It was a couple of years ago when Steve Bannon was quoted saying, "The Democrats don't matter. The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with s--t."
With this in mind, you probably heard this week from your weird relatives who consume conservative media all day, with emails about a New York Post story that was literally unbelievable. The details are a convoluted mess -- they involve Hunter Biden, a Ukrainian gas company, an alleged laptop, some alleged emails, and an unnamed shop owner in Delaware -- which the conservative tabloid learned of by way of Bannon and Rudy Giuliani.
The problem -- one of them, anyway -- is that the underlying premise of the allegations were discredited quite a while ago, which is why most major news organizations had the good sense to steer clear of the New York Post's report.
Making matters worse is the fact that this effort to "flood the zone with s--t" appears to be backfiring. NBC News reported overnight:
Federal investigators are examining whether the emails allegedly describing activities by Joe Biden and his son Hunter and found on a laptop at a Delaware repair shop are linked to a foreign intelligence operation, two people familiar with the matter told NBC News.
What was apparently intended to be Giuliani's "October Surprise" is looking like the product of a Russian intelligence operation directed at the U.S. presidential election. Indeed, the New York Times had a good report on this a couple of days ago:
Some security experts expressed skepticism about the provenance and authenticity of the emails. The Times reported last January that Burisma had been hacked by the same Russian GRU unit that was one of two groups that hacked the Democratic National Committee in 2016. Last month, United States intelligence analysts contacted several people with knowledge of the Burisma hack for further information after they had picked up chatter that stolen Burisma emails would be leaked in the form of an "October surprise."
If this sounds quite a bit like the scheme that unfolded four years ago around this time, it's not your imagination.
The Washington Post also reported overnight that U.S. intelligence agencies "warned the White House last year that President Trump's personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence." U.S. officials "raised concerns that Giuliani was being used to feed Russian misinformation to the president."
The article added, "The former officials said Giuliani was not a target of U.S. surveillance while in Ukraine but was dealing with suspected Russian assets who were, leading to the capture of some of his communications."
In other words, U.S. officials weren't spying on Giuliani; they were surveilling suspected Russian assets -- who ended up having interactions with the American president's personal attorney.
As Rachel summarized on the show last night, "So this is where we are: 19 days to the election. At least 15 million Americans have already voted. The president`s lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, has been picked up by the U.S. intelligence community in intercepts because he has been talking to Russian intelligence about a Russian intelligence operation to dump fake documents into the U.S. bloodstream right before the election to try to re-elect Donald Trump."
This week's revelations were supposed to make Joe Biden look bad. Instead, they're proving to be a far bigger problem for his GOP accusers.