No, Mr. President, The Media Is Not The “Real Enemy of the People”

440px-Official_Portrait_of_President_Donald_TrumpIn another attack on journalists, President Donald Trump called the “fake news media” the “real enemy of the people” yesterday. The tweet is in response to uniformly negative coverage, including on Fox News, of Trump’s handling of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Since the vast majority of reporters described the summit as a debacle, it put most reporters in this category.  The tweet caused even Fox reporter John Roberts to remark that he must also now be an “enemy of the people.”  The White House is still reeling from Trump’s disastrous news conference with Putin and various Republican leaders (and Trump’s own intelligence figures) have made varying levels of corrections or outright contradictions of his words.  I have repeatedly criticized the media for unfair coverage of the Trump investigations and related subjects. However, these attacks on the media are as unfounded as they are dangerous for American society.  The President often has a point on slanted coverage but his use of such inflammatory and unjustified language should be rejected by all citizens.

 

Trump continues to call the summit a “great success” while blaming the media for the overwhelmingly negative reviews:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The Summit with Russia was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media. I look forward to our second meeting so that we can start implementing some of the many things discussed, including stopping terrorism, security for Israel, nuclear……..

Notably, however, polls show that Republicans remains overwhelming convinced that the summit was a success and Trump performed well.  Sixty-eight percent of Republicans approved of the president’s showing and 21 percent said they disapproved, according to the CBS News poll published Thursday.  However, overall 55 percent of the people disapproved of his performance and only 32 percent approved.  While the 83 percent of Democrats disapproving can be discounted, Trump also lost the key independents with 53 percent expressing dissatisfaction with his performance.

Once again, the merits of Trump’s performance are not my concern. Rather the continued reference of journalists as “the enemy” is alarming and unprecedented for a sitting president. Past presidents have criticized the media without ratcheting up the rhetoric in this way.  Not only does it undermine our core commitment under the First Amendment to a free press, it actually undermines Trump’s arguments.  I agree with his criticism of some coverage as struggling to take the most negative view possible of his actions and policies.  Even positive developments are often spinned in a way to denigrate the Administration.  While Trump often gives ample reason for negative coverage, there is a pattern of biased reporting in my view.  Yet, Trump negates that record by adopting the rhetoric of authoritarian figures in history in denouncing journalists as public enemies.

225px-LeninIronically, it was Vladimir Lenin who denounced democratic leaders as “enemies of the people” and nations from China to Iran to Turkey have used this phrase to fight the free press or free expression.

Helsinki in my view was another self-inflected wounds and justifiably criticized.  Trump can disagree with that assessment and highlight the positive outcomes from the summit. However, this country owes a huge debt to journalists who have courageously revealed government abuse and corruption for decades in our system.  We have real enemies in this world and our strength is based in no small part to those who report on our government.

449 thoughts on “No, Mr. President, The Media Is Not The “Real Enemy of the People””

  1. Putin said this morning that Radio Free Europe, The Voice of America and CNN are the real enema of the people. He said that his people sit on their toilets or in their outhouses all day.

  2. What Trump demands is slavish, drooling, obsequious one-sided loyalty. He gets that from many of his supporters, most of Fox News and members of his administration. It infuriates him that he doesn’t get this from the press. Some of the coverage is biased toward the left [MSNBC] and some is biased to the right [Fox]. Too bad.

    The job of the media is not to affix their lips onto his orange a** but to hold him and his administration to account. There is a reason that the first amendment was first on the list.

    1. No, Suze. A demand for slavish obedience requires some sort of punishment for leaving the plantation.

      When a black person supports conservatism or God forbid Trump, he or she is savaged by the Left and called racist epithets. When a conservative speaker tries to present a different point of view, he or she is either cancelled under threat of violence or heckled over.

      When an actor Richard Dreyfus attended a Trump rally to see for himself, he was pilloried until he swore he was a true blue Democrat. When another actor recommended people listen to Ben Shapiro to understand where the other side is coming from, he was so badly attacked he had to apologize.

      One can see how the Democratic Party used the KKK to keep black voters in line. Nowadays they don’t wear hoods but openly attack minorities who exercise their hard won right to think and vote for themselves.

      Doesn’t all the racism, hatred, bigotry, anti-semitism, and intolerance of the Left ever get to you? Don’t you want to stop supporting Fascism? #WalkAway.

      1. Racism, hatred, anti-semitism, and intolerance bother me when the left does it and when the right does it and when the center does it and when the unaffiliated do it. They are cancers on a civilized society. However, your contention that only the left does it is laughable and your bias is clear.

        1. Then I guess the Left must be bothering you A LOT.

          If you claim that I am biased, then that would mean that Liberal speakers are all shouted down and heckled when they manage not to get their events cancelled due to domestic terrorist threats by the extreme Left mob.

          Yes, if you look, you will find nutcases everywhere. But the Left nutcase have become mainstream.

          Are you actually taking the position that the Left demonizes the right with the same virulence, or that it’s all across mainstream media, on almost all university campuses? If you do, then I suggest you read the studies on how conservative professors are harassed on university campuses.

          Rape exists in the US, but it is nowhere near on the same per capita scale as Haiti, one of the rape capitals of the world. The logic of your argument is that Haiti doesn’t have a problem we need to address because the same crime exists on a much smaller scale here.

          1. Does Hollywood discriminate against Liberals the same as they discriminate against Conservatives?

            1. Is this a rhetorical question?

              I suspect it is, as this belief is common.

              But you don’t know this from personal experience.

              There are many actors who claim that their political leanings hampered their careers.

              This is a silly argument as movie production is very expensive and I seriously doubt that decisions are based on political points as opposed to box office draw.

              1. oh they are and the Chinese are financing a lot of movies now. I doubt we will see Chicoms depicted in unflattering terms much in the near future.

              2. R Lien – Suze claimed the bias and attacks are happening on both sides, as if the problem is equal. It is not. Hollywood’s bias is a prime example.

              3. “This is a silly argument as movie production is very expensive and I seriously doubt that decisions are based on political points as opposed to box office draw.”

                R LIen, then you know little of the subject matter.

            1. By someone, somewhere, I’m sure this is true.

              Fascist, along with communist and socialist, are the most abused words in political discourse.

          2. Why do studies show that Liberals are far more likely to unfriend and ostracize their conservative friends and family, especially if they are Trump voters, if it is all happening at the same rate?

    2. the first amendment is a good idea. the corporate control and the technologies that have arisen since the framers were around has created issues that did not exist in their time. we are struggling with this and your precious leftists used to whine about it all the time before Trump was around to bash. suddenly, they aren’t concerned?

      1. Mr Kurtz–the Framers of our founding documents knew one important thing, among many others of course: they understood human nature. All the technology we have now, ever had or will have cannot change the fact that there are people with agendas. Tech has not eradicated greed, deception/lying, murder, or lust. Often tech is used to empower those lower aspects of humankind. Lust for power & money are two of the biggest addictions we have to contend with,.

        “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. John Adams”

        https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/john_adams_391045

        If as a whole the populace is not moral…we are doomed. People can be moral without being religious. But if people don’t choose to be honest, giving, caring & seekers of the truth of events…well, we see the de-evolution around us now.

        I am not at all against tech. I use it via the net & other ways. I DO have a problem with how it is sometimes used as a sort of weapon…The agenda driven deception being poured out on US by duplicitous phony Repubs, deceptive left wing media, agenda driven Dimm fascist ‘progressives’ & other New World Order shills misuse tech for lying & deception.

        Those of us who want the Constitution back use the net. And some of us pray.

        SamFox

      1. The CIA controls no one. The media are part of a hive. They do what they do because their default impulse is to be an extension of the DNC press office. The national media have favored the Democrats for 60 years or more, but the rubrics of newsgathering and reporting during the Newseum era incorporated some reserve in their dealings with the Democratic Party. The media was fairly critical of Jimmy Carter. During the Clinton years, the broadcast media was an extension of the Democratic Party, but the print media was not. During the Obama regime, all segments of the media bar Fox News and some radio networks were shills.

        1. The cia controls no one? you really think that? establishing control is part of what handling spies, informants, sources, is all about. and journalists are just another set of social influencers they certainly have do and will control, or try to, here and there and probably as much as they can

          the CIA and Time magazine were hand in glove. CD Jackson. But hey, you may not be interested in that topic. It might take us far afield into “conspiracy theories”

          1. Mr Kurtz – we do know that Peter Strzok is CIA and was planted in the FBI. This gets funner all the time. 😉

                1. Excerpted from the article to which PCS linked above:

                  “Peter Strzok grew up in Iran, where his father was influential in the CIA effort to overthrow the Shah and install the Ayatollah in 1979.”

                  Paul C Schulte is a dope.

                  1. His father was an engineer (a veteran of the Army Corps of Engineers) in Iran working for a commercial company. It’s unlikely he had any influence over the course of Iranian public life.

                    1. I’m glad you agree with me. Paul C Schulte is a dope.

                      P. S. I for one seriously doubt that you, for another, really think that the CIA tried to overthrow Shah Pahlavi and install Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979.

                    2. L4D enables David Benson – I went to school with an Iranian prince prior to the fall of the Shah. He was the first person I met that owned people. We used to spend a fair amount of time talking about the political conditions in Iran and was the CIA there? Yes, it was. Were they behind the Savik, yes they were. Did they cause the fall of the Shah? In a way they did. Does the CIA have cover jobs? Yes, they do. Is Peter Strzok III CIA? Yes, he is.

                  2. L4D enables David Benson – his father is connected to the Clintons, do some due diligence.

          2. The cia controls no one? you really think that? establishing control is part of what handling spies, informants, sources, is all about.

            No, gathering information is the CIA’s business. That includes blackmailing sources. No clue what sort of dirt you fancy they’ve got on CNN employees.

            1. See Reuel Marc Gerecht on the CIA as he knew it: a wheel-spinning bureaucracy made so by the practice of promoting people on the basis of the number of assets they recruited (w/o regard to whether the assets ever gave them any useful information).

            2. One of the members of the special advisory committee Wm. Casey formed to advise him in 1981 explained Casey’s reasoning for an alternative brain trust: CIA employees seldom read anything more demanding than The Washington Post.

            3. Here’s a suggestion: read Morton Kondracke’s account of the clandestine services employees he met while reporting from Nicaragua.

            4. The CIA recruited Aldrich Ames (on the basis of a rather unremarkable academic record) and promoted him several times even though it was obvious he was living beyond his means.

            5. Among the modest number of CIA veterans who have a public profile are Philip Giraldi and Michael Scheuer. Unlike Aldrich Ames, they’re fairly extensively education. And rather disgusting.

            Here’s an alternative conception of the CIA: the place is just meathead central.

            1. I think it’s one of the most selective hiring criteria of any government agency and arguably one of the most effective.

              Maybe many are flakey but there are cabals in any organization; and above it.

              Why do you find Giraldi and Scheuer disgusting?

