Archive: Political Expedience.
Note: The source of the article being a politically progressive one (Forward Progressives) should have its bias counteracted by the use of a direct quote from a politically conservative site (Breitbart), so any accusation of liberal media bias is still just another conspiracy theory dog whistle.
Written By Allen Clifton
By now most have heard about Donald Trump’s ridiculous assertion that on September 11, 2001 he witnessed – with his own eyes – “thousands and thousands” of people celebrating in the streets of New Jersey as the World Trade Center buildings came down in the worst terrorist attack in our nation’s history.
There’s just one problem with that whole “thousands celebrating in New Jersey” thing – it never happened. This isn’t a matter of objectivity, hearsay or opinion. What Trump is claiming he witnessed with his own eyes never occurred. But not only does Trump claim he witnessed these “thousands and thousands” of people celebrating, he also claims that there was “extensive coverage” of these events at the time.
There’s a big problem with that assertion as well, since there doesn’t seem to be a media entity – anywhere – that can produce any archived footage, articles or any sort of coverage of these supposed celebrations. Nor does there seem to be any private photos or videos of the “thousands and thousands” of people Trump claims to have witnessed celebrating. I emphasize “thousands and thousands” because it’s important to note that Trump isn’t talking about a handful of people who might have been celebrating.
He’s claiming that there were thousands celebrating in New Jersey. Again, he claims there were thousands of people celebrating in the streets of New Jersey, literally just a couple of miles away from the smoldering World Trade Center buildings – and there’s not a single shred of evidence anywhere to support his claim.
Well, apparently the Trump campaign knows why: It’s a massive conspiracy against him. During an interview with Breitbart News, Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski went on to say that the reason there’s no evidence of these celebrations is because there’s a huge [cover-up] going on within the media to conceal the records of these events:
“For the mainstream media to go out and say that this didn’t happen is just factually inaccurate. We know it happened. They should go back and check the FBI records. Mr. Trump has provided them local media outlets that have covered this coverage that they don’t want to go and talk about. He’s provided many opportunities for them to go and see it but they have their own agenda, the media has their own agenda. They want to try and discredit as many people as possible so they can have an establishment candidate come in and think that everything is going to be the same because they are all controlled by the special interests and they are all controlled by the media and it is what the American people are just so tired of.”
Sounds a lot like most of the random word salad conspiracy theories you might see posted as replies on Facebook, doesn’t it? Not only is the Trump campaign sticking with the narrative that Donald Trump really witnessed these non-existent celebrations, but they’re claiming Trump has provided evidence of such events when no evidence exists. Then they want us to believe that the media (including Fox News, apparently) continues to ignore the “evidence” he’s given them in an elaborate attempt to discredit him so an “establishment” candidate can win.
This is insanity. There are plenty of media figures who like Trump – especially within the conservative media. If there’s evidence that “thousands and thousands” of people were celebrating in the streets of New Jersey, certainly these pro-Trump folks would love to use this evidence to defend him publicly against these “media attacks.” So, why hasn’t he given this evidence to them? Better yet, why doesn’t Trump just release it himself? Why go through “the media” (who he claims is suppressing the evidence) when he could easily expose this “evidence” himself? Clearly all these questions are rhetorical.
The reason why Trump can’t do any of that is because what he’s saying never happened. Nor is there some massive conspiracy within the media to hide the non-existent evidence. The issue here is, Trump’s an idiot. He lied like he almost always does and dug himself into a hole in the aftermath. The only real choices he has against growing scrutiny are to either admit he lied or claim there’s a huge conspiracy to hide the non-existent evidence.
Clearly he’s not going to admit that he lied, because that would deal a huge blow to his campaign, so he’s going the conspiracy route because he really has no other options. Normally, exploiting 9/11 with such an obvious lie would be a huge blow to a candidate’s campaign, but I’m almost certain the vast majority of his supporters actually believe these celebrations occurred – even though there’s not a single shred of evidence to support anything he’s saying.