The Mueller report was released in 2018. From the introduction of the first volume:
“The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion. Evidence of Russian government operations began to surface in mid 2016. In June, the Democratic National Committee and its cyber response team publicly announced that Russian hackers had compromised its computer network. Releases of hacked materials – hacks that public reporting soon attributed to the Russian government – began that same month. Additional releases followed in July through the organization WikiLeaks, with further releases in October and November.
“As set forth in detail in this report, the Special Council’s investigation established that Russia interfered in the 2016 election principally through two operations. First, a Russian entity carried out a social media campaign that favored Donald J. Trump and disparaged presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Second, a Russian intelligence service conducted computer intrusion operations against entities, employees and volunteers working on the Clinton campaign and then released stolen documents. The investigation also identified numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in it’s election interference activities.”
The Russian government attempted to interfere in the election to the benefit of Trump. Russian agencies participated in social media campaigns to benefit Trump. WikiLeaks released stolen emails from the Clinton campaign. These are established facts in the report.
When the report was released, conservatives rejoiced. The investigation found no direction links between Trump and the Russian government – no “collusion,” no evidence that he or anyone in his campaign assisted them in their interference. Their beloved president was finally vindicated! For two years Trump and his cronies and allies had suffered the injustices of a witch hunt by Democrats who made the whole thing up as a result of not accepting the fact that Hillary was a horrible person, just horrible, and everyone hated her, which is why she lost. Anti-liberal Progressives sneered and smugly lectured liberals on how wrong they were.
Last year, the final volume of a Senate Intelligence committee investigative report was released. Like the Mueller report, it found troubling evidence of Russia’s involvement in meddling in the 2016 election. Still no evidence of direct “collusion,” by Trump or his campaign, but despite being written about extensively by various news outlets at the time of its release, it too was dismissed by both Trump supporters and smug-ass anti-lib progressives.
During a 2019 segment of The Hill: Rising, Krystal Ball made a fool of herself by comparing Rachel Maddow and her network, to Alex Jones. Maddow, an MSNBC journalist had the audacity to report on a scandal that actually happened. Maddow may have over played her hand when it came to Russia Gate. Some would argue that she had, and others would argue she had every justification for doing so, since an investigation ( the Mueller investigation ) was on-going at the time. I don’t know. That’s not for me to judge. What I do know, is that Russia Gate was not a hoax, as the evidence shows. Anti-liberal progressives can call it Trump-derangement hysteria to their hearts’ content. It happened, and the mainstream media reported on it as was their job. If smug progressives like Ball can’t get over that fact, that’s on them.
“I can no longer avoid pondering a question that honestly gives me no joy to ponder, just to ponder how much damage has MSNBC in particular done to the left,” Ball said smugly. “Now this critique is not meant to be personal to the anchors and commentators there, some of whom are actually close friends having worked at the network for five years, but nearly all of whom got swept up in the ratings bubble that was feverish Russia conspiracy theories.”
After claiming her critique was nothing personal, she then called out one commentator at MSNBC in particular.
“I dare to say some talent did drink more deeply of the Russian conspiracy waters than others. Rachel Maddow, you’ve got some explaining to do.”
She admitted that the Mueller investigation revealed some facts , but added that it “doesn’t feel like a damning set of facts when for months MSNBC built segment after segment , show after show on building anticipation for a big reveal.”
She also mentioned several other reporters who the network brought on to discuss Russia Gate. “Seriously, this is not journalism,” she said. “It is Infowars conspiracy theory.”
Keep in mind that Ball is among a subset of smug, pompous “anti-woke, anti-imperialist” “progressives” – who love to refer to Russia Gate liberals as useful idiots – who see “deep state” conspiracies under every rock. Everything the American government says, is a lie. But other countries whose governments America doesn’t like – Russia, Venezuela, Syria, and China – are more credible and must be defended. With their “force the vote” nonsense on M4All, and then attacking progressives – including those in Congress – who did not fall in line with their demands, as sell-outs and traitors; and their brilliant ideas of forming alliances with right-wing anti-government groups like the Boogaloo Boys – are far more damaging to the reputation of the left than any reporting on the Russia Gate scandal.
