Evening Edition - August 5

4 minute read

August 5, 2019

If there’s a common thread to all the dismal stories being reported right now, I’d have to say it’s the toxic news environment. Whenever there’s breaking news, it’s hard to see past all the pointing fingers to try to figure out what really happened and why. This being the start of campaign season, it’s worse than usual, and bound to get even more poisonous.

Ironically, I myself am pointing a finger –- straight at that toxic news environment. The media create a narrative and distort what people (especially the President) say and even think in order to further the story they want to tell. In the case of the horrific shootings over the weekend, for example, they decided what the story would be --- THIS IS ALL TRUMP’S FAULT --- and twisted what he has said to try to make it seem as if he’s a racist who’s “dog whistling” to white supremacists. That is a total lie. But when you lie to your audience enough times, the lie becomes “their truth.”

Consider the case of John Ratcliffe’s withdrawal from consideration as the new Director of National Intelligence due to what Trump termed “unfair coverage.” Ratcliffe reportedly did not prosecute a major terrorism case as he had claimed but had only played “a research role.” Also, he had not in fact arrested over 300 illegal immigrants in one day during a 2008 sweep but had only played “a supporting role” and the number was more like 45. Okay, fine. Howard Kurtz of FOX News’ MEDIABUZZ referred to this as “solid reporting,” and even Trump acknowledged that the press sometimes “do the vetting for me,” with varying results.

Kudos to anyone reporting facts. But the media have gone on to promote the narrative that Ratcliffe is not qualified for the intelligence job. A hit piece by CNN national security analyst Samantha Vinograd terms the nomination a “disaster.” She slams Trump for what she perceives as his failure to rely on the intelligence community “to inform policy decisions and public statements.” To that, I would say that in light of how the intelligence community has treated HIM, first as a candidate and then as the duly elected President, it should come as no surprise that he shows little confidence in it.

Vinograd rips Ratcliffe for his “conspiracy-minded approach to the intelligence community and “disregard for established oversight mechanisms,” and asserts that he lacks the extensive national security experience that is legally required of the DNI. “By nominating Ratcliffe,” she says, “the President signaled that he doesn’t want a DNI who knows what he’s doing --- he just wants a DNI who will do what Trump wants.”

To say that Ratcliffe doesn’t know what he’s doing is an unfair and unsupported criticism. Again, I would say that after one has seen the evidence, as Ratcliffe has, of a conspiracy at the highest levels of the intelligence community, one might be excused for being at least somewhat conspiracy-minded and skeptical of oversight mechanisms. That is called BEING REALISTIC. If you’d like to read her whole piece, it’s at the link, but I think you get the idea.

Why Trump's Ratcliffe nomination was such a disaster

There appears to be more behind the story of Ratcliffe’s nomination and quick withdrawal. As you’ve probably gathered, Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas seemed to me like the perfect choice for the job of Director of National Intelligence. (Considering that James Clapper once held this position, the idea of Ratcliffe having this responsibility instead of him made me feel positively giddy.) A conversation on SUNDAY MORNING FUTURES between Maria Bartiromo and former Rep. Trey Gowdy offered a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes activity that most of us never see.

To preface this, it did seem curious to me when the Senate leadership greeted the news of the President’s choice with a distinct lack of enthusiasm. They hardly seemed to know who he was, but how could they not know him after the major role he played in Congress’ “Trump/Russia” hearings? And then on Sunday we learned that according to Bartiromo’s sources, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr “basically blew him off” when he called them about getting together for a meeting. These sources also said the two men felt they wouldn’t be able to deliver the vote of Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, because she had said Ratcliffe was “awfully rough on Mueller” when he testified before the House.

If this is true, it’s extremely disconcerting, as Ratcliffe has done a masterful job in these hearings. And, as Trey Gowdy pointed out, he had been offered the DNI job before Mueller ever testified. Gowdy said that “all the stories about Johnny ‘auditioning’ for the DNI” were false, as he had already accepted the job by that time. Gowdy speculated that Ratcliffe “may have been something of an unknown commodity” to the senators, but it’s dismaying to me to think of them as that out of touch with the House committees investigating the FBI’s role in the “Trump/Russia” investigation.

