Russiagate and the 1980s Crack Epidemic

White House Photographic Office • Public domain

The release of the Mueller report and its conclusion that President Donald J. Trump and his top aides did not collude with Russia has prompted some important critical reflection on the American media and its penchant for sensationalism.

Sean Davis, a cofounder of The Federalist, published an article in the Wall Street Journal on March 26thtitled “A Catastrophic Media Failure” which concluded that “America’s blue chipped journalists botched the entire [Russia Gate] story from its birth during the presidential campaign to its final breath Sunday.”

Davis cites as an example a 2017 Time Magazine cover depicting the White House getting a “makeover to transform it into the Kremlin” and a December 2016. Washington Post story which erroneously reported that Russian hackers had “penetrated the U.S. electric grid.” In 2017, CNN reported the false claim that Donald Trump Jr. received special email access to stolen documents before their public release by Wikileaks – which if true, could have proven the president’s inner circle was colluding with Russian hackers intent on taking down Mrs. Clinton.

Davis further mentions an article by Jonathan Chait of New York Magazine before the Trump-Putin summit in July 2018 which speculated that “Trump had been a Russian asset since 1987” – a claim he says that was “worthy of conspiracy theorists like the late Lyndon Larouche.”

Matt Taibbi of Rolling…

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