The Media Is Ignoring the 500-Pound Surveillance Elephant in the Room
by COLIN MADINE
The Mainstream media are watching their Russia election-meddling narrative teeter on the brink of collapse. They’re holding their collective breath hoping it doesn’t topple over, like the world’s highest stakes game of Jenga.
Every week the Russia story crumbles a bit more. Whether it is the loss of credibility of Crowdstrike’s hacking report, or the revelation by WikiLeaks that the CIA can make a cyber attack look like it came from wherever they want, the leftist media can’t catch a break. The FBI and NSA have both testified that there is no evidence that there was any hacking of actual voting, and the WikiLeaks allegations throw doubt on Russia’s involvement in hacking the DNC or Podesta emails. Even if they did, the media and the Democrats still have yet to convince anyone that the emails are the reason that voters chose Trump in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Despite this, the media zealously chase after every angle of the story, mostly using “anonymous sources” and “individuals familiar with the investigation.”
Well, they chase almost every angle on the Russia story — except for the very real connections between the Clinton campaign and Russia.
The media keep the Russia story at the presidential level, failing to provide any sort of context for Trump’s win. The Democrats lost more than 1,000 seats at the federal and state level during Obama’s presidency, including 9 Senate seats, 62 House seats, 12 governorships, and a startling 958 state legislative seats. Did the Russians have a hand in all of those elections? Or are those election results clear signals of America’s shift away from Obama and Clinton, who promised to be a third Obama term?
In the business world, feverishly pouring resources and time into a bad product in the hopes of validating past investments is called the sunk cost fallacy. Is that what is motivating the mainstream media to keep churning out their Russian “election hacking” coverage? Or is there another reason? Perhaps they are so masochistic as to enjoy President Trump sticking his thumb in their eye via Twitter:
It is the same Fake News Media that said there is "no path to victory for Trump" that is now pushing the phony Russia story. A total scam!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 1, 2017
While they continue to desperately push stories about Russia, the mainstream media remain practically silent on the story they should be focusing on — the surveillance of Donald Trump and his campaign staff by the Obama administration. Unless the media want to portray Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) as a paranoid schizophrenic (Breitbart News wouldn’t put it past them), we now have strong indications that President Obama and his staff surveilled Trump and staff. This may or may not have been illegal, but certainly was cheating by any definition.
The revelations about this spying are coming fast and thick. On Thursday, Kimberly Strassel outlined some of the key allegations in The Wall Street Journal:
First, there were dozens of documents with information about Trump officials. Second, the information these documents contained was not related to Russia. Third, while many reports did “mask” identities (referring, for instance, to “U.S. Person 1 or 2”) they were written in ways that made clear which Trump officials were being discussed. Fourth, in at least one instance, a Trump official other than Mr. Flynn was outright unmasked. Finally, these documents were circulated at the highest levels of government.
More news is already breaking on on the unmasking front — Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, has been reported as the official who requested the unmasking. This followed a Fox News report that a “very senior” official had made the requests. The headlines about Rice began following a post by Mike Cernovich naming her, along with broadcasts by him on Periscope, Twitter’s video streaming application.
The media’s response to this story was immediate. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the response we’d hope for — a hard-hitting investigation into why Americans were under surveillance completely unrelated to questions about Russian connections. Instead, the media have been attacking Nunes with everything they’ve got.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough tweeted, “If the Republican Party wants to do what is best for this country and its national security, they will remove Devin Nunes as Intel Chairman.” He later said on his program “It is so obvious that this guy is getting bullied by the White House.” Will he next say Congress needs millions for anti-bully training?
CNN’s Jake Tapper joined the party with a contentious interview of Nunes, including the stunning phrase: “Some question your impartiality.” For anyone associated with CNN to say that with a straight face is quite astonishing. As a thought experiment, what if we replaced Woodward and Bernstein with Tapper and Scarborough? Would Watergate have played out differently? I expect most of their energies would have been spent unmasking Deep Throat for his audacity in finding and sharing the truth, not to mention the patriarchal sexism of his code name!
The rest of the media has been following suit. From parroting Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) saying that Nunes acted inappropriately, to the general Democrat talking points that Nunes must step down as Intel Chair, the mainstream media would have us believe that ABC News breathlessly reporting that Nunes refuses to step down from the committee is journalism at its finest.
We know that “Nunes must step down” holds as much weight as the Russia story does, so Breitbart News along with our compatriots outside of the mainstream media bubble will continue to follow the Trump surveillance story with accurate reporting and insightful analysis. President Trump will continue to run circles around the biased media as he did this weekend, dominating headlines by lambasting NBC’s “Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd.”
You may be left wondering, “What will the mainstream media do?” They will certainly continue pounding the rapidly fading Russia-Trump story and do their best to avoid the surveillance of Trump story. They will also continue bemoaning their loss of paying customers.
A Gallup poll in September of 2016 found that 68 percent of Americans distrust the media. How would that number look today? Following months of uninterrupted media coverage of unproven Russian meddling, media distrust will likely be higher today than six months ago. In fact, the numbers are probably so bad that the mainstream media will have no choice but to claim Russia hacked the poll.