Barr and BuzzFeed: What Two Stories Reveal About Coverage and Commentary In The Age Of Trump

Below is my column on the concerns raised about the media coverage from last week. As I have stated, my concern is not with the BuzzFeed story per se, but how it was used to start a feeding frenzy of speculation. The treatment of the two major stories of last week (the Barr and BuzzFeed stories) speaks volumes about the consistent pattern of coverage and commentary in the age of Trump.

Here is the column:

In “The Sun Also Rises,” Ernest Hemingway has a line that says as much about him as the character in the novel: “You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.”

The line could easily fit many in the media and Congress this past week, when they moved from one major story at the start of the week (the nomination of William Barr to become attorney general) to another at the end (the controversy about a BuzzFeed News story making allegations against President Trump).

In one week, many journalists and members of Congress showed bias in coming to two diametrically different conclusions regarding these two stories.

After denouncing a memorandum written by Barr – which was deemed positive to Trump –  as wild speculation, journalists and Trump opponents then embraced a single, uncorroborated story against Trump as the long-awaited “slam dunk” for Trump’s demise.

The week began with the various experts and commentators excoriating Barr for a memorandum in which he discussed in detail the legal implications of Special Counsel Robert Mueller examining whether the president’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey could be considered obstruction of justice.

The week ended with the same media outlets and experts discussing the imminent start of impeachment proceedings or even the resignation of President Trump over a single story in BuzzFeed that was later refuted in the first such public statement from Mueller’s office.

Moving from one story to another made little difference, as Hemingway once observed.

The statement from Mueller’s office shot down the BuzzFeed story alleging there was evidence that the president had told his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.

The statement from Mueller’s office said: “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.”

Public attention is now focused on how TV news hosts and legal experts have struggled to defend their prior predictions of doom for the president.

It has become all too common for us to see and read breathless media accounts about the sky falling on Donald Trump and his presidency. The BuzzFeed case of uncorroborated reporting was just the latest “smoking gun” story supposedly showing wrongdoing by the president.

The contrast in the coverage with the Barr and BuzzFeed stories is telling and is another black mark against the media and Trump critics.

It has become all too common for us to see and read breathless media accounts about the sky falling on Donald Trump and his presidency. The BuzzFeed case of uncorroborated reporting was just the latest “smoking gun” story supposedly showing wrongdoing by the president.

I testified Wednesday at the Senate confirmation hearing for Barr, supporting his confirmation. I have known Barr – a former attorney general under President George H.W. Bush – for many years and know he is extraordinarily qualified to become attorney general again.

One of the most common criticisms of Democratic senators and legal experts before and at the hearing was that Barr acted improperly in writing a long and comprehensive memorandum to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on one of the commonly disclosed grounds for possible criminal charges against Trump: obstruction of justice, linked to the president’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

News organizations – including CNN, MSNBC and The New York Times – ran stories and opinion pieces on how Barr’s focus on obstruction of justice was “bizarre” and “strange” and how it was that was “based entirely on made-up facts.”

These criticism were wrong. Many of these same critics have explored the same possible use of the law against the obstruction of justice before and after Barr’s memo came out.

Obstruction of justice is clearly one of the core potential crimes Mueller is investigating – and the Comey firing is one of the core acts under investigation.

One could therefore understand if Barr is a bit confused. While his memorandum was still being attacked as reckless speculation, the media went into a free-for-all over the imminent use of subornation of perjury as the charge against President Trump.

This was based on a BuzzFeed story with virtually no specific evidence or corroboration beyond a supposed leak from two federal officials reportedly connected to the special counsel’s investigation.

That does not mean that all of the story is wrong. Indeed, many of us previously explored the possible use of subornation of perjury allegations against Trump. That is the point.

While the analysts were irresponsible to assume a “slam dunk” of a criminal case, there was nothing irresponsible in exploring the use of that criminal provision as a basis for either indictment or impeachment of the president.

That brings us back to the treatment of Barr and his memo. Critics like Miklaila Fogel and Benjamin Wittes wrote that Barr’s exploration of the basis for an obstruction charge based on the Comey firing was “laying out the argument that Bob Mueller has made up a crime to investigate, the document is based entirely on made-up facts.”

Of course, Lawfare Editor Wittes explored the very same theory in columns before and after he wrote that criticism.

Likewise, Georgetown University Law Professor Martin Lederman wrote: “Barr was simply conjuring from whole cloth a preposterously long set of assumptions about how Special Counsel Mueller was adopting extreme and unprecedented-within-DOJ views about every pertinent question and investigatory decision.”

In reality, the firing of Comey was the impetus for many (including me) in calling for the appointment of a special counsel. Witnesses have confirmed that they have been questioned by Mueller’s team on the facts and possible motivation for the firing.

