Hey, remember the Monica Crowley scandal?

There have been about 15 major trump controversies in just the few weeks since, but back in early January Crowley, a longtime conservative pundit and author who had been named the Trump Administration’s Deputy National Security advisor, was found in a CNN investigation to have plagiarized long sections in her 2012 book "What the (Bleep) Just Happened?" There have been other big plagiarism scandals involving journalists, but it’s rare for a prominent writer to be caught so red-handed, over such a long period and so blatantly, including her lifting of a dubious email forward that included obviously false “spending items” in the 2009 stimulus bill.

After subsequent reports that found other examples of Crowley blatantly copying the work of others without attribution, including in her Columbia University PhD dissertation, Crowley withdrew from her administration job on January 16.

Crowley had been radio silent ever since, but she dramatically resurfaced Tuesday night on Fox News’ "Hannity." Did she apologize for stealing the work of others? Show some contrition? Explain how, exactly, someone with a whole lot to lose could be so careless and sloppy, if not purposely mendacious?

Please. This is the Trump era.

No apologies

On the "Hannity" show, Monica Crowley had no apologies, and in fact doubled down: “What happened to me was a despicable, straight-up political hit job,” Crowley said, adding, wildly falsely, that the plagiarism allegations had been “debunked.” She went on to accuse the media of “personal destruction,” for the sin of exposing her blatant and obvious journalistic and academic fraud:

Left unexplained, of course, is why Crowley, if she did nothing wrong and was victim of a hit job,” opted to resign rather than fight for her job, or why she didn’t rebut the allegations immediately.

Nor does she provide the slightest bit of evidence that she didn’t do what she was accused of doing. If I were falsely accused of dozens of instances of plagiarism, and my entire career and reputation hung in the balance, I would do everything I could to rebut it immediately, including, most likely, threatening legal action.

The truth, of course, is that the reporting on Crowley's plagiarism by CNN and other media outlets wasn’t a “hit job” -- it was a comprehensive report that exposed her misdeeds, with no ambiguity whatsoever.

A very Trump defense

The argument, of course, was a microcosm of the Trump Administration’s usual way of dealing with any negative or critical coverage or reporting whatsoever: Everything is a smear, everything is the media’s fault, even blatant instances of wrongdoing aren’t really that.

Solid and meticulous investigative reporting doesn’t count. All bad news is fake news.

Michael Flynn, who would have been Crowley’s boss had they both remained in the administration, also comes up in the "Hannity" segment -- “Look what they did to General Flynn?”-- leaving aside the question of why, exactly, Flynn resigned (Hint: It was because he lied to his superiors about a meeting with the Russian ambassador, not because of “media smears.”)

Crowley’s "Hannity" appearance is clearly an attempt to rehabilitate her reputation as a conservative pundit, by spreading the lie that she hasn’t been thoroughly discredited and exposed as a liar and a fraud. When the allegations are true, it’s not a smear, or a hit job.

The level of cynicism here is almost shocking. But I have no reason to believe the Fox News audience won’t swallow it whole.