US House ‘Intelligence’ memo feud

The US ‘House Intelligence Committee’ is looking increasingly like an oxymoron as the memo feud continues.

On 2 February the White House declassifed and released the ‘Nunes meme’ on the Russian investigation, which was a controversial pro-Republican view.

After some opposition from the White House the House voted in favour of releasing a dissenting Democrat memo, which has just been made public (with security redactions). Immediately following that Republicans a point by point ‘refutation’.

About the only thing being enhanced in all of this is the mayhem and mess.

Full text of the ‘Shiff’ memo: Democrats’ response to the Nunes memo was just released

Vox: The Democratic rebuttal to the Nunes memo tears it apart

Washington Examiner: Devin Nunes shares ‘point by point’ refutation of Democratic memo

And of course President Trump has again claimed everything vindicates him and he has done nothing wrong. CNN: Trump calls Schiff a ‘bad guy,’ Democratic memo ‘a nothing’

President Donald Trump hit back at top House Intelligence Committee Democrat Adam Schiff in an interview Saturday night, dismissing a Democratic memo on FBI surveillance released earlier in the day as “a nothing.”

“He’ll leak all sorts of information. You know, he’s a bad guy,” Trump said Saturday in an interview on Fox News. “Certainly the memo was a nothing.”

Trump said the Democratic memo “really verifies” the GOP memo.

“A lot of bad things happened on the other side — not on this side but on the other side — and somebody should look into it because what they did is really fraudulent,” Trump said of Democrats.

Later in the interview, Trump argued that there was no collusion between him and Russia.

“I had no phone calls. No meetings. No nothing. There’s no collusion,” Trump said.

That doesn’t rule out possible actions by people working for Trump on his campaign team.

He continued, referring to Hillary Clinton, “I don’t want to sound braggadocious. I was a far better candidate. She was not a good candidate. She went to the wrong states.”

Trump continues to claim his election success was solely due to his modest brilliance as a candidate.

Some details in a convoluted shit fight here: Democratic rebuttal to GOP House Intelligence memo released

Democrats say their memo, spearheaded by ranking member Adam Schiff, D-Calif., was written as a rebuttal to provide greater context to a Republican memo that was released earlier this month, which outlines abuses by the FBI and the Justice Department against the Trump campaign, particularly in the write-up and approval of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant applications to spy on ex-Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

The Democratic memo says in its first page that “FBI and DOJ officials did not ‘abuse’ the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process, omit material information, or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign.”

It adds, “In fact, DOJ and the FBI would have been remiss in their duty to protect the country had they not sought a FISA warrant and repeated renewals to conduct temporary surveillance of Carter Page, someone the FBI assessed to be an agent of the Russian government.

A key point in the GOP memo, put together by Nunes and staff, claims Justice Department and FBI officials used “Trump dossier” author Christopher Steele was played an important role in the initial and all three renewal FISA applications to spy on Page. The dossier from Steele, an ex-British spy, is filled with salacious and unverified claims about President Trump’s ties to Russia. A crucial source of funding for the dossier, Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, as well as Steele’s anti-Trump bias were also left out by the DOJ and FBI, the GOP memo alleged, addressing a major area of concern of Republicans and Trump supporters.

The Democratic memo makes the case the that agencies covered themselves appropriately.

“DOJ provided additional information obtained through multiple independent sources that corroborated Steele’s reporting,” the document says on page four about the FISA renewals.

The Russians don’t need to try to interfere in US democracy, the Americans are making enough of a mess of their own affairs without outside help.

US ‘intelligence’ is taking a hammering.



  1. David

     /  February 26, 2018

    The Dems memo still has the FBI and DOJ using a dossier they themselves said was salacious and unverified to obtain a warrant to spy on the campaign of the opposition, McCabe and Comey both admitted to this under oath.
    That in itself I find outrageous, imagine if English was using the SIS to spy on Ardern and using a National party research paper authored by a foreign spy that you couldnt verify was accurate as the reason for the spying.

    • Griff

       /  February 26, 2018

      That in itself I find outrageous, imagine if English was using the SIS to spy on Ardern and using a National party research paper authored by a foreign spy that you couldnt verify was accurate as the reason for the spying.

