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Saturday, 10 August 2019
Trump continues to beat a media determined to bring him down
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The traditional media, whose Trump-hating excrescences are inflicted on Canadian readers and viewers have, to their towering chagrin, almost no influence in the U.S.

by Conrad Black

The Globe and Mail’s commentators on political events in Washington have, like the rest of the Canadian media, completely missed the story. So have most of the American media, which the Canadian media witlessly parrot, but Trump ran against the American media and won. He demonstrated that they were complicit in all the economic and strategic blunders of the George W. Bush and Obama years: the Great Recession, the endless Mideast wars and humanitarian disasters, 20 million illegal and unskilled immigrants and a flat-lined “new normal” economy. GDP growth per capita declined from 4.5 per cent in the Reagan years to one per cent under Obama. This president ran against every part of the political establishment of both parties including especially the national media, whom he has rendered almost irrelevant by using social media and dominating the talk-radio circuit. The traditional media, whose Trump-hating excrescences are inflicted on Canadian readers and viewers have, to their towering chagrin, almost no influence in the U.S. Trump has outmanoeuvred them. Most of the American national media is now an embittered, rabid, unclothed emperor, but their Canadian analogues spout their bilious nonsense anyway.

Illustrative of the Globe and Mail’s purblind leadership of our thoroughly misinformed country was Sarah Kendzior’s piece late last month, where she wrote of President Trump’s son and son-in-law as “apparently complicit in foreign interference in a U.S. election,” referred to Lt.-Gen. Michael Flynn simply as a “criminal,” and accused the U.S. attorney general, William Barr, of “misleading” the public with “a deceitful summary” of the findings of the Mueller report about Russian interference in the 2016 election. She blamed Mueller and his team for not exploring “Trump’s possible involvement with organized crime … and shady finances … He did not want to indict anyone, even when their offences were blatant.” She grimly concluded that all this “could mean that Americans lose their own free will in the years to come.” All of this is just nonsense; an exhaustive investigation found no proof that anyone in Trump’s inner circle colluded with the Russians or any foreigners. Flynn was mouse-trapped without counsel. There was no obstruction. Trump handed over all documents requested, allowed all staff and collaborators to give sworn evidence, never invoked executive privilege and never interfered in any way with the investigation, as Mueller affirmed, under oath at the House judiciary committee.

All of this is just nonsense; an exhaustive investigation found no proof that anyone in Trump's inner circle colluded with the Russians or any foreigners

The outrages that did occur were that senior elements of the CIA and FBI co-operated with the Clinton campaign before the election and after, to publicize the spurious Steele dossier, a pastiche of lies and defamations ultimately funded by Hillary Clinton’s camp. The Justice department’s highest officials then used the same dossier as part of the basis for applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court (FISA), to authorize espionage against the Trump campaign and transition team. The justice and intelligence apparatus of the U.S. was unconstitutionally politicized, the closest the United States has ever come to a presidential election rigged or undone by unlawful official interference. When all else failed, the canard of Russian collusion was dredged up, and although as FBI agent Peter Strzok acknowledged to his FBI girlfriend by text (he said he felt “concern there’s no there there”), this farce was kept going for two years in the hope that Trump would blow up and fire Mueller, as Nixon did Archibald Cox in 1973, so some sort of obstruction charge could be cobbled together to force an impeachment trial.

FBI agent Peter Strzok, a key figure in the investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 election, was fired. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

It was a formidable bit of skulduggery. There has never been the slightest credible suggestion of any connection between Trump and organized crime, and the Internal Revenue Service has audited him constantly for decades and has never gone beyond contested reassessments. The only shade occurs where he has exercised his absolute constitutional right not to release his tax returns to the public. He also happens to be the only president in history who has made billions of dollars.

The Kendzior piece was a mere sorbet for the treatment of the Washington scene by my cordial acquaintance of 40 years, Lawrence Martin, in the Globe and Mail this week. He stays clear of the Russian collusion nonsense, presumably recognizing that it was a fraud, and focuses on the vagaries of Trump’s personality. There is room for pause on some of Trump’s stylistic eccentricities. But he did not call all Baltimore “disgusting (and) rodent-infested,” only the district of Congressman Elijah Cummings after Cummings shouted outrageously at the acting Homeland Security secretary in a congressional hearing. He did say four congresswomen should go back where they came from after they (Ms.’s Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, Omar and Tlaib) had variously described life in the U.S. as “garbage,” trivialized the 9/11 atrocities, spewed out anti-Semitic screeds, compared southern border detention centres to Nazi death camps, and other such exalted apercus. The fact that two of them were Muslim, one Puerto Rican and one African-American (as is Elijah Cummings), had nothing to do with it. Trump would have said something similar if all of them and all of the 20 million unskilled people who have entered the country illegally were Caucasian Presbyterians.

There has never been the slightest credible suggestion of any connection between Trump and organized crime

Poor Lawrence denounced Trump for stock market losses — averages have risen almost 50 per cent since his election — and debunked in advance Trump’s thoughtful reaction to the terrible shootings in El Paso and Dayton, and ridiculed Trump’s denunciation of white nationalism. There is no evidence that Trump has ever had racial or religious prejudices. This is the latest refuge of those who spent the past three years trying to portray him as a Russian dupe. Lawrence never understood why Americans preferred Ronald Reagan to the hapless Jimmy Carter, and although he has a better grasp of U.S. history than most journalists, he has never understood any of the Trump story. To wish to have a border is not to hate foreigners. For 50 years Democrats have wanted the Latin vote and Republican employers have wanted their cheap labour. It is a cynical bipartisan outrage as these poor people have flooded in, overloading the social services and schools and police and keeping working-class incomes down. Trump will continue to admit a million immigrants legally, but will stop this invasion of undocumented people who cannot be easily absorbed. All he seeks is to emulate the Canadian system of merit-based immigration.

The post-Reagan bipartisan consensus of soft-left passivity and decline, as the Bushes and Clintons passed the great offices back and forth, is over. (For 32 years, 1981-2013, a Bush or Clinton was president, vice-president, or secretary of state.) The United States is now in a political contest between the Democratic atomizers who inflame and pander to every conceivable group of aggrieved people, and the Trump movement that rallies everyone to the flag through full employment, reducing the taxes of 83 per cent of taxpayers, ending illegal immigration, being cautious over unproved claims about climate change while protecting the environment, reviving the promotion of nuclear non-proliferation, where predecessors and allies had surrendered to Iran and North Korea, and in finally standing up to China, where even the Democrats and all China’s neighbours except Russia and North Korea support Trump. Why doesn’t anyone in the media of this country, except in the National Post, get it?

Lawrence Martin despairs that the American public isn’t reacting correctly; he does not notice that in that slender ribbon of America between Pittsburgh and Phoenix, Boise and Miami, and Milwaukee and Houston, where most Americans reside, they are reacting appropriately: to false charges of treason, bigotry, and corruption in office, whatever they think of Trump’s voluminous personality.

First published in the National Post. 

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Posted on 08/10/2019 4:48 AM by Conrad Black
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