SUPER BOWL FAILS

February 19, 2019

 

“The lady doth protest, too much, methinks.” – WS

 

Surely the Super Bowl game itself wasn’t a fail; if you like defense and fourth quarter suspense.

What’s not to like about the New England Patriots, America’s team it seems. Tom Brady and Jules Edelman, just as twelve follows eleven, littered the playing field with Los Angeles jockstraps. The Rams only put three points on the board. The Edelman performance alone kept the LA offense off the field. The city of angels had no answer to the 2019 Belichick defense and the now hirsute Edelman.

The “goat” and “squirrel” up in Foxboro might be the best offensive duet in football.

Tip of the hat too, to the New Orleans Saints who should have been in Atlanta instead of the Los Angeles Hams. Sometimes, poetic justice is the only justice available. Or maybe some of those playoff zebras actually work for team Las Vegas.

Surely Gladys Knight wasn’t a fail. Her rendition of the national anthem was poetic, the highlight of the secular entertainment. No-anti cop twerks or screeds from Gladys and nobody took a knee. Bravo! At least one super talent overcame politics in 2019.

The half-time show, in contrast, featured a slacker, a cracker, and a rapper. When you got past the “who are these guys” mystery, you are left with Adam Levine looking like the “D” Train rattling through the south Bronx. If you’re that insecure, Adam, you might want to keep your clothes on.

The only thing that tramp stamps and skin graffiti ever say is “look at me.” Body “art” and IQ numbers are usually inversely proportionate too as a rule; personal tats and stats that you might not want to feature on national television.

The big fail on Super Bowl Sunday, however, was literally commercial – and pathetically political. Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post bought Tom Hanks, and a five million dollar ad spot, to tell the sporting world about the virtues of Bezos era journalism.

Alas, virtue signaling usually says more about predicate than object. And Jeff’s new domicile inside the Beltway swamp says as much about his politics as you need to know.

Democracy doesn’t “die in darkness,” Jeff. Democracy, like marriage, dies from neglect and insincerity.

In 2019, home town Bezos, has 16 unsolved homicides already, all black, on the books. There were 4,141 violent crimes in Washington, DC last year, 160 of those were homicides too, up 38 percent over 2016. DC homicide is trending up again in the New Year. Yet, the Washington Post buys a 5 million dollar advert on Super Bowl Sunday to lament the loss of a single Arab stringer in Turkey.

Good grief!

The Sunni world has been loping off heads since Mohamed was an altar boy. Are we to wax indignant about mindless kills only when the victim is a sometime employee of the Post?

If perspective were toilets, the Bezos Post could be a sewage treatment plant. The question that the public should ask about Bezos and the Washington Post is the same that should be asked of any public figure.

If your wife can’t trust you after 25 years of marriage, why should readers?

Bezos was recently hoisted on the philander petard by a colleague, the editor of the National Enquirer. Jeffry now claims that any graphic coverage of his marital sleaze is “blackmail” or “extortion.”

Trump is fair game, but Bezos is not?

Are we now supposed to believe that the world’s richest political partisan on the American left is just another victim?

Bezos underlines the deficits, not the assets of contemporary fish wrap when he or the Post buys a Hollywood doxy like Tom Hanks as a propaganda shill. Hanks is a contagious Hollywood liberal who apparently, like his colleagues, will say anything if the price is right.

The Bezos commercial is an egregious example of sanctimonious thought policing; a practice designed to obliterate boundaries between reporters, entertainers, politicians, and Madison Avenue shills.

If American journalism, especially the Washington Post, was about fact, objectivity, or truth; it would be obvious in practice. There would be no need for paid propaganda. Lady Gertrude had it right the first time; insincerity is not elevated by repetition – not even when it swirls clockwise in the middle of the nation’s capital – or a Super Bowl.

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The author writes often about the politics of national security.

Key words: National Football League, Super Bowl commercials, Washington Post, District of Columbia, National Enquirer, journalism, Tom Brady, Tom Hanks, Adam Levine, Jeff Bezos, NE Patriots, and LA Rams.

Images:

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CREDIBILITY

October 26, 2018

“Truth is always strange, stranger than fiction.” – Byron

Assumptions are the bed rock of everyday belief. Truth, alas, is also a function of belief. Different words yes, but as a practical matter, truth and belief is often the same thing.