      Imagine if someone in Ardenn’s team was being investigated by the SIS because multiple sources have informed them that Ardenn’s team was colluding with foreign agents to influence our election process. Imagine if four members of said team had already been charged with lying to the investigation about involvement with foreign agents.
      Imagine if Ardeen and the labor party then attacked the SIS to try to stop the investigation.
      Imagine if to do so they released a memo that was proven to hide important information.
      Then imagine how smegging stupid those who still say there was no collusion look.

      • David

         /  February 26, 2018

        You kinda missed everything pertinent there fella.

        • Griff

           /  February 26, 2018

          Keep it up Dave.

          Its smegging funny and makes all your politics look just as absurd.

          • David

             /  February 26, 2018

            “smegging” what are you 5 years old.

            • Griff

               /  February 26, 2018

              Oh dear
              no Dave
              I am not 5 years old

              “Smeg” is a mild vulgarism which reached prominence through its use as a supposedly inoffensive expletive in the British science fiction situation comedy Red Dwarf. During the 22nd Century, the term “smeg” seems to have become a popular vulgarism, with variations such as Smegger, smeg off, smegging hell and smeghead.

              As posting fuck is not really acceptable on this forum I use the milder word smeg.
              Means the same thing .
              Smegging funny means it is really really funny .
              In a look at the {redacted} sort of way.
              As has been pointed out by both others and I your reality level is extremely compromised.
              A.K.A deluded …
              That is very amusing to me

              You kinda get the feeling that the Democrat memo is something of a nothing burger, even the NYTimes, CNN and CBS are largely ignoring it. I guess because of the important things it doesn’t address its all just a little embarrassing for the increasingly hysterical Schiff.

              Democratic intelligence memo released
              CBS News 25 Feb 2018
              2 Weeks After Trump Blocked It, Democrats’ Rebuttal of G.O.P. Memo Is Released
              By NICHOLAS FANDOSFEB. 24, 2018
              Nunes memo — wife or mother-in-law?
              CNN 5 Feb 2018
              [The Hill (blog)]
              CNN’s Wolf Blitzer grills Republican rep on Nunes memo release
              The Hill (blog) 3 Feb 2018
              Well no they are not actually ignoring it in the real world only in your head.

              I find such thought patterns as you display provide a great deal of mirth.
              Unsurprisingly your hero D Trump seems to be as distant from reality as you are.
              I do have pity for the poor peploe of the USA with its leadership being in the hands of a buffoon considered to be a gibbering loon on the world stage.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  February 26, 2018

      Read the Schiff memo David. It rebuts your misrepresentations, and points out that:

      – the FBI had independent reasons “to believe Carter Page was knowingly helping Russian intelligence.” – that’s independent of the Steele dossier

      – the DOJ disclosed “the assessed political motivation of those who hired” Steele

      – the DOJ provided “a comprehensive explanation of Russia’s election interference, including evidence that Russia courted…Papadopoulos,” and that information “provided the Court with a broader context in which to evaluate Russia’s clandestine activities.”

      – Steele never received payment from the FBI for any ‘dossier’-related information.”

      – the Strzok/Page texts “are irrelevant to the FISA application,” and that Nunes “omits inconvenient text messages, in which they critiqued a wide range of other officials and candidates from both parties.”

      Bear in mind too that Nunes has already admitted he’d never read the FISA warrant he focused his memo on. And that three years before the 2016 presidential campaign and the creation of the dossier, Page was interviewed by FBI counterintelligence agents investigating whether one of Page’s closest associates was a Russian intelligence agent.

      Reading both memos side by side makes clear that there was nothing to the initial Nunes attack against the Justice Department to begin with.

      The need for a Democratic response is a symptom of the sickness of our political culture. But what do you do when one of the two major parties is willing to destroy the norms that holds America together if doing so brings short-term political victory? The GOP is happy to have a thoroughly corrupt moron like Nunes undermine America’s security and law enforcement agencies with distortions and falsehoods, simply to protect a corrupt, incompetent President.

