Mark Meadows, President Donald Trump’s final chief of staff, used a personal cellphone, two personal Gmail accounts, and a Signal account for official government business, a report released on Sunday by the House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot said.
The committee released a 51-page report detailing why it should hold Meadows in criminal contempt for defying its subpoena and cited a slew of documents Meadows turned over to the panel when he was cooperating with the inquiry. The bipartisan committee is expected to vote on the contempt charge on Monday night. [Ed: The committee voted last night to hold Meadows in contempt]
A couple of things struck me kinda funny, kinda funny yes indeed, about this story:
(1) The lede here should probably have more to do with the White House Chief of Staff using a private email account to help coordinate an insurrection against the US government, rather than than the fact that he was using a private email account to conduct government business, which as we’ve since discovered is something that very large numbers of important people in Washington have always done, while attracting less than zero interest from the media.
(2) Speaking of less than zero, that’s precisely how much in the way of mea culpas or even critical self-reflection of any kind we’ve gotten from the mainstream media regarding the fact — and it absolutely is a stone-cold fact — that they all went along for the ride when the right wing noise machine decided to turn Hillary Clinton’s email security practices into the biggest and most consequential fake story in the history of American journalism.
Given the closeness of the 2016 election, there’s not the slightest doubt that Donald Trump became president, and will probably become president again, with all that this entails, because of the legacy media’s collective decision to make this total non-story the biggest issue of the campaign.
Don’t hold your breath.
But seriously, if we can look for a moment beyond the fact that the ongoing consequences of this little slip-up in regard to ethics in political journalism are even now actively destroying liberal democracy in this country, it’s fascinating in a morbid way to contemplate the mob psychology that has subsequently ended up with us getting our hair mussed.
Everybody at the time sort of knew in an inchoate way that the Clinton email story was a bunch of empty bullshit. OK some right wingers didn’t know because they are clinically delusional, but everybody to the left of the dumber people at National Review, and to the whatever of the I hate neo-liberalism more than fascism “left,” knew this.
But huge numbers of Highly Respected media types located in the vast ideological landscape between those two poles never ever acknowledged — and still don’t acknowledge — something that again was completely obvious at the time. They managed this largely by going meta on the whole thing: OK, maybe there was no evidence of any actual non-trivial misconduct , but there was a principle here, or something. (A principle that again turns out to have had a one-use only label on it).
I blame the patriarchy.