Part 2—This whole discourse is out of order: Did Hillary Clinton, as first lady, conduct a ridiculous seance?
In June 1996, the nation's collections of crazies, defectives, halfwits and journalists had a wonderful time kicking that turkey around. They got the claim from promotional materials designed to sell Robert Woodward's otherwise unsellable book, The Choice.
Woodward was soon protesting, arguably a bit too much, that he hadn't said, and hadn't meant to imply, any such crazy thing. That said, it was a wonderful marketing ploy, and it kept the children amused and distracted.
At present, Donna Brazile is involved in a similar ploy, this time concerning the highly unlikely claim that she strongly considered removing Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine from the 2016 Democratic ticket on the basis that Hillary Clinton had a coughing spell. Like Woodward before her, Brazile is protesting, perhaps too much, that she has been misunderstood. This is the way these life forms play in this best, and also dumbest, of all possible upper-class worlds.
How dumb is your national "discourse?" How indolent are our upper-end journalists? How committed are they to their pleasing group stories, not perhaps to a search for real facts?
Consider the discussion which occurred in the opening segment of today's Morning Joe. At the eight minute mark of this videotape, David Ignatius offers a very strange story concerning Russian contacts by folk in the Trump campaign.
He starts with a perfectly plausible supposition, then wanders far astray:
IGNATIUS (11/7/17): What we're seeing, I think, is the way in which Russian tradecraft works.Do the experiences of George Papadopoulos and Carter Page help us see "the way in which Russian tradecraft works?"
Somebody's initially contacted by a professor. Somebody that they would get to know in their normal course of business. That's what Papadopoulos says. That's what Carter Page says.
And then that professor is able to introduce them to this senior official. Page first said, "Well, I wasn't meeting anybody more than just the ordinary person on the street." Well, it turned out that he was meeting the deputy Russian prime minister, and that he was passing back to the campaign the words from this very senior Russian official about the way Russia wanted to work with the new—
So you see how they were building their relationship, with a lot of anticipation that things would be different with Trump.
That's certainly possible! Ignatius seems to be assuming that the "overseas professor" (we're quoting the recent Mueller statement) with whom Papadopoulos interacted was, in fact, a Russian agent.
We'd say that hasn't been proven yet, but it's one of the possibilities.
Let's assume that the overseas professor, Professor Mifsud, was a Russian agent. For unknown reasons, Ignatius then spins wildly off the track, seeming to think that the professor played some role in Carter Page's now-famous trip to Moscow in July 2016, a trip which is discussed today at the Washington Post.
Ignatius seems to think that Professor Mifsud played some role in Page's experiences in Moscow—more specifically, that he introduced Page to the deputy Russian prime minister. We know of no one who has ever said that the professor and Page ever interacted at all. Ignatius seems to be badly confused concerning the facts of this case.
This being Morning Joe, no one sought or offered clarification. Instead, Joe Scarborough soon took his turn misstating the facts of this case.
Many of the bungled facts were trivial; some of them were not. But all through the discussion, Scarborough and Ignatius demonstrated a shaky command of the facts concerning which they were strongly opining.
Scarborough started as shown below. In this passage, he's already made several misstatements:
SCARBOROUGH: You've got to go back, and you've got to look at points in time if you really want to understand how far we've gotten, how far down the road we've moved, Mika, that—Poor Joe! He makes it sound like Trump kept talking about the size of his hands—like the board had to fight with him to get him to discuss foreign policy.
If you go back, for instance, to the Washington Post editorial board meeting that Donald Trump had, where he spoke about the size of his hands for a great deal of the time, when the Washington Post finally got him to talk about foreign policy, the first two people he named were Carter Page and Papadopoulos.
In fact, Trump only discussed the size of his hands very late in the session. He did so because the Post kept asking him about his earlier stupid remarks on this pitiful subject.
(To peruse the full transcript, click here.)
By way of contrast, Trump's discussion of foreign policy came right at the start of the meeting. Meanwhile, Page and Papadopoulos were not the first two names he cited. As everyone knows except Joe, Walid Phares was.
These are trivial misstatements, but Scarborough kept using these claims to embellish and improve the story he was telling. If we assume he wasn't lying, then he doesn't seem hugely familiar with the basic facts of this case.