Moreover, it has been widely reported that former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein opened an obstruction of justice investigation into the Comey firing shorting before handing over the investigation to the special counsel.

Despite the ample public record and literally thousands of articles and blogs on the obstruction theory, Barr was attacked for making unsupported assumptions in a memorandum simply exploring the possible implications of extending the scope of obstruction,

Notably, Barr stated upfront that he was “in the dark” about what Special Counsel Mueller is planning. The time to raise such concerns is before any charge or allegations is brought by the Justice Department to encourage consideration of these countervailing issues.

Otherwise, these difficult questions might have to be litigated after the release of charges or a report without a full understanding of the position of the Justice Department. That was the responsible thing to do.

The BuzzFeed coverage shows the double standard that is being applied to people like Barr. While any report is treated as ample basis for calling for resignations or impeachment investigations, a scholarly memorandum sent to Justice Department officials on one insular issue of law is deemed “strange” and “irresponsible.”

It is doubtful that Barr would have faced the same criticism if he wrote to Rosenstein how obstruction provisions provide ample foundation for any charge related to an improper firing by Trump. It was the conclusions, not the assumptions, of Barr that seemed to trigger the negative response he received.

In the end, it is perfectly appropriate to consider the legal basis for either an obstruction or subornation charge against Trump. Indeed, such charges could well be established by the evidence found by the special counsel – or it might not.

Ironically, if there is subornation of perjury evidence against the president, Bill Barr is precisely the attorney general that these critics should want confirmed.

While scrupulously ignored by many of his critics, Barr repeatedly stated in writing and in testimony that he believed a president could commit obstruction in office. He expressly disagreed with members of President Trump’s legal team in their position that the Constitution makes an obstruction theory impossible for conduct by a sitting president.

Barr also expressly stated that if a president encouraged anyone to lie to Congress, it would be a federal crime.C

If a president is to be impeached or even indicted, it will be a deeply traumatic moment for our country, which remains deeply divided on all issues involving Trump. If that moment comes, it will be a figure like Barr who can assure the public on both sides that the action is based on the legal analysis and not political animus.

In the meantime, both members of Congress and the media might want to reconsider their attacks against the Barr memorandum following the feeding frenzy surrounding the BuzzFeed article.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro professor of public Iiterest law at George Washington University and a practicing criminal defense attorney.

105 thoughts on “Barr and BuzzFeed: What Two Stories Reveal About Coverage and Commentary In The Age Of Trump”

  1. The infotainment of the MSM is out of control, granted that much is true. Then again if the so-called liberal media had done it’s job Trump would not have come close to being the nominee. The press never warmed to HRC, and at times right out hostile. Never giving time to other candidates. So we all go to our corners and come out fighting. And newspapers and local TV stations make huge amounts of money. And the cable news services hire talking heads to tell us what they don’t know. Whats the answer? Get as much information as you can, and use your common sense. If you’re so granted.

    1. Actually, the MSM was pretty hostile to Trump from the beginning of his candidacy.
      But it seemed to backfire, and that negative coverage of Trump may have actually helped him get the nomination.

    2. “The infotainment of the MSM is out of control, granted that much is true.”

      It seems Fishwings put on his thinking cap.

      “Then again if the so-called liberal media had done it’s job Trump would not have come close to being the nominee. ”

      This sounds as if you understand that the Liberal media is biased toward the Democratic Party. One should add that if the politicians of the day (on both sides) had done their jobs Trump would never have been necessary and would never have run.

      “The press never warmed to HRC, and at times right out hostile.”

      Considering what an awful candidate HRC was and how awful she acted the press treated her quite well. The press hammered Trump but he was smart and used the press to the best of his ability and won. It didn’t help the Democrats that it appeared HRC colluded to prevent Bernie Sanders from acheiving victory even if that is what the majority of Democrats might have wanted.

      ” use your common sense”

      Good statement but common sense relies on facts many of which should be repeated on the blog when rendering an opinion.

  2. WHY DOES TRUMP GET BAD PRES?

    THE ANSWER CAN BE FOUND IN SCIENTOLOGY

    For almost 50 years the Church of Scientology has complained of biased coverage by mainstream media. According to church officials, mainstream media has conspired to portray the church as a flaky, fraudulent cult. Which is unfair, the church claims, because Scientology has the capacity to ‘improve people’s lives’. ‘Individuals with a host of different problems could benefit from Scientology’s insights’.

    However progressive Scientology claims to be, it’s founder, L.Ron Hubbard remains steeped in controversy. The trajectory of his career casts doubts on the church. Hubbard went from Science Fiction writer to founding a Science Fiction church; or so it would appear to any discerning critic. What’s more Mr Hubbard resembles a villain in every photograph ever taken. The features of his face are simply not appealing to any camera lens.

