Changes are a happening ladies and gentlemen and the mainstream media is not very happy about them.
From the dwindling "bombshell" reports coincidentally timed with the firing of former FBI director James Comey, to the White House downgrading the daily press briefings, limiting the time range of them, with more and more being "gaggles" that are listed as "off camera," all indicative of changes coming from the top down.
TRUMP FOUND THE MAIN LEAKER - IT WAS JAMES COMEY
After James Comey's firing the main 'bombshell' leaks mostly included information about 'Comey,' from his much-hyped memos of his discussions with President Trump, or other things listed as 'bombshells' that really weren't.
Before Comey was fired, and hindsight being 20/20, we saw a number of leaks, information that Comey had access to as the FBI director, that were turned into "scandals" according to the MSM. Those include but are not limited to: The Michael Flynn revelations that caused him to resign, the reports showing transcripts of conversations between President Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto; Trump's conversation with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull; Leaks on the "classified briefings from intelligence officials about a dossier," as well as a leak on Comey's meeting with Trump about the now-debunked dossier.
Let us not forget the never-ending leaks by "anonymous" members of the "intel community" saying President Trump was under investigation, when we later found out he wasn't and never had been.
Those are just the tip of the iceberg, but we note that since Comey was fired, the content of new "leaks" are no longer 'bombshells" nor scandalous.... coincidence?
The liberal site Talking Points Memo highlighted a number of articles from NYT and Wapo, since Comey's firing that they claim were "bombshells," yet look into those breathlessly reported supposedly important stories, show the content didn't match the hype.
One of those 'bombshells' listed is "the Washington Post reported that Trump passed on highly classified information he did not have permission to share with top Russian diplomats."
Almost instantly that was proven to be what has lately been dubbed as a "nothing-burger," as even the same Wapo article admitted after hyping the supposed breach, "As president, Trump has broad authority to declassify government secrets, making it unlikely that his disclosures broke the law." That revelation, despite being nothing, dominated a whole news cycle.
Another story the TPM post highlights, which received a stupid amount of ink at the time was that "House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) joked in 2016 that Trump was on Putin’s payroll," yet the only bombshell in that was that a GOP congressman actually has a sense of humor.
Another Wapo blockbuster listed is "that a current White House employee is a "significant person of interest" in the investigation into whether members of Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian officials."
What a difference a couple of weeks and public congressional testimony can make, as now even Democrats across the board admit there was and is no "Russia/Collusion" evidence and there never was after months and months of investigating, so they have moved the goal post and are now pinning their dwindling hopes on a "obstruction" storyline.
There may be a giant revelation still to come. But as the Trump-Russia story has evolved, it is striking how little evidence there is that any underlying crime occurred — that there was any actual collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and the Russians. Everything seems to be leaking out of this administration, but so far the leaks about actual collusion are meager.
There were some meetings between Trump officials and some Russians, but so far no more than you’d expect from a campaign that was publicly and proudly pro-Putin. And so far nothing we know of these meetings proves or even indicates collusion.
The article by David Brooks then concludes:
Things are so bad that I’m going to have to give Trump the last word. On June 15 he tweeted, “They made up a phony collusion with the Russians story, found zero proof, so now they go for obstruction of justice on the phony story.” Unless there is some new revelation, that may turn out to be pretty accurate commentary.
That had to be absolutely and excruciatingly painful to admit, since the NYT was one of the main pushers of that Russia/Trump collusion "fake news," which almost constantly cited "anonymous" sources. Even die-hard Trump haters like Chris (thrill up my leg for Obama) Matthews admitted the Russia/Trump collusion story had collapsed due to no evidence.
So much for the Wapo 'bombshells' TPM cited, but then they go on to cite the NYT over the same time period and their blockbuster reports. (Yes, that was snark!) The same type of hype, with the same results, the so-called 'bombshells" turning out to be duds, with the worst of them being that "Trump pushed Comey to say he was not under investigation," which Comey did not, nor did any leak come out about that, yet after Comey's testimony, we find out that Trump was never under invesitgation, despite countless reports to the contrary and Comey admitted that in front of congress and assured Trump of it three separate times.
So, what was the "bombshell" there? Trump wanted Comey to tell the public the truth? Wow... what a SCANDAL!!!
As a side note - Interestingly enough, during Comey's testimony, he admitted to being the originating source of the "leak" about his memos, saying he gave it to a friend for the specific purpose of having it leaked to the press in order to manipulate the DOJ into naming a special counsel for the Russia probe.
