“I think this is probably the most consequential media screwup of the last 25 to 50 years. It is difficult to comprehend or overstate the damage that the media did to the Country, to their own reputation or to the Constitution. An absolute catastrophe” Sean Davis @TuckerCarlson
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 27, 2019
Forget the soul-searching. The media counterattack is underway.
With harsh criticism coming from the left as well as the right as Robert Mueller’s probe ends, the leaders of major news organizations, along with assorted pundits, are defending their work and that of their colleagues.
And most of them aren’t giving an inch.
Nope, they’re basically saying we did everything right.
They’re not reflecting on whether they banged the drum so loudly that it sounded like Donald Trump’s presidency was headed toward collapse. They’re not addressing whether they raised expectations for the probe to an absurd degree. They’re not discussing whether reporting bled into commentary as more of its practitioners simultaneously joined the cable news parade.
The New York Times reached several of the news chiefs.
CNN President Jeff Zucker is “entirely comfortable” with the network’s handling of the story:
“We are not investigators. We are journalists, and our role is to report the facts as we know them, which is exactly what we did. A sitting president’s own Justice Department investigated his campaign for collusion with a hostile nation. That’s not enormous because the media says so. That’s enormous because it’s unprecedented.”
“[T]he Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the [Russians] in [their] efforts…” That’s what Attorney General William Barr wrote in his letter to Congresssummarizing the Mueller report. Yet, despite the facts compiled after two years of investigations, CNN continues to breathlessly push conspiratorial accusations of collusion between President Trump and Russia.
Over the last two nights, CNN’s prime time hosts have found no shame in continuing to push what had become their obsession for two years.
On Monday night, host Erin Burnett began OutFront by forwarding speculation that President Trump himself and/or members of his inner circle were “compromised” by the Russians. Her proof was California Congressman Adam Schiff (D), who often claimed he had mountains direct evidence of collusion only to be proven a liar by the Special Counsel.
“Our investigation is always focused on counterintelligence issues that is, is the President or anyone around him compromised in some way. That work has to go on,” Schiff said in a soundbite.