TUESDAY, AUGUST 16, 2022
Hillary's emails return: Don Lemon had been out of the country. On Monday night, he was back.
Lemon was BACK under the Big Top which houses our "national discourse." That said, the travels of the CNN star had given him a unique perspective on recent high-profile events.
More specifically, Lemon had a unique perspective on the FBI's invasion of Mar-a-Lago. He reported this fact as he spoke with departing guest anchor Alisyn Camerota at the top of his 10 P.M. hour.
None of this was Camerota's fault. Their exchange started like this:
CAMEROTA (8/15/22): And with that, Don Lemon Tonight starts right now. All yours, Don!
LEMON: It's good to see you.
CAMEROTA: You too, Don.
LEMON: I was not here last week. I don't think you were either. What a week we chose to take a vacation, right?
CAMEROTA: I got so many texts, saying "How could you take off this week?" But I had to remind people it's a crazy news cycle every week.
LEMON: It's going to be a crazy news cycle for quite a long time.
CAMEROTA: Yes, don't worry. The craziness will continue.
The Crazy will continue, Camerota said. Moments later, Lemon offered a bit of foreshadowing:
LEMON: But I have to say, I've got a lot to talk about with this. And you'll understand, watching it from afar or whatever, not being here, gives you a different perspective...
So this is Don Lemon Tonight. So, yes, I had a—I got a really interesting perspective. I was actually out of the country watching all of this and getting people's perspective on it, and it gives you—
You know, it's good to be away, or it's good to watch things sometimes from afar so that you do get another perspective. Because as Americans, sometimes we are so myopic, we get so caught up in what is happening right in front of us, that we don't see the forest for the trees. O.K., so go with me here.
It's good to be back, by the way. And I want to talk to talk to you—talk to you about something called CDT. Not CRT, CDT, something I was thinking about on vacation, Critical Democracy Theory. See what I did there on purpose?
For the record, this is what counts as intelligent high-end commentary as we all slide toward the sea. Soon, though, Michael Cohen appeared as Lemon's guest. When he did, Lemon fleshed out his own new perspective.
First, Lemon offered a muddled account of Donald J. Trump's various explanations concerning the material extracted from Mar-a-Lago.
That was the way the effort began. Soon, though, Lemon was counting those boxes:
LEMON: So, it's surprising to—it shouldn't be surprising to me, but to watch everyone make all these excuses for—for, you know, what happened, and even the former president, because some of these excuses are starting to muddy each other, right?
It was like, "Wait a minute. Didn't you just say that it was something else?" And now you're saying it's something else and someone is going on television.
One of your people saying, it's—it's now, this. Isn't—
The fact of the matter is, that you did something wrong. You just don't pack 33 boxes of classified information by accident. That just doesn't happen.
Finally, our question had been answered!
How many top-secret documents had been present at Mar-a-Lago? Had there been a lot of top-secret documents there, or had there perhaps just been a little?
Finally, we the people had the stuff of an accurate answer! According to Lemon, "33 boxes of classified information" had been taken to Mar-a-Lago! ! That's the unique perspective he had acquired by watching this mess from afar.
Cohen didn't disagree. This was his response:
COHEN (continuing directly): No, but not only does that not happen. He already returned more than a dozen boxes. And they signed a document stating that there are no more boxes of information at Mar-a-Lago, which of course is yet another lie.
Apparently, before the jack-booted thugs staged their raid on Mar-a-Lago, , Donald J. Trump had already returned "more than a dozen boxes [of classified material]!" That would suggest that 21 boxes of such material could have been carted away during last Friday's raid.
Here at THE HOWLER, we're prepared to admit it. We don't know how large a haul of top-secret documents traveled with Donald J. Trump from the White House to his sweaty seaside manor.
We don't know how large the haul really was. We have been noting, in the past few days, that our multimillionaire cable stars have done a poor job clarifying a basic fact:
At this point, none of us know how large the stash of top-secret documents was. Had Donald J. Trump hauled away a very large number of such documents? Or had he hauled away a relative handful, along with piles of dinner menus, weather maps and love letters from North Korea?
Gifted with a unique perspective, Lemon had now answered our question:
Donald J. Trump had decamped to Mar-a-Lago with 33 boxes of classified material—and that sounds like a very large haul.
Lemon didn't say how large each of those boxes was. But it sounded like Donald J. Trump had arrived in the Sunshine State with an extremely large haul.
This foolishness aired last night, right there on CNN. It represents the kind of foolishness which transpires within our own blue tents when scandal is being sold as cable's exclusive "news product."
Elsewhere, the lunacy has been general as red tribe forces have tried to push back against last Friday's search of Trump's seaside bunker.
Tomorrow, we'll show you what was being said over the weekend on C-Span's Washington Journal. For today, we'll tease the topic with this, the second call to the heartbreaking program on this past Sunday morning:
DOTTIE FROM GEORGIA (8/14/22): The main thing I called about was to ask you to make sure these people stay on topic.
Because pretty soon, we're going to be hearing about what Hillary Clinton did, what Barack Obama did. They might go all the way back to Ulysses S. Grant. They don't stay on topic!
And on top of that, they don't watch the news. They must not watch the news, because some of the stuff they're talking about has already been in the news. It's already been proven to be wrong, and they are still sittin' here saying it.
And then they talk too long. Bye-bye!
Dottie's aim was true. All her complaints about "these people" were accurate.
Indeed, the first caller, John from New York, had already complained about the "double standard" from which Hillary Clinton allegedly benefitted with respect to the legal handling of her "30,000 emails."
He had also mentioned Eric Holder, Obama's attorney general.
As the hour proceeded, Clinton's emails were mentioned several times, just as Dottie had foreseen. This had become a common approach within the red regions of our splintering world, even as those in our own blue world kept enlarging the number of boxes The Donald had carted away.
Tomorrow, we'll return to the question of Hillary's emails. As we do, we'll note a basis distinction concerning "classified materials," a distinction which was widely drawn at the time.
As far as we know, the distinction was reasonable, sound, instructive. For that reason, we've been applying the same distinction as we've discussed Trump's haul.
Way back when, in the 1960s, Malvina Reynolds and even Pete Seeger had ridiculed a bunch of "Little Boxes." In the process, they also ridiculed the lesser people who were living within them.
Those lesser people now call C-Span, repeating the bullroar they keep hearing from their own tribe's trusted sources. Last night, Lemon, fresh from abroad, was counting the boxes of Trump, pleasing our own blue world.
A new perspective had arrived on the front. Broadcasting from under the Big Top, Lemon's count of the jam-packed cartons had now reached 33!
Tomorrow: Good God! Revisiting what Comey said