Gowdy admitted that when Ratcliffe was running for Congress, he endorsed his opponent. But after Ratcliffe won, the two congressmen got to know one another. Ratcliffe because “my favorite member of the House,” Gowdy said. “So last week was a tough week for those of us that know and care about him on a personal level. It was also a tough week for people who care about FACTS, while I’m reading he’s auditioning for a job he’s already accepted. And it was also a tough week for people who care about equality and being treated justly.”

To those like Vinograd who say Ratcliffe isn’t qualified for this job, Gowdy suggests they compare his background to that of Kamala Harris, who is being seriously considered for the job of Commander-in-Chief. They’re both former prosecutors. She’s the only senator who is a member of these three committees: Intelligence, Judiciary, and the Senate version of Homeland Security. Likewise, Ratcliffe is the only member of the House who is a member of those three committees, plus he’s on the Ethics Committee. And he’s served longer in the House than she’s served in the Senate. Why is it, Gowdy asks, that she’s qualified to be the leader of the free world when Ratcliffe is said to be poorly qualified “to lead an obscure agency that almost no one’s ever heard of”?

Gowdy is right: Ratcliffe would have been a fine choice to coordinate the various components of the intel community, perhaps better than a career intel insider at a time when there’s serious swamp-draining to be done.

But do you know who was hailed in the Washington Post by former intelligence officials Michael Morell and Mike Vickers for having the kind of “deep experience” needed for this job? The aforementioned James R. Clapper, Jr., who is “widely considered the most effective DNI to date.” Gosh, isn’t it too bad we don’t have HIM any more?

Trump withdraws John Ratcliffe from consideration as Director of National Intelligence

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Comments 1-19 of 19

  • Charlie McMahan

    08/06/2019 10:10 PM

    People are looking for a solution to the mass shooting crisis. Truth is the answer is simple, but it’s not easy. The solution is Christianity. If we were the Christian nation we should be, we would be teaching Christian values and ethics in the home, AND in the schools. We should be teaching respect for our fellow man, accountability for our sins, giving young men and women a code of ethics to live by. Give them a reason to abide by them. Ultimate, and eternal accountability for our actions. Teach them love for their fellow man, teach them how and why we should live as we do. We’ve let the complaints of a few take Bibles out of schools, and convince the masses that Christianity is something to be feared and outlawed from society. It’s our country, isn’t this the right moment in our development as a nation to admin the direction we’ve taken away from God hasn’t worked? Let’s stand up for what we believe and put God back where our forefathers had Him when they underwrote this great nation. I’ve heard all the reasons why people want God out of the schools, that hasn’t worked. Let’s us take back this country’s morals and give young men a reason to live good, happy and productive lives. This is so simple to a Christian, but it isn’t to the unbeliever. I’m sorry for them, in many ways, but they’re just going to have to learn Christ’s way of doing things for a while.

  • anthony cuccia jr

    08/06/2019 04:47 PM

    The President could renominate Radcliffe. A Boss has been known to ask a good man to volunteer for the sake of our country's safety, to sacrifice himself; twice. Unless there is something Radcliffe thinks, would cause a stink.

  • David Stafford

    08/06/2019 09:56 AM

    Recent tragedies confirm politicians, media and other liberals attempt to create facts supporting their preconceived conclusions on the causes of mass shootings. At least, a few have indicated mental problems may have been involved. In these cases, it could be as simple as a hatred for hispanics and anger at the shooter's sister. Based on many instances where I observed family outings at restaurants and other places where a three-year old was obviously in charge, I wonder if it ever occurs to the parents that they are raising a promising mass shooter. If a child is allowed to behave with no adult supervision or leadership, he soon becomes convinced that his actions, no matter how bad, are always acceptable and approved by his parents. He also never learns that society is a consideration in his life and that he must consider other people in whatever actions he plans to do. The late trends to take all forms of Christianity (and other religions) out of our schools, universities and even out of some churches as well as our daily lives play a significant role in our minds and actions. What do people expect when good influences are eliminated from our lives. Children need a role model, preferably a parent starting at birth or soon thereafter. Are these trends by chance or design. I suspect the latter.

