Arizona Republic skips out on Obama-inconvenient story once again

Keeping up a long tradition, The Arizona Republic again is doing what it can to play good-puppy with the national media, this time joining most of them in avoiding the Susan Rice Story as if it had been tongue-washed by Donald Trump.

At least the ideological ringleader New York Times wrote something on Monday. The Arizona newspaper of record (of fun, new drink concoctions at Tempe bars!) has gone full Don Lemon/CNN on the story. It doesn’t exist on the Republic’s pages, thus opening the door for cartoonist Steve Benson to render another howlingly humorless cartoon about a Donald Trump story his publication refuses to cover.

At least the Times gave it something more than the A-16, middle-of-dull-story treatment today. President Trump said some stuff that was sufficiently over the top for Times reporter Maggie Haberman (who reportedly sat on the original Rice story for at least two days) to, yes, turn it into another “Crazy Trump Cites No Evidence” story. She quotes Rice declaring her innocence and, well, that’s that then, isn’t it?

The rigid, determined lack of curiosity on the part of these reporters is the real stunner here. Dare I say it? Sad!

It’s not like there isn’t evidence for Haberman to sift through if she was so inclined. Which she clearly is not.

Two weeks ago, Rice said “I know nothing about this” when asked about Devin Nunes’ allegation that Trump campaign aides and transition-team members may have been swept up in surveillance by U.S. spy agencies.

Yet in her interview Tuesday with Andrea Mitchell (for whom the phrase “follow-up question” put to a sympathetic subject constitutes a gross impertinence), Rice changed that line completely, posturing as an “investigator” who just had to get to the facts behind… President-elect Trump’s foreign-policy plans. And here I thought the media were consumed with liars of late. Only certain ones, apparently.

The Obamas have done everything to advertise their willingness to abuse surveillance powers, short of posting a neon-sign declaring “Get Yer Hot Russia-Trump Tips Here!”

Wait a minute. They were telling people to “Get yer hot Russia-Trump tips here!

For no apparent reason, President Obama loosened the rules on sharing surveillance intel a week before he left office, rendering the profuse leaks we have seen these last five months a given. His administration did almost exactly this same thing as what Rice is accused of doing now when they snooped on members of Congress during the Iran nuke negotiations.

There really is no professional explanation for this lack of curiosity beyond abject Trump-hate. Haberman is the one who is supposed to be digging up evidence, not the one whining that Trump isn’t serving any up to her.

Do you suppose anyone is ever going to ask Susan Rice what the national-security imperative was for focusing a months-long investigation on Trump communications? Or why none of the intel reports on Trump team activities that Nunes saw had anything to do with Russia? What was Inspector Rice inspecting, then?

Don’t hold your breath for it.

(Wild guess: Now that Haberman and the Times have broken ground with a story that turns the Susan Rice-abuse-of-power story into another Mad Hare Trump story, that’s something we may see in tomorrow’s home-town paper.)

 

 

 

Media apologies to Devin Nunes can start now

The Left’s defense of Susan Rice (haven’t we seen that phrase written somewhere before???) in the Trump spying case will follow two lines of argument.

One is that Rice, as President Obama’s national security adviser was “simply doing her job” when she began ordering the “unmasking” of, first, Trump campaign officials, then, post-election, Trump transition-team members. It’s not an outlandish defense, considering the wide latitude given intelligence officials like Rice to conduct surveillance.

The other line of defense is the Left’s remarkable capacity to simply ignore behavior that — were it anyone but St. Obama and  Friends — would prove unavoidably compelling to anyone with even modest curiosity.

Rice reportedly was asking for reports involving Trump associates as early as last summer, even before he was nominated. Before clamming up (as of the evening of April 4, she hadn’t made a statement), she appears to have lied about what she knew, claiming she knew nothing about information being incidentally collected on Trump transition officials.

