Civics, Statism, and Cable News

Republican Senator Ben Sasse from Nebraska was recently interviewed at the Aspen Security Forum about the challenges America faces as we navigate our way through the global digital revolution. It was a fascinating and insightful discussion, with Sasse highlighting the growing effects of digital technology on the American workforce, the U.S. economy, our national security, and our social culture. I highly recommend checking it out.

On the topic of how digital advances have changed our politics, Sasse had some particularly interesting things to say. He began by describing the “American idea” as being about things like universal human rights, principled pluralism, and private-sector entrepreneurship. He argued that government institutions and power are not supposed to be the center of life in our nation, but rather the frame that protects our freedoms and allows opportunity.

The senator, who’s a conservative, believes that much of today’s generation has largely lost that understanding, in part because civics are no longer taught in this country — at least not the way the used to be. In their absence, technology has filled the void.

“It turns out that in technology, when you can create a narcissistic feedback loop that makes everybody feel like they’re a victim all day every day, the American experiment looks pretty fragile,” said Sasse.

That fragility is on display, he argues, in how every partisan fight in Washington is now portrayed as being “existential,” and he blames some of his colleagues in DC for that portrayal.

“Right now, we’ve got a bunch of chuckle-heads in politics who have confused themselves,” he said, “and they think, because they’re on this stage, and they want to do performative jack-assery all day every day, that that actually defines the center of meaning. And so, we’ve got a bunch of people on the left who aren’t sure they believe in the American idea, because they think the state should be the center, and we’ve got a bunch of reactive people on the right who’ve decided, ‘Well if I don’t like their overreach, then what I should want to do is also use the powers of the state against my cultural opponents.'”

“That’s not America,” the senator added.

The liberal sentiment Sasse described isn’t anything new in this country; it’s existed for decades. But the right-wing statist one is a relatively recent development, at least within the mainstream of the Republican Party. This populist strain, initially concocted by right-wing pundits and shady political strategists (like Steve Bannon) to serve as an ideological wrapper for Donald Trump’s autocratic instincts, has made political believers out of a number of elected and aspiring Republican leaders. We’ve seen it in the way some of them threaten “Big Tech” companies with punitive measures over content-moderation decisions, and how they try to dictate private businesses’ vaccine policies (just as President Biden has).

Just last month J.D. Vance, who’s running for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in Ohio, even said to Tucker Carlson, “Why are we allowing the companies, the foundations that are destroying this country to receive tax preferences? Why don’t we seize the assets of the Ford Foundation, tax their assets, and give it to the people who’ve had their lives destroyed by their radical open borders agenda?”

Seize the assets?

Call me crazy, but I think it’s a really bad idea for both of our nation’s major political parties to be clinging to tenets of statism. And those on the right who’ve been referring to this movement — of what is effectively right-wing social justice — as “common-good conservatism” are completely unserious people.

Sasse argued that more and more Americans are recognizing that both parties are incredibly (and increasingly) weak, and not representative of the things that matter to them. The evidence, according to the senator, is front and center.

“The only thing that happens in American elections right now is that someone loses,” he said. “No one wins. It isn’t hard to understand this unless you’re a politically-addicted weirdo who watches cable news all day, or lives on blue-checkmark political Twitter, or is an officeholder yourself who got warped into thinking that you should stay forever in politics… Most of the American people know that politics right now is not aspirationally persuading anyone. What happens in every single election is: somebody overreaches, and then you have a backlash.”

Sasse pointed out that this didn’t use to be the case. “From 1952 until 1994, the House of Representatives turned over zero times. Since Bill Clinton’s election in 1992, every single second year of a new president’s term — with the sole exception of George W. Bush in the aftermath of 9/11 — every single time, the congress flipped two years into a new presidency, because that person didn’t win because they had some grand mandate to go and transform America. They won because the other person was regarded as a bigger jackass. Every election is basically a lesser-of-two-evils election right now.”

The senator included the Virginia gubernatorial race as further evidence, saying there wasn’t any doubt Youngkin was going to win, not after Terry McAuliffe aligned himself with the teacher’s unions who, as Sasse put it, said “screw you to parents,” most importantly on in-class learning. Sasse added, “Republicans didn’t win that race. McAuliffe decided to lose. And that’s what happens in every single election right now.”

