Cable News in Glare of Its Own Russiagate Gaslight

James Howard Kunstler wonders if there is any way to hold the errand boys-and-girls in the news media accountable for their roles as handmaidens in what will be eventually known as a seditious coup to overthrow a president.

Rachel Maddow, MSNBC news host. (Screen shot)

By James Howard Kunstler
Clusterfuck Nation

James Howard KunstlerIt was interesting to watch the cable news divas go incandescent under the glare of their own gaslight last week when they received the unpleasant news that the Barr & Durham “review” of Russiagate had been officially upgraded to a “criminal investigation.” Rachel Maddow’s trademark pouty-face got a workout as she strained to imagine “…what the thing is that Durham might be looking into.” Yes, that’s a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, all right… with a sputtering fuse sticking out of it. Welcome to the Wile E. Coyote Lookalike Club, Rache.

Minutes later, the answer dawned on her: “It [the thing] follows the wildest conspiracy theories from Fox News!” You’d think that someone who invested two-plus years of her life in the Mueller report, which blew up last spring, might have felt a twinge of journalistic curiosity as to the sum-and-substance of the thing. But no, she just hauled on-screen Russiagate intriguer David Laufman, a former DOJ lawyer who ran the agency’s CounterIntel and Export Control desk during the Russiagate years, and also helped oversee the botched Hillary Clinton private email server probe.

“They have this theory,” Maddow said, “that maybe Russia didn’t interfere in the election….”

>>Please Donate to Consortium News’ Fall Fund Drive<<

“It’s preposterous,” said Laufman, all lawyered up and ready to draw a number and take a seat for his own grand jury testimony. (Note: Laufman was also deeply involved in the Brett Kavanaugh fiasco as lawyer to Christine Blasey Ford’s BFF, former FBI agent Monica McLean.)

Jeff Toobin at left with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. (Screenshot)

The Mysterious Joseph Mifsud

Over in the locked ward of CNN, Andy Cooper and Jeff Toobin attempted to digest the criminal investigation news as if someone had ordered in a platter of shit sandwiches for the green room just before air-time. Toobin pretended to not know exactly who the mysterious Joseph Mifsud was, and struggled to even pronounce his name: “…Mifsood? Misfood…? You mean the Italian professor?”

No Jeff, the guy employed by several “friendly” foreign intelligence agencies, and the CIA, to sandbag Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, and failed. I guess when you’re at the beating heart of TV news, you don’t have to actually follow any of the stories reported outside your range of thought and experience.

Joseph Mifsud. (Flickr)

Next Andy hauled onscreen former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (now a paid CNN “contributor”) to finesse a distinction between the “overall investigation of the Russian interference” and “the counterintelligence investigation that was launched by the FBI.” Consider that Clapper was right in the middle between the CIA and the FBI. Since he is known to be a friend of former FBI Director James Comey’s and a not-friend of former CIA Direction John Brennan’s one can easily see which way Clapper is tilting. One can also see the circular firing squad that this is a setup for. And, of course, Clapper himself will be a subject in Durham’s criminal case proceedings. I predict October will be the last month that Clapper draws a CNN paycheck — as he hunkers down with his attorneys awaiting the subpoena with his name on it.

The New York Times story on this turn of events was a lame attempt to rescue Comey by pinning the blame for Russiagate on the CIA, shoving Brennan under the bus. The Times report says: “Mr. Durham has also asked whether C.I.A. officials might have somehow tricked the F.B.I. into opening the Russia investigation.” There’s the next narrative for you. Expect to hear this incessantly well into 2020: “We wuz tricked!”

I wonder if there is any way to hold the errand boys-and-girls in the news media accountable for their roles as handmaidens in what will be eventually known as a seditious coup to overthrow a president. We do enjoy freedom of the press in this land, but I can see how these birds merit charges as unindicted co-conspirators in the affair. One wonders if the various boards of directors of the newspaper and cable news outfits might seek to salvage their self-respect by firing the executives who allowed it to happen. If anything might be salutary in the outcome of this hot mess, it would be a return to respectability of the news media.

As for impeachment, ringmaster Rep. Adam Schiff is surely steaming straight into his own historic Joe McCarthy moment when somebody of incontestable standing denounces him as a fraud and a scoundrel… and the mysterious workings of nonlinear behavior tips the political mob past a criticality threshold, shifting the weight of consensus out of darkness and madness. It has happened before in history. Two centuries before Joe McCarthy, the French national assembly suddenly turned on the Jacobins Robespierre and St. Just after their orgy of beheading 17,000 enemies. The two were quickly dispatched themselves to the awe of their beloved guillotine and the Jacobin faction was not heard of again —until recently in America, where it first infected the universities and then sickened the polity at large almost unto death.

