Not-for-broadcast press breifings

I think of all the things one learns not to say.   We refrain sometimes because people close to us will be hurt.  If I reminded someone of their spouse’s vehement threat to kill her parents, burn the house down with the kids in it and kill her and then himself, it would register, to her, as a kind of betrayal.  I don’t wish to betray, so I keep my mouth closed about personal, highly volatile things like this, to the extent that I can.

Sometimes we refrain from speaking candidly because of fear.  There will be reprisals, maybe, repercussions.  Fall-out we are not ready for.  Fear is often not reasonable, in fact, it’s rarely reasonable.   Unreasonable fear is one of the most prevalent reasons people remain silent, even in the face of terrible things going on around them.  The silence of good people, it has famously been said, is all that’s necessary for evil schemes against the weak to flourish.

Sometimes we dummy up because we’ve done something wrong and dummying up is the smart thing for a bad hombre to do when confronted.   Anything I say may reveal that I fully intended to commit the bad thing I did, so I will say nothing and instruct everyone around me to do the same.   We have the Fifth Amendment here in America, a Constitutional privilege against self-incrimination.  

Among cherished freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, pleading the fifth is up there with our right to have and use as many guns as we want to.  That’s the Second Amendment, for those keeping score at home, the one about well-regulated militias.   The right to free speech, freedom from religious bullying, freedom of the press, freedom to peaceably assemble to demand things from the government, those First Amendment rights liberals are so proud of… over-rated if we are going to Make America Great Again.  In fact, read it and weep, liberals:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

This administration is under attack, as they try to make America Great Again and abridging certain freedoms of the press has become a priority for them.  The Press, declared a lying enemy of the American people by our Birther president, has sometimes been vicious in its assessments of the president.   It constantly and unfairly reprints the president’s tweets, which is none of their damn business, that’s a private conversation between the president and his followers.  The media reporters in the White House press corps insist on not only asking questions, and sometimes very tough ones, but demanding the right to follow-up questions.  

The administration is making some changes to the parameters regarding the press and appropriate questions, as well as streamlining clumsy new procedures for ensuring all those embarrassing public tap dances by administration spokespeople are not recorded and constantly replayed on the merciless liberal media, posted on the internet by anonymous, free-lance people like me who like to ridicule the powerful and unaccountable.  

They are working on new rules for what the press may report on, what they may broadcast, and what must keep secret from the public.  White House communications are now reportedly being exchanged using an encryption app that periodically auto-deletes inter-staff communications, to avoid a scandal like the one that plagued Crooked Hillary with all those emails on her personal server she had to destroy.  The app they are using is called Confide  and you can get a more detailed report here.

Another thing that people who feel under attack, or subject to criminal or civil charges, always do is “lawyer up.”   We have the right to hire a lawyer to defend our good name, our assets, our very asses.  Everyone has a right to hire a lawyer for any legal purpose.  I am not judging Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III for hiring a lawyer, nor am I judging Jared Kushner for hiring a lawyer.   Anyone in their position would do the same.   I am also not judging the president, or assuming he is guilty of anything, just because he hired some lawyers.   I’m judging him for other reasons, it’s hard not to, but he is clearly being prudent in hiring himself a legal team.

I don’t question his choice of someone like Marc Kasowitz*, nor would I think of suggesting that the president values loyalty over competence.  After all, Mr. Kasowitz is a highly successful $1,500/hour lawyer who has been defending Mr. Trump for years.   Mr. Kasowitz has other famous clients, he defended Bill O’Reilly against sexual harassment charges (as he has the president) as well as OJSC Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank (not charged, to my knowledge, with sexual harassment).  

Mr. Kasowitz represented Mr. Trump in connection with bankruptcies, casino restructuring and divorce proceedings.   He filed a multi-million dollar suit against Bill Maher for breach of contract when his client proved that neither of his parents were orangutans and Maher, in clear breach of his public oral offer, which Trump accepted by providing proof neither of his parents were orangutans (creating a legally binding contract, according to the suit), refused to donate the millions he promised to donate on Trump’s behalf.   That lawsuit was a complete success, one could claim.  More recently Kasowitz demanded an apology to Trump from the notorious NY Times (refused) and argued that the president should be immune from sexual harassment charges filed against him until Mr. Trump leaves office.  Kasowitz also represented Mr. Trump in the Trump University fraud case and negotiated the recent negligible $25,000,000 settlement as payment in full to victims of that bogus business.  

I don’t know where to go with this, except to note that we’ve had many bad, corrupt-looking, sometimes criminal psychopaths in the White House over the years.  And that this one, as far as my reading of the histories of our spotty experiment in democracy goes, appears to be the worst of them.

 

 

*    more on the dynamic Marc Kasowitz here.

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