He also made the point that while lots of party leaders and other political figures pay exceptionally close attention to cable news and social-media politics, both mediums are just echo chambers and neither are representative of “real people” who haven’t the time for, or interest in, either. Yet, those mediums, and not the larger populous, are what both parties are routinely responding to.

Sasse referred to our 24/7 media-fueled politics as the “Casino model,” and he described what that model is… “What happens in a casino?” he asked. “There are no clocks. All you want to do is to create people who are weirdos, who are addicts, who just endlessly scroll. And so, you lie to them, and the narcissistic feedback-loops on your feed tell you, ‘You know what? You’re a victim. Everybody’s mistreating you.’”

He’s right, of course, and it’s a big reason why I’ve weened myself off of cable news entirely… except for Fox News Sunday once a week, and some trips over to Mediaite for highlights (to keep with which junk-food is being tossed out to the tribes on any given day). And I must say that it’s amazing, once you’ve disconnected from it for a while, how cable news comes across as even crazier than you had thought.

The result of the Casino model, Sasse believes, is that most Americans have thrown in the towel on politics. This, he argued, has had the negative consequence of the “politically-addicted share of the country” getting more and more attention among a smaller group of people. The senator feels that the majority has been left thinking, “Oh, wait a minute, if I pay attention to politics, that means I have to pretend that it’s my whole world view and whole identity? Screw that. I’m going to check out. I want less and less to do with you people.”

That’s not to say that they’ve “checked out” from participating in elections. They still vote. But that’s largely the extent of their political engagement, and these days they view their electoral responsibility more as a form of protest than as a step toward a brighter future. Most Americans have little or no confidence in either side to do anything substantively productive or even positive, and once elected, lots of leaders seem eager to prove them right.

With less room for thoughtful adults to engage, the more bizarre, hyperbolic, and untethered from reality our politics have become. I see more and more evidence of it all the time, not just online but in my day to day life. Politically, if I take away the partisan and party elements, there are basically two types of people I know:

  1. those who are clear-eyed and fairly informed on issues, but feel mostly unrepresented by elected leaders.
  2. those who never stop talking about politics, insist that the next election could mean the end of the republic (if their side loses), and present every issue as an overly simplistic, racially-based, or conspiracy-driven partisan meme.

I’ll give you one guess as to which type makes up the majority, and which type gets their news and views from the Casino model.

What can be done to get disaffected Americans back into the mix? I think the answer is stronger institutions. Our schools could renew their focus on civics education. Our political parties could grow backbones and actually hold the politicians who carry their banner to a sober set of standards and principles (like they once did). Likewise, our news-media institutions could recognize that they have a societal responsibility to the public, and enforce a bar of ethics (not views) that even their commentators are held to.

The problem is that I don’t think there’s an incentive structure for any of these changes, not when the power of citizenship is so widely taken for granted, and not when there’s so much money and job security to be made off of polarization.

Still, one can dream.

 


Sean Coleman is back in John A. Daly’s upcoming thriller novel, “Restitution.” Click here to pre-order.




Bernie’s Q&A: Maddow, Rodgers, Gosar, Prager, Rittenhouse, Big Bird, and more! (11/12) — Premium Interactive ($4 members)

Welcome to this week’s Premium Q&A session for Premium Interactive members. I appreciate you all signing up and joining me. Thank you.

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Now, let’s get to your questions (and my answers):


Hi, Bernie, over the next couple of weeks, I would like to ask your thoughts on some of the leading cable folks. Let’s start with Rachel Maddow. She is adored by the left and disliked by the right. The left considers her to be this knowledgeable individual who does her homework prior to commenting. And, yet, she got the Russia collusion hoax so wrong. And, she got egg all over her face for the time that she bragged that she had Donald Trump’s tax submissions. What are your thoughts on Rachel Maddow? — Jerry G

First, I have to acknowledge that I don’t watch her show very much. When changing channels, I catch a little of it, but that’s all. With that acknowledgment on the record … Maddow, like just about everyone else on prime time cable news, is an ideologue. And as such she’ll take the progressive side of almost any argument. That’s not real analysis. But what I find so off-putting about her is that she lectures her audience. She goes on and on, just talking — as if she’s the teacher and we’re all her students. So in her case it’s both style and substance I’m no fan of.

