If they want to retain any relevance or credibility at all, the mainstream media should be profusely apologizing for misleading their audiences about collusion for so long.
President Trump has been calling out the biased media for pushing the Russia collusion hoax from the very beginning. Now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has vindicated the president, some liberal journalists are pretending they did nothing wrong, while others are actually trying to blame Trump for their own deceptive coverage.
Keep in mind that the New York Times and the Washington Post shared a Pulitzer Prize “for deeply sourced, relentlessly reported coverage in the public interest that dramatically furthered the nation’s understanding of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its connections to the Trump campaign, the president-elect’s transition team and his eventual administration.”
The Pulitzer is the most prestigious award in journalism, so the executives in charge of those outlets are understandably defensive about the fact that their prize-winning reporting turned out to be pure fiction.
“We wrote a lot about Russia, and I have no regrets,” said Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the New York Times. “It’s not our job to determine whether or not there was illegality.”
CNN President Jeff Zucker responded to criticism of his network’s collusion coverage by saying he’s “entirely comfortable” with the way CNN handled the topic because “We are not investigators. We are journalists.” Meanwhile, the “CNN Investigates” webpage is still active and current online — no small irony that.
The reaction from other corners of the liberal media, meanwhile, was much more combative.
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, for instance, said that those who question the liberal media’s motives are just wrapped up in collusion with the White House.
“Just because you will justify everything that man does and just because you are corrupt, just because you’re not a journalist, just because you have sold your soul to a personality cult, don’t knock reporters at the New York Times or the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal or the broadcast networks for doing their job right,” he said.
Like Zucker, Scarborough argued that journalists don’t have a responsibility to investigate stories, declaring, “Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead, follow the story where it leads us.”
“Late Show” host Stephen Colbert went a step further and blamed President Trump for the fake collusion narrative, saying he “only has himself to blame” for being subjected to a two-year harassment campaign based on a false premise.
“Even if Trump was falsely accused, he only has himself to blame because he lies so much, you just don’t know what to believe,” Colbert insisted during the opening monologue of his show one day after Mueller’s initial findings were made public.
While the liberal media play the victim card, some within their ranks aren’t following orders.
Liberal journalist Glenn Greenwald, co-founder of “The Intercept,” claimed he was banned from appearing on MSNBC for questioning the Russia collusion narrative, and ripped the network for championing “the whole scam” throughout its coverage of the Mueller investigation.
“Let me just say, [MSNBC] should have their top host on primetime go before the cameras and hang their heads in shame and apologize for lying to people for three straight years, exploiting their fears to great profit,” Greenwald told Fox News.
Following Greenwald’s advice would certainly be the right thing for MSNBC to do, but it might also be the smartest approach from a business perspective.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, whose show has been near the top of the cable news ratings throughout the collusion saga, came in sixth on Monday night, down by nearly half a million viewers from the previous Monday. MSNBC’s second highest-rated program, The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell, shed a similar number of viewers.
The Russia-collusion hoax was a ratings bonanza for MSNBC and other liberal media outlets, but it’s over now. Instead of trying to save face by attacking President Trump or denying that they’ve been pushing a discredited narrative for the past three years, the media should own up to what they did and commit to get out of the liberal advocacy and faux outrage business and start to actually report the news.
Dr. Gina Loudon, Ph.D. is a bestselling author, columnist, and frequent news commentator. She was a Trump delegate to the Republican National Convention and currently serves on the Donald J. Trump for President Media Advisory Board.