Several weeks ago, Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, announced to his newsroom that it was time to shift the paper’s focus away from coverage of President Donald Trump.
“We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well,” Baquet told Times employees in a company town hall on Aug. 12, according to a transcript obtained by Slate. “Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story.”
That story, according to Baquet, includes writing “more deeply about the country, race, and other divisions.”
“I mean, the vision for coverage for the next two years is what I talked about earlier: How do we cover a guy who makes these kinds of remarks?” Baquet said. “How do we cover the world’s reaction to him? How do we do that while continuing to cover his policies? How do we cover America, that’s become so divided by Donald Trump?”
But some people can’t move on to a “different story.” Some people are permanently stuck shipping Trump and Vladimir Putin.
Alas, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die.
A new controversy deals with whether or not Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s lawyers, improperly pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate a deal between former Vice President Joe Biden’s son and a Ukrainian gas firm.
Ukraine is kind of like Russia, right? And Giuliani is kind of like Trump? Now we really have a storm brewing!
The chairs of three House committees have requested an investigation into Giuliani’s dealings with the Ukrainian government.
So, why investigate? Here’s how the BBC describes the story: “Mr Trump and his fellow Republicans have questioned whether it represented a conflict of interest that Hunter Biden had served on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company.
“In May, Ukraine’s prosecutor general said there was no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe or Hunter Biden.
“Mr Biden has previously boasted of how as US vice-president he threatened in March 2016 to withhold $1bn in loan guarantees to Ukraine unless it removed its allegedly corrupt prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin.”
The story doesn’t end there, however.
“Mr Shokin, who soon afterwards left office, had begun an investigation into Burisma, though it was reportedly inactive at the time he lost his job.”
In other words, Biden was pushing for the removal of a prosecutor general who was investigating (or had investigated) a company that employed his son.
There’s even more to the story than the BBC lets on; The Hill’s John Solomon reported in April on Hunter Biden’s involvement in the affair.
But we’re still talking about Rudy Giuliani and where he fits into this scandal, so let me assure you this is so serious that no fewer than three House committees want to know about what he did. Let’s start with some of Rudy’s tweets:
The Politico coverup article doesn’t mention the bribery of
Ukraine Pres. by then VP Biden to get the case against his son dismissed. Nor does it explain the Chinese pay-off of $1.5billion to Biden’s useless fund. Joe took his son on AFII to get the investment. It stinks!!
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) August 3, 2019
Explain to me why Biden shouldn’t be investigated if his son got millions from a Russian loving crooked Ukrainian oligarch while He was VP and point man for Ukraine. Ukrainians are investigating and your fellow Dems are interfering. Election is 17 months away.Let’s answer it now https://t.co/FT34kX7Pst
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) May 10, 2019
Giuliani hit back at what he viewed as the hypocrisy of Congress investigating him while turning a blind eye to Biden’s shady history with Ukraine.
“This is not legitimate. It is harassment — a political operation by the Democratic National Committee, not by Congress,” he told The Hill.
“They need three committees to do this, and there is only one of me.
“I’m going to use this as an opportunity to highlight what phonies they are, trying to intimidate and harass me.
“I just stumbled on this. Joe got himself in trouble. He’s so stupid. I didn’t know his family was cashing in as much as he did.”
So what say you, Democratic committee chairs?
“In letters to the White House and the State Department, Chairmen Eliot L. Engel of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Adam B. Schiff of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Elijah E. Cummings of the Committee on Oversight and Reform demanded records relating to President Trump’s and Mr. Giuliani’s attempts to manipulate the Ukrainian justice system to benefit the President’s re-election campaign and target a possible political opponent. These initial requests represent a first step in a broad investigation into this matter,” a Sept. 9 news release from the House Committee on Foreign Affairs stated.
“A growing public record indicates that, for nearly two years, the President and his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, appear to have acted outside legitimate law enforcement and diplomatic channels to coerce the Ukrainian government into pursuing two politically-motivated investigations under the guise of anti-corruption activity,” the three chairs wrote.
“As the 2020 election draws closer, President Trump and his personal attorney appear to have increased pressure on the Ukrainian government and its justice system in service of President Trump’s reelection campaign, and the White House and the State Department may be abetting this scheme.”
No one seems particularly concerned about the activities involving Biden and the Ukrainian government.
No, let’s go after Rudy Giuliani. Let’s not move on. Let’s not tell a “different story.” And let’s see how that works out.
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