The Media’s Magic Eight Ball

Why U.S. media outlets must stop jumping the gun on Trump.

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Magic Eight Ball. (Photo: David Bergin)

If Whistleblower is Right, Trump May Have Committed Extortion and Bribery.” shouts the Daily Beast. “Trumps Ukraine gambit could be another campaign finance crime,” crows Slate.

Looks like. Could be. Might have. May have. Might be?

The facts are dribbling out about President Trump’s efforts to seek official foreign assistance to take actions that would harm his domestic political rivals,” according to the experts at MSN.

It’s an almost formulaic headline, written by political opponents of President Trump in the press: An admission of pure speculation followed by it restated as a matter of fact.

We don’t really know if it’s true: But it’s true

If you have to insert the line “Um, hello? That is a HUGE deal.” into your article, it’s obviously not a HUGE deal at all. Or even a huge deal.

What we know looks really, really bad for Trump. Even the headline insists that “what we know” aren’t the full facts of the story but that, if anything, it “looks” really, really bad for Trump.

For Trump, the media outlets assure their embattled readers still reeling from Russia-gate, this is the beginning of the end; we’ve finally got him.

For Biden, it’s “none of this looks great for the Bidens, it is, unfortunately, routine business in Washington to hire family members of powerful officials in hopes of gaining influence over public policy.

Oh, people try to use their elected positions to help enrich themselves and their families? Politicians pander influence? Shocking. Oh, Joe Biden’s son was receiving a $50,000 per month salary from a shady Ukrainian oil and gas company? Sounds fine.

And if the bias wasn’t stunning enough, Vox throws a few more nepotistic envelope-pushers under the bus for good measure, “For example, President Jimmy Carter’s brother, Billy; President George W. Bush’s brother, Nell; and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s brothers, Tony and Hugh Rodham were all involved in business interests that once drew concern.”

Yes. That makes it all much better, thank you.

President Trump, the media outlets chorus, might have used his office for partisan gain! Of course he uses his office for partisan gain. Why do you think partisans and political parties work so hard to win elections? Everything incumbent Presidents get to do is for partisan gain.

Liberal pundits can believe anything they like about President Trump, but they can’t deny that everything he does is to his benefit, as he sees it, in some way.

Nor can they expect the American people to believe otherwise. Of course elected incumbents use their position to gain a partisan advantage over their political opponents. That is why it is so hard to beat an incumbent.

Trump attending the U.N. meeting where he is currently, stumping and giving speeches, is a partisan ploy to get himself reelected and further the political goals of his party, his administration and the American people as he understands them.

You may not like Trump, but he puts himself and America first. Or America and himself first. Neither of which pragmatic conservatives, or independents, will fault him for.

Trump has manipulated the press into believing that impeaching Trump will be bad for Trump. That he will “obsess” about it. That it will distract him from pursuing the goals of his administration, weaken him, even if it doesn’t remove him from office.

When in reality, Trump is distracting the press with these red herrings so that they will continue to dance attendance on the latest outrage of the day, cry wolf until no one listens anymore, troll his Twitter account for funny comments to amplify about him, and otherwise ignore the objectives of his administration.

Worse for journalists who jumped the gun on this story, as of an hour ago, Trump has authorized a release of the complete transcript of the call in question. This doesn’t bode well for anyone hoping for a smoking gun. There likely won’t be one.

“I am currently at the United Nations representing our Country, but have authorized the release tomorrow of the complete, fully declassified and unredacted transcript of my phone conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine.” — President Donald Trump, Twitter. September 24, 2019

Ukrainian officials have also denied that President Trump pressured them to investigate Hunter Biden or threatened to withhold aid if they failed to do so.

House Democrats right now meanwhile “might now have ‘crossed the Rubicon’; are “considering changing course”; might be possibly warming-up to the idea of impeachment.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to make an announcement to the press on impeachment after Democrats discuss it this afternoon; an announcement that is likely to fall flat with anyone who wasn’t already planning on voting against Trump next November.

For this dubious win, the mainstream media has dredged up the ancient history of Hunter Biden’s $50,000 a month job in the Ukraine, damaging the Democratic front runner. For nothing.

Journalists fantasizing about a Trump distracted by a protracted impeachment inquiry need to come to their senses. Trump has been under an impeachment microscope from the first moment of his Presidency, and a retroactive microscope on his entire life, for almost three years now.

Everything he has managed to accomplish in office, including a quietly ignominious end Monday of the U.S. immigration policy of ‘Catch and Release’, he has managed with a team of over a dozen of the nations top Democratic attorneys digging into him, his businesses, his family, his campaign.

If House Democrats begin impeachment proceedings against Trump, he’s already won, and he doesn’t need to do a thing. Impeaching is easy compared to removing a sitting U.S. President from office for malfeasance. It won’t work.

But another year of Democrats grandstanding for the masses on Twitter, engaging in pointless political theatre, and wasting tax dollars while campaigning for tax increases, might convince voters that Democrats are the greater of two evils.

(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)

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