Amazon Prime has a TV Series, Flack that captures the essence of the first definition of flack – a slick set of arguments which can turn any criticism of a policy or politician to their advantage. For example, Senator Susan Collins lead the 10 GOP Senators with a faux Covid Relief Package whose key provision for making it fair called for not paying out to households with incomes greater than $400,000. This would then allow the package to be cut by 2/3 from $1900 Billion to $600 Billion. The false savings disguising the really deep GOP cuts in the Covid aid package.
The second definition of Flack uses a manufactured crisis or apparent loss to divert attention away more serious problem or fundamental jeopardy. And wouldn’t you know there are two big, stinky Washington Swamp Things illustrating this second Diversionary Flack “superbly”.
Diversionary Flack for the Big Lie
The Big Lie that candidate Trump was defrauded of victory in the Presidential election has shaped major policy in 2021:
- Facebook – Donald Trumps ramblings Jan 6 2021, the day of the Capitol riots;
- TheGuardian – Donald Trump is gone but his big lie is a rallying call for rightwing extremists…
- Forbes – ‘Big Lie’ Of Stolen Election Was A Virus Spread By GOP Leaders and ‘MAGA Media’
- Boson Globe – Trump’s Big Lie is based on many little lies for years ..
- FoxNews – Nov 12th headline story –2020 election ‘most secure in American history,’ federal election security officials say
- Wikipedia – Republican reaction to the 2020 election and claims of fraud
There has been massive legal and financial fallout for partisans embracing and fostering the Big Lie
- Reuters – Trump lawyer Giuliani faces $1.3 billion lawsuit over ‘big lie’ election fraud claims
- Hollywood Reporter – Voting Technology Company Sues Fox News, Giuliani for $2.7B Over Election Fraud Claims
- Deadline – Smartmatic Files $2.7 Billion Defamation Lawsuit Against Fox Corp.; Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro and Maria Bartiromo
- LATimes – Lou Dobbs show cancelled after $2.7B lawsuit
- Washington Post – Trump’s lie that the election was stolen has cost taxpayers $519 million(and counting)
- NYTimes – Massive defamation lawsuits lead the charge against disinformation…
So now the perpetrator of the Big Lie and his Congressional co-conspirators [7 GOP Senators and 147 Members of Congress] are in need of a Major Diversionary Flack Distraction to take the public’s attention away from the fact that the former President Trump has not disavowed his claim of massive election fraud nor has any GOP Member of Congress gone back to their constituents and set the record straight – there was no 2020 election fraud and President Biden won the election fairly.
There were certainly distraction candidates like gun-toting GOP Congress Woman Eilen Gobert or Alabama Comgressman and fraud enthusiiast Ron Brooks. But maximum distraction was freshman Congress woman Marjorie Taylor Greene because despite being a fruitcake she could not be expelled from the House [Democrats did not have 2/3 votes required] and GOP House Majority Leader could give her plum committee positions :
Marjorie Taylor Greene’s pronouncements provide maximum diversion:
- Calls Charlottesville White Nationalist march an”inside job” by Democrats seeking to discredit the GOP;
- In a Facebook post that has been deleted Greene called for the killing of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi;
- Greene referred to Parkland school shooting as a ‘false flag’ contrived event;
- Marjorie Taylor as Q’Anon follower is a grave threat to GOP according to GOP political advisor Karl Rove;
- House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy protects Marjorie Taylor
And why not? Here is what Marjorie Taylor wore recently in Congress:
Defiantly repeating the Big Lie for Kevin McCarthy, Marjorie Taylor Greene is the perfect Diversionary Flack Catcher who distracts attention away from his 147 GOP members who supported Trump’s Big Lie and have not yet answered for their gross indiscretion. And all Marjorie lost was 2 committee assignments. Classic Flack Catcher coup.
Opioid Flack Catcher Gambit
Last week consultants Mckinsey & Company agreed to a payment of $573 million to settle with the 47 US States for its role in advising Purdue Pharma and other drug manufacturers to aggressively market opioid painkillers. Now this settlement did not have the distinctive watermark of Financial Settlements during the Mortgage Crisis of 2007-2009 – “49 state attorneys general, the District of Columbia, and the federal government entered into the largest consumer financial protection settlement history with what were then the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers.”
But this settlement does have 3 other eye-opening characteristics:
1 – it contains no admission of wrongdoing or liability;
2- due to the above provision, civil suits against McKinsey will be more difficult;
3 – No McKinsey employee has been charged with criminal offense;
4 – No McKinsey employee has been disciplined by the company or government agencies;
Forbes Magazine questions the nature and efficacy of the settlement. In effect, the argument is made that the settlement is a case of containment by Diversionary Flack Catching. Take a large but not crippling financial hit while substantially cutting off further legal, financial or managerial liabilities or losses.
The notion of a Deep State in the US has been percolating and sprouting ever more radical conspiracies. Currently, QAnon avows a group of secret and unauthorised bureaucrats operating independently of a state‘s elected leadership to pursue their own agenda and goals. Caution – QAnon adds many more unbelievable twists to this plot.
But the core reality empowering all Deep State theories is that time after time there are highly placed players like the McKinsey & Company executives or Mortgage Crisis Banking Management that are simply able to evade the rule of law – often directly or by Diversionary Flack.