Kids, remember this time. You have witnessed an intense, coordinated propaganda campaign to try to discredit the Presidency of Donald Trump using the lie that Russia “hacked” the election. If you are watching any of the news channels over the last two weeks you are hearing, I would guess, an average of six mentions per hour of the phrase, “Russia hacked the U.S. Presidential election.” Rarely are the specifics of the claim discussed, instead, it is simply the broadside charge.
The casual listener is sure to interpret this phrase to mean that Russia actually penetrated the voting machines in key states (probably Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin) and changed votes for Hillary to votes for Trump. I guarantee you that the average American probably believes this is what happened or at least perceives that to be the case.
But that did not happen. The “hacking” allegation is that Vladimir Putin directed two separate Russian intelligence services to target and retrieve the emails of the the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, Hillary’s Campaign Manager. But once those emails were obtained they had to somehow be transmitted to Julian Assange’s outfit, Wikileaks. With me so far?
And then, according to this fable, Wikileaks would dump the emails on an unsuspecting U.S. electorate who would be gobsmacked by the revelations of the Machiavellian machinations of Hillary, the media and Democrat operatives to rig the primaries against Bernie Sanders and to paint Donald Trump as a Russian stooge.
Did you catch that? The Podesta emails show that those clever Russian hackers were going to plant and release a Podesta email with a guy named Brent Budowsky, that would portray Donald Trump as the lap dog of Vladimir Putin. Man, talk about sneaky.
Oh yeah, one last thing. Under this Russian hacking master plan the media and public would spend so much time focusing on the emails that Trump’s foibles, weaknesses and evils would be overlooked.
How did that work out? Seems the media did not devote a lot of attention to the Podesta and DNC emails. Newsbusters, for example, reviewed media activities in mid-October and:
reported that in the period between last Friday evening, October 7, to Thursday morning, October 13, the morning and evening news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC spent 4 hours and 13 minutes reporting on accusations against Donald Trump for sexual harassment and/or assault, while the revelations from Wikileaks regarding Hillary Clinton’s staff’s emails received coverage for a paltry 36 minutes. That’s literally a 7-to-1 ratio.
Yeah. Those Russians sure knew how to grab the attention of the American public. You will find the Democrats trying to argue that Trump got more media coverage than Hillary. Consider the following graph:
What they fail to note is that the coverage of Trump was overwhelmingly negative. Yet, Harvard’s Shorenstein Center is out with a totally bullshit study that insists that Trump got far more favorable coverage than did Hillary Clinton.
The study, from the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, examined print editions of the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and USA Today, the main newscasts on ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as CNN’s The Situation Room and Fox’s Special Report.
The report should be required reading for political journalists trying to understand Trump’s victory. The study found that 62% of the coverage of Clinton and 56% of the coverage of Trump was negative in tone. These numbers actually overstate the amount of positive press the candidates received. Most of the “positive” stories here were about new poll numbers. Each one of these horse race stories was “good press” for one candidate and “bad press” for the other.
On top of receiving more positive press than Clinton, Trump received 15% more press coverage overall than Clinton. His policy ideas received more attention than Clinton’s, and Clinton’s scandals received more coverage than Trump’s. The number of stories focused on Clinton’s emails and ongoing investigations peaked in the final two weeks of the campaign.
Let’s just take a look at the stories in the Washington Post from September 8, 2016 (I just picked that date for the hell of it). It is true that there are more stories and blog entries for Donald Trump. Only one little problem–none of these are positive stories about Trump. The Washington Post was an incessant drumbeat of Trump bashing. Read the following headlines for yourself:
- Clinton Calendar Is Filling Up with Fundraisers Hosted by Celebrities
- Democrats Rally around Clinton and Paint Trump as Unfit for Office (Posted 2016-09-08 23:44:50) ; No Such Unity on Republican Side after GOP Nominee’s Praise for Russian President Valdimir Putin’s Leadership
- Despite Campaigns’ Rhetoric, Majority of Americans Polled Favor Globalization
- Donald Trump’s Raging Egomania (Posted 2016-09-08 23:25:00) ; He Made the Joint Commander-in-Chief Forum All about Him
- Don’t Be Fooled — Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Is as Scary as Ever (Posted 2016-09-08 18:13:00) ; the Candidate Proved Once Again He Is Unfit to Be Commander in Chief
