A man named Flynn and a media feeding frenzy
President Donald Trump asked for Flynn’s resignation as a national security advisor due to “trust” issues, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary said at the Feb. 14 press briefing.
In December, Flynn spoke with a Russian ambassador during Trump’s transition to the White House, and the media reported in January that the phone call was being investigated by U.S. counterintelligence – which is now being accused of leaking to the media to damage Trump.
It’s not that Flynn didn’t deserve to be scrutinized for his actions, says Dan Gainor of the Media Research Center, it’s just that the media acted uninterested during eight years of Barack Obama’s presidency.
“I’m faulting them for being intellectually dishonest,” he tells OneNewsNow.
What likely got Flynn fired, according to press reports, is that he lied to Vice President Mike Pence about whether U.S. sanctions against Russia were discussed in the phone call, hence the “trust issue” that concerned the White House.
“We got to a point, not based on a legal issue, but based on a trust issue,” Spicer told the media Tuesday, “where (Trump) felt he had to make a change.”
“I think Sean Spicer must have said this same answer like 20 times,” recalls Gainor, “because they kept asking trying to get a different answer.”
The media’s gleeful reaction to Flynn’s resignation has set off a firestorm of criticism from media watchdogs such as MRC and others who see a behind-the-scenes effort from Obama loyalists to damage the Trump administration.
“The political assassination of Michael Flynn,” a story written by Bloomberg columnist Eli Lake this week, describes an enemy of the Left who was targeted for retaliation – with other Trump loyalists targeted for the next round of attacks.
A story at The New York Times – in particular the story’s misleading headline – caught the attention of Ari Fleisher, the press secretary for the George W. Bush administration. He took to Twitter to complain over the story entitled, “Trump campaign aides had repeated contacts with Russian intelligence.”
“Why isn’t the headline ‘Officials say no evidence of cooperation between Trump campaign and Russia,’ as the story states,” Fleisher demanded.
“Exactly,” agreed Brit Hume, the former Fox News anchor, on his own Twitter feed.
As a U.S. Army lieutenant general, Flynn served in the Obama administration as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, where he angered the left-wing administration with his descriptions of “radical Islamic terrorism” and its danger to the West. He was also accused of poor management of the DIA.
Such views of Islamic terrorism made Flynn an ally of the new Trump administration, and he served first as an advisor to the campaign then was named a national security advisor in mid-November.
Yet another angle of Flynn’s firing is the leaks – meant to damage Trump’s presidency – flowing from inside the federal government to the media.
“It’s now no longer a leak – it’s a flood,” Ben Shapiro, a vocal critic of Trump during the campaign, writes in a Feb. 15 commentary that condemns the intelligence community for attempting to undermine their new boss.
Shapiro also noticed The New York Times story and what he called an “insanely juicy” headline.
CNN has now picked up the Times story and its insinuations of wrongdoing when none were committed, he pointed out.
“The intelligence community has become a gushing pipeline of weak information to the press,” Shapiro writes, “and the media then run with that information with excitement, drooling every step of the way.”
The media are “thrilled” that government employees are rebelling against the new president, says Gainor.
“To me that’s not democracy or a republic, which is really what we are,” he complains. “That’s tyranny, and they don’t seem to care.”