BY KAREEM RAHMAN
Yesterday a big story broke that overshadowed most of yesterday’s news. Hilary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped fund research behind the now infamous dossier that alleges ties between Trump and Russia, according to reports. The Washington Post (@wapo) reported that Clinton campaign and DNC lawyer, Marc Elias, retained the political consulting firm that commissioned Christopher Steele, the dossier’s author.
After the huge news broke, I watched a few reporters from The Washington Post give interviews on CNN and MSNBC. All of them basically said the same things. 1) Christopher Steele had initially been retained by a Republican. Likely, one of Trump’s Republican opponents during the campaign. When Trump got the Republican nod, the Republican discontinued funding to Steele for the dossier. After Steele stopped getting funded by the Republican or Republicans, the obvious thing to do was see if he could continue to get funding from Trump’s Democratic opponent.(That part is guess-work) With information on their opponent, the Democratic Candidate(Hilary Clinton) jumped on the opportunity to get some dirt on her opponent. (A move that has been proven to not be illegal.) 2) Clinton and the DNC did not direct Steele to search for Trump-Russia information. Steele initially went searching for Donald Trump business dealings when he was being paid by the Republicans. Trump’s business dealings led Steele to Russian dealings. Trump’s Russian dealings were so severe that the Justice Department found them credible enough to warn then President Obama that Trump may be compromised by Russia, through debts or other means. The consensus was that Russia had something on Trump that they could use to get preferential treatment from Trump or even blackmail him. 3) None of this is new. All of this had already been widely reported, the only new confirmation was that the DNC lawyer Marc Elias had been a middleman between the DNC and funding Christopher Steele. 4) Many things in the dossier has been confirmed as true. Including meetings between Russia and the Trump campaign. None of the information in the dossier has been found to be 100% false or ridiculous.
This new story published by The Washington Post did not change that. So, taking these things into consideration, you have to wonder, why did the Washington Post even publish this story? And why right now? The story added nothing new, and it did not dispute that the information contained in the Steele dossier was true. What it did do was give Donald Trump a new rallying cry for his base. It gives them a reason to say that everybody was out to get Trump, and that the dossier is completely false. None of that has actually been proven to be true, but when you put the name Clinton or Obama into anything, it’s more than enough to give the base a new argument. Now, this “not new” story, about basically nothing, is overshadowing the importance of the real issue. Did Trump and his campaign sell the Country out to Russia? This Washington Post story has become the new Hilary Clinton email scandal. The same day that Donald Trump’s Access Hollywood video came out, a story about Hilary Clinton’s emails was released. Everybody ignored the Access Hollywood tape that showed that the man the Trumpers voted into office was a sexual deviant. “Grab her by the pussy?” Who even talks like that? I’ll tell you who, a person who assumes that he is entitled to do so. That person usually turns out to be a sexual predator. He doesn’t consider it that because……..he feels entitled to do whatever he wants to women. But, the minute Hilary Clinton’s emails were released, all attention was shifted away from this fact. The Hilary Clinton emails eventually turned out to be about nothing. It never was. “But her emails” was simply turned into a rallying cry for Trump to dish out to his base. Hilary Clinton’s emails held no substance whatsoever. Trump went on to become president of the United States. Everybody conveniently forgot that they were voting for a vile and disgusting human being. Here we are months later, and what have we learned from all of this? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. In the middle of huge turmoil for the White House, the Washington Post decides to chase down, and publicize a story that holds no relevancy whatsoever, but the story is enough of a distraction for the Trump team to use as a win, and allow to control the news cycle, probably for the next couple of weeks. This non-story will totally control the news-cycle. It will be dissected and talked about in every way imaginable. All while NOT focusing on the real issue, Trump-Russian collusion. Months later, we will look back on this story, and people will say, “why was everyone focusing on reporting on this story, when the focus should’ve been _____” At some point, we as a collective have got to stop falling for the old banana in the tailpipe routine. But we won’t. We never learn. And probably never will until it’s too late.