Category Archives: Media

mRNC

 

No, that’s not a typo in the subject line.  Today’s post is not about “messenger RNA,” the therapeutic breakthrough at the center of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID vaccines.  In this case, “mRNC” refers to “mouthpieces of the Republic National Committee,” the media sources who, in a swap that would make Faust blush, have abandoned their intellectual integrity in pursuit of being the loudest voice in the right-wing echo chamber.

If I Had to Start All Over Again, I Would…Addressing this topic was precipitated when a respected friend sent me an article by Neil Patel, co-founder of The Daily Caller, titled, “What the Protests in Cuba Tell Us About the Left’s Agenda for America.”  Let me start by quoting Patel’s own description of his media outlet. It is “an online news outlet, and The Daily Caller News Foundation, a nonprofit that trains journalists, produces fact checks, and does investigative reporting.”  A worthy mission that seems more honored in the breach than the practice.  Here are today’s headlines on The Daily Caller’s home page.

  • Rand Paul To Send Letter To DOJ Asking For Criminal Referral Into Dr. Fauci
  • Deion Sanders Has Pathetic Reaction After Reporter Addresses Him By His First Name
  • U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Gets Humiliated At The Olympics
  • Dolly Parton Goes Viral With One Simple Video
  • Wednesday Morning Dispatch: Eric Swalwell Embarrasses Himself Yet Again

Based on these news “priorities,” the journalists Patel claims his non-profit trains seem more likely to be the next generation of anchors and  correspondents at TMZ or Entertainment Tonight or InfoWars contributors.  Take the story about the U.S. women’s soccer team by Daily Caller Foundation trained David Hookstead, who writes:

I never cheer against America, but it’s damn hard to cheer for our women’s national soccer team. They’ve spent years protesting and complaining about money, and then they get obliterated to open the Olympics.

If you can’t even show up and win, then why are we putting up with any of the other nonsense?

Yes, the women lost their first Olympic match ending a 44 game winning streak.  Will they still be “humiliated” if they make it out of group play and win the gold medal in what everyone admits will be a less than normal Olympic environment?  Additionally, Patel did not mention the history of income disparity between the men’s and women’s squads or the fact the men’s national team failed to qualify for the Olympics.  So much for fact-checking and thorough investigative reporting.

Which brings me back to Patel’s take on Cuba.  Make no mistake about the dire situation in Cuba, a nation in crisis searching for an identity whose future has been influenced for 70 years by strong personalities ranging from U.S.-backed Fulgencio Batista, a military dictator who served as head of the government from 1952-59 to Russian-backed Fidel Castro who led the nation from 1959 to 2008.  Two extremes neither of which have foreshadowed a better life for the Cuban people.

FACT:  The current situation in Cuba represents a difficult foreign policy choice for President Biden not helped by an inconsistent back and forth by his three predecessors.  In 2002, George W. Bush announced “the initiative for a New Cuba.”  In exchange for political and economic reforms, Bush offered to ease restrictions on humanitarian assistance and resume mail service between Cuba and the U.S.  In 2014, following 18 months of secret talks, Barack Obama announced the reestablishment of diplomatic relations.  In response to bipartisan criticism, Obama pointed to a half decade of tension which had served neither the Cuban people nor American national security interests.  To fulfill his desire to undo the Obama legacy, Donald Trump immediately re-imposed travel restrictions and severed diplomatic ties.  To hamstring his successor, on January 11, 2021, Trump re-designated Cuba as a “state sponsor of terrorism” and imposed new sanctions.

History may not have the answer to the current crisis, but it does tell us what not to do.

  • Support the protesters with armed mercenaries.
  • Covert operations to take out the current leadership.
  • Create an environment that results in another Mariel boatlift.
  • Make Cuba more dependent on Russian assistance in return for Cuba becoming a Kremlin puppet including a Russian military base within 100 miles of the U.S. mainland.

Graham Allison on the Cuban Missile Crisis - YouTubeIt might be a good time for politicians and journalists to read Graham T. Allison’s analysis of October 1962 titled, “Conceptual Models and The Cuban Missile Crisis” (September 1969/American Political Science Review).  Graham found that the two more traditional models of decision making–the state is a unitary rational actor and there are systems/procedures that produce rational outputs–would have been disastrous.  He posits a third model, based on Miles’ Law, “Where you stand depends on where you sit.”  It requires the reconciliation of different viewpoints (e.g. the hawkish General Curtis LeMay and the more dovish long-time JFK aid Theodore Sorenson).  In contrast to the Bay of Pigs, in which tactical decisions were seen as the purview of the Department of Defense and CIA, Kennedy wanted a team of advisors with very diverse perspectives.  In October 1962 that collective arguably made the difference between peace and nuclear war.

