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March 25, 2019

Comes a Reckoning

The very the very very liberal, and very anti-Trump, Matt Taibbi writes that the the press has damaged its reputation far worse than its purported gullibility on WMDs in Iraq ever did. (Yes, I know this is kind of a silly premise, but this premise -- that the press was super-pro-Bush and eager to defer to him and invade Iraq -- is dear to leftwing hearts, so when they say this is even worse, it's a big deal.)

Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media.

...

The Special Prosecutor literally became a religious figure during the last few years, with votive candles sold in his image and Saturday Night Live cast members singing "All I Want for Christmas is You" to him featuring the rhymey line: "Mueller please come through, because the only option is a coup."

...

For those anxious to keep the dream alive, the Times published its usual graphic of Trump-Russia "contacts," inviting readers to keep making connections. But in a separate piece by Peter Baker, the paper noted the Mueller news had dire consequences for the press:

It will be a reckoning for President Trump, to be sure, but also for Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, for Congress, for Democrats, for Republicans, for the news media and, yes, for the system as a whole…

This is a damning page one admission by the Times. Despite the connect-the-dots graphic in its other story, and despite the astonishing, emotion-laden editorial the paper also ran suggesting "We don’t need to read the Mueller report" because we know Trump is guilty, Baker at least began the work of preparing Times readers for a hard question: "Have journalists connected too many dots that do not really add up?"

The paper was signaling it understood there would now be questions about whether or not news outlets like itself made galactic errors by betting heavily on a new, politicized approach, trying to be true to "history's judgment" on top of the hard-enough job of just being true....

Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of the population, a group that (perhaps thanks to this story) is now larger than his original base. As Baker notes, a full 50.3% of respondents in a poll conducted this month said they agree with Trump the Mueller probe is a "witch hunt."

...

There was never real gray area here. Either Trump is a compromised foreign agent, or he isn't. If he isn't, news outlets once again swallowed a massive disinformation campaign, only this error is many orders of magnitude more stupid than any in the recent past, WMD included. Honest reporters like ABC’s Terry Moran understand: Mueller coming back empty-handed on collusion means a "reckoning for the media."

Of course, there won’t be such a reckoning. (There never is). But there should be. We broke every written and unwritten rule in pursuit of this story, starting with the prohibition on reporting things we can't confirm.

Say, wasn't that crazy Kool-Aid-drinking Trump Shill Mollie Hemingway writing about the media using unverified claims from anonymous sources (often single-sourced) a lot?

Well, that just proves she's crazy.

Speaking of, her husband Mark wants a specific reckoning on media's claims to be so important as to be above any criticism-- and the Dead Enders of anti-Trump "right" who echoed that.

While we're all dealing with the fallout from the Mueller report, let me get something off my chest: Of all the despicable things that happened in the last two years, I'm perhaps most galled by the constant refrain that the American media was this VITAL INSTITUTION currently manning the DMZ between American civilization and chaos, and as such had to be spared from any serious criticism at this time ("this time" being the dark age that descended immediately upon us when Hillary Clinton lost a free and fair election).

I heard this loudly from those on the right, as well as the left. Media criticism had been a significant portion of my work as a journalist, and this sudden and entirely unwarranted reverence for the media actually affected my career negatively because I didn't stop trying to point out that large swaths of the media were clearly acting unethical and irresponsible.

Meanwhile, mainstream journalists were taking talking points straight from the likes of liars such as Brennan and Clapper (and trying to intimidate critics behind the scenes -- I got a lovely personal story about that), claiming the Logan Act was a real thing that merited law enforcement investigation, lapping up self-serving leaks from a thoroughly corrupted FBI, and generally engaged malpractice and groupthink across the board. This may prove to be the most credibility damaging episode of the modern era.

But no! You can't dare criticize the media, even if you couch it in an acknowledgement of Trump's own issues with the truth and plead for a course correction instead of tearing the media down.

(Having ranted about all this personally, NOW IMAGINE WHAT MY WIFE ENDURED for being correct when everyone around her was wrong and extremely self-righteous about it.)

Everyone who said that the media are above criticism only made it so much worse. If you were worried that those nasty Trumpers would tear down the media two years ago, prepare to reap the whirlwind.

Speaking of, over at the Federalist, an intelligence/military interrogator and debriefer going by a pseudonym writes about the need for a media reckoning:

What we won't hear is an apology, or an introspective review of the mistakes and professional lapses that brought us all to this point. There will be a reckoning, but that reckoning won't be televised.

Instead, the reckoning will take place in the hearts and minds of the millions of Americans outside the Acela corridor who've been watching this slow-motion train wreck of a self-absorbed, hopelessly biased legacy media beclowning themselves in pursuit of the admiration and legitimacy of their peers, and of the Democratic politicians with whom they share secrets, lies, and tactics in furtherance of their mutual ideological objectives...


[Their] audience saw through the attempts of Reps. Schiff, Eric Swalwell, and Ted Lieu to represent innuendo as evidence, all the while silently urging the journalists hosting them to simply ask them a pertinent follow-up question....


And they knew why.

...

As much as I'd like to close with a quick word of advice for the media, for the Democratic politicians who pushed the treason narrative, and for the Comeys, Brennans, and Clappers, et al. who engineered this debacle, I honestly have no advice to give. It's over. There is no recovery from this.

The reckoning may not be televised, but it will be this: You will no longer be believed.

By the way, all of these posts are worth reading in full. I recommend them all.

Oh, and read this thread by none other than Glen "Ellers" Greenwald explaining to a leftist idiot that the "crazies" at the Federalist got this story right for two years while she and her moronic colleagues she thinks are smart and on the ball got it completely wrong at every juncture and in every single detail.

But trust them -- they're the smart ones! The smart ones who are just always wrong about everything.

But this is Current Year -- intelligence isn't measured by how many things you get right and the general reliability of your analytical judgment.

It's measured by your self-esteem and how smart you feeeeeel you are.



A reckoning, as the Federalist's pseudonymous interrogator says, is indeed happening.

It's not just the corporate media that has a reckoning coming, either: It's the Fusion-GPS-style funded-by-billionaires for personal agenda Vanity Media, too:



John Ekdahl notices that CNN is now pretending this whole "Collusion" accusation just never happened:



More good stuff:



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posted by Ace of Spades at 12:23 PM

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