Column: Brainy Reporters Play Dumb on 'Obamagate'

May 22nd, 2020 7:01 AM

President Trump has tweeted feverishly about “Obamagate,” loosely defined as everything the Obama-Biden team did to ruin Trump’s candidacy (and then presidency) using their executive-branch powers. The Trump-loathing press has responded with an unusual tactic. The self-appointed guardians of democracy who have auditioned themselves as America’s great explainers are playing dumb.

Yahoo! News hosted a virtual townhall with Biden on May 19, and Dylan Stableford reported Biden was asked about “the so-called Obamagate conspiracy, which revolves around a vague allegation that the former president illegally tried to sabotage the Trump campaign, or was involved in an effort to entrap Trump’s adviser Michael Flynn into lying to the FBI. Trump has referred to the invented scandal numerous times in recent weeks, although when a reporter asked him to specify what it was about, he declined.”

Liberals call the Obama scandals “invented,” when the invention here was the entire Russian-collusion narrative. Newly released documents show Obama aides would scream “collusion” on cable TV, but admitted to Congress they had no evidence. No wonder journalists who energetically pushed a false narrative are playing dumb now.

Biden told Yahoo the Obamagate thing was “diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion, diversion! Don’t speak to what the issues before us are.” Biden and his media enablers want the dominant story to be Trump’s allegedly horrible coronavirus response. Don't look into the origins of the Russia probe.

These ersatz historians who love comparing every Republican scandal to Watergate can’t seem to grasp with their brains how Obama might have been getting intelligence about Flynn’s contacts with the Russians during the transition, and supervising attempts by the FBI to entrap Flynn. This effort didn’t sound “vague” when it was discovered that FBI "professionals" said bluntly that they went to the White House "to get him to lie so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”

The May 15 episode of Washington Week on PBS displayed a cavalcade of confusion. CBS White House reporter Weijia Jiang, who’s attempting to rival Jim Acosta in needling the president with gotcha questions, complained “even the president himself was not able to offer clarity about what crime was committed. He's talking about people should go to jail. He has coined yet another phrase, Obamagate, to talk about this. And he hasn't talked about what he's talking about, and that doesn't matter sometimes.”

Associated Press scribe Jonathan Lemire made it sound like the Obama years were back again, since he couldn’t find an Obama scandal anywhere. “There's no real sense of a scandal here among most observers,” he said. “Most observers” can be defined as the press pool who voted overwhelmingly for Obama, twice. “Obamagate…it’s a nickname for a scandal that doesn’t seem to have a there there. He hasn’t elaborated on what it’s about.”

Then Washington Week host Robert Costa asked Abby Phillip of CNN how the Biden campaign would respond to these Obamagate messages. Phillip said they’ve studied what went wrong with Hillary Clinton in 2016, and have been “very aggressive” in undermining Trump’s attempts to rebrand all the Trump investigations as an Obama-Biden scandal. “So they're really trying to put pressure on media organizations to not cover this incredulously and to really take a skeptical look at all of this.”

Programs like these suggest either Team Biden is either incredibly effective in pressuring reporters to be scandal-deniers, or they never had to pressure them in the first place.