This weekend you can catch a preview of what the next four years of mainstream media coverage of the Trump presidency will look like by checking in at the Boston Globe. They’ve decided to run an op-ed piece penned by John Shattuck, a professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Clearly not wanting to pull any punches or inject a level of nuance into the discussion, the title blares out at us, Donald Trump raises specter of treason.
Yes, you read that correctly. It’s still more than a month before the PEOTUS will be sworn in and we’ve already got someone bringing up the word “treason” and tying it to his name. Now, some of you might correctly point out that newspaper editors frequently write the titles which appear above guest columns, so perhaps Mr. Shattuck wasn’t actually engaging in such hyperbole himself. Let’s check out his opening paragraph to get a sense of where the author is really going here.
A specter of treason hovers over Donald Trump. He has brought it on himself by dismissing a bipartisan call for an investigation of Russia’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee as a “ridiculous” political attack on the legitimacy of his election as president.
No, it doesn’t appear that this was manipulation on the part of the Globe. Shattuck fires of the “treason” charge only four words into the article. And the basis for this suggestion rests entirely on the fact that Trump took issue with the conclusion drawn by some in the intelligence community that the Russians hacked the DNC’s email accounts to help him win. To support this theory, Shattuck offers four “possible” explanations for why the President Elect would take this position. They can be summed up as follows:
- He’s trying to “shore up” his political position in advance of the Electoral College vote on Monday
- He wants to “undermine the credibility of US intelligence agencies”
- He’s “testing his ability to go over the heads of intelligence professionals”
- He’s trying to “cover up evidence of involvement or prior knowledge … in the Russian cyberattack“
It’s easy enough to point out that the first three are rampant speculation, but the fourth one is the real doozy. Does Shattuck offer any sort of evidence to support the idea that Trump had “involvement or prior knowledge” of the hacking? That’s apparently a bridge too far even for the author. You have to dig well down into the article to find this grudging admission.
There is no direct evidence that the president-elect was involved or knew in advance about the Russian government’s actions. But the circumstances underscore the nation’s need for a full investigation.
Oh… so there’s no evidence. But you’ll just fire off an editorial in the Boston Globe suggesting it anyway, eh? What’s truly disappointing is the fact that Shattuck leaves off of his list the fifth and most obvious suggestion. Have you considered the possibility that Donald Trump actually is Vladimir Putin? Have you? I mean, have you ever seen the two of them in the same room at the same time? And even if you have, one of them could have been a body double.
The real culprit in this bit of propaganda and character assassination isn’t really John Shattuck. Getting him to toss this bit of nonsense out there didn’t require much in the way of bait. He’s not just a professor, which you learn when looking at his resume. He’s an old time Clintonite who was gifted with a lower level State Department position during Bill Clinton’s time in office. And he’s also in with the usual crowd of Hillary Supporters we’ve come to know. In fact, here’s a picture of him from four years ago with his old friend George Soros when the latter was gearing up his “Ready for Hillary” fundraising push.
So it’s no wonder that Shattuck is in the sour grapes camp and lashing out at the man who defeated his favored candidate. But the real issue here is why a long established newspaper would agree to run such a blatantly hyperbolic, partisan piece of trash which is clearly designed to undermine national confidence in the electoral process and delegitimize the incoming president. In a more sane period of American politics you might expect that a newspaper with the standing of the Boston Globe would take a look at this column and at least hesitate before giving it the green light.
Sadly, that’s not the case today. The mainstream media learned nothing from the lessons of 2016 and you can expect to see a non-stop barrage of attacks on Trump over every single thing he says or does over the next four years. Today’s example is just one of many cases where we see that the press isn’t even waiting until he takes the oath to begin attempting to derail his presidency. So fasten your seat belts, kids. There’s a lot more of this to come.