      • David

         /  February 26, 2018

        You are wrong on so many details, too many to bother correcting.

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  February 26, 2018

          “too many to bother correcting” – but you’re bothered enough to troll my comment.

          David you know the Nunes propaganda piece is a verified assemblage of lies and distractions and Nunes is the liar who did trump’s dirty work for him, notwithstanding the four GOP appointed judges who signed off on the warrant and renewals. So call their arses into a public hearing and ask them…. Is Nunes going to do that?…..naw.

          You just don’t care. That’s why you’re ignoring the Demo.

        • Mefrostate

           /  February 26, 2018

          Point them out or shut up. Joe’s counter points come straight from the memo.

  2. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 26, 2018

    There’s something of importance in the Schiff memo that the trump-fluffers are willfully blind to.

    The memo provides more details about what Papadopoulos told Alexander Downer about the Russian outreach via Joseph Mifsud. That passage reads:

    George Papadopoulos revealed [redacted] that individuals linked to Russia, who took interest in Papadopoulos as a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, informed him in late April 2016 that Russia [two lines redacted]. Papadopoulos’s disclosure, moreover, occurred against the backdrop of Russia’s aggressive covert campaign to influence our elections, which the FBI was already monitoring. We would later learn in Papadopoulos’s plea that the information the Russians could assist by anonymously releasing were thousands of Hillary Clinton emails.

    The “the information the Russians could assist by anonymously releasing” language is new. When you read redacted documents, you look for necessary prior statements that are redacted. This is one such case. The reference “the information the Russians could assist by anonymously releasing” presupposes an earlier reference describing it.

    While the description of what Papadopoulos said is redacted, the context makes it clear (as does the Adam Schiff tweet below) that Papadopoulos didn’t tell Downer specifically what Russia had told him was available, only that they could release it to help trump.

    But that Mifsud told Papadopoulos that the Russians were thinking of releasing it to help trump is news, important news. It means the discussions of setting up increasingly senior levels of meetings between Russia and the trump campaign took place against the offer of help in the form of released kompromat.

    Which, particularly given the evidence that Papadopoulos shared that information with the campaign, makes the June 9 meeting in trump towers still more damning.

  3. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 26, 2018

    The clear implication of this poor redacting is that by September 2016, the FBI had some number of distinct open counterintelligence probes, each tied to a different individual. For my money: Papadopoulus, Manafort, Page, Gates.

    The Republican talking points largely don’t contest the factual statements made in the Schiff Memo – let’s call it the Demo – and that’s a damning omission about a document that itself alleges a set of damning omissions.

  4. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 26, 2018

    One of the ironies in this whole exchange of memos debacle is the way weasel Nunes has done a complete 180 on unmasking.

    Last year Nunes put out a false narrative that Obama administration officials had allegedly sought the unmasking of people whose identities had been “minimized”—masked by generic words like “U.S. Person #1” in intelligence reporting—for supposedly political reasons.

    Central to all of that was Nunes’ claim that former national security adviser Susan Rice “unmasked” or revealed the identities of Americans swept up in intelligence reports.

    Leave aside for the time being that there appears to be no evidence that anyone behaved inappropriately in whatever unmaskings took place during that episode.

    Now Nunes’s complaint is exactly the opposite: that the FBI hasn’t unmasked the identities of U.S. persons and entities in its interactions with the FISA court.

    But of course Nunes’ explanation is that “I can do whatever I want, I’m the chairman of the committee,”

  5. David

     /  February 26, 2018

    You kinda get the feeling that the Democrat memo is something of a nothing burger, even the NYTimes, CNN and CBS are largely ignoring it. I guess because of the important things it doesn’t address its all just a little embarrassing for the increasingly hysterical Schiff.

  6. Mefrostate

     /  February 26, 2018

    Here’s a summary of the key points made in the Democrat memo, courtesy of reddit:

    * Steele Dossier played NO role in opening the Carter Page investigation. They began their investigation prior to even receiving it.

    * The DOJ did in fact inform the court of the origin of the Steele Dossier.

    * They accuse Nunes of deliberately misrepresenting the underlying FISA Warrant intelligence.

