Media harassed Trump daily with bogus RussiaGate claims. Now they say it's their critics who got story wrong

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The debate over news coverage about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report has turned into a battle of right and wrong. Not surprisingly, the many journalists who were wrong about Mueller’s investigation continue to claim their conduct was right.

It is now clear that those in the media who assumed Mueller would conclude that President Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election were as wrong as anyone possibly could be.

In a summary of the Mueller report, Attorney General William Barr wrote Sunday: “The Special Counsel investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.”


Or to state it more succinctly, after almost two years of investigation, Muller is not challenging the repeated claim by President Trump that “there was no collusion.” We now know the president’s statement was true all along.

Yet after harassing President Trump with bogus RussiaGate claims on an almost daily basis, the anti-Trump media continue to stubbornly maintain that their critics are the ones who are 100 percent wrong.

CNN President Jeff Zucker gave the standard media line we’ll hear for the rest of time when he said this week he is “entirely comfortable” with how CNN covered RussiaGate.

Yet after harassing President Trump with bogus RussiaGate claims on an almost daily basis, the anti-Trump media continue to stubbornly maintain that their critics are the ones who are 100 percent wrong.

Zucker’s claim is similar to the narrative chosen by CNN’s Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter. He knocked “partisans on the right” who “are saying the media, the evil media was wrong all along.”

Stelter’s claim got even more ridiculous on his “Reliable Sources” program on Sunday.

“The job of the nation's news media is to ask, to question all sides, to scrutinize all sides, and report on opposing points of view, and to only take the side of truth and decency,” Stelter told viewers.

That’s the press as priesthood worldview, which would be wonderful if it were true. Only it’s not. It’s a mixture of living in a liberal bubble and outright falsehood. It denies that most of the media take the liberal position on every issue, supporting Democrats and demonizing Republicans.

But it feels great to claim you’re the good guy, so there’s a lot of it.

New York Times Editor Dean Baquet echoed the Zucker sentiment. “I’m comfortable with our coverage,” Baquet told The Washington Post. Of course he is. If he wasn’t, his paper might have been, you know, fair.

Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan was even more strident in her defense of the news business. Here latest pro-press anti-Trump diatribe was headlined: “Serious journalists should be proud of – not bullied over – their Russia reporting.”

To emphasize her neutrality, Sullivan blasted Trump because his reaction to the report was “to attack reporters for doing their jobs.”

“It’s a predictable political strategy – an ugly, undemocratic one – that works as a way to feed raw meat to his base,” Sullivan complained.

Completely non-partisan.

MSNBC host Joy Reid even claimed the president can’t critique media. “Attacking the media, which isn't a crime, but it's a violation of the First Amendment in a lot of ways,” she told viewers.

Some outlets decided to blame the right … for reacting to reporting that was wrong.

The Associated Press seemed stunned to report that Trump’s “allies also intend to use the moment to heighten attacks on the media.” Go figure. The story claimed that “many Trump supporters” will depict reporters and outlets “as biased and untrustworthy.”

Politico even reported that “Republicans gleefully pounced” (a new take on the “pounced” meme) in response to the report. Remember, critics say “pouncing” to undercut fair criticism.

It’s worth noting that two of the most prestigious newspapers in the nation – The Washington Post and the New York Times – even shared a 2018 Pulitzer Prize “for deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage” on “Russian interference” and “its connections to the Trump campaign.”

They can’t admit they did a biased job. The Post already had to return its 1981 Pulitzer Prize for what turned out to be a fictional report by Janet Cooke masquerading as accurate reporting.

Perhaps the most ironic reaction to Mueller’s conclusion came from CNN’s “Reliable Sources” newsletter Tuesday. CNN Business Managing Editor Alex Koppelman wrote: “It's a basic responsibility: Don't print something you don’t know to be true, and for God’s sake, don’t assume anything.”


He’s absolutely right. He should share his advice in an email to all of his CNN colleagues.

It’s curious that CNN publishes this that after hyping 25th-Amendment solutions to removing President Trump from office, having reporters resign for an inaccurate Russia story and spinning for Democrats at 3 million rpms.