At this point, Ignatius joined in. More confusion occurred:
SCARBOROUGH (continuing directly): The first—those— So go back—Perhaps by accident, Scarborough made an accurate statement at the start of that exchange. The Washington Post editorial board meeting really didn't occur in June 2015.
And by the way, that wasn't in June of 2015. That was after the guy was on his way to winning the Republican nomination. When was that? I think that was in May or June?
IGNATIUS: Yeah, it was late spring, It was clear that he was going to win. He was only then getting this list together of people nobody had ever heard of.
JOE: And those were his first two people and they already had contacts with Russia...Those two, by the time he gave those two names to the Washington Post, they had already met with Russian agents.
MIKA: That's incredible. Still ahead on Morning Joe—
SCARBOROUGH: And still ahead, Mika, he would hire another foreign agent named Paul Manafort. That was in the summer of 2016.
The meeting occurred on March 21, 2016. That said, neither Scarborough nor Ignatius seemed to be clear on the date of this meeting; they were off by several months. And by the way, when did Trump hire Manafort?
In part, you could argue it all depends of what the meaning of "hire" is. But here's the first relevant blog post from the New York Times:
BURNS AND HABERMAN (3/28/16): Donald Trump Hires Paul Manafort to Lead Delegate EffortNeither Scarborough nor Ignatius seemed real clear on the chronology of these events, from which they were willing to draw a great deal of meaning. Our question:
Donald J. Trump, girding for a long battle over presidential delegates and a potential floor fight at the Cleveland convention, has enlisted the veteran Republican strategist Paul J. Manafort to lead his delegate-corralling efforts, according to people briefed on Mr. Trump's plans.
Mr. Trump confirmed the hire in a brief telephone interview. "Yes," he said, "it is true."
Why do we know more about these events than these well-known TV stars?
A final word of warning:
We've warned you concerning the lexicon of this latest stampede. You have to be careful when you hear the children using several key words. That includes the everyday but highly useful word, "meeting."
Today, the children will be telling you that Page had a meeting with the Russkie deputy prime minister, Arkadiy Dvorkovich, during his trip to Moscow. Look again at what Ignatius so weirdly said:
IGNATIUS: And then that professor is able to introduce them to this senior official. Page first said, "Well, I wasn't meeting anybody more than just the ordinary person on the street." Well, it turned out that he was meeting the deputy Russian prime minister, and that he was passing back to the campaign the words from this very senior Russian official about the way Russia wanted to work with the new—This makes it sound like Professor Mifsud fixed Page up with "the deputy Russian prime minister," with whom Page had a "meeting." Almost surely, this story line is drawn from Rosalind Helderman's pleasing report in today's Post about Page's testimony to a House committee last week.
In fact, Page testified, under oath, that he didn't have a meeting with Dvorkovich—that they spoke in passing, for five or ten seconds tops, at a Moscow event where each gave an address.
That may or may not be true, but Ignatius doesn't know if Page and Dvorkovich actually had a meeting in the normal sense of that word. Then again, he seems to think that the procurin' professor arranged the whole shebang!
Out of this deeply disordered world, many thoroughly crazy stories have emerged in recent decades. One concerned Hillary Clinton's highly ridiculous seance. But there are a million crazy stories in this disordered world.
In this morning's New York Times, Michelle Goldberg says that Donald J. Trump has "lay siege to the fabric of reality." In fact, that siege had been underway for decades by the time Trump ran for the White House. The siege had been laid by Goldberg's deeply disordered colleagues, associates, employers and friends.
Goldberg always played nicely with these children. In this way, she ascended to her post at the Times, from which she continues to mislead us rubes in ways we're sure to enjoy on a tribal basis.
The geography of The Crazy is quite complex as our nation slides toward the sea. Most specifically, The Crazy didn't start with Donald J. Trump. It did start with a wide array of players like Goldberg, who sat on their hands and said nothing at all when Bob Woodward, a major guild power, pimped Hillary Clinton's comical seance, then said he'd been misunderstood.
Hillary Clinton conducted a seance! But then, she also murdered Vince Foster and so many others! We knew about the many killings because Gennifer Flowers was pimping the story in 1999. AS she pimped this ugly and ludicrous tale, Goldberg's crowd had been praising her for roughly a year, vouching for her plain devotion to the truth and the light.
Goldberg didn't say boo.
Your nation's whole discourse is out of order. Have you ever watched Morning Joe? We did, this very day!
Tomorrow: Whatever! It's all pretty much the same...