Take the Christine Blasey Ford narrative for example. Her story floats on a raft of dubious premises:

  • “She” must be handled with kid gloves.
  • She is a presumed “victim.”
  • She is an assumed “survivor.”
  • Her politics, her motives are immaterial
  • Her drug or alcohol habits are off limits
  • Only medical history that supports her story is relevant
  • Her age or profession is irrelevant
  • Her social life is off limits
  • Her marriage problems are off limits
  • Her selective memory is “credible”
  • Male interrogators cannot be fair
  • She must be taken at her word

Without objection, little of the cover provided by such assumptions applies to the accused, Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Indeed, Brett, apparently, is not entitled to any of the usual presumptions of innocence granted to a female accuser like Ford.

Indeed, even before the Senate hearing began, Kavanaugh was convicted of being white, male, Republican, Catholic, and conservative by a rabid media.

Withal, beyond sex-based immunities and hippocampus psychobabble, Ms. Ford left several large questions unanswered. The first is drugs. Did Ford have any chemical assistance on the morning of her laid-back testimony? Clearly, Kavanaugh did not. He was a hot steaming pile of righteous indignation after lunch.

Mellow or not, there were several other vacuums in Ford’s narrative. Of specifics she could only remember three. They laughed, they were drunk. She, in contrast, consumed precisely “one” beer.

Then there was the “two-door” trauma that apparently triggered the dry hump flashback in Ford’s couple’s therapy. She claims that recovered memory compelled her to argue for two front doors in her recent home renovation.  Apparently, a 35-year-old beer bust grope compelled her to insist on two exits for safety in middle age.

The most likely explanation for two front doors on any single family dwelling is “duplex.” Two front doors in any renovated house signals “rental unit” or a second income, not safety.

Given the timing of the alleged incident in puberty, and the big reveal at menopause, an honest analyst might see both narratives as hormonal fictions. Yes, a research psychologist like “doctor” Ford should know that true experts often dismiss “recovered memory” as a “false remembrance generated by outside influence.”

Some Americans believe that the Cold War was the primary cause of climate change, nee “global warming.” Rhetorical excess and blarney are the parents of hyperbole. Both partisan and propagandist must reinvent language and history to make a case for all things dubious.  When fakirs and fake news fail, repetition takes up the slack.

Ms. Christine Blasey Ford flew east from her left coast Palo Alto airy a few days ago at the eleventh hour to ruin Brett Kavanaugh’s life in front of a national audience.

She claims that Justice Brett ruined her as a teen 35 years ago. They were both minors at the time (1982?). He is accused of an alleged dry hump and a grope session at some unidentified teen beer bust inside the Beltway.  He was 17, she 15. You might wonder what a 15-year-old, pubescent, Holton-Arms debutante in a bathing suit was looking for at a 80s Beltway beer bust anyway. But that’s another question yet to be asked.

With the advent of the Me-Too fad, slut shaming is out of the question. Nonetheless, given the back story, Christine’s narrative sounded like she had an encounter with Bill Clinton or Charlie Rose not Brett Kavanaugh.

Ms. Ford’s contemporary claim to fame lies with left coast academic/pharma sinecures in the California psycho-babble industry. She is a registered Democrat cum academic, cum pharmaceutical consultant with distinct feminist activist bona fides.

Pardon any redundancy.

Withal, we are assured that her belated accusations are motivated by “civic duty” not politics. Still, all of her intermediaries, including counsel and political sponsors, are radical Democrats.  We are assured that her last minute allegations, about a man she hardly knew, are apparently a function of a “hippocampus” (her words) that only remembers enough facts to smear, but not enough facts to indict, convict, or convince.

If Ford is a genuine victim, you would think her hippocampus might have tried to bag Kavanaugh years earlier as he served in the White House and on the appellate bench in Washington, but that’s another question yet to be asked.

Ford was treated with kid gloves before, during, and after her recent minutes of fame. Kavanaugh, in contrast, was pummeled like a punching bag. Under fire, without a chemical crutch, the judge became a sniveling wreck.

