Show Notes and Citations for ep. 13 - "A" is for apathy
Ok now lets dive into this show, the topic of course was chosen by our listener and fan Chris who asked to hear my take on the Trump - Russia collusion stories and how the media has handled it as well as their handling on the Clinton Campaign's collusion with the Ukraine digging up dirt on Trump. Well Chris, I'm both pissed off and glad you asked and I'll tell you all why.
First, this is an incredibly complex and winding narrative that is hard to follow, has a ton of hard to pronounce Russian type names, and can be quite difficult to find concrete proof of. So it pisses me off to finally do my own episode on it for those reasons as well as the media's current decision to flood the airwaves with anything even fairly related to it.
However, I'm glad you asked for it because I'm going to do what I started this whole show up for in the first place. I'm going to take something that has been warped by both political bias and media bias and try to unravel it so that you and I and any average American listening can understand whats going on, why its important, and take away the information that is important rather than wild and rampant speculation.
Trump and Russia, Sittin' in a Tree...
So lets start off by going over the whole Trump/Russia collusion story. It started early on when there were whispers of it in the campaign but not many people took too seriously to it; that is other than "news" sites like Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and Salon all of which are laughably far from actual news. But either way there were definitely some whispers about it but since it was still early in the primaries it was a bit hard to tell what was factual and not because of so much mud slinging back and forth like there always is. At the time the liberal leaning news sites were much too busy trying to paint Trump as "literally Hitler" and a racist, homophobic (even though he isn't), misogynistic psychopath who was hiding away his overall billions of dollars lost and somehow no one was the wiser. I'll say this, there are aspects to those claims that can be argued for, like he's definitely not a psychopath but he absolutely has some narcissistic qualities. What I question is how are we suddenly expecting a perfect score in all categories for president; these were the same people pushing Hillary freaking Clinton in America's face as the Queen savior come down from her NY mansion to save America from the horrific conservative nightmare. I mean my god to claim that Trump was unfit for office and simultaneously denounce any negative story about Clinton takes some kind of balls to do.
It's equal to the pot calling the kettle black and no one really saw a problem with it; even when called out on the hypocrisy of the situation the usual reply would be something to the effect of "at least Hillary has political experience" or "at least we know what we'll get". How can you sit there and say that you are ok with someone you know has lied, cheated and anything else negative you can imagine in order to get to the highest office of the government of our country.
I personally don't understand it but I know I'm different than a lot of you out there; I didn't want Trump lets be honest but there was nothing that could get me to vote for Hillary and there is no one she could've run against that would have made me consider even for a second that I'd vote for her. Personal opinion though, everyone's got one and that is one of the things that has been deteriorating lately. More on that later though.
The problem with this Trump/Russia thing is really very simple; there isn't any actual proof of this supposed collusion. Not a single bit of tangible evidence that incriminates Trump or the Trump team in this collusion with Russia. The reason that is a humongous problem is that the media, mainly CNN which has officially reached lower ratings than "Nick at Nite" continually is reporting without actually bringing forward any evidence. All they are doing is toking the fire to make Trump look worse or to get views.
A lot of people shrug this off as something that's just news creating a story for profit but the issue is a serious matter. Because CNN continually talks about Trump and Russia and all their information is from either "anonymous sources" or completely un-cited whatsoever they can really just say whatever the hell they want. And that becomes a major problem when something happens like, for example, Trump Jr. talking about meeting with a Russian lawyer. On CNN they were literally calling for impeachment, one congressman on the show explained how this was definite grounds for Treason, and they said over and over "this is it".
Well it turns out they were saying ALL of that without any knowledge whatsoever of who the meeting was with and what it was about. They had a politician serving the people of the United States of America in his official capacity claiming that Treason had been committed and he had no actual evidence to base that on. If that doesn't scare you then you need to understand the implications of where this could go!
Politico Brings the Proof
Now a Politico article written by Kenneth P. Vogel on January 11th, 2017 does an incredible job actually of highlighting the similarities in how the Trump team and their supposed coordination with Russia mirrors the actions of the Clinton Camp and their coordination with Ukraine. Its a decent read, well sourced article but it is the smoking gun for the Clinton Camp as far as them trying to get information about Trump and possibly being the driving force behind the Trump and Russia story to begin with.
Ukraine and Russia aren’t exactly friendly right now and for whatever reason Trump was friendly to the Ruskies from the get go, at least with his speech towards them when interviewed or speaking publicly about them, and naturally if that seemed like something even remotely tangible then if you’re Ukraine you do two things, A. get close to the enemy of your enemy and B. hope they win. At the time it seemed Hillary was a shoe in, I had made my peace with it and went to bed early like many, only to wake up to find out that somehow the Trumpenator pulled it off.
