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The Collusion Shuffle

Robin Alexander

Posted on January 19, 2019 17:50

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Time after time, we’re bombarded with “we got ‘im!” hysteria, or Russia Gate mania, or what I’m calling the Collusion Shuffle. Well, I’m tired of the media’s fancy footwork. And frankly mainstream outlets: it only happens when I dance with you.

Have you noticed that following the news these days is a bit like dancing a quick step: slow, quick, quick, slow?

(If you never heard of this delicious ballroom dance from the 1920s, it’s all about light intricate steps, moving swiftly from one dazzling combo to the next. Sometimes it looks like you’re running across the floor, hell-bent on getting somewhere). 

All I can say is, I won’t dance; don’t ask me. Here’s how it usually swings:

Slow: Two sluggish days of news, meaning no new scandal. So naturally, something’s gotta give.

Quick: Scandal reported. A major news outlet, in this case the NYT, publishes a scoop in which former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort funneled secret campaign polling data to a noted Russian oligarch (with close ties to Putin, of course). Oh no!

With lightning speed the frenzy begins, for example, Josh Marshall (editor/publisher of Talking Points Memo) tweeted:

“The collusion debate ended last night … one of the biggest revelations in more than two years of the Trump/Russia scandal.”

Quick: Scandal retracted. One day later, the NYT issues a correction

“A previous version of this article misidentified the people … Mr. Manafort wanted the data sent to two Ukrainian oligarchs …”

Slow: Analysis by real journalist Aaron Mate of Nation Magazine:

* The data was passed to Ukrainians, not to Russians. More on why later. Keep reading.

* The data went through Manafort’s translator/fixer Konstantin Kilimnik, with supposed ties to the Kremlin (according to Mueller). Wrong.

Franklin Foer’s detailed profile of Kilimnik in The Atlantic reveals that he worked for years at the International Republican Institute in Moscow, which is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, which is funded by the U.S. government.

That’s how Kilimnik ended up working for Manafort.

Holy cow NYT; do your research. And for heaven’s sake, don’t entirely trust Mueller.

* Most of the data in question was already public.

* Manafort did quite a bit of work in the Ukraine and was owed money. Perhaps, passing this data was a way of saying, “I’m close to the guy who may be president one day; you may want to pay me, and you may want to keep hiring me.”

* Manafort’s work was aimed at steering the Ukraine away from Russia, toward a trade deal with the European Union.

* And finally, regarding the actual Facebook ads in question, according to the WaPo, during the five weeks leading up to the election Russians spent $3,102, and a grand total of 1000 people in PA, MI and WI saw them.

That changed the outcome of the election? You mean it wasn’t because the Democrats abandoned their base 30 years ago?

It’s the role of journalism to report the facts, not bend over backwards to construct stories that push a particular agenda. No wonder “fake news” has traction.

Is it time that Trump faced the music and danced? Sure. But it’s more likely they’ll “get ‘im” for money laundering and he’ll end up in Sing Sing (…Sing).

Robin Alexander

Posted on January 19, 2019 17:50


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Source: NYT

President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has been charged with tax fraud and money laundering. But this...


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