Not wanting to believe it … Reading CNN media critic/cheerleader Brian Stelter’s daily email from last night offers great insight into what he is thinking. For months, Stelter has been attacking those on Fox News as reckless and dangerous for talking about possible corruption in the FBI and DOJ during the Obama administration and continuing into the special counsel investigation. A little worry is finally creeping in, though, after Andrew McCabe’s resignation yesterday. Stelter talks about the ongoing IG report at the DOJ/FBI – though he doesn’t tell readers that it is about the Clinton email investigation – and does a lot of fretting about what to believe.
Stelter framed the whole discussion by asking “What do you suppose Robert Mueller is thinking right now?” That is an irrelevant question right now. The real question is, did the Obama administration use the power of the government to spy on political opponents?
I tweeted out a simple question to Stelter and his CNN colleague Chris Cillizza this morning: “What if everything Nunes says is true. What if the FBI and DOJ were used politically by a sitting president? Are you comfortable continuing to run cover for that prior administration?”
What is most puzzling about the entire fracas is that these are folks – media types – who are very cynical and alarmist about government institutions when they are controlled by Republicans. Where, then, is the journalistic curiosity about institutions when they are controlled by Democrats? If what is reported to be in that memo is true, it will lead to a crisis of confidence in government institutions. Stelter and his left-wing colleagues in the media seem to think it’s preferable to keep the public in the dark about what may have happened.
The same over at Axios … Last week, I told you about a profile of Mike Allen, one of the founders of Axios, and how he has been driving the narrative inside the Beltway since he was writing for Politico. His piece on the Nunes memo this morning shows how one-sided that narrative can be. Nowhere in the piece do Allen or his co-writer Jonathan Swan give the impression that what may be in the Nunes memo could be true. Nowhere. The piece is titled, “The great disorientation machine.” To the folks at Axios, this is all a red herring, something to distract away from the sins of Trump. Never mind the very real possibility that the Obama administration weaponized portions of the government to go after political enemies. To Allen and Swan I ask the same question, “What if it is all true?” What then, how do you reconcile months of running cover? The one breaking piece of news in that piece? Trump plans to release the memo.
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“Shocked him to his core” … Last night, Sara Carter was on Hannity. During the discussion, Carter and Hannity discussed the abrupt departure of Andrew McCabe from the FBI. Carter told Hannity that the “resignation” was about what FBI Director Christopher Wray saw in the Nunes memo over the weekend. Hannity added that a source told him “that when Wray read this, it shocked him to his core.”
Carter also said she had been told by “a number of sources” that “there’s indicators right now that McCabe may have asked FBI agents to actually change their 302s — those are their interviews with witnesses. So basically every time an FBI agent interviews a witness, they have to go back and file a report.”
If that’s true, the American people deserve to know. And the MSM will have a lot of soul-searching to do.
Laying it all out … CRTV’s Dan Bongino has been dedicating his podcast over the last few days to unpacking everything surrounding the memos. If you want to get the unfiltered view of what is happening from a former federal law enforcement professional, take a listen to the Dan Bongino Show podcast. You can find it wherever you listen to podcasts or right here. The three most current episodes lay it all out clearly.
Former prosecutor’s view … National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy, a former prosecutor in the Department of Justice, offers his view of what is happening in the special counsel’s investigation. It is McCarthy’s view that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is not engaging in enough oversight of the special prosecutor’s investigation. He lays out what can happen when a federal prosecutor, armed with a grand jury, lacks oversight from a superior. It’s well worth the read.
Closing thoughts … What does this all mean? By all accounts, the Nunes memo will be available to the public sometime between the moment you get this newsletter and the middle of next week. I don’t know what is in it, beyond what I’ve read from reports. If the memo is as damaging as people like Jim Jordan and Trey Gowdy say it is, the American people will lose trust in our institutions. But isn’t that what a healthy democratic republic needs? Isn’t a healthy distrust in government necessary for a free society? Is that not why the Founders created a republican form of government rather than a direct democracy?
I believe in openness and transparency. That’s why some days I get sad when I think of how many people still have not seen the WTF MSM!? newsletter show up in their email inbox. To millions of people, this newsletter might as well be secret, because they don’t know about it. That’s where YOU come in. It’s time to #ReleaseTheNewsletter, You can help by inviting your friends to sign up for the newsletter over at the WTF MSM!? email signup page. Then send me an email me at email@example.com to share the good news of how many more people you’ve invited to get the email. As always, feel free to tell me anything questionable you see the media do. #ReleaseTheNewsletter
Rob Eno is the editor of Blaze Media’s WTF MSM!? newsletter.