    Like Mr Hubbard, Donald Trump looks nefarious; a man of 72 with long, yellow hair forming an unnatural shape. What’s more, Trump is often seen wearing orange make-up that only deepens the impression he is totally eccentric.

    Trump also has a habit of glowering in public; or making dismissive faces with intense disdain. These expressions look terrible in photographs. Trump resembles a buffoon! Therefore when he tweets irrational attacks on individuals and institutions Trump sounds like the buffoon he resembles.

    If Trump could sound rationale in public, he might soften concerns about his mental health. But Trump frequently makes false claims that are easily debunked. Trump often references people with hostile nicknames and displays a wanton disregard for facts and proven science. All these qualities magnify Trump’s image as an eccentric buffoon.

    One might pause to draw comparisons to former president Jimmy Carter. Carter, like Trump, generally suffered from a negative media coverage. However intelligent and well-intentioned, Carter often projected a weak, uncertain image.

    To begin with Carter seemed to age a year for every month of his presidency. His boyish good looks soon gave way to a deeply troubled face. God he looked worried! Carter even developed a tic that caused his eyebrows to tremble. That and Carter’s stammering drawl convinced the public he needed a very long vacation. Reagan, by contrast, seemed so, so relaxed.

    In his youth Donald Trump was a handsome, dashing figure. To an entire generation Trump embodied the glamorous New York playboy. But somewhere along the way he lost his face and mind. Trump is now like the fictional Norma Desmond of Billy Wilder’s “Sunset Boulevard”.

    Like Desmond, Trump is now an aging megalomaniac with no grasp of reality. At this point, we half-expect Trump to leave the White House as Desmond left her mansion; walking grandly down the stairway, in a state of total madness, as dismayed police react.

      1. Mr.Kurtz,…
        Ironically, I was thinking that Peter’s “voice analysis software” he claimed to have a week or two ago was based on, or somehow related to, the official religion of Hollywood, Scientology.
        They have these “auditing” methods they use, I guess to diagnose all that ails you in your life. So I thought maybe his voice analysis diagnostic software was somehow connected with the State Religion where he resides.
        Re Trump; he’s still big, it’s the hotels and resorts that have gotten small.😉☺😂

        1. Tom, you’re right, Scientology is a very prominent owner of buildings on Hollywood Boulevard. They have, however, been good neighbors. Their buildings are always well-maintained with plenty of foot traffic and security.

  3. The reason no one wants to Impeach Trump is obvious…. Pence. He’s a wet spineless noodle who stands behind Trump through all the discourse with a puppetized smile on his goony face. He is as culpable as Trump in what has happened and is happening to this Country….he has no real authority and never will. He will be a door to the same fascist behavior regardless…

    1. thats a good video thanks. i will just hold my nose over mista bojangles and all the other cultural appropriations in there, most incorrect!

    2. Dear Ms. Becka Gee, Just because you have a history of being with “wet spineless noodle” boyfriends, please do not take that out on VP Pence. Maybe ask yourself why your boyfriends have wet noodles – perhaps some ball-busting on your part? And what has “happened and is happening to this Country” – or is it just in your head i.e. haunted by Evil Boogeyman Trump? Does Becka need a hug? ….not it.

      1. Dude, you are wasting your emotional triggerfinger….you don’t know me and my/if/what?/boyfriends from anything.
        I stand by my statement. Pence has not utterred a word against the retarded behaviors occurring in the upper reaches of our Governance. Check out any vid on the Presidents appearances w/said Pence and note the loyal puppy at heel with wide eyes of his great benefactor.

    3. Becka, do you have any idea of what fascism is? Basically the Progressive agenda is quite close to a fascistic agenda. Bigger government and less individualism is a major part of both fascism and Progressivism.

      1. I know that i don’t have any desire to repeat the mistakes that led to the fascist horrors of the Nazi occupations. And I know that it’s repetition won’t look the same and the actors won’t be the same as before…we need to be vigilant on BOTH sides of the aisle….which is not likely to happen when those sides are so bent on opposing each other that every laughing evil siphons itself through the fog while our so-called ‘Governance’ picks at it’s own scabs…..

        1. Becka, I worry about the extreme right but it is very small and many of those considered to be on the extreme right promote leftist policies,. Think of Richard Spencer (not Robert Spencer). If one looks at the history of socialism and fascism one can easily see those ideas are represented on the left. More government, less individualism and less free speech among other things is what today is being advocated. There is a difference between the Democratic party of today and mid last century. There is even a great difference between the Democratic Party of today and a decade ago. This doesn’t mean I find the Republican Party so pleasant, but I believe there is a more diverse ideology in the Republican Party than there is in the Democratic Party that is able to speak with one voice. Most prominent would be the difference between people like the Koch’s and the Freedom Caucus or the Trumpites vs the never Trumpers.

