Trump's Limo ride and mainstream propaganda.
It seems like a good time to talk about the old Trumpmeister again. The January 6th Committee in the States, after weeks of mostly nothingness, seem to believe they have a smoking gun in this testimony from Cassidy Hutchinson an aide to Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
I guess I should nail my colors to the mast about Trump at this point. His election in 2016 was one of the most useful exercises in democracy, in over a generation, in that he somehow managed to reveal the rot at the heart of every major institution in the United States. These same institutions hate him for this big reveal and it is the primary reason they despise his presidency and any thoughts of another one.
However, having said all of that, I think his time may have come and gone. If I was choosing the next president of the United States I would probably select Ron De Santis, the governor of Florida. Younger, less knee-jerk, and with a track record of guiding a country-sized state through the coronavirus era while still upholding the freedoms and rights of individual citizens. We’ll see what the future holds on that one I suppose.
Anyway, hot news stories, like the January 6th Limousine testimony, by Cassidy Hutchinson, are a reminder that mainstream news and social media are still terrified of a Trump return to the White House. It’s amazing how quickly we forget but flash news eruptions and hysteria like this one were a regular if not almost daily occurrence on social media at the time of Trump’s first impeachment trial and for most of his four years in office. What is most instructive and the reason I am writing this article is to point out how the mainstream media cut, edits, frames and packages narratives on a story like this one. The traditional media well understand that most people do not have the appetite to watch hours and hours of January 6th drudgery. What they fail to adequately allow for though is that most global citizens source information nowadays from outside of the mainstream as well. Both left and right.
I am sure at this stage you all have probably read about Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony. In short, that Trump tried to grab the wheel of his Presidential Limousine “ The Beast” so as to steer it in the direction of his supporters that were congregating at Capitol Buildings in Washington DC on January 6th 2021. On the face of it this story and testimony sounds like a ridiculous premise. But is also the reason why the story has gathered so much traction so quickly.
Firstly, I think we can safely assume that the President of the United States wasn’t sitting in the front seat of the Limousine through-out the duration of this little expedition. Secondly, “The Beast” isn’t much of a Beast if the Leader of the free world and passenger in the back seat of the vehicle can casually reach through and grab the wheel against the protestations of at least 2 but probably 4 Secret Service agents. But all of that is conjecture and not proof on my part Cassidy Hutchinson was in the Limousine after all right?
Well, actually wrong.
Cassidy was not in the Limousine. In fact, she was nowhere near it. So, her testimony is hearsay evidence. As in someone told her that this is what happened. Let’s remind ourselves then that the January 6th committee are having someone testify about something she didn’t actually see or hear directly. And that there is no-one to corroborate what she is saying. As a stalwart of Donald Trump’s 1st impeachment trial, at the tail-end of 2019, I can remember that trial being full of “smoking guns” like this alleged episode. People who had lots to say about the President had never actually been party to the events they were “testifying” about. Many had never even met him.
Information received from other people which cannot be substantiated;
Cassidy Hutchinson overheard or was party to a conversation in which a Secret Service agent allegedly revealed that the president demanded to be driven to the Capitol and tried to grab the steering wheel of the presidential Limousine. This “ not being there “ context is largely omitted from a lot of the mainstream coverage in the first 24 hours. A lie is half-way around the world before the truth has a chance to stick on a pair of faded Levi’s.
Of course, the absolute key to this evidence lighting up like wild-fire is that Trump tried to grab the steering wheel. Without this juicy titbit the story doesn’t explode properly into mainstream consciousness. That tiny element is critical as it speaks to an unhinged, deranged and out of control man. Unless you are living under a rock the whole raison d’etre of this show-trial is to damage Trump enough to stop a Presidential bid in 2024. These committee hearings are entirely about forcing mainstream republican leaders to reject Trump. To give them an easy-way out if you will. Because again, unless you are not paying attention, the old school conservatives running that party would like nothing better than to have a good reason to let Trump go. The key though is to not alienate the tens of millions of voters who vote Trump first and Republican second.
