After over two years of speculation and endless media coverage, the Mueller report arrived with a dud.
This is, without a doubt, the biggest media miss of the Trump presidency.
The fact is that after nonstop allegations and insinuations that Trump was a Manchurian candidate and a puppet of the Putin regime, there appears to be no evidence whatsoever to back up those claims.
This, after devoting almost endless airtime to the issue.
A NewsBusters report found that: “From January 20, 2017 (Inauguration Day) through March 21, 2019 (the last night before special counsel Robert Mueller sent his report to the Attorney General), the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts produced a combined 2,284 minutes of ‘collusion’ coverage.”
Mainstream networks spent almost three minutes every night for 791 days on this topic alone.
And it wasn’t just broadcast networks who ran with this narrative. Axiosreported that: “533,074 web articles have been published about Russia and Trump/Mueller, generating 245 million interactions,” citing data from NewsWhip.
This coverage fueled the wild fantasies of progressive activists around the country: bizarre viral Christmas songs and stories of elderly critics attempting to stave off death to see the Mueller report, to name just a couple.
All for nothing.
Trump is now 2-0 against the media—first, beating Hillary Clinton after reports said it could never happen, and now, coming out on top in the Mueller report.
Trump takes a lot of flak for his attacks on the press, but it’s clear that the media itself has done the most lasting damage to its own credibility, only ensuring that Trump’s criticisms leave a mark.
We should be grateful for the handful of dissenting media voices who questioned this narrative from the beginning, most of them operating outside the large legacy media outlets that set the tone for political coverage in America.
The elite media’s unforced errors in the Trump era have exposed the media’s partisan bias and have undermined its credibility.
At the very least, the cratering of the elite media’s credibility may provide an opening for others to fill the quality void, and create pressure from the American people for tighter standards in the journalistic profession.
The media elite are unlikely to change on their own, but the way is becoming ever clearer for other voices to take their place.
Jarrett Stepman is an editor and commentary writer for The Daily Signal