AMERICA CAUGHT IN THE FOG OF MEDIA WAR
Voters are hard pressed to unravel two concurrent political dramas, both with dire connotations. At their most basic, there are claims that the Obama administration surveilled President Trump’s 2016 campaign — and counterclaims that there was communication between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. Both scenarios are subject to spin by pundits and news media. Investigations and conflicting accounts are many, ramped up by calculated distractions, bombshells, cover-ups, leaks and the ongoing battle to control the public narrative.
But has the turmoil reached “-gate” status, requiring the designated suffix that has accompanied scandals and improprieties for the last four decades? There’s Watergate of course, and Travelgate, Climategate, Bridgegate and dozens more. The all-purpose “Obamagate” has been circulating as both a Twitter hashtag and popular headline for several weeks. So that’s already taken.
“The smoking gun in Watergate was President Nixon’s effort to use the CIA to impede an FBI investigation. What kind of ‘gate’ is the misuse of the intelligence community to get inside information on an opposing presidential candidate?” writes American Enterprise Institute senior fellow Peter J. Wallison in an essay for RealClear Politics. “It may turn out that the Democrats, so eager to prove that the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians, have unknowingly blundered into a matter that will come back to damage both their party and the Obama administration.”
Talk radio kingpin Rush Limbaugh had a telling prediction for the Democratic Party and the news media itself — a conglomeration he frequently calls the “Democratic media complex,” among other things.
“They’re a big hate group now, and they’ve been consumed with their hatred for Donald Trump, consumed with their hatred for the American people who voted for Trump, consumed with their hatred for open elections, consumed by their hatred of the fact they can’t get rid of Trump,” Mr. Limbaugh told his 10 million-member audience Tuesday. “Folks, the only thing I’m telling you is, in terms of humanity, that you do not build good, positive, growing movements from a foundation or platform of hate. And they are consumed by it now. They are ravaged by it, and they have become completely irrational to the point of even openly acknowledging the abandonment of the sacred principles of journalism in order to stop Donald Trump.”