The New York Times and the rest of the media were miffed by Attorney General William Barr daring to call spying by its proper name during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The media’s amusing aversion to the word “spy” was obvious on the front page of Friday’s Times, which came up with this wonderful euphemism: “F.B.I. Sent Cloaked Investigator To Question Trump Aide in 2016."
Friday evening, Fox News's Martha MacCallum interviewed Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Byron York. In that interview's second half, the pair discussed new information which contradicts key contentions about "How the (Trump)-Russia inquiry began" made in a December New York Times story. That story claimed that the investigation began as a result of a May 2016 "heavy drinking" meeting between low-level Donald Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos and Alexander Downer, Australia's top diplomat in Great Britain.
On Monday, the anticipated indictments of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and deputy chair Rick Gates handed out by Special Counsel Robert Mueller sucked up most of the oxygen in much of the news media. Many of the 24-hour cable news channels ran wall-to-wall coverage with a lot of the airtime being used to recycle the same speculation hour after hour. There was little difference during the evening broadcasts of the Big Three Networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC), where they spent almost 60 percent of their total airtime on Russia news.
With all of the news arising from Mueller Monday, the White House press briefing was guaranteed to feature tough questions for Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Naturally, CNN’s Jim Acosta chose to make his presence known, arguing that Monday’s indictments already illustrate collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia happened.