The current FBI/NSA/CIA/State Department/Obama scandal is far worse than the past outrages of Watergate and Iran-Contra scandals. What makes it so is that the media has switched sides. In Watergate and Iran-Contra, the media played the role of prosecutor (or at least investigator) tracking down the scandal and reporting the developments to an interested public.
But in the current scandal, the media is a co-conspirator with rogue spooks at various intelligence agencies. As we point out in our book "Rogue Spooks: The Intelligence War on Donald Trump," the media has switched sides and is now working closely with these bad actors to slant the news and ignore stories.
Even as the conservative blogs meticulously report developments, nothing makes the front pages of the nation's main newspapers or network TV news. There, the only scandal you hear about is the phony, long-discredited allegation of collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.
The fact that official government agencies used material paid for, and likely written by, the campaign of a candidate for president to get a warrant to spy on the other campaign — just months before the election — is of no interest to the media.
Nor do they seem to care that tax money was spent to pay the "expenses" of a negative researcher (Steele) employed by one of the candidates.
Nor are they particularly alarmed that there was an open channel from Hillary Clinton's negative ops through the State Department to the FBI.
Nor does it seem to matter that, after the election, FBI agents regularly leaked to the media (to the very outlets we are talking about) to discredit a sitting president.
What makes this all particularly dangerous is that it lies within our power to discipline and reform the executive branch agencies involved in the misconduct, but we can do nothing about the corrupt, co-conspiratorial media.
By contrast, in Watergate, the media — through Deep Throat (former associate director of the FBI Mark Felt) — guided the investigation of the malfeasance, fully aware of the danger it posed to our democratic system of government. And when the overreach and outright violations of law in the Iran-Contra scandal were exposed, it was the media that unearthed the illegal shipment of arms to the Contras in Nicaragua and the against-policy payments to Iran.
Now the media is not the cop on the case, but rather one of the miscreants. As in the international CIA playbook, the media has been enlisted to run phony stories, generate fake news and cover up the truth. In foreign nations, bribery is necessary to suborn the media. In Washington, ideology suffices. This makes it even worse than Watergate. And harder to fix.