'Shoddy' -- Maddow Can't Admit Her Feverish Trump Jr. Collusion Speculation Collapsed

Caleb Howe at Mediaite smacked MSNBC host Rachel Maddow on Monday for obscuring the breaking bad news for liberals: Donald Trump Jr. did not call his father, but business associates, about his failed, brief meeting with Russians at Trump Tower in 2016 to get "dirt" on Hillary Clinton.

On Thursday night, Chris Hayes spelled it out on All In: "News tonight that Senate investigators have found those calls and they are not with his father, they`re with two different business associates of Don Jr. and the family."

Howe pointed out that up until now, "Maddow wondered on her show whether that blocked number was his father’s. She wondered hard, breathlessly. Rife with implication did she wonder, and heavily hanging the implied conclusion of collusion upon it." When the facts went against Maddow, she refused to be specific in her Thursday night interview with Adam Schiff: 

MADDOW: Congressman, CNN and ABC report tonight that on the Senate side, investigators have obtained -- and it's sort of vague language and I don't want to try to be any more specific than they're saying in their reporting.

[Huh? ABC is specific. CNN is specific.]

This is not MSNBC reporting, and NBC hasn't confirmed this. But they're saying that Senate investigators have obtained information about something you have asked about in the past concerning Donald Trump Jr. In the lead up to the 2016 Trump Tower meeting during the campaign, he had made a couple of calls to blocked numbers.

And you had suggested that was one of the things that was important for your committee to figure out, whether those blocked numbers might have indicated -- might have been an indication that Mr. Trump Jr. was actually calling his father, potentially talking to Donald Trump the candidate about that Trump Tower meeting with all those Russians. What do you make of this new reporting and what do you think about the importance of that incident now overall?

SCHIFF: Well, the problem is that we are not in a position to be able to confirm the reporting because the Republicans wouldn't let us get the phone records. It was such an obvious investigative step and is an obvious investigative step and one that we will take very early on now that we are under way. That is find out who Don Jr. was talking to about that meeting at Trump Tower. Those conversations could have taken place over the phone, or they could have taken place by Don Jr. walking down the hall to talk to Dad.

Maddow was right that NBC News refused to touch this story (according to a Nexis search for Trump Tower and Trump Jr.)...perhaps since the facts leaned the "wrong" way. Howe cried foul over Maddow's performance:

But after all of the importance and drama that danced on the head of the phone call pin, it would seem a correction or even an update would be a demand of journalism.

Yet, given the chance to tell her viewers not only that Senate investigators have evidence it was not a call to his father, that major media were reporting this that very day, or even the names of the people who were actually called (itself an interesting Russian lead), Maddow instead chose to gloss over it and let Schiff continue to beat his well-worn drum.

Even for an opinion show, that goes past shoddy and approaches deceptive.

Earlier: CNN Hosts Devastated As Another Russia Scoop Collapses


Please support NewsBusters today! [a 501(c)(3) non-profit production of the Media Research Center]

DONATE

Or, book travel through MRC’s Travel Discounts Program! MRC receives a rebate for each booking when you use our special codes.

BOOK NOW

MSNBC Rachel Maddow Donald Trump Jr.
Tim Graham's picture