How sore loser Hillary created a national obsession with Russia

Scott has linked to an article by Paul Sperry in the New York Post called “How Team Hillary played the press for fools on Russia.” Sperry’s article is also one of our “Power Line picks.”

Many of our readers will come across Sperry’s article, either via Power Line or in some other way. However, I think portions of it are worth quoting here, just in case.

Sperry writes:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign didn’t just pay for the Kremlin-aided smear job on Donald Trump before the election; she continued to use the dirt after the election to frame her humiliating loss as a Russian conspiracy to steal the election.

Bitter to the core, she and her campaign aides hatched a scheme, just 24 hours after conceding the race, to spoon-feed the dirty rumors to an eager liberal media and manufacture the narrative that Russia secretly colluded with her neophyte foe to sabotage her coronation.

The hatching of this scheme is documented by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes in their book “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.” They reported:

Within 24 hours of [Clinton’s] concession speech, [campaign chair John Podesta and manager Robby Mook] assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.

The plan succeeded. As Sperry reminds us: “After the election, coverage of the Russian ‘collusion’ story was relentless, and it helped pressure investigations and hearings on Capitol Hill and even the naming of a special counsel, which in turn has triggered virtually nonstop coverage”

How relentless was that coverage? Sperry tells us:

A new Media Research Center study finds that, since the inauguration, major TV news networks have devoted an astonishing 1,000 minutes out of a total 5,015 minutes of Trump administration coverage discussing speculation that the Trump campaign may have colluded with Moscow in hacking Clinton campaign emails, “which means the Russia story alone has comprised almost one-fifth of all Trump news this year.”

In contrast, they so far have devoted just 20 seconds to the more substantive scandal of Hillary and her husband possibly trading US uranium rights for Russian cash.

Who fuels the nonstop coverage?

MRC analysts also found that more than a third of the networks’ Russia “scandal” coverage was based on anonymous sources who worked in the Obama administration, including Hillary’s State Department.

Thus, Team Hillary’s plan is working. Sure, stories it planted have been retracted and reporters fired. But that’s just collateral damage. Sperry is right: “Trump’s approval ratings have suffered, and the Russia investigation has distracted the administration.”

This is just what Team Clinton intended, as former Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri made clear to the Washington Post in March.

There is no doubt, then, that Team Clinton played the press. In my view, many in the press were happy to be played.

It’s worth noting, however, that even our gullible, left-leaning mainstream media didn’t take the bait when the Trump dossier, put together with Russian collusion for the Clinton campaign, was dangled before it. The mainstream media refused to run with the dossier because its assertions couldn’t be corroborated and, perhaps, because some of them seemed ridiculous.

It was our intelligence community that ran with with the dossier, though I doubt it was duped. The full extent of its reliance on the dossier is not clear. However, James Comey certainly put it to use, and by sharing it with the president, helped make it news.

“In short,” Sperry concludes, “Hillary couldn’t beat Trump with the political dirt she secretly purchased during the campaign, so she tried to cripple his presidency with help from an overwhelmingly anti-Trump media.” And, it appears, from elements of the U.S. government.

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