Reporters throw tantrum over a press briefing that has not happened – Washington Examiner
Journalists who have bungled the Russian collusion story for the last two years are getting ahead of the release of the special counsel report Thursday by hinting strongly at the idea that the fix is in for President Trump.
Because they have come this far being wrong. Why not keep a good thing going?
Attorney General William Barr will hold a press briefing with Justice Department reporters at 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning to discuss the forthcoming release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s completed two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Barr is expected to take questions. The DOJ will then release two separate versions of the Mueller report; one will have minimal redactions, which will go to select members of Congress, and another version will be more heavily redacted, reportedly to comply with the Roger Stone gag order. The second version is the one that will be made available to the public.
To be clear: The press briefing has not yet taken place, and no one outside of select White House and DOJ attorneys has read the Mueller report. Yet certain straight news reporters are willing to declare a conspiracy anyway.
At CNN, senior congressional correspondent Manu Raju, who is personally responsible for a major collusion “fuck-up” in 2017, got heavy with the innuendo, tweeting, “If true, this means Barr will have released a four-page letter outlining findings, spent three-plus weeks with special counsel redacting report, had discussions between DOJ and the WH about report and Barr will hold presser – all before Congress and public have seen report.”
“Sorry but this is not a press conference – it’s an opportunity for Barr to put a spin on the ball or defend himself,” the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, who has a history of botched collusion reporting of her own, tweeted Thursday. “No one can ask real questions here.”
Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post’s fact-checker declared Wednesday evening, “In the annals of pathetic efforts to spin apparently bad news in Washington, this ranks near the top.”
It is possible Barr is playing a dirty trick. It is possible everything is exactly as rotten and corrupt as these reporters suggest. Anything is possible, especially with the powerful.
But shouldn’t we at least wait for something to happen Thursday before flirting with the idea that the attorney general is engaged directly in an active cover-up of serious crimes, including the possible Kremlin infiltration of the White House, and that the DOJ press conference is all part of the scam?
Here is a crazy idea: Let’s wait and see what happens at the press conference. Let’s also read the Mueller report. After that, let’s circle back and compare notes. Let’s wait before we hint and wink at a narrative suggesting serious wrongdoing at the highest levels of the U.S. government. It is not like we have been consistently wrong on the collusion story for the last two years or anything.