Bob McCarthy: Collins' Dutiful Stenographer.

by / Oct. 29, 2018 7am EST

There is no bigger Buffalo fluffer of right-wing power and talking points than the Buffalo News’ Bob McCarthy. He published three articles Sunday — one on fascist wino Steve Bannon and two concerning the Christopher Collins crime syndicate. Here, here, and here

Honestly, the beauty of Twitter is its forced brevity. 

Let’s deal first with the insane Cameron Collins wedding article. It’s not newsworthy. In the wake of the mass murder of Pittsburgh synagogue congregants and the attempted bombing assassinations of prominent Democratic Trump critics, no one really gives a shit from a rat’s ass about the lifestyles of the rich and famous and how “[t]he congressman said last week that his son’s wedding to fiancée Lauren Zarsky remains on despite the charges surrounding the two families. ‘They’re two peas in a pod,’ he said.”

That’s nice.

But no one cares how two rich kids in New Jersey are getting on. The editors at the News must realize that this article is an embarrassment, because you literally can’t find it if you search for it. The only way it appears is if you click on McCarthy’s name on another article, and it pops up in his roster of pieces. It is garbage, and they know it. 

Next, never come between Bob McCarthy and a fascist in a private jet. We already heard this joke when Trump came to town in 2014, and McCarthy got to fly along. Back then, McCarthy penned a love note — no, a sex note — to Trump’s private 757. Any semblance of objective journalism was sucked through the turbofans of that aircraft. Likewise, here, the Republicans recruited their dutiful scribe to accompany Squadrista Steve Bannon in a “luxury SUV” from an Elma fire hall back to Prime Aviation, from where Bannon flew to Teterboro in a private jet. 

A guy in Washington for whom Bannon used to work now calls him “Sloppy Steve.” And it appeared President Trump’s former top strategist had not encountered a razor for a while. But his expensive Barbour field coat indicated he wasn’t worried about getting through the weekend.

Ha ha get it “a guy in Washington for whom Bannon once worked” that’s the PRESIDENT he’s referring to LOL HA HA. Someday Bob might be able to get one of Bannon’s Barbour coats if he quits the News and finds his calling — spitting out Republican press releases and talking points from the cushy office of a PR firm. 

Bannon sat next to a reporter in the rear of an SUV limo, and asked where he worked. “The Buffalo News,” came the reply.

“Ha! The opposition party,” Bannon said, half-sneering, half-smiling.

For the next half hour, a mastermind of Trump’s improbable rise to the White House held court. He likes to talk – about his “economic nationalist” theories, and about Trump, even if the pair are no longer confidants.

Imagine a serious journalist being recruited to interview a noted right-wing demagogue, and being insulted before the car even left the driveway. But he writes the expected puff piece anyway! 

“Man, he knows China,” Bannon said. “He knew chapter and verse in 2010 about China. I can’t have that conversation with five guys in Washington. They wouldn’t understand what he was talking about.”

This is hero-worship propaganda. We know from mere observation that what Trump doesn’t know could fill the Pacific Ocean. There is no follow-up, or request for examples or detail. Mere transcription of Bannon’s nonsense. 

The talk of the SUV turned to 2012, when Trump was thinking about running for governor. Bannon grunted a laugh. He didn’t say it, but the grunt basically said: “Yeah. As if that was going to happen.”

2014, but whatever. Bannon ”grunted a laugh”, and McCarthy interpreted that grunt as representing eight entire words. There’s no evidence that McCarthy asked him what that grunted laugh was supposed to represent, or that Bannon was asked any sort of follow-up. Just a grunt and the fucking fascist-whisperer just gets it

He delved into a stream of consciousness description of the economic nationalism in which Trump puts “America first.”

“The world is a series of commercial relationships, trade deals and capital markets in an American security guarantee,” he said. “Which now costs us $1 trillion a year and has the deplorables’ kids in Hindu Kush walking patrol, in the South China Sea on ships, and on the 38th parallel in Army divisions.”

Amazing. Evidently, only the “deplorables’ kids” are fighting, so McCarthy lets Bannon get away with literally turning military service into a partisan event. Right wing propagandists like Bannon would call that “virtue signaling”. 

Bannon still talks about the strategies that elected Trump in 2016 ‑ including the art of the deal.

“He told Theresa May to overshoot your target on deals … and get it done in six months,” he said of her Brexit negotiations. “The last thing he said to her was ‘be prepared to litigate.’ Trump always uses litigation as a weapon. Maybe that’s why two years later she’s got no deal.”

Without getting into a long tangent on the abject failure of Brexit, as it turns out the EU doesn’t need the UK. but the UK seems to have issues with market access, travel, pensioners’ homes, and the Irish border. The UK has no plan and has merely lurched from one unworkable deal to another, while the EU has been exquisitely patient. Theresa May triggered Article 50 before a negotiation plan had been set, and one of our closest allies is about to crash out of a customs union in a way that may prove disastrous.  

Even Trump’s personal 757 ‑ the one that cost $100 million, has gold faucets and makes Air Force One look like a crop duster – was part of the plan. Rolling into an airport hangar to greet the faithful, he said, it looked just like Air Force One.

Bannon came to Western New York to get out the Republican vote. That means he was campaigning for Rep. Chris Collins, suddenly in trouble while under federal indictment. Bannon knows the importance of his GOP retaining the House of Representatives; that impeachment is sure to follow should the Democrats win.