No telling where this story goes, if anywhere. ABC and NBC news ran nothing Monday evening on the Rice revelations, while CBS national news issued a cloyingly sympathetic report that seemed prepared by Obama spin-meister Ben Rhodes, noting in the first paragraph that Rice simply needed “to understand the context” in which all these Trump people kept turning up (incidentally!) in all these surveillance reports — none of which, by the way, involved Russians.

Whatever comes of it, one thing that should come of it (in my perfect world) is an abject apology to Rep. Devin Nunes from all the media whose knee-jerk instinct was to mock the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee after he announced having seen documents supporting Trump’s claims to have been spied upon by the Obama administration.

The story line was all about Nunes’ trip to the White House, while mostly indifferent to what Nunes claimed to have found.

The Arizona Republic’s editorial on the subject was a classic of media group-think.

In addition to serving up abject hysteria about “the external threat to the sovereignty of our elections” (I swear!!! Go read it! It’s the very first line! Duping John Podesta into giving up his g-mail password is an existential threat to the sovereignty of our elections!), the editorial smears Nunes with a thick coating of liberal condescension.

“Nunes sent up a smoke screen — and we need to get beyond this kind of distracting political posturing. Way beyond it.”

Well, we’re beyond the smokescreen now. The smoke has lifted and — why look here! — guess who’s behind the smoke:

Susan “It was a spontaneous reaction to a video” Rice, conducting vitally important surveillance of Trump officials from July through December, and making certain their names were known to anyone who looked at the documents.

Which, as former Obama aide Evelyn Farkas noted, included as many people as they could round up.

 

Conservative (once again) objects of curiosity in the New York Times

The Times is trying, bless them, to help readers grasp what motivates these curious creatures called ‘conservatives.’

This one is an earnest stab at explaining the Trumpists without explicitly declaring them unworthy. But, as always in the New York Times, the writer can’t let loose of the exotic-goldfish perspective. And she can’t resist making it clear — like a kid dancing with sparklers — that no matter how hard she works to make it appear she’s being fair to these sods, they’re still sods. And she wants you to know she knows it.

I believe the term is “othering.”

The piece is by Times contributor Marin Cogin, who writes an “On Campus” column that on Sunday examined some of Donald Trump’s odd-duck collection in the White House from the perspective of their days on college campuses.

“How Liberal Colleges Breed Conservative Firebrands” is one of those patronizing head-patters that seeks to illustrate the exotics while making it clear that there’s none of that empathy-stuff going on here.

We are in an age of pay-back time on college campuses. A generation of history-civics-economics education avoidance is returning the inevitable dividend. Today, it’s pampered Middlebury that’s in the news as a First Amendment wasteland, where braying about “flawed notions of ‘free speech'” being afforded to ‘racists’ marks you as a righteous rebel. Meanwhile, the contempt for anything conservatives hold dear is widespread. And few budding socialists on campus are shy about expressing it.

Cogin is writing to and for them.

Aren’t campus political contrarians all underdogs? Aren’t they idealistic and committed? Isn’t the very idea of being “anti-establishment” a good thing? I think you know the exception to these rules.

Conservative students on campus don’t raise consciousness. They “provoke.” Indeed, as Cogin identifies the initial subject of her story — Trump senior policy adviser Stephen “young Gargamel” Miller, a product of progressive Santa Monica, Calif., and Duke University — conservatives on campus are not just provocateurs. They are “contrarian-provocateurs.” They provoke by not agreeing with you, the devils.

All traits that are admirable in the comfortable mobs of young leftists are hostile and needling in not-liberal students (those Libertarians, notes another Times writer, are just as tedious).

Miller, as the writer observes, is “an aggressive self-promoter.” And a “bomb thrower.” (Which makes one wonder: Has any NYT piece ever identified a real bomb-thrower as a “bomb-thrower?”)

It’s not a bad feature on fly-over people and their ways. But, oh, the insufferable virtue-signaling. If you wish to honestly profile someone who you know most of your readers already hate, do you really have to quote what David Letterman (“creepy”) and Stephen Colbert (that “young Gargamel” zinger) think of the guy?

We do already know that, you know.