FEIGNING IGNORANCE FOR FUN AND PROFIT

Former U.S. Attorney and National Review mainstay Andrew McCarthy wrote an absolutely must-read piece on Saturday entitled "Why All the Secrecy?" Don't worry, it's not useful or informative. But you have to read it because there may never be a better example of everything wrong with journalism in the Trump era.

Being a lawyer who not only graduated law school but passed a bar exam and – AND! – rose to one of the more prestigious categories of jobs in the legal profession as a U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Andrew McCarthy absolutely goddamn knows "why all the secrecy." He understands exactly how criminal investigations, grand juries, and the other basics of the criminal justice system work. He knows as well as he knows how to put on a pair of pants that no prosecutor, judge, or investigator on the planet is going to conduct an investigation via the mass media. He knows which part of our nation's legal process is the "Turn over your cards and show the public" stage, and he knows that this certainly is not it.

Yet here he is, writing this entire goddamn piece without once mentioning things that even an observant Law & Order binge-watcher probably knows. He makes some half-hearted attempt to justify why no such rules should apply in this situation, but the fact that he could write this entire thing (and have an editor give it the green light) without using the phrase "Rule 6e" even dismissively is…well, it takes 'brazen' to a new level.

Of course the problem is he's not interested in making any kind of argument that stands up to logic or scrutiny. He is, in the media outlet conservatives often cite as their Serious Intellectual Place, throwing red meat to conspiracy-hungry idiots. The false naivete implicit in the titular question is preposterous, as though this retired Federal prosecutor really can't understand why some level of secrecy is being maintained here. But he doesn't care. In his post-prosecutor career as a journalist he also knows how to attract clicks and to whip his following of increasingly deranged Trump cultists into a frenzy.

This is modern "opinion" writing, especially on the right: pretending you don't know really obvious and simple things to appeal to people so dumb or myopic that they legitimately don't understand.

Where do I sign? I hear it pays well.

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21 thoughts on “FEIGNING IGNORANCE FOR FUN AND PROFIT”

  • And, this will of course be picked up by Rush in his opening monologue (in about 10 mins.) Rush often cites McCarthy, especially when it helps Rush further the narrative…
    All part of the plan.

  • In his post-prosecutor career as a journalist

    Shouldn't there be quotes around the word "journalist" in that sentence? ;)

  • The systemic obverse to the small individual horror of McCarthy: important civil service positions are staffed by *the kinds of people who would go on to do this*.

    The machine of state does terrible things, but with gears the caliber of McCarthy, can you blame it?

  • I dare you to read the comments to the article. Over and over and over about how it should be Hilary and the Democratic party that should be investigated and not the glorious leader. Bonus points for the always obvious lie of 'I didn't vote for him but here are my totally Right-wing wackjob talking points. I'm soooo impartial' in the comments. You see thin variations of this in just about every comment sections in the country.

    Does anybody seriously believe the "I'm not a rabid partisan, I swear, but let me argue exactly as a rabid partisan would".

  • I learned something very time-saving a while back: All questions posed as headlines can be answered with, "No."

    Now, I'm trying to apply it to this headline, and I just end up laughing.

    -Why all the secrecy?
    -No.

  • I got a little bit past “so-called Russia investigation,” but it actually got worse from there and I’m in a public place. What crap.

  • joel hanes says:

    where do I sign

    If I understand canon,
    you go down to the levee or to a crossroads at midnight
    and the interested party appears

    He'll be pleased to meet you.

    Other hints can be gleaned by watching Cooke/Moore in "Bedazzled", or reading any work in the Faust cycle.

  • Emerson Dameron says:

    The Grift is real, and the Trump Train is its golden ATM.

    While he's a miserable failure in almost all respects, Trump has a penchant for gathering America's fattest rubes, marks, and suckers in one place, making them easy for any lazy con artist to find.

  • "Being a lawyer who not only graduated law school but passed a bar exam and – AND! – rose to one of the more prestigious categories of jobs in the legal profession as a U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York,"

    Ed:

    From Wiki:

    "when Rudolph Giuliani stepped down after six years as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, he was perhaps the most famous law enforcement official in the United States. He left a legacy of successful prosecutions…"

    And it's obvious that Rudy, in his shrivelled, blackened husk of a heart, STILL wants to put a bad guy in jail, even if it's his own client!

    I have another question for the people who actually LIKE looking shit up.

    When Giuliani was the federal prosecutor, taking down all those eye-talian mobsters did he do it just to up his street cred or was the long game with Putain already underway?

  • @Emerson Dameron – that explains the evangelical support, that crowd has been rube-hoovering for decades.

  • @April, Black Cube is an Israeli firm, so I don't see how it fits into Garland's "OMG Russia!!" frame. It IS very bad, however ; )

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/may/05/trump-team-hired-spy-firm-dirty-ops-iran-nuclear-deal

    I'm starting to think Mueller isn't going to be the Savior of the Republic so many are hoping for. No matter WHAT he finds, it's not as if he can indict the President* anyway. And with the Senate composed of a GOP majority with a cowardly contingent of Blue Dog Dems, there's almost no way he'll be removed from office.

  • @ Geoff:

    "On paper" it does look bad. I'm not confident it's anywhere near that "good".

    I just googled, "Rudy Giuliani prosecutor Russian mob" and sooprize, no hits that show he was spending any resources trying to winkle them out of Brighton Beach. If someone has information that shows he did go after them I'd like to see it.

    Hilary would have been TWICE as bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • No problem, bro. BTW, I hate Giuliani as much as any non New Yorker can, but he left the US Atty's office to in 1989 with the change of administrations in DC. So he was out of office before the breakup of the USSR, which I think we can agree was what really ramped up Russian organized crime in the US.

    (Jeez, pedantic much?? Sorry y'all.)

    Seriously, though, this Black Cube shit is CRAZY.

  • @ Geoff:

    Wiki says they were set up there in the 1970's but really took off in the early 90's. Now I will prolly have to spend some time googlin'…

    The NSA has got to be getting a bit miffed about all of the shit that is going on with other nations intelligence agencies trying to subvert the process of gummint. Then again, it may make some of the "old (and bloody) hands nostalgic for the Shah or Pinochet, the Trujillo's an Salazar's, Papa Doc, the Diems and others whose gummints they did things with and to.

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