    * Four different judge’s approved FISA warrants including judge’s appointed by Bush and Reagan. Multiple DOJ officials also approved the applications prior to the court even seeing them including Trump appointees Rosenstein and Boente.

    * They actually started listening to Page after he left Trump campaign so the idea they were watching him to spy on Trump is absurd.

    * Page has a long history with Russia going back to 2004 and was being actively investigated once before already in 2013. The FBI had even interviewed him in 2016 again prior to receiving the Steele Dossier. The Steele dossier was referenced in the application as corroboration of certain things, and not to independently demonstrate.

    * A bunch of blacked out additional evidence with a bit in the middle noting Page lied to the HIC in his testimony in 2017 about meeting with Russian officials.

    * It included the footnote that discusses the Steele dossier source which SPECIFICALLY STATES …”The FBI speculates the the unidentified U.S. Person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign.” Candidate 1 is Trump I believe, edit I previously thought Person 1 was Steele, this is the person coordinating with Steele. Steele is Source #1.

    * DOJ timely informed the court when the FBI fired Steele and why.

    * The attacks on Bruce Ohr for knowing Steele/and his wife working for Fusion GPS are 100% baseless. He was not involved in the FISA process and disclosed his relationships in November 2016.

    If this is all true, Nunes should resign.

    • High Flying Duck

       /  February 26, 2018

      This Carter Page sounds like a nasty piece of work…how come he hasn’t been accused of or charged with any offences after all this wiretapping based on credible intelligence?

      ““At the time of the initial application, all of the Steele dossier’s specific claims about Page — including that he met with Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin in Moscow in July 2016 — were uncorroborated by any independent source, and they remain unconfirmed.”

      Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, in closed-door committee testimony, was asked what part of the dossier charges had been confirmed. He answered: Mr. Page’s trip to Moscow. The trip was publicly known and covered by local press.

      Mr. Page has spent hours answering questions from FBI agents. He testified under oath before Congress that he never met with Mr. Sechin or Mr. Diveykin and never discussed bribes for sanction relief.

      He has not been charged with any crime.”

      • Mefrostate

         /  February 26, 2018

        I see two likelihoods with Page. First, that he continues to engage in illegal activities on monitored channels, so it’s more beneficial to leave him at liberty than to charge him. He doesn’t seem the brightest tool, so this seems quite possible. Or second, that he has been quietly flipped and is working on behalf of Mueller as part of a plea deal. Either way, I suspect he’s a crucial piece of the house of cards.

    • David

       /  February 26, 2018

      Not sure if you are award Mefrostate is the memo is just a bunch of stuff pulled together by an ultra partisan Democrat, there is much left out much hinting at high crimes etc. and is pretty much worthless. At least the Republican one had a bit of juicy gossip although again it was just a partisan memo but it lasted in the media for more than 12 hours it took before sensible journalists quietly ignored the Schiff one.
      Fringe people on fringe websites ares till excited as well as the suffers of TDS but lets wait and see if Mueller comes up with any collusion involving Trump because there is nothing yet.

      • Mefrostate

         /  February 26, 2018

        I agree that it’s a partisan response to a partisan memo. I disagree with the politicisation of the USHIC and the release of classified intel for partisan attacks, but all the blame for that is on the Republican majority. The Demcorat response is, I believe, entirely justified by the gross misrepresentations in the Nunes memo.

        There is far more juicy detail in the Democrat than in the Nunes memo.

        The media response to the Nunes memo was pretty muted too, despite all the #ReleaseTheMemo hype (much of which was Russian-boosted). Mostly because its content wasn’t that outrageous (despite being half-truths).

        I agree that the media haven’t been covering the Democrat memo as much as they should, but then again that also destroys the ‘liberal media’ narrative. Thanks for that.

        We certainly do have to wait and see on Mueller’s investigation. Certainly he’s doing good work, with 19 individuals indicted so far, including 6 close Trump associates and further verified proof of Russian meddling (about which Trump has still done nothing).