Now, here’s whats important about this politico article; they interviewed several people in the Ukrainian Government and specifically state at the beginning that the Clinton campaign has been caught working in conjunction with the DNC in order to dig up information on Trump and his team and to disseminate information about Trump and Russia as well as oversee the media’s ongoing investigations into Paul Manafort and attempting to tie him to Russia and therefore get Trump that way.
This isn’t speculation, this isn’t hearsay, this isn’t a guess. This is conclusive evidence, real proof, that Hillary Clinton and her party acted in conjunction with the Ukraine in order to gain sensitive information on their opponent and also to disseminate info that would make him appear to be in bed with Russia. None of this should surprise you though right? Surely you’ve heard it all over the news, this would be humongous news surely?! You’d be among the majority if you said this was the first time you’ve heard about it because the outlets are refusing to let go of Trump Russia, they hate him so much, are driven by a top down Agenda, and are so centrically focused on their own program’s slant (one way or the other) that they refuse to stop digging and digging until they can find anything that they willfully ignore or just don’t even pay attention to the same thing just involving Hillary and Ukraine instead of the proclaimed public enemy number one.
Basically, in a nutshell because the article is a long one, there was a woman named Alexandra Chalupa who was the go between for the Clinton team and Ukrainian government, she worked in the White House during the Bill Clinton Administration in the office of public liaison, went on to become a staffer and then consultant for the DNC, she was paid $412,000 by the DNC according to Federal Election Commission records as well as getting paid from other clients at the same time. They included democratic campaigns and the DNC’s wing for engaging expatriate democrats around the world. That isn’t damning on its own but its worth noting she was the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants and maintained strong ties to the Ukrainian-American Diaspora and the US embassy in Ukraine. She started researching paul manafort in 2014 and was the key to the Clinton Campaign’s efforts in conjunction with the Ukrainian Government. These are all facts that we know for certain. The difference is that the news outlets aren’t giving this story any light at all and instead are pushing literal fact-less stories about how Trump might be connected but they can’t quite prove it. Clinton’s team has been caught with a smoking gun in the meantime.
An officer in the Ukrainian Embassy was instructed to
"help Chalupa research connections between Trump, Manafort and Russia.” He also said he received explicit instructions "that if I had any information, or knew other people who did, then I should contact Chalupa,” recalled Telizhenko, who is now a political consultant in Kiev. “They were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa,” he said, adding “[they] were keeping it all quiet,” but “the embassy worked very closely with” Chalupa.
In fact, sources familiar with the effort say that Shulyar specifically called Telizhenko into a meeting with Chalupa to provide an update on an American media outlet’s ongoing investigation into Manafort.
The Icing on the cake really is his statement recalling a conversation where Chalupa said: “If we can get enough information on Paul [Manafort] or Trump’s involvement with Russia, she [Hillary] can get a hearing in Congress by September.”What pisses me off is that instead of reporting this, actual investigative news and journalism, this story isn’t even given the light of day!
The New Yorker's New Method
Here’s another example, just the other day The New Yorker writes a lengthy piece titled "How Jared Kushner helped the Russians get inside access to the Trump Campaign” well based on the title you’d think they’ve got the smoking gun, finally they have uncovered it! Buuuuuut no…..The New Yorker Article spends the whole time setting up “experts” and “officials” who agree that the whole thing “is in line with what intelligence analysts would expect an overture in a Russian influence operation to look like,” which is the most concrete “proof” they offer.
They blast Trump throughout the article while using anything even remotely similar to try and link Trump and Russia. Yet they finish the article by saying:
"Kushner’s testimony does not reveal evidence of any crimes, but it does reveal a campaign and Presidential transition that were remarkably easy targets for Russian intelligence efforts.”
so basically they didn’t have any evidence, any proof or any sources to back up their claim at all. They just want it to be so true and so damning for Trump they went ahead and just wrote the story anyway. The comments underneath were people eating it up, they couldn’t wait and were so excited to “finally get him soon” and they were happy that “we’re getting so close I can smell it” for nailing Trump with this Russia thing. How embarrassing for our country. The people have fully bought into this idea that its one side versus the other and if you’ve picked your side you’ll do anything, even peddle a baseless article in order to get ahead in the game. This isn’t to be taken lightly and this isn’t something that we are innocent from blame for as citizens. Its our own damn fault!!
