Two Americas download contrasting coverage of colliding Washington scandals

by WorldTribune Staff, February 12, 2018

The major media, which have provided non-stop top billing to the Trump-Russia collusion story, has been quiet about the FBI’s questionable behavior in the Trump investigation.

The two major and conflicting narratives, each of blockbuster dimensions, have almost mutually exclusive audiences each of which rely on contrasting news sources for updates. One America relies on the “mainstream media.” The other looks to alternative news operations including DrudgeReport.com, Fox News and the Rush Limbaugh show.

Two major stories about the FBI’s handling of the probe “were downplayed by a suddenly incurious press corps,” columnist Mollie Hemingway noted for The Federalist on Feb. 8.

“For more than a year and a half, the media have gone all-in on reporting every possible angle of President Donald Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia,” Hemingway wrote. “No story update has been too small, no encounter with a Russian too inconsequential, and no anonymous source too sketchy to generate outsize coverage and histrionic claims from major media.”

But when the bombshell FISA memo dropped, the media suddenly seemed much less interested.

“In recent weeks, however, some official documents have come to light,” Hemingway wrote. “These are statements made by elected members of the U.S. government on the record, not selective and political leaks from anonymous sources. So how have the media responded to these official statements regarding wrongdoing? Mostly by downplaying, mocking, and ignoring them.

“When the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s majority memo was made public … many journalists highlighted Democratic talking points against it or otherwise rushed to defend the agencies credibly accused of abuse of power. As soon as they could, they dropped the story, despite the dramatic claims in the memo.”

From the Senate’s criminal referral of bogus Trump dossier author Christopher Steele, to the Clinton campaign’s involvement in the dossier, to the FBI’s use of the dossier to obtain a FISA warrant on Trump campaign associates, “there were multiple interesting angles worthy of serious – perhaps even breathless – coverage,” Hemingway noted.

“Instead, The New York Times ran a story on page 19 of the newspaper. Its portions about the criminal referral – as opposed to its portions repeating Democratic talking points – could not have been more dryly written or uninteresting. Reporters Maggie Haberman, Sharon LaFraniere, and Michael Shear devoted a total of five sentences in a 22-paragraph story to the Grassley and Graham expose. It ran under the false headline ‘2 Senators Issue Letter To Support House Memo’, even though the letter was issued in early January, weeks before the House memo was made public. The criminal referral was only this week published with few-enough redactions to make sense of it.”

Hemingway continued: “What about at the Washington Post? Their reporters did not write a story about the significantly less redacted letter released Tuesday. A blog post mischaracterized the more redacted version of the letter Monday as a letter written ‘in an effort to breathe life into the deflating Nunes effort. Unsurprisingly, it’s another big nothing.’

“Certainly Politico covered the dramatically more transparent letter released Tuesday, right? Wrong. I mean, it’s not a scandal if you don’t look at it!”


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