In the wake of President Trump’s interview with The New York Times, where he hammered his Attorney General and pressed on the Russia investigation, MSNBC’s Chief Legal Correspondent Ari Melber demonstrated that NBC can’t get its story straight. “And with regard to [Special Counsel] Mueller … just to be clear, neither the new FBI director nor the president has any ability to remove the special counsel,” Melber told colleague Katy Tur during Thursday’s MTP Daily. But just over a month earlier, their colleagues were freaking out about just that.
On top of the high-profile testimony of Attorney General Jeff Sessions before the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday, the media was swarming over a rumor President Trump was looking to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller. “Is the President now considering firing special prosecutor Robert Mueller who is now overseeing the Russia investigation,” speculated ABC Anchor David Muir during World News Tonight. All of the Big Three Networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) pushed the rumor despite the fact that their source admits he never spoke with the President and thinks he wouldn’t do it.
Jeffrey Toobin pretty much let the cat out of the bag about the real desired purpose (by the Democrats and the mainstream media) of the investigation by the new Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the May 19 New Yorker. He basically concedes that there is a good possibility that no criminal evidence of collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and the Russians will be found. What he reveals, and it is no big surprise to anyone who follows politics, is that the information collected during the course of this investigation could be politically damaging to President Trump if it is released.
On Thursday's The Lead, during a discussion of President Donald Trump's just concluded press conference, both host Jake Tapper and Jeffrey Toobin oddly made the same mistake in wrongly claiming that President Trump had stated that he could "only" speak for himself about whether his campaign colluded with Russia. In fact, what the President actually stated was that he could "always" speak for himself as he also claimed that his campaign "certainly" did not collude. Oddly enough, even though CNN replayed the relevant Trump soundbite during the discussion, neither Tapper nor Toobin even noticed they were misquoting him.
Chris Cuomo spent the entirety of Thursday’s New Day on a crusade to push the Democratic Party’s narrative on the Trump-Russia situation. He proclaimed that President Trump has shown “clear intent to influence this Russia investigation, even after the appointment of a special counsel.”
Of all the people to take issue with President Trump’s Wednesday commencement address to the Coast Guard Academy, MSNBC’s Brian Williams explicitly and implicitly displayed his hypocrisy late Wednesday by knocking Trump for giving a “me-note speech” instead of a “keynote.”
Rachel Maddow has been spending a few minutes of the 10:00 p.m. Eastern hour on MSNBC's The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on the heels of rumors O’Donnell could be axed, so it was during Wednesday's chat that Maddow suggested a report that the Trump White House hired Flynn as National Security Adviser despite knowing Flynn was under federal investigation would mark the biggest scandal in presidential history.
It appears that 5 p.m. has become the new witching hour, since for over a week that’s been when most of the major news stories regarding President Trump have been broken. It was no different Wednesday evening when D.C. was rocked by the announcement that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to be the special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation. The Big Three Networks led with the development on their evening programs, during which they celebrated it and slammed the right.
On Thursday afternoon, FBI director Robert Mueller was called before the House Judiciary Committee to answer questions about the bureau's association with the recent scandals that have rocked the president's second term. He testified about the FBI investigation into the IRS targeting scandal as well as about the security at Benghazi and their delay in responding to the attack. Mueller stumbled through the interview, as he did not give many straight or definitive answers. In fact, he seemed to be remarkably uninformed about key elements regarding the scandals given the fact that he was supposed to be in charge of the entire operation.
Curiously, with such a significant development in these scandals, particularly the one pertaining to the IRS targeting, all of the broadcast networks’ evening newscasts neglected the story. NBC Nightly News along with CBS Evening News and ABC World News did not deem this progression in the scandal newsworthy as it was given collective total of no air time. The only network that gave this new development any time at all was the Fox News Channel. In fact one of the channel’s staple primetime shows, Hannity, featured the story as its leading piece and had a number of guests on the show to comment about the scandal and its lack of media coverage, including the founder of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell.
Not that it absolves them from blame, but one contributor to the Big Three establishment TV networks' utter failure to report on or keep up with developments in the IRS targeting scandal -- failures which have been noted by Geoffrey Dickens at NewsBusters, as well as by the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell on Sean Hannity's TV show last night -- is the Associated Press.
The AP provides much of the raw material for the networks' stories and largely determines the nets' perception as to which stories are important. It is still quite appropriate to refer to it as the Administration's Press, even after Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder admitted to scouring phone records involving 20 business and personal lines used by over 100 AP reporters and editors in April and May of last year. Yesterday's failure by the wire service's Pete Yost to even mention that the IRS scandal was on the agenda at a House Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday involving FBI Director Robert Mueller exemplifies how negligent or intimidated (or both) the AP has become.