Everyone’s waiting for the Attorney General to release the full Mueller Report, but that may not happen for months, if ever. Luckily for us, in this Humor Times exclusive, a Washington insider recently leaked the following Executive Summary:
Pursuant to Order No. 3915-2017 from the Deputy Attorney General appointing me as Special Counsel, I, Robert Mueller, hereby issue my report regarding any possible interference by the Russian government in the 2016 presidential election.
The evidence strongly indicates that the Russian government employed various agents to utilize social media to affect voter turnout and/or preferences in the election. However, much to my surprise, there is insufficient evidence to conclude that the campaign of Donald J. Trump colluded with the Russians to that end, except perhaps for some dealings regarding a possible new Trump Tower in Moscow.
What we did find, however, were a series of essentially self-inflicted wounds which have facilitated a breakdown of American democracy. In the last forty years, a number of billionaires have successfully hijacked the political process. By lobbying for voter restrictions, tax cuts for the wealthy and severe cuts to public education, these informal plutocrats have created a gullible, easily-swayed electorate willing to consistently vote against their own self-interest. I’m not saying all rich folks are engaged in these practices but enough of them are to make a big difference. I’m looking at you Kochs, Waltons, Murdochs, Adelsons and Sacklers.
Also of note is the rapid growth of social media which has helped to foster a culture of ignorance. We were surprised to discover that millions of Americans have been easily duped into believing all kinds of nonsense including a large number of ridiculous conspiracy theories. I have to admit that some of them are tempting and appealing but can we really believe that Hillary Clinton ran a pedophile ring out of a Washington, D. C. pizzeria? I hope not. Where we once enjoyed a healthy national democratic dialogue, now there are scores of isolated opinion silos promoting all manner of dangerous anti-democratic thought.
The prevalence of cable network news outlets sure hasn’t helped. Since there is now pretty much a specific channel to confirm anyone’s worst prejudices, it’s not surprising that we currently have a reality TV host occupying the Oval Office. For the most part, these channels are relatively innocuous with the notable exception of Fox News. Our investigations revealed intimate connections between the President and that channel to the extent that one might now label Fox News state-controlled television. I would submit that our national cable news addiction is as potentially dangerous as the opioid crisis.
Another troubling trend which helps to explain our current sad state of civic affairs is the explosive growth of streaming services in general and Netflix in particular. Where once upon a time the American public collectively gathered around their sets to watch the same show in what was colloquially known as “appointment television,” now they can watch whatever they want, whenever they want. In fact, I, too, have fallen victim to this new trend which partially explains the delays in issuing my report as I got caught up in binge-watching House of Cards.
In summary: lots of Russian interference but no collusion. Just like the Orange President said. But that doesn’t mean things are OK. They’re not and it doesn’t look like they’re going to get better any time soon. Once I clear out my office, I’m going to retire (for good this time) and find myself a quiet South Pacific island with no Internet and no cable news. And I strongly recommend that you do the same.
David is a writer of political satire and short humor and his work has appeared in most major North American newspapers, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune. He has also been published in various magazines including Newsweek, Smithsonian Magazine and Funny Times.