For argument sake, let’s assume Patel is correct when he claims there are Democrat members of Congress who support communism over the aspirations of the Cuban people (although there is no evidence to support this position).  In line with Graham’s third model of decision making, they should have a place at the table as they are the ones who might envision a pathway to resolving the crisis in a way that meets major objectives without backing any stakeholder into a precipitous corner.

But that also assumes Patel actually cares about resolving the crisis in Cuba.  Instead he uses the crisis to reinforce false narratives.  Biden and his followers are anti-capitalists.  The corporate media is a tool of Biden and the left-wing of the Democratic party.  Big Tech is turning us all into socialists. The proof comes when he completely forgets his concerns about Cuba and jumps the shark to take on his real target.

The American left is pushing a truly radical policy vision through the Biden administration. It is attempting to expand the government by trillions of dollars more than any time in history. Its vision includes government involvement in many new areas of American life.

In other words, the Cuban crisis was just one more beard to disguise Patel’s true passion, once again promoting an RNC talking point, Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” agenda is a radical, anti-capitalism plot.  Let me remind Patel and other “journalists” of his ilk, owning the libs solves nothing.  Which is what makes him a certified, clinically tested mRNC.

POSTSCRIPT

Patel names names.  Five to be exact.  And generalizes these five individuals represent the Democratic leadership, 314 members of Congress and 82 million voters who made Biden the 46th president.  I wonder what his response would be if I reminded him of the dozen or more 2020 congressional candidates who embraced QAnon.  Would he agree these 12 plus advocates of debunked conspiracy theories are representative of the entire GOP?

For what it’s worth.
Dr. ESP

Everything Old Is New Again (Again)

 

1979 – All That Jazz – Academy Award Best Picture WinnersThe title of today’s post is also the name of a Peter Allen song featured in Bob Fosse’s semi-autobiographical film “All That Jazz,” starring Roy Scheider and Ann Reinking.  This week, I had a sense of déjà vu when MSNBC, the Washington Post and New York Times admitted they erred when each reported the FBI and CIA had informed Rudy Giuliani and One American News Network (OAN) they had been targeted by Russia to spread disinformation about Joe Biden and Ukraine interference in the 2016 election.

Why?  The song and accompanying dance sequence are a visual representation of how knowledge is passed down from one generation to the next.  Reinking wants to show Fosse’s cinematic alter-ego Joe Dideon how she taught his daughter dance steps she had originally learned from Dideon.  It must have been a moment of great pride and satisfaction when Fosse watched how he ensured, through Reinking and his on-screen daughter (Erzebet Foldi), the Fosse-style of dance would continue long after he was gone.

Some things should not be passed from generation to generation.  Avoiding the mistakes of our predecessors, regardless of the profession or situation, is the advantage of learning from the past experiences of others.  The three media outlets that blew the Giuliani/OAN story should have known better.  It has been less than 50 years since two reporters made the same blunder which almost negated their otherwise stellar example of investigative journalism.

The year was 1973.  The reporters were Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward.  The story was Watergate.  Their mistake involved misrepresenting information from a source about H. R. Haldeman’s role in crimes committed during the 1972 presidential election.  This one error could have derailed the paper’s Watergate investigation and all the solid reporting the two neophyte reporters had done.

Hugh W. Sloan Jr.Using anonymous sources is risky business.  Not only because you can never be sure of their motivation or to whom they may be loyal.  The process of vetting sources is more an art than a science.  The potentially fatal error by Woodstein (as Post editor Ben Bradlee referred to them) involved confirmation by a second source that Hugh Sloan, Jr., treasurer of the Committee to Re-elect the President, had fingered Haldeman, Richard Nixon’s chief of staff, as overseeing the direct tricks campaign which included the Watergate break-in and controlling the slush fund that financed the operation.

As well documented in their book All the President’s Men, that second source did not meet in person with either of the reporters and insisted the information be passed in a way it could never be traced back to him or he could be charged with a violation of the law which prohibits leaking grand jury testimony.  Think of it as the James Bond equivalent of the childhood game “Telephone.”  Anyone who has every participated in the game knows the original message seldom, if ever, remains intact as it moves down the chain of players.

