Hannity as Goebbels

Hannity as Goebbels

Joseph Goebbels famously said that if you want to convince a populace of A Big Lie (fake news), then you do it by repeating it, over and over and over again.  For a long  time I have been keeping an eye on Hannity, reportedly nightly conversing with Trump after his show.  What struck me some time ago how repetitive the core pats of his introductory monologue are.  I have increasingly noticed that pro-Trump people seem to believe pretty much all of this super-repeated core Hannity-Trump lies. And I have seen no systematic or regular effort to offset this Goebbelsian Big Lie repetition.  So, here I am going to make a small attempt to point out some of the worst lies Hannity Big Lies about.

Almost all of it has to do with Hillary Clinton, a “whataboutism,” argument; Trump may have done some questionable things, but whatabout Hillary and her emails and so much more?  After all, at Trump rallies they still chant “Lock her up,” although reportedly in West VA a few days ago there was less enthusiasm and a lot of empty chairs.

A caveat is that this is not some super defense of Hillary.  One more or less accurate bit in the usual Hannity rant is that Hillary and the DNC treated Bernie Sanders badly and unfairly.  But I simply note for now that Bernie himself totally supported her, even as we know some people who voted for him voted for Trump. And, of course, she should have spent more time in Wisconsin and MIchigan rather than such effluvia as Arizona and (gag) Utah.  She was not on top of things, although in the case of the third surprise swing state, Pennsylvania, that was where she was on the last night of the campaign in Philadelphia, trying to get the vote out.  She knew that one was crucial, and she lost it.

So now we must deal with crucial issues.

Part of Hannity’s standard every evening monologue is that James Comey and Peter Strzok  were total Dem stooges plotting to do Trump in.  But most of us know that she had a solid lead until Comey came out within two weeks of the election that she was back under  investigation on her emails, only to learn about two days before the election that there was nothing of any importance in these emails, already well known.  That  turned the polls and she lost.  The one possible offset would have been if the FBI had also reported that the Trump campaign was under investigation for Russia links, but they did  not do so. The key person on that matter was Peter Strzok, now super Trump enemy in the ongoing Hannity propaganda, and recently improperly fired, even as he pointed this out, but, hey, in an email with his mistress he said they might block Trump. They are both in trouble  for those emails, even though they did not act to block him, which they might actually have been able to do if they had leaked all this Russian crap after Comey came out with his empty accusation against Hillary that did her in and gave us this disastrous president.

I am not going to cover all the regular reported lies of Hannity in his monologue, but here  are a few. So he posits that Hillary was personally responsible for the FISA warrant on Carter Page, coming supposedly from the “discredited Steele dossier, from a foreigner using Russian sources.”  Ooops.

So the foreigner using Russian sources is Christopher Steele, rarely given his full name in the Hannity monologues, a former British MI6 agent who focused on Russia, and long accepted by all US intel agencies  as a reliable source from our supposedly closest ally (aside from possibly now enemy Canada, blame Canada!).  Which brings us to the fundamental lie of Hannity, that  the Steele dossier has been “discredited.”  This is the central lie now believed by anybody who watches Hannity as their main news/opinion source. No, it has not been discredited, quite the opposite.  Not a single thing in that dossier has been discredited or is even in serious doubt. The vast majority of it has been in fact independently verified.  What is true is that some parts of it remain unverified, even as none of it has been proven false.  Among those parts is its most famous accusation of a peeing incident in Moscow.  Weirdly Hanniity and friends have ended up focusing on this shocking item, somehow turning the  failure to fully verify it into making the entire dossier “discredited.”  Really.

On other parts of this, no, it was not Hillary’s campaign that was primarily responsible for this mostly accurate  dossier. The funding for it initially came in the primary campaign from the Bush family, given their deep connections with serious intel, including especially British intel. Hillary was a minor player on this dossier.

It did not trigger the  FISA investigations of Carter Page.  He had  been under scrutiny for his numerous Russian ties for years, with this dossier simply one among other pieces of evidence for  renewing an investigation of him.

I shall address one other issue in his usual rant. Regularly he charges that Hillary was responsible for “giving US uranium to Russia.”  The decision on the US-Russia uranium deal in 2011 (maybe a year earlier or later, not important), was made by an interagency committee, chaired by the then Sec of Energy, who is the big player in US nuclear policy. Nine agencies were on that committee, one of the State, then run by Hillary.  The Canadians were also a major player on this, strongly supporting the deal (a very complicated matter, if not in Hannity’s eyes).  The committee’s decision was unanimouis, with some flunky of Hillary’s on the committee going along with it. And, in fact, aside from a few odd bits, no US uranium was exported as a result of this agreement, although Russia  has earned some income from uranium sales within the US.  This is supposed to be the  ultimate “Hillary running for the Russians, so pay no attention to Trump doing so, and  lock her up!!!”

There is quite a bit  more that is totally false in Hannity’s standard rant that Trump regularly tweets about. But this is all I shall deal with for now, but it is pretty core stuff.

Barkley Rosser