They see themselves as saviors of the progressive movement, who think that they, and they alone know what’s best for the American people when it comes to matters of health care and other progressive policies. They pride themselves on being anti-establishment, anti-corporate, and anti-mainstream media, and yet the only “mainstream media” they seem to have a problem with are MSNBC and CNN. Never Fox News, Newsmax or OANN. They posture themselves as brave “truth-tellers” among a vast “corporate media” apparatus that is undermining truth and objectivity, and by watching Breaking Points, Jimmy Dore, and the like, can you be truly informed, because they would never misinform, and they would never engage in partisanship.
This group of “elite” progressives include people such as Jimmy Dore, Glenn Greenwald, Aaron Mate, Max Blumenthal, and Matt Taibbi. Many of these people have been accused by other progressives of enabling and promoting Assad, Russia, China, and Venezuela propaganda ( see the Grayzone’s Rationalwiki page here ). Max Blumenthal, the founder of the Grayzone is a contributor of both RT ( Russian television ) and Sputnik radio.
It’s ironic that Ball would accuse centrist Democrats like Maddow as having discredited and done damage to the left due to her overzealous reporting and speculation on the Russia Gate scandal. Ball and her elitist group of useful idiots have done far more damage to the credibility of the left than Rachel Maddow ever could. I’ll get to that in a moment.
Ball has spent the last few years at The Hill: Rising, and now Breaking Points, sitting next to a white nationalist, failing to push back on his conspiracy and fear-mongering, railing against the Democrat establishment as being the cause of all of America’s economic, and class woes, and the answer is a populist uprising, a merger between the populist left, and the so-called populist right. In other words, progressives like Ball would rather unite with fascists because they too see problems with the system, corporations, the government – rather than with liberals. I wish I was kidding.
Nathan J. Robinson, of the magazine Current Affairs, had this to say in his article Debating The Right Rather Than Collaborating With Them:
“I do not want to suggest that Ball and Enjeti are anything but sincere. I have admired much of Ball’s work, if none of Enjeti’s, and I think Rising has produced a lot of excellent material and filled gaps in the media ( I disagree with Robinson, they are not much better ). I do think it’s important to note that the Hill is owned by a close personal friend of Donald Trump. And from what Ball Says about the relative palatability of Enjeti’s politics versus those of the mainstream Democratic party, leftists watching the show could very well get the impression that Donald Trump is more similar to them than Joe Biden. Nationalist racists like Tucker Carlson are presented as preferable to centrists, because they are part of the “populist” movement.”
I have my doubts about Ball’s sincerity. There are plenty of liberals who want the same things Ball supposedly wants: Universal healthcare, a Green New Deal, affordable education, etc.. Is she interested in talking to these people? Is she interested in forming an alliance with them? I don’t see any evidence that she is. They’re liberals. Why would she talk to them? She hates them because they’re liberals. She’s seems more sympathetic to fascists. Her only interest is looking down her nose at liberals, sneering at them. However, she sees no problem giving a wink and a nod to fascists, because they both hate government, and have problems with corporations.
I find Ball’s hypocrisy also problematic. When it came to Russia Gate, she ignorantly buried her head in the sand and sneered at liberals who got it right. She buried her head in the sand and sneered at liberals who were right about the Douma chemical gas attack in Syria. In her video Will Liberals Ever Admit How Wrong They Were About Trump? she smugly lectured the “liberal” media on how wrong they were about Trump, that their concern of Trump interfering in the election, was nothing more than Trump derangement. This video was released prior to the Capitol riot, which they also downplayed.
These days, Krystal Ball is into her own conspiracy theories – something for which she recently sneered at liberals, over Russia Gate reporting. Lately, COVID conspiracies regarding its origin – the Wuhan lab leak theory – have been in the media. This conspiracy theory is not about finding the truth about COVID, but smearing Fauci and using him as a scapegoat to distract from the Trump administration’s massive failure during the pandemic.
