We'll Furnish the War

The media is once again trying to gin up a war - right here at home.

A century and more ago, William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal sent journalists to Cuba looking for stories that would inflame the American public against the Spanish Empire, with the idea that if a war started, newspaper sales would skyrocket.  The journalists themselves thought this was pointless, but no matter:

Among Hearst’s employees was the famed illustrator Frederic Remington.  In 1897, Remington became very bored by the lack of anything newsworthy in Cuba and cabled to Hearst, “Everything quiet.  There is no trouble here.  There will be no war.  Wish to return.”  In response to Remington’s message, Hearst reportedly replied, “Please remain.  You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.”

As we've pointed out before, that's just what he did, with this famous etching of "Spaniards [Strip-]Search Women On American Steamers."  The truth is, this incident never took place.  But the picture looks real enough, and it appeared in a major metropolitan newspaper.  When the U.S.S. Maine blew up in Havana harbor, Americans were primed and ready to make the Spanish pay for their (largely imagined) crimes.  Ergo: Hearst got his war, newspaper sales went through the roof, and the political and economic potential of fake news was established beyond dispute.

Neither the newspapers nor the American public particularly cared about the Spanish dead, and there weren't enough American dead to make them worry too much about mainstream media deception.

It looks like our mainstream media is trying to make things right on behalf of the Hispanics Mr. Hearst's lies killed so long ago by telling lies that will lead Americans to kill each other today.

What else are we to think from their behavior during this long-running impeachment farce?  Every major outlet reported Ambassador Gordon Sondland's  testimony as being "game over" for Donald Trump, proving beyond any doubt that there he demanded an illegal and corrupt "quid pro quo" of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden's son.  In case anyone missed it, opinion journalist Rachel Maddow repeated that point in the Democratic primary debate, setting up a softball for the candidates to tee off of:

“Senator Klobuchar, you’ve said you support the impeachment inquiry but you want to wait for a Senate trial to hear the evidence and make a decision about convicting the president,” Maddow began. “After the bombshell testimony of Ambassador Sondland today, has that view changed for you?”

Under the guise of moderating the debate, Maddow urged candidates to make “the president’s conduct uncovered by this impeachment inquiry” central to their future general election campaign.

This is truly jaw-dropping to anyone with sources other than the mainstream media, or who actually paid any attention to the testimony, because it is literally the exact opposite of the truth.

And we don't say "literally" figuratively - we mean "literally" literally.  Thanks to the brilliantly quick thinking of Rep. Mike Turner, there has never been more clear, pointed, direct, sworn testimony that the media is lying through their teeth:

Rep. Turner: After you testified, Chairman [Adam] Schiff ran out and gave a press conference and said he gets to impeach the president of the United States because of your testimony and if you pull up CNN today, right now, their banner says ‘Sondland ties Trump to withholding aid.'  Is that your testimony today, Ambassador Sondland? That you have evidence that Donald Trump tied the investigations to the aid? Because I don’t think you’re saying that.

Amb. Sondland: I’ve said repeatedly Congressman, I was presuming.

Rep. Turner: So, no one told you? Giuliani didn’t tell you? Mulvaney didn’t tell you? Pompeo didn’t tell you? Nobody else on this planet told you that Donald Trump was tying aid to these investigations, is that correct?

Amb. Sondland: I think I already testified.

Rep. Turner: No, answer the question. Is it correct? No one on this planet told you that Donald Trump was tying aid to the investigations? Because if your answer is ‘yes,’ then the chairman is wrong and the headline on CNN is wrong. No one on this planet told you that President Trump was tying aid to investigations, yes or no?”

Amb. Sondland: Yes.

Rep. Turner: So, you really have no testimony today that ties President Trump to a scheme to withhold aid from Ukraine in exchange for these investigations?.

Amb. Sondland: Other than my own presumption.

The chyron visible on CNN's news feed at that exact moment read: “SONDLAND: ‘YES’ THERE WAS QUID PRO QUO IN UKRAINE SCANDAL.”  A direct, bald-faced lie, no more and no less.

It's true that Amb. Sondland did state that he'd formed the presumption of the legendary quid pro quo.  But, as Rep. Turner ferreted out, this was based on nothing more than his own opinion, not on any actual evidence the Ambassador could cite.

In fact, as Mr. Sondland further testified, he formed this opinion contrary to actual evidence, indeed, in opposition to the specific words of the President:

Sondland told the House Intelligence Committee, "It was a very short abrupt conversation. He was not in a good mood," Sondland said about his call with Mr. Trump. "He just said, 'I want nothing, I want nothing, I want no quid pro quo.'"

To be fair, this doesn't necessarily prove the President to be innocent.  At the very best, Mr. Sondland is a timeserving deep-state troll; more likely he's a bureaucratically embedded anti-Trump partisan.  Either way, one would hardly expect the President to confide in him with any nefarious plans, and it's not unheard of for evildoers to loudly insist on the exact opposite of their true intentions.

But no fair person could consider Sondland's testimony to further the cause of impeachment by one iota.  At best it wasted another day of America's time, a day that ought to have been used to address some of our many pressing problems which cry out for bipartisan legislative solutions.

Regardless of his evasions, Mr. Sondland's testimony proved that he, at least, knew about nothing illegal, was given no illegal orders, saw nothing illegal, and heard nothing illegal.  He merely heard and was ordered to do things he disagreed with, which has been the lot of diplomats since diplomacy was invented, and up until now has been defined as part of their job.

Yet for any low-information voter, what are they seeing splashed on every screen and front page in the nation?  "Sondland Conclusively Proves Trump Criminal!"

