The Seething And Contempt In Greenwald's Eyes About the "Joke and a Fairy Tale" of Russiagate Is A Watershed Moment. "The Games Is Over."
Just like the Muslim freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar's courageous stand against the fascist duopoly's attempt to crush her for daring to not back down from calling AIPAC a foreign lobby was a watershed moment in confronting the uncritical support of a RW Israeli government, Greenwald's blistering takedown of fellow journalist David Cay Johnston, and by extension the entire American MSM, is another watershed moment in the growing divide between media corporatists (Neoliberals & Neocons), who are straining themselves to keep afloat a Duopoly system that could arguably be called fascism which has been in place since at least the turn of the century (if not longer), and the surging dissidents who see this as the fundamental problem above all else.
The Red Herring Russia Hysteria Meltdown turned out to be a proxy battle between the few dissenters who believe that the capitalist Duopoly is the real problem (with Money In Politics being the cement that keeps it together) and have never bought into this farce; and the many mainstream media lapdogs, $hillary zombies and Democratic Party loyalists who concocted and desperately
wanted needed to believe it. They completely melted down to lose all sense of reason and rationale in their hyperventilation to keep propped up the rotting edifice of a party and system within which those players have been able to continue getting rich from and to go merrily believing that dutifully voting for the Lesser of Two Evils is the full enshrinement of the Greatest Democracy Money Can Buy In The World .
The idea that electioneering, which is what placing ads is (even a minuscule amount), could be conflated with collusion by a foreign government to steal an election, was so laughably outrageous. Furthermore, to imply that our elections were so pure and that we didn't do such things around the world ourselves (despite that the CIA had brutally intervened in over 50 elections globally), just put the icing on our incredulity. As for Trump's criminality, there was plenty of that to go around. But where was the media to thoroughly vet him during the campaign? Nowhere in sight, or rather
televising gawking at his non-stop, car crash porn of a campaign which was driving advertising dollars into their pockets. But we were supposed to believe they suddenly got into gear once he was elected and became these super sleuths? What a fucking joke.
There were only a relative handful of us who never believed this infuriating garbage. Virtually the entire MSM engaged in one of the worst, most embarrassing examples of propaganda the country has ever seen, as Taibbi writes here and here. It confoundingly gripped even some of the smarter people we all knew. Lost to propaganda. But then they ultimately lost, big-time.
What was at risk? Only nuclear war with Russia. And, just as consequential, this farce took up all the air in the room, spreading false hope to demented $hillary losers who could be found whimpering on their couches curled up in the fetal position in front of MSNBC every night, a bottle of white wine atop the magazines on the coffee table. One could gather up a trove of issues that weren't talked about at all by the MSM, including the massive teacher's strikes happening all over the country, continued health insurance nightmares, the existential threat of climate change, rampant poverty, widespread depressed wages and overworking, Yemen, Trump's outrageously corrupt cabinet and their massive power grabs, etc., etc., etc.
It is right now that this country, and especially its journalists, have to have a completely honest existential dialogue about what has been going on, how we got here, who is responsible and what is driving it (which we know will probably never come, though there are some signs of admission, which I've started to compile for another essay).
For this reason, the interview really has to be seen to be experienced. The anger at all this just wells up in Greenwald and he really doesn't hold back. As we know he's long been one of the very quickest-minded, most cogent and incisive journalists of this era. Under normal circumstances few can withstand his sheer power of his lightning intellect. This poor shlub, who has written some really good things about income inequality and Wall St criminality but carried on the lie, was so justifiably exposed for his dumb stance and continued obstinacy about it.
But if you're short for time here's some of the best segments (though you really should see Greenwald's disgust).
He lit into Rachel Maddow, the MSM and the Democratic Party. He slammed the highest rated liberal show host who "every single night misled millions of liberals into believing something that was totally false," calling that decision "extremely grave and serious," and saying that "there will be no reckoning and consequences for this story that the media got radically, fundamentally and deliberately wrong for almost three years now in a very dangerous way."