              1. I think it’s one of the most selective hiring criteria of any government agency and arguably one of the most effective.

                What criteria? Philip Giraldi had minimal if not non-existent background in the Near East. He was a failed academic (a specialist in Renaissance Italy), as was Scheuer. Ames wasn’t even that. I have three federal employees among my first and second-degree relatives. All three had on-point expertise to occupy the jobs they did. And none of them were drooling anti-semites.

        2. “The CIA controls no one.”

          People might interpret that statement in various ways so I thought some might want to read Strassel on the CIA and don’t have access to the WSJ.

          “Brennan and the 2016 Spy Scandal

          Obama’s CIA director acknowledges egging on the FBI’s probe of Trump and Russia.

          Kimberley A. StrasselJuly 19, 2018 6:29 p.m. ET
          Former CIA Director John Brennan listens during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, May 23, 2017.

          The Trump-Russia sleuthers have been back in the news, again giving Americans cause to doubt their claims of nonpartisanship. Last week it was Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Peter Strzok testifying to Congress that he harbored no bias against a president he still describes as “horrible” and “disgusting.” This week it was former FBI Director Jim Comey tweet-lecturing Americans on their duty to vote Democratic in November.

          But the man who deserves a belated bit of scrutiny is former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan. He’s accused President Trump of “venality, moral turpitude and political corruption,” and berated GOP investigations of the FBI. This week he claimed on Twitter that Mr. Trump’s press conference in Helsinki was “nothing short of treasonous.” This is rough stuff, even for an Obama partisan.

          That’s what Mr. Brennan is—a partisan—and it is why his role in the 2016 scandal is in some ways more concerning than the FBI’s. Mr. Comey stands accused of flouting the rules, breaking the chain of command, abusing investigatory powers. Yet it seems far likelier that the FBI’s Trump investigation was a function of arrogance and overconfidence than some partisan plot. No such case can be made for Mr. Brennan. Before his nomination as CIA director, he served as a close Obama adviser. And the record shows he went on to use his position—as head of the most powerful spy agency in the world—to assist Hillary Clinton’s campaign (and keep his job).

          Mr. Brennan has taken credit for launching the Trump investigation. At a House Intelligence Committee hearing in May 2017, he explained that he became “aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons.” The CIA can’t investigate U.S. citizens, but he made sure that “every information and bit of intelligence” was “shared with the bureau,” meaning the FBI. This information, he said, “served as the basis for the FBI investigation.” My sources suggest Mr. Brennan was overstating his initial role, but either way, by his own testimony, he as an Obama-Clinton partisan was pushing information to the FBI and pressuring it to act.

          More notable, Mr. Brennan then took the lead on shaping the narrative that Russia was interfering in the election specifically to help Mr. Trump—which quickly evolved into the Trump-collusion narrative. Team Clinton was eager to make the claim, especially in light of the Democratic National Committee server hack. Numerous reports show Mr. Brennan aggressively pushing the same line internally. Their problem was that as of July 2016 even then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper didn’t buy it. He publicly refused to say who was responsible for the hack, or ascribe motivation. Mr. Brennan also couldn’t get the FBI to sign on to the view; the bureau continued to believe Russian cyberattacks were aimed at disrupting the U.S. political system generally, not aiding Mr. Trump.

          The CIA director couldn’t himself go public with his Clinton spin—he lacked the support of the intelligence community and had to be careful not to be seen interfering in U.S. politics. So what to do? He called Harry Reid. In a late August briefing, he told the Senate minority leader that Russia was trying to help Mr. Trump win the election, and that Trump advisers might be colluding with Russia. (Two years later, no public evidence has emerged to support such a claim.)

          But the truth was irrelevant. On cue, within a few days of the briefing, Mr. Reid wrote a letter to Mr. Comey, which of course immediately became public. “The evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign continues to mount,” wrote Mr. Reid, going on to float Team Clinton’s Russians-are-helping-Trump theory. Mr. Reid publicly divulged at least one of the allegations contained in the infamous Steele dossier, insisting that the FBI use “every resource available to investigate this matter.”

          The Reid letter marked the first official blast of the Brennan-Clinton collusion narrative into the open. Clinton opposition-research firm Fusion GPS followed up by briefing its media allies about the dossier it had dropped off at the FBI. On Sept. 23, Yahoo News’s Michael Isikoff ran the headline: “U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin.” Voilà. Not only was the collusion narrative out there, but so was evidence that the FBI was investigating.

          In their recent book “Russian Roulette,” Mr. Isikoff and David Corn say even Mr. Reid believed Mr. Brennan had an “ulterior motive” with the briefing, and “concluded the CIA chief believed the public needed to know about the Russia operation, including the information about the possible links to the Trump campaign.” (Brennan allies have denied his aim was to leak damaging information.)

          Clinton supporters have a plausible case that Mr. Comey’s late-October announcement that the FBI had reopened its investigation into the candidate affected the election. But Trump supporters have a claim that the public outing of the collusion narrative and FBI investigation took a toll on their candidate. Politics was at the center of that outing, and Mr. Brennan was a ringmaster. Remember that when reading his next “treason” tweet.”

          1. that’s good at illustrating that the heads of such agencies are partisan.
            that is not inherently bad. it goes with the territory of democracy
            the fault is when they pretend they are “above it all”
            and start declaring treason
            I say that’s treasonous for them to say so!

    3. suze – no one minds holding him to account, but he could have walked on water and they would have said he could not swim. He could have changed water into wine and they would have complained it wasn’t Stoli. I saw a mash-up of the talking heads from the major networks and they were all using the same words, Someone gave them a songbook (John Brennan).

  3. The common hue and cry on the Left is that they are fighting fascism. They hear the sound of Jackboots in the distance.

    What they do not understand is that this is the very thing that conservatives, Libertarians, and Classic Liberals are fighting, too.

    The paradigm of Big Government with weak individual rights has been responsible for one massacre after another. And yet, that is what the far Left proposes.

    The Father of Fascism, Gentile, felt that Socialism did not go far enough. It needed to have a guiding purpose of the common good of the nation. In addition, it allowed some limited, highly regulated private property. Therefore, it was considered a bit to the right of the Soviets, but still far, far to the Left of modern day conservatism.

    Nazism, or the National Socialist Party, was Fascism plus rabid anti-semitism. In addition, mothers were forced to put their children into government day care, where they would be indoctrinated, and go to work for the common good. Stay at home mothers were frowned upon and even punished. The Jews were called the 1%, and capitalists. Sound familiar?

    Venezuela promised socialist utopia, guaranteed healthcare, and broke up the farms. Now 90% of the country cannot get enough money to buy food. Sure, the health care is free, but they have no medicine or even clean water at the hospitals. All they prescribe now are plastic bottles, and the “patients” are advised to go try to find clean water for any ill.

    Cuba was a socialist utopia with a universal minimum wage and guaranteed healthcare. Entire extended families live in the same houses they had decades ago. You cannot buy or sell a house, but you can swap for one. Political dissenters are thrown into prison.

    North Korea was a socialist utopia. The citizens are malnourished, full of parasites, and kids starve to death on the street. Women who get pregnant with mixed race babies are arrested and forced to have abortions against their will. If they have already had their babies, the babies are killed. Escapees describe terrible screams coming from those buildings.

    In socialist Moldova, your neighbor could report you to the police if you had a black market capitalist business in an attempt to get more food and warmer clothes.

    In Ukraine, successful farmers refused to give up their multiple generational farms to the collective, so the government starved every man, woman, and child of them for over a year. That’s why the statue of the Holodomor is of a child, because so many died at the hands of a “benevolent” socialist government.

    Most socialist countries have border security…to keep their citizens from escaping. Must be a real paradise if they need the military to keep their lucky citizens from leaving.

    The only reason why racism and Fascism and Nazism are described as Right is because academia was overrun with ultra hard core Leftists who successfully re-wrote history.

    The KKK was the domestic terrorism enforcers of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party pushed to continue slavery using the very same rhetoric that they continue to use to propagate their serf class of illegal aliens. Namely, who else will do the work? Crops will rot in the fields. Etc. The Republican Party brought the entire country to civil war and the death of hundreds of thousands of people in order to free the slaves. The Republican Party spearheaded civil rights movements, and early legislation. The Democratic Party lowers the bar for minorities, sending the message that they do not have the same ability, while the Republican Party wants everyone to have the same opportunity to succeed. The Dems preach victimhood and identity politics. Your worth is based entirely on attributes you cannot change, such as skin color.

    Conservatives believe that everyone should have the chance to succeed. The Democrats act to ensure that minorities are trapped on the plantation. Sure, social services and Obamacare give them the bare bones, but they will never live well. They will never get the same level of healthcare that anyone on an employer policy will enjoy. They will never have a middle class lifestyle on Welfare. The destruction of the nuclear family has ensured that this vicious cycle will perpetuate a population of millions of people clamoring for a Democratic savior.

    And what does the Democratic Party do to women and minorities that leave the plantation? They call them every misogynistic and racist name in the book. They might no longer use the KKK, which has been relegated to the fringe, but they do still loose the dogs on blacks that won’t toe the line and vote Democrat. Blacks are supposed to keep quiet and vote Democrat, while the Democrats take them for granted and have moved on to the next suckers, the illegal aliens. Their open border, sanctuary city policies have created competition for entry level work, and increased crime in minority cities. Because I can assure you that Nanci Pelosi does not have her vineyard mansion in the territory of MS-13.

    What does the Democratic Party do when confronted with criticism? Call them a Fascist (as has been done for decades to all Republican Presidents), racist, homophobe, etc. Create a mob threatening or engaging in violence to try to silence conservative speakers…because they cannot engage in a debate. When Mark Duplass Tweeted that people should listen to Ben Shapiro to understand the other point of view, he was so savagely attacked that he had to apologize for suggesting it. His sin? Recommending that people listen to an opposing point of view. Unforgivable to the Single Party State.

    And what have Democrats done for women? Treated them like imbeciles who cannot do simple arithmetic. Obamacare added 26 forms of birth control with no copay. How stupid do they think women are? Do they think they do not know that copays were invented to keep down premiums, deductibles, and net costs? Women now pay exponentially more for healthcare than ever before, but because the cost is not called “copay” they are supposed to feel liberated?

    None of this could have become so popularized if the mainstream media had not been overcome with Liberalism. It has become the Propaganda Machine of the Single Party State. How else could you have Hillary Clinton receive millions to her Foundation slush fund for selling 1/5 of American Uranium to the Russian nuclear ambitions, pay Russian spies for false information about Trump, have the FBI claim they have an insurance policy against Trump, have Obama say that when he’s re-elected he’ll have more flexibility with Russia, have Obama give a pallet of cash to a terrorist nation and remove sanctions whereupon they immediately bombed our closest ally, ad infinitum, and yet the only person in the room who did not, actually, have a financial relationship of millions of dollars with the Russians get accused of treason and collusion?

