It’s been over three weeks since a torrent of sensational headlines about U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) blared from corporate media newsrooms. It sounded about as bad as it could get for the representative from Florida’s 1st Congressional District; breathless claims that he was “under investigation for underage sex trafficking” touched off a media frenzy.
No stranger to controversy, Gaetz’s initial instinct was to confront the allegations live on Fox News with Tucker Carlson. While many saw it as a bizarre interview, it may at least have been the right move in terms of staring down a bloodthirsty establishment.
As several weeks have passed, though, the controversy seems to have generated more heat than light. Indeed, this might be the longest running “sex scandal” in the nation’s history without an accuser.
But the media has been busy. Since the original story broke, there’s been a drip of follow-on stories at outlets like the Daily Beast, Politico, the Washington Post, and CNN—all using a shady collection of off-the-record and dubious government sources.
Unsurprisingly, given that sourcing, none of the stories have contained anything close to serious detail or evidence. Reporters keep dropping tidbits of evidence likely to be emanating from within the Justice Department, yet none of which confirms any of the headline-grabbing allegations.
Few of these articles even attempt to deal with the wild allegations first made about the congressman. Writing in Politico on Tuesday, Betsy Woodruff Swan stated: “[Gaetz] has not been charged with a crime, and no women have publicly accused him of sexual misconduct in the three weeks since the New York Times first reported on the investigation. He has denied any wrongdoing.”
Note how—after making a sensational media splash for maximum public relations damage—the accusations against Gaetz have shifted, from shocking and unsupported claims of underage sex trafficking and pedophilia to the less scurrilous (and still unsupported) accusation that Gaetz had sex at parties. Crucially, there has not been any evidence of payments, prostitution, or underage girls.
Journalists Collude With the Government
As Scott Adams recently said, while some may first cringe at hearing too much about the sex life of a politician, deep down, they’re more likely to be indifferent. CNN even had to note in a recent report:
“One of the women who spoke to CNN said she did so in part because the picture of Gaetz as potentially connected to sex trafficking that has emerged in recent days does not align with what she saw. Both women said that they never saw anyone at the parties who appeared to be underage.”
It’s hard to believe that much of this reporting isn’t being weaponized against Gaetz—the hard-charging America First Member of Congress and top Donald Trump defender—for purely partisan reasons. This seemed to be the case as illustrated by Nate Nelson, a disabled veteran who worked in Gaetz’s congressional office. Early on in the saga, Nelson held a press conference outside his home in Florida. It didn’t get much media attention, probably because the subject of the presser was, in large part, the media.
He detailed how he was visited by the FBI in the week before the first story appeared in the New York Times. “They told me that members of the media reached out to them, asserting that I had previous knowledge of Congressman Gaetz’s illegal activities,” Nelson said.
What is the FBI doing running down a tip from a reporter? Our most competent domestic law enforcement agency is interviewing possible witnesses based on the hearsay of a reporter.
“This baseless claim against me leaves me further convinced that the allegations against Congressman Gaetz are likewise fabricated,” Nelson concluded. “They’re merely an attempt to discredit a very vocal conservative.” This seems to fit with what CNN Technical Director Charlie Chester inadvertently told Project Veritas’ hidden camera:
“If the agenda, say, is to like get, like Matt Gaetz right now, he’s like this Republican. He’s a problem for the Democratic Party because he’s so conservative and he can cause a lot of hiccups in passing of laws and what not. So, it would be great for the Democratic Party to get him out. So, we’re going to keep running these stories to keep hurting him and make it so that it can’t be buried and just like settled outside court just and like, you know, if we keep pushing that, it’s helping us.”
Russiagate Set a Dangerous Precedent
For the media, the regular drip of government leaks serves to keep the controversy alive in some form while they silently walk back their most outrageous and sensational claims. Reporters do this so often—and often so elegantly—you’d think they were born to do it. If this sounds like a familiar script, that’s because it is the state of political warfare in America today.
In 2016, the media hyped a massive conspiracy that implicated President Trump, his team, and his family in a stunning takeover of America by the Russian government. If true, it would be among the most serious examples of treason in modern history. Of course, it was no such thing; after years and millions spent on investigations, the conspiracy turned out to be nothing but partisan fakery.
That frenzy served to divide the nation, destroy bipartisanship, and weaponize parts of the American government against its own citizens. Within weeks or months of wall-to-wall, partisan media hysteria about Donald Trump and Russia, half the country was persuaded, without evidence, that the president of the United States was effectively a traitor, and that a foreign enemy was in control of the American government at the highest levels. There has perhaps never been anything even remotely as corrosive to social cohesion and national unity, at least in this country’s modern history.
From start to finish, Russiagate was an information operation. It was weaponized in the press, but it emerged from the bowels of the national security branch of the administrative state—what some have called the deep state. We must remember how complicit the apparatus of government was throughout that situation. Media introduces misleading, incomplete or outright false information from elements of national security and law enforcement bureaucracies.
Americans don’t expect the people who are supposed to be defending them from criminals or foreign enemies to abuse their powers to settle personal scores or to commit themselves to a clandestine media jihad against domestic political opponents. But we’ve seen it happen repeatedly in the last several years. And the leaks from the Justice Department or within law enforcement indicate that the deep state might again be up to its Russiagate tricks, this time against Matt Gaetz.
Knowing what we know about the deep-state leaks to the press so far about Gaetz, we should ask some questions:
First, who is furnishing the Daily Beast and other media outlets with tidbits of information to drag this “scandal” on, without any real evidence of wrongdoing?
Second, who is leaking information about an ongoing criminal investigation, and why?
It took years of diligent and thankless effort by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Kash Patel and others within government to get to the bottom of the deep state’s malfeasance during Russiagate. And this was during the Trump years, when the president (theoretically) controlled the executive branch, of which the Justice Department is a part. Unfortunately, under the Biden-Harris Administration, the deep state doesn’t meet even the slightest resistance; getting answers about who is taking shots at Matt Gaetz will be difficult. Still, it’s worth pulling the threads here. Americans should know how this story emerged, who is really behind it, and in whose interest it remains for America First firebrands like Gaetz to disappear.