The Other McCain

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MSNBC and CNN Are Trying to Spin the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal Against Trump

Posted on | July 9, 2019 | 1 Comment

Everybody with access to a computer can discover that Bill Clinton took dozens of flights on billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s private jet, nicknamed the “Lolita Express,” and yet viewers of the liberal cable channels are being treated to a warped version of the story in which Epstein is falsely depicted as Donald Trump’s best friend, and the real scandal involves Trump’s Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta.

This partisan spin is being replicated on broadcast network news, as Kristine Marsh of Newsbusters notes that ABC’s Good Morning America (hosted by former Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos) covered the latest Epstein charges without even mentioning Bill Clinton:

CBS and NBC, on the other hand, tried to connect Epstein to Trump. While NBC’s Stephanie Gosk gave a passing mention to both Clinton and Trump (without any mention of the “Lolita Express”), CBS This Morning’s Mola Lenghi spent more time on both Trump and Clinton, while emphasizing comments Trump made praising Epstein in 2002:

Epstein has had several high-profile friendships in the past. Bill Clinton reportedly rode on his jet more than a dozen times in the early 2000s. In a 2002 interview, then private citizen Donald Trump called Epstein ‘a terrific guy’ and ‘it’s even said he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them, are on the younger side.’

However, Lenghi didn’t mention that after Epstein had been convicted of assaulting an underage girl, Trump had barred him from Mar-a-Lago. 
All three networks didn’t mention either that Epstein was a major donor to Democrats for years, a fact that most certainly would’ve made the cut had he donated to Republicans.

“Democratic Party operatives with bylines,” as someone keeps saying.

As for the question of why Acosta, as a federal prosecutor in 2008, gave Epstein a “sweetheart deal” (a phrase repeated endlessly on MSNBC and CNN), this is explained by the fact that (a) Epstein is a wealthy man who could afford the best defense lawyers in the country, and (b) prosecutors generally prefer plea bargains to court trials, especially in cases like this one. Would you want to put Epstein’s former victims on the witness stand and expose them to cross-examination, with defense lawyers picking apart every detail of their testimony and every contradiction between what they said in court and what they’d previously told investigators?

Beyond any consideration of partisan politics or media bias, the aspersions being cast on Acosta for a lenient plea-bargain with Epstein are an appeal to ignorance, intended to inflame the indignation of people whose ideas of the criminal justice system are based on watching TV dramas like Law & Order: SVU and CSI Miami. In the real world, people who commit very serious crimes of violence — armed robbery, aggravated assault, rape — are allowed to plead guilty to lesser charges and often turned loose after only a year or two in jail. If you imagine that prosecutors had an slam-dunk case against Epstein and had nothing to lose by taking the caase to trial, you can make Acosta the villain in the story. Watching MSNBC this morning, viewers might be forgiven for suspecting that Acosta himself was banging teenage girls on Epstein’s private island, such is the presentation of the story. The focus on Acosta, however, is simply a way to divert attention from Bill Clinton’s notorious association with Epstein, and to turn this story into a Trump scandal.



 

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