The imminent release of the Nunes memo detailing government corruption has brought about a delicious and insightful irony. With The Post is still in theaters, our media is fighting against government transparency.
The whole idea behind Steven Spielberg’s latest piece of Oscar-bait, The Post, is to use big stars, like Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, to tell the public that our fearless and heroic media is on our side, will to stand up to the federal government, is only interested in the kind of transparency that exposes wrongdoing and corruption.
And yet, on this very day, if you look around, what you will see is the exact opposite; what you will see is a Nixonian media vehemently opposed to transparency, a corrupt institution fighting tooth-and-nail against the release of a document that will almost certainly expose government wrongdoing and corruption.
Spielberg’s well-reviewed film, which is currently in theaters, takes us back to a bygone era when the American media bravely defied the government in order to release the Pentagon Papers. This was a classified 7,000-page document illegally obtained by Daniel Ellsberg that betrayed a lot of ugly secrets about America’s involvement in Vietnam under the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, both Democrats.
Although the New York Times was the first to publish, The Post primarily focuses on the far-left Washington Post’s stressful battle with the Nixon administration over publication. In the end, though, despite the fallout and consequences, the Washington Post did do the right thing by disseminating this truth to the American people.
Imagine that. Some 45 years ago, this country had a media that actually believed in government transparency and accountability, a media that fought for the people’s right to know what our own government was up to…
How times have changed.
The issue in question today, a document that supposedly details wrongdoing and corruption at the highest levels of the Obama administration, the FBI, and Justice Department, has not even been obtained illegally. It has gone through all the legal channels required for public release.
Nevertheless, our media is taking the Nixon position, is bitterly opposed to transparency, is actively lobbying against its release. People who want us to believe they are journalists, who sell themselves as reporters, are siding with the federal government to keep this information hidden from the public.
A couple of notable examples…
Jake Tapper opened his floundering CNN program Thursday, not by hailing government transparency, not with a journalist’s excitement over this long overdue peek behind the FISA curtain, but by siding with and enabling those government institutions engaged in the cover up — by spewing their talking points as fact:
The memo, as you know, has been assailed by House Democrats as a partisan memo. The FBI director, Christopher Wray, a Republican appointed by President Trump after the president fired the last FBI director, Wray has taken the unusual step of making it known publicly that he, too, does not want this memo released. He calls it misleading.
Today, CNN found out White House officials are now worried that FBI Director Wray could quit if the memo is released against his recommendation.
What we don’t know is whether that even matters to President Trump. Sources also telling CNN today the president has told his friends that he sees this memo drafted by Republican Congressman Devin Nunes and his Republican committee staff as a way to undermine and discredit the Russia investigation, giving himself cover and ignoring, as we have noted, the objections of two of the nation’s top law enforcement officials, not just FBI Director Christopher Wray, but also Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Here is Chuck Todd’s Wednesday meltdown, which included the word “traitor”:
And it`s not normal for the House Intel Committee to vote to make classified information public. It`s also not normal for the FBI and DOJ to then be excluded from the declassification process. And it`s really not
normal for the public to see the kind of material we believe is in the memo.
When Edward Snowden leaked similar documents, many people in government called him a traitor. And he, of course, has been on the run from the U.S. government ever since. That`s how highly sensitive many people believe these – the sources and methods are to this memo – that was used to make
Do Tapper and Todd sound like journalists, or do they sound like stooges in the employ of a government institution desperate to cover up its own wrongdoing?
In service to the federal government, even The Post’s own Washington Post is pre-emptively tarnishing a document it has not yet seen:
Mr. Nunes, a longtime Trump ally, is pushing to disseminate his version as the president’s ire about the Russia investigation crests and speculation swirls about his desire to fire senior law enforcement officials, including special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. CNN reported Thursday that Mr. Trump believes the Nunes memo “could discredit the agency” by exposing “bias within the FBI’s top ranks.”
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Click around online and your cable dial and what you will see is a national media experiencing a full-blown freakout over the very idea of government transparency. The media is now a legion of Richard Nixons — grasping, bitter, paranoid partisans…
So maybe we should start a fund — “The Send a Journalist to See The Post Fund” in the hopes of dropping the scales from their provincial eyes, to remind these hacks that their job is not to guard the government’s castle, but to tell us what is going on inside, even if it is inconvenient to their white-hot Russian conspiracy theories.