To add yet more anti-American lying by omission, our mainstream media are carefully downplaying the Ukrainian involvement of Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden, current contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.  You Tube hosts a video "Joe Biden Brags about getting Ukrainian Prosecutor Fired" wherein Mr. Biden bragged about threatening to block aid destined for the Ukraine unless they fired a prosecutor who was thinking of investigating the Ukrainian company that had hired Hunter Biden at somewhere around $60,000-$100,000 per month (accounts vary).

The Washington Post even wrote "'Look, you’re not getting this money unless Shokin [the Ukrainian prosecutor] is fired,' Biden told Poroshenko, according to Kahl" about 2/3 of the way into a long story.  This actual, factual, self-confessed quid pro quo which Vice President Biden bragged about live and in living color, is being soft-pedaled instead of being given the sort of breathless airing that Mr. Trump's nothingburger is getting.

If what Mr. Trump is believed to have done is criminal, why wasn't what Mr. Biden actually did and bragged about doing equally criminal?  The way the MSM is treating this matter is yet another inflammatory lie, right up there with Mr. Hearst's.  Are they really trying to start a war just to sell more newspapers?

Only One Way Out

Where will this lead?  There are only two clear paths forward and both lead to the same place.

First, and the plan of our Democrat media, would be if most Americans believe the lies they are told and don't pay attention to the actual evidence - not hard, since they're mostly not having any actual evidence shown to them.  This depends on Republican incompetence and inability to communicate, which normally would be a safe bet except for the irrepressible voice of the Tweeter-in-Chief.

If America is told that the testimony proves President Trump a criminal (even though it does nothing of the sort), and if America believes what they are told (even though, for years now, most Americans have believed that the media is lying most of the time), they may pressure the Senate into unjustly impeaching President Trump on false evidence.

What sort of reaction do you think this would produce in Trump supporters, and in growing numbers of Americans as the truth slowly leaks out like it always does?  Particularly as Trump supporters fall under the iron heel of progressives from whom Mr. Trump was protecting them?  The words "incandescent fury" hardly measure up to the task.

Secondly, and what Republican pols hope for, is that the Senate holds firm and acquits President Trump of these transparently bogus charges.  This would be the just and correct action, but it's obvious that it will be reported as the biggest betrayal of America since Benedict Arnold.  The left, and centrists who still listen to the media, will react with, yes, incandescent fury when Bad Orange Man gets away with treason.

In either case, how is governance even remotely possible under these conditions, when all of our largest communication channels openly lie about plain recorded facts, and both sides wholeheartedly believe on presented evidence that the other side is utterly corrupt treasonous monsters whose goal is to destroy this country?  How can we reach agreement when the two sides exist in completely contrary realities that don't even overlap, not so much as a little bit?

We can't.

The only possible end would be an acrimonious split of some form - yes, the Second Civil War that is discussed more and more openly as people reach the same conclusion we at Scragged reached years ago.

Closed Doors and Open Windows

Is there no other path?  Well, sort of.

A standard trope of fiction is a secret third party that uses false-flag operations to goad the superpowers into a war.  James Bond and Tom Clancy villains reach for this method routinely.

In fiction, James Bond or Jack Ryan figure out what's going on in the nick of time, and instead of fighting each other, the two superpowers team up to take down the true villain.  Then the main characters from both sides, coincidentally of opposite sexes, enjoy some bedroom athletics as the credits roll.

These days, opposite sexes are no longer required, and at least one side is already enjoying all the bedroom athletics they can stand.  But it's just barely possible that the voters on Left and Right might realize that they're being driven into a literal war by an evil third party: the mainstream media and tech titans on screens large and small.

We've already seen politicians on both sides, who disagree on everything else, call for breakups of biased major outlets, which includes all of them.  Waiting for them to go bankrupt won't do the job anymore - their audience includes enough true believers, who even insist on re-writing their headlines, to keep them afloat for a long time.

Teddy Roosevelt would be astonished, our Founders would be aghast, and Ayn Rand would be spinning in her grave, but anti-trust government action may be our only hope.  It needs to begin instantly, though: it has to be accomplished end-to-end before President Trump leaves office, by fair means or foul.

The clock is ticking, and it's already about one minute to midnight.

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments

My God. Here it is, government control of the press. And if people are too stupid to think for themselves, then how is it that they are smart enough to choose smart people to do the censoring. Cuz that is what it is.
The first thing a dictatorship must do is crush dissent.
If you want to start a civil war attack the first amendment- speech, press, assembly.
And P.S. The above cherry picked report of the impeachment hearings comes from Russia.

November 21, 2019 11:16 PM

@Dagny Taggart - they also take away all the weapons. https://thewriterinblack.com/2017/05/17/nobody-wants-to-take-your-guns-2/ is a list of politicians' quotes in favor of confiscating guns.

https://townhall.com/columnists/kenblackwell/2019/08/09/the-truth-about-gun-control-and-racism-n2551414 points out that gun control laws came about because racist Democrats did not want black people to have guns.

"Few Americans remember today that the first task of the Ku Klux Klan was to disarm the black population in the South. Even fewer know that, in the days before the Civil War, citizen militias repelled white mobs that attacked black neighborhoods in many Northern cities. On at least two occasions, those militias were composed entirely of black gun owners."

November 22, 2019 1:26 AM

You don't "gin" up a war, unless it's the Whiskey Rebellion. You "djinn" up a war. Djinns appear "out of nowhere" or out of tiny bottles and are a huge surprise to people who find them. The allusion has nothing to do with "gin".

November 24, 2019 2:15 PM
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