  • Bonnie McLaughlin

    08/06/2019 09:44 AM

    Gov. Huckabee, thank you for all you do to help regular people like me unscramble the chaos going on in this country. I just don't understand why so many republican congressmen and women are retiring at such a crucial time in our nation. I heard the comment that some "would rather retire voluntarily than be defeated by a democratic candidate". And they wait until there's very little time for another candidate to prepare for the rigors of fundraising for such a run. When the going gets tough the tough usually get going. We all need to have some faith in each other to do the right thing and not succumb to fear of failure. I pray every day about all of this.

  • Jack macdonald

    08/06/2019 08:47 AM

    Just finished watching the protesters out side McConnelll's home. By any measure, their actions were despicable. I doubt you would see this behavior if circumstances were reversed and Schumer was recuperating. Two points: why can't the police intercede as this is disturbing the peace and why couldn't Schumer publicly condemn this behavior toward a senate colleague? I know the answer; it's because Schumer has no class.

  • Louise Williams

    08/06/2019 07:09 AM

    Thank you for keeping me informed.

  • Linda

    08/05/2019 11:59 PM

    The Senate fears the truth that even the RINOs - like Burr and McConnell and Collins - don't want out. There was a conspiracy against Trump and some were complicit either actively or by withholding knowledge. Their precious status quo is threatened by Trump and they are terrified the declassification will show how the House and Senate Republicans failed in their oversight obligations out of their hatred for Trump. It was the lowest common denominator - Burr - with help from Susan Collins and the refusal of both McConnell and Burr to meet with Ratcliffe and feeding the media that ended it.

  • Jan StAnne

    08/05/2019 11:45 PM

    Who is paying (or threatening) the media to lie, cheat and hurt good people? Is it Soros? The Clintons ? Or are all left medias really out to destroy this country... and why? Are they stupid enough to think they will get rich and spared? They don't hate Trump. they fear him and anyone who is honest and ethical.

  • Robert Byrns

    08/05/2019 11:02 PM

    We all grieve over the loss of life and senseless violence in El Paso and Dayton. When people wonder why such atrocities occur, and consider what should be done about it, no one seems to want to speak of the solution that is in plain sight. It seems we have become more and more blind to this solution ever since we decided that a respect for God and his instruction manual for us his creations was no longer worthy of our attention and use in training our children in the way they should go. Our wholesale capitulation to the racist philosophy and unscientific theory of Charles Darwin, and the choice to honor Darwin instead of our Creator God has brought us to the situation we have experienced this weekend.
    When we teach our children that they are no different than the animals, and that we are just a more advanced ape-like product of chance, which advance was determined by whoever is the fittest of us, it is no wonder that our children behave like animals. We have deprived them of their dignity, purpose, and destiny.

  • Carl Smith

    08/05/2019 10:24 PM

    The Real Problem is the Media has let pure HATE for Trump to bring out thier TRUE agenda. Truth Be Damned our FEELINGS are hurt because he made up look like Fools and we will Prove him right every day because we don't like being called out. Walter Lippman meme of "Self Importance has Ruined more good Journalist that Bad Liquor" has never been more correct. The Big Problem is have the media ruined the Credibility of 'NEWS' outlets beyond redemption. A Source for REAL NEWS is necessary for the Republic to Survive.

  • Donn Hutson

    08/05/2019 10:17 PM

    John Ratcliffe represents the district I live in. He has stood firm and remained strong on many conservative issues!! I am pleased with how he has served our district of Texas, and he will continue to do so with strength. Thank you sir. Do not back down.

  • phyllis Jost

    08/05/2019 09:46 PM

    Could you or someone publish a 'dictionary' of terms like white supremacy, racism, various phobias describing various negative isms. I hear different definitions and would like something more definitive so we can all be on the same page. Thanks

  • Thomas Houser

    08/05/2019 09:45 PM

    Lost in all this tragedy of El Paso and Dayton is the ongoing tragedy in Chicago and Baltimore and other large Democratic run cities. Seven people killed in Chicago and 46 injured over the weekend in one of the most gun controlled cities and states in the country. What makes these screaming liberals think more gun control for the rest of the country is going to work. They don't care about lives, they just care about power.

