‘Either You Did It on Purpose or…’

 

Ann Althouse is writing this morning about the media reaction to the Barr statement on the Mueller report. She quotes the WaPo:

“Russiagate” has been a news media obsession since Trump’s victory in November 2016…. The cable news networks, particularly CNN and MSNBC, have added hundreds of hours of discussion about the topic, too. The story undoubtedly was an important factor in shaping voters’ perceptions before the 2018 midterm election, in which Democrats won control of the House. But the conclusion of the inquiry has put a question once hazily debated into sharp focus: Did the mainstream news media mislead?..

Ann then answers that question perfectly herself:

I call fake news on the assertion that the question is just coming into focus! The question has been there all along, but the Trump-resistance media has deliberately blurred it and actively diverted us from it. I don’t even want to spend my time watching this phony hand-wringing over what went wrong. Either you did it on purpose or you’re so insane and incompetent that you’re not worth reading at all.

As I have said, this is a big moment and people like me are watching. Can formerly respectable people salvage their reputations and careers? Unlikely, but there’s a slim chance.

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  1. DrewInWisconsin Member
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Can formerly respectable people salvage their reputations and careers?

    Formerly-respectable, maybe. But the ones who were never respectable? Nope.

    • #1
  2. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    This two year misery served a valuable purpose. It has shown corruption and dishonesty within the highest levels of our government along with the media.  A light was shown from every angle and it’s still shining, as it gets cleaned up. It won’t be all cleaned up, but now we see clearly.  This is a good day for that reason alone.  In case you missed the Lindsey Graham press conference this morning, it ain’t over til it’s over – all is not being swept under the rug.  The press that was present, didn’t ask much about the deception that brought this case about.  That is telling and answers your post.

    • #2
  3. Ed G. Inactive
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    This two year misery served a valuable purpose. It has shown corruption and dishonesty within the highest levels of our government along with the media. A light was shown from every angle and it’s still shining, as it gets cleaned up. It won’t be all cleaned up, but now we see clearly. This is a good day for that reason alone. In case you missed the Lindsey Graham press conference this morning, it ain’t over til it’s over – all is not being swept under the rug. The press that was present, didn’t ask much about the deception that brought this case about. That is telling and answers your post.

    That’s a big point. It’s an obvious question: why do you think Trump colluded with Russia? So obvious it should have been hammered from the start – because apparently there never was an answer! I usually make room for genuine disagreements or differeing interpretations, but Althouse it correct: that’s either deception or dangerous incompetence. 

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Ed G.: But the conclusion of the inquiry has put a question once hazily debated into sharp focus: Did the mainstream news media mislead?..

    Ya think? Kimberley Strassel in the WSJ is calling for the real investigation to begin: where did this all begin? C’mon folks, get serious. It is now time to study the upper echelons of the FBI and DOJ and find out what the last two years were really about. Bring out the popcorn!

    • #4
  5. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    I think the “formerly” respectable are hurt worst by this. I used to listen to Chuck Todd(?) on Hugh Hewitt’s show and think, “there’s a reasonable liberal.” No more. Credibility once lost is very difficult to regain.

    However, if lunatic lefties start sounding reasonable, they’ll actually gain credibility from where they started. Which was zero.

    • #5
  6. Jim Chase Member
    Jim Chase
    @JimChase

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    I think the “formerly” respectable are hurt worst by this. I used to listen to Chuck Todd(?) on Hugh Hewitt’s show and think, “there’s a reasonable liberal.” No more. Credibility once lost is very difficult to regain.

    However, if lunatic lefties start sounding reasonable, they’ll actually gain credibility from where they started. Which was zero.

    I’m afraid “credibility” is dying as an objective metric, because few care about objective truth and fact anymore.  Sadly, to be “credible” in one’s eyes now simply requires that person or thing to reinforce what one already believes.  Journalistic credibility’s last gasp went out with Dan Rather’s demise (the last one I can think of that was actually held accountable by his network).  Since then, it’s spin and retcon, spin and revise, and take advantage of the people’s incredibly shrinking attention span – and they will get away with it.

    Maybe there will be some wailing and gnashing of teeth, but it won’t last long.  There will be no serious navel gazing, no serious attempts at media accountability.  Too many enablers.

    • #6
  7. Ed G. Inactive
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Jim Chase (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):

    I think the “formerly” respectable are hurt worst by this. I used to listen to Chuck Todd(?) on Hugh Hewitt’s show and think, “there’s a reasonable liberal.” No more. Credibility once lost is very difficult to regain.

    However, if lunatic lefties start sounding reasonable, they’ll actually gain credibility from where they started. Which was zero.