If you compared the Ford/ Kavanaugh testimony at the Senate side-by-side, the contrast was jarring. Chrissy was bong mellow and Brett looked and sounded like a refugee from a mugging. Ford was so laid back and composed that it was hard not to think that she might have had a hit of something that morning.  Kavanaugh, in contrast, looked like he could have used a pill or a highball at lunch.

Apparently, queries about Brett’s beer drinking and temperament were fair game throughout the interrogation, but Chrissy’s pharma or AM buzz were questions never asked.

There’s no evidence that anyone at the mystery beer party on the unspecified date in 1982 ever tried to prevent Chrissy from leaving the unspecified house in Preppieville. In fact, she did leave. How or with whom she cannot say.

Let’s assume that beer, a dry hump, a grope, and the laughter were all real.  A grope is not rape. A hand on a mouth is not murder. Ridicule is not assault. Even if we account for four decades of feminist inflation, those imagined charges of attempted rape or murder are either hysterical pubescent flashbacks or mid-life phantasms.

Emotions, dare we say hysteria, do their worst at the hormonal bookends. Alas, the damage is done. Real victims are again less credible. Ms. Ford becomes another footnote on the left.  Kavanaugh becomes another permanent pariah on the High Court.

The Ford/Kavanaugh drama was never about either. It was all about Donald Trump. Having lost the latest round of Trump hate, the media has dumped Ms.Ford and moved on to the Kashoggi soap opera and pipe bomb drama, another false flag hoax.

Withal, America is the real victim of fake news. On a downward spiral, we are again less than what we were.

At a minimum, we will need a new word for credible.

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Wrong Wars and Wrong Enemies

April 30, 2014

Freedom of the Press is at once a virtue and a vice. The virtue is underwritten by the belief that candor and an informed electorate make for honest government. Press freedom becomes a vice when journalists choose to be government surrogates; enablers of half-truths, evasions, or lies. There may be no better example of this dark side of the First Amendment than the ongoing CBS/CIA collaboration to spin the Benghazi fiasco. You might recall that, with Dan Rather on point, CBS was the network in 2004 that sought to discredit George Bush with fake records. Seems the Rather spin chair is now occupied by Charlie Rose, double-dipper extraordinaire for two networks; CPB and CBS.

If you want to understand how cozy American journalism and national intelligence has become, you might audit Washington’s newest odd couple: Charlie Rose of CBS and Michael Morell late of the CIA. Both seem to be “front running” for Hillary Clinton so that she is not damaged by fiasco Benghazi in 2016.

Michael Morell was a former deputy and sometimes acting director of CIA. He was also the Svengali of the infamous Benghazi talking points. Before his 2 April testimony before Congress, and the Rose interview  the next day, Morell was the invisible man in the cover-up. In fact, he was the go-to guy at CIA during the brief David Patraeus tenure and aftermath. Recall that the Petraeus sex soap opera overlapped the Benghazi charade and Obama’s 2012 campaign finale.

Morell was “retired” last June after the White House finally admitted that the former CIA deputy director had unilaterally altered the now infamous Susan Rice talking points just before the November election. Truth often makes a tardy appearance when it “doesn’t matter,” to steal Hillary Clinton’s sentiments on the subject.

Morell joined Charlie Rose at CBS News in January. Morell also collects a sinecure from Beacon Global Strategies, a revolving-door consultancy staffed largely by former Democrat Party appointees. Beacon Global is a likely bull pen for a Hillary campaign and/or regime staffers.

Those who insist that American Media outlets are politically neutral might also contrast the Sunday chat show coverage of Susan Rice’s Benghazi spin on 16 September 2012 with the Michael Morell’s tortured Benghazi confessions during the first week of April 2014. Rice appeared on most network Sunday shows prior to the election. Yet, not a single Sunday talk show, including FOX, mentioned the recent Morell confession before Congress and the subsequent Charlie Rose soft ball interview a day later.  Administration spin gets wall-to-wall coverage before the election; but, when mendacity or “mistakes” are examined after the fact, somehow political journalism is AWOL.

The original September 2012 Benghazi talking points were drafted by a CIA HQ analyst at Langley at the request of congressional Intelligence Committees because members needed some cover with constituents over the neglect and malpractice in Libya.

