FBI, then you (and most of the other commenters here) have to be investigated too.

      "fellow party buddy Jeffrey Epstein - convicted sex offender"

      I thought that was Bill Clinton, no?

      Obviously the actual crimes should be investigated. Not necessarily by the FBI though.

      In any case, none of this has anything to do with the 'dossier'. Try to concentrate, boy.

      Delete
    5. Mao, you babble like the brook Narcissus gazed into. In case you are unaware, I am free to concentrate on whatever subject I please, I am not limited to whatever subject you wish to focus on. Here is some education to help clam your rage:

      Nobody is suggesting Trump is being investigated solely for being an asshole.

      No Bill Clinton was not friends with Jeffrey Epstein, he did travel on Epstein's plane, along with others, as a way to taxi around on his global initiative. He did not attend Epstein's parties, go to Epstein's island, was not in Epstein's sex journal. Here is what Clinton says of Epstein:

      "Jeffrey is both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist with a keen sense of global markets and an in-depth knowledge of twenty-first-century science," Clinton says through a spokesman. "I especially appreciated his insights and generosity during the recent trip to Africa to work on democratization, empowering the poor, citizen service, and combating HIV/AIDS."

      In contrast, Trump was very good friends with Jeffrey Epstein, socialized with him on a regular basis, traveled with Epstein on his plane, went to Jeffrey Epstein sex parties, including parties on Epstein's sex island, was listed in Epstein's sex journal, hired one of Epstein's sex slaves to work at Mar-a-Lago. Trump indeed has been accused of rape by one of Jeffrey Epstein's underage sex slaves. Here is what Trump says of his good buddy Jeffrey Epstein:

      "I've known Jeff for fifteen years. Terrific guy. He's a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it -- Jeffrey enjoys his social life."

      Yes Trump is a sleaze:

      Trump brags about bedding married women, watching celebrity porn with Melania, his daughter's sex appeal, etc:

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/christians-cringe-at-donald-trumps-sexy-past

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/donald-trumps-craziest-interview-ever-any-girl-you-have-i-can-take-from-you

      http://www.mediaite.com/online/donald-trump-wont-stop-joking-about-banging-his-daughter/

      Interesting quote from Trump speaking with a buddy columnist:

      "I was just in Russia, the girls have no morals, you gotta get out there."

      Delete
    6. Silly Boy, I don't know whether that will clam his rage — I suspect his shell's pretty thick — but it had pearls of wisdom nonetheless.

      Delete
    7. Mao Cheng Ji: "...the current government of the Russian Federation is not unfriendly to the US of A. In fact, Russia is quite friendly..." — And we have never been at war with Eurasia, we have always been at war with Eastasia. Also, war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength. Long live Big Brother!

      Delete
    8. Heh-heh, talk about bubbling. Sounds like Clinton 'traveling' on The Lolita Express - 26 times, according to NYPost - hit the nerve...

      Delete
    9. "And we have never been at war with Eurasia, we have always been at war with Eastasia. Also, war is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength. Long live Big Brother!"

      I read the book. Is there a point to this?

      Delete
    10. Mao Cheng Ji: Far from 'hit the nerve', you missed the point SB already made -- "he did travel on Epstein's plane, along with others, as a way to taxi around on his global initiative. He did not attend Epstein's parties, go to Epstein's island..."

      Likewise, you missed the point of the 1984 reference, which your encomium to Putin's Russia ineluctably summoned up.

      So don't go praising your own precision of aim.

      Delete
    11. "...as a way to taxi around on his global initiative"

      Aaaah. But of course, flying The Lolita Express, 26 times - for benefit of humanity! Of course, what else could it be. How could I miss this brilliant point. I must be a bad, very bad person. Thanks a lot for setting me straight.

      "Likewise, you missed the point of the 1984 reference, which your encomium to Putin's Russia ineluctably summoned up."

      Tsk. Sorry, I'm still not getting your point. Care to elaborate?

      Delete
    12. Mao, the report of Clinton on Epstein's plane 26 times is bunk, it is supposition based on an unsubstantiated list of initials.

      Clinton in fact was able to use Epstein's plane 11 times, each time was a trip related to his global initiative efforts.

      It would not matter if Clinton used Epstein's plane 36 times because in contrast with Trump, Clinton's connection with Epstein was merely to get from point A to point B. Trump used Epstein to get his rocks off with young girls.