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 26, 2018

      the FBI and Justice Department went to a secret court with secret documents for a secret warrant to spy on a U.S. citizen. To obtain this warrant, they submitted an unverified dossier, failing to disclose that the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign paid for it, and that the source was unreliable and was soon thereafter going to be fired.

      Furthermore, the Schiff memo doesn’t refute that other key information was not disclosed to the judges: Dossier author Christopher Steele was a source for the Yahoo story used in the FISA court to corroborate the dossier; the wife of Justice official Bruce Ohr worked for Fusion GPS, the research firm that hired Steele; Steele and Fusion GPS directly fed Ohr their file to be submitted to the court; and Carter Page and George Papadopoulos weren’t actually associates. Unfortunately, this is just a small sampling of the information that should have been submitted to the FISA court but wasn’t.

      The government needs to disclose evidence that both helps its case and hurts it. FISA collection on an American is an extremely powerful tool, and any abuse is a huge problem. In other courts, a citizen facing charges has the right to be present with counsel, engage in discovery, and present evidence. Proceedings are often open to the public, videotaped and transcribed.

      At a FISA court, the process is very different, with the government being the only party presenting evidence. Nowhere would it be more important to present the evidence supporting not only the government’s case but also the evidence against the government’s case, because the person to be spied on is not otherwise represented. Addressing this issue should be of concern for all Americans, regardless of political affiliation. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and this abuse requires transparency, accountability and solutions.

      The person spied on has yet to be charged with any offence.
      This is a damning critique of the Page witch-hunt:

      • Mefrostate

         /  February 26, 2018

        Thanks for sharing that opinion piece from a Republican congressman, Alan. I’m sure it’s unbiased. While I’m happy to go through it piece by piece and explore how misleading it is, I don’t want to waste my time doing so.

        Could you show your interest in a good-faith discussion by first giving your opinion on each of the bullet points I provided? That seems a fair way to begin the discussion, rather than just copy-pasting articles from each ‘side’ at each other without actually engaging the points being made.

        With regard to “Page has yet to be charged with any offence”, I explain my thoughts on that above and will happily make a bet with you that prior to December 31st 2018, Page will either a) be publicly indicted, or b) be revealed to have cooperated with Mueller. If so, you donate $20 to the Green party, if not, I’ll donate to ACT.

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  February 26, 2018

          Ditto to the point-by-point summaries I’ve given earlier rebutting the Nunes Nonsense.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  February 26, 2018

          Since Page has already been “revealed to have cooperated with Mueller” extensively why would I be silly enough to take on your silly bet, Mefro? Even if I had some vested interest in Page’s fate which I don’t.

          However the second link I posted seems to be written by a knowledgeable and independent critic who makes good points about Page’s standing.

          As for Zelden, his comments stand on their own. Of course the Left will have their talking point answers on the detail in the second paragraph some of which you have already listed. The substantial issue is that the intelligence services set out to support a paid hit-man on Trump, used his inflammatory propaganda to help obtain the right to repeatedly wiretap a man associated with the Trump campaign and then fed the political hit-job on Trump with information so obtained as well as everything else they had on anyone else who had any connection with the Trump campaign.

          As for the ridiculous political gesture of indicting Russians via Mueller’s circus, what on earth is that about? Certainly that evidence was already known to the FBI who could have prosecuted a year ago had they wished – though they almost certainly didn’t as it would give away intelligence knowledge and possible sources for no benefit whatsoever. Except now to support Mueller and the Democrats perpetual attempts to score a hit on Trump.

          Bennett in my second link sums up well: It’s hardly a secret that, for a broad swath of the U.S. political classes and the American press, the removal of Trump has become the Holy Grail, the goal to which all other things must be subordinated. In this sacred endeavor, Carter Page is useful in ways that even the most cynical Russian handlers could hardly have imagined. And if his dignity and reputation must be utterly trashed in the process—well, so much the worse for Page.

          Responsible journalism dies in darkness. Or is it dankness?

          • Mefrostate

             /  February 26, 2018

            “Since Page has already been “revealed to have cooperated with Mueller” extensively why would I be silly enough to take on your silly bet, Mefro? Even if I had some vested interest in Page’s fate which I don’t.”

