On October 7th, one month before the election, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security released this joint statement:
“The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow—the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities.”
So, we knew the Russians were interfering with our election process. We were told. Or were we?
On the day after the joint statement was released, WikiLeaks began near daily dumps from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s email account, generating a month of largely negative reporting on Clinton, her campaign staff, her husband, and their foundation.
Also on October 7th, reports of Trump’s pussy comment emerged. And of all the news that day, that is what the media and the people focused on.
Today, more stories and op eds have been published informing us about the Russian infiltration. But in none of that coverage do the media own their culpability in hiding the truth from us. They tell us, instead, of how Americans are supposed to accept election outcomes—“the will of the people”—, ensure a peaceful transition of power, and move on to fight another day. They tell us of how and why the Democrats failed.
Progressives like us are investing a lot of time and money in post-election discussions, protests, resistance, and other efforts to change the dangerous trajectory of our country. But perhaps we’re missing what should be our most critical focus—the abdication of the media’s role as implied by the First Amendment.
The Russians have infiltrated our politics and undermined our most basic right to vote. We need to start wrapping our minds around the severe, long-range implications of that foreign intervention in our government. And we need to force the media to do the same.
A lifelong communicator, I'm pretty sure I came out of the womb talking. But with no siblings to chat and play with, I learned to express myself in writing. My subsequent birth as a politics junkie came while I watched my father, a career Marine, sob uncontrollably over Kennedy's assassination. Intuitively, I knew the world would never be the same, and I should pay attention. So I did.
Now, some 50 years later, I find myself dumbfounded by the trajectory of American politics and the prevalence of ignorance, bigotry, hate, and violence. I started Two Cents of Sense, hoping to help change that trajectory and to promote progressives' conversation, knowledge sharing, and actions.