Brian scratches an itch: It was Socrates who first noticed the problem:
We people want to hear what we want to hear! Beyond that, we tend to get mad when we hear something different.
Socrates noticed this tendency when he toured the countryside looking for the wisest person in Greece. We sometimes notice this same reaction when we make fairly obvious statements about the current state of our failing "national discourse."
Did Ukrainian officials "meddle in," or "interfere in," the 2016 election? Based on what we know, we wouldn't be strongly inclined to say that they did.
(Fiona Hill said that Ukrainian officials engaged in "ill-advised" conduct. Other statements by Hill have been sanctified. These comments have been disappeared.)
At any rate, if you say that Ukrainian officials did meddle, you aren't necessarily saying that they stole the DNC's emails and distributed them to the world. Unless you're watching Brian Williams, or unless you're shopping anywhere else our own tribe's dogmas are sold.
Once again, here are two possible statements:
1) Ukrainian officials meddled in the 2016 election.As almost anyone can see, those are two different statements. Just because someone is saying #1, that doesn't mean that he's saying #2!
2) It was Ukraine, not Russia, which actually hacked the DNC emails.
You'd think that point would be easy to grasp. But we humans have long been "human, all too human!"
At any rate, liberal media types have been conflating those two statements for the past several weeks. As an offshoot of this group behavior, consider what Brian Williams did with respect to recent weird behavior by Senator John Kennedy (R-LA).
Last weekend, Kennedy went on Fox News Sunday and made a surprising statement. Here's the exchange in question:
CHRIS WALLACE (11/24/19): Who do you believe was responsible for hacking the DNC and Clinton campaign computers, their emails? Was it Russia or Ukraine?So spoke Kennedy. It was a fairly surprising statement. Here's why:
KENNEDY: I don’t know. Nor do you. Nor do any of us.
WALLACE: Let me just interrupt to say, the entire intelligence community says it was Russia.
KENNEDY: Right. But it could also be Ukraine. I’m not saying I know one way or the other.
President Trump still seems to claim that it was Ukraine, not his beloved Russia, which stole the DNC emails. This doesn't seem to make any sense, since Trump also seems to claim that Ukraine was trying to defeat him in the election, and the distribution of the stolen emails was plainly a strike against Clinton's chances.
Trump's claim doesn't seem to make sense. Then again, this is Donald J. Trump, who may be some form of "mentally ill" or may be cognitively impaired.
(Regarding possible cognitive impairment, did you see his recent bizarre performance with respect to the women's suffrage centennial? His performance made zero sense.)
In our view, Trump may be dissembling when he makes these claims about Ukraine. It's also possible that he's just crazy.
Donald J. Trump may be crazy; most U.S. senators aren't. That's why it was a bit surprising to see Kennedy go so far out on a limb regarding the stolen emails.
Having said that, sure enough! The very next night, Kennedy appeared on CNN to retract his surprising statement. Speaking with Chris Cuomo, he said that he'd been wrong, oh so wrong, when he made his surprising statement:
CUOMO (11/25/19): I want to hear it from you. Do you really believe that it wasn't Russia?"I was wrong," Kennedy said. He also said that he misunderstood the question Wallace asked.
KENNEDY: I did that interview yesterday with, with Chris Wallace. Damn good reporter. I was answering one of his questions. And he interjected a statement, and asked me to react to it.
What I heard Chris say was, he made the statement that only Russia had tried to interfere in the election. And I answered the question.
That's not what he said. I went back and looked at the transcript. He said only Russia tried to hack the DNC computer.
Now, Chris is right. I was wrong. The only evidence I have, and I think it's overwhelming, is that it was Russia who tried to hack the DNC computer. I see no—
CUOMO: That's what the consensus is.
KENNEDY: Yes. I've seen no indication that Ukraine tried to do it.
Did Kennedy actually misunderstand the original question from Wallace? The claim seems a bit hard to believe, but such claims are also hard to assess.
At any rate, and for whatever reason, Kennedy went on CNN the very next night and took back what he said. He said the evidence was "overwhelming" that it was Russia, not Ukraine, who stole the DNC emails.
He said he's seen no indication—and that would mean none—that Ukraine did it. In spite of Trump's ridiculous claims, that's what the senator said.
Why did Kennedy make his original statement to Wallace? We have no way of knowing. But very few people other than Trump have been saying that Ukraine stole the emails—unless you rely on standard "liberal" pundits and reporters, who have been busily confusing such matters, and creating conflations, for the past several weeks.
On Tuesday night, Brian Williams went to heroic lengths to confuse this matter. It feels so good when the other team's conduct it made to seem even worse than it is! And that's the service Brian provided with respect to Kennedy's statements.
Given its standard slacker approach, MSNBC still hasn't produced a transcript of Williams' Tuesday night program. If a transcript finally appears, you'll be able to peruse it here.
For today, transcript missing, we'll only tell you this:
Williams played the videotape of Kennedy's statement to Wallace, then suggested that Kennedy had deliberately been spreading Russian disinformation.
He never played the videotape of Kennedy's statement to Cuomo. But he proceeded to characterize it like this:
WILLIAMS (11/26/19): He made his first comments on Fox News with Chris Wallace, attempted the cleanup last night on CNN with Chris Cuomo—a cleanup which still left the strong whiff of, "It was probably Ukraine."For the tape of Brian saying that, you can just click here.
At any rate, really? Kennedy's statement to Cuomo "left the strong whiff of, 'It was probably Ukraine?' "
For ourselves, we'd call that rank propaganda. But Williams has played the game this way for a very long time, dating all the way back to the time when he was pool boy to GE's Jack Welch, his original corporate owner.
Why did Kennedy do what he did? We can't tell you that.
We can tell you what he actually said, and Williams could have played the actual videotape of his statement! But Brian didn't do that.
Instead, he offered a very strange account of what Kennedy said to Cuomo. Brian has played the game this way for a very long time now.
At present, Brian is paid a lot of money to bring such pleasure to liberal viewers. Back in the day, under different ownership, he worked to send George W. Bush to the White House, staging nightly nervous breakdowns about Candidate Gore's deeply troubling wardrobe and his weird psychiatric state.
This is the way these "boy toys" play. Despite all the pleasure which gets dispensed, we don't think that conduct of this type serves progressive interests.
Socrates said there'd be programs like this. It was one of the things he got right!