    What are the Democrats so angry with Russia about? The extent of Russian “meddling” was the release of embarrassing, truthful information about Hillary Clinton’s latest unethical backroom dealing, all with the knowledge and approval of the Democratic party. The DNC appears to want us to go to war with Russia and experience nuclear winter, they are so angry that their dishonesty and corruption was exposed. How dare the American people find out they are all liars and thieves!!! The extent of Russian meddling for Hillary Clinton was selling her a completely fabricated dossier she used to discredit Trump. So the truth came out about Hillary, and lies came out against Trump. Instead of revealing the attempted coup against Trump, the mainstream media has painted the victim as the perpetrator in mass displacement. And the Left nods their heads sagely and speak treason…but not against the FBI, but against Trump!!!

    A free press is indeed instrumental for a free society. A Single Party Propaganda Machine is the worse kind of monopoly. It uses vast money, power, and influence, from the media to Hollywood, to convince a people to become socialist and eschew Capitalism, so we can go down under Jackboots.

    In a Democratic, Capitalist society, with robust individual rights, what do you do when the mainstream media is engaged in a concerted effort to drag the United States down the same quagmire of socialism that has created more pollution, human rights abuses, and massacres than any other form of government? You create a grassroots internet movement of divergent viewpoints. A #WalkAway movement. Some wildly successful conservative news and radio channels. Massively popular conservative speakers.

    1. So, it appears that Pravda Faux News has an online presence of some sort from which the gullible rubes, dupes and klan-wannabees can cut and paste. Thanks for checking in with today’s prattle.

      this is to “but it sounds so smarty-like when hannity says it” karen

      1. you just toss insults. no substance. trust me if you don’t want to dialogue, we are ready for the next phase.

      2. Mark – do you have anything intelligent to say regarding what I wrote that does not devolve into ad hominem false logic? Because your post was basically on the level of “liar liar pants on fire.”

        1. You mistakenly assume I give two sh*ts about what you, your ilk, the gullible rubes, dupes and klan-wannabees think (assuming they’re able to) about anything I contribute. You just keep on doing you, regurgitating the nonsense you absorb from Pravda Faux News and whatever other ridiculous “source” from which you derive your inanities. Pro tip: Nonsense is easily identified by those who are still able to objectively identify the difference between “facts” and “ridiculous prattle.” So sorry for your loss.

          this is to “but fox & friends are so friendly and white” karen

          1. I don’t think that anyone who repeatedly goes out of his way to be an ******* should assume that others “mistakenly believe” that others think he cares about what peole think.
            If scumbag trolls did care, they probably would not work so hard to anonymously insult, bore, and make a contnuing nuisance out of themselves.
            In “real life”, it may be a different story. What they get away with here, anonymously, may have some actual consequences in real life.
            Thus their “troll warrior”/ I don’t give a **** what anybody thinks of me, I am clever, edgy, etc.” style can endlessly turn up like some diseased pest in their refuges, their “safe spaces” like this comments section here.
            I don’t sent/ waste much time on the trolls, but after hundreds of offensive post I might have some comments to make about a “major league *******.
            This comment is about Markypoo, King of the Trolls

            1. Awesome. I am most definitely the personification of the “Anti-troll.” But typical of a trumpette wingnut, you attempt to label me as a practitioner of the tomfoolery which you–and your ilk–practice exclusively here, and most likely on reddit or some such similar gathering of wackjobs.

              this is to “so what If I lie, my president lies as much as I do” tommie

    2. Karen: another web of false equivalencies. You seem to be a specialist at this. Was that your major?

        1. Natacha – that is very elitist. One of the smartest people I knew only had a 4th-grade education but could do trig in his head. He was a model set-up man for a manufacturing plant.

          1. PC Schulte,
            I haven’t carefully read all of these comments, so let’s call this a general question;
            During your years as a teacher, which I assume spanned the 1960s into the early part of this century, did you hear the words “false equivalency” often?
            I have a reason for asking.

            1. Tom Nash – I did not even hear the word equivalency. False appeared on most tests. 😉 And I did not start teaching until the mid-1980s. I had several other careers I tried first.

              1. PC Schulte,..,-Thanks.
                The reason I asjed is that “false equivalency” seems to be a stock phrase of the NEA.
                That stock phrase also seems to be used almost exclusively by liberals to dismiss what “the other side” says in a debate/argument.

                1. No, Tom, you couldn’t be more wrong!

                  Trumpers routinely use false equivalencies to defend Trump for statements, tweets and actions that would be indefensible in a normal America. Like this thread, for instance. Here we have the president openly siding with a former KGB Colonel against American intelligence agencies. Trump then claims the media is our ‘real enemy’! In a normal America every voter would be outraged by this!

                  Yet Karen writes a 20 paragraph response that has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue at hand. Instead Karen provides a bogus ‘history’ linking Democrats to the Ku Klux Klan, abortion to North Korea, the repeated failures of socialism, etc, etc. Again none of these references has anything to do withTrump’s performance in Helsinki. Therefore Karen’s comments are indeed a web of false equivalencies as I noted.

                  False equivalencies are always cynical by nature. There’s always a warped logic saying, “our side can do this because ‘your’ side did that”. No lawyer could possibly present a defense like that in court. What’s more, false equivalencies would never be accepted in college debate tournaments. False equivalencies are basically an attempt to connect unrelated dots as a form of rebuttal.

                  Since Trump burst upon the political scene two years ago, he has crossed one line after another with behavior that would be unacceptable for any other politician. Yet every time Trump crosses these lines we hear false equivalencies involving Hillary, Pelosi, the DNC, liberals in San Francisco, George Soros, Alexandra Cortez, Hollywood, etc, etc, etc.

                  These false equivalencies are essentially an admission by Trumpers that they cannot possibly defend Trump’s behavior.

                  1. Take just one item of Peter Shill. “Instead Karen provides a bogus ‘history’ linking Democrats to the Ku Klux Klan”.

                    This is something that most people with some awareness of the political arena know. One that doesn’t know it demonstrates pure ignorance.

                    Check out the1924 Klanbake which has been mentioned on this site several times.

                    1. ALLEN..!! WHAT’S TURLEY’S COLUMN ABOUT??

                      Did Turley write anything about the Ku Klix Klan today..????? No..!!!!!! He wrote about Trump’s performance in Helsinki. You can easily check by scrolling up. So why are you going off on this stupid detour involving the Ku Klux Klan????? It’s like you’re telling me I’m obligated to answer the false equivalency. That’s how stupid it gets.

                    2. Stop whining Peter. You made a statement which was wrong. You said: “Karen provides a bogus ‘history’ linking Democrats to the Ku Klux Klan”.

                      I gave you just one tiny example, the Klanbake, since you deny so much. You should have responded differently with Karen. She is being nice and providing you with history you seem to know nothing about or are hiding from. Why don’t you accept facts, especially from Karen who has been polite and accurate, or deny them with proof? You can do that, right? Let’s try and get a solid foundation as to what we are facing today.

                  2. Peter Hill – so you are denying the connection between the KKK and the Democratic Party? The failure of socialism in Venezuela? The abortions in North Korea?

                  3. Peter,….
                    This is a “rainy day” project that I might do, or you might do.
                    I remember the “false equivalency” meme predating “candidate” or President Trump by a long time.
                    It seems to be a standard phrase in NEA publications, and by liberals in general.
                    I will tell you that I haver NEVER heard a conservative or a moderate/ independent pull the “false equivalency, false equivalency!” accusation on a liberal, and that I repeatedly heard liberal use it as if it were their mantra.
                    I think I mentioned that I had not carefully reviewed your exchanges with Karen S.—- if I didn’t, I should have mentioned that.
                    But generally, that phrase belongs to liberals and has become an “old standard” for them, like a favorite song.
                    I’m not surprized, however, because “That’s the way your hard-core Commie works, ‘Mandrake’ “

                    1. Peter….the “rainy day” project would be to check these older threads, and elsewhere, to see when “false equivalency” became a stock liberal phrase.

                    2. Tom: Right-wing media conditions its followers to make false equivalencies. Fox News presents them on a regular basis. I think Ann Coulter recommended them in one of her books.

                      False equivalencies are like scatter bombs. They are deliberately intended to ‘scatter’ the discussion.

                      Karen, for instance, had no intention of explaining Trump’s behavior. She can’t. You can’t either. Nor can Allen or Spastic. So instead Karen composed this warped ‘historical narrative’ where the Democratic party is an inherently ‘evil institution’.

                      And Karen expected me to respond on a point by point basis. Like I should waste 20 minutes of my time refuting a narrative irrelevant to Trump’s performance in Helsinki. But that’s how false equivalencies are supposed to work. Karen wanted to pull me off topic so she didn’t have to account for Donald Trump.

                      This is all we’ve been getting from Trumpers for the past 2 years. No effort whatsoever to account for Trump’s behavior; just ‘scatter bombs’ to disperse the discussion. And that’s why liberals are getting confrontational. We’re sick to f**kin death of false equivalencies!

                    3. Peter,,..
                      Who “conditions” liberals to use false equivalency?
                      If it is not elements of the media, as you claim is the case with “right wing false equivalencies”, is there another external cause for liberals?
                      Or does it just come naturally to them?

                    4. Today, I went for a drive around Puget Sound and stopped along the way to have a scoop of geoduck ice cream. Unfortunately, they ran out. Instead I had a great salmon burger. I later stopped by my pharmacy to pick up a prescription and they had a sale on 81 mg aspirin at $9.95 for a thousand pills. I picked up the mail, did some paperwork in my office, watched a Humphrey Bogart movie “Action in the North Atlantic”, took a nap and made a roasted potato, garlic and carrot casserole for my wife.

                      Just a little secret: All of these irrelevant things are more important in my life than listening to people who so willingly allow themselves to be useful idiots to banal politicians. Those folks need to get out in the world and stop consigning their lives to meaningless pursuits at the beckoning of shameful individuals.

                      They might think they are part of the new outrage and at its forefront. But whenever we see some jackass political opportunist on TV barking out rhetoric and then see these throngs of sycophants yelling on the streets and the internet, repeating the same drivel almost word for word, they reveal that instead they are simply automatons who are willingly incapable of independent thought. And it is tiresome and boring to listen to them because they bring nothing to the conversation in terms of ideas or nuance.

                      If this lifestyle of servitude and perpetual anger is their preference it is fine with me: as long as they leave me alone. Unfortunately, this type of person and their handlers want to control every aspect of life in America and so it requires vigilance to forestall them from contaminating the good things in life that most others enjoy otherwise.

                      Having a free thinking mind is a far more liberating condition than being pawn. And nobody respects a pawn.

                    5. Darren Smith – I usually get my 81 aspirin at Costco, but that sounds like a great deal. Which pharmacy?

                    6. “Karen, for instance, had no intention of explaining Trump’s behavior. She can’t. You can’t either. Nor can Allen or Spastic. So instead Karen composed this warped ‘historical narrative’ where the Democratic party is an inherently ‘evil institution’.”

