Streetwise Professor

April 30, 2023

Will No One Rid Me of This Meddlesome Laptop?

Filed under: History,Politics — cpirrong @ 2:29 pm

About six weeks ago, the NY Times ran a long story about election interference. From about the time of the Trojan War. Well, not quite that long ago–but a long time ago: the 1980 election. In its story, the NYT resurrected the “October Surprise” allegation that the Reagan campaign persuaded the Iranians not to release American hostages before the election, thereby torpedoing Jimmy Carter’s chances.

The sources? Well, the plural is not appropriate here: there is a single source, a certain Ben Barnes who allegedly accompanied John Connolly on a tour of Middle Eastern capitals “to deliver a blunt message to be passed to Iran: Don’t release the hostages before the election. Mr. Reagan will win and give you a better deal.”

Insofar as confirmation is concerned, the NYT talked to four people. All of whom said that Barnes told them the same story he told the Times.

What could be more solid than that, right? A single source plus an echo chamber. Journalism!

Let’s look at the last sentence of what I just quoted: “Mr. Reagan will win and give you a better deal.” So, just what was that better deal? What evidence is there of such a deal? In fact, there is no evidence of such a thing in 1981, 1982, etc. It wasn’t until Iran’s proxies kidnapped Americans while Reagan was in his second term that he made a deal with them.

The hostages were released right when Reagan was inaugurated: I remember vividly watching the split screen of the inauguration and the release of the hostages. This was plausibly more of an FU to Carter, whom the Iranians loathed and disdained, than it was some gift to Reagan–and again, there is no evidence of any reciprocal benefit redolent of a “deal.”

Barnes’ story would have been more credible had he said that the “blunt message” was: “If you don’t release the hostages when Reagan is president, we will bomb the living shit out of you.”

The NYT’s dedication of extensive ink and pixels to this story is particularly striking given its complete–and I mean complete–lack of ink and pixels to a story of far more relevance and news value, and which is much more firmly sourced than the recollections of the 85 year old Mr. Barnes: specifically, the revelation that ex-CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell said–under oath–that he had organized the creation of the letter signed by 51 ex-US intelligence officials suggesting that the Hunter Biden laptop was “Russian disinformation.” Moreover, that Mr. Morell testified–again, under oath–that had done so after being prompted by current Secretary of State, and then Biden campaign official, Anthony Blinken.

Pretty explosive stuff, especially given that according to polls a large majority of Americans say that the truth about the laptop–namely that it was 1000 percent real, and not the creation of the dreaded Russkies–would have impacted their vote. Given the closeness of the election, it is abundantly clear that absent the letter prompted by Blinken and organized by Morell, the outcome of that election would have been different. Talk about your election interference, and tampering with our “precious democracy [sic].”

But apparently this does not fall under the category of “all the news that is fit to print.” Instead, it falls under the category of “all the news that is fit to memory hole,” while items of merely antiquarian interest, such as the 1980 “October Surprise” emerge from the memory hole and wind up on the front page of the Times.

If you want evidence of the utter corruption and partisanship of the elite “news” media, you need look no further.

Those elite sources who have deigned even to mention the story attempt to downplay its significance by saying that Morell also testified that Blinken did not order or direct the letter.

Yeah, and Henry II did not order or direct his knights to murder Thomas á Becket: a mere “will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” sufficed.

Blinken suggested, and Morell immediately organized an effort to bash the story on the skull and leave its brains on the floor, a la Beckett’s.

And the New York Times is perpetuating the lie–the disinformation, something it allegedly deplores repeatedly, accompanied by frenzied chin pulling–by failing to cover the story, not even running a column inch or two next to the obituaries.

And if Ben Barnes is telling the truth, I say thank God, if that spared us four more years of Jimmy Carter and brought us the most successful and beneficially impactful presidency since FDR’s. I am sure that Morell is telling the truth now–as rare an event as that is–and I say damn him and all of his co-conspirators (including the elite media, social media companies, etc.) to hell, because through their manipulations they have visited upon us the worst and most balefully impactful presidency on us since . . . James Buchanan’s? John Tyler’s? Or more likely–ever.

