American Elephants


Guilty, Guilty, Guilty! by The Elephant's Child

No, not President Trump. For two years he has been trying to do the best that he can for the country with remarkable success – a booming economy, a nation leading the world in oil and gas production, full employment, clean energy – while daily assaulted with bogus claims and sleazy slurs, suggestions that his election was fraudulent, his appointees and associates investigated, two years and $35 million of taxpayers’ money wasted on an investigation that produced nothing, no collusion, no obstruction.

The guilty were the poisonously partisan media who ran with rumors, ignored obvious facts, and labored diligently to find just the right words to insinuate that which they could not prove. I was an English major with a deep interest in word choice, and they have not been behaving honorably.

This may be behind a subscription barrier, but Holman Jenkins had a fine column in the Wall Street Journal asking “Can the Media Survive Mueller?”

He points out that the Justice Department special-prosecutor rules require the existence of a crime, and there wasn’t one.

Let’s go back to the beginning. Journalists were not wrong in being open to Christopher Steele (a paid advocate) and his handlers (also paid advocates), but they were wrong not to notice that the one incontestable fact Mr. Steele had put before them had nothing to do with Mr. Trump and Russia.

The one incontestable fact was that a paid advocate who was trading on his previous profession as a British intelligence agent, in the middle of a presidential election, was being shepherded around Washington by a notorious PR schemer and promoting allegations whose truth he was unwilling to vouch for and whose source he was unwilling to reveal. …

To a reporter, one documented fact is more valuable than any number of unsupported claims. Indeed, a bunch of unsupported and unsourced allegations smacks of an attempt to gull him into the “Where there’s smoke, there must be fire” fallacy. Or, insultingly, bespeaks a belief that he’s the type who will circulate unsupported claims without challenging the motives of those promoting them.




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