          I don’t see the presentation of principal of most people on the left that write on this blog so I appreciate it when people say what you did above. If you believe in those words you wrote you would be against the violent actions of antifa just like we both would be against the violent actions of Nazi’s, racists, etc.

          I wish we talked more in terms of what we want and explored what those things mean. Who doesn’t want everyone to have access to good healthcare? Who doesn’t want intact families with happy children and loving parents? Who doesn’t want peace? Who doesn’t want the right to fulfill one’s dreams? All this stuff is summed up in our Declaration of Independence: “life, liberty and happiness (property)”. We all want the same endpoints. We disagree on the means because the means are tricky. Look at the means used by Hitler, Stalin and Mao.

          1. “If you believe in those words you wrote you would be against the violent actions of antifa just like we both would be against the violent actions of Nazi’s, racists, etc.”

            I do and I don’t condone or support the violence perpetrated by Antifa or the far right either, be they homophobic haters who discharge by violence against homosexuals, even subliminally, or the MAGA morons who use violent rhetoric to denounce those who are angry at being victimized…but mostly those evil cretins who play the violent Right against the violent Left so they can capitalize in power and profit….we are all guilty and victims now. You are correct I think, the far right IS the far left and the snake bites its own tail…..it is still a snake….will we choose growth or evil?

            1. Becka, what did you say when Milo was prevented from speaking? Add to that some other prominent voices, David Horowitz, Robert Spencer, Ann Coulter, Dinesh D’Souza, etc. What about all those people where the IRS inappropriately denied them the tax status they were entitled to? What about all those people inappropriately unmasked? The questions abound so I will hold off on the pages of questions I could ask.

              “MAGA morons who use violent rhetoric to denounce those who are angry at being victimized”

              The number in this group is so small as not to be of significance. Instead we see the opposite. Think of the Catholic School students that were victimized by a black group and an American Indian while peacfully waiting for their bus. Fortunately a full tape of the event was recorded but we saw how the news media demonized those children that behaved perfectly. The school had to close down from the threats and when one of the children was interviewed by CBS another group called for a boycot against CBS for its interview that showed the other side because the student had tremendous self control. The threats these kids are facing is amazing and likely it will impact their lives in later years even though they did nothing wrong.

              The right does not accept the extreme right’s agenda. The left accepts the extreme left’s agenda and we can see that daily in the actions of our politicians and the MSM. If you want to think about the process involved then compare the French Revolution to the American Revolution and make note of the stark differences not just in heads being cut off but in the behavior and how the two differernt revolutions were philosophically virtually 180 degrees different from one another. Today the left acts like those in the French Revolution.

              1. “Think of the Catholic School students that were victimized by a black group and an American Indian while peacfully waiting for their bus. Fortunately a full tape of the event was recorded but we saw how the news media demonized those children that behaved perfectly. ”

                I totally concur. That young man stood his ground and was eloquent later on when asked about the situation. I did not agree that the Indian was without …can’t think of a word, but he exploited his ‘cultural position’ to forward an agenda in a less than honest manner. The black group was being aggressive…that doesn’t erase the slights against them n previous generations…and we have to guard from taking on our forefathers angst because the world actually is different now. Now the banks and other profiteers and those who undermine laws hurt everyone……..

                1. Becka, though we can remember the past and try to change the future we can’t change the past and those that were injured for the most part are dead and buried. We have to learn to get past what happened and work towards the future. Anything else is destuctive.

                  Take note how the media didn’t bother to research what happened to those students. They showed support for Trump so immediately they are considered bad and targets. This happens all the time to people that are on the right. The MAGA hat is part of our freedom of speech. These kids were verbally attacked just because of that. We shouldn’t excuse anyone for such inappropriate actions but these types of offenses against the right are excused all the time.

  4. IS TURLEY ASSUMING HERE..??

    The statement from Mueller’s office shot down the BuzzFeed story alleging there was evidence that the president had told his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.

    The statement from Mueller’s office said: “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate”.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    The Special Counsel’s statement reads as it reads: Buzzfeed’s description is “not accurate”.
    But nowhere does it say: “Trump never told Michael Cohen to lie”. So why does Professor Turley claim Mueller’s office, “shot down the Buzzfeed story”..??

    A news story, or investigative report, could be 90% accurate but wrong on certain points. And I am sure that much of the news we consume is ‘not’ completely accurate. A certain amount of speculation creeps into even the best journalism. That is, to a large extent, the nature of journalism.

    As readers we naturally wonder: “Where is this development going?”. “How will this impact events?” “Who will benefit from this?” “Who is likely to lose?” Good journalists attempt to answer these questions with a certain degree of speculation. Savvy consumers understand this.

    If news stories began and ended with only established facts, consumers might never guess the significance of an event. We might not reckon, for instance, that an explosion at an oil refinery will cause gas prices to spike. The journalist can not say for certain that gas prices will indeed spike. So technically that ‘spike’ is only speculation. It is, however, a very logical outcome of the refinery explosion.

