I imagine that Trump's lunacy is driving parts of the press completely insane and it's not because he's an erratic toddler throwing temper tantrums on an hourly basis and putting the country and the world at risk. Rather, they're going insane because it is manifestly impossible to maintain their most beloved lie that "both sides are the same."
But that doesn't mean they's not going to try anyway. Here's NBC's Carrie Dann taking false equivalence to a whole new level by seriously comparing the Micheal Flynn borderline treason scandal to the Gov. Rod Blagojevich bribery scandal from 2009:
If you don't quite remember the Blagojevich kerfluffle it was pretty straightforward: Then-Senator Obama won the election and the Democratic governor of his home state Illinois had to appoint someone to fill his Senate seat. Blagojevich started seeking bribes from potential replacements and people like Senator Roland Burris (the winner of the bribe-a-thon) tried to cover up their knowledge of the events. It was run of the mill corruption that landed Blagojevich in jail and ran Burris out of the Senate two years later.
Comparing this in any way to what is going on with the Trump administration is eye-popping madness.
Monday night, Michael Flynn "resigned" after the Trump administration failed to cover up the fact that he was working with (for?) Russia to influence the election and undermine Obama's sanctions. Unfortunately for Trump and the other people in his administration still on Russia's payroll, the questions didn't stop. People are still demanding to know who knew about Flynn being compromised, reporters are still digging, and the intelligence community is actively investigating (and leaking) damning information.
We are confronted with the very real and increasingly likely possibility that the highest levels of our government, including the President of the United States, are hopelessly compromised by a hostile foreign power. This is unlike anything we've ever faced before but for some, the pathological need to find both sides equally guilty is overpowering.
Shortly after her tweet, Dann was slammed by a number of people pointing out how ridiculous the comparison was, compelling her to tweet a half-hearted correction:
That's not much of a defense. While Fox News was working overtime to link Obama to the bribery scandal, this was a self-contained local story. Not so much for the Flynn scandal. Flynn's forced resignation could be the opening salvo in a broader scandal that will make Watergate look like a dust up on the playground. Yes, Dann is not directly comparing Trump to Obama but, gosh darn-it, she unintentionally worked the phrase "Barack Obama's presidency" into her comparison that's not a comparison.
If (when) it gets out that other people in the Trump administration knew about Flynn's ties to Russia and his compromised status, that's going to topple anyone that tried to cover it up. The cover up is always worse than the scandal itself. If (when) it gets out that Trump knew, that would compel even the recalcitrant Republicans to impeach the president. Failing to do so would risk them being labeled traitors by their own voters, never mind the rest of the country.
Even giving Dann the benefit of the doubt doesn't help because her tweet can still be read as "both sides do it" by anyone looking to give cover to the Trump administration. As a person in the news business, her very job depends on clearly communicating her thoughts lest they be misinterpreted. Her original tweet was either a sloppy attempt at false equivalence or a sloppy attempt at contrasting the severity of the Flynn scandal to the Blagojevich one.
Either way, Dann has given us a reminder of how easily the media can fall down on the job and why we have to push them just as hard as we're pushing Trump and the Republicans.
There are 629 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
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