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Old 04-27-2019, 05:30 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Portland Oregon USA
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Default The Mueller Report and the Media Report Card

A tale of competing narratives.

Mueller report: The winners and losers | TheHill
When discussing the media mostly says left and right cable pundits looked bad.

Here are the media outlets most embarrassed by the Mueller report – ThinkProgress
A little column space dedicated to Fox News and Sean Hannity, but mostly focused on stating that Matt Taibbi, The Nation magazine, and Glenn Greenwald have been shown to have been wrong in downplaying the Russiagate coverage.

Post-Mueller, 2020 campaign coverage could reach a new low — but it doesn't have to
Media Critic Jay Rosen is interviewed by the CBC and indicates that he thinks the media overall did decent on coverage, acknowledges cable news media 24-hour coverage was not great though puts that on structure, disagrees with Taibbi's conclusions and says his WMD analogy is poor.

Noam Chomsky discusses Russiagate and points out that Israel interferes more directly in our elections than Russia ever has, and that corporate interests in the form of massive amounts of lobbying power, money and dark money influence and interfere to a scale that dwarfs any operation run by the Russians.

Here's Matt Taibbi discussing the media's role as it relates to the 2016 election coverage failures and how that dovetailed into the Russiagate narrative, as well as how he's been viewed by others in the media:
Taibbi: On Russiagate and Our Refusal to Face Why Trump Won
Suddenly, news articles appeared arguing people like myself and Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept were rushing to judgment, calling us bullies whose writings were intended to leave reporters “cowed” and likely to “back down from aggressive coverage of Trump.

This was baffling. One of the most common criticisms of people like Greenwald, Michael Tracey, Aaron Mate, Rania Khalek, Max Blumenthal, Jordan Chariton and many others is that Russiagate “skeptics” — I hate that term, because it implies skepticism isn’t normal and healthy in this job — were really secret Trump partisans, part of a “horseshoe” pact between far left and far right to focus attention on the minor foibles of the center instead of Trump’s more serious misdeeds. Even I received this label, and I once wrote a book about Trump called Insane Clown President.
The 2016 campaign season brought to the surface awesome levels of political discontent. After the election, instead of wondering where that anger came from, most of the press quickly pivoted to a new tale about a Russian plot to attack our Democracy. This conveyed the impression that the election season we’d just lived through had been an aberration, thrown off the rails by an extraordinary espionage conspiracy between Trump and a cabal of evil foreigners.

This narrative contradicted everything I’d seen traveling across America in my two years of covering the campaign. The overwhelming theme of that race, long before anyone even thought about Russia, was voter rage at the entire political system.
I belong on this infamous list [of media people who sneered at Trump's chances to win] myself. In one of the worst mistakes of my career, I ended up changing my mind about “free-falling” Trump’s chances, spending the stretch run predicting doom for Republicans. I read too many polls and ignored what I was seeing, i.e. that even the post-Access Hollywood Trump was still packing stadiums.

Trump would already be president-elect before he was taken seriously as an electoral phenomenon. Right up until the networks called Florida for him on election night, few major American media figures outside of Michael Moore – who incidentally was also right about WMDs and ridiculed for it – believed a Trump win possible.

The only reason most blue-state media audiences had been given for Trump’s poll numbers all along was racism, which was surely part of the story but not the whole picture. A lack of any other explanation meant Democratic audiences, after the shock of election night, were ready to reach for any other data point that might better explain what just happened.

Russiagate became a convenient replacement explanation absolving an incompetent political establishment for its complicity in what happened in 2016, and not just the failure to see it coming. Because of the immediate arrival of the collusion theory, neither Wolf Blitzer nor any politician ever had to look into the camera and say, “I guess people hated us so much they were even willing to vote for Donald Trump.”

Post-election, Russiagate made it all worse. People could turn on their TVs at any hour of the day and see anyone from Rachel Maddow to Chris Cuomo openly reveling in Trump’s troubles. This is what Fox looks like to liberal audiences.
I'm interested in how other people view the media's coverage of the Mueller Investigation and Report. I tend to mostly think that Taibbi's media criticisms have some merit.
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