            His co-operation presumably explains why he hasn’t been charged with a crime, so I don’t know why thought it necessary to state “The person spied on has yet to be charged with any offence.”

            Like I said, I’m willing to engage with the Zelden & Bennett pieces, but need you to show good faith by first engaging with the points made in my initial comment, summarising the Democrat memo.

            “As for the ridiculous political gesture of indicting Russians via Mueller’s circus, what on earth is that about?”

            Trump has, for a long time, pushed a narrative that Russian interference is a “hoax” and a “made up story”, that there was “no interference”, and that the Mueller investigation is a “witch-hunt”. You’ve helped amplify this kind of messaging, by saying Mueller had only managed “trivial offences”, and attacking him as as having “achieved nothing relevant to his assignment” and suggesting it would be justification for firing Mueller.

            So, presumably Mueller indicted the Russians to prove that the investigation continues to fulfill its purpose, and to shut up persons like yourself who would defend Trump by propagating his propaganda.

          • Griff

             /  February 26, 2018

            As for the ridiculous political gesture of indicting Russians via Mueller’s circus, what on earth is that about?

            You need the corpse allan.
            Mueller is indicting the Russians to establish the crime.
            He can not get a conviction for just talking to Russians by his targets he needs to produce a linked conspiracy to an actual interference in the political system
            He has turned minor partys by charging them with lying to get them to testify on those higher up.
            Same as law enforcement does to criminal organizations.
            The leaders are not the first target
            They target mules and minor parts hoping to turn them for the evidence of the wider conspiracy of illegal behavior . and link the leaders to major crimes.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  February 26, 2018

        All that righty spin notwithstanding, the four different FISA warrants presented enough compelling evidence of the possibility of criminal behaviour that four different GOP-appointed judges thought it was not only appropriate but important enough to continue monitoring Page.

        The rest of your comment decomposes into a tearful snowflake moan about the paucity of human rights in the FISA process, which is bloody choice coming from you Alan.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  February 26, 2018

          It didn’t come from me, it came from USA Today.

          • Joe Bloggs

             /  February 26, 2018

            ‘didn’t come from me’

            Pathetic even by your standards,Al, ya poor wee snowflake.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 27, 2018
  7. Mefrostate

     /  February 26, 2018

    Trump today tweeted that the Mueller Investigation is “illegal”.

    I’m interested to hear what people think about him brazenly lying like that, about very important matters.

    • Griff

       /  February 26, 2018

      Business as usual.
      Like anything Trump says it is more probably false than true.
      My favorite one is when he complains about the division in America and goes on to stoke the fires of division moments later.

      The Republican party and Trump are attacking the very foundations of a democracy.
      Republicans have been doing so for decades.
      Trump won because of the rhetoric of the tea party, fox news,am radio et al has been engaging in and the distrust this created in the government.

      The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.

      A properly functioning democracy depends on an informed electorate.

      Thomas Jefferson

      The USA presently has a government that is controlled by moneyed incorporations and a misinformed electorate fed propaganda by Fox and others.

    • Griff

       /  February 26, 2018

      MadGrampa on Twitter:

      Fox’s confounding success in retaining and misinforming uneducated conservative viewers is the result of one particular unique behavior. And it explains the surprising ability of Fox viewers to be so susceptible to it all.

      We are all familiar with Fox’s distorted misinformation and cartoon propaganda, but Fox specializes in a more important 2nd type of broadcast. And it’s this that’s responsible for the real Fox magic.

      Every day, Fox seeks out minor, local stories and factoids that, on a practical level, are totally irrelevant for a national audience. Fox then distorts and exaggerates the stories to reveal affronts to core conservative politics or beliefs.

      For example, “US Navy veteran ordered to remove American flag wrap from mailbox.” or “Illegal immigrant charged in deadly freeway crash.” or variations on the “war on Christmas” theme etc.

      The facts of these stories impact the lives of none of Fox’s viewers, aren’t topics of national interest, and if disclosed, often weaken the story’s polarizing stance. Fox wouldn’t even broadcast these stories if it weren’t for the one critical benefit which I’ll get to.