The lesson from this episode in the downfall of a president is that two things can be true at the same time.  To prove this point, I will draw on the script from the film version of Woodstein’s book.  After the Post runs a story with the headline “Testimony Ties Top Nixon Aide to Secret Fund,” the White House pounces on Bradlee and his paper with evidence the story is flawed.  Bradlee demands Woodstein find out exactly how this could have happened.  When they meet Bradlee at his home, Bernstein explains:

I finally got through to Sloan–it was all a misunderstanding that we had: he would have told the Grand Jury about Haldeman, he was ready to, only nobody on the Grand Jury asked him the goddamn question.

To which Woodward adds, “So I guess you could say that we screwed up, but we weren’t wrong.”

Which brings us back to Giuliani and OAN.  We know the three news outlets screwed up as they have publicly admitted as much.  But were they wrong.  The formal retraction reads as follows.

Correction: An earlier version of this story, published Thursday, incorrectly reported that One America News was warned by the FBI that it was the target of a Russian influence operation. That version also said the FBI had provided a similar warning to Rudolph W. Giuliani, which he has since disputed. This version has been corrected to remove assertions that OAN and Giuliani received the warnings.

Let’s be clear.  The only “correction” is that OAN and Giuliani did not receive the warnings.  The factual distortion during this real game of “Telephone” was that the subjects of an investigation had been warned.  Like Woodstein, Post reporters Ellen Nakashima, Shane Harris and Tom Hamberger (Nakaharberger?) screwed up, but the story could still largely be true.  The FBI may have had evidence that Giuliani and OAN were “the target of a Russian influence operation.”  There must be some truth in the story or the FBI could not convince a federal judge to approve a search warrant for Giuliani’s home and office.  Furthermore, it begs the question, “If the FBI was prepared to share this information with Giuliani and OAN, who stopped them and why?”  One hopes Nakashima, et. al., will stay on the story as did Woodstein.

Being half-right when it comes to journalism is not good enough.  In fact, being 99 percent right is too low a standard. I suggest the managing editors of the Post put up the following sign in the “bullpen,” where row upon row of reporters do their research and draft their stories.

You’ve done worse than let Haldeman slip away, you’ve got people feeling sorry for him.  I didn’t think that was possible.

~Deep Throat/All the President’s Men

Remind each reporter to substitute the name of the subject of their own investigations for Haldeman’s.

And if they order it from Amazon in the next 9 hours and 24 minutes, it will be there by Wednesday. Right, Jeff?

For what it’s worth.
Dr. ESP

 

Senator Rand Gall

 

On Saturday, I found an envelope with the following return address and postmark in our mailbox.

It raised the following questions.

  • Since Senator Rand Paul is from Kentucky, why would he be sending a letter from Fredericksburg, Virginia?
  • If it was official business, why would the envelope have a “non-profit” postmark instead of a congressional frank?

Inside were two pieces of correspondence, a survey and a self-addressed envelope to Senator Paul (see below).  Note the return address implied either Paul wanted me to believe the U.S. Capitol (following the January 6 insurrection) had moved to Loveland, Colorado for security reasons or NAGR headquarters was exact replica of capitol building.

The cover letter from Paul to “Dear American Patriot” explained he was sending this information on behalf of the National Association of Gun Rights (NAGR), and at the bottom, wanted me to know it was “NOT PRINTED OR MAILED AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE.” (His emphasis.)  The accompanying letter from NAGR president Dudley Brown included six pages of the usual pro-gun arguments why I needed to stand up to national and global forces trying to deprive me of my constitution rights to own weapons of mass destruction and more ammunition than any civilian needs to possess.  Brown then asked me to complete the enclosed survey and (drum roll) “return it with your generous contribution of $100 TODAY.”

There is one more relevant piece of information.  At the bottom of the survey is the following disclosure.  “The National Association of Gun Rights, Inc. is a non-profit, tax-exempt advocacy organization under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Contributions or gifts to NAGR are not tax-deductible for IRS purposes.  Not paid for or mailed at taxpayer expense.”