Science is now a religion in that it requires a lot of faith to be believed. The Atlantic published a nice piece called ‘Science Publishing Is A Joke’. Instead of the game “Simon says,’ it is now government mandates that start “the science says . . ,” and we are to blindly and humbly obey whatever agenda follows. This is especially true when it comes to Covid and Climate Change (the 3 Cs for liberals), but we are never presented the actual science. One interesting quote from epidemiologists in this piece: “We don’t really have a clue what we’re doing: but here are some models.” Another is that since Covid has occurred, 200,000 scientific papers on Covid have been published. So, if Fauci only read the one-page abstracts of each paper, he’d need to read about 330 pages every day for the last 20 months, and it’s some really gripping reading. And how are we doing with Covid relative to all of that “science”? I wish someone would whip up a model to show me the way. — DonEstif

Not much for me to add, Don. Political opinion should have no place in scientific research. But at times it does. And when a politician says, “Let’s follow the science,” he or she usually means, let’s follow the science that agrees with my politics.

Bernie, I think the revolution may have stumbled a bit, especially here in Virginia. And as you mentioned previously, it looks like the backbiting has begun. However, our beloved lefty networks don’t appear to be embracing this setback to socialist oblivion. To watch Joy Reid and Rachel Maddow one would think we actually still had slaves in this country, or worse then that, Donald Trump was still president. And that new comedy morning show, “Morning Joe,” took on a positively gloomy aspect [the morning after the election]. One tuning in for the first time would have thought a head of state, or possibly a news anchor, had passed. Both being equal in importance. When do you think they, the media wizards not politicians, might catch on to this new trend of listening to the majority, or at least not the wingnut part, of the liberal party and also give the conservatives, or as they know them, “The Racists,” a few moments of quality time? — Rodney A.

Not anytime soon, Rodney. Much of the news media — especially cable news, but a lot of other news outlets too — have figured out what their particular audience wants to hear and then proceeds to give them just that. So conservatives will not get “a few moments of quality time” on CNN or MSNBC because that’s not what their audiences want to hear. No one tunes into either of those channels to hear that Republicans just might have a few good ideas. That would violate the business model. Your question is a good one, but I’m afraid I’m not hopeful.

[Regarding Monday’s column on cable news,] it is this incessant blathering that has kept me at arms length from any news. I believe the downfall came when 24 news cycles, as Emeril L. says, “Kicked it up a notch.” Starting harmlessly enough with CNN, and subsequently, HLN, it was kind of pleasant to catch world news at any time. Then they started their epic slide towards a more liberal view of US news, and opinions became mainstream. Then along came Fox News, and the fight was on. I miss the days of Cronkite, Huntley-Brinkley, and Smith-Reynolds. A half hour of NEWS on the national scene, followed by the local scene. If opinions were expressed, they stated so and you knew it was an opinion. And let’s face it, probably the only news channel that has it right is HLN. Every half hour, then retread. There just ain’t that much going on that we don’t know about. Too much information just inundating us constantly. I’d rather watch old movies or comedy reruns. Not mindless entertainment, just not hard on the mind. — Rodney A.

You’re analysis is right on the money, Rodney … but it didn’t have to be this way. Cable news could have taken a different direction. But when it realized there was more opinion in hot opinions than in fact-based news … the fight, as you say, was on. The people running all three cable channels could not care less about news. They’re in the money business. And that’s why I’ve said that cable news is one of the most divisive forces in America. If there’s a good game on between 8 and 11 ET … I’m watching it; not the clown shows on cable.

I’ve been of the opinion that the GB Packers aren’t that good without Aaron Rodgers, man bun and all. I won that bet with my grandkids who are big Packer fans as they bet me, they could still win without him. The cancel culture is after him but I’m betting sports superstars will always get the pass, when they’re winners. Money, right? Second question; even though I won the bet do you think I should man-up (excuse the sexist comment) and buy them ice cream? — Tim H.

The cancel culture may be out to get him … but that’s mainly a liberal thing. I’m not defending Rogers. He’s on a team, not out there all by himself. And if he didn’t want to get the shot he had an obligation to be more careful than he apparently was. But all will be forgiven — amongst his fans — when he comes back and wins a few more games. Winning is what fans care about.  As for the bet with the grandkids: I guess you could teach them a lesson about losing a bet … but get them some ice cream anyway. But you knew that, right, Tim?

Bernie, after reading Dennis Prager’s latest, did you have a better understanding of why he wanted to get Covid? I sure didn’t. In fact I kept laughing at his rationale. The funniest part to me was when he wrote “I decided very early on that I would not live my life in fear, but instead live normally.”