    Even if Trump can somehow prove he never told Michael Cohen to lie, the larger story involving Trump Tower Moscow appears to be true. By Trump’s own admission, he kept that project on a back-burner throughout the election season. That is highly significant!

    It illustrates that Trump had essential conflicts regarding Putin and Russia. Which adds weight to the narrative that ‘Trump was compromised’. That grave possibility is at the heart of Robert Mueller’s probe.

  5. It’s easy to differentiate and which one’s to disregard out of hand. When they do offer what they consider to be ‘proof’ it turns out to be unsubstantiated uncorroborated from unknown sources and is therefore worthless propaganda regardless

    It’s also easy to tell which are the trolls, the robo clones and those from foreign sources the level of illiteracy is different than the illiterates with a USA social promotion and they tend to . towards regurgitating the current party line but with more porn and smut than the foreign programming.

    Key giveaways.

    1. ‘unknown sources.’

    2. using alleged, purported and reportedly which means no proofs just reference to some other robo clone.

    3. Repeating something from two or three years ago with the same characteristics such as the Judge Moore allegations where even the bimbos disappeared and no LEA, DA, or Judicial individual or entity ever accepted or legitimized the allegations to this day.

    Say it three times and ignore the rejections and side step the call for facts and proof they claim success. But only if they have misread 77 Fallacies or applied the kind of reasoning found in books like See The Elephant.

    Probably doesn’t exist anymore but in my day any high school student trained in debate (Standard in English class) either prepared and given without notes or impromptu would eat their lunch these days and leave them crying like ratz eating onions.

    Note? Rats like onions but I’ve yet to find a replacement other than……illiterates.

    1. Humans are always looking for formulae….sometimes that’s the biggest trap of all…the World is a random place and formula is not always a square peg in a square hole. That’s one reason profiling is a slippery slope and computers are becoming monsters…..

  6. What this really shows is there is no interest in the Constitution regarding Barr’s record. There are no progressive or even truly libertarian voices allowed in the discussion. We instead get a fake show to whip up various bases of the uniparty.

    No person who values our Constitution can support Barr. “As Barr begins the confirmation process, senators must question Barr on his record regarding the right to privacy and the Fourth Amendment — which raises serious concerns about his suitability to be attorney general. Barr has violated or supported violations of Americans constitutional rights, leaving a disastrous legacy of warrantless spying and government abuse.” This is from the ACLU and there is definitely propaganda in their article, propaganda designed to whip up the Democratic base.

    However the facts remain that Barr was/is onboard with illegal, unconstitutional surveillance of our population. I don’t care which political “side” of the uniparty you’re on, that should not be acceptable to Americans.

    1. “No person who values our Constitution can support Barr….”

      Apparently Jill is uniformed as to the job description of the Attorney General.

  7. So now Giuliani is claiming that he listened to all of the tapes that Cohen made and that SDNY seized from Cohen and the Special Master said were not privileged including the one’s on which Trump waived privilege and that’s how Giuliani knew that there were no tapes to back up the claim made in the BuzzFeed story. Well, yes, of course, Giuliani would listen to all of the tapes to which he could listen.

    Here’s the problem: Those tapes were given to SDNY. Those tapes were never given to Mueller’s office. Consequently, the absence of corroboration for BuzzFeed’s story on any of those tapes in no way entails that Giuliani could have known ahead of time the content of statements that Mueller’s office obtained from Cohen. In fact, the tapes are not even relevant to Giuliani’s foreknowledge of the statement’s Mueller obtained from Cohen. And that means that Giuliani still does not know what he isn’t supposed to know, anyhow; namely, the content of statements that Cohen made to Mueller’s office.

    Now here’s the point: Because Giuliani does not know the content of Cohen’s statement’s to Mueller, therefore Giuliani still has no alibi for his foreknowledge of the inaccuracy of the descriptions and characterizations of BuzzFeeds story about Cohen’s statements to Mueller’s office. And that means that Giuliani almost certainly had a hand in planting those inaccurate description and characterization in BuzzFeed’s story about Cohen’s statements to Mueller’s office.

    1. One more point: Citing the tapes as an alibi for Giuliani’s foreknowledge of the inaccuracy of BuzzFeed’s story comes awfully close to an acknowledging that Giuliani, himself, suspected Trump of having suborned perjury from Cohen. Or maybe Giuliani was just doing the due diligence thing.

      1. Trite4Dung wrote: “One more point”

        you mean there IS a point to your comments? Now that IS news.

