Mueller Meltdown: Commentators Attempt To Spin Disaster For Democrats

Yesterday, I covered the Mueller hearing with CBS and BBC as painful as that duty proved to be. It was an utter meltdown. Some of us had heard months ago that Robert Mueller had “lost a step” and was not viewed as in control of the final report. The Democrats were aware of that but, in what may be the single greatest political blunder in decades, put Mueller in front of cameras for six hours. He proceeded to stumble through his testimony despite being allowed to repeatedly refuse to answer questions that were neither privileged nor classified. While many of use noted the many contradictions and befuddled performance, media stalwarts for the Democrats nevertheless declared the hearing a success. MCNBC’s Rachel Maddow called it a “remarkable day” in which Mueller gave his ‘blunt” review of Trump. Others declared that it was a “victory” for Democrats and succeeded in creating a groundswell for impeachment. This is the problem with the state of media today. Channels and commentators are now part of formula coverage that requires them to advance the expected position regardless of the actual news. It is advocacy journalism and yesterday is an example of how detached it has become from real journalism.

Not surprisingly, the architects of this pileup declared “victory.” Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin insisted “This is a great victory for the truth and for the possibility of justice in the country, because America finally got to see what Special Counsel Mueller was talking about.” Except that Mueller was barely talking at all. With polls showing almost 60 percent of Americans oppose even starting impeachment proceedings, these painful hearings are likely to only reinforce that view. Yet, these are politicians who refusal to acknowledge failures is a signature skill.

Media and legal analysts are supposed to inform their viewers of the real implications of new developments.

Maddow declared:

“I will tell you, I was not quite sure what to expect from today’s testimony by Robert Mueller. If you had told me that today, we would get from Robert Mueller over the course of these seven hours such a blunt accounting from him… of who in the president’s campaign was compromised by Russia, and how, specifically how they were compromised by Russia, including the president.

Given the unrelentingly dire descriptions he gave about the president’s conduct and the conduct of the president’s campaign and its ongoing implications for the country, it seems like they gave us two big directions today that feel imperative in terms of what we try to figure out next and the paths that we next follow to try to get to the bottom of this still-open scandal,” Maddow explained. “Because of that performance from Mueller today, I think that lights a fire under the need to speak to the people on his team who actually did the work… I think one of the outcomes from today’s hearing is gonna be a renewed interest by Congress in hearing from the people who were on Mueller’s team and did the work beyond the sort of distant figurehead figure of Mueller himself, which was revealed today by what I think was his surprising effect.”

The position that Mueller’s monosyllabic refusals to answer most questions was an unexpected blunt and riveting indictment of Trump is rather bizarre. Mueller has been widely described as confused and rather feeble in his answers. Even advocates for impeachment like Professor Lawrence Tribe admitted it was a “disaster” that sucked the life out of impeachment. Yet, Maddow told her viewers:

“All in all, just look at today as a whole, it was a remarkable day, not just for this presidency but for the presidency,” Maddow continued. “I know the Trump White House and conservative media are trying to, like, chin up tonight, make it seem like they had a great day today… they did not have a great day today.”

That is like calling the Hindenburg disaster a rough landing. Gone is any notion of informing viewers of what actually occurred and its implications for impeachment calls. Instead, viewers heard what they expect from echo journalists: assurance that Trump remains on the ropes and the Democrats are laying a trap.

Likewise, CNN legal analyst Susan Hennessey declared the hearing a success in triggering a “groundswell” for impeachment:

Susan Hennessey@Susan_Hennessey

My guess is that we are going to see a groundswell of support for impeachment after this. Both sides got some favorable tv clips out of it, but the substance overall was just devastating to the president.22.7K3:40 PM – Jul 24, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy12.8K people are talking about this

The “guess . . . that we are going to see a groundswell of support for impeachment” is rather curious given the overall discussion of whether impeachment is now effectively dead on arrival after these hearings.

The Democrats not only succeeded in highlighting the lack of direct support for their claims by Mueller, but devastated Mueller’s public persona. The hearings magnified concerns that Mueller was not in full control of his investigation.

Those views can certainly be challenged and I feel sympathy for Mueller who has finished his public career on a sour note. However, claims of success reflect not the hearing but the state of the media in this age of rage.

In fairness, many liberal analysts did acknowledge the hearings as a huge blunder for the Democrats. Michael Moore posted the following:

Michael Moore@MMFlint

A frail old man, unable to remember things, stumbling, refusing to answer basic questions…I said it in 2017 and Mueller confirmed it today — All you pundits and moderates and lame Dems who told the public to put their faith in the esteemed Robert Mueller — just STFU from now on34.4K12:31 PM – Jul 24, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy28.5K people are talking about this

Those spinning the hearing only highlight the pressure to tell viewers what they desperately want to hear even when it borders on the delusional. IT effectively kicks the can down the road of reality for viewers.

