Before the Republican primary, I didn’t even know that Scott Adams, famed for his “Dilbert” cartoons, had a blog. Since the Republican primary, I’ve become an addict. Adams’ insights into the way politicians feed information through our guts, rather than our brains, has explained many things that have long been inexplicable to me. For the most part, he’s been uncannily accurate and invariably enjoyable. But even the best analysts sometimes get things wrong — and Adams’ most recent column is that rare example.
Scott Adams took a look at the mud being slung in this campaign and suggested a “splitting the baby” approach to information and disinformation:
I have a different window into the election scandals because I’ve been semi-famous for a few decades. In my experience, about half of what you read about me is true, and half is complete nonsense. The interesting thing is that you can’t tell which half is which. The only person who knows the truth with certainty is me, and I’m not credible because I’m the subject of the rumors.
Extrapolating from my own experience, I think it is fair to assume that about half of what you hear about Trump and Clinton is true. The other half is nonsense. But here again, you can’t tell which half is the real part. I’m here to help.
Using this approach, even while he correctly noted that Trump was boasting about his approach to willing women, Adams nevertheless concludes that the plethora of women coming forward to complain about actual assault means that those accusations must be true:
Likewise, half of the Trump rumors about kissing and groping are likely to be untrue or exaggerated. But that still leaves enough rumors as true – although we don’t know which ones – to make me endorse Gary Johnson. (Johnson only touches himself. That’s a good quality in a president.)
In fact, a little bit of digging in the wake of accusations from a horde of women who suddenly remembered allegedly traumatic experiences ten, twenty, or thirty years after the fact has revealed that they are (a) Hillary operatives; (b) deeply troubled women; or (c) liars (or all of the above). Writing at Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft offers a comprehensive debunking of the first five women to come forward. Briefly, the debunking can be summed up as follows:
1. Jessica Leeds describes a 1979 airplane trip during which Trump threw aside the armrest to grope her — except that the plane on which this allegedly happened didn’t have movable armrests. Moreover, her description of the alleged assault was scarcely original, coming either from a Velvet Underground song she would have known in her youth or from an inflammatory trial against a well-known TV star in England (and the TV star, incidentally, was found innocent). Another passenger on the same flight, although one of a rather dubious reputation, contends that he remembers the trip well (and one would remember a trip with Trump). He asserts that Leeds was making the moves on Trump.
2. Natasha Stoynoff is a People Magazine reporter (and the magazine is a pro-Democrat bastion) who claims that Trump groped her during an interview some 15 or so years ago. Trump’s butler, Anthony “Tony” Senecal, who was present then, denies that this ever happened. Moreover, Trump has said that Stoynoff failed to meet his beauty requirements so he couldn’t possibly have groped her. I actually tend to believe him, and for a very specific reason. There’s an ancient evidentiary doctrine holding that admissions against interest are probably true. To the extent Trump has admitted that he rates women, and we know he’s given himself access to gorgeous women, his willingness to reveal that he is (as we all know) a rude boor argues in favor of his stating the truth. There’s also the little problem of Stoynoff almost certainly lying when she claimed to be best buds with Melania Trump. That’s unbelievable on its face.
3. Summer Zervos, a former contestant on The Apprentice, says that Trump harassed her during her stint on the show — except it turns out that Zervos pursued Trump after the show, which is peculiar behavior if she was the suffering victim she now claims. Some have posited that Zervos is trying to get publicity for a restaurant she opened — and that Trump offended her when he did not visit during the primaries.
4. Mindy McGillivray contends that Trump “nudged” her at a Mar-a-Lago concert on January 24, 2003 — except that there was no Mar-a-Lago concert on January 24, 2003. Other details in her story fail as well.
5. Kristin Anderson states that Trump groped her in a New York nightclub sometime back in the early 1990s. Trump denies the allegation. Given that the other four accusations fall down under scrutiny, I’m inclined to accept his denial.
But there’s another accuser, whom Gateway Pundit doesn’t discuss. That would be Julie Kleszczewski, someone with strong ties to Clinton operatives (if you click on the image, it will take you to a site showing the connections and allowing you to zoom in for details).
As if Kleszczewski’s connections to Clinton operatives weren’t enough, a visit to Julie Kleszczewski’s own Facebook page shows that she herself is an active Clinton volunteer who has met Hillary at least once and possibly more often. Oh, and just to tie things together more tightly, Jessica Leeds served on the same board of Altrusa USA that Kleszczewki and her hardcore pro-Hillary friends worked on.
Do these associations mean Leeds and Kleszczewki are lying? Well, Leeds is probably lying (see above), but do they mean Kleszczewski is lying? No, they don’t, but they should raise suspicions about both her bias and her motive in coming forward now.
