Since Robert Mueller’s investigation began nearly two years ago, mainstream media outlets have built up a vast conspiracy involving the Trump campaign and Russia. The public was assured – on the word of a British spy and “anonymous sources” – that there was clear evidence that the election was swayed due to Russian interference. The narrative was set that Trump fired James Comey over this and an investigation was demanded.
To date, not a shred of evidence has been found that points to this. Mueller has made arrests, but not a single one has anything to do with a conspiracy involving the Trump campaign. He got Paul Manafort on financial crimes, Michael Flynn for “lying to the FBI”, a couple slaps on the wrist for lawyers, a rebuke for low-level campaign members and a bunch of Russian internet trolls with no connection to any American.
Rod Rosenstein has gone on record multiple times stating that the president is not under investigation, but does it matter? Apparently not. Mueller’s indictments are routinely presented as if there is evidence of Trump-Russia collusion. Reports go along the lines of “the Russia probe has netted __ indictments” without ever going into detail about what those are.
The same can be said about “Russian contacts”. We never hear about what constitutes a “Russian contact”, only that the Trump campaign made them and that it indicates a vast criminal conspiracy. Basically, if somebody from the Trump campaign talked to anybody from Russia at any point in time about any given subject; that means that the orange man colluded with a foreign government to steal the presidency. You follow?
This is how the drive-by media operates. Vague, broad statements that lack any detail and imply something totally different. Those going solely off mainstream reporting will believe that Mueller has over a dozen indictments related to Russian collusion. It’s been a nonstop blitz of “Drumpf colluded with the Russians” while presenting Mueller’s totally unrelated indictments as proof.
One of the most egregious examples of fake news over the course of the Mueller saga has been the reporting from ABC’s Brian Ross’s regarding Michael Flynn.
In December of 2017, Ross reported that Flynn was willing to testify that Donald Trump directed him to make contacts with the Russians while he was a candidate for president. The news was shared millions of times on social media and was met with excitement by members of the legacy media. Joy Behar and the The View were ecstatic and could hardly contain themselves.
Within hours, Ross’s claim was proven completely and entirely false. ABC clipped him with a suspension, demoted him and issued a thorough apology for his mistake. However, this was not before his reporting tanked the market. Within minutes of Ross’s claims, the DOW dropped over 350 points. Ross’s “mistake” cost millions, and I put it in quotes because calling it a mistake is too kind.
Ross and other activist media personalities don’t care about being right, they care about being first. They are also clearly motivated by political bias while claiming to be selfless truth seekers. The fact that Ross was so giddy to report this scoop – that he obtained via a “confidant” – emphasizes the deep flaws that plague modern media. Journalists want to market themselves as the classic, power-challenging reporter archetype while conducting themselves as partisan bloggers.
For Ross in particular, this wasn’t his first screw-up . In 2012, he speculated that James Holmes – the Aurora movie theater shooter – was a member of the Tea Party. His statement was pure conjecture and again exposed his political activism.
There was no in-depth reporting or fact-checking on this man. All he did was see that some guy named James Holmes was in the Colorado Tea Party and speculated that he was the shooter. He did this because that’s the outcome that he wanted.
Ross also found himself in hot water for falsely linking the 2001 anthrax attacks to Iraq on the word of a “high-level official”.
While Ross was punished and ABC apologized profusely, his false reporting is a microcosm of everything wrong with the modern media. He has let his personal political opinion get in the way of objective reporting multiple times and his errors have had tangible, negative consequences.
Like most fake news, the baseless reporting is never covered as much as the actual false report. Ross’s statement has become lost in a never-ending chorus of Trump-Russia conspiracy theories, many of which are nothing but speculation. If mainstream journalists want to shower themselves with praise and refer to themselves as the “fourth estate”, they should maybe look into actually doing their jobs and leave the political activism at the door.