Andrew Malcolm‘s latest McClatchy newspaper column analyzes reaction to the release of the final report from special counsel Robert Mueller.

The diverse individual reactions, ranging from hypocritical praise to absolute denial, matter less than the overall canvas of so many dysfunctional democratic institutions and individuals on all sides. The scene would be laughable if it didn’t hurt so much to see such universal failings of once trusted and cherished functions essential to our democracy.

Robert Mueller, the prosecutor, is the only one who emerges clean. He did his job with professional focus and silence and disdain for the distracting sideshows.

But everyone else needs to take a shower, change clothes and evaluate their behavior in this sorry saga. …

… Even a casual news follower these past 24 months got the impression from unidentified media sources and the cable commentariat on CNN and MSNBC that it was only a matter of time before the truth of Trump’s traitorous collusion emerged.

Every day, hour after hour, these paid “contributors,” some once-respected intelligence professionals, manipulated people’s fears with false conspiracy theories and hypotheticals the same as — oh, look! — the very man they were targeting. And these outlets were handsomely rewarded for such suspicious suspicions with viewer ratings and online clicks, sending much of the country into a spiral of distrust.

Far from being guardians of at least an attempted objectivity, they became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the opposition whose wishful claims were demolished by the prosecutor’s IED.