As media, pundits, Congress and the American people begin to digest the Mueller report released Thursday, a number of reporters have already raised their own hands to declare victory.
Washington Post correspondent Philip Bump argued that Mueller’s report made it “clear that the vast amount of reporting by mainstream outlets about Trump and Russia was on the mark.” (RELATED: Washington Post’s Preview Of Friday Front Page Leaves Out Principal Conclusion: No Collusion)
This report makes clear that the vast amount of reporting by mainstream outlets about Trump and Russia was on the mark.
— Philip Bump (@pbump) April 18, 2019
He then dismissed criticisms of his assessment as proof that many people live in alternate universes:
The replies to this are quite instructive about the extent to which there are diverging universes in which people live.
— Philip Bump (@pbump) April 18, 2019
Karen Tumulty, Washington Post political columnist, called the report “an exoneration of the mainstream media”:
And by “mainstream media,” I’m talking about reporting by journalists, not cable chatter by pundits. It held up very well, as the many lies of Trump and White House officials were exposed under oath.
— Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) April 19, 2019
Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhip claimed that “the press reports were accurate,” and the fake news “came from Trump and his aides”:
According to Mueller, the press reports were accurate. The false news came from Trump and his aides. Something I wrote: https://t.co/4Elk1ryvyY
— Paul Farhi (@farhip) April 19, 2019
GQ Magazine correspondent Julia Ioffe claimed that it proved the “vast majority” of reporting on Trump and Russia to be “extremely accurate”:
Explanation (because some of you clearly need one): of the evidence presented in the Mueller report, there is a ton we already knew from the REPORTING on the investigation. I say REPORTING—rather than hot take analysis on TV, Twitter, and elsewhere—deliberately.
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) April 18, 2019
CNN’s Brian Stelter and Oliver Darcy teamed up to write the following:
Over in one world, established news organizations reported the news. 1) The Mueller report detailed the Russian contacts with the Trump campaign, but did not establish a criminal conspiracy, and 2.) That Trump repeatedly attempted to curtail the investigation. Journalists also pointed out that the Mueller report corroborated much of the reporting that’s been done for the last two years.
But over in the other world, the one dominated by pro-Trump, right-wing media personalities, a completely different narrative unfolded. Commentators exclaimed “NO COLLUSION” while willfully drowning out the other findings of the report. The focus was on revenge. This universe also favored the demeaning of journalists, asserting the report had forever tarnished the reputation of the press.
CNN guest Shimon Prokupecz claimed that Mueller had “corroborated a lot of the good journalism that was done.” (RELATED: CNN Contributer Hopes ‘Nobody Missed Leg Day’ Because ‘Goalposts Are Going To Be Heavy’)
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 18, 2019
CNN analyst Bill Carter praised the media for its stalwart refusal “to let go of the tail of the real narrative”:
>> @wjcarter: “It’s essential that the media refuse to let go of the tail of the real narrative: the truth about what the Russians did, what the Trump campaign did to embrace what the Russians did, and what Trump did to try to cover all that up…” https://t.co/PwJ8PEtgKc
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 19, 2019
Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star agreed:
After all the Media Reckoning talk after the Barr summary, the Mueller report corroborates a lot of reporting from big news outlets.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) April 18, 2019
What none of them appeared to acknowledge was the fact that a number of their own Trump-Russia “bombshells” had been disproven — some even before the Mueller report was made public. And the collusion narrative they had pushed for months on end died without so much as a nod to its passing.
Over the last two years, every Trump-Russia “bombshell” dropped by the media was wrong. We now know that Mueller found no evidence of collusion, but the media found evidence a number of times… and then had to retract it. Here’s a look back (thread):
— Eddie Zipperer (@EddieZipperer) April 18, 2019
This headline doesn’t even mention that Trump was cleared of any Russian collusion – which was the whole point of the Mueller investigation.
The US media’s bias laid bare. https://t.co/pngDgQLvwA
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 19, 2019
What was that you were saying about the Mueller finding of zero collusion being “an exoneration of the media?” https://t.co/q6YAFpoM8z
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) April 19, 2019
Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer quoted Wall Street Journal opinion writer Holman W. Jenkins Jr., who argued that the larger outlets had failed so miserably that they may have “sewn themselves into a moral straitjacket.”
“For many of the country’s most prestigious news organizations, the question becomes whether they have sewn themselves into a moral straitjacket and now must abdicate coverage of the biggest story of the next two years to upstart rivals on the right.” https://t.co/VQqMCZpcuR
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) April 18, 2019
Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich offered an open challenge to media, saying they should, “analyze the Mueller report and compare it to their own fake news reports over the last two years. They [don’t] have the courage to be honest about how wrong they were.”
The news media should be challenged to analyze the Mueller report and compare it to their own fake news reports over the last two years. They dont have the courage to be honest about how wrong they were.
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) April 18, 2019