(all emphasis mine)
This is the saddest media spectacle I’ve ever seen, since I began practicing journalism in 2005. And what makes it even sadder is to watch all of the people who vested their journalistic credibility into what proved to be a complete and total fraud and scam continue to try and cling to some vestige of credibility by continuing to spin conspiracy theories that are even more reckless and more unhinged than the ones to which we’ve been subjected for three years.
...I believe that Donald Trump is one of the most corrupt people ever to occupy the White House. I am certain that he’s guilty of all kinds of crimes—war crimes as president, financial crimes as a business person. One of the reasons why those of us who were so angry about this obsession on Russia and collusion, aside from the fact that it was so dangerous to ratchet up tensions between two nuclear-armed powers this way instead of trying to forge a peace between these two countries, is precisely because it took the oxygen away from all of the things that the Trump administration is doing that is so damaging, in lieu of this idiotic, moronic, Tom Clancy-type espionage thriller, where we were talking about Putin blackmailing Donald Trump with pee-pee tapes and Donald Trump being a Russian agent since 1987, which was a cover story that was on New York magazine, that Chris Hayes put on MSNBC. Just all kinds of moronic conspiracies, that we love to mock other countries’ medias for circulating and disseminating, drowned out our airwaves and our discourse for three years, preventing us from focusing on the real, substantive damage that the Trump administration is doing and that Donald Trump’s corruption entails.
He eviscerated Johnston's mealy-mouthed walk backs and continued spinning of this through the course of the interview, and the proxy MSM:
But the reality is, the media chose to focus on this. Everybody knows this. David Cay Johnston was on your show, Amy, a week ago, and he said, “Donald Trump, I believe, is a Russian agent.” We now have a full-scale, 20-month investigation by somebody that everybody agreed was a man of great integrity who would get to the bottom of all of this, who had full subpoena power. And David keeps trying to imply, which is totally false, that all that Mueller said was, “Oh, it just doesn’t rise to the level of criminality.” That is not what he said. He said, after 20 months of a full-scale investigation—which, by the way, included hours of interrogating Donald Trump Jr. before Congress, all of the transcripts of which were made available to Mueller, which he could have prosecuted Trump Jr. on for perjury and obstruction had Donald Trump Jr. lied about anything, but he chose not to. He said, “After reviewing all of this evidence, I am concluding that this did not happen,” not that it doesn’t rise to the level where I can criminally prosecute. He’s saying there was no collusion.
The game is over, and it’s time to be honest about it. And the more we try to cling to this and invent new—you know what it reminds me of? In 2003, when the neocons finally had to face the truth that there were no WMDs, that they had fabricated that, that the media had misled millions of people around the world for years, and they started saying, “Um, maybe Saddam hid them in Syria. Maybe they’re buried in places we just haven’t looked yet.” It’s time to face the truth. The media got this story wrong. They obsessed on this for three years, and all this time there was no evidence for it. It was just a conspiracy theory. Rachel Maddow, the most influential liberal TV host in the country, every single night misled millions of liberals into believing something that was totally false, and there will be no media consequences for it. And that is extremely grave and serious, no matter how much is true about how corrupt Donald Trump is in his financial dealings or any of the other stuff that people are now trying to deflect our attention onto.
Then he turned to the fundamental questions of the actual election, never discussed in the MSM:
Why did millions of people vote for a complete joke of a game show host? And how did the Democrats lose the presidency to one of the most embarrassing spectacles of a candidate in U.S. history? What is the prevailing ideology of the ruling class that has turned millions and millions of people, and to this country, into such angry citizens that they either refuse to vote or vote for the person who promises to burn down the entire system? Why are they so angry? What has happened to their economic security? What ideology and what group of people are responsible for that? What has Donald Trump been doing in realigning the United States away from the Western Europe and to Saudi despots, and the collusion that actually happened, which was from the Israeli government during the election in order to undermine Obama’s policies? All those kinds of questions could have been asked and should have been asked, but it all got drowned out because we were all so much more fascinated by this superficial, kind of very appealing and melodramatic espionage thriller, that has completely destroyed the credibility of the U.S. media and so tragically vindicated Donald Trump in a way that probably is the greatest gift that has been given to him throughout his entire presidency.
