erik lundegaard

Thursday April 04, 2019

On Deep Background, Mueller's Team Pushes Back

I'm glad some members of the Mueller team are apparently speaking up. This is from The New York Times yesterday:

Some of Robert S. Mueller III's investigators have told associates that Attorney General William P. Barr failed to adequately portray the findings of their inquiry and that they were more troubling for President Trump than Mr. Barr indicated, according to government officials and others familiar with their simmering frustrations.

At stake in the dispute — the first evidence of tension between Mr. Barr and the special counsel's office — is who shapes the public's initial understanding of one of the most consequential government investigations in American history. Some members of Mr. Mueller's team are concerned that, because Mr. Barr created the first narrative of the special counsel's findings, Americans' views will have hardened before the investigation's conclusions become public.

Who's helping shape that early opinion? Why The New York Times. Looks at this headline from a week ago:

Not even a “Barr Claims” or “Barr Says” or simply: “Barr:” at the front. Then if you go to their “Today's Paper” section from that day, you see some of their other stories:

  • A Cloud Over Trump's Presidency is Lifted
  • Trump Declares Exoneration, and a War on His Enemies
  • Barr Goes Beyond Mueller in Clearing Trump on Obstruction, Drawing Scrutiny

One thing Sarah Palin got right: The mainstream media is the lamestream media—but for the opposite reason that she was claiming. If anything, they tend to lean right; they get played by conservative forces. All the time. 

So what are we hearing from Mueller's team now? It's still fairly opaque; still on deep background. Mueller's team did write multiple summaries of the report, none of which AG Barr used. And much concern from Mueller's team apparently relates to what the Times euphemistically calls “Mr. Trump’s efforts to thwart the investigation.” I.e., obstruction of justice. But the Times spends most of the article giving us Barr's perspective. Typical. And lame.

Posted at 10:42 AM on Thursday April 04, 2019 in category Media  
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Twitter: @ErikLundegaard