        Link please to Buzz-feed substantiating your talking “points”

    2. I thought I was smart but I guess not because I can’t understand what you are trying to say. But maybe I am just dumb. So nice job layering innuendo and speculation under layers of complicated and grammatically awkward fluff

  8. ” As I have stated, my concern is not with the BuzzFeed story per se, but how it was used to start a feeding frenzy of speculation. “

    Isn’t that what happened with the Steele Dossier?

    1. And any other dozen of Trump-is-done feeding frenzies the media has latched on to each time. literally singing with glee and showing their extreme bias against him.
      All supposed neutral reporters and anchors now have a paradigm that has become the new normal, and it is not neutral reporting.

      1. It’s true that virtually all patriotic Americans are biased against any criminogenic, traitorous, dishonest, unethical and immoral person, no matter what their position in life. This one happens to currently be the President of the United States. So, any “bias” held by patriots against the day glo bozo is completely and utterly understandable and reasonable.

        this is to “but that’s not how hannity described it to me last night” gee gee

  9. Turley is right ( again). But I would have added a THIRD media story: the sensational coverage of the Covington Catholic students. I watched the entire nearly two-hour video. I believe, unequivocally, that if some of the students were not wearing MAGA hats, this would have been a non-story. I challenge any reader to go back and find a media report that does NOT mention the MAGA hats. Conversely, conspicuously-absent from the (original) coverage is any mention or video of the unequivocal and escalating provocation from the Black Hebrew Israelites and their taunts: “your president [Trump ] is homosexual.” “you are the result of incest,” “you are all future school shooterd,” “go back to Europe, this is not your country,” etc. It is hard to NOT conclude that they intended to start trouble with more vulnerable teenagers. Moreover, Phillips (the native American indian) told at least two different versions of his involvement, the truth of which came out to bear in the LONG version of the video, showing him walking directly at the students, banging on his drum. The tainted mainstream media dare not criticize blacks or native Americans unless they are FORCED to by a vigilant public. We can expect biased coverage from MSNBC, CNN, and FOX. But WE ALL NEED TO SPEAK OUT AGAINST SLANTEC MAINSTREAM MEDIA (NBC, ABC, CBS, NPR).

  10. Which dumpster fire should be reported and how it should be reported will always be an issue. The heat and aroma may be pleasing or repugnant.

    1. David B. Benson

      Barr obviously has many cheerleaders in the Deep State, but here are a few things they don’t won’t you to know about him:

      Barr was a full-time CIA operative, recruited by Langley out of high school, starting in 1971. Barr’s youth career goal was to head the CIA.
      CIA operative assigned to the China directorate, where he became close to powerful CIA operative George H.W. Bush, whose accomplishments already included the CIA/Cuba Bay of Pigs, Asia CIA operations (Vietnam War, Golden Triangle narcotics), Nixon foreign policy (Henry Kissinger), and the Watergate operation.
      When George H.W. Bush became CIA Director in 1976, Barr joined the CIA’s “legal office” and Bush’s inner circle, and worked alongside Bush’s longtime CIA enforcers Theodore “Ted” Shackley, Felix Rodriguez, Thomas Clines, and others, several of whom were likely involved with the Bay of Pigs/John F. Kennedy assassination, and numerous southeast Asian operations, from the Phoenix Program to Golden Triangle narco-trafficking.
      Barr stonewalled and destroyed the Church Committee investigations into CIA abuses.
      Barr stonewalled and stopped inquiries in the CIA bombing assassination of Chilean opposition leader Orlando Letelier.
      Barr joined George H.W. Bush’s legal/intelligence team during Bush’s vice presidency (under President Ronald Reagan) Rose from assistant attorney general to Chief Legal Counsel to attorney general (1991) during the Bush 41 presidency.
      Barr was a key player in the Iran-Contra operation, if not the most important member of the apparatus, simultaneously managing the operation while also “fixing” the legal end, ensuring that all of the operatives could do their jobs without fear of exposure or arrest.
      In his attorney general confirmation, Barr vowed to “attack criminal organizations”, drug smugglers and money launderers. It was all hot air: as AG, Barr would preserve, protect, cover up, and nurture the apparatus that he helped create, and use Justice Department power to escape punishment.
      Barr stonewalled and stopped investigations into all Bush/Clinton and CIA crimes, including BCCI and BNL CIA drug banking, the theft of Inslaw/PROMIS software, and all crimes of state committed by Bush
      Barr provided legal cover for Bush’s illegal foreign policy and war crimes
      Barr left Washington, and went through the “rotating door” to the corporate world, where he took on numerous directorships and counsel positions for major companies. In 2007 and again from 2017, Barr was counsel for politically-connected international law firm Kirkland & Ellis. Among its other notable attorneys and alumni are Kenneth Starr, John Bolton, Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and numerous Trump administration attorneys. K&E’s clients include sex trafficker/pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, and Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital.
      A strong case can be made that William Barr was as powerful and important a figure in the Bush apparatus as any other, besides Poppy Bush himself.