Via the Washington Post:
“The central argument from Trump and his allies is that the possibility that the virus escaped from a lab in Wuhan or was manufactured there – a claim for which there is no public evidence – as opposed to spreading from an animal to a human, was unfairly dismissed or covered up by scientists and media organizations bent on destroying the former president.”
“The focus of the virus’s origin story also fits a pattern of Trump and his supporters trying to absolve the former president of blame by obfuscating his past actions or words and blaming others , despite his role as the country’s leader.”
“They’re using Dr. Fauci as a way to direct attention from what actually was a massive government failure from the White House and individuals Donald Trump put in place to handle the pandemic,” says Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
Last month Dr. Fauci appeared before Congress on the claim of gain of function regarding the coronavirus, and was, of course, accused of lying to cover his and China’s asses. Trump defenders saw it as evidence of his involvement in a world-wide conspiracy. But there was and is no evidence that he lied, other than personal opinion.
Via the Los Angeles Times:
“There is no evidence whatsoever that the virus originated or was warehoused in a Chinese lab, and was released, either inadvertently or deliberately.”
“Most recently, Fauci’s critics have picked over a trove of his emails, released to Buzzfeed and the Washington Post via Freedom of Information Act requests, to search for evidence of Fauci’s duplicity in commenting on the pandemic. They assert that the emails prove their point. In fact, they prove nothing of the kind. Instead, they portray a public servant taking pains to to be judicious about theories for the origin of the virus and about purported remedies.”
Recently, crazy QAnon Congresswoman, Marjory Taylor Greene called for Joe Biden to investigate and hold Fauci accountable for a “manufactured plague,” in a letter she sent to him in June. “Today, I sent this letter to Joe Biden to demand the immediate investigation into Anthony Fauci’s lies and his potential involvement in the cover up of the origins of the China virus,” which she posted along with the tweet.
Last month, Krystal and Saagar appeared on the Joe Rogan podcast, where they wasted no time implicating Dr. Fauci in a world-wide conspiracy to create the virus as a bioweapon, while downplaying the Trump administration’s failures during the pandemic. And, while still at The Hill: Rising, they hosted COVID vaccine conspiracist Bret Weinstein.
This is not the only conspiracy theory these two have dabbled in of late: Russia Gate was a hoax invented by the liberal media as an excuse to explain Hillary Clinton’s loss to Trump. However, Obama Gate is totally plausible and should be investigated; the FBI was really behind the Capitol riot, as well as the attempted kidnapping of Gretchen Whitmer.
It’s not just the conspiracy-mongering that I find troubling from serious journalists who supposedly counter corporate mainstream narrative. It’s that they are willing to platform other alleged journalists like Andy Ngo, a known right-wing provocateur – a fascist – who shows up at left-wing protests to instigate violence to make himself a victim. Having him on and failing to push back on his propaganda, is not serious journalism. It is a mockery of journalism. It is no different than MSNBC having on David Duke, and failing to counter his propaganda. And engaging in conspiracy theories while accusing mainstream media figures of doing the same, is a mockery of journalism.
And last, it’s that they spend too much time criticizing and condemning the Democratic party for rightly focusing on the Republican party’s threat to democracy. An alleged conspiracy is more plausible and merits more attention than the fact that the Republican party recently attempted to cancel democracy by subverting an election, and are continuing to subvert democracy through laws to make it more difficult to vote.
But none of this is important to people like Krystal Ball. By entertaining outlandish conspiracy theories, they are not the reputable journalists they pretend to be. They are nothing more than that which they accuse mainstream media. They are a cheap corporate opinion media knock off with their own wealthy donors. They are nothing more than podcasters on a social media platform, sharing a mutual hatred of the Democratic party, and giving their opinions on how bad they are, while ignoring and downplaying any threat from the Republican party. They have become Infowars-style conspiracy theorists. It is them who have drank deeply of the conspiracy waters, much more deeply than Rachel Maddow or anyone else at MSNBC, and it is them who have explaining to do. But they will never be held accountable.
Sources: Mediaite, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times.