The release of the infamous “Nunes Memo” may have been the worst anti-climax since O.J. Simpson’s promise to “find the real killer.” (Like Trump, Simpson spent most of his time searching on a golf course in Florida). The memo was supposed to crush special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Donald Trump’s connections to Russia and its interference in the presidential election. But the actual document was about as revealing as a stripper in a concrete burka. (See this breakdown of the Nunes embarrassment).
But leave it to Sean Hannity, the Chief Trump-fluffer of Fox News, to continue trying to peddle the pitiful prattle after its public fizzling. Hannity, practicing total abstinence from reality, opened his Friday night program with a monologue that future psychology textbooks will include to illustrate complete cognitive failure (video below).
Hannity isn’t content to simply spin what he incredulously calls the “FISA Abuse Memo” into one his typical pro-Trump rants. Not this time. His spittle-inflected delivery features unsupported hyperbolic nonsense like “shocking” and “stunning” and “the biggest abuse of power corruption case in American history.” Hannity’s unhinged tirade asserts that he has…
“…irrefutable proof of a coordinated conspiracy to abuse power by weaponizing and politicizing the powerful tools of intelligence by top-ranking Obama officials against the Trump campaign, against the Constitution, and against your Fourth Amendment rights.”
Holy hallucination, Batman. The only thing we have irrefutable proof of is that Hannity scored some wicked acid. His wind-tunnel of wingnutisms continued with hoary references to the “Deep State,” “unelected bureaucrats,” “undermin[ing] a duly elected president,” and the baseless contention that the memo “proves that the entire basis for the Russia investigation was based on lies that were bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton and her campaign.” And Hannity’s closer was an impotent demand that “The Mueller investigation does need to be shut down. And the people involved – who we will name tonight – many need to go to jail.”
All of that was all that Donald Trump needed to make a painfully misinformed analysis of his legal jeopardy. He tweeted that “This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe.” Notice the sarcastic quotes around his own “alleged” name:
This memo totally vindicates “Trump” in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2018
Notice also that Trump – he of the best words – misuses “their,” capitalizes incoherently, and makes the delusional pronouncement that “collusion is dead.” That’s exactly what he said about ObamaCare, which enjoyed record-setting sign-ups last year, despite his attempts at sabotage. What’s more, even arch-conservative Benghazi inquisitionist, Trey Gowdy, flatly disagrees with Trump on the matter of vindication, tweeting that “The contents of this memo do not – in any way – discredit [Mueller’s] investigation.”
Hannity’s harangue was just the latest evidence of how he exercises influence with our TV-addicted president. Trump’s reliance on the counsel he gets from Fox News, whether it be Hannity, “judge” Jeanine Pirro, or the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends, is unshakable. He assigns greater authority to their inane ravings than to all of the available intelligence that he has at hand as Commander-in-Chief. Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng documented this mental disconnect in their article for Salon, saying in part that:
“…by all indications, the president is less amenable to the concerns of his own FBI than those shared by a less formal, more bombastic adviser. That adviser is Sean Hannity, who has been hyping the so-called Nunes memo all week, and with whom the president continues to speak regularly.
“According to three sources with knowledge of their conversations, Trump has been in regular contact with Hannity over the phone in recent weeks, as the Fox News prime-time star and Trump ally has encouraged the prompt release of a controversial four-page memo crafted by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee. […] Sources say Hannity’s persistent advocacy reinforced Trump’s already growing determination to get that memo into the public realm.”
Having succeeded at publicly embarrassing everyone connected to that memo, Trump tapped out the tweet noted above. His confidence in the mental midgets of Fox News appears to even override that of his own gaggle of lawyers, who are not well regarded or considered to be especially competent in the law. Particularly when compared to the legal superstars assembled by Robert Mueller. Trump is setting up a title fight for his life wherein he has put all his money on the likes of Sean Hannity. It’s going to be a massacre that will be both painful and beautiful to watch.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
Sean Hannity is absolutely frothing at the mouth over this Memo….saying people have to go to jail, Russia probe must end, and that it exposes the "biggest abuse of power … in American history" pic.twitter.com/y3QG5UIffP
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) February 3, 2018