The Day Politico Became A Conspiracy Rag
© Jack Cashill
In its own poll, only 7 percent of more than 3500 followers rated the political journal “Politico” right of center.
In that same poll, 68 percent of respondents rated Politico left of center, and nearly 20 percent rated it “extreme left.”
These numbers pretty much reflect reality. Founded ten years ago by two Washington Post veterans, Politico has skewed generally left but not crazily so.
And then its editors woke up one December morning to find that Politico had become a right-wing conspiracy rag. It did not take much, just one article criticizing the Obama administration.
Reporter Josh Meyer headlined the December 18 article, “The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook.”
Meyer’s opening sentence lays out his thesis: “In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States.”
The thesis undermined the patently absurd claim that, in Obama’s own words, “We’re probably the first administration in modern history that hasn’t had a major scandal in the White House.”
Confirmed the New York Times house conservative David Brooks, “The Obama administration has been remarkably scandal-free.”
WND readers, of course, know better. So do all real conservatives.
A partial list of Obama scandals include Fast and Furious, the Benghazi dissembling, the inept response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, and the reliance on the “stupidity of the American voter” to sell the many lies of Obamacare.
The saying goes, however, that a scandal only becomes a “scandal” when the New York Times calls it a scandal on its front page.
The Times never raised any of these incidents to that level, and it wasn’t about to start now even if a traditional political ally like Politico was the source.
Nor was the Washington Post. The Post assigned its chief media critic Erik Wemple to document the “pushback” to the Meyer article.
The headline suggests Wemple’s thesis, “Former Obama officials criticize Politico story alleging weakness against Hezbollah.”
Wemple concedes that “the pushback doesn’t cite any factual errors involving the story’s claims about shut-down investigations and the like,” but facts are irrelevant in Obama world.
So Wemple concludes that Meyer explored a “gray area,” one in which his allegations were tough “to prove and to disprove.” End of story.
Obama’s deep state allies were less generous than the Post. Within a week, the article had been dismissed as “a shabby neocon hit piece,” “a disgusting hit job,” and “non-fact based anti-Iran Deal propaganda.”
I know something about that orbit. Remnick cast me there personally in 2008 when I dared to propose that terrorist emeritus Bill Ayers helped Obama write his acclaimed memoir, “Dreams from My Father.”
As in Meyer’s case, I had the evidence, but on the subject of Obama, evidence was irrelevant, even more irrelevant than it had been for the Clintons.
This I knew from experience. By 2008, I had written two earlier books about unreported scandals in the Clinton administration, one the accidental missile strike on TWA Flight 800 in July 1996 and the other the not so accidental destruction of the plane carrying Clinton Commerce Secretary Ron Brown in April 1996.
Those who labor under the illusion that the major media would never let stories of this magnitude go unreported do not understand the way the contemporary media work.
I was the first person in the media, for instance, to request the 22-volume USAF report on Brown’s plane crash in Croatia, and that was seven years after the incident.
The New York Times had a reporter on that doomed plane, and its editors never bothered to cover the report’s findings.
As in the case with many seemingly unsolved mysteries, the Las Vegas shooting most recently, the media are afraid of where real investigative journalism might actually lead them. So they don’t go there.
To protect Obama’s legacy, his acolytes offered up an additional shield. Remnick wielded it without conscience to explain why Rush Limbaugh took up my authorship cause in October 2008.
“This may not have been Limbaugh’s most racist insinuation of the campaign,” wrote Remnick, citing others he liked less.
He concluded, however, that our collective “libel about Obama’s memoir—the denial of literacy, the denial of authorship—had a particularly ugly pedigree.”
Combine the normal media protection for any elected Democrat with the racial insulation provided a black Democrat, and you have eight “scandal-free” years. It’s that easy.
Kudos to Politico for escaping Obama’s gravitational pull and welcome to the “Web’s Farthest Lunatic Orbit.”