If you saw “Huckabee” on TBN this weekend (and I assume you did, being a person of taste and distinction), you know that my monologue was about how the media have killed journalism and gone into the one-sided political propaganda business. At the end, I offered three rules for watching the news these days:
1. Never take the first “breaking news” as the story. Too many reporters and networks would rather be first than right.
2. Discount or even disregard stories based on anonymous “sources” or “high-level officials,” or “senior advisors.” So-called whistle-blowers are more often smoke-blowers. And let me be clear: I don’t care where you get your news and information. Even if it’s Fox News where I’m still a contributor, if they are touting “unnamed sources,” or “my sources close to the President,” don’t fall for it. It may even be true, but demand better.
3. If the story doesn’t include a credible and knowledgeable named source to balance or counter the story, toss it in the trash. It’s where a lot of modern “journalism” belongs.
You might want to print out these rules and Scotch tape them to your TV screen over the next few days because I predict that we will be getting an onslaught of dubiously-sourced “bombshell” news stories regarding President Trump, Ukraine and Joe and Hunter Biden. The Democrats’ unpaid PR arm in the “news” media have been holding these stories for the perfect moment to rush them out, to provide “air support” for the Democrats’ collapsing impeachment case and to distract from the Trump team’s defense.
Notice how a couple of them were rushed out over the weekend. They realized they couldn’t wait for Monday after hearing the Trump attorneys’ devastating opening statement on Saturday. I could almost hear them yelling, “May day! May day!” in the various press rooms. The dismantling of the Democrats’ case was so thorough, CNN talking heads were reduced to sniping that Trump’s attorneys were too white and male compared to the “diversity” of the House Democrat impeachment managers. Personally, I don’t find it comforting to know that liars come in all shapes and colors.
Already, Democrats are citing the John Bolton “revelation” to cry that the Senate needs to call him as a witness. Unlike many people, I’m not going to impugn Mr. Bolton’s motives, because I don’t know what they are. I do know that he had strong policy disagreements with President Trump unrelated to Ukraine, enough that he was forced to leave.
And we’ve all heard that Bolton angrily compared the dealings with Ukraine to a “drug deal.” But it now appears that he didn’t say that after talking to Trump, but after meeting with Ambassador Gordon Sondland. He’s the same “witness” who told the House that everyone knew Trump demanded a quid pro quo on investigating Biden, and who spread that yarn to every other “witness” who all revealed that they got it from him – only to later have Sondland admit under cross-examination that he’d only presumed that’s what Trump wanted and that Trump had directly told him the opposite.
So did Bolton actually get that impression from Trump, or from Sondland, the Typhoid Mary of Ukraine BS? I think I’d like to reserve judgement until we actually know the facts. As the Gateway Pundit site noted: “The Times does not claim to have seen the manuscript, but is basing its report on anonymous sources who claim to have given The Times descriptions. There are no quotes from the manuscript.” So take it for what it’s worth, and you can guess how much that is.
Another “bombshell” story that detonated over the weekend was a video clip from controversial publicity hound Lev Parnas, showing Trump being told that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was saying negative things about him and telling her counterparts to ignore his policies because he’s going to be impeached. Trump replied, "Get rid of her. Get her out tomorrow. I don't care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it."
After the typical “OUTRAGE!” and shouts that this proves Trump conspired with Parnas, and comparisons of Trump to a mafia don, the full video was released.
It shows that this was only one of many things Trump talked about, sometimes jokingly, in a typically crowded meeting, the kind he has several times day. Parnas was peripheral to the meeting, the kind of background flunky Trump might easily have spoken to without ever even knowing his name. And Yovanovich is not only not sleeping with the fishes, she remained in her job for a year after this.
Once again, I have to ask, “Where’s the crime?” Didn’t we elect Trump to end the double standard of letting the well-connected get away with corruption and to fire the people in government who desperately needed firing? Ambassadors work at the President’s pleasure; he can fire them for any reason, and badmouthing him while undermining his policies sounds like a pretty good reason to me. Wouldn’t you fire a salesman who tells your customers that your product is lousy so don’t buy it?
So remember this warning: over the next few days, you’re probably going to see a blizzard of carefully-timed “bombshell” Trump stories that will eventually fall apart on closer examination. It’s a repeat of the Kavanaugh hearings, where after 40 years of spotless living and multiple background checks, on the very eve of his Supreme Court confirmation, people suddenly came out of the woodwork to accuse him of spending his high school years as a drunken organizer of rape gangs. So it would be wise to treat every such alleged “bombshell” story you hear as if every day this week were April Fools’ Day. Don’t believe anything on first hearing.
In the meantime, enjoy this Derek Hunter piece on the best thing to come out of the Trump impeachment: the total exposure and destruction of “what passes for journalism.” Frankly, I think journalism died during the Obama Administration, but the big media outlets have taken this long to bury themselves along with it.