      1. Impressive!

        That just one man could do all that!

        Probably shot JFK from the grassy knoll as well. A true John Wayne sharpshooter!

        1. David B Benson

          His patron, Poppy Bush was never invited to the Reagans’ private quarters in the WHouse because Mrs. Reagan believed that he had something to do with the attempted assassination of President Reagan.

          GHWBush gave conflicting accounts about his activities on 11/22/63 – but as a researcher, you probably already knew that.

      2. Barr stonewalled and destroyed the Church Committee investigations into CIA abuses

        Barr was a 25 year old law student at the time of the Church Committee investigations.

        Barr stonewalled and stopped inquiries in the CIA bombing assassination of Chilean opposition leader Orlando Letelier.

        Letelier was killed by Chilean security services and the principal perp was convicted in 1978 for the crime. Barr was a young lawyer in Washington at the time, having been admitted to the bar the previous year.

        Letelier was never ‘the opposition leader’. He was just a Chilean exile who had held a cabinet position in that country.

      3. globalresearch.ca website is weak and getting weaker of late.
        and larry chin’s articles are about the worst. seriously.
        for a guy who likes conspiracy theories that one just gave me a headache

        no specifics just a laundry list of associational innuendoes.

  11. News flash! Partisan Democrats are unserious and intellectually dishonest and do not offer arguments in good faith. Ever.

  12. Turley wrote, “This was based on a BuzzFeed story with virtually no specific evidence or corroboration beyond a supposed leak from two federal officials reportedly connected to the special counsel’s investigation.”

    IIRC, BuzzFeed reported that their sources were “familiar with the investigation of Cohen.” Being familiar with the investigation of Cohen is not the same thing as being “connected to the special counsel’s investigation.” There have been no reports about Mueller firing anybody for leaking this story to BuzzFeed. That means that the leakers don’t work for Mueller. Of course, there have been no reports about SDNY firing anybody for leaking this story to BuzzFeed, either. And that probably means that the leakers don’t work directly for SDNY, either.

    But the New York Office of the FBI would be “familiar with the investigation of Cohen.” And Giuliani publicly bragged about his connections at the NYO FBI through retired FBI agents from that office at the same time that Giuliani promised an October surprise during the 2016 campaign.

    IG Horowitz issued a report showing a great many unauthorized media contacts at the NYO FBI in 2016. A fair number of stories about the FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundation were leaked to the Wall Street Journal in 2016. The WSJ fired one of their reporters in relation to one of those stories. And a good many other reporters at The WSJ quit to find jobs with other newspapers thereafter.

    Giuliani told Jake Tapper that Mueller’s statement about the BuzzFeed story being inaccurate was not an accident. And that means that Giuliani had a hand in forcing Mueller’s statement disputing the accuracy of the BuzzFeed story. The leak of the BuzzFeed story has Giuliani’s NYO FBI fingerprints all over it. Now that’s what this BuzzFeed story really tells us about media coverage in the age of Trump.

      1. The Southern District of New York. Mueller’s office referred Cohen’s case to SDNY.

        But the main point remains that Giuliani and Trump are not supposed to have any idea at all, let alone a clear one, about the content of the statements that Cohen made to Mueller. Consequently, the only way that Giuliani could have known ahead of time and for certain that the statements that BuzzFeed attributed to Cohen were not accurate and overstated the case against Trump is that Giuliani had a hand in planting that Fake News with BuzzFeed to begin with. Their strategy, if you could call it one, is to paint Trump as a victim of Fake News by planting Fake News about Trump. Additionally, they seek to argue that Cohen is lying about Trump to protect Cohen’s father-in-law. They may eventually take the road that Dr. Jerome Corsi took and accuse Mueller of suborning perjury from Cohen by recommending a lighter sentence than the one SDNY recommended.

        IOW, it’s “Manhattan Mafia” time once again.

        1. You assume that I know something.

          What is the Southern District of New York?

          I suppose it is not a subway station, but …

          1. The Southern District of New York is one of United States District Attorney’s districts as well as a district for federal courts. Giuliani used to be the U. S. Attorney for SDNY.

            P. S. I assume that Dr. Benson knows all sorts of different things. If he doesn’t, then please pardon my sarong.

            1. Just now I could tell you more than most care to know about neutron stars and black holes.

              But thank you, I suppose I am catching on…

        2. L4B’s ego does not allow her to consider the possibility that Guiliani, and perhaps Trump, are actual psychics.
          Not amateur, off-base, wildly inaccurate fortune tellers like L4B😕😶, but genuine, on-target psychics with real supernatural abilities😎 to penetrate the inner workings of the OSC.
          And anticipate their every move.

            1. Office of the Special Counsel. (e.g. Mueller’s office. (a.k.a SCO))

              Would you like the skinny on DoJ? May I assume your familiarity with FBI?