    I’m afraid “credibility” is dying as an objective metric, because few care about objective truth and fact anymore. Sadly, to be “credible” in one’s eyes now simply requires that person or thing to reinforce what one already believes. Journalistic credibility’s last gasp went out with Dan Rather’s demise (the last one I can think of that was actually held accountable by his network). Since then, it’s spin and retcon, spin and revise, and take advantage of the people’s incredibly shrinking attention span – and they will get away with it.

    Maybe there will be some wailing and gnashing of teeth, but it won’t last long. There will be no serious navel gazing, no serious attempts at media accountability. Too many enablers.

    Agreed, but I’ll see and remember. I already know about the CNN’s and MSNBC’s and TYT’s. It’s the ostensible righties I’m gonna remember. Won’t make a difference to the wider culture probably, but it’ll be useful to me to know who is worth paying attention to.

    • #7
  8. DonG Coolidge
    DonG
    @DonG

    The Mainstream Media has killed journalism.  It is dead and cannot come back.  The MSM will forever more be dominated by click-bait tabloid quality content.  The only hope for journalism is for some new media to spring up from the ashes.   It probably will not be cable or print, since those are end-of-life content delivery.  I am guessing it will be a branded application that is mostly ad-supported (opt out of ads with fee) and this will collect some good journalists.  Any billionaire could seed it.

    • #8
  9. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Mueller couldn’t declare him guilty, so he did the next big thing, he didn’t actually say he’s innocent, so partisan anti Trump Democrats don’t have to learn anything from the conclusions.  Mueller had to give up reluctantly, but he left the water murky.

    • #9
  10. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    It’s not like they can’t be replaced with more perceptive people. Writers and ‘personalities’ are a dime-a-dozen. 

    They should retrain into a career more in line with their capabilities and aptitudes such as the used car sales industry. 

    • #10
  11. Ed G. Inactive
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    DonG (View Comment):

    The Mainstream Media has killed journalism. It is dead and cannot come back. The MSM will forever more be dominated by click-bait tabloid quality content. The only hope for journalism is for some new media to spring up from the ashes. It probably will not be cable or print, since those are end-of-life content delivery. I am guessing it will be a branded application that is mostly ad-supported (opt out of ads with fee) and this will collect some good journalists. Any billionaire could seed it.

    All it takes for a comeback is compelling work and a track record of conforming to reality.

    • #11
  12. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    DonG (View Comment):

    The Mainstream Media has killed journalism. It is dead and cannot come back. The MSM will forever more be dominated by click-bait tabloid quality content. The only hope for journalism is for some new media to spring up from the ashes. It probably will not be cable or print, since those are end-of-life content delivery. I am guessing it will be a branded application that is mostly ad-supported (opt out of ads with fee) and this will collect some good journalists. Any billionaire could seed it.

    Well that already exists on the web, but it’s divided all over the place.  People still watch TV, but that too is divided all over the place.  We need to use all of them but have  a very simple coordinated political goal that won’t strike most people as radical.  Let’s try to return to the constitution as we understood it.  Move all Federal Programs not designated in the constitution back to the states and from the states closer to folks, especially in states dominated by giant  cities.  That still loses the national left, but not all local people who vote left.   They just dominate because they dominate the popular national media and education and the difference between local politics and national politics is poorly understood by the left.  The problem you mention is an opportunity as well as  a problem.  

    • #12
  13. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Coolidge
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo…
    @GumbyMark

    Learn to code.

    • #13
  14. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret
    @CarolJoy

    There used to be a popular graphic poster that exemplified how “This Job Ate My Brain!”

    With Adam Schiff coming forward to boldly state that Congress will now subpoena Mueller, which means Schiff does not understand that Congress has no rights  or ownership over the report, as it is part of the DOJ, or executive branch and not part of Congressional authority, it appears that this obsessive collusion theory has eaten away the brains of many on the Left, including almost every reporter and opinion maker at CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, et al.

    • #14
  15. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Mueller couldn’t declare him guilty, so he did the next big thing, he didn’t actually say he’s innocent, so partisan anti Trump Democrats don’t have to learn anything from the conclusions. Mueller had to give up reluctantly, but he left the water murky.

    I never expected vindication. I think anyone who did was fooling themselves.

    Regardless of Mueller’s personal view, the best one could expect from any experienced lawyer is a conclusion of “there is no compelling evidence of X, Y or Z.”

     

    • #15
  16. Sweezle Member
    Sweezle
    @Sweezle

    Yes, they did it on purpose. And they will continue to.

     

    • #16
  17. Jon1979 Inactive
    Jon1979
    @Jon1979

    Either you did it on purpose or you’re so insane and incompetent that you’re not worth reading at all.

    It’s a little of both — there really are a bunch of reporters out there so ensconced in their bubbles they only talk to like-minded people and really did think there was something there. But you also had the “Change the World” advocacy journalism types, for whom the need to get Trump out  of office was a higher truth that justified what they saw as smaller deceptions, and of course some of the paid talking heads like Clapper and Brennan absolutely knew where the Steele dossier came from, and knew the falseness of the allegations, but saw no problem in lying to serve their own ideological purposes.

