Reporters Bob Woodward, right, and Carl Bernstein, helped break the Watergate scandal that brought down the presidency of Richard Nixon. (AP)
One of the more notable differences between Watergate and the metastasizing scandals involving the FBI, our intelligence agencies, and the Obama administration -- subjects of the soon-to-be-released inspector general's report -- is that the media exposed Watergate. They aided and abetted the current transgressions.
By providing a willing and virtually unquestioned repository for every anonymous leaker (as long as he or she was on the "right" side) in Washington and beyond, the press has evolved from being part of the solution to being a major part of the problem. Gone are the days of the true "whistle-blower." Here are the days of the special interest provocateur, shaping public opinion by passing on half-truths and outright lies to their favorite reporter. One might then even call the media, in Orwell's words, "objectively pro-fascist," functioning much in the manner of Pravda and Izvestia during that famous author's time, covertly or overtly pushing the party line in the most slavish and orthodox manner while feigning "objectivity."
CNN, NBC, the Washington Post and The New York Times -- misinforming the public as it hasn't since the days of their great Stalin-excuser Walter Duranty (still pictured on their Pulitzer wall of honor) -- are particularly egregious in this regard. But there are many others.
And the current scandal is far, far worse than Watergate, which, bad as it was, was the coverup of a completely unnecessary buffoon-like break-in during an election that was already won in a landslide. What is being exposed now is an attempt by our highest law enforcement agency working in concert with our intelligence agencies and, evidently, the blessing of the former administration itself to block the candidate of the opposing party, even to defraud and spy on him, that is to, as others have said, "set him up." And then, if they were unsuccessful, make it impossible for him to govern. In addition, in all probability, the same players conspired to make certain Hillary Clinton was not indicted for a crime for which virtually any other American would have done jail time.
Forget Donald Trump. Forget whoever is running. It could be your Aunt Fanny or William Buckley's random person from the Boston telephone directory. Forget whatever party we are talking about. This is the stuff of high treason of a type not imaginable to almost all of us in our lifetimes as American citizens. I and others have compared this plot to Lavrentiy Beria and the NKVD. At first, I admit, I was exaggerating a bit for effect. Now, not so much.
What we have here are people who think they are "good" driven to evil by their own self-righteousness.
So what will the mainstream media who participated so heavily in this, who were in effect the enabler of this disgraceful anti-democratic enterprise, do when the inspector general's report is finally published?
We may have gotten a taste in the nervous reaction of CNN's Jake Tapper to an informative series of tweets from the WSJ's Kimberley Strassel on the matter. Roughly a year ago, Mr. Tapper famously accused Donald Trump of himself being a purveyor of "fake news" for alleging he was being wiretapped (what an understatement that turned out to be!). Instead of apologizing for being wildly wrong or even acknowledging his mistake, Tapper tweaked Ms. Strassel for accidentally tweeting "Hurricane Crossfire" rather than "Crossfire Hurricane" (the name the FBI cribbed from Mick Jagger as a trendy name for their repellent activities).
Tapper is considered one of the more intelligent and putatively responsible of the MSM crew. If he is unable to face this coming press Armageddon, few will be. They bet the house that Donald Trump was the worst man in the room, but it turned out, and will be made quite explicit I would imagine, that there were many men and women far worse than he. It's not even close.
An interesting sidelight is the degree to which Watergate itself inspired the present level of reportorial corruption by launching "leaks" (i. e. Deep Throat and company) as the royal road to journalistic success, Pulitzer prizes, and Hollywood fame. In a sense, that would put journalism today in its Robespierre period, going further and further out onto a limb for a story until the limb falls off.
Whether Barack Obama himself will be looped definitively into the IG's report, we don't know at this time. But we all know where the fish rots from and we also know that Obama, despite his denials, knew well that Hilary was using an illegal server. He wrote her there himself under an assumed name, showing he was only slightly more computer savvy than John Podesta.
These next few weeks are going to be among the most interesting in our lifetimes -- especially for our friends in the press. We know from the NYT earlier this week they are preparing their excuses. Let's hope they don't have enough.