The Mueller Report has been issued. At this moment, no one has actually yet seen it, other than a few top guys at the Justice Department — Barr, Rosenstein, maybe a handful of others. Nobody knows what’s in it, except for one thing: according to a “top Justice Department official” (probably Barr or Rosenstein), there are going to be no more indictments, whether relating to Russian “collusion” or anything else. Oh, wait a minute. Before today, there also had been zero indictments for anything having to do with “collusion” with the Russians by Trump or his campaign. So that one little thing that we know means that, after almost two years of investigation by Mueller and his team, and after another year plus of investigation by the FBI before that, the vast and awesome armies of our Justice apparatus have found exactly nothing in the way of criminal “collusion” between Trump or his campaign and the Russians.
Now of course, the New York Times cannot just pretend that this issuance of this Report is not happening. They have to cover it, and in a big way. (Same with the Washington Post. But, since I don’t get the Washington Post, I’ll have to let you read about their shame at other sites, for example at PowerLine.). Trying to live up to their readers’ expectations, the Times fills up oodles of space with “coverage” — about two-thirds of page A1 (three news articles), all of pages A14, A15, A16 and A17, the only unsigned editorial of the day on page A24, and an op-ed on page A25 by one Caroline Fredrickson (President of the American Constitution Society).
But what are we going to say? I mean, we are supposedly the most credible among credible mainstream media sources and we have now spent well over two years hyping this Russian “collusion” thing in dozens of pieces in an obvious attempt to damage if not bring down the President. And now it comes to nothing? Everything we’ve said about this for two plus years has been wrong? What are we going to say????
Well, this is why you hire legions of Ivy Leaguers to produce page upon page of dizzying spin and mind-numbing talking points. Just repeat over and over, and hope and expect that the readership is too dumb or too uninformed to realize they are being duped.
I’ve taken some of my Saturday here to go through the ten or fifteen thousand words or so and come up with the five dumbest things that they put out there, seemingly with a straight face. Get ready to be entertained.
From the lead editorial, “The Meaning of the Mueller Report,” page A24:
[President Trump’s] near-daily campaign to mock and discredit Robert Mueller’s “witch hunt” has now lasted longer than his campaign for the White House. His shameful, conspiratorial attacks on the “deep state,” and on the integrity of those who have devoted their lives to upholding the rule of law, have damaged the institutions of federal law enforcement and may have gotten him in even deeper trouble.
The “integrity” of the likes of Brennan, Clapper, Comey, McCabe and Strzok — who orchestrated use of the FBI and national security apparatus to spy on a presidential campaign and then on an incoming administration, based only on oppo research from the opposing and favored campaign? Puh-lease. Everyone paying any attention at all knows that it was the top clique at FBI, Justice and NSA — under the leadership and direction of President Obama — that has damaged those institutions irreparably.
Further from the lead editorial:
[E]ven if Mr. Mueller has found in the end that Mr. Trump did not knowingly conspire with Russia . . . that doesn't mean this inquiry has been a witch hunt. Throughout the campaign and transition, Mr. Trump and many of his top officials and advisers had more than 100 contacts with Russian nationals and WikiLeaks, or their intermediaries.
Two years of looking for something loudly hyped by the New York Times itself, and by dozens of others, and absolutely nothing to be found. If that’s not a “witch hunt,” what is? And by the way, how many “contacts” did members of the Trump campaign have with representatives of the UK, or France, or Germany, or (for that matter) with an obvious U.S. rival such as China? Isn’t that part of their job? Did members of Hillary’s campaign have fewer such “contacts” with representatives of the significant countries of the world?
The headline of Ms. Fredrickson’s op-ed is “Who Really Needs to Read the Mueller Report?” The gist is that we already know that Trump is a sleaze and a crook, so really, what’s the difference if this whole Russian “collusion” thing that has filled the front pages and cable news networks for two years is a complete crock? Really. First quote:
Mr. Mueller’s report may never go public, but we don’t need a peek at the recommendations he delivered on Friday to Attorney General William Barr to credibly assess that something unethical and likely illegal went on in 2016. The repeated lies told by Trump campaign staff members — lies about their connections to Russian figures — already spin a grand tale of conspiracy and deceit. And it’s a tale so suspect and sordid that President Trump and his associates felt the need to lie to hide it from law enforcement.
And here’s another quote from Ms. Fredrickson’s piece:
From the outset, Mr. Trump’s approach to the Mueller investigation has been characterized by paranoia and fear. With his increasingly shrill denials, the president comes across more as someone who fears he will be found out than someone convinced of his innocence.
Who cares about facts when you can tell you don’t like the President from his demeanor and his tone of voice?
And finally, from one of the “news” articles, headline “For Trump and the System, Mueller’s Report Is a Turning Point and a Test”:
And yet the swirl of scandal around Mr. Trump extends well beyond Mr. Mueller’s inquiry, which was largely limited to issues related to Russia’s election interference and any efforts by the president or his aides to obstruct the investigation. Other federal, state and congressional investigations are looking into his various entities and allies, including his business, his inaugural organization and his foundation. Federal prosecutors in New York have already implicated the president in a scheme to violate campaign finance laws by arranging hush payments to keep two women from publicly discussing their claims to have had extramarital affairs with Mr. Trump before the 2016 election, affairs he has denied.
Or to put it another way: Russian “collusion? What Russian “collusion”? We don’t remember ever saying anything about Russian “collusion.” But we’ll find something to get this guy on. Just give us enough time, and enough partisan prosecutors. How about “hush money payments.” We can’t articulate why paying “hush money” is a crime, but it sure sounds bad, so let’s go with it as the next best thing.
Obviously, the New York Times is at the top of the list of institutions that have severely damaged themselves by letting their hatred of the President and their zeal to get rid of him sweep them along into abandoning all journalistic standards and promoting this ridiculous hoax. The consequences are far more severe than they may think. Do you believe anything at all coming out of the New York Times today?