    • #17
  18. Hoyacon Member
    Hoyacon
    @Hoyacon

    I wish I could concentrate on the main point, but I can’t get past the fact that the foundation for Althouse’s article is something on this episode from the Washington Post. !  

    Allow me, friends, to reproduce a bit of the main front page story in that bastion of impartiality.  This is allegedly “news:”

    Dispute erupts over Mueller’s findings

    The top two Justice Department officials determined that evidence was insufficient to allege President Trump had obstructed justice, sparking concerns that they rushed to a judgment no one asked them to make.

    Yes, “sparking concerns.”  Can’t these folks come up with a new one for “we don’t like this.”?  How about that old standby “sources say.”?

    • #18
  19. Retail Lawyer Member
    Retail Lawyer
    @RetailLawyer

     Either you did it on purpose or you’re so insane and incompetent that you’re not worth reading at all.

    That is my analysis, too.  That is their day job and they should be fired because they are no good at it.  I read somewhere yesterday that the number of people who’s mind will not change due to the Mueller report is 41%.  I am one of those people.  The conclusion was beyond obvious about 18 months ago.

    By the way, I love Ann Althouse.  She has been reading the NYT and WAPO so I don’t have to.  I hope she continues to read them for me, because I really should know what the weasels are up to, but I just can’t bear to actually read them.  Or listen to NPR.  They really, really are enemies of the people.

    • #19
  20. Arizona Patriot Member
    Arizona Patriot
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Mueller couldn’t declare him guilty, so he did the next big thing, he didn’t actually say he’s innocent, so partisan anti Trump Democrats don’t have to learn anything from the conclusions. Mueller had to give up reluctantly, but he left the water murky.

    I never expected vindication. I think anyone who did was fooling themselves.

    Regardless of Mueller’s personal view, the best one could expect from any experienced lawyer is a conclusion of “there is no compelling evidence of X, Y or Z.”

     

    This is not correct.  The best one could expect was what Mueller did with respect to the collusion charges, which was to state: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

    Mueller should have made the same decision regarding the obstruction charges, or had the courage to refer charges.  He punted.  This was unacceptable.

    • #20
  21. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Coolidge
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo…
    @GumbyMark

    Arizona Patriot (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Mueller couldn’t declare him guilty, so he did the next big thing, he didn’t actually say he’s innocent, so partisan anti Trump Democrats don’t have to learn anything from the conclusions. Mueller had to give up reluctantly, but he left the water murky.

    I never expected vindication. I think anyone who did was fooling themselves.

    Regardless of Mueller’s personal view, the best one could expect from any experienced lawyer is a conclusion of “there is no compelling evidence of X, Y or Z.”

     

    This is not correct. The best one could expect was what Mueller did with respect to the collusion charges, which was to state: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

    Mueller should have made the same decision regarding the obstruction charges, or had the courage to refer charges. He punted. This was unacceptable.

    Ah, but let us look to the defenders of the National Security Establishment over at Lawfare for their take on the collusion language:

    Saying that the investigation did not establish that there was collusion is not the same thing as saying that the investigation established that there was no collusion.

    Amazing to see them formulating their counterattack.  They will not give up.

    • #21
  22. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Arizona Patriot (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Mueller couldn’t declare him guilty, so he did the next big thing, he didn’t actually say he’s innocent, so partisan anti Trump Democrats don’t have to learn anything from the conclusions. Mueller had to give up reluctantly, but he left the water murky.

    I never expected vindication. I think anyone who did was fooling themselves.

    Regardless of Mueller’s personal view, the best one could expect from any experienced lawyer is a conclusion of “there is no compelling evidence of X, Y or Z.”

     

    This is not correct. The best one could expect was what Mueller did with respect to the collusion charges, which was to state: “The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

    Mueller should have made the same decision regarding the obstruction charges, or had the courage to refer charges. He punted. This was unacceptable.

    He had one job and tens of millions of dollars. 

    • #22
  23. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Paul “Lying” Ryan, and every single House GOP member who allowed him to take and keep the Speakership, own the 2018 loss. The electorate repaid their lying contempt with interest, as was only right. The elevation of “California Roll(over)” Kevin McCarthy to the Minority “Leader” position says the House GOP needs even further purging in primaries and even in the 2020 general election. Inflict pain until they change their behavior. Period.

    • #23
  24. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor
    @OkieSailor

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Ed G.: But the conclusion of the inquiry has put a question once hazily debated into sharp focus: Did the mainstream news media mislead?..

