by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
It’s a wonder that President Donald Trump devotes so much time to discrediting the press, when the press does so much to discredit itself.
The media’s errors over the past week haven’t been marginal or coincidental, but involved blockbuster reports on one of the most dominating stories of the past year, Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. They all slanted one way — namely, toward lurid conclusions about the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with the Russians.
Every media outlet makes mistakes. It’s easier than ever to run with fragmentary or dubious information in a frenzied news cycle that never stops. But underlying the media blunders was an assumption — not based on any evidence we’ve yet seen — of Trump guilt in the Russia matter. This was news, in other words, too anti-Trump to check. …
… If the press had less faith that Robert Mueller is on the verge of bringing the Trump presidency to its knees, it might exercise a little more discrimination. When your only frame of reference for the Mueller investigation is Watergate, everything looks like a proverbial smoking gun. When for professional reasons (the story of the century) and perhaps partisan ones (a hated Republican kicked out of the office) you’re rooting for the worst, you let your guard down.
Needless to say, the errors in Russian reporting are a bonanza for President Trump. The worse the reporting is, the better for his campaign to brand the mainstream media “Fake News.”