                      Take note, Peter, of the argument of the left. Trump committed treason. How does one react to that statement that is all over the news media by supposedly intelligent people?

                      Think about it. ……………. Treason, a capital offense where the punishment is death Think about what that means…………. Think of the violence that has been rising.

                      The left that is visible has been acting in an almost identical fashion almost at the exact same time. Most of the mouthpieces on this blog reflect the unified leftist theme that seems to change every week with a few holdovers.

                      Look at the non-left. Never Trumpers, Bushites, Paulites, Ryanites and all the different varieties of disagreement and they state what their disagreement is.

                      You say none of us can explain Trump’s behavior. To explain behavior is a risky thing but all of us have our opinions that frequently differ from one another as you can see from a number of our postings. Take two that you mentioned DSS and me (Allan). Add Dhlii. Have you not noted how those three entities differ with one another frequently while in unison those on the left say almost the identical things?

                      I am probably the strongest supporter of Trump of the three. I think Dhlii didn’t vote for him, DSS I think doesn’t like him but probably voted for him. I voted for someone else in the primary. I wasn’t even a Republican until recent years and though a registered Democrat I wasn’t a real Democrat either.

                      Do I support Trump? Yes, he is our President. I supported Obama as our President even though I disagreed with most of what he did, (disagreed with the means, not necessarily the desired end product) Did I want violence or agree with violence directed at Obama or any of his government officials. Absolutely not and I was openly against such actions.

                      Do I agree with Trump’s policies? Some of them. Does he make mistakes. Yes, but overall he is moving the country in the right direction and one cannot expect to agree with the President 100% of the times nor disagree with a President 100% of the time. We have seen other President’s act with world leaders and they may have seemed more polished but they didn’t do the job and they didn’t protect America. Trump understands war is something fought by our children and right now the left is bloodthirsty. The left was the biggest supporter of Stalin’s practices and today they are warlike. Our President needs to speak to Russia’s leaders and from long before our President was elected the left has been destroying all roads of communication to those leaders. That is crazy.

                    7. Peter:

                      You still do not understand my post.

                      I will try to explain it one more time.

                      My post discussed:

                      1. How the media is antagonistic towards all conservatives.
                      2. Merely identifying this bias is stating reality, not a call for censorship
                      3. The appropriate responses to the monopoly of a single viewpoint among the mainstream media
                      4. Why the mainstream media promoting a Single Party State is dangerous to our values
                      5. The factual history of the Democratic Party. I did not even discuss how the Democrats shared eugenics techniques with those who would run the Nazi extermination camps. It’s sad. It happened. The Left has no problem talking ad infinitum about slavery, which was terrible, and it happened. The past is therefore no barrier to brining up a topic, unless it involves the specific history of the Democratic Party rather than white people in general. This also illustrates the point that the Democrats re-wrote history and painted themselves as the defender of minorities when nothing could be further from the truth, historically. Their behavior today towards dissenting minorities and Israel also undermines that position.
                      6. I specifically discussed the Left’s repeated love of Socialism. Then I listed various Socialist regimes that ended up killing and starving their people. There is a very grave consequence to Big Government and weak individual rights.

                      I do not think that all Democrats are evil or that the party is inherently evil. It is anachronistic to judge people of today by what happened in the past. That would mean that half the country is evil.

                      What I do think is that they have not thrown off the tactics used in their past, such as racist attacks against minorities who do not vote for them, or threatening violence against conservatives. I do not think they know the roots of that behavior, or perhaps more people would stop it. They think it’s fighting the good fight, and somehow suspend all their better judgement in order for racist slurs to leave their mouths.

                      You don’t see moderate Democrats agitating for Socialism, calling Israel an apartheid state, or beating up strangers because they wore a MAGA hat, or throwing drinks in their faces, or running them out of restaurants, following them in the street shouting insults at them, or unfriending people based on who they voted for, or calling Republicans “Trumpers” or “Trumpistas” or phobes or ists or whatever. That is the behavior of extremists, and extremist are bad no matter if they ascribe to political or religious beliefs. You call a cat extremist a hoarder, for example.

                      What you do see is the media forming the opinion of the Democratic Party voters. They present their material in such a way that Obama, who put children in cages, cared about kids, but Trump separated families expressly because he liked it. They never mention all the kids who were not reunited with the adults they came with because it was discovered those adults either abused them or lied about a familial relationship. You don’t read about how that little girl crying on the cover of Time in front of the Big Bad Trump actually was never separated from her mother. Her mother left her husband, who had a great job as a boat captain, abandoned her two older children without a word of goodbye, and traveled all the way from Honduras to the US because she just wanted to live in the US. She didn’t want to live in Honduras. Her husband said their neighborhood wasn’t bad at all, and he cannot understand why his wife would risk her own little girl on such a journey. HuffPo remarked in the Obama era that 80% of women and girls get raped on the illegal immigration journey. So, that casts a different light, does it not, on why that girl would cry when a man put his gloved hands in her mother’s pockets to frisk her. What did that little girl see and endure? Did her mother choose to bring her because she’d have a better chance of being allowed to stay? She did not take her other 2 children. She did not come alone. I assume if she’s successful, she will send for her husband and other 2 kids. So, can you think of a reason why she would bring a 2 year old on the rape trail? This carefully crafted, biased narrative appeals to those kind hearted moderate Democrats, the ones who vote for Big Government because they truly believe it will help more people. They put that wedge in there and convince them that Trump actually hates children (or whatever the latest narrative is.) They paint all Trump voters in an evil light in their discussion panels. Without diverse viewpoints, the moderates never hear any other side. What is most disturbing, is that the actor’s plea for more people to listen to Ben Shapiro so they understand the other side was roundly condemned with savage intensity.

                      There is no mass pressure against Conservatives to never listen to the other side, either in personal discussions, print, news, or radio. In fact, I often peruse those sources to try to understand their position, as well as be horrified at the intensity of the hatred. No one shames a Conservative on social media to the point that they have to pose an apology if they recommend people listen to all sides. That’s a Leftist trend.

                      That trend will end badly, as I’ve discussed before.

                  4. I’ve sometimes wondered if the free use of words lke “fascist”, or comparison of today’s America to 1930s Germany, is “false equivalency”.
                    But I know that could not be the case, since these “equivalencies” are tossed around by some liberals, and those sanctimonious ba*****s would never engage in “false” equivalency.
                    Their accusatory comparisons are always valid.😞😆😄😏

        2. I got enough diplomas and time served at major universities to know that people who pretend to be above others due to their education– usually are not.

          Especially anonymous adversaries
          I’ll bet your CV is a short and boring read Natch

        3. Natacha – thank you for illustrating for us the habit the hard Left has gotten in making unsubstantiated personal attacks that are completely untrue.

          Is this going to be one of those instances where you cannot answer my points, so you make a wild accusation, whereupon I am supposed to go get lost in the weeds discussing my degree?

          What is it about the Left accusing conservative women of being uneducated or ignorant? Or there are those abhorrent racist attacks upon black minorities.

      1. Peter – if you have an argument to make, then make it.

        False logic ad hominem is the resort of people who cannot answer a debate.

        My major was in the sciences. That is why data is more important than emotional arguments. And “false equivalencies” does not mean what you think it means.

        I suggest you take a good, long look at the #WalkAway youtube channel and various websites. You might learn something about how your party has been behaving, and how it appears to anyone on the outside.

        1. If you want to see how Democratic rule has worked out, there is always my favorite, San Francisco. SF spends 1/4 of a billion dollars on homelessness, and it has the same level of homelessness as ten years ago. But now they have poop maps for tourists to try to avoid dirty needles and infectious human feces.

          But there are also all of these other Democratic strongholds. At what point do you hold a party accountable for not keeping its promises? For making the place worse off than when they found it?

        2. Karen: Salon Magazine, which I don’t read, has an article linking “Walk Away” to Russian trolls. Which makes sense to me. I was at a “Walk Away” thread on Facebook and it looked utterly irrational. They seemed to think Democrats should “Walk Away” because the party has gotten rude to Trumpers. What a laugh!

          1. any failure of democrats can now be blamed on Russian agents.
            don’t you see how ridiculous that is?
            and the Dems used to accuse republicans of the very same thing.
            you old enough, this stuff is just funny

          2. Peter Hill – I am linked to the #WalkAway movement and get their videos. They are not Russian bots. Salon is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

              1. Mr Kurtz – did you see that a former Bond girl and Playmate had been sexting with Guccifer 2.0, only to find out it is now supposed 12 GRU intelligence officers? She sent him/them some revealing photos. 🙂

          3. That is amazing that there are thousands of videos of Russian trolls with American accents, in some cases recognizable public figures, stating their reasons for walking away from the Democratic party.

            You do know that it was a gay hairdresser who started #WalkAway, don’t you? He’s been interviewed numerous times. Perhaps before you cry Rusky you should look into it a bit more.

            Is this how it’s going to go? Hillary broke the law. Russians. Hillary took over the DNC. Russians. People are leaving the Democratic Party due to its hatred and intolerance. Must be Russians! That is a gambit to avoid introspection.

            1. Oh my gosh, this is rich. Now they are trying to say that droves of people posting testimonials about leaving the Democratic party are Russians trying to influence the 2018 elections.

              This must be the defense against accusations of wrongdoing that the DNC is going to use from now on. It would take an astonishing amount of naivete to believe that.

        3. The homeless provide the Democratic party with another victim to elicit support and money and a pretense to tax and spend while actually accomplishing nothing or keeping the victim in a static state to be used as a tool whenever Democrats want something.

          There is much that can be done to benefit the lot of the chronically homeless in actual terms but politicians do not exercise the desire or competence to enact such programs. Not all of which will be popular from a political standpoint, which includes effective law enforcement when necessary.

          One of the local here who is perpetually outraged about everything that is not a sound bite for liberals wrote letters to the editor vomiting rhetoric every month attacking everything not of his opinion. For several of his submissions he yelled out how the Republicans and President Trump where screwing the homeless and demanded action now. Then, later, he wrote that he and some friends went downtown and how he was appalled at dirty homeless people ruining his evening and how they hassled him. Imbecile

      2. Peter, you seem to not understand why I brought up the Klan on this thread.

        Please re-read my post. Why did Trump call the media an enemy? I remark about the serious issues with the hard Left, that the media is the propaganda machine of the hard left, combined with Hollywood and universities. If they succeed, America will succumb to the same Big Government utopia promise that has burned to ash in one catastrophe after another.

        And then I said that in a Democratic society, when you find the mainstream media working counter to the United States as a Republic, you create your own grassroots movements.

        The hard Left has created serious loss of life and environmental pollution for decades. It is at it again. I hope they fail. The media is working for their success. Hence, grassroots efforts to offer other viewpoints than what can be found on MSNBC.