    Ya think? Kimberley Strassel in the WSJ is calling for the real investigation to begin: where did this all begin? C’mon folks, get serious. It is now time to study the upper echelons of the FBI and DOJ and find out what the last two years were really about. Bring out the popcorn!

    They were quite simply a desperate attempt to avoid losing the lefts long standing ability to impose their progressive agenda through the courts . That has always been the big scary deal for them now they may even be disappointed . We shall see .

    • #24
  25. Gary Robbins Member
    Gary Robbins
    @GaryRobbins

    I’d like to express a contrary opinion.  I agree with Charlie Sykes who quotes David Frum as follows:

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that Vladimir Putin’s Russia hacked American emails and used them to help elect Trump to the presidency.

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that agents purporting to represent Putin’s Russia approached the Trump campaign to ask whether help would be welcome, to which Donald Trump Jr. replied, ‘If it’s what you say I love it…’

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that Donald Trump publicly welcomed this help: ‘I love WikiLeaks!'”

    https://thebulwark.com/no-collusion-no-exoneration/

    • #25
  26. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that Vladimir Putin’s Russia hacked American emails and used them to help elect Trump to the presidency.

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that agents purporting to represent Putin’s Russia approached the Trump campaign to ask whether help would be welcome, to which Donald Trump Jr. replied, ‘If it’s what you say I love it…’

    Nonsense. As we all know.

    • #26
  27. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that Vladimir Putin’s Russia hacked American emails and used them to help elect Trump to the presidency.

     

    That record won’t sell many copies. It has no beat and you can’t dance to it.

    I much prefer Frankie Yankovic’s “You Can Have Her, I Don’t Want Her, She’s Not Wisconsin Enough For Me”.

     

    • #27
  28. Ed G. Inactive
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    I’d like to express a contrary opinion. I agree with Charlie Sykes who quotes David Frum as follows:

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that Vladimir Putin’s Russia hacked American emails and used them to help elect Trump to the presidency.

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that agents purporting to represent Putin’s Russia approached the Trump campaign to ask whether help would be welcome, to which Donald Trump Jr. replied, ‘If it’s what you say I love it…’

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that Donald Trump publicly welcomed this help: ‘I love WikiLeaks!’”

    https://thebulwark.com/no-collusion-no-exoneration/

    It’s also not a theory that the federal government was weaponized on the basis of a fake dossier paid for by HRC from foreign agents for the purpose of influencing the election. Unlike DJT’S joke and Jr’s meeting (set up by the same GPS Fusion which facilitated the pee pee dossier) where nothing actually happened, the Obama administration actually spied on the campaign of the opposition party. You can try to make those equivalent, but they’re not. You can try to say that the Obama administration was justified in using the government to spy on a political opponent, but it wasn’t justified. 

    • #28
  29. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Coolidge
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo…
    @GumbyMark

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    I’d like to express a contrary opinion. I agree with Charlie Sykes who quotes David Frum as follows:

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that Vladimir Putin’s Russia hacked American emails and used them to help elect Trump to the presidency.

    Actually this is Fake News.  It is not a matter of historical record.  Mueller made allegations but knows that they will never be tested at trial.  Nor is it a matter of historical record that the hack helped elect Trump to the Presidency.  Anyway, I understood it was Comey’s reopening the Hillary investigation that cost her the election.  Never Trumpers need to keep their stories straight!

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that agents purporting to represent Putin’s Russia approached the Trump campaign to ask whether help would be welcome, to which Donald Trump Jr. replied, ‘If it’s what you say I love it…’

    Even if accurate, so what?  The historical record shows that in the meeting referenced, at the Trump Tower, no such help was forthcoming.  The record also shows that the Russian approaching Trump Jr with the offer was working with Fusion GPS, which had been hired by the Clinton Campaign, meeting with the its head before and after the Trump Tower meeting.  The record also shows that the Clinton Campaign, through Fusion GPS and other cut-outs actually communicated directly with Russian intelligence sources and used information from them in an attempt to influence the election.  There is no such record regarding the Trump campaign.

    “It’s not a theory but a matter of historical record that Donald Trump publicly welcomed this help: ‘I love WikiLeaks!’”

    Again, so what?  If he was collaborating with the Russians, why was Roger Stone having to make contact with Wikileaks to see if they had the emails?  That’s not my theory – that Mueller’s theory in his charge against Stone!

    David Frum is pathetic.  And like so many other Never Trumpers does not give a damn about what has been shown to be a deliberate distortion of the legal process and corruption of the intelligence community to overturn the results of a presidential election.  Their deliberate avoidance of this topic is proof they are acting in bad faith.  If only Trump had promised to give Kristol and Frum the wars they so desperately want they would be onboard 100% with him, no matter what other flaws he has.

    • #29
  30. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    Tar? Check.

    Feathers? Check.

    Mob?

    • #30
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