At last, Beltway introspection!

I remember the first time it occurred to me that the mainstream media’s political coverage is hot garbage. I can’t even remember what occasioned the thought, but it was during the single term of the first George Bush. I’m sure it was egregiously bad before that, but that’s when I noticed.

So, as a reader/viewer who’s long believed that a Beltway reckoning for the terrible, awful, no-good political coverage is desperately needed, my eyes were drawn to a linked title from Axios, one of the worst current offenders: Epic Media Fail. Introspection? Please and thank you! Oh wait…

A reckoning is hitting news organizations for years-old coverage of the 2017 Steele dossier, after the document’s primary source was charged with lying to the FBI.

Why it matters: It’s one of the most egregious journalistic errors in modern history, and the media’s response to its own mistakes has so far been tepid.

You know what’s been motherfucking tepid — or actually nonexistent in most cases? Any introspection about mainstream media outlets’ collaboration with known right-wing extremists to kneecap Hillary Clinton and elevate a walking collection of untreated personality disorders to the Oval Office. The New York Times was an especially irresponsible party in that shameful enterprise.

For example, it was distinctly unhelpful for that outlet to allow nitwit political reporters to project their personal psychodramas onto candidates and build brands by squirreling away tidbits for books to be published in the catastrophic aftermath. It was and remains nauseating. But back to the current “reckoning.”

Outsized coverage of the unvetted document drove a media frenzy at the start of Donald Trump’s presidency that helped drive a narrative of collusion between former President Trump and Russia.

Oh for fuck’s sweet sake, for real? The “narrative of collusion” got a big assist early in the campaign when then-candidate Trump went on national television and asked the Russians to hack Clinton’s email, which they promptly did. It was further established when Trump’s idiot namesake fail-son gushed, “If it’s what you say, I love it!” in response to an offer of oppo dirt from Russia. And it was etched in stone and then plated with gold when Trump busted out the shine box and polished Putin’s wingtips before a worldwide audience in Helsinki. Also:

It also helped drive an even bigger wedge between former President Trump and the press at the very beginning of his presidency.

I’m just a humble reader/viewer, but I think the “wedge between former President Trump and the press” might have first formed when the demagogue directed a Two Minutes Hate at the press pen at every pre-presidential rally. It may have hardened on Trump’s first day in office when his press secretary angrily and aggressively lied to assembled reporters about the poorly attended inauguration.

It’s so perversely in character — when the shittiest Villagers finally embrace introspection, they conclude they were too skeptical of and critical toward Donald Fucking Trump. Open thread.

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