Further, unlike the Homeric retelling of long ago events, the laptop letter story is of great importance now, given that The Senescent One has announced his candidacy for 2024. Reagan ain’t running again. Biden is. The dishonest machinations of his 2020 campaign are obviously relevant in evaluating his 2024 effort.

Which is precisely why the NYT, and most of the rest of the elite media, is burying the Morell confession.

NYT delenda est. Hell, the entire elite media delenda est.

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  1. You don’t have to go so far as James Buchanan and John Tyler when you have Obama.

    Comment by aaa — April 30, 2023 @ 3:01 pm

  2. @aaa. Of course I had Obama in mind, but Biden is worse. So I had to go back further.

    Comment by cpirrong — April 30, 2023 @ 3:38 pm

  3. Cheer up, prof!
    At least you have some constitutional protection against executive overreach. UK and EU don’t, and are inventing new laws about “disinformation” to crush all dissent or debate.

    I’m no historian, but Biden reminds me of Woodrow Wilson. Irish / Scots heritage. Segregation / identity politics. Raising taxes. An urge to meddle with state frontiers in Europe… And probably a second term half comatose.

    Comment by philip — May 1, 2023 @ 7:38 am

  4. I think you are being too kind to more recent presidency’s. As @aaa pointed out, we have the baleful presidency of Barry Obama who brought “Chicago style” politics to the White House and the nation. I suggest he learned the weaponization of the bureaucracies from the meatheads in city hall, albeit it was on a somewhat smaller scale. Our current president and his family of grifters would fit right in in Chicago.

    Comment by Donald Wolfe — May 1, 2023 @ 10:55 am

  5. The delegitimization of Republican election victories by the MSM & NYTimes is actually much worse than you state. Go back to 1968 and the various claims that Nixon operatives (Kissinger or Gen. Chennault’s widow; pick ’em) told the South Vietnamese government to stall at the Paris “Peace” talks because they would get a better deal if Nixon won than they’d get from the lame duck LBJ (who had less than six months left in office). Like they needed to be advised that by any actual person? Throw in the 2000 election Supreme Court decision (Scalia is usually cited as the master manipulator) for another.

    Of course then they had to gin up the Bush lied meme regarding the Iraq War when they created the zeitgeist that Saddam has all of those nefarious MWMD programs that by publishing all sorts of unidentified sources regarding this for so many years. And never mind that so many Democrats in Congress went along when far more opposed fighting to kick Saddam out of Kuwait ten years prior.

    Comment by JavelinaTex — May 1, 2023 @ 11:01 am

  6. And as dumb as I am, always thought the US has got something of a one party system and it doesn’t matter so much who gets elected, but if they wouldn’t continue the show with the dems and reps people wouldn’t vote and wouldn’t accept the system anymore; the media sells the system. What did Kerry ‘vs.’ Bush get? High vote participation.

    And even in Europe every self-styled Gutmensch leftist is of course pro dems and of course against Trump; and if female still for Mrs. Clinton…well sold…ah, and of course, against Putin nowadays, almost wondering that they do not yet know better who should be the leader in China and India…the ‘President of the EU commission’ does not get elected at all, they still are for the EU here and wonder why they still need national elections to call it a democracy…isn’t it enough to consider oneself a dem… they’re right anyway, cause their propaganda and censorship machine says so…

    Comment by Mikey — May 1, 2023 @ 12:13 pm

  7. “…the most successful and beneficially impactful presidency since FDR’s.” This could be read as saying that FDR’s presidency was a landmark for success and beneficial impact. Explain please?

    Comment by Michael van der Riet — May 3, 2023 @ 2:08 am

  8. …the worst and most balefully impactful presidency…

    Except Biden’s is a regime, not a presidency.

    If we survive this attack from within — and by “we” I mean our Constitutional Republic — I’d expect Biden to be struck off the list of US presidents.

    Comment by Pat Frank — May 4, 2023 @ 2:58 pm

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