Russiagate Probe Proves No Collusion Between Trump Administration and Stalin /> I mean Putin, Sorry
“We broke every written and unwritten rule in pursuit of this story, starting with the prohibition on reporting things we can't confirm." –Matt Taibbi (Rolling Stone)
3/25/19, 7:27 pm EDT
By John Corry, photos from Nikita Kaun and Universal Pictures
Famed ‘Gonzo’ journalist Hunter S. Thompson once said:
“The most consistent and ultimately damaging failure of political journalism in America (is that it) has its roots in the clubby/cocktail personal relationships that inevitably develop between politicians and journalists.”
That was in the 70’s. Flash forward thirty-five years to 2019 and Thompson’s likely closest successor, Matt Taibbi, also from Rolling Stone, has a book called Hate Inc.: How, and Why, the Media Makes Us Hate One Another coming out this October. The cover is a split of an aaaangry Sean Hannity beneath a red palate on one side, and an aaaangry Rachel Maddow beneath one blue on the other. The implication is obvious (*SoObvious): as much good as people like Hannity and Maddow may think they’re doing /> well, calling them aaaangry is a bit of understatement at this point (unless they’re doing it on purpose? #NoWayWhyWouldAnyoneDoThat?). “WMD damaged the media's reputation,” Taibbi said in a Tweet with a link to a blog post of a chapter of that book posted early “in light of yesterday's news” (WMD: the Weapons of Mass Destruction controversy from the 2000 Bush era). “Russiagate may have destroyed it.”
The ‘news’ to which he refers is the much-hyped report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller into Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election. The report has been reported on every single day (or how turning on CNN or MSNBC might imply: every five minutes), for over two years. It started as the FBI reported that, as in several other countries, Russia had attempted to sway the US presidential election via social media and through similar avenues in favor of a candidate more privy to Russian interests /> or to cause chaos and division, who knows? Although that last argument gets into some dicey territory (why would they want to do that? Seriously, trying talk to anyone even slightly into conspiracy theories, and that convo lasts far beyond the nationally recognized healthy alcohol intake for a lifetime (*Joke)), any critical thinking involving why any foreign entity might be trying to something like that is just irrelevant when it comes to real journalism. Journalism is about reporting the news. Trump had been accused of working with Russia ever since the Wikileaks tapes of 2016 were released to reveal damaging information regarding his opponent, Hillary Clinton, and members of her campaign, an event which some felt cost Clinton the election. After that: a bunch of similar shit happened (ish) /> and now it’s OFFICIALLY been over three years since one could turn on any Democratic-leaning channel or program for more than two minutes without seeing someone accusing Trump of treason and recommending that he be impeached /> and that ‘two minutes’ (of hate?) is an understatement.
But the narrative has now been proven false (see Attorney General William Barr’s full letter summarizing Mueller’s report here), or at least in the sense that Trump and his campaign, ‘despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals,‘ ‘the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities’.
In other words: unless AG Barr is blatantly falsifying the report–a move which would surely get him fired (at least), and frankly by now raise some eyebrows from those involved with the investigation–Mueller did not find any evidence that the Trump campaign had willingly colluded with Russia to sway the 2016 election. While that doesn’t exonerate Russia from any wrongdoing, nor the idea that if it weren’t for Russia, Trump might not have won the election, it does say the story is pretty much over, and that anyone who’s been claiming for the past three years to ‘know’ something ‘secret’ has had their heads up their asses. If Russia is partly responsible Trump’s 2016 win, they’re not fully responsible, and the fact still is that Trump was elected by a big swath of the country, and that according to law, his win is legitimate. Unless he knowingly colluded with Russia, there’s nothing much else we can do here without alienating half the country, as though most of us haven’t been doing that since his election anyway.