The Most Hilarious Hypocrisy
Here’s another example of how lazy we’ve become with holding our officials and our media accountable. With the recent healthcare debates and voting things have been getting pretty heated, thats simple politics. What makes me mad as hell is when one side reaches out to the other offering an olive branch and they are painted as the merciful and the ones who really care etc. It doesn’t matter which side is which in that story its happened several ways recently and within the last decade, pick your favorite team they’ve both been the good and bad more times over than we can even remember.
Most recently though we can focus on America’s most deplorable political, or as you may know her by her legal name: Nancy Pelosi. I won’t waste a bunch of time talking about her past, it really is awful, but here’s a perfect example of a person acting with such an incredible lack of care about ramifications of her actions she actually pulls off this stunt:
While attending the DNC party meeting in California, her home state, the leaders of the DNC in attendance got on stage, Pelosi included, and led the crowd of a few thousand in what has been called the Democratic party’s “Battle Cry”, which was them raising their middle fingers in the air and repeatedly yelling “Fuck Donald Trump”. You can go watch video of it, it’d be funny if it wasn’t something actually happening where one of two parties is vowing to obstruct their political rival in office rather than work for the good of the country and the people they represent.
Then Nancy Pelosi has the gall to write a letter to Paul Ryan less than a month after taking part in that chant, stating “republicans must work in bipartisan fashion” to figure out the healthcare debate; she isn’t wrong here at all, but the hypocrisy is unbelievable especially considering she was on stage during the chant! She continues to say, apparently without a shred of humor, that
“Democrats extend the hand of friendship…and congress should work in regular order for the good of the American people.”
Well that’s certainly interesting considering she was loudly calling for a filibuster of Judge Gorsuch, whom she found nothing wrong with in his initial vote to federal court; and its rich that she writes the hand of friendship is extended as if the party leadership wasn’t just on stage chanting “fuck Donald Trump” and strengthening their “resist” message. How are we letting our politicians get away with this type of behavior? How have we become so lazy that these people are so hypocritical its laughable and they aren’t even trying to cover it up! They are running around acting like the internet doesn’t even exist because as far as they’re concerned no one is calling them out on their blatant hypocrisy; thats on us America!
Headline America; Read about it!
We have become what I like to call “Headline America”, we’re lazy, apathetic, or generally disinterested in our government so we just don’t care. We’ve become a nation that gather’s its news by glancing at a headline and nothing else. This leads to people just gathering an opinion from a headline and therefore headlines have become more “click-bait-ish” or more purposely misleading in order to sway the opinion of whoever it happens to be reading the headline and making judgements based off that alone.
Take for instance the article in the New Yorker, it was titled “How Jared Kushner helped the Russians get inside access to the Trump Campaign”, if you just read that headline and nothing else you’d be under the impression they had the info in the article to prove that statement. But we’ve become so lazy as Americans that they don’t anymore!
Another example is this article by NBC titled "House Decisively Passes Sanctions Bill Curbing Trump’s Power”. Now if you just saw the headline it might sound like Trump is this wild monster and even the Republican congress thinks its high time to reign him in, but if you actually read the article you’d learn that they’re talking about the sanctions imposed on Russia and how that bill passed with a clause that doesn’t allow the president to back off of those sanctions in the next few years. Thats it, that’s the “curb of power” they’re talking about but since we’re not reading past the headlines anymore they can spin it to make their political foe look worse without having to do any real work to find actual evidence or proof. Just headline America soaking in the headlines of the day thats all we are now.
Or how about the Pakistani IT workers that were hired by the DNC and congressman in the DNC that just got arrested sending money to Pakistan and trying to flee the country? They were IT consultants for several members of congress, notably Debbie Wasserman Schultz before she resigned from DNC chair, they had access to emails from several congressman, passwords for the DNC chair accounts and to top it off "Soon after Imran began working for Wasserman Schultz in 2005, four of his relatives appeared on the payroll of other Democrats at inflated salaries, but Democratic staffers said they were rarely seen at work. They collected $4 million in taxpayer salaries since 2009.” Article in the Daily Caller all of this was uncovered in March but we didn’t hear about it because we were too busy listening to stories about Trump golfing and Putin caddying for him.
