When the Washington Post published an article about the letter from Mueller to Barr, they undoubtedly patted themselves on the back. After all, they perceive themselves as the firefighters of truth, the guardians of Democracy, and the unimpeachable voice of reason. This is why they changed their slogan to “Democracy Dies In Darkness” and spent millions of dollars on a Super Bowl Ad. The letter from Mueller to Barr must be shared, because the American people need to know. Except they mischaracterized the letter so badly, its tantamount to lying themselves. The Post is just a symptom of a higher problem; one that has spread throughout the mainstream media. They are so consumed with the notion of their own importance, they do not realize they are, themselves, setting the political and social landscape afire.
Olivier Knox, the president of the White House Correspondents Association, at the annual dinner this past Saturday (which President Trump did not attend for the third year in a row), phrased the paranoia and grandstanding endemic to the mainstream media perfectly. “In nearly 23 years as a reporter,” he said, “I’ve been physically assaulted by Republicans and Democrats, spat on, shoved, had crap thrown at me. I’ve been told I will never work in Washington again by both major parties. And yet I still separate my career to before February 2017 and what came after. And February 2017 is when the president called us the enemy of the people.” As Joseph Curl, formerly of the Drudge Report, pointed out, this is false. Trump refers to the “fake news media” as the enemy of the people, not the press as a whole. While the distinction is lost on those who claim to be objective, it is an important one. It is obvious that those that spread lies and misinformation in order to deceive you into believing what they want you to believe are, inherently, your enemy. While the actual content that can be considered “fake news” is debatable, the point is not.
Which is why what Knox said is so dangerous. By lying to himself and his crowd, and claiming that the Trump presidency is so remarkable that it literally divided his long career into a pre-Trump and post-Trump timeline, he is pitting himself and his colleagues against Trump. This means that they will not guard the truth, or push for transparency. They will attack and smear, lie and manipulate, because of hatred.
For over 2 years, the media has peddled the Russia collusion story. It’s obviously a big story, if it were true. However, the evidence that was revealed over that time never supported the narrative. Of course, there were inappropriate actions that the Trump campaign took, but never close to hitting the level of hysteria that was being generate around it. Every reveal, like the Trump Tower in Moscow, Don, Jr’s meeting, or Michael Flynn’s phone calls, were dwarfed by the media’s repetition of “bombshell”, “treason”, “impeachment” and, of course, “collusion”. The truth couldn’t hope to compete with the hysteria that the media generated.
The coverage over the Mueller report, Barr summary, and the testimony that Barr gave to the Senate is truly indicative of the fact that the media no longer cares about the truth. The Washington Post headline about the Mueller letter was “Mueller complained to Barr about memo on key findings.” The headline was so bad that the Post changed it in their online version of the article. Buried in paragraph 14, when discussing a phone call between Mueller and Barr, was “When Barr pressed Mueller on whether he thought Barr’s memo to Congress was inaccurate, Mueller said he did not but felt media coverage of it was misinterpreting the investigation, officials said.” The problem wasn’t Barr lying, as the media and democrats claim he did but clearly did not, it as that the media didn’t report the way Mueller wanted them to report. Barr’s Senate hearing gave them a chance to change that.
When Senator Lindsey Graham was opening up the Senate hearing, he included the fact that the finding of the report showed “no collusion. No coordination. No conspiracy between the trump campaign and the Russian government regarding the 2016 election.” Graham was clearly speaking to the never-ending collusion narrative of the past few years, using the word “collusion” because that’s the word everyone has been using. Nonetheless, MSNBC anchor Brian Williams interrupted the hearings, something he admits they rarely do, to “correct” Lindsey Graham. He claimed that since collusion isn’t in the federal code, it wasn’t being investigated, and Graham was lying. When he turned to Nicole Wallace to elaborate, she said “What’s stunning is that Lindsey Graham is offering answers to questions that aren’t on the table today. The question on the table today, after the reporting last night, is why did Barr mischaracterize what was actually in the Mueller report. And I’m sorry Lindsey Graham, but your defensiveness is showing. To talk about everything that went in to it and in the next breath distort it is a stunning, stunning mischaracterization of what the whole exercise is supposed to be about. It reveals what I talked about before, that he is sitting there today not as the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, but as a human shield for Donald Trump, and it would appear, William Barr.”
Nothing about what she said is true. The Mueller Report and the Barr Summary is the subject of the hearing, and everything related is “on the table”. Barr did not mischaracterize the Mueller report, especially regarding collusion. Most importantly, Graham is an elected Republican Senator, and as such is allowed and expected to be political in his statements.
The interesting thing is that while she sits on MSNBC accusing a partisan of being partisan, Wallace and Brian Williams are showing their own bias colors. Williams broke into a live-feed of the hearings because he believes that he is the Guardian of the Truth. It’s unfortunate that he doesn’t speak the truth. Even if he did, he gave that time to Nicole Wallace, who took her 10 seconds on the air to only give opinion.
She had more time later in the broadcast, when they interrupted AGAIN to correct something else. This time, Nicole Wallace didn’t mince words. She just called Barr a liar and then read from the public Mueller report. Keep in mind that MSNBC is a 24-hour news channel that could have given their commentary after the hearings.
ABC jumped on the bias bandwagon, hitting Barr again and again with accusations of lying. Cecilia Vega said “the attorney general really created the impression that Mueller’s team found no wrongdoing and then we later came to find out that that is not at all what the report concluded”. Except she’s lying. The attorney general did not make that impression. The media made that impression, when Barr decided to take the responsibility that Mueller passed over to him and not prosecute. Their own legal council, Dan Abrams, said “Look, it’s a very lawyery answer, right? And this is why I don’t think they’re going to be able to truly kind of prove that Barr, quote unquote, lied, right? Because I think there will be an explanation for everyone of Barr’s comments about the Mueller investigation.”
CNN also capitalized on the hearings to attack Trump. At one point, Lindsey Graham was quoting texts between corrupt and terminated FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, when Strzok said “Trump is a f—ing idiot”. CNN did a report showing a bevy of Tweets and videos of people cheering, laughing, and repeating that line, in order to mock Trump.
Why does this matter? What difference does it make to the American people if journalists claim to be objective but in reality they are biased? As everyone knows, the political landscape in the last few years has caused an ever-increasing degradation of the social fabric in this country. It did not start with Trump, as the media treated George W. Bush in similar fashion. However, in the absence of an objective media, a biased media, both left and right, has become the primary disseminators of information. There is nothing wrong with a biased media, as long as they admit their bias (which they do). When biased media claims to be objective, however, they are no longer capable of telling the truth, as the very foundation of their reporting is a lie.
MSNBC, for the most part, happily admits their left-wing bias on their commentary show. Like Fox News commentators, MSNBC commentators should give their commentary with whatever bias they would like. That is not what Brian Williams claims to be. That is not what CNN claims to be. And that is certainly not what the White House Press Association claims to be. That is what they are, though, and that is why much of their reporting is “fake news”.