Media Escalate Bogus ‘Trump Is Nixon’ Hysteria
Stuck in an echo chamber, press pushes warning Comey firing 'worse than Watergate'
Editor of The Atlantic David Frum’s hysteria-driven tweet, “It’s a coup!” following Trump’s firing of FBI Director Comey, pretty much sums up how the mainstream media operate in the Trump era. Step One: Reach a conclusion. Step two: Cherry-pick supporting anti-Trump facts. Step Three: Arrange those facts to fit your conclusion. Following those instructions is how the press wound up jamming together non-consecutive jigsaw-puzzle pieces together, convinced they could create a picture of Watergate.
The mainstream media are delusional. Their members form an echo chamber, proliferating information that fits into the grand narrative (the conclusion they started with) and ignoring information that doesn’t.
The writer is kind enough to inform his reader that “not much of this is fully understood or proven.” Yeah. We know.
So somebody screamed Watergate into the echo chamber, and now, according to Google trends, internet searches for “Watergate” are at their highest level in five years. Liberal opinion writers from sea to shining sea are now comparing Comey’s firing to Watergate and President Trump to President Nixon.
What else can they do to undermine this White House? Writing an indictment of Trump’s role in Russian electoral interference is impossible because — despite the popularity of the #TrumpRussia hashtag on Twitter— there is zero known evidence of collusion. It can be hard for even the most prolific of Trump-smearers to bang out 750 words indicting President Trump with no evidence to cite.
So, instead, they have tried to establish that Trump is Nixon and then spend their column re-indicting Nixon.
It's guilt-by-association style ad hominem, and it's way easier than making a case against Trump. Every "Trump is Nixon" opinion piece from this weekend uses tons of precious column space summarizing the events of the Watergate scandal. If President Trump had done something wrong, that column space would be used telling the reader what he did. Instead, it's all filled with what Nixon did. For example, Trump said the word "tapes " on Twitter and Watergate fever reached epidemic proportions: "Trump might have some sort of tapes? Nixon had tapes! They're exactly the same! Here's why Nixon's tapes were damning."
Brent Budowsky, a columnist WikiLeaks exposed for running his opinions by John Podesta before publishing them, wrote the most glaringly fallacious comparison to date, saying, "After the Nixon tapes became public, they were used as evidence and compiled into volumes of reading material and audio recordings that remain available for listening today. Imagine if the Trump tapes that exist today are someday made public!"
Budowsky, in one single word, exposes what the whole Trump/Nixon comparison is all about: imagine. That's all this is, the imaginings of a mainstream media dying for Trump to be Nixon. Budowsky doesn't have a clue what might be on these tapes, if they even exist, but he imagines they must be beautifully, wonderfully damning.
Famous Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, a frequent Trump-basher, admitted that the key difference between Nixon's firing of special prosecutor Archibald Cox and Mr. Trump's firing of James Comey is "the overwhelming amount of evidence that prosecutors had uncovered before Cox was fired."
Yes, evidence should be pretty darn important when you're trying to accuse the President of the United States of high crimes. As it is, there is no known evidence, and — despite what the DNC and many pundits have said — the president himself is almost certainly not included as a target of the FBI investigation.
Sens. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), as chair and ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, were briefed by Comey on the targets of the FBI investigation. After the briefing Grassley said, "The president's letter said that Director Comey told him he was not under investigation. Sen. Feinstein and I heard nothing that contradicted the president's statement."
Then, Feinstein confirmed the accuracy of Grassley's statement.
But that didn't stop Former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman (D-New York) from dropping that #fakenews-style claim in her CNN "Trump is Nixon" column. She states: "The President, taking a page out of Richard Nixon's playbook, has fired someone investigating him."
Maybe she was getting her facts from the DNC chairman Tom Perez email titled "Just like Nixon" which also claims the president himself is under investigation. In fact, loads of pundits have echoed this false claim as though it were common knowledge.
The Atlantic ran its own "Trump is Nixon" article, but not to be out-hyperboled by other left-wing publications, they opted to go with the title, "Five Reasons the Comey Affair is Worse than Watergate."
And the article lets you know right away that democracy and America are under existential threat.
"Based simply on what is known so far, this scandal looks worse than Watergate," the piece claims, "worse for and about the president. Worse for the overall national interest. Worse in what it suggests about the American democratic system's ability to defend itself."
Wow. Sounds dire.
But luckily, the article is based on Budowsky-style imaginings, and the writer is kind enough to inform his reader that "not much of this is fully understood or proven." Yeah. We know.
In the coming days, look for the mainstream media and progressive pundits to keep indicting Nixon over and over, and allowing their imaginations to run wild to cover up the fact that they have nothing on President Trump.
Eddie Zipperer is an assistant professor of political science at Georgia Military College and a regular LifeZette contributor.