A while back, President Trump declared CNN "fake news" on Twitter. If you thought that was overstating it, get a load of its latest claim that the public is just pining for a special prosecutor on the increasingly hoary claim that "Russia hacked the election."
Really? Really really rilly rilly? I find that extremely hard to believe, just on the surface. I hear no such talk in bank lines, on the headlines of supermarket tabloids, on radio talk show banter, at gas stations, at Starbucks, and even in politically correct classrooms. So color me skeptical.
Unfortunately, skepticism is what's lacking in the reportage from the writer, who had otherwise been a fairly good journalist, Chris Cillizza, who wrote this tripe under his own byline. You'd think he'd know better.
CNN's Cillizza cites an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll purporting to represent the entire nation from a tiny sample of 350 people, not all of them so much as registered voters. Citing President Trump's skepticism about the Democrats' demand for a special prosecutor, Cillizza writes:
The public very much disagrees, according to new numbers from a NBC-Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday. Almost eight in ten people – 78% – said they would prefer an investigation led by an independent prosecutor or independent commission. Just 15% said they preferred an investigation led by Congress.
It's nothing but a partisan hack. The strange poll, with its far-fetched conclusions, is the Democrats' bid to use polls to pressure President Trump into doing what President Obama always refused to do even in the face of the most egregious scandals (Loretta Lynch on the tarmac with Bill Clinton, Lois Lerner using IRS resources to illegally target dissidents and then retiring with a comfy pension). NBC/Wall Street Journal's poll is led by a former Democratic Party operative with a long record of activism for progressive causes, and this one appears to be just another errand in that service. The tiny poll sample of a mere 350 people should be the first clue. The Democratic talking points on special prosecutor should be another. And who's paying for this remains a worthy inquiry Cillizza could look into, instead of merely transmitting this partisan tripe, if he wants to preserve his journalistic reputation.
But perhaps even more important, the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has a long record of inaccuracy. They were one of the surprised ones on election night 2016, for one, forecasting a Hillary Clinton victory with a four-point margin the day before elections in 2016. On Nov. 6, NBC's headline blared, "Final NBC/WSJ Poll: Clinton Holds a Four-Point National Lead Over Trump."
They also reported an 11-point Clinton lead in October, just after embarrassing "locker room talk" tapes were released by Clinton supporters in the television industry. Conservative Treehouse has an excellent piece debunking the accuracy of that one, unpacking the factors that call into question the poll's objectivity there, too.
Now they're beating the drum for a special prosecutor despite a massive absence of evidence that any Russian hacking of the election took place, and that any sitting Trump operatives colluded with the Russians to make that happen. The evidence remains that Russians were on friendly terms with Hillary Clinton, had gained a great deal from gamy deals connected to her Clinton Foundation, and fully expected her to win on election night. There's not a scintilla of evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians to steal the election.
The sad story remains that Clinton was a poor candidate, showed contempt for voters, ran a very low-energy sickness-plagued campaign, refused to go to Wisconsin to campaign, and had a historic pendulum swing against her. That's why she lost. The Democrats remain in denial about this and now want to enshrine their "narrative" blaming the Russians into the historic record through a special prosecutor.
Trump should treat this with the contempt it deserves. He's vindicated on calling CNN "fake news."