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Media trying pretty hard to ignore House Intel report that there was no Russia collusion
Simply labeling it as partisan won't make the facts in the report disappear.
Quick, what's the bigger story? That the House Intelligence Committee has determined there is no evidence of Trump/Russia collusion after a year of looking into the matter? Or that the story is a virtual non-story in the mainstream media?
Fox News, as you might expect, is the one outlet calling out the others for pretending the report doesn't exist and/or doesn't matter:
CBS’s “Evening News” spent only 31 seconds on the story, ABC’s “World News Tonight” covered the news for 27 seconds and NBC’s “Nightly News” didn’t even mention the news, according to the Media Research Center.
The mainstream media has spent months agonizing over alleged collusion, but the big three broadcast networks dedicated a total of 58 minutes to the committee’s findings. It will be interesting to see if the Democrats on the House panel, who are expected to put out their own report, receive more airtime.
MRC analyst Nicholas Fondacaro noted that ABC’s White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl appeared “almost irritated” by the findings.
“These are the Republicans that control that committee… the finding is hardly surprising,” Karl said on ABC’s newscast. “Given how partisan that committee is, it's not going to have any impact on the overall debate over Russia.”
Let's ask a question about that statement strictly from a journalistic perspective: Why does it matter if it will "have any impact on the overall debate"? Isn't it news simply that it happened, regardless of whether you think anyone will be influenced by it?
For the sake of argument, let's a Republican president really did collude with the Russians to win the election, and there is evidence of such, but a partisan congressional committee trying to protect the president issued a report claiming no such evidence exists. Isn't that news? Wouldn't that mean that members of Congress are now accomplices in the coverup of treason?
By contrast, let's say the investigation was on the up-and-up and the committee really did make an honest and objective assessment that there was no collusion, and furthermore that Democrats who want to claim there was can't offer anything to back up their narrative. That's got to be news too, right? Because it sheds entirely different light on a news narrative that's been with us for well over a year.
Either way, the release of the committee report is news, regardless of who wrote it or what it says.
Yet the media seems to think nothing is news if it follows predictable partisan patterns. Of course Republicans will say Trump didn't do anything, they'll argue, so why should they cover it? Because they're the duly elected representatives of the people authorized to conduct the investigation, and they're the ones who have looked at the evidence or lack thereof. The fact that they're Republicans doesn't change the fact that the investigation was their job to do because there's no one else who was elected to do it.
So what is the basis for the committee's finding? We should know the details shortly, as it's only trickling out at this point:
Republican lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee have drafted a report saying the panel’s yearlong probe into Russian election interference found no evidence that Moscow colluded with Donald Trump’s campaign or that the Kremlin favored Mr. Trump in the 2016 race.
The panel found “bad judgment” and some “inappropriate meetings” between members of the Trump campaign and Russians, but no sign that those amounted to collusion, said Rep. Mike Conaway (R., Texas), who has been heading the probe since last spring.
Mr. Conaway cited a much-scrutinized June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York between a Russian lawyer linked to the Kremlin and top Trump campaign aides, including one of Mr. Trump’s sons and his son-in-law. “That meeting should never have taken place,” Mr. Conaway said. “But we can’t find anything that leads us to a collusion string.”
In the 150-page draft report, which committee Democrats haven’t seen yet, Republicans wrote that Russia carried out an “active measures” campaign in the 2016 election and was likely to do so again in future elections, but said they saw no sign that Moscow was seeking to help Mr. Trump, Mr. Conaway said.
The panel’s top Democrat, California Rep. Adam Schiff, in a statement Monday evening, called Republicans’ announcement a “tragic milestone for this Congress” and “yet another capitulation to the executive branch.”
“By ending its oversight role in the only authorized investigation in the House, the Majority has placed the interests of protecting the President over protecting the country, and history will judge its actions harshly,” Mr. Schiff said. He said Republicans on the committee had conducted a “fundamentally unserious investigative process.”
Here's a good rule of thumb whenever you're listening Adam Schiff. Like his lookalike President Charles Logan, if there are words coming out of Schiff's mouth, at least some of them are untrue. The operative ones here would be his claim that the committee was "ending its oversight role" by issuing a report. They are doing no such thing. They did an investigation that took a year. They reached conclusions. They're issuing a report explaining their findings. That's not "ending" oversight. That's what oversight is.
(By the way, why is Schiff in favor of oversight on Russia but not when it comes to the FBI?)
The operative Democrat argument will be that the House Intel Committee simply stopped investigating before they found the evidence, because they didn't want to find it. If that's true, it should be an easy case for Schiff to make. He had access to all the same information. He can tell us if there were leads not followed, information ignored, witnesses not interviewed and so forth. In other words, if this investigation went down like the FBI's investigation of Hillary's schlock, homebrew e-mail server, I'm sure President Logan will tell us all about it.
But if he doesn't have some evidence to back up his claims, when he had access to everything the majority did, then it will be hard for anyone to take his claims seriously. Even so, expect the media to give more attention to Schiff's rebuttal than they're giving to the majority report - and I'm pretty sure I don't have to tell you why it will be that way.
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!