Media Mumbles

So when did the Washington Post hire Emily Litella as an editor? Having reported a couple days back that those evil Rooskies, who were never much of a threat during the Cold War remember, had hacked the power grid in Vermont!, the Post now says—never mind!

Russian government hackers do not appear to have targeted Vermont utility, say people close to investigation

By Ellen Nakashima and Juliet Eilperin

As federal officials investigate suspicious Internet activity found last week on a Vermont utility computer, they are finding evidence that the incident is not linked to any Russian government effort to target or hack the utility, according to experts and officials close to the investigation. . . The Post initially reported incorrectly that the country’s electric grid had been penetrated through a Vermont utility.

Now, you may be wondering how it is possible to hack the Vermont power grid in the first place, since it runs on windmills, fermented granola, and the secondary waste heat of Bernie Sanders speeches. But hey, when you’ve got a narrative to feed, stories like this are just too good to check out.

Meanwhile, is the media starting to wake up to the fact that Trump’s tweeting habits may not be entirely random, but that there may be a method to his seeming madness? Remember Salena Zito’s observation that the media “took Trump literally but not seriously, while Trump’s supporters took him seriously, but not literally”?  Seems the Wall Street Journal’s Gerald Seib is catching up:

Yet it also would be a mistake to dismiss Mr. Trump’s transition-season interventions as random musings. That was a mistake his opponents made consistently through a long presidential campaign.

In fact, there seem to be specific objectives behind many of Mr. Trump’s seemingly scattershot missives and comments. Often, say those who know him, he is posturing or positioning in pursuit of broader goals. He doesn’t mind roiling the waters in the process—and, as a consequence, some of what he says isn’t to be taken literally. . .

Certainly there is danger in leaving the world unsure which messages to take literally, and in trying to handle subjects as sensitive as nuclear-weapons strategy on the fly. But it’s also likely Mr. Trump knows exactly what he is doing.


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