For more than two years, the mainstream media have relentlessly amplified the Russia collusion myth, arguing that Donald Trump’s campaign had conspired with a foreign power to win the 2016 election. Last week, the American people learned that this narrative was a lie, a fabrication, a complete and utter hoax.
In a letter summarizing the key findings of Robert Mueller’s investigation, Attorney General William Barr explained that the FBI probe found no evidence of collusion with Russia after an extensive investigation involving 19 lawyers, and a team of “40 FBI agents, intelligence forensic accountants, and other professional staff.”
“[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” the letter quoted from the Special Counsel’s report.
Just like that, the Russia collusion hoax was dead, leaving millions of Americans to wonder how so many journalists could have gotten the story so wrong for so long.
Ever since Donald Trump won the 2016 election, the mainstream media have eagerly parrotted Democrats who were obsessed with the Russia conspiracy. By accusing the newly-elected President of colluding with Vladimir Putin, they hoped to overturn the results of an historic election and cast a cloud of uncertainty over the White House.
Remarkably, some liberal talking heads maintained their sanity when they were not on the air. CNN’s Van Jones, for instance, famously called the Russia scandal a “nothing burger.”
Sadly, however, these moments of truthfulness rarely made it on live television. Even when they did, they were thoroughly buried by an endless flurry of fake news reports designed to portray President Trump as a traitor to his country.
In January 2017, CNN reported that “classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.”
In July 2017, The Washington Post ran an editorial discussing the “Trump campaign’s attempted collusion” with Russia, in which the once-revered national media outlet claimed that “top Trump officials met with a Kremlin-allied Russian lawyer in June 2016 — and they did so with the express hope of receiving compromising information about their Democratic rival.”
In June 2018, Vox published an article exposing the “untenability of the ‘no collusion’ talking point,” arguing that “there’s actually lots of evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.”
In January of this year, BuzzFeed News ran a story claiming that President Trump “directed his attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress” about a proposed real estate project in Moscow, eliciting a rare rebuke from the Special Counsel’s office, which denied the accuracy of the report.
Those examples were just the tip of the iceberg, though. The media have published countless collusion-related news reports over the past two years, many of which simply assumed that President Trump’s campaign was guilty from the get-go. In fact, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, and MSNBC wrote a total of 8,507 news stories combined that mentioned the Mueller investigation, for an average of 13 new reports per day about the fake news Russia collusion story since May of 2017.
Thanks to Mueller’s report, we now know that all of these stories were inaccurate and misleading, at best.
While the mainstream media may want us to swiftly forget their duplicitous coverage of the Russia scandal, we can’t let them off the hook so easily. For more than two years, journalists lied shamelessly and repeatedly about President Trump and his campaign — now, they must be held accountable for abandoning their professional ethics and duty to the American people.