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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Media Runs to the DEFENSE of Obama, Rice After BOMBSHELL Unmasking
Kelly Riddell ANALYSIS/OPINION:
On the heels of a bombshell report that Susan Rice – former President Barack Obama’s right hand woman – asked dozens of times for intelligence agencies to unmask the names of Trump associates, the mainstream media is predictably, providing her cover.
Instead of investigating the report, which was first broken by Bloomberg News on Monday, the press corps is calling it a “distraction” from the real story of potential Trump administration collusion with Russia.
Let’s be clear. There are two stories worth pursuing. One is the FBI’s investigation into any collusion between the Trump administration and Russia. So far, no evidence has been provided that there was any. The second is why did Ms. Rice seek this unmasking and was it done for political purposes – in other words, did the Obama administration actively seek to spy on the incoming Trump administration?
The second story doesn’t interest the mainstream media – which instead of investigating, immediately aimed to discredit.
“If victim [Lt. Gen Michael] Flynn hadn’t been ‘unmasked’ – would Trump have fired him? Would it be better to have ‘masked’ man Flynn running the NSC,” New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush questioned on Twitter, defending the illegally leaked reports to the media that led to Mr. Flynn’s resignation.
Apparently, the criminal act of unmasking Mr. Flynn and then leaking his name to the press is of no concern to Mr. Thrush. Neither are accusations Ms. Rice may have sought and been granted that unmasking.
Katy Tur of NBC News was equally nonplussed at the news implicating Ms. Rice in a potential spying scandal.
After hearing the news she retweeted a Tweet from Atlantic editor David Frum (and Never Trumper): “Imagine the National Security Adviser wanting to know who was clandestinely collaborating with an espionage attack on the nation’s security.”
So, not only did she deflect from the news of the day, she and Mr. Frum also managed to bring the Russia/collusion story back into the equation.
CNN’s Don Lemon was more outright in his disgust of the Rice revelations, saying he wouldn’t “aid and abet people” pushing the Susan Rice “diversion.”
Mr. Lemon’s CNN colleague Jim Sciutto – who before joining CNN as their chief national security correspondent was a political appointee of Mr. Obama working on foreign policy – said he reached out to a source close to Ms. Rice and there was nothing to see here.
“The idea that Ambassador Rice improperly sought the identities of Americans is false,” he reported, citing an unnamed person close to Ms. Rice. “There is nothing unusual about making these requests when serving as a Sr. national security official, whether Dem or GOP.”
Ms. Rice categorically denied last month on PBS that she knew anything about the unmasking of U.S. citizens, but now, she’s saying she did – she just did nothing wrong. As for Mr. Sciutto’s source? Well, it takes a few minutes searching Google to realize Mr. Sciutto was once an ABC News colleague with Ms. Rice’s husband, Ian Officer Cameron. Add that to his Obama administration chops, and I think you may have a winner.
Heidi Przyblyla at USA Today was equally happy to throw water on the potentially explosive story.
“Conservative media going nuts. Unmasking to small circle of Intel experts routine to understand/interpret intel. And diff from ‘leaking,’” she wrote on Twitter. Maybe so, but is it not even worth looking into?
The Wall Street Journal confirmed Bloomberg News’ report on Tuesday, adding: “Unmasking does occur, but it is typically done by intelligence or law-enforcement officials engaged in anti-terror or espionage investigations. Ms. Rice would have had no obvious need to unmask Trump campaign officials other than political curiosity. We’re told by a source who has seen the unmasked documents that they included political information about the Trump transition team’s meetings and policy intentions.”
Last but not least, the New York Times was quick to come to the defense of the Obama administration. The lead of their story was that the Trump administration “sought to turn attention away from the Russia investigation” by saying the “real story” was what President Donald Trump called “a crooked scheme against us.”
Never mind the news reports collaborating Mr. Trump’s allegations. The Times looked to discredit those reports saying they came from “conservative news media outlets.”
Really? Since when is Bloomberg View conservative? When did the Wall Street Journal – whose pages are filled with anti-Trump columnists – become a full-fledged conservative news outlet?
The Times wanted to assure its readers that its unnamed sources said these unmasking requests were “normal” and “justified.”
So, nothing to see here folks. The Obama administration may have been actively spying on the Trump administration using third-world police-state tactics, but it’s no big deal. You’re being distracted from the larger Russia collusion story, which even ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff had to admit this weekend there was no evidence of.
So while the media goes out and chases that mythical story, the truth will slowly be revealed. And that truth will unmask the press corps as the bias, conspiracy theorists they have become. Completely unhinged.