The mainstream media didn’t get its way on Friday when the controversial memo detailing alleged government surveillance abuses was released.
But instead of focusing on the contents, the liberal media members who had reservations about the document's release are harping on negative reactions to President Trump’s decision to make it public.
The House Intelligence Committee released the memo about alleged abuses involving FISA, or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, dn Friday afternoon after news organizations such as The New York Times and The Washington Post criticized the decision to do so.
The polarizing memo had liberal media members howling that its release would pose a risk to national security less than 24 hours ago, but the same pundits are now calling it a "dud" and mocking conservatives for overhyping its content.
“It falls well short of what some Republicans promised: to cast doubt on the origins of the Russia investigation,” a prominent bullet point on The Times’ website said shortly after the release.
The home page of The Washington Post featured a trio of headlines that played down the content of the memo, “Ongoing battle between White House and FBI intensifies after memo’s release,” Sentence buried in GOP memo may undercut Trump efforts to discredit Russia probe,” and an opinion piece, “The White House’s laughable spin that releasing the memo is all about ‘transparency,’” were all prominently displayed.
The Associated Press’ wire was packed with angry reaction to the memo and offeref very little about what the document actually said. AP pieces about the memo led with lines including “Attorney General Jeff Sessions is defending his deputy in the face of criticism from the president,” “House Democrats are angry about the release of a classified GOP memo” and “The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee is challenging the accuracy of a memo.”
A giant headline across the HuffPost page simply stated, "Meh-morandum: This thing's a dud!"
Former FBI Director James Comey blasted the “dishonest” and “misleading” memo, saying it “inexcusably exposed” classified investigations. Several news organizations used Comey’s reaction as their hook in stories playing down the memo, with splashy headlines using the former FBI chief’s negative reaction.
Meanwhile, reporters from both CNN and MSNBC have been accused on social media of misleading viewers regarding the content of the memo. NBC News’ Katy Tur “fixed” an inaccurate tweet after critics called her out, while CNN’s Jim Sciutto has been criticized for saying that Republicans first paid for the disputed Steele dossier.
Others have picked on the way the memo was written.
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell issued a statement ridiculing the media coverage of the memo, saying it deserved “Watergate-like media coverage.”
“Now that the memo is public, the media owe it to the American people to report this story fairly and truthfully," he wrote. "We have witnessed over a year of an unparalleled, deliberate effort by the press to remove a president they despise, and it is time they are held accountable."