We’ve seen a great deal of stupid punditry on the cable news networks over the years, and that punditry has only grown dumber in the wake of President Trump’s ascent to power. But we’re not sure we’ve ever heard a leftist stretch as far as NBC News contributor Frank Figliuzzi did while talking to Brian Williams on Tuesday. Figliuzzi, who actually used to be the FBI’s Assistant Director for Counterintelligence (which ought to send a chill up your spine), suggested to Williams that there could be nefarious reasons behind Trump’s timing of the raising and lowering of the American flag.
Trump issued an order on Sunday to lower all American flags to half-mast out of respect for the fallen victims of the two mass shootings this weekend. But Figliuzzi said that the decision to raise those flags back to full-mast on August 8th could speak to Trump’s dark influences.
“The president’s either getting really good advice and rejecting it, or he’s getting really bad advice,” he said. “We have to understand the adversary and the threat we’re dealing with, and if we don’t understand how they think we’ll never understand how to counter them, so it’s the little things and the language and messaging that matters.
“The president says that we will fly our flags at half-mast until August 8, that’s 8/8. Now I’m not going to imply that he did this deliberately, but I am using it as an example of the ignorance of the adversary that’s being demonstrated by the White House,” Figliuzzi continued. “The numbers 8/8 are very significant in the neo-Nazi and the white supremacy movement. Why? Because the letter ‘H’ is the eighth letter of the alphabet, and to them, the numbers 8/8 stand for ‘Heil Hitler.
“So,” Figliuzzi finished, “we’re going to be raising the flag back up at dusk on 8/8. No one’s thinking about this. No one’s giving the advice, or he’s rejecting the advice.”
Well, there are a few problems with this logic as we see it.
One, our “adversary” is not the neo-Nazi, white supremacy movement. That’s a complete misunderstanding of the El Paso shooter’s true ideology, which can basically be summed up in one word: “Trolling.” The media thinks these imbeciles who populate 8chan and the like are actually white supremacists of the kind that visit Stormfront or join the Ku Klux Klan. They aren’t. They wrap themselves in these hot-button ideologies, but they are completely divorced from white supremacy, white nationalism, or any other typical racial cause. They are psychopaths who think it is fun – even funny – to see how much trouble they can cause. The worst of them – the ones who are truly beyond any semblance of a conscience – go on shooting sprees.
Two, well, this screed is simply idiotic. Like really? This is how far our media has sunk? We’re speculating on the secret meaning of August 8th? This is the kind of numerological conspiracy theory we’d expect to see on some Facebook meme, not what we’d expect to see on a mainstream news broadcast.
Unfortunately, in the age of Trump, there is very little difference between the two anymore.