The Russia Monitor: The Time Of The Lying Liars


By Dan Peak
The Commoner Call (5/1/17)

Dear Fellow Readers,

Here’s where we find ourselves.

“In the ‘Golden Age of Lying’; Now is the Time to be a Liar.

Hasan Minhaj offered the above statement as part of his remarks at the 2017 White House Correspondent’s Dinner this past weekend. He also offered that people trust Trump, they don’t trust the media.

The fact is, as Politico points out in What the Press Still Doesn’t Get About Trump, the media does not understand Trump or how to deal with him. I’ll wheel us back within the guardrails of focus and point you to item #10  in the story – We haven’t nailed the biggest story. Jill Abramson, former executive editor of the New York Times notes, “Coverage has been intense at times, especially when it comes to Trump officials lying about their Russian contacts. But then the coverage wanes or gets caught up in minor scoops, and the public loses the thread.

In the April 27 edition of the ‘Russia Monitor’ I likened what Abramson describes as the challenge of separating the forest and the trees. Watch for the appropriate framing of the ongoing story:

“Which question (will) we pursue: Trump-Russian collusion and alleged interference in the US election OR Trumpsters-as-victims.”

As Robert Reich asks What Happened to the Promised Investigations Into Russian Interference in the 2016 Election? As the article notes: we’re not getting the investigation we were promised; we’re not getting the investigation we deserve; and Reich’s outlook is not encouraging (spend a bit of time scrolling through the reader comments as well).

Do We Care?

If you read some of the comments from the above Reich article you will see a variety of opinions. Some don’t care, some aren’t convinced and offer a variety of denouncements and deflections.

But bottomline: Did Russia hack the DNC? Yes.

Still not convinced? Check out The Russian Expat Leading the Fight to Protect America: In a War Against Hackers, Dimitri Alperovitch and Crowdstrike Are Out Special Forces (And Putin’s Worst Nightmare).

Did the Trump campaign collude with the Russians to influence the US election?

Yes again as you will see in Trump and Russia and the Never Ending Story (A post I linked to in an earlier column, but worth repeating).

Does it matter and should we care” Ah, yes.

We are at a crossroads – do we still believe we operate with a form of democracy that should be improved, not discarded? Or should we listen as Donald Trump Blames Constitution For Chaos of his First 100 Days.

“He blamed the constitutional checks and balances built in to US governance. “It’s a very rough system,” he said. “It’s an archaic system … It’s really a bad thing for the country.””

As Hasan Minhaj says, “it’s the golden age of lying”, and our choice for where we head from here.

What’s Next?

Senate Judiciary Subcommittee (Crime and Terrorism) public hearings are scheduled for May 8. The House Intelligence Committee hearings are to be scheduled after May 2 (initially cancelled by former committee co-chair Nunes). We’ll know more about upcoming hearings this week. Note there is a broadening of committee hearings here, notably the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee.

If we are to get to the bottom of this we must heed the challenges laid out by Hasan Minhaj, Jill Abramson and Robert Reich – the media need to step up and bring the story to us in a way we can both understand and appreciate the significance. And we need to be vigilant and noisy and demand answers. This IS important and remember, it’s the cover-up that might be impeachable.

Extra Credit

Hasan Minhaj’s full remarks. His comments at the 19+ minute remark are particularly interesting and he ends on a much needed hopeful note, In Dueling Events, Samantha Bee and Hasan Minhaj Target Trump, Fox News and CNN