        If you are a Republican, the mainstream media is your enemy. You will not be treated the same as a Democratic candidate. Media bias against conservatives is adversarial. You can research this issue if you like it.

        This is what led to the rise of popular conservative news and radio shows. Merely calling attention to this massive, adversarial bigotry against conservatives does not mean that the government can censor the media. You do not libel garbage when you say it stinks.

        Get it?

        #WalkAwayFromMSNBC

  4. TRUMP’S ATTACKS ON JOURNALISTS ARE ONE OF NUMEROUS RED FLAGS

    We currently have a president who sides with the Russian dictator against American Intelligence Agencies. Trump literally sided with Putin onstage after a two and a half hour one-on-one meeting. Nothing could be more suspicious!!!

    And yesterday, onstage in Aspen Colorado, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats admitted on camera that he has ‘no idea’ what Trump discussed with Vladimir Putin. However the Kremlin put out releases saying Putin reached “useful agreements” with Trump.

    What ‘were’ those agreements..??? No one in Trump’s cabinet has any f**kin clue!!!

    In a normal America Trump’s summit with Putin would be considered a raging 12 Alarm Fire. Trump would be arrested and confined at a military base until his relationship with Putin could be completely unraveled.

    Therefore when Trump attacks the media for raising the most obvious of questions it is an insult to every American whose brain is still functioning.

    One should note that in the aftermath of the Helsinki summit, Trump was asked by a journalist to name America’s enemies. Trump actually began with the ‘European Union’. Trump views the EU as a bigger threat than Russia! Again, in a normal America, that answer alone would be considered a 12 Alarm Fire.

      1. Of course he is blind. That’s what happens when you suffer hysteria. Where’s the outrage about all the Chinese hacking of just about everything, including high-tech weapons systems. I don’t know why we continue to argue with cry-babies. No evidence outside of some facebook ads, former world power, hard evidence against sitting secretary of state… It’s just not worth the effort to explain things to these simpletons.

      2. At this point Obama is not the enemy. If he ever was. Don’t carry on too much about him, he’s retired. There are fresh fish to fry

      3. Gma: when Hannity, Carlson, the snarky bleached bitch and Pirro on Fox claim there is such collusion, they aren’t telling the truth. This is classic Kellyanne pivoting. They also used to claim President Obama was born in Kenya.

        1. Natacha—- The publishing agent for one of Obama’s first books, long before he ran for prez, printed a promotional brochure announcing the book. The brochure stated that he was born in Kenya, which was not true…….but apparently done to make him seem more “exotic”, or global. It is believed that info is probably on other records, like at Harvard…records that Obama and Axelrod would not allow for the ” public”. He probably called himself a Muslim, also…….another reason to keep the Harvard records unavailable. Obama brought on his own problems with all of that, in my opinion. He was just a mediocre, half-white, low achiever pothead from Hawaii. .And his Presidency certainly reflected that.

          1. Well, that’s your opinion. Another opinion, is that President Barack HUSSEIN Obama was the greatest President of the United States and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces since Harry Truman. Moreover, prior to his marriage, he undoubtedly had “access” to the white women.

            this is to “and you know, those darkys smell bad, too” cindy

            1. Marky Mark Mark – you are back to cut-and-paste again. Little hypocritical when you accuse others of the same thing. Shame on you!!!!

              1. Why ask? He reruns that tape again and again, even when it’s nonsensical qualities are made explicit to him.

              2. I can only show you the words, I can’t make you absorb or comprehend them. I don’t think that anyone here has ever claimed the President Barack HUSSEIN Obama was the “greats (sic) POTUS in history.”

                this is to “sometimes I just guess at what the big words mean” karen

          2. Cindy:

            I would like to add that Harvard is unbelievably difficult to get into. They get stacks of straight-A applicants that they decline because they are just not high enough achievers.

            Obama described himself as a mediocre student. How did he get in?

            1. See Steven Sailer on this point:

              1. High LSAT score.

              2. Melanin

              He actually graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. His tour there is peculiar inasmuch as it resembles nothing which came before. It was evidently at Harvard that he came into his own as a superficial motormouth.

            2. affirmative action.
              He was editor of Harvard law review but never published an article. That’s unbelievable.

              1. No,he was ‘president’ of the Review, an office-political position not precisely analogous to the Editor at other reviews. Eventually and unsigned case note he had composed was identified. See Wm. Dyer’s discussion of how these case notes figured in determining who occupied which editorial positions during the academic year subsequent when he was on the Review at UT Law school.

        2. “the snarky bleached bitch”

          Sexist and mocks a woman for her appearance. Plus there is the Liberal position where powerful women are called “b&(*&”.

          Notice how you did not describe anyone else’s appearance?

          I find the racism and misogyny of the Left absolutely fascinating.

    1. Peter Hill – the EU is an enemy to the members of the EU. FBI Director just named China as our biggest problem. Our national security agencies have continually dropped the ball since before 9/11. Why should anyone be convinced by anything they say?

      1. Paul, by that logic, why have any intelligence agencies..??

        By your reckoning, these agencies aren’t credible. So we should just disband them and save the costs. Of course America wouldn’t be much of a superpower with no intelligence apparatus. But seemingly intelligent people like you advocate that approach. How dumb..!!

        Weather forecasts are wrong perhaps 20% of the time. Should we bother consulting them??

        Alarm systems often register false alarms. Should we bother with alarm systems?

        Economic forecasts are wrong almost half the time. Should business journals bother printing them..??

        One can go on and on with stupid examples of stupid thinking that goes with this ‘logic’. But I think you get the point.

        1. Peter Hill – when was the last intelligence operation they got right or predicted correctly? And now there are 17 of them for goodness sakes.

      2. Yeah Paul you got that right. From Italy all the way north the EU is Europe’s own biggest problem in the minds of a lot of people! Ask the Greeks if they like the EU

        1. So, a country that can not run its own finances is the bell-weather state that defines the EU. Question, who is stupider Karen or Mr. Kurtz. Kurtz wins for brevity.

    2. CIA has had major control over mass media since it ever was in existence. From Time magazine to Operation Mockingbird to this sort of thing from 1991 to it’s repetitious sycophantic mouthing of Brennan and Clapper’s dictates

      https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/DOC_0005524009.pdf

      http://www.carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php

      After leaving The Washington Post in 1977, Carl Bernstein spent six months looking at the relationship of the CIA and the press during the Cold War years. His 25,000-word cover story, published in Rolling Stone on October 20, 1977, is reprinted below.

      THE CIA AND THE MEDIA

      How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up

      BY CARL BERNSTEIN

      In 1953, Joseph Alsop, then one of America’s leading syndicated columnists, went to the Philippines to cover an election. He did not go because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went at the request of the CIA.

      Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services—from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go‑betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without‑portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring‑do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full‑time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.

      WORKING PRESS — CIA STYLE

      To understand the role of most journalist‑operatives, it is necessary to dismiss some myths about undercover work for American intelligence services. Few American agents are “spies” in the popularly accepted sense of the term. “Spying” — the acquisition of secrets from a foreign government—is almost always done by foreign nationals who have been recruited by the CIA and are under CIA control in their own countries. Thus the primary role of an American working undercover abroad is often to aid in the recruitment and “handling” of foreign nationals who are channels of secret information reaching American intelligence.

      Many journalists were used by the CIA to assist in this process and they had the reputation of being among the best in the business. The peculiar nature of the job of the foreign correspondent is ideal for such work: he is accorded unusual access by his host country, permitted to travel in areas often off‑limits to other Americans, spends much of his time cultivating sources in governments, academic institutions, the military establishment and the scientific communities. He has the opportunity to form long‑term personal relationships with sources and—perhaps more than any other category of American operative—is in a position to make correct judgments about the susceptibility and availability of foreign nationals for recruitment as spies.

      “After a foreigner is recruited, a case officer often has to stay in the background,” explained a CIA official. “So you use a journalist to carry messages to and from both parties”

      Journalists in the field generally took their assignments in the same manner as any other undercover operative. If, for instance, a journalist was based in Austria, he ordinarily would be under the general direction of the Vienna station chief and report to a case officer. Some, particularly roving correspondents or U.S.‑based reporters who made frequent trips abroad, reported directly to CIA officials in Langley, Virginia.

      The tasks they performed sometimes consisted of little more than serving as “eyes and ears” for the CIA; reporting on what they had seen or overheard in an Eastern European factory, at a diplomatic reception in Bonn, on the perimeter of a military base in Portugal. On other occasions, their assignments were more complex: planting subtly concocted pieces of misinformation; hosting parties or receptions designed to bring together American agents and foreign spies; serving up “black” propaganda to leading foreign journalists at lunch or dinner; providing their hotel rooms or bureau offices as “drops” for highly sensitive information moving to and from foreign agents; conveying instructions and dollars to CIA controlled members of foreign governments.

      Often the CIA’s relationship with a journalist might begin informally with a lunch, a drink, a casual exchange of information. An Agency official might then offer a favor—for example, a trip to a country difficult to reach; in return, he would seek nothing more than the opportunity to debrief the reporter afterward. A few more lunches, a few more favors, and only then might there be a mention of a formal arrangement — “That came later,” said a CIA official, “after you had the journalist on a string.”

      Another official described a typical example of the way accredited journalists (either paid or unpaid by the CIA) might be used by the Agency: “In return for our giving them information, we’d ask them to do things that fit their roles as journalists but that they wouldn’t have thought of unless we put it in their minds. For instance, a reporter in Vienna would say to our man, ‘I met an interesting second secretary at the Czech Embassy.’ We’d say, ‘Can you get to know him? And after you get to know him, can you assess him? And then, can you put him in touch with us—would you mind us using your apartment?”‘

      Formal recruitment of reporters was generally handled at high levels—after the journalist had undergone a thorough background check. The actual approach might even be made by a deputy director or division chief. On some occasions, no discussion would he entered into until the journalist had signed a pledge of secrecy.

      “The secrecy agreement was the sort of ritual that got you into the tabernacle,” said a former assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence. “After that you had to play by the rules.” David Attlee Phillips, former Western Hemisphere chief of clandestine services and a former journalist himself, estimated in an interview that at least 200 journalists signed secrecy agreements or employment contracts with the Agency in the past twenty‑five years. Phillips, who owned a small English‑language newspaper in Santiago, Chile, when he was recruited by the CIA in 1950, described the approach: “Somebody from the Agency says, ‘I want you to help me. 1 know you are a true‑blue American, but I want you to sign a piece of paper before I tell you what it’s about.’ I didn’t hesitate to sign, and a lot of newsmen didn’t hesitate over the next twenty years.”

      “One of the things we always had going for us in terms of enticing reporters,” observed a CIA official who coordinated some of the arrangements with journalists, “was that we could make them look better with their home offices. A foreign correspondent with ties to the Company [the CIA] stood a much better chance than his competitors of getting the good stories.”

