Whenever the elitist says it is a big news week, they really mean they hardly have sufficient time to overexpose their preconceived narratives. This week we saw a bit of that and an example of where a narrative got unsustainable. We will begin with the story that is the most important in terms of public policy.
Penalties on Russia
Today, the Trump administration expelled 60 Russian Diplomats in response to the chemical warfare attack in Britain. Since none of the previous actions against Russia – not reversing Obama sanctions, bombing Syria, arming Ukraine, strengthening NATO, UN condemnation, signing and imposing congressional sanctions, etc. – have changed the media’s false narrative that President Trump never pushes back against Vladimir Putin, what will they say now? It is getting harder and harder to present biased narratives over the facts.
But you must give the media credit for trying. Of course, the questions at the White House Briefing on this subject included: Why not sooner? Why not stronger? Why not against the oligarchs? Forget the reality that such sanctions take time and coordination with our allies in addition to Britain. Forget the fact that these are the strongest sanctions imposed by any president since the Cold War. Forget the fact that some of the past sanctions have been leveled at Russian oligarchs.
Though these latest sanctions are being imposed by the White House, the press corps is wondering why the President, himself, has not come to the podium himself to announce them. One reporter even questioned the practice of “administration officials” undertaking policies opposed to the President. WHAT? Maintaining the false media narrative depends on reporters dishonestly disassociating administration actions from the President. These are the President’s sanctions against Putin. End of discussion.
In the past, I have occasionally referred to the chicken littles of the left and their fearmongering narratives. As with the fiction fowl, most of their warnings are imaginary. You know – the constant claims of constitutional crises and that old favorite, the looming nuclear war.
In the latter category, the appointment of former UN Ambassador John Bolton has the hard left in mock hysteria. I say “mock” because they know that Bolton is not some Dr. Strangelove but is a very highly intelligent and effective implementer of foreign policy.
He proved this during his brief tenure as UN ambassador – cut short because Democrats united to defy his permanent appointment. Why? Because he did not agree with the well established long-standing failed policies of the political left. That remains the foundation of their criticism to this day.
Among his accomplishments was winning a UN resolution opposing the nuclearization of Iran. As Trump’s UN Ambassador Nikki Haley did recently, Bolton was able to get the UN to pass a resolution against a nuclear North Korea with the support of both Russia and China. He led successful efforts to bring reform to the UN’s lumbering bureaucracy and more accountability to its budget. List of his accomplishments is long and can be found online.
In terms of nuclear war, Bolton’s critics totally misrepresent his views because they do not agree. They claim his essay on the legal justifications for a first strike on North Korea was a call for war. Not so. It was an academic case of one of the options – an option, by the way, that has been endorsed by Clinton, Bush and Obama.
They say Bolton has favored the potential – and I stress “potential” – use of surgical strikes against both Iranian and North Korean nuclear facilities. Nothing new there. This has not only been a considered option in the past, the US has actually supported such actions by Israel in the past. Trump used a surgical strike to oppose the use of gas weapons in Syria. Regan bombed the Libyan presidential palace after it was proven that Muammar Gaddafi was behind the terrorist attacks during the Munich Olympics and the downing of the commercial airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland.
Bolton understands what his critics do not. If you want to hang the atomic Sword of Damocles over the head of rogue regimes, they must be convinced that the threat is real. The left prefers claiming allegiance to a “military option,” but to immediately assure our adversaries that we would never, never do such a thing no matter how many bombs and rockets they produce. That is the policy that has given Kim Jong-un bombs today and will most likely lead to a nuclear Iran in the future.
John Bolton is no warmonger, but he is not going to go into negotiations flying a white flag.
Kids on the march numbers game
The media played up the size of the crowd at the kid’s March march. Not so surprising when you take into consideration all the requisite chaperones. For the increasingly humorless left, I feel obligated to note that the previous sentences were a joke.
Some have pushed back on my claim that kids do not “lead” marches. They are sponsored, organized and supervised by adults – in this case, the well established anti-gun lobby. This march around the world was not an organic outcome, but a highly supported and promoted day by the left-wing media.
If you think that allegation is unjustified, then explain to me why the past weekend’s march received such prolonged and voluminous press coverage and other large marches do not. The most obvious reflection of media bias is the minimal coverage of the annual anti-abortion March for Life that reaches up to 700,000 in some years. It usually gets about a minute of airtime for one day. Size does not matter when it comes to biased journalists who offer very little real news but a lot of one-sided spin.
Sleazeball lawyering backfires
“Sleazeball lawyer” is a professional term. It is even used by other lawyers to describe lawyers with questionable and unscrupulous tactics. In my personal, professional and civic pursuits, I have come across a few of those types of lawyers. We can now see one almost every day on television.
Michael Avenatti has gained national fame for representing porn performer Stormy Daniels. It should come as no surprise they a “lady” of that profession would have, by choice or necessity, a sleazeball attorney.
The first sign of sleazeball status is the number of media appearances Avenatti has made. In recent weeks, he has had more personal appearances and interviews than anyone in America. He is focusing on the court-of-public-opinion to make Daniels an increasingly marketable personality – that means money.
To his claim that she just wants to tell her story, the two questions that come to mind are Why? and Who cares? She claims to have been motivated by a desire to protect herself and her child from a lot of salacious revelations. If that were her motivations, she should have kept her mouth shut and used the money to send her kid to college.
Avenatti does what no reputable lawyer does. He throws out a claim of evidence without revealing … any evidence. He makes unsubstantiated charges of physical threats of violence to bait the press — and they take it hook, line and sinker. He violates legal ethics by tweeting a photo of a DVD, suggesting it contains hard evidence against the President – but refuses to say what is on that DVD.
Avenatti is also a liar. When talking about his client being threatened with legal repercussions if she did not sign the non-disclosure agreement, Avenatti said that “no lawyer would ever do that.” That statement alone should end any clutch on credibility Avenatti may have had. What he says is never done is almost ALWAYS done. I have been involved in more than one case where aggressive attorneys use such pro forma threats. A smart client would fire an attorney who did not.
The highly hyped CBS 60 Minutes interview with Daniels is said to have had one of the largest viewer audiences in recent years. That may be bad news for Avenatti and Daniels since it appears to have backfired. There was nothing of the hard facts against Trump, the threat and the money that he had offered up in all those media appearances. She did admit, however, that her income has increased because of the notoriety – and if free to talk, she would likely gain millions in appearances, book deals and maybe even a movie contract.
Now that the grand media production is over, Avenatti is left with the real court case. Most legal experts do not buy his contention that the agreement is so easily nullified and voided – that it must be signed by Trump. Her acceptance of the money and her history of admitted lies weaken her case. If Avenatti is not successful in breaking the contract – and even the long ago alleged threat has no bearing on that question – Daniels could be in line to lose that multimillion dollar lawsuit that Trump’s lawyer has filed against her.
Except for one facet, even the liberal press is coming around to the belief that there is no there there. CNN’s Chris Cuomo and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough have become more skeptical since the 60 minutes interview. They still cling to the possibility of a violation of federal elections laws is the $130,000 Daniels received was an indirect illegal campaign contribution. It is not at all clear that the Federal Election Commission will see it that way, and even if they do, it will result in a fine for Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, who made the payment. Under our unfortunate election laws, if the FEC were to see it as a campaign contribution, President Trump could repay Cohen. Since candidates have no funding limitation, that pretty much ends the issue.
It is hard to find a time that the media has pumped more hot air into a news bubble. A few cling to a hope that somehow and for some reason Special Counsel Robert Mueller will take up the Daniels case. And why would he do that?
Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.