Back during the election season I did a post on Hillary with regard to the death of Vince Foster. I did that post because I had heard plenty of rumors about his untimely death suggesting that the Clintons had something to do with it, and I desired to know the truth so that I could write about it while being fair.
The research for that post included copies of the independent prosecutor’s report on White Water, police reports of the incident, and a copy a of a report from the first FBI investigation into the matter that predated the independent prosecutor’s report by several years.
The jist of what happened to Mr. Foster is that he had been trying to do the right thing in calling attention to abuses of public funds that were occurring in the White House Travel Office with regard to the press corps, a story that the American public has never been told. Instead, because it meant the end of well treatment of the press corps by the White House, the media reports about investigations into corruption in the Travel Office were spun as improprieties on the part of the President and First Lady that were motivated by nepotism.
No matter how he tried, Foster simply could not overcome the spin. The scandal surprised him, and he felt personally responsible for it, being the one who opened the investigation into the corruption, a sentiment that was included in his suicide note.
I suppose some people prefer to believe lies that confirm the way they feel about certain individuals. It would have been insanely easy for me to believe that Hillary had something to do with the death of Mr. Foster and write about it just that way because of the way I feel about her, politically and personally. But that would be far from fair, and would make me look really bad if the truth– that in this case, the Clintons were trying to do the right thing for no benefit to themselves – ever grew legs.
Unfortunately, that kind of story doesn’t sell newspapers or serve any great cause, at least on the surface. Though, I wonder what sort of cause would constitute a great cause if I were a member of the White House Press Corps, considering the company kept. But I keep forgetting that they deserve the benefit of a doubt. Or do they?
This anecdote, though from 25 years ago, is related to current events because in order to have any grasp at all about what is really happening, one has to do much more homework about news stories than ever before.
Take the Mr. Flynn story, for example. We’ve heard about Flynn being asked to resign over lack of clarity regarding his conversations with a Russian ambassador. I can’t tell from news stories about the event, however, if Flynn was fired for the content of the conversations or being unclear about the conversations to Mr. Pence. The content of the conversations is described vaguely as “about sanctions” in every report I’ve read thus far. Yet this event has turned into quite a circus of innuendo suggesting treason.
So what if Flynn did discuss sanctions? Perhaps he told the Russians more were on the way, or perhaps he discussed conditions. If sanctions are going to work, there has to be some discussion going on for there to be some sort of resolution.
Perhaps the real story was that Flynn was fired for going rogue and covering it up. We may never really know. I just don’t see any “there” there concerning vague descriptions of the conversations. If these conversations were so damning, I would expect the content to be front and center. In the absence of that, it appears to me as much ado about nothing, with the majority of it being sensational bending of the truth.
The other part of this is that Flynn was talking to a bugged ambassador. How does information about the content of such a conversation become public, vaguely described or otherwise? If Flynn was undermining the outgoing administration, making it public is certainly doing that to the current one, not to mention what it might be doing to the rule of law. We aren’t hearing so much about that aspect of this mess when there is a certain danger inherent in rogue FBI agents. They are no better than Mr. Flynn.
I brought all of this up because some of the more vocal and equally lazy Trump opponents use articles from Bloomberg and other media outlets to attack Trump at will, and for all of these reasons, the use of these articles is not persuasive. I do not hold a high regard for financial reporting these days, after sharing in the blame for the great recession chicken little squawking about inflation that made a lot of people quite miserable. It simply isn’t worth the paper it is written on.
The other point that I wished to make about how these are connected is that Trump has been highly critical of NAFTA as “one of the worst deals” he has seen. Here is where knowing some history is helpful because NAFTA didn’t just fall out of a tree. It actually was the brainchild of and was negotiated by the very same administration that was “paying off” the press corps. Apparently, paying off the press corps didn’t work out quite as well as planned because it served only one term and was voted out in the middle of a recession.
It’s sort of interesting that the son of the President whose administration negotiated NAFTA was running for the job when Trump decided to run. Remember Ross Perot? Any idea why he ran for President in 1992 and wavered at the last minute? If you don’t know, you should look it up some time. It’s quite an interesting story of grudges and hatred over preferential treatment – and it’s even more interesting regarding the side of the dispute Trump was on. I am sure that videos of Perot can be found on YouTube, where much of his opinion about the H.W. Bush Administration is laid bare.
Many have already made up their minds about Trump. But I am not so certain.