  • Debora Ostberg

    08/05/2019 09:04 PM

    I am so tired of the Dems. When is America going to wake up and realize the lies they spread.

    It’s tough to pray for people who like them.

  • Amelia Little

    08/05/2019 08:45 PM

    I quite imagine the democrats had their own choice of nomination to DNI (and it probably IS clapper) and they certainly don't want a CONSERVATIVE to be a wet blanket on their shenanigans.

    I spent the day reading about guns--several articles by Larry Correia--thanks for the link. I learned some new things, and he reinforced some of my views. Anyway, that led me to mass shootings. The furtherest back I read was 2005 Sandy Hook, Aurora theater, Parkland and more recent I didn't get to. I don't recall that, with any of the mass shootings, except Parkland, there was no run to the cameras and mics to blame those who were Presidents at the time. Oh, there was the blame Sarah Palin for the AZ shooting with Sen. Gifford. The left and msm just continue to go all out--and the wanna-be's in the democrat crowd are spending a lot of time bringing up misquotes, out-of-context statements to throw about President Trump. And, you know the freshman senator gang--you want to talk about inciting violence, they and in particular good ol' maxine do a good job there. Although good ol' maxine seems to have faded into the woodwork lately. So, I hear a snippet on the radio where schumer is calling for McConnell to call everyone back from summer recess to get gun control done!!! Oh, would that be like getting democrats back to Washington to deal with preventing a government shutdown? Seems there was a reporter talking to some gal in El Paso (have no idea if she's a regular citizen or someone IM-POR-TANTE.) She's saying it would be so wrong for President Trump to show up there--there was mention about his rally there--don't know if she's meaning his rally was the reason the shooter went there. Anyway, seems the shooter has been mad about illegal immigration since even before President Trump campaigned. Of course, let's not let that fact interfere with the left outrage. I'm gonna skip even all the FOX programs this week, and delete all the newsletters even from Crowder, the Blaze, etc, and just read your newsletters and catch you on TBN on Saturday. Gotta be careful about my blood pressure and sanity!!!

  • Robin Harris

    08/05/2019 08:36 PM

    How about stopping soros in paying off republicans in not running for office!! He's giving millions so they don't run again to give democrats power again!! He needs to be stopped!! Send in the elites to take him and his son or sons out and any of his other buddies that want to do us harm!! I love freedom and the American way!! Look what he did Nov 2016 had nearly 70 people leave office that he bribed not to run!!

  • Mark Mittelstaedt

    08/05/2019 08:17 PM

    To paraphrase Picasso..." I do things all the time that I'm not supposed to be able to do - that's how I get to do them " In my own life...a friend of mine who owns / operates nursing homes wanted a mechanism so people could use levers to push themselves up ADA ramps, across lawns, gravel etc. without help - it would greatly improve their quality of life. I designed / prototyped / patented a system that works great / cheapest thing out there / could have been done 80 years ago, but no one took the time to think about it - and I trained as a chemist; see leverdrive.com I hate being put in a box - " you can only do this " ; which is all too common in our credential-crazy society. I thought Ratcliffe would have been an excellent choice. I'd rather have someone with a fresh approach than the same old DC inside scum ;-}

  • Barbara J Westphal

    08/05/2019 08:17 PM

    With all the talk regarding the mass shootings in our Great Country....has anyone ever considered the age of all the shooters...teens to mid twenties, for the most part. An age when there is a high percentage if depression, anger, and mental illness. Especially in boys. Parkland and Dayton had lengthy history of serious problems noted in school and police reports. Seems a strong correlation to the above mentioned age group... yet no follow through. Look at Sandy Hook, Colubine etc. Guns didn't create the problem.

  • Cindy Zapotocky

    08/05/2019 08:11 PM

    Governor Huckabee: I met you once in Spokane, and we chatted about our sons....I think you will appreciate this.

    Yesterday, Sunday, my husband John and I were sitting out on the back porch. Our son Brian, the accountant, came by to check up on us. He said to his Dad...

    Brian: "So Dad, what was your sermon about in church today?"

    John: "It was about not accumulating wealth. You know Brian, you can't take it
    with you."

    Brian: (Without missing a beat.) "Yah Dad, but you CAN leave it behind!!"

    Sigh.