Robert Mueller’s Wednesday statement spurred a Terrible Trifecta from The New York Times: a terrible headline, terrible opening paragraphs, and a terrible tweet. Mueller made clear that Russia tried to rig the 2016 election and that he could not clear Donald Trump of obstruction, nor could he rule out a “broader conspiracy” with Russia despite having insufficient evidence to charge more people. What did the Times make of this?
The headline: “Mueller Delivered a Message. Washington Couldn’t Agree on What It Was.”
The tweet: “News Analysis: The much-anticipated public debut of Robert Mueller as special counsel proved as polarizing and unsatisfying as almost everything else about his two-year investigation,
The first two paragraphs … well, you can pretty much guess. Donald Trump heard “Case closed” while “the president’s adversaries” heard “Time to impeach.” Mueller’s investigation and message were “polarizing and unsatisfying.”
Here’s a question for Peter Baker, previously the author of an article about Attorney General William Barr’s initial letter whitewashing the Mueller report, headlined “A Cloud Over Trump’s Presidency Is Lifted”: Any time Republicans reject facts, do we call those facts polarizing? Because we are talking about a man who has lied more than 10,000 times in less than 30 months in office, and a party that stands behind him. We are talking about a Senate majority leader who held a Supreme Court seat open for nearly a year because it would be so wrong to fill it in an election year, and now says of course he would fill a Supreme Court seat in 2020.
The facts do not apply. Honor does not apply. We are talking about a party organized around the ruthless pursuit of power, so of course they will do their damnedest to turn anything inconvenient to them into a “polarizing” issue. And the more the media enables them, the more they will get away with it. Peter Baker and The New York Times are apparently happy to enable.