Then, in the next sentence, he said he had been taking “ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, zinc, megadoses of vitamin D, vitamin C and selenium” for over a year. I’m not understanding how that makes him any braver or normal than an average joe like me who simply got two shots of Pfizer in his arm and went about his life. Prager (who is in a high-risk group) said he went through days of the chills, coughing, fatigue, taste loss, and monoclonal antibody infusion (and who knows who else he infected), just so he would have better protection against getting covid… a second time? What a weird gamble. — Ben G.

Let me repeat what I’ve said before: I’m not surprised when stupid people do stupid things. But when smart people do stupid things, I’m fascinated (but not in a good way). Prager is smart. What he did was stupid. The end.

Cable TV “News” does seem to me to have become an echo chamber of hate-mongering. It’s curious to me it attracts an audience, which does not speak well of us. In that vein Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar posted an animated video of himself killing New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Twitter flagged that tweet-video and it now has been deleted. What do you think about Gosar’s mean tweet and should any action be taken against him? — John R.

The voters will decide what to do with the congressman. And Congress may take action even before the voters weigh in. But be assured you won’t hear a lot of condemnation from conservative media, either on television or social media. Each side only cares about stupid things the other side does. As for cable “news” attracting an audience: There are some 330 million Americans. One in one hundred Americans are watching the top ranked cable shows … and a lot fewer are watching most cable so-called news shows.

Sir Bernie, I think Kyle Rittenhouse should never have put himself at the wrong place at the wrong time to “defend” someone else’s private property (even though as I understand it, the cops were ordered to allow the rioters to go about their destructive behavior with impunity, but I could be wrong).  Nonetheless I also believe that he never should’ve been charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon.  It appears from video as well as witness testimony for the prosecution that Rittenhouse was defending himself (and this includes testimony from the “surviving victim” who acknowledged that he chased Rittenhouse down and aimed his own gun at him before being shot in the arm by Rittenhouse). In your opinion, is this trial mostly political because he’s a young white fellow who is unsupportive of the rioters’ cause, and instead perceived as a wicked “racist  MAGA”  type, especially by the left wing media members and Democrats? Why do you think Rittenhouse has more public support than Derek Chauvin had? What would be your verdict? — “Free Kyle Rittenhouse” Regards from The Emperor

I’m with you, Your Highness, about how Rittenhouse “should never have put himself at the wrong place at the wrong time” etc. That said, I’ve seen the video of what happened that night. And it’s obvious to me that he was acting in self-defense. He has more public support than Derek Chauvin because what Chauvin could not be condoned by reasonable people. I know that George Floyd was no saint, but Chauvin’s indifference was both criminal and immoral. What Rittenhouse did is not in the same league.

We are already divided into 50 states, which are currently increasing their individuality. Returning the election of Senators to the state legislatures would be an effective first step in returning to the states those unenumerated powers the federal government has been progressively (pun intended) usurping. — Hyrum S.

I see what you’re getting at, Hyrum, but I’m in favor of leaving the election of senators — as is. I’d rather let people vote than leave it up to politicians in state legislatures. There may be some good in that, but it’s not something I’m comfortable with.

Things got a little weird the other day on Twitter when beloved Sesame Street character, Big Bird, tweeted that he had just received the COVID-19 vaccination. This apparently outraged Senator Ted Cruz, who called Big Bird a government propagandist, and accused him of indoctrinating America’s children. Since then, Cruz has taken several more shots at Big Bird on his social media accounts.

Do you think this feud will end with Big Bird calling Cruz’s wife ugly, and accusing his father of killing JFK, which Cruz will then react to by becoming a loyal Big Bird sycophant for the next four years? — John D.

Excellent question, Mr. D … and I’m going to share something with you — and only you. I have learned from high level sources at Sesame Street that Big Bird is not really a big bird but is a human inside a big bird costume. That’s big enough breaking news, but there’s more. Guess who the character playing big bird is? Hint: His initials are D … J … T.  No joke. I got this from Oscar the Grouch and the Cookie Monster. They don’t lie. And yes, there’s a good chance that Big Bird will slander Ted Cruz’s family and that Ted will become a loyal Big Bird sycophant going forward. Inquiring minds want to know this stuff and now they do.

 


Thanks, everyone! You can send me questions for next week using the form below! You can also read previous Q&A sessions by clicking here.




