You have to give us a little while for our eyes to adjust. It’s dizzying, you understand. A bit disorienting.
The media took an eight year break from covering White House scandals, and now, after these past 96 months of silence, they’ve suddenly got their noses to the ground and are tracking the scent of corruption once again. A full 8 years of inaction and, miraculously, out of nowhere, like Sleeping Beauty kissed by Prince Charming, they’ve opened their eyes and risen from their long slumber.
Most of us would probably lose our jobs if we decided not to do them for 3,000 days in a row, but journalists are a privileged lot. I thought school teachers were lucky because they get to take 3 months off every year, but that’s nothing compared to the media. News reporters are allowed to go into a state of virtual hibernation for as long as there’s a Democrat in the White House. No wonder they work so hard to elect Democrats! You would, too, if it meant a paid vacation for the better part of the next decade.
I don’t know if this Michael Flynn thing is a legitimate scandal or not. All we know at the moment is that, shortly before Trump took office, Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador about the sanctions Obama had levied against them. I don’t see that alone as some great crime. More importantly, the FBI doesn’t see it as a crime, which is why they aren’t going to prosecute. The fact that Flynn lied to everyone makes it a bigger problem, and justified his ouster from the Administration.
None of this, as far as we know, rises anywhere even close to the level of an impeachable offense on Trump’s part. But the media is, of course, trying to connect enough dots to make it what they want it to be (which, by the way, is not how investigative journalism is supposed to work). The New York Times had a bombshell report last night revealing that people in Trump’s campaign had contact with people in Russian intelligence over the past several months. What’s not clear is who talked to who, or what about, or whether the people in Trump’s campaign knew the other people were Russian intelligence, or whether Trump knew this was going on, or whether anything remotely illegal was done or said, or anything else. Some folks talked to some folks. That’s about the extent of the story at this point. In other words, there isn’t a story. And whatever incomplete story we have, we only have because members of the intelligence community are in a state of outright mutiny.
As far as we know right now, the only real criminals here are the intelligence officials who’ve been leaking classified information from clandestinely recorded telephone conversations to the media in hopes of sabotaging a sitting president. That is a crime, a scandal, and it has the makings of a true constitutional crisis. But the media isn’t interested in running that angle down. They’re only interested in nailing the president for corruption, which is an interest they only just developed.
Look, if Trump is ever guilty of real abuses of power, real corruption, real scandal, I will be the first to call for his head, metaphorically. And I don’t think a Trump scandal is mitigated or made less important or more acceptable by the fact that Obama also had scandals. I’m not going to shout “But Obama!” in order to bail Trump out of whatever trouble he may bring upon himself. Leftists spent eight years shouting “But Bush” for Obama’s sake, and I don’t intend to adopt that strategy. But the fact is that Obama did have scandals — real scandals, terrible scandals, scandalous scandals — and, in the interest of truth, we can’t allow the Left to stand right in front of us and rewrite history on the fly. The truth matters.
I say it again: The truth matters.
The truth matters. It matters now just as it mattered for the past eight years. So when Dan Rather claims that Trump may already be guilty of the biggest political scandal in his lifetime, and the New York Times insists that Obama had a scandal free White House, and USA Today along with many other outlets echo that absolutely ridiculous assertion, it behooves those of us who value the truth to calmly respond: UM, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT?
I don’t know what the future holds. Perhaps Trump will indeed eventually own the biggest political scandal in modern history, but in order to achieve that feat, he’s got a lot of work to do. He’s not there yet. Not anywhere close.
Despite what our news media says as it awakens from a coma, Flynn’s conversation with a Russian ambassador is not a bigger scandal than Obama targeting his political opponents with the IRS.
It’s not bigger than Obama’s ATF shipping guns to Mexican drug cartels.
It’s not bigger than Obama sending millions to Iran and then lying about it.
It’s not bigger than Obama’s DOJ spying on journalists.
It’s not bigger than the Obama Administration orchestrating a series of violent coups in the Middle East, funneling weapons to terrorist groups, then leaving an ambassador to die in Benghazi, and then lying about it.
It’s not bigger than Obama’s State Department, headed by a woman who conducted government business on an illegal private server, selling our foreign policy to the highest bidder.
And it’s not bigger, in my view, than Obama’s NSA conducting mass surveillance without a warrant, or Obama assassinating American citizens without a trial, or the DOJ conducting ideologically charged witch hunts against police departments across the country while Obama used his bully pulpit to push false narratives in order to foment racial chaos and division.
Trump may well seize upon the precedent set by Obama and repeat some of these same atrocities. If that happens, we’ll finally see what it looks like when the media actually reports on the types of stories listed above. We’ll also be treated to the spectacle of leftists denouncing Trump’s abuses of, say, the IRS or the DOJ, while insisting that his abuses in these areas are so totally different from Obama’s identical abuses because, well, because, you see, because of various reasons and so forth.
But as they continue with these double standards, we should remember the truth. It won’t excuse whatever Trump may do, but it matters nonetheless. The truth matters. Even if it doesn’t matter at all to the media or the Left.
To see more from Matt Walsh, visit his channel on TheBlaze.
Pre-order Matt’s new book, The Unholy Trinity, here.