      To achieve that benefit it’s important that the story obviously incriminate itself without overtly articulating the verdict. Fox feigns objectivity, leaving space for the viewer to judge. That’s intentional; for the system to work, the viewers MUST be one to pass judgment.

      It’s as if you’d reported “Blind man says ‘Sky is red’, wants stop sign painted blue”. By design, this triggers the viewer to cry, “THAT’S NOT RIGHT! The sky is blue! How dare he!” Many media pundits explain Fox’s stories like these as merely reinforcing viewers’ politics.

      Others argue they are designed to enrage conservative viewers. Both criticisms are correct, but there is something more at work. These stories also exist to stroke the uneducated conservative ego.

      Rage is merely an outcome of feeling “correct” in the face of a fabricated injustice within this virtual reality. Passing “correct” judgement on these self-incriminating stories make viewers feel smart. Make them feel right and righteous.

      In a world where uneducated working-class people are faced with feelings of inferiority, here comes Fox to the rescue, with a channel designed to make these viewers FEEL SUPERIOR to the very educated, “elite” people who they have felt lesser-than for so long.

      To make them feel like WINNERS. It is a kind of virtual reality that becomes addictive. A perpetual source of validation and reassurance. No other news outlet goes to such effort to make uneducated viewers feel so good about themselves.

      So naturally these viewers prefer Fox. It FEELS good to be fed a steady diet of validation. For someone to say, “You get it! Maybe you didn’t go to university, but wow, you’re intuitively smart. Who needs an education? Those guys? They’re the brainwashed ones.”

      “You’re above all that. You see the big picture. You just proved it by knowing the right answer all by yourself!” Ultimately, a steady diet of these stories makes viewers more receptive to Fox’s misinformation and propaganda when it matters.

      The addiction is powerful, and it virtually ensures that these addicts will come to Fox’s defense when needed. Fox addicts need not even believe the propaganda, they’ll support it so long as they can still feel “superior”.

      They’ll fight on facebook and twitter, supporting blatantly disingenuous claims – because it keeps them on the high, it keeps them feeling smarter and superior. And because the thought that FOX might honestly be wrong is abhorrent.

      God forbid the entire virtual reality construct might be wrong. When viewers venture away from Fox, when they read NYT, WaPo, CNN and other outlets that do not stroke the uneducated conservative ego, the world must feel suddenly cold, the bottom drops out.

      The high is gone, and those old insecurities and feelings of inferiority creep back even stronger, since they’ve been floating way up high above reality on a happy cloud. Without the high of validation, Fox viewers suffer withdrawal.

      So addictive is this feeling of finally being better, righter, smarter than others, of “winning”, that viewers will seek out “ammunition”, defensive data, links and ridiculous memes, most of them factually incorrect and disingenuous, to counter those main-stream stories…

      ..outlets and people who threaten to weaken to remove the source of emotional validation. The Fox drug.

      Donald Trump’s uneducated unsophisticated rhetoric and words serve as an extension of the Fox tactic, doing exactly the same thing. Makes these viewers feel right. Feel better about themselves than the world naturally affords.

      Makes them feel like winners. Even the label “forgotten men and women” is a pandering euphemism. These uneducated, working-class people were never “forgotten”.

      They simply hadn’t felt like they were part of a righteous, superior community before. They were just living in the real world, where having an education gives you more opportunity. These people weren’t “forgotten” they simply had (and still have) somewhat less opportunity.

      The nationally irrelevant news stories Fox broadcasts and tweets are intentionally designed to validate the egos of uneducated conservative viewers, who become addicted to the resulting feelings of superiority and in turn, become soldiers of the Fox News misinformation war.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  February 26, 2018

        As the Obamaphiles and Clinton stooges are hauled out of the swamp the juicy and slanted leaks to the Lefty media are drying up too. Expect ever more attacks on Fox by all right-thinking Lefties.

        • Gezza

           /  February 26, 2018

          I indulged in a few nights of watching box Fox News & CNN last month. They were both equally appalling. God help us if our msm ever gets as blatantly partisan as that.