President Trump’s attorneys did such a thorough job of exposing and deconstructing the House Democrats’ plot against him in their opening that they should have started their presentation with the warning, “Spoiler alert!” So desperate Democrats, with the aid of their trusty sidekick, the media, are now yelling for more “witnesses” to try to prove the Ukraine “quid pro quo” story that was so vitally important, they failed to list it as an impeachable offense.
The great movie director Alfred Hitchcock invented a term that’s now common among screenwriters: “the MacGuffin.” It’s the thing that kicks off the plot of the movie (the microfilm in “North by Northwest,” the bird statue in “The Maltese Falcon,” the mysterious briefcase in “Pulp Fiction,” the word “Rosebud” in “Citizen Kane,” etc.) It doesn’t matter what it is; it’s just a plot device that exists solely to get the narrative started.
Trump’s attorneys revealed unquestionably that the Ukraine phone call wasn’t really a serious issue worthy of impeaching a President. It wouldn’t even be a crime if it were true. It’s just the MacGuffin concocted to justify the three-year push for impeachment after all the other potential MacGuffins (Comey’s firing, “Russian collusion,” Stormy Daniels, etc.) fell apart.
Just imagine, if Trump had never called the President of Ukraine, we might just as easily be sitting through equally histrionic testimony about how his hairdo is a dire threat to the ozone layer, so he must be removed immediately.
Since so much taxpayer money is being wasted on impeaching a President on no grounds, we might as well get something out of it, like expanding our vocabularies. And so, the “Word of the Day” is “preterition.” It means bringing up a topic by declaring that you’re not going to talk about it. Or, as the New York Sun cites Adam Schiff’s example, sneaking a libelous claim into the Senate record by repeating it, then claiming you hope it’s not true.
Click the link to read the full article and expand your vocabulary even more by learning the proper terms for other things Schiff has been demonstrating in front of the Senate over the past week, such as “demagoguery” and “lack of character.”
I assume you already know what the simple, common term “lie” means. If you didn’t before Schiff started talking, you certainly do now.
We all need to start off the week with a good laugh, so here’s Hillary Clinton complaining that the problem with the news media is that there just aren’t enough Democrats in it.
Related story: the editors of the conservative Washington Examiner don’t usually agree with Democrats, but here’s an op-ed that I’ll bet people on both sides can get behind. It’s called, “Why Won’t Hillary Clinton Just Go Away?”
You know how I say that “we watch the news so you don’t have to”? That’s not entirely a joke. An Internet poll by Fox 5 TV in D.C. found that 63% of respondents haven’t watched a single minute of the Trump “impeachment” trial. Fifteen percent check the news for updates, and 22% have watched “some” of it. And this is in Washington, DC! Apparently, the only people watching all of it are me and my staff and the poor suckers who are stuck in the locked Senate chamber. It’s worse than being a captive audience, it’s more like being a hostage audience!
Every year at the Grammy Awards, only one performer makes a genuinely brave political statement, and that’s R&B singer Joy Villa, who uses her gowns to make pro-life and pro-Trump statements. Here’s this year’s look. I think you’re going to like it.
Today is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This year, we observe the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
This is always a very solemn occasion, but even more so now, in the shadow of rising anti-Semitism, some of it even coming from national political figures in Congress; deadly assaults on Jews on American soil; and disturbing recent surveys showing that about 40% of Americans don't know what Auschwitz was, including a shocking two-thirds of Millennials. Another new survey finds that 69% of Millennials and Gen Xers in France, a nation occupied by the Nazis, didn’t know that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, 25% had never heard of the Holocaust, and 20% think it’s “acceptable” to hold anti-Semitic views.
There is very good reason why the credo of those who observe Holocaust Remembrance Day is “Never again.” I have been to Auschwitz multiple times. It is impossible to stand in that cursed place and not feel the weight of the sadness, loss, terror and evil in the very air around you. Anyone who’s ever been there will never again toss around ignorant comparisons of various US policies to “Nazis” and “concentration camps.” And I guarantee that once you’ve been there, you never forget.
Unfortunately, too many people haven’t been there, and haven’t been taught what happened there and in other such camps. I like to believe that no human being who really understands what this was about could possibly feel anything but revulsion at the very idea of anti-Semitism. And yet, it’s on the rise, which tells us we need to redouble our efforts to teach our children this history.
We all know that those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it. This is a chapter of history we must never allow to be repeated.
David Clossen has more on International Holocaust Remembrance Day in light of current events at this must-read article in the Daily Signal.
It’s not just leftists who make the personal political, but conservatives do it with much more humor. For instance, check out the Trump reelection campaign’s new line of swag, including one tied to the March For Life: a baby onesie that reads, “I cry less than a Democrat.” It’s funny because it’s true.