Coup coup ca choo
The media's appetite for Trump conspiracy is as ravenous as ever. There will be no August coup.
A year ago, CNN’s Anderson Cooper topped the coveted adult 25-54 demographic in cable news ratings. CNN’s audience in that demographic is now down a whopping 51% from last year. They don’t have Donald Trump to kick around anymore.
Instead, they resurrect him through the same kind of unsourced reports they used to call “blockbusters” and “walls closing in” when Trump was in office. This latest one surfaced two weeks ago and centers around Maggie Haberman’s tweet that 45 was telling people he will be reinstated by August.
In a stunning circular confirmation loop, sizzling reports from Vanity Fair extensively quote Business Insider reports of MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, former Trump lawyer Sidney Powell, and Steve Bannon’s podcast as proof positive that the former president is plotting a coup. Bloomberg’s Jonathan Bernstein quoted a bunch of tweets (including one from another Bloomberg Opinion writer) for a piece headlined “Trump’s Planned Return Isn’t Really a Joke.”
Forbes quoted reports from CNN and a dated tweet from MSNBC about Mike Flynn’s traitorous call for a coup. At least they also quoted former Trump adviser Jenna Ellis, who kept her head, while maintaining the “stolen election” line. Even Ellis says there will be no “reinstatement.”
Meanwhile, flying around the Internet is an image of Trump “2nd inauguration” tickets featuring Ted Nugent and Kid Rock. The cost is only $1200. Now I wouldn’t pay $1200 to see any artist perform live (sorry!), but at least Nugent and Kid Rock would be entertaining.
The tickets are fake. They are obviously fake, and so easily debunked that I found them in about 60 seconds of Googling.
Going deeper into conspiracy doo-doo coup coup ca choo, there’s Seth Abramson, who has “found” a hospitality suite at Washington’s Willard InterContinental Hotel and turned it into a dark “war room” where the coup plotters of January 6th ran their intelligence op. (Aside: read my brother Jay’s excellent tale about President Ulysses S. Grant and the Willard. That hotel has served as presidential haunt for over a century.)
Forgive me for seeking the plain explanation here, but on January 6th, President Trump attended a large rally, one that was planned, promoted and executed by his grifter supporters. Why wouldn’t they be sitting in a hospitality suite at the Willard, mixing together at some point during that day?
I’m much more concerned that the Trump administration may have used political leverage to circumvent the Department of Justice’s top management and obtain subpoenas for the personal cellphones of Members of Congress and their families. That’s worth looking into, but I still have questions about the source of the story, and how it has been corroborated but denied by all Trump’s top DOJ officials. Seems to me, lawyers at the DOJ like to “CYA” and would not proceed with such an outright power flex without approval. That, or former AGs Barr and Sessions, along with former Deputy AG Rosenstein are lying.
I am not ready to accuse these men, who have given me no reason to put them into the category of Alex Jones or Mike Lindell, of telling such a huge lie, placing themselves in jeopardy of criminal charges.
But I am more ready to believe that Trump went after Reps. Eric Swalwell and Adam Schiff than I am that Rudy Giuliani (lol!) and Robert Hyde stood ready to assume the reigns of power at Trump’s side should the insurrection have succeeded.
Further, I am more ready to believe that fantasy, because over 400 people have been arrested for the Capitol insurrection, than I am to believe that somehow, from Mar a Lago, Trump is planning a Dr. Evil cum Napoleon comeback, where he will miraculously be “reinstated” in the White House in August, complete with tickets to the event.
The fact that the (to borrow from Erick Erickson) circle of jerks in the media is reporting this stuff as serious is evidence that they are desperate for some Trump to cover. President Biden going to the G7 and meeting the soulless President Vladimir Putin just isn’t cutting it with the American public’s news appetite.
What is getting lots of news is the national crime wave sweeping over cities like Atlanta. Two 15-year-olds shot a security guard at the Lenox Square Mall Apple Store Monday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. Two more were shot “struggling over a gun” in Atlanta Monday afternoon. Atlanta homicides are up 60% over 2020 so far in 2021. This is the story in city after city.