- Gary Johnson’s Aleppo Gaffe Was Bad. but Trump’s Consistent Ignorance Is Worse. (Posted 2016-09-08 23:29:00) ; in This Campaign, the GOP Nominee Is Winning the Cluelessness Contest
- It’s Unlikely Trump Briefers Disparaged Clinton or Obama, Ex- Intelligence Officials Say (Posted 2016-09-08 16:32:35) ; Analysts Who Give Candidates an Overview of Security Issues Are from an Elite Corps
- Powell Told Clinton He Used Personal Computer for Business, Email Shows
- The Trump Campaign Is Buying Ads in Virginia, but It’s Not Money Well Spent
- The Trump Strategy for Success? Fire Everyone. (Posted 2016-09-08 23:25:00) ; Donald Trump Needs to Come Up with Policies, Not Pink Slips
- Trump and Priebus’sexism Show the Challenges Clinton Will Face — Even If She Wins (Posted 2016-09-08 23:27:00) ; Reminders That the Gender Playing Field Isn’t Even Yet
- Trump Defends Praise for Putin
- Trump Lifts Media Ban on Outlets He Targeted
- Trump Owes It to the Voters to Debate with Clinton (Posted 2016-09- 08 23:21:00) ; Writing off the Debates Would Do Americans a Huge Disservice
Let’s jump ahead and look at how the Wikileak dumps were being covered during the last full week (24 October) in October. Let’s look at the headlines from the Post for Tuesday, 25 October, 2016:
- A Progressive’s Answer to Trumpism (Posted 2016-10-25 12:04:02) ; How the Democratic Party Can Reach out to Trump Voters after Election Day
- Amid Lagging Polls, Trump Stops Holding High-Dollar Fundraisers (Posted 2016-10-25 23:45:26) ; the Move Deals a Blow to GOP Get-out-the-Vote Operations Ahead of Election Day
- As Clinton’s Lead Grows, Write-In Efforts Flower and Falter
- As Race in Georgia Narrows, Voting Rights Battles Heat Up
- Clinton Took More Conciliatory Tone with Health-Care Industry in Paid Speeches (Posted 2016-10-25 16:56:53) ; Transcripts Show a Cautious Speaker Who Tried to Avoid Compromises on Policy
- The Lap Dogs of Democracy Who Didn’t Bark at Trump
- Trump Fires Kellyanne Conway and Hires Somebody Who Understands Winning (Posted 2016-10-25 12:54:11)
- Trump Goes after Va. Governor over Campaign Contribution (Posted 2016-10-25 01:00:24) ; GOP Candidate Alleges Link to Clinton Investigation, but the Connection Is Complicated
- Trump Said U.S. Inner Cities Are ‘A Disaster.’ This Inner-City Teacher Begs to Differ. (Posted 2016-10-25 12:02:27)
- Trump Upbraids McAuliffe on Campaign Donations
- Trump, Clinton Spar over Obamacare; Campaign Ends Big-Ticket Fundraisers (Posted 2016-10-25 13:14:00) ; His Appearance at His Doral Golf Course Comes as He and Clinton Both Focus Their Attention on Florida
- Trump’s Late, Poll-Defying Focus on Va. Stuns Analysts
- Why Is Trump Rooting against U.S. Troops in Mosul?
- WikiLeaks Reveals Fears and Frustrations Inside Clinton World (Posted 2016-10-25 22:47:14) ; Some Advisers Thought the Democratic Nominee Made Missteps in Response to Her Email Controversy, Their Exchanges Show
Did you notice anything? Yes, there was overwhelming coverage of Trump. But the articles were largely negative and critical of Trump (e.g, Why is Trump Rooting against U.S. Troops in Mosul?). Jesus!! And there was only one article about the Wikileaks emails.
While there was negative media coverage of Hillary, it was nothing in comparison to the avalanche of negative articles and commentary posted regarding Donald Trump. Moreover, the coverage of Wikileaks material was scant. Yes, as is illustrated on 25 October, there were 14 articles related to the Presidential campaign. Only one dealt with Wikileaks, two more dealt with Clinton (one citing her growing lead in the polls) and the other 11 were negative attacks on Trump. Please explain to me how the Russians pulled that off? Boy, Vladimir Putin sure knows how to shove his hand up the ass of American voters and turn them into Russian puppets. Right?
But the last word comes courtesy of Julian Assange:
HANNITY: Can you say to the American people, unequivocally, that you did not get this information about the DNC, John Podesta’s emails, can you tell the American people 1,000 percent that you did not get it from Russia or anybody associated with Russia?
ASSANGE: Yes. We can say, we have said, repeatedly that over the last two months that our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party… Our publications had wide uptake by the American people, they’re all true. But that’s not the allegation that’s being presented by the Obama White House. So, why such a dramatic response? Well, the reason is obvious. They’re trying to delegitimize the Trump administration as it goes into the White House. They are trying to say that President-elect Trump is not a legitimate President..
The desperation of the Democrats has so coagulated blood flow to their brains that we are witnessing a terrible case of mass stupidity. No blood flow, no oxygen, brain cells die. Rather than accept the fact that Hillary was terrible candidate who had the media trying to carry her across the goal line, but she fumbled the ball and Trump ran it back for a touchdown, they are pushing the fiction that Russia hacked the election and changed the outcome. Ridiculous.