And why didn’t the former chair of the party Debbie Wasserman-Schultz fire the IT employee until he was arrested at the airport for attempting to flee the country after several other criminal charges? Then Rachel Maddow, the same day of the arrest and the news breaking has the nerve to go on air and say these words about none other than Trump and his ties to Russia. Apparently the Maddow show or whatever its called is completely unable to understand the concept of irony because she went on a rant about the danger of American officials in a position to be compromised, apparently the IT staffer situation posed no compromising situation in her mind. She said:
“It is dangerous for a compromised person to continue to be in public office” stating there is a “non-zero chance that they will take action…or be forced to give special treatment to whoever that is” that they owe loyalty to. Then calls for America to re-gain urgency we used to have when a public official was in a compromising position stating it "is a danger to the people of the country when this person is in that position of power."
She says all of this without the slightest bit of irony in talking about the trump-russia thing instead of the two Pakistani Aides for Wasserman-Schultz that were just arrested for trying to flee the country.
Check Your Source
We’ve become so media centric that we don’t even notice that the same media gloating over Trump’s low approval ratings received ratings, from the same poll that they cited themselves that were even lower than Trump’s bad ratings. Guys, come on how are we not calling them out, we’ve got to be better than this as citizens. Engage in what you are taking in, in no way whatsoever should a news agency be able to brag about someone’s low ratings while also receiving lower ratings from the very same poll they are citing to smear someone else! Really if you think about it they shouldn’t even consider running that story because they know that the people would call them out so fast they’d be out of business by the end of the day if they did that. But no, instead lazy Americans just pick a side and cheer and don’t really care beyond that.
I’ve heard people saying that FBI Director James Comey being directed by Attorney General Lynch to not call the Clinton Investigation an “Investigation” but to call it a “matter” wasn’t a big deal at all. That it wasn’t shady and I’ve actually read someone say that the Attorney General’s job is to ensure that stuff like that doesn’t threaten politicians and that she was doing her job by covering up the Clinton Investigation. How sad, how terribly sad that we are so used to the corruption in politics that people out there think that the head of the entire justice department of the country, and the chief law enforcement officer and chief lawyer of the United States government’s role is to protect their own and cover up scandal. Thats just sad.
Silence is Consent
Silence is consent, thats how we have to handle situations like this. Silence, whether it be from the media or from the people, is consent. So you’d think this media of our country, the stations that lean liberal anyway, would be fairly pumped about Sarah Huckabee Sanders taking over the job of Sean Spicer, America’s favorite punching bag, as the White House Press Secretary would be something they’d be pretty pumped about. They are, after all, always pushing the progressive ideals of their political leanings so why wouldn’t they be happy about a woman becoming White House Press Secretary right? This is just a few months after the March for Women in DC and all the buzzed and huffpo articles claiming rampant sexism all over the place anyway. So when Sanders, a woman gets called a “Butch Queen” by a reporter, on twitter, on his verified account that is used in conjunction with the news station he works for; all those feminism first media outlets and the response from the left in general would be outrage right?
Silence is consent, the media was silent about this. It took four days for any mention of it by any left leaning news source to mention it and they barely did at that. It took four days for an official account to delete the tweet and issue a half-assed apology. If that had been the other way around and a woman from the Obama administration had been called a butch queen, what would the reaction have been? If you think the difference in how it played out isn’t directly associated to her political leanings and the administration she’s working for then you’re lying to yourself.
The reason the media can pick and choose what to report, the reason they can just write misleading headlines that are backed up with zero proof, and the reason the politicians can act in such hilarious hypocrisy is all due to the lack of care of the American people. Its because of the Apathy in which we have become accustomed to pairing with politics and the media and politicians are taking full advantage of our own self-harm. We’ve become a people where opinions are no longer something that everyone has, its become a state of politics where one side accuses the other of “insert insult here” because the opinion of one is not compatible with the opinion of the other.
We’ve turned into a country where you can very quickly be assigned the title of “normal” or “sexist, racist, homophobic bigot” based on what color you voted for, or agree with. What happened to the day in age where reporters felt pride in what they did, because the people cared about their own country. What happened to the days where people required more than just speculation before deciding their thoughts and running with wild speculation?
I know that I’ve talked about all this stuff before but please people, for the love of god stop taking the American that’s to your right or your left and turning him or her into the cause for everything you deem bad in the country. We aren’t going to go anywhere or achieve anything unless we allow the opposing side to speak, unless we demand a higher quality of journalism from our news sources and unless we hold our elected officials accountable for their bull shit! Most of all none of these things will get better unless we look at ourselves as the issue rather than a bunch of external things that are simply a symptom of the disease plaguing America, we’re suffering from Apathy and we need to find a cure fast.