There is a lot to unpack here.  First as a 501(c)(4) non-profit, NAGR is similar to a chamber of commerce or trade association which is not automatically eligible for the non-profit bulk postal rate of 16.9 cents per piece, a 50 cent subsidy over the current rate of 55 cents you and I pay for a one-ounce letter.  The U.S. Postal Service is very specific about this.  Question 11 on the USPS Form 3624, “Application to Mail at Nonprofit USPS Marketing Mail Prices,” specifically omits 501(c)(4) organizations as a choice to justify its eligibility for the non-profit rate.  (See below.)

I am sure I was not at the top of the target list for this mailing; so there is no telling how many pieces of mail were involved.  For argument sake, let’s pick a conservative number of 100,000.  In this case, NGRA would have saved $38,100.  If the mailing approaches one million pieces, the federal subsidy (something which is a thinly disguised equivalent of taxpayer expense) would rise to $381,000.  There are two reasons it is hard to determine the exact subsidy.  First, we do not know the size of the mailing.  Second, the envelope (pictured above) appears self canceled by the mailer and only has five cents worth of postage.  So it is impossible to tell whether NAGR paid the full 2021 bulk rate.

One could also argue Senator Paul only fronted this mailing because NGRA lobbies on an issue near and dear to his heart.  Or maybe it’s personal.  After all, following the attack by a neighbor in which Paul suffered rib injuries, he might want to own an AR-15.  However, you would be wrong.  Michael Rothfeld, founder and CEO of Saber Communications, the company which manages NAGR’s mail marketing has a long history with the Paul family.  He was a major fundraiser for the Senator’s father Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential run.  Of the $40.6 million in campaign donations Rothfeld helped generate for the failed attempt for the Republican nomination, $7.7 million (19 percent) went to Saber Communications.  Rothfeld provided similar services for Rand Paul’s senate campaigns.

Based on past history, would anyone be surprised if Rothfeld and Saber Communications received a substantial share of the “$100 ask” accompanying the NAGR survey?  Especially since the surveys and donations will be returned to a Fredericksburg post office box.  Is it a coincidence Saber Communications, Inc., a company with no public record of its clients, consisting of Rothfeld and two employees, is located in (drum roll reprise) Fredericksberg while NAGR is headquartered in Colorado.

Finally, a sense of curiosity demands one inquire, “Why did Paul align with NAGR rather than the National Rifle Association (NRA) which has a significantly larger membership despite its current legal and financial troubles?”  That answer may lie in an April 9, 2015 article in the Washington Times titled, “Rand Paul shunned by NRA over National Association of Gun rights ties.”  According to reporter Kelly Riddell, Paul did not receive the NRA’s endorsement “…because of Mr. Paul’s association with the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR), a rival pro-gun rights umbrella group, that has angered other gun rights advocates, who accuse the group of misleading mailings and headline-stealing tactics.”  Misleading mailings?  Headline-stealing tactics?  What better surrogate for Senator Paul than NAGR?

ENDNOTE:  At an August 21 meeting of the Senate government affairs committee, of which Paul is a member, he raised the possibility of cutting mail delivery from six to five days a week and reducing the postal service workforce.  He claimed these changes could reduce the agency’s budget by $1.5 billion.  Senator, you know what else might help the USPS operating budget?  Not disguising questionable non-profit mailings by attaching your name to them.

For what it’s worth.
Dr. ESP

 

Florida Man

 

Proponents of a ban on assault weapons often make this argument.  If you are someone who thinks there are that many people out to get you you need an AR-15 to defend yourself, you are probably an individual who should not have access to such lethal armaments.  Perhaps the same should hold true for people who are constantly being sued for libel and then propose new restrictions on the press.  Or those who question others’ morals yet are the subjects of multiple questionable personal relationships. Consider the following example.

In investigation of Rep. Gaetz's alleged sexual relationship with minor, feds looking beyond Florida, sources say - ABC NewsIt is hard to think of Matthew Louis Gaetz II as a U.S. congressman.  Every time he appears on television, I think I have accidently turned on a rebroadcast of Paul Sorvino as Reverend Willie Williams in  “Oh, God!” or am watching auditions for the Joe Pesci role in a remake of “Good Fellas,” both of which give me the creeps.  Yet, somehow this native of Hollywood, Florida and product of Niceville High School (no April Fools joke), Florida State University and William and Mary Law School has found a home on the “Redneck Riviera,” otherwise known as the Florida western panhandle.  Voters in Florida’s 1st Congressional District have thrice elected him to fill the seat once held by repentant former-Republican Joe Scarborough.

