Opinion: Michael Flynn got fired because the press did its job


Matt Poe

Matt Poe

Dear reader: There is no satire in today’s column. This is largely due to the fact that I simply can’t make this stuff up anymore, at least not for today. I just can’t — and won’t — do it because my sanity is slowly slipping, and I need a firm kick in the groin today from reality rather than an escape.

On that note, let’s see what’s happening today in the circus that’s become our executive branch.

As many of you know, national security adviser and ornery schnauzer Michael Flynn resigned this week amidst major scrutiny and allegations that he had contact with Russian intelligence, unbeknownst to many in the White House.

The findings allege Flynn had contact with a Russian ambassador and misled Vice President Mike Pence on much of the information discussed between the two; there was supposedly considerable contact with the Russians during Trump’s campaign bid for the presidency as well. Pence allegedly did not find out he been misled until two weeks after the information was exchanged.

Oh Mike, your level of unawareness continues to amaze me. Don’t ever change.

The allegations are disturbing for a variety of reasons, beginning with the fact that anyone who declared themselves some ‘truther’ or conspiracy theorist on Russia’s interference with the general election suddenly doesn’t sound like such a crackpot.

All of us who wore tinfoil hats and had our suspicions about Russia’s serious meddling and instigation for the last 16 months would like a sincere apology — you owe us that much.  

On the other hand, it’s been absolutely hilarious to watch the way this administration has dealt with the termination of Flynn, with different members providing completely different statements on the security of his former job. Monday afternoon, counselor to the president and sleep-deprived organism Kellyanne Conway said that His Orangeness had full confidence in Flynn.

After Flynn’s resignation late Monday night, press secretary and rabid guard dog Sean Spicer essentially said that Trump had been briefed on the allegations three weeks prior to Flynn’s resignation, yet Flynn kept his job. I think poor Spicey just needs a hug, a Milkbone and to have someone tell him everything’s going to be OK.

All this culminated in His Orangeness finally taking the stage on Wednesday afternoon during a joint conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the relationship between the two countries.

When the press got its turn to seek comment, little attention was turned to the allegations surrounding Flynn’s resignation. As CNN’s Brooke Baldwin alluded to, he only took questions from conservative-based news outlets, which gave Trump the chance to hedge his answers where he saw fit.

How did President Cheeto assess the aforementioned allegations and resignation of a key member of his administration? He did what he does best: blame the media, stating that Flynn was treated very unfairly. He also managed to drop “fake news” and “sad” in there, for which I proceeded to smack myself in the forehead in response.

You might be asking yourself why I’ve subjected you, dear reader, to this timeline of shenanigans, which oftentimes seems endless. The revelatory impact that Flynn’s allegations pose — aside from the increasingly likelihood of ties between the Trump campaign and presidency with Russia —  is the revelation of how this administration assesses and conducts itself.

Make no mistake: Flynn did not get fired because of the recklessness in which he acted, nor did he get fired for misleading his bosses about the alleged information. He didn’t get fired because he possibly put sensitive information in harm’s way because of gross negligence (or worse, purposely).

Flynn got fired because the press did its job by investigating and reporting the facts, largely due to the outstanding reporting of The Washington Post and The New York Times.

Think about it. It took two to three weeks for Flynn’s resignation to occur after White House officials had allegedly already known about allegations.

If this doesn’t prove how little respect His Orangeness has for the free press, I don’t know what will.

Had The Washington Post not continued to break this story for the months leading up to Flynn’s resignation, I seriously believe he’d still be employed under the Trump administration.

This administration continues to prove both to itself and the American public that it doesn’t give a rat’s ass about proper protocol or integrity in its actions.

It’s the same administration that repeatedly praised WikiLeaks when such leaks benefitted them, only to damn them when that same method is not beneficial to them or to the fear-mongering veil they operate under.

And where are all the people who blasted former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her use of a private server when this poses a much more serious breach in protocol? Sitting in silence with no cries for an investigation being sounded because it would not behoove this administration.

You can thank The Washington Post and others for making this troublesome story known to the public and, while many in this country continue to believe investigative journalism is dead, I’ll cheerfully point to this as a counterargument.

If only for today, chalk one up for the good guys.

Matt Poe is a columnist, contact him at [email protected].