Of perhaps greatest scope and effect in this collusion is the right- wing media, led by Fox "News" and the rest of the Rupert Murdoch media empire, Breitbart, InfoWars, and countless spittle- flecking hate radio hacks like Oxycontin Rush Limbaugh. Michael Tomasky notes the effect this has in assisting Rump's diversionary smokescreens, and the "propaganda imbalance" between right and left:
On Monday, three stories came out that under any other president, certainly under Barack Obama, would have been three-day mini-scandals—at least. But under Trump, they’re either so dwarfed by the running narratives (Russia; shambolic White House; tweets) or so unsurprising coming from him that it’s hard not to just shake our heads and move on.
These little scandals drive home to me what may be the single starkest lesson of these first 70-whatever days of Trump: that the right-wing media has enormous agenda-setting power in this country. [snip]
The left has no remotely equivalent attack machinery. It doesn’t exist because there’s no market for it. It wouldn’t work. Liberals just don’t have the same hunger for red meat. They have a hunger for it, but not the same hunger, not anywhere near. [snip]
The Trump administration already has racked up so many scandals, failures, and sleazy deals that I guess it’s inevitable that some of them slip by. But just keep this propaganda imbalance in your mind. It explains why these near-daily controversies just fade away. Imagine where he’d be in the polls if all of these got the attention they deserve!Among the other co- conspirators in Rump's efforts to disrupt, obfuscate and derail investigations into his and his cohorts' deep connections with Russia are party- before- country politicians like Rep. Devin "Clouseau Lite" Nunes and Rep. Jason "Clouseau" Chaffetz.
Sometimes, this results in active collusion with Rump's efforts, as in Nunes' bollixed efforts to validate Rump's claims of being "wire tapped" by President Obama.
Sometimes it's passive collusion of the sort practiced by Chaffetz (Hillary Clinton's Inspector Javert), whose attitude now toward Rump's blatant corruption and conflicts of interest is "nothing to see here, move along."
Then, of course, you have Rump's version of The White House Plumbers Unit clumsily trying to find out who the FBI was investigating =cough= Michael Flynn =cough=, a gambit that's now been exposed and amplified by the White House's diversionary Susan Rice "unmasking" nothingburger.
We pause to repeat this tweet that captures the essence of what's going on here in plain sight:
Why is everyone investigating my bank robbery when the real crime is the invasion of privacy from those bank surveillance cameras?— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) April 1, 2017
It's no surprise that human/ turtle hybrid and reptile with no moral compass Sen. Mitch "Missy" McConnell (Testudo- KY) has now joined the active Rump collusionists (anything for those tax cuts for the wealthy!):
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday evening said that he had asked the Senate Intelligence Committee to look into reports that Susan Rice asked for the names of Trump associates to be unmasked in intelligence reports.
"I have asked the Intelligence Committee, Sen. Burr, Sen. Warner, to conduct a bipartisan investigation of this whole episode," McConnell told Fox News when asked about Rice. "They will conduct it. Hopefully at the end we will find out what happened and they will issue a report, I hope, on a bipartisan basis."Our expectation is that, as they "find out what happened," the results will only serve to substantiate the fact that there were legal and national security considerations that involved Rump's associates and campaign being in contact with Russian agents and go- betweens. But when you're desperately trying to buy time and cover up potentially treasonous activities, it seems any diversion (even one that ends up boomeranging on you) will do. It also seems one of the primary lessons from the Watergate scandal of 45 years ago has been lost to these hacks: it's not the crime, it's the coverup that gets you.
They may have forgotten, but history will remember.
BONUS: Here's one news program that won't be part of the diversionary tactics.
BONUS II: John Cole has a good piece on the puke funnel process.