Trump’s enemies in the media –- and let’s face it, that’s most of the media –- are scared to death of Attorney General William Barr.
How can I tell? Because they’re working overtime to savage him, to discredit him in any way they can. They see him as a too-effective advocate of the President’s policies at the Justice Department. (When Trump is in the White House, as opposed to Obama, they obviously require the AG’s job to be adversarial to the President.) They also cannot stand that he DARED to say “spying did occur” and that the DOJ’s role in the “Trump/Russia” hoax needs to be examined. That’s certainly not the narrative they want.
They have their own narrative: that there is no such hoax, that Trump really is a traitor who “colluded” with Russia to damage Hillary Clinton and win the 2016 election. To further this, they themselves “colluded” with anonymous sources inside the government and the Democrat Party, all of whom shared a common goal. Even though this narrative has been shown to be false, they continue to cling to it. Madam Speaker Nancy Pelosi is helping them by once again repeating her tired old mantra, “All roads lead to Putin.” Likewise, House Intel Committee chair and repeated, proven liar Adam Schiff has called Barr “the second most dangerous man in America,” the implication being that President Trump is the first-most dangerous.
Similarly, when Devin Nunes’ memo blasted their assertions of Russia “collusion,” they tried to discredit him, though he has since been proven right. Now it’s Barr, along with lead investigator U.S. Attorney John Durham, who are in their sights. “The fear of Durham’s investigation and Barr’s support of that investigation is legitimate,” writes Mollie Hemingway in THE FEDERALIST. “The media and other Resistance members staked their reputations on the Russia probe, which exploded spectacularly when, despite the daily if not hourly promises of bombshells and ‘walls closing in,’ special counsel Robert Mueller and his sprawling investigation were unable to find a single American who had colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 election.”
She masterfully takes apart the latest hit piece on Barr, from David Rohde of THE NEW YORKER, who is such an anti-Trumper that he has not only written about Barr having to recuse himself while Democrats sought impeachment but, wow, has even fantasized outrageously about Barr going to prison for his support of Trump, summoning the ghost of John Mitchell from 1975 and the Watergate break-in. I am not kidding; here it is (big-time inaccuracies in this one, too), from last fall; the crazy “John Mitchell” part is towards the end of the piece…
So now Rohde has this new, nearly 10,000-word article, and anti-Trumpers will eat it up with a spoon, never stopping to recognize all the misrepresentations, inaccuracies and omissions contained within Rohde’s tasty concoction. (Leftists’ favorite flavor: “Rocky Rohde,” ha.) Fortunately, Hemingway points them all out. No one who really wants to be informed should read Rohde’s commentary without following it up with Hemingway’s. Of course, most readers who like to read THE NEW YORKER don’t really want to be informed and will avoid Hemingway’s merciless tear-down like the plague.
She goes into great deal with --- count ‘em --- 27 points outlining the many ways the Rohde article goes off the rails. Her opinion of Barr is like my own: “a brilliant legal mind with a candid and no-nonsense attitude” who at times seems to be the only adult in the room. He’s had a stellar career and didn’t need to come back to the DOJ and face all the abuse he knew he’d be taking, but he sees himself as having a job to do. Hemingway acknowledges that political differences account for some of Rohde’s criticism of Barr but notes that his grasp on major issues is still demonstrably wrong, citing War Powers, the Mueller report and the way it has been handled, and the FISA abuse investigation.
He even gets basic facts wrong. In just one example, he says, “In August 1990, Bush invaded Kuwait, with Congressional approval.” What? It was Iraq who invaded Kuwait in 1990; America responded in 1991 with aerial attacks and then ground troops to repel those invaders. “THE NEW YORKER has an unwarranted reputation as diligent in fact-checking...” Hemingway notes, adding that “the piece is full of errors that would be easy to check...”
"Every paragraph in the nearly 10,000-word article has significant problems,” she says. “Taken together, it is just one long string of innuendos that Barr is evil. Yet the innuendos are laid down in such a dry, disaffected style it’s as if Rohde and his editors don’t think the reader will notice how they’re leading him to one facile conclusion after another.” What a wonderful way to describe the writing style of publications like THE NEW YORKER. She has nailed it –- that’s exactly what they do.
I had thought about summarizing some of Hemingway’s major points (as I said, there are 27), but I really think her entire commentary is a must-read. It would also be great to share with your friends on the left, if they are still speaking to you and if you don’t mind them being irritated at you. It’s not likely they’ll read it, but what the heck.
In the meantime, I’ll just cut to her conclusion: “If the FBI and the Department of Justice, not to mention the other involved agencies, are to have their reputations restored, it will be because men like Barr and Durham were brave enough to take on the implicated parties and their echo chambers and find the truth. One gets the sense they knew the media campaign against them would be waged and one hopes they have the courage to withstand the bullying.”
That’s one thing I really am optimistic about. I think the media have figured out that they CAN withstand it, and that makes them even more terrified --- of losing their power to intimidate.