Bob misses that 757. His crush. Maybe McCarthy could have mentioned that Bannon is running a dark money PAC that is funding all of his 1st class travel to keep the Congress red? Nah, too much work. No one brought it up, so it couldn’t be transcribed. 

“Trump is an athlete; a scratch golfer,” he said about the president’s current campaign tour. “And he’s a closer, This is classic commit to the shot. Take dead aim.

“On the Democratic side what do you have? Hillary and Bill Clinton are wandering around on some speaking tour, lining their pockets trying to present herself for 2020,” he added. “Corey Booker and Kamala Harris are in Iowa, prepping their 2020 run, and you’ve got Pocahontas putting out her DNA test.”

“Trump is an athlete.” He isn’t. Trump is a “closer.” He isn’t. He calls a sitting Senator “Pocahontas” as a slur, and McCarthy just writes it the fuck down

Lastly, we turn to Bob McCarthy’s hero saga for Chris Collins. He hasn’t been this giddy since he cribbed Illuzzi scoops or took a call from a temporary relevant Ralph Lorigo or Steve Pigeon. 

McCarthy dutifully writes down the things Collins tells him about changing his mind and running for re-election. Despite the fact that Collins is under arrest and under federal fraud indictments, he didn’t re-join the race to avoid discovery and depositions, but because litigation over his replacement on the ballot wasn’t a slam dunk. 

“Any thought I did this to protect myself is nonsense,” he added.

Well, nice of Collins to say it and nice of Bob to write that down. The fact is, Collins doesn’t get out of bed unless there’s some personal political gain to be had. 

But he insists that he will be acquitted at trial, that he can remain effective even while facing felony charges, and that his re-election assumes crucial importance as Democrats pose a real threat to assuming control of the House of Representatives.

“That means every seat matters,” he said, adding he aims to “protect the seat, protect our majority, protect the president.”

And he pledged to serve a full term, despite speculation he might win re-election and then resign, allowing the GOP to name a less controversial Republican who would run in a special election in deep-red NY27.

“I’m really putting in the effort to run and then not serve?” he asked. “Are you kidding?”

House Speaker Ryan has stripped indicted Christopher Collins of all committee memberships. If re-elected he will be uniquely ineffective and an absolute pariah. He is radioactive, and he knows it. I mean, Collins hasn’t bothered to update his Congressional website, but he’s not on the roster of those committees anymore. That failure to remove those committee seats seems to be a story, by itself. He is deliberately misleading his constituents and voters. 

McCarthy says, 

After he resigned assignments to key committees like Energy and Commerce, he insists he can still do the job.

No, he was removed from those assignments, and still lists them on his website. How hard is it to check this stuff? How hard is it to check the guy’s own website? This is a lie, and Bob just writes it down

“I’m going to be in Congress,” he said. “I’m not going to miss any votes. I will meet with constituents, different organizations will come into my office. My job will be the same as ever.”

He won’t meet with constituents. That’s a thing he never does, unless they pay or they give him a nice photo-op. 

He said he will still “follow” House committees, and hopes to regain his assignments after the election.

“I would make the pitch that I was re-elected in an open environment and would like to be back on the committee,” he said. “It may or may not work out.”

It shouldn’t, in a competent meritocracy. LOL. 

Now Collins seems to have resuscitated his well-documented competitive spirit; the same drive that made him a successful businessman and one of the wealthiest members of Congress. He did not debate McMurray, but is criss-crossing the district at Republican-friendly stops, driving home the point that the loss of his seat could spell the difference between Republican or Democratic control of the House.

I hope to God that McMurray can Poloncarz Collins and we have a re-do of 2011. Note that Collins goes unannounced to Republican-friendly stops, so he can avoid literally any tough question. McMurray will go anywhere and talk to anyone. Who is the real “representative”? 

After representing the district for six years, he said he knows it remains deeply Republican and intensely loyal to Trump. He points to the tax cut, new farm bill (which attracted no Democratic votes), improved relations with North Korea, and two new conservative justices on the Supreme Court. Trump has delivered all he promised, Collins says.

Yes, if there’s two things a Wyoming County farmer cares about, it’s geopolitics and tax cuts for billionaires. 

“All that crashes and burns if Nancy Pelosi takes over,” he said.

Yes, and then the middle class gets a voice. This is something Collins simply won’t tolerate. 

He expresses pride in congressional accomplishments such as his Firefighters Cancer Registration Act, which established a national database for firefighters seeking help to battle diseases incurred on the job. His television ads, meanwhile, zero in on McMurray, painting him as “to the left of Bernie Sanders, liberal, radical, socialist.”

Attacks on McMurray might ring a bit more true if this coward had the courage to engage in a proper debate. Instead, he hurls ad hominem attacks from afar, and either through a twenty-something paid surrogate, or through a mustachioed stenographer. 

He points to an “F” rating for McMurray by the National Rifle Association, and claims his opponent is open to impeaching Trump and opposed to tax cuts. He links him at every opportunity with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who he said remains unpopular in the district.

Christopher Collins is legally barred from owning firearms. 

“You put that all together, and he’s opposed to everything that Trump stands for,” he said. “And this is a Trump district. He’s 180 degrees out of sync with NY-27.”

“My goal,” he added, “is to keep this seat Republican.”

And Bob McCarthy’s goal is to dutifully transcribe, unchallenged and unprobed, the propaganda from right-wing bad actors. Seriously, with all of the talent that’s left the News in recent months, why are we still stuck with this guy writing this sort of nonsense? It is shameful.