Facts matter less than who tells story


I periodically feel it’s necessary to explain and clarify some of the topics of the day being discussed in publications and television (for those readers born after 1995, a television is that screen in your parents’ house you see while you’re watching video on your laptop).

First of all, let’s discuss Russia. But first I’d like to again say how happy I am, as someone with an interest in the region, that Democrats have rediscovered the area’s existence.

It would be interesting to see if some of them were able to locate the area on a map. (Hint: It’s near Finland.)

Some may recall how derisive President Obama was when Mitt Romney declared during a debate in 2012 that the No. 1 threat to the country was Russia. President Obama said “the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years.”

Now, with a Republican (or at least non-Democrat) president, it only took five years for the Cold War to get fired up again.

Actually, people who have the most immediate worry about the Russians don’t work at the New York Times — which seems to believe Russian paratroopers will be invading Manhattan at any moment with maps drawn up by Ivanka. No, the people who worry are Ukrainians.

The Russians right now don’t much care what we do as long as we continue to undermine our leadership and let them go about reassembling the choice parts of the old Soviet Union while leaving out old areas we can simply label as Republics of Crazistan.

Associated with this is the call from Democrats for a special prosecutor to investigate the president’s “ties to Russia” which is sort of a nebulous accusation but is quickly buttressed by supporters of the concept with more hazy insinuations.

A prosecutor is tasked with pursuing legal action based on evidence of a criminal act, not gum-shoeing around trying to find evidence of something because some folks in Congress don’t like the executive’s policies.

Former director Comey’s recollection of his conversation with the president touching on general Michael Flynn — even if it were correct or not out of context — certainly would not meet the standard for a criminal investigation, particularly if applying the former directors own standard, as he precisely described it when discussing his decision not to recommend prosecution of Hillary Clinton.

Also, the criminality of actions from some of the president’s critics seem to hinge on who they damage, not their degree of illegality.

For instance, the calls for tracking down the desperadoes who revealed Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman emails, which haven’t been denied to be genuine, are geometrically louder than interest in pursuing sources leaking classified information that can be spun to make the president look bad.

I would guess that if a burglar broke into the president’s accountant’s office, rendered a security guard unconscious with a blowgun dart and crowbarred open a desk to discover the president’s tax returns, that person would be hailed a hero by the Washington Post.

At the same time, those who are boasting about breaking or at least disobeying the law are praised by much of the media for their bravery. That would be sanctuary cities which are quite pleased to substitute their own judgment for that of the federal government, which a few months ago was considered to be sacrosanct.

Officials in sanctuary cities have said that they will not cooperate with federal authorities or comply with federal law because they have a large constituency that doesn’t want them to, unlike most of the country.

Let’s put this in context by imagining Grand Junction decided it did not like the information collected on the required federal form when a person purchases a firearm and announced that they would not cooperate with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in their investigations — a Second Amendment sanctuary city as it were.

How many hours would elapse after that announcement do you suppose until tolerant congressional leaders called for the 101st Airborne Division to seize the city.

Not very long would be my guess, so when we analyze the events of the day remember it’s not the facts that are important anymore — it’s who’s telling the story.

Rick Wagner is a Grand Junction attorney who maintains a political blog, The War on Wrong. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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