Fighting Fake News

If you know me, or have had the displeasure of following along as I rant about the lack of credibility journalists have earned, or the affective dismantling of the fourth estate, then you know I despise “fake news”.  The deceptive, manipulative use of words and phrases, lies of both submission and omission, and wanton use of logical fallacies not only exhibits the assumption that the audience is stupid, it relies on it. 

  One of the reasons I personally hate “fake news”, is that because I am what I consider to be a fairly free thinker, and resistant to the echo chamber effect, and because I have difficulty in restraining my need to call “bullshit” when I see it, from time to time I find myself defending someone or something I loathe. 

  Case in point- Dianne Feinstien. Now first, let me be crystal clear. I think the Senator from California is a despicable person grotesquely past due for removal from office.  She ardently supports open borders, eliminating our 2nd amendment, and works tirelessly doing the bidding of a campaign supporter who funds global terror. ref. here. Safe is to say, I have no love for the Senator whatsoever.
   On July 27, 2018 Politico broke a story about Senator Feinstein, in which they stated that she had a Chinese spy in her employ.  Certainly, given everything going on today with claims of Russian spies and collusion, this makes for a compelling story. It’s been picked up by outlets across the internet and into the mainstream media.

  My problem is, it’s a deceptive, cleverly worded piece that is long on inuendo and short on fact. Within 24 hours of the story breaking, it had morphed into a narrative worthy of Tom Clancy, including inferences that this driver was responsible for the leak that ultimately caused our entire Chinese intelligence network to be compromised and killed. Sorry, everyone…that one was on CIA. For that story see here.

  So, let’s look at the piece that set off alarm bells and had the President tweeting.  The piece asserts that her driver/ staff assistant that worked from her California office for 20 years was a spy. This is based on an unnamed “former Chinese Intelligence” source.  When the fact emerged that the driver never held a security clearance, the story shifted gears away from National Security implications and into references to corporate espionage and intellectual property crimes. To me, that’s a warning flag. 

  The underlying facts here so far are thus… approximately 5 years ago, the FBI notified Feinstein that she had an employee that was approached by a Chinese National, and they had a casual friendship, but that it was likely that the driver was being groomed or evaluated as a possible ‘flip’. In response, the Senator fired him.

  The FBI concluded no sensitive information was passed, which is supported by the fact that he held no clearances.  If he had a clearance, and after being approached by the Chinese National, had failed to report the contact, then yes, that would be a crime. ref But alas, he had no clearance.

 Even the way the assertion of this spy being in her employ was worded is deceptive. It implies that he was a spy for 20 years. First, the allegation is faulty, as he wasn’t convicted of espionage, and second, the story fails to establish when, where,or under what circumstances the contact was made, so to imply he was spying for twenty years is deceptive to a point of being outright dishonest.

  Why is this any of this important you might ask? First, the man in question, has never been charged with a crime, never been prosecuted for espionage, and yet he’s being convicted by the press. 

  Second, for two years, the public discourse has been dominated by stories accusing the President of treason, espionage, and collusion to the point of people screaming for impeachment. Through it all, we have consistently demanded to see evidence of the accusations. We refuse to entertain the assertions that the President is neck deep in foreign plots because the evidence has been suspect.  We tell CNN they suck because they sell fake news ( I agree…they suck). So let’s not be so fast to run with another bullshit story based solely on the fact that it roasts someone we loathe. If we are going to show she’s despicable, let’s do it with facts not fallacy.