      Within the CIA, journalist‑operatives were accorded elite status, a consequence of the common experience journalists shared with high‑level CIA officials. Many had gone to the same schools as their CIA handlers, moved in the same circles, shared fashionably liberal, anti‑Communist political values, and were part of the same “old boy” network that constituted something of an establishment elite in the media, politics and academia of postwar America. The most valued of these lent themselves for reasons of national service, not money.

      The Agency’s use of journalists in undercover operations has been most extensive in Western Europe (“That was the big focus, where the threat was,” said one CIA official), Latin America and the Far East. In the 1950s and 1960s journalists were used as intermediaries—spotting, paying, passing instructions—to members of the Christian Democratic party in Italy and the Social Democrats in Germany, both of which covertly received millions of dollars from the CIA. During those years “we had journalists all over Berlin and Vienna just to keep track of who the hell was coming in from the East and what they were up to,” explained a CIA official.

      In the Sixties, reporters were used extensively in the CIA offensive against Salvador Allende in Chile; they provided funds to Allende’s opponents and wrote anti‑Allende propaganda for CIA proprietary publications that were distributed in Chile. (CIA officials insist that they make no attempt to influence the content of American newspapers, but some fallout is inevitable: during the Chilean offensive, CIA‑generated black propaganda transmitted on the wire service out of Santiago often turned up in American publications.)

      According to CIA officials, the Agency has been particularly sparing in its use of journalist agents in Eastern Europe on grounds that exposure might result in diplomatic sanctions against the United States or in permanent prohibitions against American correspondents serving in some countries. The same officials claim that their use of journalists in the Soviet Union has been even more limited, but they remain extremely guarded in discussing the subject. They are insistent, however, in maintaining that the Moscow correspondents of major news organizations have not been “tasked” or controlled by the Agency.

      The Soviets, according to CIA officials, have consistently raised false charges of CIA affiliation against individual American reporters as part of a continuing diplomatic game that often follows the ups and downs of Soviet‑American relations. The latest such charge by the Russians—against Christopher Wren of the New York Times and Alfred Friendly Jr., formerly of Newsweek, has no basis in fact, they insist.

      CIA officials acknowledge, however, that such charges will persist as long as the CIA continues to use journalistic cover and maintain covert affiliations with individuals in the profession. But even an absolute prohibition against Agency use of journalists would not free reporters from suspicion, according to many Agency officials. “Look at the Peace Corps,” said one source. “We have had no affiliation there and they [foreign governments] still throw them out”

      The history of the CIA’s involvement with the American press continues to be shrouded by an official policy of obfuscation and deception for the following principal reasons:

      ■ The use of journalists has been among the most productive means of intelligence‑gathering employed by the CIA. Although the Agency has cut back sharply on the use of reporters since 1973 primarily as a result of pressure from the media), some journalist‑operatives are still posted abroad.

      ■ Further investigation into the matter, CIA officials say, would inevitably reveal a series of embarrassing relationships in the 1950s and 1960s with some of the most powerful organizations and individuals in American journalism.

      Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were Williarn Paley of the Columbia Broadcasting System, Henry Luce of Tirne Inc., Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times, Barry Bingham Sr. of the LouisviIle Courier‑Journal, and James Copley of the Copley News Service. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include the American Broadcasting Company, the National Broadcasting Company, the Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps‑Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald‑Tribune.

      By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc.

      The CIA’s use of the American news media has been much more extensive than Agency officials have acknowledged publicly or in closed sessions with members of Congress. The general outlines of what happened are indisputable; the specifics are harder to come by. CIA sources hint that a particular journalist was trafficking all over Eastern Europe for the Agency; the journalist says no, he just had lunch with the station chief. CIA sources say flatly that a well‑known ABC correspondent worked for the Agency through 1973; they refuse to identify him. A high‑level CIA official with a prodigious memory says that the New York Times provided cover for about ten CIA operatives between 1950 and 1966; he does not know who they were, or who in the newspaper’s management made the arrangements.

      The Agency’s special relationships with the so‑called “majors” in publishing and broadcasting enabled the CIA to post some of its most valuable operatives abroad without exposure for more than two decades. In most instances, Agency files show, officials at the highest levels of the CIA usually director or deputy director) dealt personally with a single designated individual in the top management of the cooperating news organization. The aid furnished often took two forms: providing jobs and credentials “journalistic cover” in Agency parlance) for CIA operatives about to be posted in foreign capitals; and lending the Agency the undercover services of reporters already on staff, including some of the best‑known correspondents in the business.

      In the field, journalists were used to help recruit and handle foreigners as agents; to acquire and evaluate information, and to plant false information with officials of foreign governments. Many signed secrecy agreements, pledging never to divulge anything about their dealings with the Agency; some signed employment contracts., some were assigned case officers and treated with. unusual deference. Others had less structured relationships with the Agency, even though they performed similar tasks: they were briefed by CIA personnel before trips abroad, debriefed afterward, and used as intermediaries with foreign agents. Appropriately, the CIA uses the term “reporting” to describe much of what cooperating journalists did for the Agency. “We would ask them, ‘Will you do us a favor?’”.said a senior CIA official. “‘We understand you’re going to be in Yugoslavia. Have they paved all the streets? Where did you see planes? Were there any signs of military presence? How many Soviets did you see? If you happen to meet a Soviet, get his name and spell it right …. Can you set up a meeting for is? Or relay a message?’” Many CIA officials regarded these helpful journalists as operatives; the journalists tended to see themselves as trusted friends of the Agency who performed occasional favors—usually without pay—in the national interest.

      “I’m proud they asked me and proud to have done it,” said Joseph Alsop who, like his late brother, columnist Stewart Alsop, undertook clandestine tasks for the Agency. “The notion that a newspaperman doesn’t have a duty to his country is perfect balls.”

      From the Agency’s perspective, there is nothing untoward in such relationships, and any ethical questions are a matter for the journalistic profession to resolve, not the intelligence community. As Stuart Loory, former Los Angeles Times correspondent, has written in the Columbia Journalism Review: ‘If even one American overseas carrying a press card is a paid informer for the CIA, then all Americans with those credentials are suspect …. If the crisis of confidence faced by the news business—along with the government—is to be overcome, journalists must be willing to focus on themselves the same spotlight they so relentlessly train on others!’ But as Loory also noted: “When it was reported… that newsmen themselves were on the payroll of the CIA, the story caused a brief stir, and then was dropped.”

      During the 1976 investigation of the CIA by the Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by Senator Frank Church, the dimensions of the Agency’s involvement with the press became apparent to several members of the panel, as well as to two or three investigators on the staff. But top officials of the CIA, including former directors William Colby and George Bush, persuaded the committee to restrict its inquiry into the matter and to deliberately misrepresent the actual scope of the activities in its final report. The multivolurne report contains nine pages in which the use of journalists is discussed in deliberately vague and sometimes misleading terms. It makes no mention of the actual number of journalists who undertook covert tasks for the CIA. Nor does it adequately describe the role played by newspaper and broadcast executives in cooperating with the Agency.

      THE AGENCY’S DEALINGS WITH THE PRESS BEGAN during the earliest stages of the Cold War. Allen Dulles, who became director of the CIA in 1953, sought to establish a recruiting‑and‑cover capability within America’s most prestigious journalistic institutions. By operating under the guise of accredited news correspondents, Dulles believed, CIA operatives abroad would be accorded a degree of access and freedom of movement unobtainable under almost any other type of cover.

      American publishers, like so many other corporate and institutional leaders at the time, were willing to commit the resources of their companies to the struggle against “global Communism.” Accordingly, the traditional line separating the American press corps and government was often indistinguishable: rarely was a news agency used to provide cover for CIA operatives abroad without the knowledge and consent of either its principal owner, publisher or senior editor. Thus, contrary to the notion that the CIA insidiously infiltrated the journalistic community, there is ample evidence that America’s leading publishers and news executives allowed themselves and their organizations to become handmaidens to the intelligence services. “Let’s not pick on some poor reporters, for God’s sake,” William Colby exclaimed at one point to the Church committee’s investigators. “Let’s go to the managements. They were witting.” In all, about twenty‑five news organizations including those listed at the beginning of this article) provided cover for the Agency.

      In addition to cover capability, Dulles initiated a “debriefing” procedure under which American correspondents returning from abroad routinely emptied their notebooks and offered their impressions to Agency personnel. Such arrangements, continued by Dulles’ successors, to the present day, were made with literally dozens of news organizations. In the 1950s, it was not uncommon for returning reporters to be met at the ship by CIA officers. “There would be these guys from the CIA flashing ID cards and looking like they belonged at the Yale Club,” said Hugh Morrow, a former Saturday Evening Post correspondent who is now press secretary to former vice‑president Nelson Rockefeller. “It got to be so routine that you felt a little miffed if you weren’t asked.”

      CIA officials almost always refuse to divulge the names of journalists who have cooperated with the Agency. They say it would be unfair to judge these individuals in a context different from the one that spawned the relationships in the first place. “There was a time when it wasn’t considered a crime to serve your government,” said one high‑level CIA official who makes no secret of his bitterness. “This all has to be considered in the context of the morality of the times, rather than against latter‑day standards—and hypocritical standards at that.”

      Many journalists who covered World War II were close to people in the Office of Strategic Services, the wartime predecessor of the CIA; more important, they were all on the same side. When the war ended and many OSS officials went into the CIA, it was only natural that these relationships would continue. Meanwhile, the first postwar generation of journalists entered the profession; they shared the same political and professional values as their mentors. “You had a gang of people who worked together during World War II and never got over it,” said one Agency official. “They were genuinely motivated and highly susceptible to intrigue and being on the inside. Then in the Fifties and Sixties there was a national consensus about a national threat. The Vietnam War tore everything to pieces—shredded the consensus and threw it in the air.” Another Agency official observed: “Many journalists didn’t give a second thought to associating with the Agency. But there was a point when the ethical issues which most people had submerged finally surfaced. Today, a lot of these guys vehemently deny that they had any relationship with the Agency.”

      From the outset, the use of journalists was among the CIA’s most sensitive undertakings, with full knowledge restricted to the Director of Central Intelligence and a few of his chosen deputies. Dulles and his successors were fearful of what would happen if a journalist‑operative’s cover was blown, or if details of the Agency’s dealings with the press otherwise became public. As a result, contacts with the heads of news organizations were normally initiated by Dulles and succeeding Directors of Central Intelligence; by the deputy directors and division chiefs in charge of covert operations—Frank Wisner, Cord Meyer Jr., Richard Bissell, Desmond FitzGerald, Tracy Barnes, Thomas Karamessines and Richard Helms himself a former UPI correspondent); and, occasionally, by others in the CIA hierarchy known to have an unusually close social relationship with a particular publisher or broadcast executive.1

      James Angleton, who was recently removed as the Agency’s head of counterintelligence operations, ran a completely independent group of journalist‑operatives who performed sensitive and frequently dangerous assignments; little is known about this group for the simple reason that Angleton deliberately kept only the vaguest of files.

