“Dirty tricks” was a term used to describe the behavior of agents within the Nixon administration to smear the reputations of opponents and undermine the appeal of certain politicians.
Fifty years ago, those dirty tricks included a false allegation that Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson (D-Wash.) fathered an illegitimate child with a 17-year-old daughter, and the burglary at Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. when Nixon’s aides and agents attempted to find materials for Nixon’s team to use against their perceived “enemies”.
The dirty tricks shouldn’t be confused with negative campaigning, which has at least some truth to it, but a special counsel John Durham filing that alleges that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign paid a tech company to “infiltrate” or “spy” – the word Donald Trump uses – during his presidential campaign and later while he was president, goes beyond dirty tricks into the illegal.
In a court filing, Durham alleges the purpose of the alleged Russian “collusion” was to establish a “narrative” between then-Republican presidential candidate Trump and Russia. Trump denied it then and repeatedly since, including during an interview with Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes.” Stahl said there was “no evidence” for Trump’s claim. Trump said there was and his job was to investigate and find it.
Now that there is at least one credible allegation, will Stahl make a correction? Unlikely, nor is it likely that other mainstream media, which have whipped up the Russian collusion story, will admit their mistake. These include the Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, MSNBC and NPR, as well as many liberal websites. They seem to have their own narrative, and it’s based on a visceral hatred of Donald Trump. Consider this: Donald Trump was effectively being slandered as a Russian agent, or at the very least a Russian asset.
The New York Times published an article on the Durham report on its website on Tuesday, but appeared to dismiss it as “old news,” a familiar tactic often used when reporting on the various Clinton scandals.
The Times and Washington Post have won Pulitzer Prizes for essentially repeating Democratic talking points. Awards should be returned and newspapers penalized by not allowing them to apply for another for at least 10 years.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California) has not covered himself in glory presiding over a House inquiry into all things Trump and has repeatedly accused Trump of breaking the law. Don’t expect an apology from him either. And then there were the four FISA warrants obtained because of allegations by then FBI Director James Comey and others that turned out to be false. The Justice Department later admitted that two of the warrants lacked probable cause and said information from the four warrants would not be used.
A New York Post editorial summed up the case: “A presidential candidate (Hillary Clinton) armed the nation’s Department of Justice to investigate his political opponent based on what he knew to be lies. The Americans have been bugged! Some have been framed for weak perjury allegations. The FBI Director (Comey) went into the Oval Office to tell the President that there was a sex rumor going around, so it could be quickly leaked to the media. ‘Outrageous’ doesn’t cover it.
Durham has only scratched the surface of what could, if true, be the biggest scandal in American political history, and that’s saying a lot, considering the past political behavior of members of both parties. .
Will the grand jury presented with this information indict the superiors? Will the powerful and connected finally be held accountable when so many have evaded accountability in the past?
News consumers may have to seek their information elsewhere than in mainstream media, because so far they are engaging in a cover-up that resembles what Richard Nixon did.
Cal Thomas is a columnist and syndicated author. Readers can email him at [email protected].
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