The neglect involved CIA and State Department failure to respond to field requests for improved security. The incompetence centered on the failure to respond to US agents in peril at two facilities in Benghazi as three sequential Islamist attacks were underway. Indeed, General Martin Dempsey at the Pentagon claimed he didn’t send military help to Benghazi because Hillary didn’t ask. The lying played out when previous security requests and even the word “Islamist” was stricken from the after-action draft that was supposed to chronicle the FUBAR fiasco.

Morell now admits that he altered, without consulting field agents or HQ analysts, as much as fifty percent of those now infamous Susan Rice talking points. Morell also admits that General Petraeus, upon seeing the bowdlerized report, concluded that it was useless.

Morell dispatched the talking points to national security principals anyway and Rice took them to the Sunday morning airways. Withal, Morell insists that the White House didn’t have anything to do with “substantive revisions.” We are supposed to believe that Rice led the Sunday damage control charge without Mrs. Clinton or Mister Obama approving the strategy or tactics of what was clearly a very sensitive political defense.

Throughout the Benghazi flail, Clinton and Obama behaved like cat house piano players, ignoring tarts and bouncing bedsprings alike. If adult supervision was absent that controversial September weekend, what specifically were the President and Secretary of State doing during the Benghazi circle jerk? We still don’t know.

Morel would also have you believe that anyone in the tedious and untimely Intelligence review and coordination chain can delete evidence or alter conclusions. It took the 16 agencies of the Intelligence Community a week and four lives to just admit that the tragedy was an attack and not a “demonstration.” Indeed, CIA Director David Patraeus, presiding over eleven versions of the talking points, concluded that the final memo was flawed, if not deceptive. Yet, it was disseminated anyway to a national audience. So much for candor and professionalism in James Clapper’s world.

This is not to absolve Susan Rice, Victoria Nuland, or Hillary Clinton at Foggy Bottom. Clearly these women were push-back principals, the trio who in concert p***y whipped Morell, chastened him to extract any mention of previous warnings or obvious security negligence. Ultimately, defending the White House and State Department on the eve of an election came at the cost of what little was left of public trust in the American national security establishment.

The Dogs That Didn’t Bark

What was the purpose of those two clandestine compounds in Benghazi? What did Libyan Islamists know that the American national security community pretended not to know? Alas, those facilities in Libya were probably attacked because they were shipping Muammar Gaddafi era surplus arms to the anti-Assad Islamist “opposition” in Syria.  If the Libyan office of al Qaeda knew what the NY Times knew, then it’s safe to assume that even janitors at CIA were aware of the motives, opportunity, and inspiration gun running provided to Benghazi jihadists.

And today, much of Allah’s wet work in Libya and the rest of North Africa is yet to be done. After all, the African jihad needs weapons too.

So let’s reconstruct. With one voice, CIA and Morell tried to deny the role of Libyan Islamists in the killing of American agents. With another scheme, CIA was/is providing Libyan arms to Muslin jihadists in Syria. The boondoggle in Benghazi illustrates both the incoherence and the incompetence of foreign policy in the Obama era. Similar schizophrenic policy prevails at the Justice Department. The real enemy for the Obama national security team seems to be sunshine.

In short, Americans are kept in the dark by mushrooms like Morell at home while gasoline is thrown on narco-traffic, gun running, and global jihad abroad. You can’t make this stuff up!

Clearly, Michael Morell and CBS deserve each other. Morell cinched his place on the Washington walk of shame when he admitted to Rose that he dismissed key eye witness accounts from the field, even a video, from Benghazi in favor of spin from swivel-chair warriors, the ass-kissers that cluster inside the Beltway.

Two Heroines

However, there are some dim flickers of journalistic integrity midst the Obama era smog. The Media haze obscuring anything remotely critical of team Obama is penetrated at times, mostly by heroines.

Sharyl Attkisson is the former CBS reporter who did the investigative work on “Fast and Furious,” that gun running scheme in Mexico sponsored by the Holder Justice Department. Attkisson also provided refreshing candor on the Libyan fiasco. Alas, Sharyl resigned under pressure from White House and CBS flacks. She may have taken the last vestiges of CBS objectivity and integrity with her.

Nonetheless, Ms. Attkisson still provides the best dissection of  Morell’s tap dance on Capitol Hill. She knows ‘sources and methods’ bat guano when she sees it. Atkinson is now writing a book about Obama era adventures which, insh’allah, should appear before the next American election.

