Anonymous scoops, and apparent misstatements, right to the very end!

THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2019

The Washington Post's front page:
We've spent the bulk of the day watching people read and interpret the Mueller report on television.

We haven't reviewed the report ourselves. Earlier, we did look at the Washington Post, whose hard-copy, top-of-the-front-page news report started like this:
ZAPOTOSKY, LEONNIG, HELDERMAN AND BARRETT (4/18/19): The Justice Department plans to release a lightly redacted version of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s 400-page report Thursday, offering a granular look at the ways in which President Trump was suspected of having obstructed justice, people familiar with the matter said.

The report—the general outlines of which the Justice Department has briefed the White House on—will reveal that Mueller decided he could not come to a conclusion on the question of obstruction because it was difficult to determine Trump’s intent and because some of his actions could be interpreted innocently, these people said. But it will offer a detailed blow-by-blow of the president’s alleged conduct—analyzing tweets, private threats and other episodes at the center of Mueller’s inquiry, they added.
Right up to the very end, the Post was offering front-page scoops based on statements by unnamed people—statements by people said to be "familiar with the matter."

This produced an exciting moment, but was that highlighted statement accurate? Pared down, here's what that statement says:

"The report...will reveal that Mueller decided he could not come to a conclusion on the question of obstruction because it was difficult to determine Trump’s intent and because some of his actions could be interpreted innocently."

Interesting! But is that why Mueller decided he couldn't come to a conclusion on the question of obstruction? Watching MSNBC over the past several hours, we've received a very different impression of Mueller's stated reason.

There it was, sitting atop this morning's front page. Readers of the Washington Post were getting treated to an anonymous scoop.

But was that anonymous statement accurate? We haven't seen the Mueller report ourselves, but that doesn't seem to be what we've been hearing on our TV machine.

So it goes, so it has gone, with the culture of the anonymous scoop, not to mention with the culture of round-the-clock speculation. These cultures are very good for business, but how often do these rampant cultures actually "get it right?"

Full disclosure: We're so old that we can remember when Donald Trump Junior was going to get indicted by Mueller, perhaps even frog-marched away.

We heard it said again and again. Then we heard it some more!

We'll guess it was very good for business. But was it actually right?

12 comments:

  1. “These cultures are very good for business, but how often do these rampant cultures actually "get it right?"

    That’s an important question. One which Somerby doesn’t really bother to answer in any systematic way.

    Although he doesn’t describe what his TV is telling him, so his readers are unable to judge the purported discrepancy between that and the Post report he quotes, there is one way for him to verify who is correct: by reading the report.

    One way of answering his own question though would be for him to go back through his own coverage of the Mueller probe coverage and determine whether his insinuations and counterarguments were correct, or was the reporting correct.

    One example: Somerby devoted numerous posts to questioning and frankly ridiculing the story about Trump ordering McGahn to fire Mueller. This is in the Mueller report. Here is a summary:
    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/don-mcgahn-key-witness-trump-obstruction-justice

    The reality was even worse than the reporting.

    Somerby’s grousing about this looks ill-advised and foolish in hindsight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Somerby devoted numerous posts to questioning and frankly ridiculing the story about Trump ordering McGahn to fire Mueller."

      Specifically, what was Somerby wrong, ill-advised, and foolish about in his numerous posts?

      Delete
    2. Nihil dicit,huh?

      That's what I thought.

      Delete
    3. The Mueller report is damning for Trump, it makes it clear that Trump is corrupt. Trump did order McGahn to fire Mueller and McGahn did refuse.

      Delete
    4. Somerby doesn't dispute that in any post young child.

      Delete
    5. BTW McGahn didn't have the authority to fire Mueller, illiterate infant.

      Delete
  2. "Earlier, we did look at the Washington Post..."

    Big, big mistake, Bob.

    Well, unless you're keen on reading goebbelsian propaganda...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Funny, I have followed this stuff very carefully and I have NEVER heard it said that Trump Jr. was going to be Frog marched away. Indeed, it always seemed logical to me he would get a slap on the wrist. Can we talk? Bob never heard it either and he is playing his readers for suckers. But he must be a little crazy right now, the report shows Rachel Maddow was correct from day one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. WILL DONALD TRUMP JR., JARED KUSHNER BE INDICTED? ODDS RISE FOLLOWING ROGER STONE ARREST Newsweek 1/25/19

    Donald Trump Jr. says he's not afraid of going to jail in Russia investigation USA Today 9/12/18

    Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. Were Close to Being Charged With Felony Fraud Pro Publica 10/4/17

    Donald Trump’s son 'facing IMMINENT arrest’ as Russia probe closes on White House Daily Star 11/10/18

    ReplyDelete
  5. Two kinda sortas and two not at alls, nice try though David. And we should note one not all is based on nothing more than Don Jr having a big mouth.

    ReplyDelete


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