Is the pathetic performance of the Democrats’ media adjunct in the synthetic Trump/Russia collusion scandal just a case of the usual cheerleading? In a provocative column at the Federalist, Lee Smith looks at the roles played by Franklin Foer (Slate), Anne Applebaum (Washington Post), Jeffrey Goldberg (Atlantic), and David Remnick (New Yorker) during the 2016 campaign to plant the seeds. He takes note of certain contradictions that emerged between their coverage of Obama and their critique of Trump. Lee hypothesizes that the Democrats’ media adjunct planted the seeds with a little help from their friends in the employ of the Clinton campaign. Together they collaborated on the creation of “an echo chamber of opposition research.”
They enlisted their bylines in a political campaign on behalf of the Democratic candidate for president and rehearsed the talking points Steele later documented. But weren’t the authors of these articles, big-name journalists, embarrassed to be seen reading from a single script and publishing the same article with similar titles within the space of two weeks? Weren’t they worried it would look like they were taking opposition research, from the same source?
No, not really. In a sense, these stories weren’t actually meant to be read. They existed for the purpose of validating the ensuing social media messaging. The stories were written around the headlines, which were written for Twitter: “Putin’s Puppet”; “It’s Official: Hillary Clinton is Running Against Vladimir Putin”; “Trump and Putin: A Love Story”; “The Kremlin’s Candidate.” The stories were vessels built only to launch thousands of 140-character salvos to then sink into the memory hole.
This column names names. It deepens our understanding. As the saga continues, it is must reading.
Quotable quote: “The reason the media will not report on the scandal now unfolding before the country, how the Obama administration and Clinton campaign used the resources of the federal government to spy on the party out of power, is not because the press is partisan. No, it is because the press has played an active role in the Trump-Russia collusion story since its inception. It helped birth it.”