There is a problem and it is a troublesome one. Similiar, to the Russia Collusion theory, that did the rounds when he first got elected no-one really believes Donald Trump orchestrated the Capitol Building riots. Or if he did it was the worst attempt to seize power in the history of man-kind. Now, that is not to say he doesn’t bear some responsibility. He was reckless to have organised a rally in Washington DC on that day so close to the inauguration of Joe Biden. Literally everyone in that city wanted him out of the office.
Every security, intelligence and law enforcement agency in the United States is more or less headquartered in Washington DC. It is kind of odd that they weren’t prepared for Trump supporters arrival on that day. Very odd indeed and we’ll leave it at that shall we?
Make no mistake, the New York Times, Washington Post, MSNBC and others know that the wheel-grabbing lie will not live as truth for very long. They need to be ready for the inconvenient truth if and when it starts to appear. So then, when a news organisation that is more favorable towards Trump publishes some harsh counter narrative facts, which in this case, has already happened, phase two of the propaganda campaign commences. This involves casting asperations on the people that actually were in the Limousine, the Secret Service Agents, before they get the chance to tell you what indeed did happen.
The following extract is taken from the Daily Beast.
In testimony before the House Jan. 6 Committee on Tuesday, former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson said she had heard that after the Jan. 6 Stop the Steal rally, Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of the vehicle and “lunged” at a Secret Service agent in a desperate attempt to be taken to the Capitol.
Hutchinson testified that Tony Ornato, a Secret Service agent who also served as White House deputy chief of staff, told her about it after Trump had instead been driven back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where he apparently proceeded to throw his lunch against the wall in anger.
Later on Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that three agents who were with Trump in the vehicle dispute that he “assaulted or grabbed at the leader of his security detail or that he grabbed for the steering wheel,” according to one current and one former law enforcement official familiar with the agents’ accounts. Various outlets also reported that Ornato and Bobby Engel, the lead Secret Service agent in the vehicle, are willing to testify to the committee disputing Hutchinson’s account.
In light of these developments, Post reporter Carol Leonnig appeared on MSNBC and offered some background information on Ornato and Engel.
The last paragraph of the above extract is the most important. The focus shifts to destroying the credibility of Tony Ornato. Helpfully, in this regard, a Washington Post, Trump hating reporter is on hand to offer context on the Secret Service agents that were in the vehicle on the day in question. As you can imagine the context is never very flattering. In essence, what is happening here is the promotion of a rumor over exposing potential facts.
On its own, without corroboration, Cassidy Hutchinson’s evidence is little more than spreading a rumor. Maybe its true and maybe its not. Again, how the mainstream are approaching the story leads me to believe that it probably isn’t true. Unfortunately, for Trump, he no longer has the megaphone of his Twitter account to beat back stories like this as they are developing. A not insignificant problem for him in the days ahead.
There is an Irish element to this mass propaganda dissemination too. The number two trending story on the Irish Times website today is the one below.
Surprisingly, when you dig a little under the surface, you find this story is a A New York Times opinion piece by Bret Stephens and not, in fact, an article written by an Irish Times journalist. Interesting. Apparently, it is too much effort for an Irish journalist to drum up an opinion on the subject this morning. More likely though is that the first 48 hours of this firestorm needs to be carefully crafted so that the damage can achieve maximum spread and proliferate unquestioned around the world before those Levi’s start chasing it down too hard. The opinion piece in question is a suitably high-browed and intellectualized piece. Hammering home a point that the New York Times has been trying to sell for over 5 years. That Trump supporters are all hypnotized zombies god bless them. I suppose a key focal point, looking at this from a purely propaganda amplification perspective, is that this article doesn’t appear behind the Irish Times paywall. Its a free-to-view article and as I am sure you all know getting free articles from any of the mainstream Irish newspapers in the past two years is increasingly difficult. The Irish Times wants the story spreading around Ireland in other words.
Does anyone pause to ask if the New York Times and Washington Post are a little cultish?
The reason the Trump obsession doesn’t die is because the mainstream media and journalism refuses to cover their subject fairly, critically or objectively.
And nearly everyone in the world knows that now.
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