Take the Washington Post report the other day that Robert Mueller is investigating Jared Kushner's business dealings. It sounds like a big expansion of the probe.
But the paper had previously reported that investigators planned to look at Kushner, a top White House official and the president's son-in-law. Since he's a former real estate developer and had contacts with the Russian ambassador and a Moscow banker, how would any probe not look at any financial dealings he may have had with Russia?
Mike Pence hiring a lawyer. This was treated as big breaking news. But what official wouldn't retain an attorney ahead of an interview with FBI investigators? That is, as Pence says, "very routine." The vice president was always going to be interviewed because he was the one who Mike Flynn lied to about his Russia contacts before being fired.
There will always be a number of leaks in D.C, history is paved with them, but the most damaging, the ones that dominate the news cycle for weeks, with many eventually turning out to be "fake news" as the constant reports President Trump was under investigation personally for colluding with Russia, or CNN's latest embarrassment claiming Comey would refute Trump's assertion that he had been told he was not under investigation by Comey three times, just to be forced to offer a humiliating correction when Comey confirmed that the president was right.
Some leaks will be trial balloons by the administration in order to gauge public opinion on something proposed, others will be from a disgruntled official, but the media frenzy of "intel" leaks of the nature as those seen before Comey's firing, compared to the "nothing-burgers" seen since then, certainly provide the basis to consider the likelihood that Comey was most likely the source behind many of the "leaks" to the MSM prior to his firing, whether he directly gave the information to the press or whether he orchestrated the leaks as he admitted to doing in regards to his memos.
NEXT TARGET - THE MSM
With Comey gone and the MSM "bombshells" becoming "the good old days" for the press, the Trump administration is showing us that Comey's head isn't the only one rolling right about now.
First the DOJ issued a statement telling people to be "skeptical" and extremely "cautious" in believing any report that only uses "anonymous" sources, which sent the MSM into a tailspin. Now we see the White House is making some much-needed changes to the White House press briefings, and the establishment media ability to mislead and misinform their audience.
From allowing non-traditional, Independent news outlets to join WH press briefings, and the media temper tantrums that followed when those Independent news outlets were allowed to ask questions, to President Trump's now famous refusal to let CNN's Jim Acosta to ask him a question, then pointing him out and calling CNN "fake news," then later renamed them "very fake news," much to the amusement and applause of Trump supporters, we now see other changes the Trump administration has been making, and once again, the MSM is whining like babies.
Before detailing those changes and because it amuses, here is the original exchange with CNN's Jim Acosta:
The Atlantic published a piece this morning detailing other incremental changes the Trump administration has been making to their daily press briefings, like shortening the length of them, "downgrading them bit by bit, from 'briefings' to 'gaggles,' and from on-camera to off-camera," as well as banning audio in some cases, and bypassing the MSM when he wishes to address the public instead of giving them "press conferences."
Other than for entertainment purposes, another reason I used the video above was because the very same rude reporter, Jim Acosta, is also now whining about these press briefing changes:
"It feels like we’re slowly but surely being dragged into what is a new normal in this country, where the president of the United States is allowed to insulate himself from answering hard questions,” Acosta said on CNN. “I don’t know why we covered that gaggle today, quite honestly Brooke, if they can’t give us the answers to the questions on camera or where we can record the audio. They’re basically pointless at this point."
Asked for further comment, Acosta said in an email, "Unless we all take collective action, the stonewalling will continue."
"If the WH is going to place unreasonable demands on our newsgathering, we should walk out," he said.
Please do Jim, your bias, "fake news" reports, and consistent tone of being the "opposition" to the Trump administration rather than objective reporters, has gotten old, stale and boring...... your ratings should have given you a clue.
The MSM's prior arguments against that is there is "no transparency" if they cannot ask questions, yet they continue to report "fake news," are forced to issue corrections, updates, and outright retractions, on a regular basis, so they are not "representing" the people, they are only representing their own political ideology, so what is the use of coddling the little snowflakes?
Newt Gingrich once proposed that the Trump administration should send all the reporters over to Starbucks and lets Sean Spicer or whoever next becomes the press secretary to answer questions directly from the general public.
"What they ought to do is get out of all this junk, they ought to focus on the big goals, they ought to report to the nation on the big goals, ignore all these reporters, close down the press room, send the reporters off [to Starbucks]," Gingrich said on Fox News's "Hannity."
"Maybe say to the American people – send in your questions, we'll take the best five questions and we'll answer them by name."