In order for you to fully grasp the dangerous amount of media coordination that went to work over the weekend, which is the overall point of this piece, we must first start with a thought experiment…
Rewind your mind to 2013. Barack Obama has just won a fairly tight re-election race thanks primarily to the fact that, with the help of the national media, he was able to get away with spewing three humongous lies. 1) Russia is not a serious geo-political threat. 2) The fatal Benghazi terror attack was caused by a YouTube video. 3) ObamaCare would not strip millions of their health insurance and doctors.
Keep in mind, this is not the usual-usual BS/hyperbole/trolling/gamesmanship we see from presidents, including President Trump. Rather, these are flat-out lies; deliberate lies told to cover up wrongdoing, corruption and incompetence. That distinction is everything in politics, but I digress…
The predicate I laid out above is fact. What is below is hypothetical. A simple question will follow…
1. On a Friday in 2013, a conservative writer known for spreading wild-eyed conspiracy theories, publishes a high-profile column at National Review titled, “The Madness of King Barry,” where this columnist uses Obama’s lies to make the case that the president is mentally unstable and dangerous.
2. Just a few hours later, on this very same day, a Republican U.S. Senator appears on Rush Limbaugh to break the news that at least two of his Democrat Senate colleagues have told him privately that they believe Obama is mentally ill.
3. Within hours, other right-leaning news outlets pick up the Republican Senator’s claims, and treat them seriously. No pushback, no demand for proof. No long-form articles about how irresponsible it is to spread these claims without a hint of medical expertise or evidence.
4. The very next day, Saturday, the New York Post publishes a high-profile column arguing that Obama is “not-quite-right” and “incompetent,” and predicts he will be removed by his own Cabinet using the 25th Amendment.
5. Later that same day, National Review’s conspiracy theorist is given 10 full minutes on Fox News to make his case that Obama is “unstable” and “dangerous.” The Fox News anchor totally buys into the premise with questions like “why is this not being said more often” and the suggestion that a lack of questions about Obama’s mental stability is a “failure of journalism.” The conspiracy theorist is never challenged, nor is his history of debunked conspiracies revealed to the audience.
6. Finally, the kill shot — the Obama-is-crazy meme is awarded the imprimatur of a Sunday show. The Republican Senator appears on Fox News Sunday, repeats his claims about Obama being mentally ill, and is not only not challenged, the Sunday show anchor accepts the premise.
Okay, here is my question to you…
If all of that happened over the course of just three days — if all of these supposedly separate pieces suddenly came together involving a sitting U.S. Senator, two separate columnists, and four separate news outlets — would you believe 1) That this was all a wild coincidence or 2) That there was an active behind-the-scenes conspiracy involving politicians, columnists and news outlets to smear Obama as dangerous, mentally ill, and unfit?
Of course, the only answer is number two, and yet what I just described above is what REALLY happened over the weekend…
1. On Friday, in New York Magazine, Andrew Sullivan, an aging conspiracy theorist and proven liar, someone with no medical background of any kind, someone who did not even speak to a medical professional, published a column claiming President Trump is mentally ill and dangerous.
2. Later that same day, Democrat U.S. Senator Al Franken appeared on Bill Maher’s HBO show to claim that Republican Senators are worried Trump might be crazy.
3. The MSM then spread Franken’s smears without hesitancy, criticism or skepticism.
4. On Saturday, The Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker published a column predicting Trump’s removal from office, if not by impeachment, then through the 25th Amendment — because Trump is “not-quite-right.”
5. Later on Saturday, CNN’s Brian Stelter interviewed conspiracy-theorist Sullivan for ten full minutes. Never once did Stelter challenge Sullivan or bring up Sullivan’s debunked conspiracy theories. In fact, Stelter bought completely into the premise that Trump is dangerous and crazy and lamented the fact that more in the media are not furthering this conspiracy.
By the way, Stelter calls his program “Reliable Sources.”
6. Then, on CNN Sunday morning, the most insidious piece fell into place. America’s Emperor of Fake News, Jake Tapper, hosted Senator Franken and never once challenged his conspiracy theory about Trump’s mental stability. In fact, Tapper accepted the premise.
Now try to imagine Tapper in 2013 if that was a Republican Senator sitting before him saying the same about Obama. You think we might see this face?
The very same Jake Tapper who stridently blasts so-called conspiracies and loves to imperiously claim that facts matter — this very same Jake Tapper is now using the imprimatur of his Sunday show to pass along, as legitimate, the idea that Trump is mentally unstable and therefore dangerous.
No medical professionals required! No evidence required! You want to appear on “State of the Union” and declare Trump dangerously unstable, all are welcomed by CNN and Jake Tapper.
Nevertheless, despite all of this, the Fake News MSM will still fall all over themselves to tell us that this is just a coincidence, that there was absolutely no behind-the-scenes coordination between TapperSullivanMaherParkerStelterFrankenCNNWashingtonPostHBONewYorker; and should we even dare to suggest a conspiracy is afoot, they will indignantly argue that nearly a dozen moving pieces falling precisely into place over a mere 60 hours and culminating in the Sunday Show Stamp of Approval, proves nothing!
Brass tacks: Smearing the President of the United States is mentally ill is beyond dangerous and irresponsible. What are you saying to a country when you tell them that the most powerful man in the world is crazy, that the man with his finger on The Button is unstable?
Trust me, our national media knows exactly what they are doing…
Just last week, even before the wild, totally unplanned coincidence of all these TRUMP IS INSANE pieces falling into place, I argued that the mainstream media as a whole, and CNN in particular, are consciously and purposely firing off “assassination dogwhistles” against Trump.
And now, on top of accusing Trump of wanting to murder journalists, of being “unmoored,” of being a racist, tyrant-in-waiting, the national media (primarily led by CNN’s Stelter and Tapper) are, without a shred of medical evidence, telling the public Trump is insane.
This isn’t playing with fire…
This is outright arson.