James Howard Kunstler is author of “The Geography of Nowhere,” which he says he wrote “Because I believe a lot of people share my feelings about the tragic landscape of highway strips, parking lots, housing tracts, mega-malls, junked cities, and ravaged countryside that makes up the everyday environment where most Americans live and work.” He has written several other works of nonfiction and fiction. Read more about him here.

This article first appeared on his blog, ClusterfuckNation. 

Before commenting please read Robert Parry’s Comment Policy. Allegations unsupported by facts, gross or misleading factual errors and ad hominem attacks, and abusive or rude language toward other commenters or our writers will be removed. If your comment does not immediately appear, please be patient as it is manually reviewed. For security reasons, please refrain from inserting links in your comments.

>>Please Donate to Consortium News’ Fall Fund Drive<<

24 comments for “Cable News in Glare of Its Own Russiagate Gaslight

  1. robert e williamson jr
    November 4, 2019 at 14:06

    One Brit official says of Barr’s wish list, “it’s like nothing we’ve ever come across before, they are basically asking, in robust terms , for help in doing a hatchet job on their own intelligence services.”

    Now I have one question. When is the last time the DOJ did a hatchet job on the intelligence community. Now consider the pardons Barr recommended Bush 41 hand out.

    Now that I have muddied up the picture even more I will leave you all to your thoughts with one parting shot. Doesn’t this entire fiasco seem to remind one of the “TWILIGHT ZONE”?

    Who better to put us in that zip code than the intelligence community?

  2. Chris
    November 3, 2019 at 13:54

    Uncoinidentally, J. Mifsud’s background will be as (un) thoroughly reported as J. Epstein’s background by these clown puppets.

  3. Realist
    November 2, 2019 at 17:44

    “The New York Times story on this turn of events was a lame attempt to rescue Comey by pinning the blame for Russiagate on the CIA, shoving Brennan under the bus. The Times report says: “Mr. Durham has also asked whether C.I.A. officials might have somehow tricked the F.B.I. into opening the Russia investigation.” There’s the next narrative for you. Expect to hear this incessantly well into 2020: “We wuz tricked!”

    In other words, “2020 hindsight” will abound once the calendar flips to said year.

    Interesting “times” ahead… not limited to mutterings from that newspaper.

    • Tom
      November 4, 2019 at 00:07

      Matt Taibbi
      LOL. Barack Obama is going to love this interview his former DIA James Clapper just gave to CNN about the Durham probe: “It’s frankly disconcerting to be investigated for having done… what we were told to do by the president of the United States.”

      Matt Taibbi
      I don’t know, did the CIA/FBI abuse FISA, improperly use informants against a presidential candidate, leak declassified material, and spend two years spreading fake news stories about everything from pee tapes to a secret Alfa server?

  4. November 2, 2019 at 14:13

    I am a member of the Green Party. And i think Kunstler is a gem. A national treasure. I look forward to reading him each week and think he has been on point, during this whole sordid Russiagate affair.

  5. Dfnslblty
    November 2, 2019 at 12:38

    And now the knee jerk, instantaneous society is exposed! Ooh! ie: twitter, fb, comment rectangles such as this …
    JHK is smearing everything/one in the rearviewmirror – how simple and easy.
    cent intell agency professionally blinds citizens and covers for oligarchs and kleptos.
    Protest Loudly!

    • Clark M Shanahan
      November 3, 2019 at 11:03

      ” smearing everything/one in the rearviewmirror – how simple and easy.”
      It may be hard to believe that there were many, who followed current/past events, that weren’t at all convinced; when the Golden Showers production first hit the NYTimes.
      To the contrary, those same folk, found taking pundits like Rachal & Toobin seriously, an exceedingly difficult endeavor.
      When did you find out that it was all a classic “wag the dog” op?

  6. John Drake
    November 2, 2019 at 10:46

    What the media should not be forgiven for is ballyhooing the bogus Russia meddling schtick while ignoring the very real and extensive Republican voter suppression efforts; various methods of voter purging, such as crosscheck, and gerrymandering. All of which have disenfranchised millions of voters largely Latino or of color.
    This disinformation has allowed excuses for Hillary’s incompetent campaign; which added to her violent war mongering nature and influence peddling corruption made her a unelectable product of the Democrats’ dysfunctional corporate center.
    As usual in American politics the unreal is used to hide the really nasty.

    • Myra Zuckerman
      November 3, 2019 at 06:34

      Thank you-exactly. Am horrified that all of the voter suppression, purging, faulty voting machines, gerrymandering, voter intimidation is not front page news. Why aren’t the Dem candidates talking about this continually?