On another beat, Carlotta Gall has specialized in Muslim wars for a decade or more. Her latest book, The Wrong Enemy, breaks ranks with usual administration drivel about Islamist terror as a criminal enterprise with local motives. Ms. Gall calls a Muslim war a war – from Chechnya to Afghanistan. Finally, a serious mainstream journalist recognizes the global Islamist menace and the role that protected Muslim sponsors, like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, play in war from South Asia to the Mediterranean.

The sopranos are hard to hear in Washington midst the bull frog chorus, but distaff dissonance might eventually change the national night music. When a ‘journalist with giblets’ award makes its debut, Attkisson and Gall should be at the top of the queue. Truth does not care whose feelings get hurt.

Recent crises reflect just how much partisan politics has corrupted national Intelligence and journalism. With the American Left, too well represented among government shills and Press partisans, truth puts sacred cows at risk; the Obama past and the Hilary future in particular. The thought that President Obama’s legacy is failure or that Hilary Clinton could be denied the presidency, again, seems to be a mainstream Media nightmare.

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Images:

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Rat Squads

August 11, 2013

Whistles are in the news these days; wolf whistles, dog whistles, and government whistle blowers. All are, given allowances for pitch and volume, propelled by the same hot air.

We might begin with wolf whistles, the traditional or spontaneous noise men make when encountering attractive women, that moment when libido goes on autopilot.  Wolf whistles are of two sorts; lewd and licensed.

The lewd whistle is often heard at job sites and might qualify as a kind of sexual harassment. The official wolf whistle is muted; as when looks are a job requirement. Muted wolf whistles are the Muzak of human resource (nee personnel) offices at Media conglomerates.

Network newsies, male and female, are a kind of corporate whistle bait.

Wolf Whistles

Most local and national news teams are a surface study in diversity; men, women, and a rainbow of races and skin tones. But if you look twice at news women, it’s hard not to think; “pole dancer.” Some media babes even help with suggestive stage names.  Katty Kay of BBC and CPB comes to mind; surely not as bold as Pussy Galore, but much more aggressive than Kitty Whatshername.

In spite of all the puffing about talent and sexual equality, the attributes most admired in news chicks are visual; face, décolletage, weight, and youth. Literacy or intelligence is not necessarily a show stopper if a girl has better twins, or legs, than a teleprompter.

Yes, yes; there are exceptions. Call them tokens if you will.  Andrea Mitchel, Doris Kerns Goodwin, Diane Rehm, and Barbara Walters would hardly qualify as spring chickens or eye candy. Media matrons are a testimony to tenure or the need to service homely, geriatric, or liberal demographics. Indeed, the public airways are no slouch when it comes to tokens. American Public Broadcasting has at least one aging, zaftig, black, female anchor.

Here media moguls may be missing a bet. When you have a social agenda, think of how much more effective a loud, overweight, angry, black woman might be at the anchor desk. Skinny and black is as lame as skinny and white. The former may explain why Michelle Obama can’t sell salad and yogurt to black kids even as a free lunch. The fat angry American demographic is the real silent majority.

Pretty men are the other half of the whistle bait phenomenon. Let’s be clear here. We are not just talking about Twinkies like Anderson Cooper or David Gregory. Hard to think of any fat white anchors, but old, anorexic, and ugly has a few network tokens. Larry king and David Frost are good examples of prime-time road kill visuals.

Still, the cloying, boyish male newsie is the rule and they cover a spectrum from the dainty George Stephanopoulos to bully boy Chris Mathews.  Stephanopoulos is a former Bill Clinton bridesmaid and Mathews is another political naïf, schooled by Tip O’Neill to worship at altar au gauche.

Weekend hard ball is what American Catholics do if they are too lazy to get out of bed for mass on Sunday morning.  Mathews is very loud, yet not too macho to admit that a “tingle” ran up his leg when a hunky black dude won the White House. Which leg tingled was never specified. Alas, some of the best agenda merchants cut their teeth as political catamites.

 Dog Whistles

Homoerotic candor is not Mathew’s only claim to network fame. Dog whistles are his real forte.

An actual dog whistle is an instrument tuned to a pitch that only a canine can hear. The euphemistic dog whistle is an imagined rhetorical device; words supposed to contain hidden or coded messages. Mathews is a self-anointed ‘between the lines’ expert.