None of that, however, has stopped some from accusing foul play, incompetence, or flat out conspiracy theories (ALEX JONES!):
"I think in some ways the Attorney General is maybe trying to cover himself"— TheBeat w/Ari Melber (@TheBeatWithAri) March 25, 2019
"The injection of the Attorney General, especially this Attorney General" leads to "a concern that the appropriate process" was not followed - @EricHolder pic.twitter.com/ZVUwjmcTf4
I will admit my feelings for Mueller are conflicted now and my sexual attraction to him is in peril, but I still believe there is a lot more to come, and we must all march in the streets if we don’t see that report.— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) March 25, 2019
It’s Lent but it feels like Christmas. Avenatti charged. Trump cleared.— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) March 25, 2019
#DonaldTrump has forced us to live through war as a nation for the last two years; he has caused depression, despair, confusion and death. We're not just sick at heart, but literally sick from him; from uncontrollable rage at the thought that he will get away with his crimes.— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) March 25, 2019
I don’t mean to be a troll on any of that (that Michael Avenatti story is ridiculous (and has been for some time) /> and I can see how Mueller’s got quite the strong jaw). The full report has yet to be released, and Barr made it clear that Mueller did not specify in it whether Trump obstructed justice. As bad as everyone thinks everything has gotten: if Trump did obstruct justice, or if Mueller found anything damaging that he put in his report and which Barr simply refused to acknowledge, we will find out about it, the report will be released, though likely redacted of any private information or the like. That’s my problem here: our institutions haven’t deteriorated that badly yet, and if they have, I’d like to know your reasoning behind it (ass), because as far as I can tell there are only two institutions in America anymore:
Media, and everything else.
With Trump’s election came a new era for media: no longer must journalists look around for stories, or bore themselves to death covering crazy Asians on their campaign trails with nothing real to say (*Joke). They know what they’re looking for now, and it’s exactly what they were always looking for: what will save the world. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to save the world, but there is something wrong with thinking you’re saving the world without actually doing anything, or by thinking that you and your ideology are the only things which possibly could save the world, or without doing your job, or what’s required of you as a human, or by thinking that all you need to do to prove your point is to YELL and SCREAM at the other side until they back down or ‘retreat’ to 4Chan (crazy racists, they are, over there (every one)).
‘But the full report hasn’t yet come out?!?’ Perhaps it says something which we’re not seeing?!’ ‘Trump hired Barr specifically to cover for him!’ ‘Barr can’t be trusted!’ ‘Mueller maybe has a brain and recognizes how damaging to the country a flat-out indictment would be?’ There are questions (though not all of those, not fully), worth asking (see some of those links^), of course, but not if we’re going to get all caught up in our natural tendency for partisan emotion before actually thinking about the shit–
I have a TV for that (;D).
But it’s where the country has been since 2016, though the germs of this place have been fulminating since the 60s, when the US news media made its first real impact on the world (and an important impact in the opinion of this narcissist publishing her thoughts several days a week in hopes of ‘making a difference’ (misleading) (fuck you): bringing to attention the atrocities on the parts of American soldiers during the Vietnam war). That’s a product of 100+ years of economic and epistemological evolution stemming from the industrial revolution, the invention of the TV, better avenues to mass print, a growing middle class, growing populations in the West, and lessons learned after the second World War (if people were paying attention to that #Foreshadowing #GetYourNoseOutMuhBusinessBruv). With the realization that media has the power not only to get people like Hitler or, conversely, FDR elected (with his ‘fireside chats’), but also to start and maintain world wars with consistent general public approval (as was the case with Germany until early 1943), came the realization of potential power begot from controlling such an influential institution, though, less so was the lesson that media and its role in society was a complicated one.
Hitler knew of the importance, but not of the complication (thankfully), because that can only come after a certain amount of observation. Although it takes some focus to see, some have been ‘lucky’ enough to notice it since it first made itself available around the 60’s (roughly ten years after televisions became household items):
Potential for power is everywhere. It’s inherent in, and necessary for, the exact point where man connects the infinity which is the universe with the focus that is the world around her.
Including in the hearts of journalists. Hunter Thompson pointed out that the only way to report the news is to recognize that you, as the person reporting the news, cannot escape being a part of it, and that walking that line is the only way to be a real journalist: someone who can take themselves out of being in the world just long enough to say something potent about the way it affects them, and, therefore, potentially everyone. ‘Gonzo journalism’ was about excessing in the absurdity which comes with realizing that fact (also see: Camus). He understood that to try to ‘separate’ one’s self from the news was about as possible as trying to ‘separate’ one’s self from the world–or your mind from your body–and that your job wasn’t to do that (as a journalist), but to watch that natural proclivity leaning you towards it, and to watch that closely /> so closely, in fact, to the point where it saturates everything you write or think or do so subconsciously that you have to take a briefcase full of ‘extremely dangerous drugs’ just to cover a few days of a simple motorcycle race in a desert by Las Vegas of all places–
Without that, you end up with a will-to-power so wrapped up in its own need for existence, and so subconsciously that anger becomes synonymous with justice, that the two-minutes hate is just about the last thing to worry about for the society in which it manifests.
Time to whip out that raw ether.