    • DH Fabian
      November 3, 2019 at 18:57

      To my knowledge, those purges refer to the standard practice of periodically removing (from voter rolls) the names of those who haven’t voted in any recent elections, and are assumed to have moved or died. People have a personal responsibility to check their voter status if they have moved or haven’t voted in recent elections. Errors can be made, so one might want to check, regardless.

    • November 4, 2019 at 13:34

      Voter suppression would be an issue if there were actually choices available at the ballot box. Elections in the U.S. are merely distractions from the crimes being committed in plain sight.

    • Ash
      November 4, 2019 at 18:35

      > Why aren’t the Dem candidates talking about this continually?

      Because they’re the “good cop” half of the scam, not actual opposition.

  7. November 2, 2019 at 09:47

    I think the media folks that seemed anxious to cry impeachment as the President was being sworn in are not through, knowing the best defense is offense. The mysterious whistleblower provided the opportunity to revisit everything that the Mueller team visited and to keep the impeachment inquiry alive.

    The comparison of the weapons of mass destruction debacle and the current Russian interference is apt and the faces in the media you saw then and those you see today are mostly the same.

    One wishes that the weapons of mass destruction criers had been put in the dock and those committing criminal acts in this debacle would suffer a similar fate but history suggests that is not going to happen.

    Nothing would be better for our country than being wrong, that a good house cleaning would occur.

  8. Paolo
    November 2, 2019 at 04:16

    « If anything might be salutary in the outcome of this hot mess, it would be a return to respectability of the news media.»
    Unlikely! When you’ve lost your respectability it is very hard to earn it back.
    The scars left by this hot mess will keep itching for a very long time.

  9. N Dalton
    November 2, 2019 at 01:31

    All James Howard Kunstler be remembered for will his never ending `banal classical garbage`and yes,he`s NOT disappointed again.

  10. geeyp
    November 2, 2019 at 00:00

    Nailed it, Mr. Kunstler. If you want to see something also revolting, check out the previous administration’s CIA director on C-SPAN 2 from 10/31/19 at something called the Scher Institute. He is heard there pontificating on the deep state along with another former CIA head John McLaughlin.

  11. Anon
    November 1, 2019 at 22:27

    MSNBC headline in Watergate Era: Group of Latino telephone repairmen mistakenly apprehended after getting locked in the Watergate Building.

    And last week, Trump killed: The Mahatma of the Mesopotamia. :(

    I wonder if the US media will survive the Trump Era?

  12. Skip Scott
    November 1, 2019 at 16:58

    I just love Kunstler’s sense of humor. However, considering the fate of those of the MSM who served our intel agencies in the run-up to the Iraq war, I’d say the chance that they’ll suffer any consequences for being lackeys for the RussiaGate psy-op are exactly nil. In fact, most likely promotions and salary increases will be the result.

    • Bob Van Noy
      November 2, 2019 at 11:42

      Skip Scott, I’m going to post this here because my browser shows only three comments and I suspect there are many more, but please see a pertinent extension of this conversation at Off Guarden this morning on fake news and reporting and the commentary is equally important…

      [The article by Lucy Komisar referred to on Off Guardian was published earlier on Consortium News, “London Times Runs Fake Browder Opinion Piece,” Oct. 29]

    • Drew Hunkins
      November 2, 2019 at 14:44

      “…most likely promotions and salary increases will be the result.”

      Exactly Skip. If history is any indicator, these shills will just fine for themselves.

  13. Drew Hunkins
    November 1, 2019 at 14:50

    Stephen Cohen recently mentioned that not only did intel run Mifsud at Papadoupoulis, but intel also ran four other people at him trying to trap him.

    • Abby
      November 2, 2019 at 01:41

      The FBI tried 7 times to entrap people from Trump’s campaign. The Trump tower meeting was setup by Glen Simpson from Fusion GPS. He met with the Russian woman both before and after the meeting. And the state department was also involved because the woman who met with Trump was at first not allowed in the country because she had problems with her passport.

      I’m hoping that all of the information on this comes out and it goes to the top. Including Obama.

  14. Drew Hunkins
    November 1, 2019 at 14:46

    Looking at Maddow’s face makes me almost throw-up a little bit in my mouth. Knowing the personal relationships she’s strained or broken up, she can never be forgiven.

    • Ted Parker
      November 2, 2019 at 13:50

      Agree completely, there really must be something wrong if anyone can watch and believe her. She calls disbelieving a conspiracy theory a conspiracy theory.

Comments are closed.