Investor’s Business Daily posted an article today about three of the latest mainstream media’s attempts to accuse President Trump and Russia of conspiring together in the 2016 election. Unfortunately, the facts keep getting in the way of the accusations.
The first attempt the article reports is as follows:
Here’s the headline CNN put on its “exclusive” story: “Even Pokemon Go used by extensive Russian-linked meddling effort.”
It begins: “Russian efforts to meddle in American politics did not end at Facebook and Twitter. A CNN investigation of a Russian-linked account shows its tentacles extended to YouTube, Tumblr and even Pokemon Go.”
By “meddle,” of course, they mean “helped elect Trump president.”
It turns out none of this had anything to do with electing Trump.
In this case, the Russians apparently developed a campaign — called “Don’t Shoot Me” — that was designed to “exploit racial tensions and sow discord among Americans.”
The YouTube page contained news reports, amateur footage and the like that the Black Lives Matter crowd were parading all over the web.
If that constitutes “meddling” in the election, then Black Lives Matter, Hillary Clinton and the mainstream press are guiltier than these Kremlin trolls. They ceaselessly pushed the racist police story because they thought it would help energize the Democratic base.
So what was Russia’s intent? “It’s unclear,” is all CNN could muster.
The second attempt also fell flat:
…another CNN “exclusive” about how “Russian-linked Facebook ads targeted Michigan and Wisconsin.”
This story began: “A number of Russian-linked Facebook ads specifically targeted Michigan and Wisconsin, two states crucial to Donald Trump‘s victory last November, according to four sources with direct knowledge of the situation.”
It went on: “Some of the Russian ads appeared highly sophisticated in their targeting of key demographic groups in areas of the states that turned out to be pivotal.”
Had CNN finally found evidence that Russia tried, and might have succeeded, in swinging the election for Trump?
It was up to the Washington Examiner’s Byron York to provide the relevant facts and context.
He found that of the 3,000 Russian ads that Facebook turned over to Congress, most of them ran after the election and so could hardly be part of any “meddling.” The vast majority didn’t mention the election or any candidate. A quarter of them weren’t seen by anybody.
What’s more, out of those 3,000 ads, only a tiny handful targeted Michigan and Wisconsin, nearly all of them ran in 2015 — well before Trump was nominated — and most had fewer than 1,000 impressions.
Well, maybe the third time will be the charm:
…the infamous “smoking gun” meeting between Donald Trump Jr and a Russian lawyer is turning out to be another nothingburger.
Newly released emails showed that the meeting was entirely focused on U.S. sanctions and adoption rules involving Russia, and had nothing to do with dishing dirt on Hillary Clinton.
What about that promise of a meeting in a separate email from British publicist Rob Goldstone, who said the Russian lawyer had damaging evidence on Clinton? It’s likely that was a way to lure Trump people to a meeting they’d otherwise not bother with.
The article reaches the obvious conclusion:
For nearly a year now, we’ve seen this same pattern. A headline-grabbing story about Russia “meddling” and Trump “collusion” that ends up fizzling out when the facts come in.
If Russia’s motivation in all of this wasn’t to elect Trump, but to sow discord and hostility within the U.S. — which increasingly looks like the point — then Russia’s leaders succeeded beyond their wildest imagination. And for that, they have the liberal media, not their own efforts, to thank.
Imagine what the media could do if they investigated the uranium transfer to Russia that followed a large Kremlin donation to the Clinton Foundation?