When reminded that last year Chomsky said the rest of the world was looking at our media's obsession that Russia's meddling in the election helped Trump was a "joke", he said this:
Well, that’s been the other critical point this entire time, is this kind of melodrama over the outrage that any country would dare to interfere in our sacred and glorious democracy, when, as Noam Chomsky just pointed out and has spent the last 40 years pointing out, the United States has done very little since the end of World War II but going around the world and interfering in every single democracy that they can find, literally, including the country in which I’m currently living, which is Brazil, where they overthrew a democratically elected government in 1964 and then proceeded to impose a military regime for 21 years, and also Russia, where they openly boasted about helping to elect Boris Yeltsin because he would privatize everything and that would be good for U.S. industry, or even agitating anti-Putin resistance in parliamentary elections under Hillary Clinton’s reign as secretary of state.
This doesn’t make it right for Russia to do it, but we’ve never kept in perspective the fact that interfering or meddling in other countries’ elections or governance is not some grave, aberrational, never-before-heard drama that the entire world has to stop and lament and put an end to. It’s normal business. We’re currently, right now, in the process of trying to change the government of Venezuela openly, and have done so over and over around the world. And that’s why Noam Chomsky says that all of this moral outrage of Americans at the idea that somebody would interfere in or meddle in our democracy has made the U.S. a laughingstock to the hundreds of millions of people—billions, in fact—who live in countries where the U.S. has done this and far, far worse for decade after decade after decade.
Intercepted with Jeremy Scahill "The Day After Mueller" (with Naomi Klein and Matt Taibbi)
Painting the pig’s face
1. The left never had a dog in this race. This was always an in-house squabble between different wings of the establishment. Late-stage capitalism is in terminal crisis, and the biggest problem facing our corporate elites is how to emerge from this crisis with their power intact. One wing wants to make sure the pig’s face remains painted, the other is happy simply getting its snout deeper into the trough while the food lasts...
The leaders of the Democratic party are less terrified of Trump and what he represents than they are of us and what we might do if we understood how they have rigged the political and economic system to their permanent advantage.
It may look like Russiagate was a failure, but it was actually a success. It deflected the left’s attention from endemic corruption within the leadership of the Democratic party, which supposedly represents the left. It rechannelled the left’s political energies instead towards the convenient bogeymen targets of Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Mired in corruption
What Mueller found – all he was ever going to find – was marginal corruption in the Trump camp. And that was inevitable because Washington is mired in corruption. In fact, what Mueller revealed was the most exceptional forms of corruption among Trump’s team while obscuring the run-of-the-mill stuff that would have served as a reminder of the endemic corruption infecting the Democratic leadership too.
An anti-corruption investigation would have run much deeper and exposed far more. It would have highlighted the Clinton Foundation, and the role of mega-donors like James Simons, George Soros and Haim Saban who funded Hillary’s campaign with one aim in mind: to get their issues into a paid-for national “consensus”.
Further, in focusing on the Trump camp – and relative minnows like Paul Manafort and Roger Stone – the Russiagate inquiry actually served to shield the Democratic leadership from an investigation into the much worse corruption revealed in the content of the DNC emails.
2. But it’s far worse than that. It is not just that the left wasted two years of political energy on Russiagate. At the same time, they empowered Trump, breathing life into his phoney arguments that he is the anti-establishment president, a people’s president the elites are determined to destroy...
The other wing of the neoliberal establishment, the one represented by the Democratic party leadership, fears that exposing capitalism in this way – making explicit its inherently brutal, wrist-slitting tendencies – will awaken the masses, that over time it will risk turning them into revolutionaries. Democratic party leaders fear Trump chiefly because of the threat he poses to the image of the political and economic system they have so lovingly crafted so that they can continue enriching themselves and their children.
The whole thing is excellent. You should read it.
There is a serious reckoning going on right now. Call 'em what you will, Neoliberals/Corporatists/Beltway/Necons, are being exposed for all-time. The curtain is off the hooks on its way down.
