The media is intent on urgently reporting and discussing the importance of the temporarily reduced security clearance of Trump advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
But when Obama Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes was actually denied security clearance in 2008, the media yawned. Actually, it never even reported something this newsworthy and, apparently, if the media doesn’t report it, it doesn’t happen.
Recall that Rhodes was not only a high-level advisor to Obama, but he was the architect of the now-infamous Iran nukes deal involving cases of cash flown on a plane to Tehran while creating a pathway for nukes to the repressive, terrorist, Islamist regime. Further, he was the one who misled Congress and the public on the terms of the agreement.
Yet it was not until January 2017, days before Obama was out of office, that the Washington Free Beacon reported:
Ben Rhodes, a White House deputy national security adviser who led the administration’s efforts to mislead Congress about the terms of the Iran nuclear agreement, is under scrutiny in the wake of disclosures he was declined interim clearance status by the FBI in 2008, when the administration was moving into the White House.
The Washington Times followed up with a report and the Free Beacon did some follow-up stories on the congressional inquiry. Google does not show any mainstream media coverage of this story, even once Congress was looking into it and the issue was fully public.
This context is hugely important. Because people may think that Jared Kushner not getting his security clearance is not only important, but showing a pattern of chaos, disruption and disreputable characters in the White House. But does it? No, at least not when we look in light of what has happened in previous administrations, even if they were not reported or barely reported.
We reported on this problem previously by comparing Trump’s personal peccadillos to presidents of the past, which were barely reported or not reported until historic biographies told the stories.
From JFK’s stream of prostitutes and drugs into the White House far exceeding anything even in Trump’s past, let alone in his White House, to LBJ’s wild racism and infatuation with telling people about his manly package, to Bill Clinton, Trump comes off looking pretty mild. But you wouldn’t know that by consuming only the traditional media because they are covering Trump differently and thereby misleading the American people.
This continually manifests itself in the hysterically funny claim by many Democrats that the Obama administration was the most corruption-free administration in modern American history. This is so easy to debunk — but not if you only get news from the traditional media. Here we report five scandals from the Obama years that could legitimately require a special counsel and that the media had no real interest in pursuing.
This lack of context due to media reporting double standards pops up everywhere.
I was on an ABC panel last night discussing this and other issues with a Florida Democratic Party Chairman and a Tampa Bay Times political correspondent along with the ABC moderator. None of the three of them had heard anything about this Rhodes story. But they knew all about Jared Kushner.
This, of course, goes to the alternate universe that has grown in the wake of the media’s abdication of any journalistic responsibility. Taking sides as the media did clearly during the Obama years, and then did on steroids since Trump’s election, has resulted in two competing narratives of every story out there. This is a prime example and explains why so much on social media appears to be people talking from different planets.
Censorship by Twitter and Facebook using Snopes and other leftist organizations will hardly fix “fake news” in this sense. It will, however magnify the alternate universe paradigm.
And that means that virtually every new eruption from the media on the Trump White House requires the understanding that this may or may not be much of anything. And that requires some truthful context.