Up until about two weeks ago, Josh Meyer was a respected journalist for the influential left of center publication Politico, and then he went and spoiled it all by writing an article headlined, “The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook.”
Meyer summarized his unwelcome thesis in the opening of this exquisitely documented 13,000-word article: “In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation.”
The thesis was unwelcome because President Barack Obama and his acolytes in the media had convinced themselves that, in Obama’s own words, “We’re probably the first administration in modern history that hasn’t had a major scandal in the White House.” Confirmed David Brooks of the New York Times, “The Obama administration has been remarkably scandal-free.”
Conservatives might take exception, pointing to the Fast and Furious gun-running operation, the mendacious response to the Benghazi attacks, the inept handling of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, and the Obamacare rollout as well as the many lies that led to Obamacare’s passage.
The saying goes, however, that a scandal only becomes a “scandal” when the New York Times calls it a scandal on its front page. The Times never elevated any of these incidents to that level, and it wasn’t about to start now even if a traditional political ally like Politico was the source.
Neither was the Washington Post. The Post assigned its chief media critic Erik Wemple to document the “pushback” to the Meyer article. The headline suggests Wemple’s thesis, “Former Obama officials criticize Politico story alleging weakness against Hezbollah.” Wemple concedes that “the pushback doesn’t cite any factual errors involving the story’s claims about shut-down investigations and the like,” but concludes that Meyer explored a “gray area,” one in which his allegations were tough “to prove and to disprove.” End of story.
Obama’s deep state allies were less generous than the Post. Within a week, the article had been dismissed as “a shabby neocon hit piece,” “a disgusting hit job,” and “non-fact based anti-Iran Deal propaganda.” Thinking he was protected by his Politico credentials, Meyer spun unaware into what New Yorker editor David Remnick might call, the “Web’s Farthest Lunatic Orbit.”
I know something about that orbit. Remnick cast me there personally in 2008 when I dared to propose that terrorist emeritus Bill Ayers helped Obama write his acclaimed memoir, Dreams from My Father. As in Meyer’s case, I had the evidence, which Remnick declined to examine, but he had the bully pulpit.
By 2008, I knew the orbit pretty well. I had written two earlier books about unreported scandals in the Clinton administration, one the accidental missile strike on TWA Flight 800 in July 1996 and the other the not so accidental destruction of the plane carrying Clinton Commerce Secretary Ron Brown in April 1996.
Those who labor under the illusion that the major media would never let stories of this magnitude go unreported do not understand the way the contemporary media work. I was the first person in the media, for instance, to request the 22-volume USAF report on Brown’s plane crash in Croatia, and that was seven years after the incident.
The New York Times had a reporter on that doomed plane, and its editors never bothered to cover the report’s findings. As in the case with many seemingly unsolved mysteries, the Las Vegas shooting most recently, the media do not want to know where certain stories might lead.
Emboldened by the negligence of their betters, local reporters protect themselves against apostasy by dismissing out of hand those who present facts they would prefer not to believe. When the Shawnee Mission Post referred to me casually as a “conspiracy author” last week, I realized there is no floor on this kind of empty-headed condescension.
Josh Meyer may think he’s getting it bad now, but when when the attacks trickle down to his neighborhood newsletter, he’ll understand what life in the lunatic orbit is really like.