The whole Red Herring RussiaGate Hysteria Meltdown strikes me as this:
- It was concocted first and foremost as a distraction from the shock suffered by Hillary fans and the MSM that HRC was such a horrible, highly disliked and untrustworthy candidate, and that she pathetically lost to a candidate with the same characteristics in a contest of who was absolutely just a little less detested than the other. The scorned $hillary sycophants, who willfully refused to step outside the bubble of It's Her Turn - All Things Hillary world, had their hubris so shaken, rattled and rolled that for their sanity, and by extension the rest of the country who also believed that ours wasn't such a rotting system that could upchuck a demented clown like Trump, they had to insist blame lie elsewhere (racism, Russia, etc) than their laughably horrible campaign and a roiling disgust with politics as usual.
- The mass hysteria of Trump/Russia shooting out like a fire hydrant every night on cable tv and social media was also designed as the perfect foil for covering up the flagrant and brazen collusion to cheat Bernie out of the nomination. "Who cares about that, when we have a president illegally occupying the White House as a puppet of Putin?" All of the legitimate evidence of electoral fraud, voter roll purges, caucus cheating, insider collusion, paid media hatchet jobs, etc (in other words, everything the Repubs are charged with but that the DNC did to Bernie) got buried under this avalanche. This is probably the thing that'll remain most enraging to me: all of that massive, genuine support for a movement candidate viciously torn to pieces, having the effect of a whole next generation of folks crippled in their belief about electoral politics.
- Secondarily, this also served as the perfect cover, taking up all the air in the room, to having the discussion about our entire election process. Beginning with the elephant in the room: "how did it come this - first of all, that the two most hated candidates were our only choices (most people never consider a third party, which is a whole other subject)? The 2016 election process should have ripped the mask off of the false pride we have in our decrepitly corrupt elections, in which the whole process has been nothing more than an Auction House to the Highest Bidder, at every level. Then there's the "electoral college," the private national committees running the parties' elections, the debate limitations, "superdelegates," gerrymandering, no active and real membership in either party (only an expectation usually driven by fear and threat, that you blindly keep showing up to vote for your party).
- It was also a huge, wildly lame gambit to inure the Democrats from having to address the real issues that are effecting people, hoping instead to be able to run again only as "We're Not Trump." Poll after poll showed most Americans could care less about Russia, with almost every issue polling higher.
The Mueller deification was also a natural reaction by a soft and pampered American people who have been conditioned to look for heroes to swoop in and make everything ok again, as can be found in a child's fable. Nobody wants to do the hard work anymore of being civilly engaged, informed and asking questions. Consumerism, social media self-aggrandizement and 24/7 entertainment have replaced it.
This was the Democrats lazy way out, which was the perfect foil for a lazy citizenry who have come to expect coddling in every aspect of their lives. It was also what they're expected to do on behalf of their donors. Few can be bothered to be involved civically in any way, show up in person to support an oppressed or marginalized faction (not just sign an online petition). A lot of this simply boiled down to a salient truth few wanted to accept: that almost all politicians are paid to do as little as possible for the people, biding their time in office ruffling as few feathers as possible, for the express purpose of then re-entering the political world as lobbyists so that they can enrich their campaign donors exponentially after they've learned the ropes inside.
- It's so obvious why most Bernie supporters, but not all - because a good bit fell into the all-consuming MSM trap of Russia propaganda and became afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome, never bought into this ludicrous bullshit. They had endured being firsthand witnesses to the rampant election fraud being pulled by the DNC during the 2106 primary, of which the MSM completely and utterly turned a blind eye. If it was possible that the media could collude in that way, then it was possible that the media could do the same for the opposite.
The irony of it still stings: the media with its resources could have easily turned up easily verifiable evidence of tampering and kinds of fraud during the DNC primary; but instead they went all in for the most absurd and ridiculous hare-brained scheme that the Orange Buffoon was the one who colluded with Russia to steal the election. If any of these Beltway, cocktail party lapdogs had just once ventured out of their gated communities and conventional thinking to be bothered to visit the heartland they would have seen that the country was in the midst of a populist revolution, most prominently dominated by support for Bernie Sanders but also to a slightly lesser degree for Drumpf.
There's a major chasm starting to split the land, between those who cling to the myth of American Exceptionalism and fealty to the two political parties of the Duopoly, and a burgeoning movement of people distrustful of the power structure and its propaganda to hide the truth about a dying system.