Looking at the evidence, there’s good reason to believe that all of these women are lying. Given the inconsistencies and impossibilities in their story, not to mention the fact that most of them are all in for Hillary, it’s hard to believe that the truth-meter averages out to the 50% threshold that Adams posits.
Another thing arguing against their probity is the fact that these women had amnesia for as many as thirty years before they suddenly realized, “Oh, my God! That man, that Donald Trump, he’s actually running for president. I know I could easily have said something about his unsavory practices when he had his long-running show or during the primaries, but I just forgot. Now, when it’s too late to take him off the ballots in any of the 50 states and when NBC suddenly discovered an 11-year-old video of Trump in a private (and typically boastful) conversation, is the perfect time for me to speak up.”
As I’ve often said, I have no brief for Trump, the person, whom I find vulgar — but it’s still pretty darn clear to me that he is the victim of a smear campaign with deep roots in the Clinton campaign. It’s a smear campaign, moreover, in which the media is enthusiastically participating, even though that means depriving the American people of any opportunity to hear important issues, such as border policy, national security, the economy, race relations, crime, etc.
The above all focuses on Trump. However, it’s worth noting that the 50% rule doesn’t apply to Hillary either in this case. The Wikileaked Podesta’s emails have proven that she and her campaign are guilty of 100% of the accusations leveled against her. (One could say that Comey’s non-indictment against her, when he laid out all of the elements of a cause of action for felonious violation of national security laws, only to go all Gilda Radner and say, instead, “Never mind,” also establishes that Republicans and conservatives have been right all along.)
There have been more revelations since last week, when Kimberley Strassel wrote her deservedly recognized Wall Street Journal article about Hillary’s sins, but it’s a good place to start:
[L]et’s review what amounts to a devastating case against a Clinton presidency.
Start with a June 2015 email to Clinton staffers from Erika Rottenberg, the former general counsel of LinkedIn. Ms. Rottenberg wrote that none of the attorneys in her circle of friends “can understand how it was viewed as ok/secure/appropriate to use a private server for secure documents AND why further Hillary took it upon herself to review them and delete documents.” She added: “It smacks of acting above the law and it smacks of the type of thing I’ve either gotten discovery sanctions for, fired people for, etc.”
(After this article was published, Ms. Rottenberg released a statement saying the views expressed in her email were not hers but were those of individuals who planned to attend a campaign event. See below.)
A few months later, in a September 2015 email, a Clinton confidante fretted that Mrs. Clinton was too bullheaded to acknowledge she’d done wrong. “Everyone wants her to apologize,” wrote Neera Tanden, president of the liberal Center for American Progress. “And she should. Apologies are like her Achilles’ heel.”
The Obama administration—the federal government, supported by tax dollars—was working as an extension of the Clinton campaign. The State Department coordinated with her staff in responding to the email scandal, and the Justice Department kept her team informed about developments in the court case.
Worse, Mrs. Clinton’s State Department, as documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show, took special care of donors to the Clinton Foundation. In a series of 2010 emails, a senior aide to Mrs. Clinton asked a foundation official to let her know which groups offering assistance with the Haitian earthquake relief were “FOB” (Friends of Bill) or “WJC VIPs” (William Jefferson Clinton VIPs). Those who made the cut appear to have been teed up for contracts. Those who weren’t? Routed to a standard government website.
And that’s just the beginning. In Strassel’s article, and in revelations that broke over the weekend, there’s an overwhelming amount information showing that Hillary intentionally set up an illegal server; that she used the Clinton Foundation as the conduit for a pay-for-play scheme, one that put foreign government interests ahead of American interests; and that she deliberately destroyed documents after being put on notice that she was being investigated.
Moreover, Hillary and her crew did all these things with a marginally competent Keystone Kops approach that left American national security an open book for everyone from two-bit hackers to foreign governments. Given that people tend to play true to type, there’s every reason to believe that, as president, Hillary would continue to be contemptuous of the law, willing to sell out American interests at the drop of a dollar, and dangerously incompetent.
So dear Mr. Adams, much as I love the way you think and the things I’ve learned from reading your blog, I have to say that I think you missed this one. The 50% rule does not apply in this bizarre campaign season. Trump is the victim of a deliberate, and completely staged, smear campaign, meaning that the truth of the assertions against him is closer to 0 than to 50%. Meanwhile, leaked documents are showing that Hillary is in fact guilty of 100% of the charges Republicans and conservatives have been leveling against her.
It seems that King Solomon was right when he demonstrated that splitting the baby is seldom the answer.
And here’s some excellent commentary about what’s going on in this election — and how utterly disgraceful the media’s behavior is, towards Trump (as to whom it’s telling lies), towards the American public (which it’s treating like a collective of morons), and towards the integrity of an election that is dependent upon an informed public: