The Russian Collusion mythology is the most dominant story in the news media and has been for the past eighteen months… dating back to November 7, 2016. And when one examines the contemporaneous reporting by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes in their excellent book Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.
Allen and Parnes had incredible access to the entire Clinton campaign infrastructure because their book was really meant to be a historical account of the triumphant campaign for the first female president in American history.
As we know, it didn’t work out that way. And the authors’ account of the immediate aftermath tells us much about how the media were spoon-fed the collusion narrative: (emphasis added)
“She’s not being particularly self -reflective,” said one longtime ally who was on calls with her shortly after the election. Instead, Hillary kept pointing her finger at Comey and Russia. “She wants to make sure all these narratives get spun the right way,” this person said.
And if the Clinton campaign was good at anything, it was making sure narratives were “spun the right way.” So, the entire team, within 24 hours of the devastating loss, assembled to hatch the story. The scene, as painted with amazing detail by Allen and Parnes, sounds like a writers’ room for a television drama. The creative writing team throwing lots of story ideas around to see which one the consensus likes the most.
That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.
In Brooklyn, her team coalesced around the idea that Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign, overshadowed by the contents of stolen e-mails and Hillary’s own private- server imbroglio.
Of course, the plan would only work if the media took the bait. They had that angle knitted up. All they had to do was focus their anger and ire at their friends in the press and accuse them of being at fault for Trump’s victory.
They also decided to hammer the media for focusing so intently on the investigation into her e-mail, which had created a cloud over her candidacy. “The press botched the e-mail story for eighteen months,” said one person who was in the room. “Comey obviously screwed us, but the press created the story.”
“It was all your fault,” they’d say to their pals in the press. And now, they had to make good.
Listen to the pertinent passage from the audio book that I played on my radio program on WMAL in Washington DC: