Richard Nixon

Trotter on journalism, such as it is

Chris Trotter has finally woken up to the abject failure of the media and to the chattering classes.

DAMN AND BLAST HILLARY CLINTON! Not just because she lost – exposing in the process the appalling political judgement of the Democratic Party. And not just because her failure has saddled the world with President Trump for at least four years. Those sins, on their own, more than merit political damnation. But there is another sin for which I would like to see Clinton blasted. The sin of exposing the vacuity of contemporary journalism and the powerlessness of the mainstream media. Because, to be perfectly honest, Clinton’s failure is my failure too.

Strong words.

Then Trotter embarks on a typical left-wing hypothesis complete with jargon that no one even knows what it means.

The story has its beginnings in the Watergate Scandal. I was just 18 when Nixon was driven from the White House by what everybody said was the investigative journalism of, among others, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein, and The Washington Post. For one brief shining moment journalists were hailed as heroes and journalism was portrayed as a force so powerful that not even the office of the President of the United States could prevail against it.

Forty years on, however, it is clear that Nixon’s fall owed as much to the deliberate and secretive manipulation of the news media as it did to the efforts of the courageous journalists, Woodward and Bernstein. After all, the latter’s’ key informant, the infamous “Deep Throat”, turned out to be no less a buttress of the American “Deep State” than Mark Felt, the Associate Director of the FBI.

In the movie, All the President’s Men, Deep Throat is portrayed as a reluctant but principled whistleblower from the dark heart of the Washington bureaucracy. A more probable explanation, however, is that Felt represented a Deep State faction determined to drive the mentally unstable Nixon out of the Oval Office. In 2016, it is equally probable that a highly-motivated Deep State faction, this time based in the FBI’s New York Field Office, used the news media to prevent Hillary Clinton from re-entering the White House as President.

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Is Clinton more crooked than Nixon?

Is that a train I hear approaching?

Choo, choo. The train is approaching.

Perhaps.

Victor Davis Hanson at Real Clear Politics looks into this pressing issue:

Another day, another Hillary Clinton bombshell disclosure.

This time the scandal comes from disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop computer, bringing more suggestions of Clinton’s sloppy attitude about U.S. intelligence law. Meanwhile, seemingly every day WikiLeaks produces more evidence of the Clinton Foundation leveraging the Clinton State Department for pay-for-play profiteering.

At this point, Clinton has trumped former President Richard Nixon’s skullduggery — but without the offset of Nixon’s foreign policy accomplishments.

Even before the most recent scandals, Clinton’s campaign had an eerie resemblance to the Nixon playbook.

Compare the election of 2016 to the election of 1972. The favored Nixon re-election juggernaut (dubbed CREEP, or the “The Committee for the Re-election of the President”) squeezed corporations and wealthy individuals for millions in donations, in much the same way that Clinton’s multimillion-dollar cash machine has vastly outspent her opponent, Donald Trump.

The Watergate tapes later revealed an entirely cynical Nixon campaign team and a hard-nosed White House cadre led by H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman — plus a host of lesser toadies, such as the conniving John Dean. They all took for granted that Washington functioned on a quid-pro-quo and pay-for-play basis.

In that regard, the Clinton campaign under chairman John Podesta (the new Haldeman) has become Nixonian to the core, thanks to Podesta’s ruthlessness.

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Seems reasonable

Politicians want us to trust them, but they have a trustworthy rating lower than hookers but only slightly above journalists.

Simon Heffer has a solution for the issue. Perhaps they might just start being honest with us.

Had I not been in France last week – a country where several hundred thousand people legally avoid tax by living in the United Kingdom – I should have sought to ease the Prime Minister’s embarrassment by writing a column militantly in favour of tax avoidance. I have long believed it is the duty of every citizen to ensure the state does not take from him or her so much as a penny in taxation that can be legally withheld. Contrary to a fashionable view among certain of the super-rich – George Osborne, for example – this is not “immoral”. It is entirely moral to strive to keep what one has earned, and to stop the government from wasting it on, for example, disgraceful overseas “aid” projects.

Sadly, my short holiday in a country where the deleterious effects of over-taxation are apparent at every turn prevented me from writing such a piece. Instead, I returned to England to find the Prime Minister hoist with his own petard. Having grandstanded about the “immorality” of tax avoidance, he now admits it is something of a Cameron family tradition: and he has dutifully honoured it. I repeat: good for him. It is a pity he felt the need to act as though he had not, and loudly to condemn such behaviour in a pathetic attempt to curry favour with Leftists.

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Sledge of the Day

The donneybrook in US politics between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump is getting vicious.

It is spectacular. It all began when the PAC supporting Ted Cruz ran naked photos of Trump’s wife in the Utah campaign which Cruz won. Trump retaliated by suggesting that perhaps voters might like to know a little about Cruz’s wife. This is classic “pig fucking” tactics…accusing your opponent of fucking pigs so you can watch him deny it. It was a tactic allegedly used by Lyndon Johnson.

The media attacked Trump but not the PAC associated with Cruz. Trump simply went after the head of the snake…but that didn’t stop the media smearing Trump.

Then the National Enquirer ran a story about Cruz having at least 5 affairs. Cruz has attacked Trump and blamed an associate of his.

This week the National Enquirer came out with a story claiming that GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz had affairs with five unnamed women, an allegation that sparked a bunch of online rumors about who the mistresses could be but hasn’t been confirmed by anyone else. For a time most people involved in the 2016 campaign—even Donald Trump—weren’t referring to it directly even as the #TedCruzSexScandal hashtag spread across Twitter, but on Friday Cruz brought it up himself and used the story as a way of attacking Trump.