ImageThe last 12 months have not been kind to this Trumpist wunderkind. Least among them was the announcement last November he had tested positive for the coronavirus, the same health crisis he mocked on March 7, 2020, donning a gas mask on the floor of the House chamber.  For the record, two days after this picture was taken, one of his constituents was among the first Floridians to succumb to COVID-19.  In an effort to minimize any pushback related to being a long-time COVID denier, Gaetz explained he had actually tested positive for anti-bodies, not the virus itself, a precursor of the verbal Rorshach images he would employ in other embarrassing situations.

Let’s start with the mysterious case of Gaetz’ sudden acknowledgement in June 2020 that he had a Cuban-born “son” to refute Representative Cedric Richmond (D-LA), who, following George Floyd’s death, suggested that many of his colleagues could not understand what it was like to be a black father who wondered if a son or daughter would return home safely every time they left the house.  The disclosure came during an interview with (drum roll) Tucker Carlson although the 17 year old had never been mentioned in Gaetz’ official biography or anywhere else.

Gaetz explained the boy was the orphaned brother of a former girlfriend and had lived with him for six years, even after Gaetz’ relationship with the boy’s sister ended.  When asked during a People Magazine interview if he had legally adopted the boy, Gaetz explained why it was unnecessary.  “Our relationship as a family is defined by our love for each other, not by any paperwork.”  Too bad the congressman does not feel the same about birth certificates and gender identification.

In an unintentional effort to prove T. S. Elliot wrong (“April is the cruelest month” from Waste Land), June continued to plague Gaetz as we now know from reports he is the subject of a Department of Justice investigation related to possible sex trafficking.  The examination is part of a larger inquiry into a Gaetz political ally, former Seminole County, Florida tax collector Joel Greenberg.  Greenberg was indicted (drum roll reprise) last June of multiple sex trafficking charges and misuse of the government data.  (Synchronicity runs deep in the Sunshine State.)

Gaetz chose (this drum is getting beaten to death) an interview with Tucker Carlson to refute the New York Times report the DOJ investigation included his having paid expenses for a 17 year old girl.  At one point, Gaetz said he had never travelled with any 17 year old, adding, “It is a verifiable lie.  People can look at my travel records and see that is not the case.”  And any travel payments were merely evidence of his generosity to friends.  However, even I, without the advantage of a William and Mary law degree (To paraphrase Gaetz, “Paperwork doesn’t matter.”) know there is a no legal distinction between “travelling” with someone across state lines and paying for them to travel unaccompanied across state lines when it comes to sex trafficking. HISTORICAL FOOTNOTE: In December 2017, Gaetz was the only Congressman to vote against the Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act which also passed the Senate by unanimous consent.

Gaetz’ legal entanglements do not stop there.  During the Carlson interview, he volunteered he and his father were cooperating with the FBI to thwart an attempt to extort his family in exchange for making any legal or political problems disappear.  He went so far as to accuse Pensacola lawyer David McGee, a former federal prosecutor, as being behind the extortion plot.

For the record, Gaetz has not been charged with any crime nor have any of these stories been independently substantiated.  That is best left to DOJ and local prosecutors.  However, it does explain why Gaetz may need an army of defense lawyers and public relations specialists to address the reports.  Not to mention (but I will) many of his House colleagues have failed to come to his defense.  Gaetz admitted as much, telling The Daily Beast:

The last time I had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old, I was 17. As for the Hill, I know I have many enemies and few friends. My support generally lies outside of Washington, D.C., and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

There are two notable exceptions.  Ohio congressman “Gym” Jordan who told CNN, “I believe Matt Gaetz.”  And Georgia congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene who compared the reports to “conspiracy theories and lies like Trump/Russia collusion.”  With friends like these…

On this opening day of the 2021 baseball season,  I can hear the man or woman behind the table as you enter the stadium, “Get your program!  Get your program!  You can’t tell the players or the Matt Gaetz scandals without a program.”

For what it’s worth.
Dr. ESP

 

Beholding a Drudge

 

Vernon Jordan, ex-Clinton adviser and civil rights activist, dead at 85 | Fox NewsToday’s post is another stroll down Memory Lane on Dr. ESP’s own “way back machine” (with apologies to Jay Ward, who created “Peabody’s Improbable History”).  This time the triggering event was the March 1 passing of businessman, civil rights activist and Bill Clinton advisor Vernon Jordan.