      I can not respond to your comment beyond this, as it is unintelligible.

      I suspect you are like many Trump supporters who would ignore a distinction between someone doing good stuff like Clinton, and Trump who acts only in service of himself; they just do not care that he is a sexual deviant asshole:

      http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449644/donald-trump-character-flaws-supporters-russia-collusion-investigation

      https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2017/05/08/trump_isnt_accomplishing_anything_but_his_voters_dont_care_133815.html#!

      http://www.theamericanconservative.com/jacobs/the-trump-litany/

      http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/07/donald-trump-and-politics-being-asshole/

      Delete
    13. Dave the Guitar PlayerJuly 21, 2017 at 12:30 PM

      Clinton travels on a plane 26 times and you push the idea that there must be a "perverse" motive, while totally ignoring the information available regarding Mr. Trump's connections with this same person. Can you at least acknowledge that Mr. Trump is a sleaze without trying to say that everyone does it?

      As far as 1984, you apparently read without comprehension. Stating that something is true does not make it so. Just because you (they) say that "Russia is friendly" does not mean that Russia is friendly.

      Delete
    14. "the report of Clinton on Epstein's plane 26 times is bunk, it is supposition based on an unsubstantiated list of initials"

      Lol. Neo-maccarthyist witch-hunters - for accuracy in the media!

      Delete
    15. "Can you at least acknowledge that Mr. Trump is a sleaze without trying to say that everyone does it?"

      Not everybody does it, but if I have to choose, I'll take a sleazy businessman over sleazy politician.

      "Just because you (they) say that "Russia is friendly" does not mean that Russia is friendly."

      Why, thank you for translating; obviously I was expressing my personal opinion, and clearly 1984 has nothing whatsoever to do with any of this. Well, except of the US mainstream media being an Orwellian 'ministry of truth'.

      And yes, I believe my characterization is correct, and, in fact, quite evident to any unbiased observer.

      Delete
    16. "Not everybody does it, but if I have to choose, I'll take a sleazy businessman over sleazy politician."

      Based on what?
      Also, would you rather pay a tax to a businessman (in the form of patent protection) than a government (which can tax to help out your fellow man)?

      Delete
    17. Even aside from the 11-vs-26-trips difference, Mao studiously ignores the "along with others" (i.e. eyewitnesses) detail; would all of them have kept such a scandal secret? His implication's plausibility plummets by fathoms.

      And even now he tries to suggest that "Orwellian 'ministry of truth'" refers to "the US mainstream media" rather than his own Russia-is-FRIENNNDLYYY duckspeak.

      Of course he keeps missing the point. As Upton Sinclair used to say, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

      Delete
  2. THE RELIABLE ABSENCE OF BASIC SKILLS: Proofreading, Bob, proofreading.

    • “We want to get to a follow-up regarding McCabe, who was left for dead by Rachel Maddow is a peculiar report last month....” — Presumably Bob means “in”.

    • “Indeed, many of our favorite ‘corporate liberal’ cable stars were very active participant,...” — A singular “participant”? Does Bob imply the other identities were merely sockpuppets? Quick-change make-up to appear as multiple TV personalities?

    • “Dearest darlings, careers wer at stake!” — Oh, what would poor Masha Gessen, or any other Russian struggling with the irregular English verb of existence, have made of this in one of those AP transcripts Bob so scornfully excoriated for bad editing and proofreading?

    Why then should he have such lower standards for his own?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob did not excoriate Masha Gessen. She walked the walk and he saved her soul. Without making her a God. The analysts would have really wailed if they found out there was more than one.

      Delete
    2. > “Bob did not excoriate Masha Gessen.” — Bob blew both hot and cold; he praised her on one hand and denounced her on the other, e.g.:

      THE RELIABLE ABSENCE OF BASIC SKILLS: Gessen reads from Donald J. Trump!
      Gessen displayed a certain lack of basic skills when she gave a recent lecture. We're forced to note that she also displayed a lack of basic due diligence. ...
      • Quite plainly, Gessen's reading of Donald J. Trump betrayed a lack of due diligence. Her criticism of NPR was, in our view, a marker of an under-skilled era. ...
      • ... her lack of due diligence, and her basic errors, are especially worth nothing.


      Not to unduly stress a point, mind you.

      Delete