    1. Yeah, since Mueller has not fired anyone for leaking, that can ONLY mean that ” the leakers don’t work for Mueller”.
      Brilliant.

      1. Since Trump and Giuliani have not demanded an investigation of the leakers, the leakers must work for Trump and Giuliani.

        Or do you really think that Mueller issued a statement disputing the accuracy of a leak supposedly from Mueller’s office?

        1. There is, in fact, no way of knowing at this point who the two “officials” cited by Buzzardfeed are, or if there are two, or if they even exist.
          Given all of that, I’m not going make some half-assed guess and present it as though it were fact.
          I don’t want to encroach upon, or try to duplicate, your specialty.

          1. Ah! I see. In the alternative, BuzzFeed cited phantom sources. How brilliant of them. It’s not like they’ve never been sued for defamation or anything. How fluid the fakery flows.

            1. If your conclusion is that a publication is accurate and has integrity because “they’ve never been sued for defamation or anything”, or because they HAVE been sued for those things….
              Then stick with that screwy standard.

                1. Giuliani and Trump have been punking the press like Ashton Kutcher the whole way through. The folks at BuzzFeed are just too damned too stupid to catch on to it. Giuliani’s comments about Cohen’s tapes are a dead giveaway. He might as well go on TV and tell Mueller, “Dude, you’ve been punked.”

            2. I can’t tell if or when comments I’ve made will post; in any case, I’m short on time this morning, and don’t have hours to spent sorting through and translating Dianese and DoubleSpeak.
              Happy trolling for the remainder of your shift, L4D.

              1. Please allow me to dumb it down for you, Ptom. Trump plants Fake News about Trump in the press for the sake of posing as the victim of Fake News. Right on cue, Trump’s loyal supporters start bellyaching about Fake News victimizing Trump. The only real difference between Trump and Ashton Kutcher is that Trump is never going to tell his loyal supporters, “Dude, you’ve been punked.”

  13. “It has become all too common for us to see and read breathless media accounts about the sky falling on Donald Trump and his presidency. ”

    Ya think?🤮

    ###

    “The Media Wildly Mischaracterized That Video of Covington Catholic Students Confronting a Native American Veteran”
    https://reason.com/blog/2019/01/20/covington-catholic-nathan-phillips-video
    Journalists who uncritically accepted Nathan Phillips’ story got this completely wrong

    “Phillips characterized the kids as “beasts” and the hate-group members as “their prey”:

    “There was that moment when I realized I’ve put myself between beast and prey,” Phillips said. “These young men were beastly and these old black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that.”

    Again, all the evidence suggests that Phillips got it backward.”

    1. Uncritically accepted? More like journalists wrote, staged, directed and produced the final product. It was like those old
      This is the New Army recruitment videos.
      Media, politicians and celebrities saturating the airwaves through every available venue from twitter to CNNs top story calling for attacks on children, laying out justification with glorious clips of edited and doctored video, then escalating to savagely demanding the murders of those children.
      Good stuff. Should resonate with a lot of hate filled violent Democrat sociopaths who have been looking for a way to act out in a socially sanctioned brownshirting way, but are too busy and cowardly to go the full frontal genocide/assassination route. Now they can get their jollies with full assurance that NOTHING will be done because they attacked the right target. Now parents everywhere have a new rite of teen passage to add to the first date, driving lessons, prom night, first bout with underage drinking and having to choose what college to get their kids into. They have to navigate with their children though choosing whether to defend and protect their children from murder attempts for exercising their Constitutional Rights, or valiantly sacrifice them to “the cause” and send them off to fight in the Democrat Army.
      This is the New Democrat Army and Advocating the Killing of Children is what we do.

      1. Imagine the chief source of draft dodgers during the Vietnam war and the chief source of support for retaining the draft calling themselves an ‘army.’ Is that social warrior speak for those who wouldn’t make pimple on a soldiers azz?

        They haven’t changed it was their war aka LBJ’s war but now they are promoting opiods and late term/during delivery or after delivery abortion which must be their way to lower the death by overdoses method they seem to favor today.

  14. There is another news source called FuzzBead which says that Trump had sex with a hooker “who Trump said was a looker” at the top of the Washington Monument. FuzzBead says that this is “a high crime and misdemeanor”.
    I do not know how lower we can go. The media on CNN and MSNBC is filled with dorks. They will follow the advice if one says: “repeat after me”. Last night Don Lemon was “getting down to Baton Rouge and waiting for a train.” Don is from that town. The worst media dork is the New Yorkie named Cuomo. When someone else is speaking he has this look on his face of total entrancement. That is a CNN thing.

    Trump may be bad. The media is worse than Hillary. We had a choice and not an echo in the last election. Donald is not Barry. Y’all know who I mean don’t ya jelly beans?

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