From the ‘I’m the aggressive progressive’ department:
Chuck Todd put out a short video questioning Donald Trump’s motives on the indictment of Julian Assange from WikiLeaks. The indictment charges Julian under the Espionage Act for receipt and disclosure of national defense information.
Upon release of the indictment, nearly everyone is triggered right on cue by the Donald Trump outrage factory — and for good reasons. Charges of receiving and disclosing classified information threaten freedom of the press and protect government secrecy.
The charges involve activities from years ago — activities that the Barack Obama administration did not charge. But now here’s Donald “I love WikiLeaks” Trump, the beneficiary of Julian’s more recent leaks, skipping back right past inconvenient activities involving WikiLeaks and The Donald’s campaign, to things that Obama did not find chargeable, and charging Assange in apparent violation of the common meme that Republicans are for “free speech.”
Very clear party lines are drawn. Democrat Barack Obama chose not to charge Julian for “free speech,” Republican Donald Trump did charge him.
Most of mainstream media (MSM) including the big newspapers and the news channels react to Donald Trump’s carefully-timed outrage peddling by pontificating on how much we need to support Julian Assange for freedom of the press even though we don’t like him. Independent media largely agrees with MSM while Republicans quietly laugh at the dilemma created by their Dear Leader The Donald.
CHUCK TODD BREAKS WITH NARRATIVE
Chuck Todd, major political pundit at NBC’s Meet The Press and host of the daily version of the program on MSNBC, releases a short commentary that begins to break this narrative. Chuck notes that Donald Trump’s the guy responsible for the charges, and questions his motives:
CHUCK: So why is the Department of Justice trying to make it seem like he was acting in some sort of journalistic enterprise? Maybe it’s because they believe it’s a just cause or maybe it’s because they’re trying to use a controversial figure to smear journalists and journalism as a malignancy, or to force us to take WikiLeaks more seriously as a journalistic enterprise for something that happened in 2016.
Chuck Todd is basically saying there is more to this than just a routine attempt by the government to stamp out “freedom of the press” — that Donald Trump is doing it for his own personal benefit based upon his relationship with Julian. He gives us a jumping-off point for deeper analysis. But that goes completely over Jimmy Dore’s head.
Rather than continue Chuck’s line of inquiry and question the Donald Trump administration, Jimmy calls Chuck the “dumbest guy in news (laughter),” focusing on perceived inconsistency in Chuck’s commentary:
CHUCK: On Thursday, the federal government indicted Wikileaks’s founder Julian Assange on 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act, and among them he’s accused of, quote, “Disseminating classified material.” Hmm, disseminating classified materials. The DOJ [Department of Justice] clearly believes that’s espionage. But in this case, it’s not. It’s journalism… But Julian Assange is a hacker, not a journalist.
Chuck says that the crimes charged are for “journalism” but then says Julian is “not a journalist,” but rather “a hacker.” On that, Jimmy Dore pounces:
JIMMY: No, no Chuck. That’s a hack. You’re a hack, Chuck. Julian Assange is a journalist. That’s why he wins awards and that’s why you get a paycheck from the military industrial complex. Do you see the difference?
Jimmy Dore and Chuck Todd agree on the most important bottom line of the indictment story — that Julian Assange was wrongly indicted. Stop right there. They agree. On the key point.
Based upon a prior indictment, Julian is a “hacker.” Did Jimmy forget about it? Not very journalistic of him. Chuck Todd is right. Jimmy Dore is wrong. Plain and simple. Jimmy continues:
JIMMY: He started out at the beginning saying this is journalism. Then he says he’s a hacker. Correct me if I’m wrong. You just contradicted yourself within sixty seconds… First you said he’s doing journalism… except he’s not a journalist, he’s a hacker…
Jimmy Dore asks for a correction. Here goes. First, a person can do journalism and not be a journalist. Second, a person can be a hacker and also be a journalist. Does this really need to be explained? One is not exclusive of the other, and therefore, Chuck Todd did not contradict himself. That makes Jimmy plain wrong and on an elementary level.
Examples: First, I can mechanically repair my car and not be a mechanic. I can bake a cake for my gay friends’ marriage and not be a baker. Second, I can be pretty much be anything and still commit a crime either related or unrelated — like a child counselor and a child abuser.
JIMMY: And you did it with a smug look on your face that only a true dumb guy has. Chuck Todd, I’m willing to say, dumber than me.
Jimmy needs a mirror — literally for that one.
JIMMY: He’s reading this off a teleprompter. He didn’t write it. He’s a F[**] idiot. Someone wrote this for him and he’s reading it. It doesn’t even make sense.
Jimmy says over and over that Chuck didn’t write the commentary. Who knows really? But one thing is for sure: Jimmy Dore needs a script writer for himself or at least a good editor.
JIMMY DORE IS A DONALD TRUMP SYCOPHANT
Chuck Todd unlike most of mainstream media points out that we should both oppose the latest Julian indictment and look at the motives of Donald Trump. Walk and chew gum.
Jimmy Dore doesn’t mind the guy who actually pressed the charges, Donald Trump — Instead, Jimmy distracts from Donald Trump with his clunky ridicule aimed at Chuck Todd.
How is it possible that Jimmy Dore makes such fundamental mistakes in his analysis which was supposed to expose fundamental mistakes? Because he is a Donald Trump sycophant, deliberately or subconsciously. Or Jimmy truly is, his own words, the “dumbest.”
CREDIBILITY OF INDEPENDENT MEDIA
But the harm is far greater than merely distracting from Donald Trump. Such plain ill logic out of a fairly well-known, supposedly “aggressive progressive” media star damages the credibility of both progressives and independents.
FULL TRANSCRIPT OF CHUCK TODD COMMENTARY
Tonight I’m obsessed with reading between the lines and I have a serious problem with what I’m seeing. On Thursday, the federal government indicted Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act, and among them he’s accused of, quote, “Disseminating classified material.” Hmm, disseminating classified materials. The DOJ [Department of Justice] clearly believes that’s espionage. But in this case, it’s not. It’s journalism. And you know who else thought so? The Supreme Court in 1971 when it ruled that both the New York Times and the Washington Post could publish the then-classified Pentagon Papers.
And this is where what’s between the lines gets really ugly. Because this indictment seems to put journalism itself in the cross hairs and it looks like it’s been done on purpose. Because if we accept that Assange is a journalist, then this indictment becomes a full frontal assault on the First Amendment, and we as journalists have no choice but to defend him on those counts in order to defend ourselves and our institution. But Julian Assange is a hacker, not a journalist.
So why is the Department of Justice trying to make it seem like he was acting in some sort of journalistic enterprise? Maybe it’s because they believe it’s a just cause or maybe it’s because they’re trying to use a controversial figure to smear journalists and journalism as a malignancy, or to force us to take WikiLeaks more seriously as a journalistic enterprise for something that happened in 2016.
The enemy of my people to quote someone in particular. I know what I see when I read between the lines. How ’bout you?