“It became clear as the campaign went on that Donald was a whole lot of sizzle without any substance,” said Cruz at a press conference, according to the Washington Post. “When he’s scared, when he’s losing, his first and natural resort is to go to sleaze and to go to slime.”

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Photo Of The Day

Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965) gives his famous V-sign as he opens the new headquarters of 615 (County of Surrey) Squadron of the RAAF (Royal Auxiliary Air Force) at Croydon in 1948 in England. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965) gives his famous V-sign as he opens the new headquarters of 615 (County of Surrey) Squadron of the RAAF (Royal Auxiliary Air Force) at Croydon in 1948 in England. (Photo by Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

V Sign

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Probably the best summary of Dirty Politics yet

House Of Cards TV Series HD Wallpaper

Paul Thomas writes int he NZ Herald about Dirty Politics.

Millions have been splashed out and a pigsty’s worth of mud slung but what have we actually learned from this election campaign?

• Nicky Hagar knows a thing or two about marketing.

• Cameron Slater isn’t as nice as he looks.

• You can judge a minister by the company she keeps.

• While the Whale Oil cabal give the impression they’ve watched too many episodes of House of Cards, their machinations owe more to Walter Mitty than Frank Underwood.

• Hillary Clinton got the wrong Kiwi politician when she added Helen Clark to the select group – Keith Richards and cockroaches – that would survive nuclear Armageddon. She should have nominated Winston Peters.

• Contrary to Tana Umaga’s famous complaint, some people seem to think we are playing tiddlywinks here.

Fair points. I also like the picture of Frank Underwood in the article, and since we are talking about House of Cards…who is going to play Zoe?

The campaign has also reinforced that just as truth is the first casualty of war, irony is the first casualty of politics.

There was Internet-Mana’s Laila Harre on the TV news complaining about the media manufacturing a news story out of a private email (Hone Harawira foaming at the mouth about the Internet Party’s preoccupation with legalising cannabis).

That was followed by David Cunliffe complaining about the timing of the release of a damning New Zealand Institute of Economic Research assessment of Labour’s capital gains tax arithmetic and accusing Federated Farmers, who commissioned the report, of “playing politics.”

A month ago Cunliffe was hailing Hagar’s carefully timed intervention in the election, predicting it would “shift hundreds of thousands of votes”. One man’s political stunt is another’s welcome contribution to the debate.

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Cartoon of the Day

Credit:  SonovaMin

Credit: SonovaMin

Southland Times editorial on Cunliffe

The Southland Times says that David Cunliffe has only himself to blame:

There’s a Watergate-era poster of Richard Nixon as a wee boy, looking back over his own shoulder and complaining: Somebody poohed my pants.

David Cunliffe is scarcely more plausible as he tries to represent himself as the victim of a Government smear campaign.

He is conspicuously besmirched, all right, but however much the Government may have benefited from the process, enjoyed it, and perhaps even at prime ministerial level taken Bonaparte’s advice not to interrupt an opponent when he’s making a mistake, none of this changes the fact the Government’s role was, at very worst, peripheral to the self-inflicted damage.

Cunliffe was guilty of the same offences he had loftily criticised. His accusations against Maurice Williamson for meddling with a police investigation into Donghua Liu, a party donor, turned rancid when it emerged that he had himself written in support of Liu on a residency matter, which he initially denied. And Liu had donated to Labour as well as National.   Read more »

The hypocrisy of The Guardian called out

There is nothing quite so breathtaking as the hypocrisy and sanctimony of the left wing. More so if they are leftwing media.

Toby Young calls out The Guardian.

Sir David Frost has rightly been lauded by the obituarists, with all of them singling out the famous television interview in which he extracted a mea culpa from President Nixon over Watergate. No less a source than the Guardian described this as “his greatest journalistic coup”.

But hang on a minute. Nixon was a former public official whom Frost paid for the story. Indeed, it was precisely because Nixon was paid by Frost’s production company that the American television networks refused to distribute the programme, dismissing the whole enterprise as “checkbook journalism”. Why, then, wasn’t Frost arrested as part of Operation Elveden, the police investigation into journalists who’ve paid officials for stories?

As of 24th April 2013, 62 people had been arrested as part of this police investigation, many of them journalists accused of paying public officials or former public officials. If that’s against the law, as the police seem to think, why didn’t Frost have his collar felt?  Read more »

Good on ya Barack

CNN

The current situation is noteworthy because the Democratic Party seemed to have the exclusive franchise on piteous bleating dating back to Richard Nixon’s victory in 1968 and throughout the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush years. Truth be told, the Democrats managed to keep whining throughout most of the triumphant Bill Clinton years.

The game changer clearly has been Barack Obama, whose surprising taste for bloodying the noses of domestic critics and foreign adversaries seems to hark back to the last time the Democrats were unashamed political warriors.

That would be 1960, when John F. Kennedy and his snarling little brother Bobby made political “ruthlessness,” unrestrained campaign spending, Teamster support and Mayor Richard Daley’s vote-counting techniques into virtues. The era of bullying Democrats pretty well ended with Jimmy Carter’s cardigan sweater and “malaise speech.”

Pity the Labour Party whine so much and don’t just try to bloody noses too. Any half decent opposition MP would be hammering John Key on his tacit support for domestic violence, having a party president who has been accused of using slave labour on his fishing boats or asking who Mr B is and why Mr B’s dogs need suppression orders.

Instead they let Trevor show his early onset dementia by not remembering an opponents name.