I got annoyed and tweeted a bit about the right-wing noise machine currently spinning up, and just plain spinning, over recent (and not recent) reporting on the Steele dossier. As public information currently stands, the Clinton campaign is “guilty”of partially backing an opposition researcher hired and paid by a middleman—one whose work was deemed sufficiently credible by the intelligence community for the FBI to consider hiring him to continue gathering information after the election. And a Clinton campaign lawyer might very well have lied about funding Steele’s work.
Right now, that’s basically it. But that hasn’t stopped all kinds of stupid and disingenuousness. Some in the dreaded mainstream media—who are all horrible peddlers of #fakenews out to destroy Trump… right until the moment they provide reporting useful to the President’s supporters—aren’t helping by breathlessly tweeting quotations and generally not understanding very much about intelligence works. I mean, I’m not an expert by any means, but I know just enough to roll my eyes.
Anyway, since I don’t have a lot of time these days—something you might have inferred from my oh-so-frequent posting, I’m pleased that I can outsource a lot of what I might say about this to Paul Waldman. He begins:
There may be no talent the Republican Party and the conservative movement have that is more astounding than the way they are able to take a ludicrous idea with zero relationship to actual facts, light a fuse on it, and turn it into an explosive firework of spin that manages to confuse everyone who tries to look at the issue that started the whole controversy.
Right now we’re getting a look at one of those projects, in the form of the reaction we’re seeing to the news that the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee helped pay for research that ultimately resulted in the infamous “Steele Dossier.”