December 22, 2016
Cesca ended his piece by stressing the need to take immediate action to eliminate the threat of fake news.
Okay, you gotta understand the skill, the exquisite sleight of hand, that we witnessed there. This was close-up magic at its finest. Of course Cesca is completely wrong, 100 percent wrong, in his explanation of the letter. Of course the correct interpretation is the one made by everyone but Bob Cesca. “In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the unrelated case” is a nonsense sentence, especially in the context of the rest of the letter. Comey was perfectly clear that in the course of the unrelated investigation, emails were discovered that might be pertinent to the recently concluded Clinton case. So let’s break down Cesca’s trick, Penn and Teller-style: He begins by calling a real story a fake story. He then presents his own fake story as the debunking of the real story he’s deceptively presented as fake. He gaslights his readers by telling them they didn”t read what they absolutely did just read, bullying them into thinking that their incorrect (in reality, correct) interpretation is due to comprehension problems on their part. He then provides the “right” interpretation, so that everyone can feel smart again, and he concludes his fake news piece by calling for immediate action to put an end to the scourge of fake news pieces.
Okay, that’s skill. It’s a subtle, well-crafted, multilayered, and well-executed con. Bravo!
I”ve always enjoyed a very friendly email relationship with Daily Banter media editor Chez Pazienza, at one point even assisting him with potential story ideas (sure, he’s a lefty, but we have a mutual friend who’s my oldest and dearest friend in the world, going back 37 years). I emailed Chez to ask if he stands by Cesca’s interpretation of the Comey letter. Multiple emails sent, no replies (he’s never before ignored any of my emails). I emailed Cesca to ask if I may pose an on-the-record question to him about one of his pieces. He said sure. I asked him if he stands by his interpretation of the Comey letter, and”like the fine magician he is”he vanished into thin air!
Which brings us full circle back to the Russian question. This is nothing more than another example of Democrat sleight of (left) hand. No, the Russians did not “hack the election”; Hillary Clinton, the DNC, and John Podesta had their emails hacked. Russians may have done it, “the Russians” may have done it, or someone else entirely may have done it, but even if the Russians did do it, the result was not a hacked election but a better-informed electorate (albeit via unethical means, as in the Romney situation). And no, the Russians did not flood the market with fake news. The fake news came primarily from clumsy anti-Trump zealots who had the idiotic idea that fake Clinton stories would in some way harm Trump instead, and by skilled ideologues like Bob Cesca, who invested a lot of time and effort into subtle fakery, only to see it come to nothing.
You see, there’s the irony. The clumsy, amateurish fakery did work, just in a way that was the exact opposite of what the fake-news trolls intended. But the subtle fakery of a pseudo-journalist like Bob Cesca? Well, if we”re going to talk about “comprehension skills,” if Cesca had possessed any, he”d have learned a lesson that those of us who”d actually been paying attention during the past year and a half already knew: If there was one defining characteristic of the 2016 presidential race, it was that subtlety had no place in it.