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VB The Wise: Of fake news and fake takeaways

Doug 'VB' Goudie
May 05, 2017 - 6:07 am
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So FBI director James Comey testified in front of Congress (again!) for four straight hours (he's made of stone, don't you know?), and it was a fairly revealing session.  In fact, both The New York Times and The Boston Globe had a "Five Takeaways from the Comey Hearing" column in their Thursday papers.  Now those two newspapers (along with the Washington Post) are routinely criticized as being "left-wing rags" by many of us in talk radio.  (In the interests of full disclosure, the show I am on is called "The Boston.com Morning Show" because we have partnered with The Boston Globe, but that doesn't stop me from criticizing the paper when I feel it is necessary.  However, I also sing the praises of these papers when it is appropriate - as in the case of Bob Hohler's recent column about Tom Brady and Best Buddies in the Globe.)  In any case, the "five takeaways" from each pair are startling; not so much for what they each reveal about the actual hearing, but what they reveal about the papers' and how they chose to approach their coverage.    

The New York Times takeaways:

1. Comey would do it all over again

2. Trump's Twitter complaint 

3. Comey's silence on the Russia investigation

4. Rudolph Guiliani and the FBI leaks

5. A push to renew surveillance laws

 

The Boston Globe takeaways:

1. Comey said he was interfering in the election but he had no choice

2. Comey said Obama wouldn't let him go public with Russia allegations

3. Comey believes Russia will meddle in the 2018 elections

4. Comey confirms there is an investigation into his role in email investigations

5. Comey is looking into whether his aides leaked info to Guiliani

Ok.  So all 10 of those things DID happen in the hearing, they are not fake takeaways.  HOWEVER, neither list includes what I consider to be the three most glaring takeaways form the hearing.

VB's takeaways:

1. Huma Abedin sent multiple classified emails to her husband

2. The Bill Clinton-Loretta Lynch tarmac meeting cost Lynch all credibility she had in Comey's eyes in that investigation

3. Comey saw two doors, one labelled "Speak" and the other labelled "Conceal" on Oct. 27

Ok. So why are these three more important than what the Globe and Times listed?  Well, for starters, I think that the Director of the FBI losing all faith in the Attorney General of the United States over an ill-conceived meeting with a spouse of someone under investigation is SLIGHTLY more important than Comey's reaction to Donald's Trump's tweet about Comey giving Hillary a free pass, no?  Has an FBI Director EVER testified under oath before like that in reference to the Attorney General?  Look at it this way: Charlie Sheen once famously said that he knew he had a drinking problem when Tommy Lee pulled him aside at a party and said "Dude, you're drinking way too much."  Well, when James Comey tells you that what YOU'RE doing looks really bad, IT LOOKS REALLY BAD. 

Next, I would argue that Huma sending at least TWELVE classified documents to her clearly compromised husband is SLIGHTLY more important than who leaked information to "Rudolph" Guiliani, no?  Let's put it this way, Anthony's Weiner's weiner wasn't the only thing aroused by what was on his laptop, so was the FBI Director's suspicions.  In fact, even more startling is Comey's claim that Huma din't know "what she was doing was in violation of the law"?  So ignorance of the law IS a defense, at least when you're Hillary Clinton's right-hand woman apparently.  (Ever notice how Huma is always presented as the smartest person in the room, except when it's convenient for her to be not so smart?)

Finally, Comey's "two doors" course of action is SLIGHTLY more important than his push to renew surveillance laws, no?  The "Two doors" thing is absolutely revealing of where James Comey was (and is) in his thinking on all of this right now, unlike his push to renew surveillance laws (gee, no kidding).  After all, when Comey had to decide whether to go public with the fact that he was reopening the investigation into Hillary on October 27th, he says he saw two doors.  One Door was labelled "Speak" as he put it, but I would argue that door was actually labelled "Cover Your ASS".  He says the second door was labelled "Conceal", but I would argue that door was labelled "Do Your Job".  Come chose the door marked CYA, as government bureaucrats always do.  Maybe the next time James Comey is thinking about going public with his "two door theory", maybe he should choose "Conceal" and keep it to himself. 

​So why wouldn't any of my three "takeaways" make it into the Globe's list or the New York Times' list?  We all know why, obviously.  Neither paper cared one bit about any of the testimony related to the Clintons, and they don't care so much about Comey.  They care about Trump, and they care about Russia, period.  The rest is non-existent.  Hey, you decide.  You can go with the Boston Globe or the New York Times, and you can say that the key takeaways from the Comey hearing were Trump's tweet, Guiliani's leaks, or Russia, Russia, Russia. (By the way, there was no information provided on any of those things at all by Comey.)  Or, you can go with me, and you can say that what Comey knew about Huma is startling, what he felt about Loretta Lynch is revealing, and what he said about his own choice is appalling.  Luckily for you, I'm here every week at wrko.com, and I charge you nothing for this wisdom, unlike those other two.  More next week. 

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