According to NBC news analysts, the most common dog whistles are racist. Here any criticism of criminal Chicago, impecunious Detroit, incompetent Newark, failing urban schools, or a mendacious Oval Office is supposed to be racist. For Mathews and urbane lynch mobs, the dog whistle is the all-purpose slander which is supposed to silence critics, immunize a race, and patronize another hyphenated “victim” from a mixed marriage.

Alas, the cure is often worse than the cancer. Put aside for a moment the image of an effete, rich, boozy, white (actually pink) guy playing the ‘brother’ card on national television.  Then consider which side of the Obama legend Mathews is trying to immunize, the white mother or the black father.  Mother was a white free spirit and father was an African dead beat. Potential stereotypes in play here are stereoscopic.

Mathews recently presumed to apologize “for all white people” for the Zimmerman acquittal. Here the intrepid NBC host plays judge and jury. Ever attentive, Christopher John didn’t seem to notice that the trial featured a black victim, an alleged Hispanic perp, and a mixed race, all gal jury. Mathews is the kind of journalist who never misses a chance to validate stereotypes, especially those about Irish touts or racially ambiguous politicians – including the president.

Clearly, words still matter. NBC‘s dog whistle fetish now has an echo over in Foggy Bottom.  John Robinson, Chief of Diversity, at the US State Department has published a list of words and phrases which could be considered dog whistles. The list includes such expressions as “black and tan, going Dutch, holding down the fort, handicap, and rule of thumb” (sic). We can leave it to readers to determine what group might be offended by what. Here’s a hint; “rule of thumb” is code for wife beating,

Whistle Blowers

Diversity of whistles can’t hold a candle to the blowers, again a Media obsession. A “whistle blower” is presumed to be a conscientious citizen or employee who identifies waste, fraud, and abuse. Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are contemporary poster children for the phenomenon.

In the real world, we seldom know much about the motives of leakers. Stimuli probably cover a spectrum from conscience to concupiscence. While, most taxpayers are undecided about whistle blowers; journalists and politicians love them, often building careers on the bones of leakers. Indeed, you could argue that the Press and politicians make whistle blowers possible.

Rat Squads

All bureaucracies, especially government agencies, have grievance departments. These offices sport various labels; internal affairs, auditors, civil rights, diversity, ombudsmen, inspectors general or some such. The titles vary, but amongst cognoscenti, they are known as “rat squads.” Unfortunately, internal watch dogs are more likely to be used to settle scores, with colleagues or unpopular supervisors, rather than for institutional reform.

The most famous rat squad was the internal affairs division of the NYPD that helped whistle blower Frank Serpico catch a bullet (1971) in the face. Detective Serpico retired for health reasons, integrity intact – to Switzerland.

Now rat squads have gone public. The ongoing and ubiquitous “see something, say something” campaign on American roadways is an example. Let’s audit the logic here. A national security team that didn’t vet the Saudi 9/11 crew, Nidal Malik Hasan, or the Tsarnaev brothers expects motorists to identify “nefarious characters,” Jim Clapper’s notorious euphemism for terrorists.

The newest federal leaker screen is Orwellian, encouraging informers to become rat catchers. Under Obama’s Internal Threat Program, supervisors and federal employees at all levels are admonished to watch and report “high risk persons or behaviors” – using arbitrary markers, none of which has ever been validated by experience or science.

Alas, the only possible profile for whistle blowers is suicidal. All leakers have three futures; exile, unemployment, or worse. The recent fate of the Benghazi leakers at the US State Department, by all reports honest brokers, says all that needs to be said.

If you work for government at any level and you identify too many problems, you become the problem. Neither apparatchiks, nor journalists, nor politicians ever trust an informer completely – nor do they befriend leakers once their utility is exhausted. A legacy hat tip to Bob Woodward seems appropriate here.

So the next time you see network “whistle bait” pontificating about candor, courage, or the integrity of malcontents, consider the speaker and their sources. And remember that many media celebrities, like squirrels, are cute; but in the end, these furry creatures, and their creepy informants, are still rodents.

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G. Murphy Donovan is a veteran of bureaucratic wars in four Intelligence Agencies.