[ by Charles Cameron — still pondering how much of “Trump” is chaff, intended to deflect attention from his serious intention ]
My source for the main thrust of this post:
Fox News hosts ramp up ‘deep state’ conspiracies
As the network escalates its attacks on the FBI, mainstream conservatives say it is endangering U.S. institutions.
There are mirrors all over the place, and smoke, too. Harvey Weinstein, Democrat and friend of Hillary; Steve Wynn, Republican finance chair and Vegas mogul: both were major fundraisers for their respective parties, both have been accused of sexual malfeasance.
If you’re a Republican and castigated Weinstein, demandung his cntributions be returned, are you now castigating Wynn, and demanding your own party returm the funds he raised? And if you’re a Democrat, and contrarywise in any way played doen the Weinstein affair, are you likewise playing down the Wynn matter?
Or is party politics making a difference?
The principle here should be, surely, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander..
Back to the deep state and its mirrors.
Hannity’s coverage was just part of a wider trend, observers say. For the past week, Fox News opinion hosts have seized on claims by some Republican lawmakers about a “secret society” at the FBI and “deep state actors” to fashion unproven narratives designed to protect Trump and delegitimize Mueller.
On Wednesday night, Hannity told viewers, “The constitutional violations are severe and historically unprecedented in this country. You have deep state actors using and abusing the powerful tools of intelligence we give them to protect this country.”
One mirror sees a parallel with sixties left radicals, the Weathermen —
Stuart Stevens, the Republican who served as chief strategist for Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign, had a similar view.
“In the 1960s, some rich white radicals attacked the justice system, ranted about government conspiracies and called for violent opposition,” he wrote in an email. “They called themselves Weathermen. Now the same is happening, and they call themselves conservative commentators. But it’s equally nutty.”
— nota bene, the Weathermen used violence, while thus far, the Republican conspiracists have confined themselves to virulent rhetoric.
Jennifer Rubin holds another mirror up to Republican conspiracists — Russian propaganda:
Jennifer Rubin, a conservative columnist at The Washington Post, noted to POLITICO that the points being made on shows like “Hannity” and “Fox & Friends” echo those being reportedly pushed by Russian bots on social media.
“When they turn on a dime and begin adopting the same position as Russian bots and start attacking the FBI, we’ve gone to a whole new level of crazy,” she said.
“It’s almost like Fox has become the RT, the Russia Today, for the administration and the Kremlin,” she added.
Stevens finds a parallel in the American past, and a leftist group. Rubin finds a contemporary parallel in the activities of our principal foreign enemy.
Bill Kristol doesn’t offer a mirror, but his comments are worth noting:
In a Thursday interview on CNBC, Bill Kristol, the Weekly Standard editor who was a Fox News analyst from 2002 to 2012, alleged that the channel has become increasingly conspiratorial over the past several years, saying, “Seventy-five percent of it seems to be birther-like coverage of different issues.”
Rubin said, though, that the most recent commentary is beyond anything that’s aired on the network in the past.
“The substance of what they’re saying and the conspiracy theories that are being floated are so much weirder and so much less credible than simply taking a suspicious view of the events leading up to Benghazi or questioning the motives of President Obama. There was once upon a time some factual basis for what they were looking at — some may have been drawing unreasonable conclusions and some may have been exaggerating, but here they appear to be making stuff up from whole cloth, so I do think it’s worse.”
If the Fox-faux folk heard these critiques from their Democratic rivals, they might well dismiss them out of hand. But they come from erstwhile highly respected people on their own “side” — fellow Republicans.
Humor on your way out the door: