On January 6, 2019, I published a blog describing Trump Derangement Syndrome, what it is, how it developed, who is suffering from it, and what the cure will be. I’m sure some of you thought I had “gone off the deep end,” so to speak. However, last Friday we were all treated to a perfect example of TDS in action.
Briefly, what instigated this manifestation of TDS was an article in “BuzzFeed” by Jason Leopold and Anthony Courmier alleging that Mr. Trump had directed Michael Cohen, his personal attorney, to perjure himself before Congress. What about? A matter of national security? The 2016 election? No, and no. It was with respect to a building project in Moscow. Huh? A building project in Moscow? Does that make any sense at all? As we all know, perjury is a felony. So, if true, that would constitute solid grounds for impeaching Mr. Trump, or worse. So, why would Mr. Trump direct his attorney to lie about that of all things? In the words of “Mr. Spock,” “it’s not logical.”
Sensible people would ask themselves these questions and question the veracity of the report. But, not our crack BuzzFeed reporters, and not the mob that has been suffering from TDS for the past two years.
The reaction among various Dems and most media outlets could only be described as euphoric. “We did it! Hallelujah, we finally got him” (or words to that effect)! Never mind the presumption of innocence. BuzzFeed said it was so, therefore, it must be. After all, look at the splendid way in which they broke the Trump “dossier story.” Yeah, right.
Below please find a sampling of the highlights, or, rather, lowlights, of their reaction:
1. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), a member of the House Intelligence Committee, who has announced his candidacy for president, jumped right in, tweeting “If the BuzzFeed story is true, President Trump must resign or be impeached.” If true? Well, of course. I could say that if it’s true Mr. Castro is a serial rapist, he should be in prison. That would be just as valid as his tweet. His tweet was woefully premature, at best.
2. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the chairman of the IC vowed to “do what is necessary to find out if it’s true.” Gee, I feel safer already.
3. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, reassured us his committee will “get to the bottom of it.” I’m sure the continuing investigation of Mr. Trump will be at the very top of his committee’s “to do” list.
4. The media, not to be outdone, also weighed in. All day long, we were treated to inane commentary on CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, and by various print journalists. No need to verify the facts and the sources. Forget about the presumption of innocence afforded everyone by that pesky document we call the constitution. Russia! Russia! Russia! Impeach! Convict! Worse than Nixon! TDS was running amok.
Well, NOT SO FAST! It turned out that the story was so seriously false that the special counsel’s office directed spokesman Peter Carr to put out a statement that the BuzzFeed story was “not accurate.” This was an extraordinarily unusual move, as the special counsel’s office has generally been extremely close-mouthed regarding its investigation. Obviously, the SC thought this story was so ridiculous that it felt compelled to make an exception.
BuzzFeed’s response was to issue a statement of support for its intrepid reporters. Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief, stated “we stand behind our reporting and the sources who informed it…” I doubt that any objective person believes it now.
In my opinion, the larger point here is the media’s continuing lack of credibility. I view this as another sordid example of media bias. Mr. Trump points this out continually, and incidents like this make it hard to deny his assertion. According to the Media Research Center 90% of the media coverage of Mr. Trump in 2018 was negative. I know BuzzFeed is not exactly a shining example of quality journalism, but many other outlets were also all too eager to jump in without verifying the facts. Many of us have been complaining about the divisiveness of the country. Something like this only makes it worse.
Representative Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, stated that this episode demonstrates why “the special counsel should release his final report quickly to end speculation about its contents.” I would agree, and I would hope the report is made available to the public. After two years of innuendo and falsehoods that have divided the nation we have a right to know the contents, which should outweigh any national security concerns.