Off the Cuff: Less Consequential Lies Are Still Lies

In this week’s Off the Cuff audio commentary, I look at how, unlike with Trump, the media are reluctant to call out President Biden’s lies.

You can listen to it by clicking on the play (arrow) button below.

 

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Natural Immunity Versus Vaccine Immunity

You never know when something you say will go viral. It has happened a number of times in my career, the latest being comments I made on my national radio talk show a few weeks ago when I had COVID-19. I said that I had hoped I would attain natural immunity, since science — evidenced, for example, in a major study from Israel, one of the most pro-vaccine and highly vaccinated societies in the world — strongly suggests that natural immunity provides more robust and durable protection against COVID-19 than the current COVID-19 vaccines have proven to provide.

Specifically, I said that I had hugged and taken photos with thousands of people from the beginning of the pandemic. I had two reasons for doing this: 1) I decided very early on that I would not live my life in fear, but instead live normally; and 2) if I did get the virus I had confidence that the prophylactic therapeutics and nutrients I had been taking for more than a year — ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, zinc, megadoses of vitamin D, vitamin C and selenium (and a monoclonal antibody infusion once I tested positive for COVID-19) — would protect me from serious consequences. Most importantly, I repeatedly said from the beginning of 2020 that I chose to live normally, not hide in my house. As much as I want to live a long life, I have always believed that the purpose of life is to live fully, not necessarily long (though, of course, I want that too — just not at the expense of normal living).

My COVID-19 symptoms consisted of chills for three days, a cough and fatigue for about a week and loss of taste for a day. I missed three days of radio but did not miss a speech (I flew from California to Florida to deliver a speech five days after testing negative).

From CNN to the Washington Post, I was mocked by much of the national mainstream media. Needless to say, not one of them bothered to interview me or invite me to respond either in writing or in person. That is how things now work in America: the media attack and mock those with whom they differ but offer no opportunity for the attacked party to respond. On the basis of a few sentences provided by a lie-based attack site (Media Matters), the Washington Post, for example, wrote an entire article on me and those comments. More on that in the next column.

Let’s begin with my premise — that natural immunity is more robust than a vaccine (or at least the vaccines we currently have). That is what a large study out of Israel — one of the most pro-vaccine and highly vaccinated countries in the world — reported.

On August 25, 2021, medRxiv published a “preprint” study by ten Israeli scientists, all associated with an Israeli research institute, Maccabitech, in Tel Aviv. Among the 10 are three MDs, three professors of epidemiology, two professors at the Tel Aviv University School of Public Health and an adjunct researcher at the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Institutes of Health in the United States. The study’s conclusion: “This study demonstrated that natural immunity confers longer lasting and stronger protection against infection, symptomatic disease and hospitalization caused by the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, compared to the BNT162b2 two-dose vaccine-induced immunity …”

On August 26, 2021, Science, one of the world’s most widely cited science magazines, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, published an article on the Israeli study. Its opening sentence reads: “The natural immune protection that develops after a SARS-CoV-2 infection offers considerably more of a shield against the Delta variant of the pandemic coronavirus than two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to a large Israeli study …”

Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, confirmed the Israel study: “In Israel, vaccinated individuals had 27 times higher risk of symptomatic COVID infection compared to those with natural immunity from prior COVID disease … “

A Cleveland clinic study came to the same conclusion. Published on June 5, 2021, also on medRxiv, it concluded that “Individuals who have had SARS-CoV-2 infection are unlikely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination … “

Even before the Israeli and Cleveland Clinic studies, a New York University study comparing vaccine immunity to natural immunity concluded that people who had had COVID-19 were better protected against the virus: “In COVID-19 patients, immune responses were characterized by a highly augmented interferon response which was largely absent in vaccine recipients.”

A Rockefeller University study published on August 24, 2021, concluded, as the Israel study did, that “a natural infection may induce maturation of antibodies with broader activity than a vaccine does.” The study immediately added that getting natural immunity entails contracting COVID-19, and “a natural infection can also kill you.” But that valid warning does not negate its conclusion in favor of natural immunity. Nor does the study warn that getting the vaccine may also induce harmful consequences. To its everlasting shame, that is a taboo subject in America’s medical community despite the fact that the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists over 700,000 cases of suspected injury and more than 17,000 otherwise unexpected deaths temporally associated with COVID-19 vaccines.

