Dan Gainor: Media won’t drop false collusion claims against Trump, as reporter demands Sarah Sanders be fired

Journalism is never having to say you’re sorry. Or wrong. That’s what much of the news media taught the American people this week.

Most news organizations downplayed, ignored or outright contradicted the conclusion of the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller that there was no collusion between the Trump election campaign and Russia to help elect Donald Trump president in 2016.

But rather than celebrate the good news that presidential candidate Trump wasn’t secretly working with Russia to get to the Oval Office, many in the media set about trying to rewrite the report their own way.


Many journalists complained about cover-ups even before the redacted Mueller report was released. As a result of this and their past reporting on the president, their massive anti-Trump spin was a foregone conclusion.

In fact, the same journalists who scream about transparency and demand that Trump administration officials answer their questions suddenly complained because Attorney General William Barr held a news conference shortly before he released the report.

MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace accused Barr of trying to “shape the coverage” because he spoke to reporters before the Justice Department published the Mueller report on the Internet. She was joined by many others in the media who decided access to newsmakers was bad … if they countered the anti-Trump narrative.

The coverage didn’t go downhill from there. It fell off a cliff.

Many journalists complained about cover-ups even before the redacted Mueller report was released. As a result of this and their past reporting on the president, their massive anti-Trump spin was a foregone conclusion.

Talking heads shouted “collusion” in one breath and “impeachment” in the next. In just a 24-hour span there were 309 mentions of impeachment on broadcast news and liberal cable TV outlets. CNN led the pack, of course, with 148 mentions. MSNBC was close behind with 138. CNN reporter Dana Bash portrayed the Mueller report as “a road map to potential impeachment proceedings”

CNN political commentator Symone Sanders – who was national press secretary for Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in his 2016 presidential campaign – made it clear she wants to go beyond impeachment. She blasted the justice system and argued that President Trump should “be in handcuffs right now.”

MSNBC anchor Brian Williams called Barr “Baghdad Bill Barr,” a reference to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s spokesman, who told absurd lies to reporters. Yes, that came right out of the mouth of confessed liar Williams, who lost his prestigious job as anchor of the “NBC Nightly News” and was exiled to MSNBC for making up stories about his career and telling the lies on TV.

The media wouldn’t let go of the collusion fantasy. ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl said that “you might even say collusion” was detailed in the report. The Washington Post front page the day after the report was released had no headlines indicating the actual news – that the Trump campaign wasn’t guilty of collusion.

NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd was less subtle. He even claimed that Barr briefing the president was “actual collusion.”

Todd underscored his liberal bias in another comment when he whined about the “Keystone Kops aspect of the Trump campaign.” That 100-year-old movie reference led into his next slam of Team Trump. “They wanted to conspire, they just never found the right opportunity to do so,” he claimed.

Todd couldn’t even get his analysis of the Russian interference in our presidential election campaign correct. He claimed on Twitter that Russia “hacked the election.” That gave the false impression that Putin’s cyber warriors hacked actual ballots instead of buying Facebook ads to try to influence voters.

News organizations tried to connect Trump to scandal-scarred President Nixon, who was forced to resign due to the Watergate scandal in 1974 rather than face impeachment proceedings. CNN brought on former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein, who with Bob Woodward exposed Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate cover-up, leading to the president’s downfall.

Bernstein argued that “there is a ton of collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia. He told viewers they just had to notice the “nuance” that was there to “make some sophisticated judgments.” In other words, if you don’t think there was collusion, you’re not sophisticated and smart.

The media just want to stop Trump, no matter how they do it. Allegedly conservative MSNBC host Joe Scarborough suggested changing how the attorney general is appointed, just to get at Trump. He proposed a panel led by Trump-hating lawyer “George Conway to run the whole thing.” Even the “Morning Joe” sycophants laughed at that ridiculous idea.

Speaking of ridiculous, no one looked worse when the Mueller report was released than New York Times White House Correspondent Maggie Haberman. She mocked the administration for playing the song “Edelweiss” in the White House itself. Haberman tweeted, “Does ... anyone at that White House understand the significance of that song?”

Perhaps the better question is, does Haberman? Answer: No. The song comes from “The Sound of Music” and is sung by the good guys who hate Nazis. But Haberman’s anti-Trump bubble world view must link it to “The Man in the High Castle,” an alternate history TV show where the Nazis won WWII. Remember, the press is never wrong.

Or is it? The Mueller report exposed a couple of error-prone outlets. Both BuzzFeed and McClatchy had to amend previous stories because they were wrong.

BuzzFeed had reported that President Trump “directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress.” It was a story so incorrect even Mueller’s office said it was “not accurate.” Buzzfeed begrudgingly updated its previous story. ABC, CBS and NBC spent more than 27 minutes promoting the incorrect story the night it was published.

Reporter demands Trump fire Sarah Sanders

Journalists spent two years claiming the president was colluding with a foreign enemy. That turned out be wrong, so naturally there are now calls for someone to get fired.

But who should that someone be? Not a journalist, of course, according to April Ryan, who covers the White House for American Urban Radio Networks and is also a political analyst for CNN. Ryan said on CNN that White House press secretary Sarah Sanders should be fired.

Ryan and other journalists are angry that Sanders made a misstatement cited in the report.

“Not only does she not have credibility, she lied,” Ryan said of Sanders. “She out and out lied.”

Then came Ryan’s demand regarding Sanders: “And the people, the American people can't trust her. They can't trust what's said from the president's mouthpiece-spokesperson from the people's house. Therefore, she should be let go. She should be fired, end of story.”

After that Ryan said something that would cost a conservative but likely won’t hurt her. “When there is a lack of credibility there, you have to start and start lopping the heads off,” Ryan said. Apparently, Ryan forgot that hateful and violent rhetoric is supposed to be inciting to violence.

Former Arkansas Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sanders’ father, slammed Ryan for the comment. “So liberals – is this okay? Does CNN have the integrity to deal w/ this incitement to murder?” he asked.


Ryan wasn’t alone with her attack on Sanders. MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell began his “Last Word” assault on the press secretary by saying: “It’s not new that Sarah Sanders is a pathological liar.” MSNBC ran another similar criticism headlined, “Sarah Sanders’ credibility reaches the point of no return.”

The New York Times chimed in as well, noting: “Sanders’s ‘Slip of the Tongue’ Would Be a Problem in Some White Houses. Not Trump’s.” The article is right that Trump doesn’t really care if his press secretary has upset the news media. After two years of phony collusion claims, who could blame him?