But CNN is going with the “defund the police” and “peaceful riot” narrative, so reporting crime waves isn’t part of their coverage. Their ratings are tanking, and they are suffering Trump withdrawal. So they take a tweet from Maggie Haberman, who undoubtedly heard some prime trolling fodder, and run with it.
The media would rather be trolled, and be trolls, than report the news people care about. They would love for Trump to try an August coup, not because they really think it would succeed, but because they want to get a lot of views when they report it.
Tell me again, why should we believe anything they tell us?
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Must be a slow news day if we're resorting to Kicking The Media.
As for the DoJ story, The Dispatch is reporting on it from the perspective of one of their writers who worked in the Trump DoJ, Sarah Isgur:
"In order to investigate anyone, you’re going to pull their toll records, meaning who they called, the numbers that they spoke to at the time you think the leak happened. So let’s say in that one-week period for this House staffer that they were investigating, they pulled 100 phone numbers that he interacted with in some way, that his cell phone interacted with. You’ve just got a bunch of 10-digit numbers David, you don’t know who they belong to. You don’t know what these numbers are. He could be calling for pizza. So what you do is you go to Apple and you say, ‘Here’s a subpoena, we need the account information for these 100 phone numbers,’ in order to figure out who is useless on that list, right? And if you are a House staffer, it is not surprising that two of the numbers that you might have called are members of the House."
More over at the Advisory Opinions podcast.
As much as I'd like to jump on the "Orange Man Bad" bandwagon with respect to the DoJ story (and boy, do I love opportunities to to disparage Trump!), this is one where I'm keeping my powder dry until we learn more about the subpoenas. The fact that Sessions, Barr, and Rosenstein are all denying any knowledge seems to be significant, especially with respect to Barr, who previously went to the mat for Trump for sillier things than this during his tenure.
As for the newsworthiness of Trump's re-ascension in August, I think that story is fair game, if only for the facts that significant numbers of Americans have been sucked into the newest grift and that we have a former President so ignorant of how our government works that he's publicly convinced he'll both be back and welcomed with open arms. For all the crap that I heard from family reciting right-wing media's claim that Obama was secretly planning to stick around for a third term (memory-holed alongside Operation: Jade Helm), spending some time on Trump's delusion doesn't seem all that unreasonable. Granted, I'd rather see CNN get back to more international reporting and leave the conspiracy stuff to Maddow, et al, but what bleeds leads.
As for crime reporting, as a resident of Chicago, there's no shortage of local or national reporting on our bounce-back in violent crime, so I think that Media-wise, we're set on that front. Also, as for your "Atlanta homicides are up 60% over 2020" and similar comparisons, keep in mind that a more useful comparison may be with 2019, given how weird a year 2020 was. I'm having a hard time finding news stories that include that comparison (again, "what bleeds leads"), so maybe The Racket can set a good example when it comes to crime-level comparisons in non-pandemic years. :-)
So in other words, the media is quoting what actual people said, and they’re “desperate” and at fault for doing so?
Are they biased unless they say what we want, when we want, and how we want it to be said?
I won’t be consumed with hating on the media. It’s kinda old. And I’m actually grateful for an imperfect entity of thousands of people trying to expose anything and everything they can. They sometimes get it wrong. They usually get it right. But they’re doing the hard work you and I won’t or can’t do. They’re generally more connected than you and I. And they have more checks and balances than you or I.
I call them out when I sniff BS, but I defend the monolith that conservatives constantly bash when it doesn’t confirm or conform.
Come on. Trumps political machine is trying to stir things up. And Flynn did actually call for a coup. Quoting what they and everyone says in between is not feeding a false narrative or trying to inflate their ratings. It’s just reportable.
Sometimes you’re doing to the media what you accuse them of doing to trump.
Think about it.