The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

Fire and Fury

The Democrats, their trained hamsters in the media, and the professional commentariat are acting as if the new book by Michael Wolff (via Steve Bannon), Fire and Fury, is the next coming of The Pentagon Papers There's no point in debating its gossipy content, except to say that it is fascinating that Wolff has already been interviewed by major media outlets who breathlessly want him to delineate every piece of gossip that they think validates their contention that Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) is a justified psychological reaction to the defeat of Hillary Clinton.

And speaking of Clinton, it is equally fascinating, that Peter Schweizer, the author of the book, Clinton Cash, a book that also contained unsubstantiated gossip, but did provide now-proven indicators of actual corruption, influence pedaling and other crimes and misdemeanors,* couldn't get an interview on any mainstream media outlet throughout 2016. I wonder why that is?

The editors of the Wall Street Journal summarize Wolff's book nicely:
Most striking, despite the juicy quotes, is how little new the book reveals. Everyone knew Mr. Trump was surprised to win the election, that he then tried to run the White House like he had his family business with rival factions and little discipline, and that the place was a chaotic mess until John Kelly arrived as chief of staff. We also knew that Mr. Trump knew almost nothing about government or policy, that he reads very little, and that he is a narcissist obsessed with his critics. Any sentient voter knew this on Election Day.

The book is told mainly from Mr. Bannon’s point of view, and the Breitbart impresario is portrayed as thinking Mr. Trump is as much a dolt as Democrats think he is. He dislikes the Trump family, especially son-in-law Jared Kushner, who was a rival for influence.

The book also makes clear that Mr. Bannon was a leading cause of the pre-Kelly White House chaos. He and the press corps have a relationship of mutual loathing but co-dependency. They use each other, and the media love to promote Mr. Bannon because he is a talkative source and a destructive political force inside the Republican Party.

The press is also playing up Mr. Bannon’s claims, which he doesn’t deny, that Don Jr.’s meeting with Russians in June 2016 was “treasonous” and that Don Jr. and Mr. Kushner will be cashiered for money laundering. So the same reporters who think Mr. Bannon is a xenophobe and bigot now view him as a legal authority. There’s that co-dependency thing again.
The Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd seem to be missing a very important irony in all of this. For a moment, let's assume that every single claim made in Wolff's book is 100 percent true. Consider the following tweet by Glen Reynolds of Instapundit in response to a tweet suggesting that Fire and Fury is the epitome of journalistic excellence:

I'm sure that Fire and Fury will make the best-seller lists and might be a good read, but I also suspect that it will have absolutely no impact on anything, except as an accelerant for the fire and fury exhibited by those who suffer from TDS.


* As an aside, the trained hamsters in the main stream media obsess over Fire and Fury, hoping desperately that they can somehow spin gossip into:

(a) collusion!
(b) obstruction of justice!!
(c) treason!!! or
(d) all of the above!!!!

But they seem bored by the Iranian uprising and completely uninterested in the following breaking political news (morning shows at ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC were absolutely silent on the story), reported the preceding evening by The Hill:
The Justice Department has launched a new inquiry into whether the Clinton Foundation engaged in any pay-to-play politics or other illegal activities while Hillary Clinton served as secretary of State, law enforcement officials and a witness tells The Hill.

FBI agents from Little Rock, Ark., where the foundation was started, have taken the lead in the investigation and have interviewed at least one witness in the last month, and law enforcement officials said additional activities are expected in the coming weeks.

The officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said the probe is examining whether the Clintons promised or performed any policy favors in return for largesse to their charitable efforts or whether donors made commitments of donations in hopes of securing government outcomes.
Of course, any implication that Hillary Clinton was dishonest or corrupt isn't news, rather, it's a vast right-wing conspiracy. And even the slightest indication that the Obama administration was complicit in that dishonesty or corruption is blasphemy.

Nothing to see here ... back to the gossip.