      The CIA even ran a formal training program in the 1950s to teach its agents to be journalists. Intelligence officers were “taught to make noises like reporters,” explained a high CIA official, and were then placed in major news organizations with help from management. “These were the guys who went through the ranks and were told ‘You’re going to he a journalist,’” the CIA official said. Relatively few of the 400‑some relationships described in Agency files followed that pattern, however; most involved persons who were already bona fide journalists when they began undertaking tasks for the Agency.

      The Agency’s relationships with journalists, as described in CIA files, include the following general categories:

      ■ Legitimate, accredited staff members of news organizations—usually reporters. Some were paid; some worked for the Agency on a purely voluntary basis. This group includes many of the best‑known journalists who carried out tasks for the CIA. The files show that the salaries paid to reporters by newspaper and broadcast networks were sometimes supplemented by nominal payments from the CIA, either in the form of retainers, travel expenses or outlays for specific services performed. Almost all the payments were made in cash. The accredited category also includes photographers, administrative personnel of foreign news bureaus and members of broadcast technical crews.)

      Two of the Agency’s most valuable personal relationships in the 1960s, according to CIA officials, were with reporters who covered Latin America—Jerry O’Leary of the Washington Star and Hal Hendrix of the Miami News, a Pulitzer Prize winner who became a high official of the International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation. Hendrix was extremely helpful to the Agency in providing information about individuals in Miami’s Cuban exile community. O’Leary was considered a valued asset in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Agency files contain lengthy reports of both men’s activities on behalf of the CIA.

      O’Leary maintains that his dealings were limited to the normal give‑and‑take that goes on between reporters abroad and their sources. CIA officials dispute the contention: “There’s no question Jerry reported for us,” said one. “Jerry did assessing and spotting [of prospective agents] but he was better as a reporter for us.” Referring to O’Leary’s denials, the official added: “I don’t know what in the world he’s worried about unless he’s wearing that mantle of integrity the Senate put on you journalists.”

      O’Leary attributes the difference of opinion to semantics. “I might call them up and say something like, ‘Papa Doc has the clap, did you know that?’ and they’d put it in the file. I don’t consider that reporting for them…. it’s useful to be friendly to them and, generally, I felt friendly to them. But I think they were more helpful to me than I was to them.” O’Leary took particular exception to being described in the same context as Hendrix. “Hal was really doing work for them,” said O’Leary. “I’m still with the Star. He ended up at ITT.” Hendrix could not be reached for comment. According to Agency officials, neither Hendrix nor O’Leary was paid by the CIA.

      ■ Stringers2 and freelancers. Most were payrolled by the Agency under standard contractual terms. Their journalistic credentials were often supplied by cooperating news organizations. some filed news stories; others reported only for the CIA. On some occasions, news organizations were not informed by the CIA that their stringers were also working for the Agency.

      ■ Employees of so‑called CIA “proprietaries.” During the past twenty‑five years, the Agency has secretly bankrolled numerous foreign press services, periodicals and newspapers—both English and foreign language—which provided excellent cover for CIA operatives. One such publication was the Rome Daily American, forty percent of which was owned by the CIA until the 1970s. The Daily American went out of business this year,

      ■ Editors, publishers and broadcast network executives. The CIAs relationship with most news executives differed fundamentally from those with working reporters and stringers, who were much more subject to direction from the Agency. A few executives—Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times among them—signed secrecy agreements. But such formal understandings were rare: relationships between Agency officials and media executives were usually social—”The P and Q Street axis in Georgetown,” said one source. “You don’t tell Wilharn Paley to sign a piece of paper saying he won’t fink.”

      ■ Columnists and commentators. There are perhaps a dozen well known columnists and broadcast commentators whose relationships with the CIA go far beyond those normally maintained between reporters and their sources. They are referred to at the Agency as “known assets” and can be counted on to perform a variety of undercover tasks; they are considered receptive to the Agency’s point of view on various subjects. Three of the most widely read columnists who maintained such ties with the Agency are C.L. Sulzberger of the New York Times, Joseph Alsop, and the late Stewart Alsop, whose column appeared in the New York Herald‑Tribune, the Saturday Evening Post and Newsweek. CIA files contain reports of specific tasks all three undertook. Sulzberger is still regarded as an active asset by the Agency. According to a senior CIA official, “Young Cy Sulzberger had some uses…. He signed a secrecy agreement because we gave him classified information…. There was sharing, give and take. We’d say, ‘Wed like to know this; if we tell you this will it help you get access to so‑and‑so?’ Because of his access in Europe he had an Open Sesame. We’d ask him to just report: ‘What did so‑and‑so say, what did he look like, is he healthy?’ He was very eager, he loved to cooperate.” On one occasion, according to several CIA officials, Sulzberger was given a briefing paper by the Agency which ran almost verbatim under the columnist’s byline in the Times. “Cycame out and said, ‘I’m thinking of doing a piece, can you give me some background?’” a CIA officer said. “We gave it to Cy as a background piece and Cy gave it to the printers and put his name on it.” Sulzberger denies that any incident occurred. “A lot of baloney,” he said.

      Sulzberger claims that he was never formally “tasked” by the Agency and that he “would never get caught near the spook business. My relations were totally informal—I had a goodmany friends,” he said. “I’m sure they consider me an asset. They can ask me questions. They find out you’re going to Slobovia and they say, ‘Can we talk to you when you get back?’ … Or they’ll want to know if the head of the Ruritanian government is suffering from psoriasis. But I never took an assignment from one of those guys…. I’ve known Wisner well, and Helms and even McCone [former CIA director John McCone] I used to play golf with. But they’d have had to he awfully subtle to have used me.

      Sulzberger says he was asked to sign the secrecy agreement in the 1950s. “A guy came around and said, ‘You are a responsible newsman and we need you to sign this if we are going to show you anything classified.’ I said I didn’t want to get entangled and told them, ‘Go to my uncle [Arthur Hays Sulzberger, then publisher of the New York Times] and if he says to sign it I will.’” His uncle subsequently signed such an agreement, Sulzberger said, and he thinks he did too, though he is unsure. “I don’t know, twenty‑some years is a long time.” He described the whole question as “a bubble in a bathtub.”

      Stewart Alsop’s relationship with the Agency was much more extensive than Sulzberger’s. One official who served at the highest levels in the CIA said flatly: “Stew Alsop was a CIA agent.” An equally senior official refused to define Alsop’s relationship with the Agency except to say it was a formal one. Other sources said that Alsop was particularly helpful to the Agency in discussions with, officials of foreign governments—asking questions to which the CIA was seeking answers, planting misinformation advantageous to American policy, assessing opportunities for CIA recruitment of well‑placed foreigners.

      “Absolute nonsense,” said Joseph Alsop of the notion that his brother was a CIA agent. “I was closer to the Agency than Stew was, though Stew was very close. I dare say he did perform some tasks—he just did the correct thing as an American…. The Founding Fathers [of the CIA] were close personal friends of ours. Dick Bissell [former CIA deputy director] was my oldest friend, from childhood. It was a social thing, my dear fellow. I never received a dollar, I never signed a secrecy agreement. I didn’t have to…. I’ve done things for them when I thought they were the right thing to do. I call it doing my duty as a citizen.

      Alsop is willing to discuss on the record only two of the tasks he undertook: a visit to Laos in 1952 at the behest of Frank Wisner, who felt other American reporters were using anti‑American sources about uprisings there; and a visit to the Phillipines in 1953 when the CIA thought his presence there might affect the outcome of an election. “Des FitzGerald urged me to go,” Alsop recalled. “It would be less likely that the election could be stolen [by the opponents of Ramon Magsaysay] if the eyes of the world were on them. I stayed with the ambassador and wrote about what happened.”

      Alsop maintains that he was never manipulated by the Agency. “You can’t get entangled so they have leverage on you,” he said. “But what I wrote was true. My view was to get the facts. If someone in the Agency was wrong, I stopped talking to them—they’d given me phony goods.” On one occasion, Alsop said, Richard Helms authorized the head of the Agency’s analytical branch to provide Alsop with information on Soviet military presence along the Chinese border. “The analytical side of the Agency had been dead wrong about the war in Vietnam—they thought it couldn’t be won,” said Alsop. “And they were wrong on the Soviet buildup. I stopped talking to them.” Today, he says, “People in our business would be outraged at the kinds of suggestions that were made to me. They shouldn’t be. The CIA did not open itself at all to people it did not trust. Stew and I were trusted, and I’m proud of it.”

      MURKY DETAILS OF CIA RELATIONSHIPS WITH INDIVIDUALS and news organizations began trickling out in 1973 when it was first disclosed that the CIA had, on occasion, employed journalists. Those reports, combined with new information, serve as casebook studies of the Agency’s use of journalists for intelligence purposes. They include:

      ■ The New York Times. The Agency’s relationship with the Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials. From 1950 to 1966, about ten CIA employees were provided Times cover under arrangements approved by the newspaper’s late publisher, Arthur Hays Sulzberger. The cover arrangements were part of a general Times policy—set by Sulzberger—to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible.

      Sulzberger was especially close to Allen Dulles. “At that level of contact it was the mighty talking to the mighty,” said a high‑level CIA official who was present at some of the discussions. “There was an agreement in principle that, yes indeed, we would help each other. The question of cover came up on several occasions. It was agreed that the actual arrangements would be handled by subordinates…. The mighty didn’t want to know the specifics; they wanted plausible deniability…..

    3. Peter – if you are worried about the rise of a dictator, then vote either Libertarian or Republican. Only those two parties work to limit the power of government.

      The Left seeks to expand it. If Trump were your captain, which helm would you want him to take, Big Government, or Limited Government.

      Think hard. I know this is a tough question.

    4. MEDIA ATTACKS ON TRUMP ARE ONE SIGN OF NUMEROUS RED FLAGS; INSTITUTIONALIZED BIAS AGAINST TRUMP IN GOVERNMENT AGENCIES ARE ANOTHER.
      NEWS STORIES ON THIS AND OTHER BREAKING NEWS AT 6.

  5. Upper middle class liberal types have no idea why many ordinary people mistrust and despise the MSM.

    In short, they often distort (or outright lie) if the prescribed narrative does not fit the template. Think of the coverage surrounding St. Travon Martin and George Zimmerman – the MSM repeatedly showed photos of Martin when he was 12 and Zimmerman was constantly referred to a “White Hispanic”.

    Similar to not understanding how someone like Trump beat Hillary Clinton (i.e. “the most qualified candidate since Thomas Jefferson.”)

    1. Haha. Excellent. Outside of the trump cult, no one mistrusts or despises the media. Unfortunately for the gullible rubes, dupes and klan-wannabees, facts are immutable; your uniformed opinion, not so much.

      this is to “but both the people I know agree with me” antonio

        1. A story from 1977 about Joseph Alsop, in 1953, and 400 other journalists over the course twenty-five years.

          You know, Kurtz, the CIA does demographics, economics and physical geography, to boot. How many CIA cartographers do you suppose were in the spy-game, Kurtz?