Last week, the media reported that the CDC announced that vaccines provided greater immunity than natural immunity. But the way in which the CDC came to this conclusion is all but indecipherable, if not simply dishonest.

Here’s how Dr. Peter Hotez, a pro-vaccine spokesman and co-director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Texas Children’s Hospital, summarized the Kentucky study:

“The Centers for Disease Control in their ‘MMWR’ (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report) published a very interesting study out of Kentucky comparing individuals who were infected and recovered and chose not to get vaccinated versus those who are infected and recovered and then got vaccinated in addition. And clearly, those who chose not to get vaccinated were reinfected at much higher rates, several times higher, than those who were infected and recovered and vaccinated.”

Those comments are completely irrelevant to the issue at hand. The comparison I and others make is between natural immunity and vaccine immunity. The CDC-Kentucky study is not a comparison between natural immunity and vaccine immunity; it is a comparison between those who received a vaccine after natural immunity and those who did not receive a vaccine after attaining natural immunity.

NIH director Francis Collins also used the Kentucky study to avoid the question of COVID-recovered immunity versus vaccine immunity. On August 12, 2021, he said on Fox News: “There was a study published by CDC just ten days ago in Kentucky … So, what was the protection level? It was more than two-fold better for the people who had had the vaccine in terms of protection than people who had had natural infection. That’s very clear in that Kentucky study. You know that surprises people. Kind of surprised me that the vaccine would actually be better than natural infection …”

This CDC report and deliberate conflation by Dr. Peter Hotez and NIH director Collins of two completely different groups — COVID-recovered (with or without vaccine) and vaccinated who never had COVID-19 — are among the many reasons so many Americans no longer trust the American medical establishment.

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in May 2019, is “The Rational Bible,” a commentary on the book of Genesis. His film, “No Safe Spaces,” was released to home entertainment nationwide on September 15, 2020. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

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Last Updated: Monday, Nov 08, 2021 18:50:05 -0800




Corruption

According to recent surveys, Americans don’t trust the federal government nor do they have much faith in the press. Whether the topic is the 2020 presidential election, or the Covid vaccine, or spending billions of taxpayer dollars to stop global warming, suspicion reigns.

And that skepticism is well placed.

Back in 2020, when Donald Trump began succeeding in his quest to become the 45th President, a nasty scheme emerged to destroy him.

The media dubbed it “Russian Collusion” and, for years, ran wild with speculation that Russia was either helping or blackmailing Donald Trump.  Perhaps both.

Here’s how it worked. The FBI was fed phony accusations by “operatives” that led to the Bureau launching a formal investigation.  Using unverified information which turned out to be fictional, secret federal warrants were obtained that allowed spying on the Trump campaign.  Along with that, untrue information was leaked by “anonymous sources” to the leftist media led by the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and NBC News.

The Times even won a Pulitzer Prize for covering the phony story.  Not for exposing it as bogus, but for printing the falsehoods without attribution.  One Times reporter, Maggie Haberman, reportedly wrote more than 100 stories critical of Trump using anonymous sources.

Let me repeat: the New York Times won the most prestigious journalism award in the world for essentially spreading false information.

The American taxpayer then picked up a $35 million dollar tab for a “special investigation” headed by Independent Counsel Robert Mueller.

The probe found there was no verifiable collusion with Russia. But it took two years for that to be determined.  In the meantime, Donald Trump was savaged daily in the press.

Now another investigation, this one headed by US Attorney John Durham, is finally issuing indictments in this incredible situation. Three individuals have been charged and the emerging picture is that the bogus Russian Collusion story was concocted and financed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

If true, that would be one of the most corrupt political actions in American history.

Mrs. Clinton will, of course, deny any knowledge of criminality.  And she is entitled to the presumption of innocence that Donald Trump did not receive.  Mr. Trump, himself, is rightfully furious over this whole thing and has called for the Pulitzer committee to revoke the prize.

That will never happen.

Why?  Because the media industry is so corrupt that false stories no longer matter. Not one news agency has apologized for dereliction of duty in using a fabricated scenario to vilify and smear the Republican presidential candidate.

The lesson here is frightening: when the national press is corrupt, devious political players know they can get away with outright fraud and massive deceit.

And that’s where we are in the United States today.  Ronald Reagan once said: “trust but verify.”  But verification no longer matters to a national press infected with an ideological virus.

Thus, there is no trust.