During Clinton’s second term, Jordan took on the additional role of “presidential fixer” when White House staff expressed concern a young White House intern named Monica Lewinsky was spending too much time with the president.  In April 1996, Lewinsky was reassigned to work at the Pentagon although sexual encounters with Clinton continued through March 1997.  When Lewinsky left her Pentagon job in December 1997, Jordan was tasked with finding new employment for her, preferably in New York City.

On January 12, 1998, Linda Tripp turns over recordings of conversations she had with Lewinsky about the Clinton relationship to Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr, who then receives permission from Attorney General Janet Reno to expand his investigation.  Re-enter Vernon Jordan who had been unsuccessful in finding new employment for Lewinsky and was in regular contact with Clinton about the still “under the radar” federal investigation.

So, you may ask, why is this post listed under “media” and what does the title “Beholding a Drudge” have to do with it?  On January 16, 1998, Tripp invites Lewinsky to meet her at the bar at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City (across from Reagan National Airport).   Upon her arrival, Lewinsky is met by FBI agents who take her to an upstairs room, offer her immunity and question her about the Clinton affair and her potential obstruction of justice when she coached Tripp to submit a false affidavit about other alleged Clinton sexual encounters.

Drudge Diagnoses Hillary Clinton on Twitter and More NewsAs “luck” would have it, a little known political gossip columnist Matt Drudge is tipped off about the FBI intervention and breaks the story on January 19 via the on-line Drudge Report, a news aggregation service he started in 1995.  Why and for whom was this lucky?  In a most bizarre and perverse turn of events, in my opinion, Matt Drudge may have been single-handedly responsible for saving Bill Clinton’s presidency.

Immediately following Drudge’s exposé, which included a charge that Newsweek reporter Mike Isikoff had the story but his editor chose not to run it, Jordan terminated all communications with Lewinsky.  Why is this significant?  Jordan had been a “trusted mentor” to whom Lewinsky turned for guidance in navigating the potential public relations and legal firestorm if her affair became public knowledge.  Imagine Jordan was unaware Lewinsky had accepted an immunity deal in return for her cooperation in the Starr investigation.  Might her cooperation agreement have included recording future conservations between Lewinsky and Jordan and subsequent conversations between Jordan and Clinton?

If you think a Republican-led Congress had an impeachment field day over a perjury charge predicated on the meaning of the word “is,” imagine if there was evidence of further obstruction of justice including attempted witness tampering after the FBI’s involvement.  Democrats would have been in the same position as Republicans last month when they had to defend the indefensible.  As well they should have been.

Sadly, the story does not end there.  Even without further evidence of wrongdoing, I was among the minority of Democrats who believed then, and still believes, Clinton should have resigned.  Not because of the over-hyped perjury charge.  Rather due to his liability as a potential national security threat (can you say “kompromat”) and his setting a new precedent for reckless “presidential behavior.”  In hindsight, one has to consider the possibility Drudge’s premature outing of the initial FBI encounter with Lewinsky may have also resulted in Donald Trump’s election in 2016.

While Republican defense of Trump under the premise “what aboutism” is often unfounded, in this case, there is reasonable justification.  How could Democrats give Clinton a pass and attack Trump for being a sexual predator?  How was Trump’s response to his accusers any different from Hillary Clinton’s claim on the “Today Show” that Lewinsky was a pawn in “a vast right-wing conspiracy” against her husband. (Ironically, the January 27, 1998 interview was conducted by Matt Lauer.)  Or do we conveniently forget New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd “slut shamed” (before the phrase became part of our vocabulary) Lewinsky, calling her “a ditzy, predatory White House intern?”

Is this twisted tale just one more example of the “butterfly effect?”  Did the 1995 flashing of an intern’s thong in the Oval Office set the stage for the election of a reality TV host two decades later?  Does this make Matt Drudge an unwitting asset of MAGA World who has since fallen out of favor with the movement’s leader? Or is this a morality tale with no heroes?   Or as Carl Jung would suggest, a series of unrelated events which become a synchronistic narrative?

Or, was Vernon Jordan’s passing just one more opportunity for a blogger in search of a topic to consume one more morning while waiting for his second Pfizer vaccine dose to fully kick in?

For what it’s worth.
Dr. ESP