If you thought the perpetrators of this media crime would be contrite, self-reflective, or sorry, you would be wrong.
I took one for the team.
Monday morning, the first morning after the summary of the Mueller report was released, I watched CNN and Morning Joe on MSNBC. I did it again on Tuesday morning.
It was rough, like walking into an alternative universe where the inhabitants created their own narrative in which the media coverage of supposed Trump-Russia collusion was worthy of praise, or at least not criticism. I could only watch for a short time each morning. It was that unbearable.
Reality is that the media stoked, invented and promoted that false claim that Trump and the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
While there are many good chronicles of the media malfeasance, Matt Taibbi’s two columns are fairly comprehensive: It’s official: Russiagate is this generation’s WMD and As the Mueller Probe Ends, New Russiagate Myths Begin
The summary of the Mueller report, including quotations directly from the report, destroyed that media narrative:
… The report outlines the Russian effort to influence the election and documents crimes committed by persons associated with the Russian government in connection with those efforts. The report further explains that a primary consideration for the Special Counsel’s investigation was whether any Americans – including individuals associated with the Trump campaign – joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the election, which would be a federal crime. The Special Counsel’s 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. As the report states: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
It was not hard to see that this would be the outcome. While I strongly disagree with Glenn Greenwald on many issues, since he is far to the left, he has been spot on as to the malfeasance by the mainstream liberal media. This is Greenwald in October 2017:
And again last night when Greenwald discussed how he had been banned from MSNBC for not joining the Russia collusion narrative (transcript via Daily Caller):
“Let me just say, [MSNBC] should have their top host on primetime go before the cameras and hang their head in shame and apologize for lying to people for three straight years, exploiting their fears to great profit,” Greenwald began. “These are people who were on the verge of losing their jobs. The whole network was about to collapse. This whole scam saved them. Not only did they constantly feed people for three straight years total disinformation, they did it on purpose, Tucker.”
He continued, “There was a whole slew, not just me, of left-wing journalists with very high journalistic credentials, far more than anyone on that network, like Matt Taibbi and Jeremy Scahill and many others, including myself, who were banned from the network because they wanted their audience not to know that anybody was questioning or expressing skepticism about the lies and the scam they were selling because it was so profitable.”
“They did it on purpose. It was a total fraud that they perpetrated on their audience and to the extent that they talked about it at all, it was to call us agents of the Russian government to defame us as traitors and to lie about us continuously to their audience,” Greenwald concluded.
Getting back to the Morning Joe show this week. It was far worse than CNN. Switching channels was like going from bad to worse, from the frying pan into the fire. CNN is just dumb, Morning Joe is devious.
*In fairness* I only watched for a relatively short time. It’s possible that while I was not watching, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski got on their knees and begged the public for forgiveness for having participated and promoted on their show one of the worst political hoaxes in history.
But what I saw was a complete lack of self-reflection, portraying themselves and their media friends as the victims.
I didn’t see this specific clip, but it’s reflective of what I did see, Joe in attack mode (transcript via RCP):
Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” host Joe Scarborough condemned President Trump and his allies in the media for criticizing the rest of the media’s coverage of Robert Mueller‘s investigation.
“I’d pose this question to everyone watching,” he said. “What would you have had the media do over the past two years when Donald Trump lied throughout the 2016 campaign about his contacts with Russia? Why would Donald Trump lie about Russia?”
“Maybe they should’ve just ignored the fact that the president called everybody around on Air Force One and concocted a lie,” he continued. “I just ask, what was the media supposed to do at that point? Shrug it off? You know the answer, and just because you’re sucking up to Donald Trump and just because power is all that matters to you, and just because you will justify everything that man does and just because you are corrupt, just because you’re not a journalist, just because you have sold your soul to a personality cult, don’t knock reporters at The New York Times or the Washington Post or The Wall Street Journal or the broadcast networks for doing their job right.”
“Save your breath, we’re not going to divert our eyes,” Scarborough vowed. “This president lies more than any other president in the United States… Damn the torpedos, full steam ahead, follow the story where it leads us.”
At best, Scarborough’s attack was whataboutism — but, but, Trump lies too! So does that excuse the hoax perpetrated 24/7 by MSNBC?
If you thought the perpetrators of this media crime would be contrite, self-reflective, or sorry, you would be wrong. They have learned nothing. To the contrary, many of them have learned the wrong lesson.