      1. Marky Mark Mark – you do remember that the KKK was made up of Democrats and members of the FBI? And frankly, the Democratic Party has just taken off the hoods. They are still running plantations and don’t you dare try to get off it.

        1. Roy Frankhauser said the KKK was only about half paid informants back in the 60s. Now they just sign up for the mailing list, since they pretty much never have rallies anymore and operate out of a post office box

    2. They just had another one recently where minorities were told it was an unlawful shooting, protested and rioted, but body cam showed the suspect reached for his weapon.

      Disgraceful, how the Democratic Party keeps convincing minorities we live in the Jim Crow era when we are really one of the least racist countries on Earth.

    3. Antonio……true abt. Obama’s favorite pretend son Trayvon, and George Zimmerman. MSNBC edited the 911 tape to make it sound as if Zimmerman brought up Trayvon’s race. That was a lie, of course. It was the 911 dispatcher who asked Zimmerman about the ethnicity/race of Trayvon.

      1. If George Zimmerman had been named Jorge Zimmerman instead, this incident might never have reached the news.

          1. Cindy & Allan,
            I thought that Martin might have been convicted of manslaughter….I don’t know if the prosecution gave the jury that option.
            The incidents involving Martin after his trial make me more inclined to question his story about his encounter with Martin, but of course the jury could not know how Martin would behave after being acquitted.
            He may have had different treatment if his name was Jorge instead of George, Allan.
            I would add that had been a white 17 year old that he killed, there’d be no counterpart to Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson to stir things up.

  6. Media in general is “under attack” because it too widely suffers an impertinence that has caused it to be disrespected. It’s become largely insignificant because too many of its major players have replaced dispassionate and unbiased reporting with partisanship and prejudice. By setting enlightenment and scholarship aside, too many voices spewing intolerance in the mainstream have only given themselves to leaving the unsuspecting even more uninformed and the malcontents ever more disgruntled.

    Trump should indeed cease his characterization of media as the enemy and instead focus his ire on those who wear their biases openly. Name names and leave them separate from those who truly are courageous journalists.

  7. “I agree with his criticism of some coverage as struggling to take the most negative view possible of his actions and policies. Even positive developments are often spinned in a way to denigrate the Administration.”

    *******************

    Seems the classic definition of the propagandist, which is, of course, the very
    definition of an enemy of the people. Just because they execute a constitutional right doesn’t make them a friend of the people. Until the bank robber enters the store, he’s executing is right to travel and done no crime but he’s morally bankrupt from the inception of the crime and as such an enemy of the people.

    Here’s to Trump not waiting until the Press is at the teller window with bad mask and a note.

    1. Are you sure that bank robbers fit the classical definition of the propagandist? Are you really sure?

  8. Yes, the media is the enemy of the people. So is a large bloc of the legal profession. So is most of academe. So is the social work and mental health trade.

    1. An otherwise perfectly intelligent person said, “Yes, the media is the enemy of the people. So is a large bloc of the legal profession. So is most of academe. So is the social work and mental health trade.”

      So. The people need heroes like Trump who will protect the people from educators, journalists, lawyers, social workers and mental health-care professionals. O! Brave new world without enemies of the people such as those.

  9. I commend to the attention of those so terribly worried by Trump’s repeated calls to fake news media the reply reputedly of Dollie Parton when she was asked if she was offended by dumb blond jokes.

    “No, ‘cause I’m not dumb, and I’m not blond.”

    So, if your news isn’t fake, he’s not talking about you.

  10. President Trump is 100% correct. The media has deteriorated to the point where America would be better off without it. The justice system is on the same plain.

  11. President Trump did not say The Media is the enemy of the people. He said the Fake News Media is the real enemy of the people. And he is correct.

    1. TBob

      The Fake News Media includes the right wing Fox News Network and The Washington Times, etc. These papers simply avoid reporting when Trump sticks his feet into his various mouths. Or, they juxtapose tirade with slams. But even Fox News had to recognize that Trump is Putin’s lap poodle.

      The biggest Fake News Media of all is Trump himself. Many people look to their leader for close to the last word on what’s up. In a normal Presidency when the President speaks one can discount the right or left bias, the ‘I tried but failed’ aspect of having lied about what he was going to do, and all the other unavoidable stuff. In general most people take what the President says as as close to the truth as can be.

      With Trump it has not become the opposite. When Trump speaks, it is not only fake statistics, data, news, but unwarranted blame, abuse, and buffoonery. When a President explains that he meant to say wouldn’t instead of would, especially when you compare the videos, nothing he says can be accepted as not fake. There’s a double negative that you can believe. When Trump speaks, any one who has a reasonable cognitive ability has to take it as a lie and then try and award credibility, try hard, spend some time searching. After a while, a time that has come for many, one simply discounts Trump as the liar he is and understands that sometimes he stumbles on the truth, but typically by accident or when it suits him. The man is as close to an idiot as one can get.

      1. Spoken like a true liberal nut! Obama’s fundamental change nearly destroyed this country. Along with the help of the media and Obamas court!
        People are fighting back. There’s no way we were turning our country over to HRCrookedC. God gave us president Trump to stand up to all of it. I like Mr Turley but he wrong here. The media is disgusting. They fawned over the Obama’s for 8 years ,why because of the color of theyre skin? The content of character was the problem. Anti American globalists in every way!
        Go straight to the source. Trumps twitter and the White House for truth. I will Not stand by and watch the Democrats continue this madness! Fight back in Nov. no more open borders no more abortion on demand no more Big Gov!!!
        God Bless America!

        1. More whataboutism. Is that it; that’s all you got? Pro tip: reddit is down the hall.

          this is to “plus, he was Kenyan, I think” gma

  12. An unbiased press yes not the current offering. No matter what this President does they find fault. If he met Putin and literally kicked his ass the msm would accuse him of starting war. JT constantly blames him for bringing the worst out in people, instead of faulting the worst people.

  13. In most respects my wife & I agree. We’re at the point we no longer watch the national news as it has become a nightly Trump bashing hour & we find it disgusting. It is a rarity to find any of the networks saying anything positive so we’ve given up on them and the vast majority of our friends feel the same way and no longer tune in.

    1. Like the man said, facts are a bitch.

      this is to “ya, he’s a traitorous imbecile, but at least he’s white” brucie

      1. That’s what I like about Joe Biden, I mean, at least he’s white. LOL. If he can stay out of the bottle he might be a good candidate for the Dems, come to think of it. Better than “Kamala” whatsername

          1. he’s just a touchy feely Irishman, prolly just a little inebriated.
            I like the guy, honestly, more than most democrats by far

              1. Ah, Biden. He was always more interested in plagiarizing than chasing girls, btw.
                Also, he got the nod for VP right after he had his son Beau, AG of Delaware, arrest
                supposed former lover of Obama, Larry Sinclair, in DC. (Yes, in DC) Sinclair was in jail long enough for the dust to settle down from his press conference and story about being Obama’s lover and drug partner. A few days later, the authorities let him go. He was never told why he was arrested. And it was just a coincidence that, out of the blue, a week or so later, Biden became VP pick, right?

  14. I totally disagree with you, Professor. Media that deliberately misleads the populace by omission, dishonest headlines, blatantly false “news” items that go around social media a thousand times followed by corrections that nobody takes notice of, constant calls for resistance, violence, physical harm/death to the president, – this media is indeed an enemy of the people. Ever hear of JournoList?

    Why can’t they report the actual news truthfully and objectively, and let the people decide? This is obviously deliberate manipulation of the people of this country by a bunch of butthurt jerks who can’t get over the fact that they lost an election.

    Look at the commenters on this blog and elsewhere – nothing but canned talking points to smear and delegitimize our president. FFS, find a good candidate and have another go at it in 2020.

  15. It’s important to note that almost all journalists self-identify as liberals or Democrats. Taking into account Trump’s problems with words, I have to agree with him. The Press and their behavior are a huge threat to our Freedoms because they represent only 1/2 of the population at best and worse still have become partisans in advancing an agenda – something that is very un-journalistic. You are correct that the 1st amendment protects their free speech, but I think you should be speaking up less about Trump’s problems with words (this is no longer news…everyone should realize that this is who he is and it isn’t going to change) and focus at least as much on the threat posed by our media’s partisan actions.

  16. “However, this country owes a huge debt to journalists who have courageously revealed government abuse and corruption for decades in our system. We have real enemies in this world and our strength is based in no small part to those who report on our government.”
    True to some extent Mr. Turley, but that came to an end with the election of Barack Obama and even during his first campaign.

    1. Very few and far between right now! The last administration spied on journalists! Where was the outrage? Not to be found! Other so called journalists didn’t say a word.

    2. True to some extent Mr. Turley,

      See Joseph Sobran’s assessment of the major media as it was in 1984: if Walter Mondale is elected, he’ll be attacked by the media, too – but from the left.

        1. What I’m referring to had nothing to do with his complaints about his dismissal and antedated his disputes with Buckley by several years.

          You’re like Autumn. You cannot help yourself from returning to certain subjects, even if it be completely irrelevant.

  17. A free and independent press isn’t the enemy of the people, but a captured propaganda agent press is most certainly the enemy of the people. C’mon, do you not think Joesph Goebbels was the enemy of the German people???

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  18. Dear Donald, we know who the enemy of the people and we hear he’s a great friend of Putin’s. It’s you!

    Now let the fun begin.

    1. Indeed. This pusillanimous rendtion from Mr Turley is a prima facie example of not being able to see the woods for the trees. Perhaps a case of being lost in the “woulds”.

      The evidence for Trump’s perfidy is piling up like snow in winter. This is not, however, confined to the Orange Overlord himself, there is a spread of Russian influence on many Republican operatives; a wannabe congressman and the NRA which is the main funder and fulcrum of this ruined party’s bona fides. Just a travesty.

      It’s almost as if in Turley’s mind that Mueller investigation is too hot to handle and thus it is ignored in the hope that the ultimate truth somehow miracuously goes away. If the crooked Republicans in Congress don’t manage to stymie the investigation then he will be sorely disabused of this ostrich- like negligence and the truth will set him free… whether he likes it or not.

      1. Prescribing one gram of cocaine, snorted, and a handful of adderal to help soothe your nerves. Wash it down with a liter of covefe and you may feel better.

      2. Not to be conspiratorial, but I think Turley hopes Kavanaugh will be confirmed and he (Turley) will be nominated for that seat on the DC Circuit. So, he’s tempering his criticisms if he’s making them at all. He’s a Federalist Society guy, so he could appeal to DJT.

    2. It’s every Democrat and self subscribed communist ! That’s who!
      Uranium one! Palettes of cash to Iran. Come on!!!

      1. Haha. Now I get it. Sorry about treatise above, I thought you were serious. Nice work, you pulled me offsides. I love a good trolling. Plus 1.

        to gma

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