279 thoughts on “Mueller Meltdown: Commentators Attempt To Spin Disaster For Democrats”

  1. Maddow’s a shameless partisan. This weekend I saw a flag on a 20 foot runabout that perfectly summarizes this DC/Media situation. In bold white letters piped in red against a navy blue field and whipping against the Virginia sky it read: “Trump 2020. No more Bull$it.” I think I’m getting one.

        1. A tough guy A pharmacist just told me Obamacare is paying for Cyanide Pills 2 for 1 if you’re a Democrat. Rush now while supplies last

          😘

    1. “In bold white letters piped in red against a navy blue field and whipping against the Virginia sky it read: “Trump 2020. No more Bull$it.” I think I’m getting one.”

      They’re probably cheaper by the dozen. Make sure you fly one outside your law office. Hell, maybe even the courthouse.

  2. I, for one, am unhappy to see so distinguished a career in public service end on such a sour note. But it cannot be denied that it was a bad ending. Not only did Mueller not write the report, it seemed pretty clear that he hadn’t even read it.

    On the other hand, it was wonderful to see the House Democratic Caucus and their cackling hyenas in the mainstream news media get their insane hopes dashed, again.

    Happiness is a bloody face

    //s.imgur.com/min/embed.js

    1. “Distinguished career”? Tell that to Steven Hatfill, the forty-thousand Arthur Anderson employees, or to the executives at Merrill Lynch- all were wrongly persecuted by Mueller. And there’s much more.

  3. The Democrats sailed through the ’60s and ’70s based on “good intentions”, but had to up their game when Reagan came to town, and focus on metrics and results. The donkeys have slipped way backwards into ideological purity and good intentions that don’t get good results. The way they are approaching the border crisis, blindly egging on the smuggling cartels with every block placed on law enforcement. Anybody who knows what happened in the Philippines and Mexico, with organized crime having taken over control of local government, has to fear the Democrats again achieving executive power over Homeland Security, ICE, CBP, FBI, CIA, NSA.

  4. Even more pathetic than Mueller’s performance, was the appearance of the other “Gang of 4” after the hearing, on CNN trying to explain their “win”. Pelosi started with a by-the-numbers-chart that she said contradicted all of Trump’s claims but sadly was totally incomprehensible, as were her slurred words, her erratic hand movements and her ever-chomping facial expressions. Nadler used his time to regurgitate the reasons he felt the President was GUILTY and should be condemned, and then stepped aside, checked his watch and thereafter appeared to intermittently doze off. Schiff was up next and talked about the Russians who caused the President to lie, cover-up and act unpatriotically, and that everyone henceforth needs to be on alert so that nothing like this ever happens again: Obviously he had to ignore on whose watch the Russian intervention actually started. Finally, poor Elijah Cummings hobbled up to the podium and pedantically preached his views which extended from the founding fathers to 500 years in the future,and that for some reason today’s outcome, just wasn’t normal.
    Actually the entire day’s testimonies & commentaries were nothing but a gong show filled with pathetic denials by a group of delusional Democrats.

    1. This is a great victory for the truth and for the possibility of justice in the country, because America finally got to see what Special Counsel Mueller was talking about,” Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin told reporters.

      Don’t forget Rep. Raskin. Mueller himself seemed unsure what he “was talking about”.

  5. Fake News is the enema of the people. Once we get off the pot we can watch a better network. i124 is an Israeli network which can be found on Suddenlink. When they get on topics of Europe and international news they are quite fair and balanced. PBS is getting worse. MSNBC and CNN compete for the worst. Don’t call it “Fake” news. Dumb News is better. Went in dumb, come out dumb too, hustlin round DC in my alligator shoes. I’m keeping the humans down!

  6. “Channels and commentators are now part of formula coverage that requires them to advance the expected position regardless of the actual news. It is advocacy journalism and yesterday is an example of how detached it has become from real journalism.”

    This is why so many conservatives view the mainstream media as propaganda machines for Democrats. Fox is also biased in its op eds, but at least it still has straight news segments, and it includes Democrats who fiercely argue with Republicans on their positions. Every time I tune in to the mainstream media, all they have are Never Trump Republicans agreeing with Democrats. An exception is the woefully outnumbered McCain on the View. She still fights back. I think the only reason why she’s included is because she despises Trump, due to her family’s personal quarrel.

    When the mainstream media blatantly tries to affect elections through activism rather than reporting, then some consider them to be an enemy of the American people. False party propaganda is generally considered detrimental to fair elections.

    I don’t go that far, but I do think that false party propaganda is generally considered detrimental to fair elections. The mainstream media needs to be properly labeled as a Democratic organization for clarity, as do most universities. Viewers need to be aware that they are not getting unbiased news. It’s all op-ed now. There also needs to be more clarity about every single time the media has falsified information in order to push voting behavior Left. For instance, editing out the part where Trump said racists should be condemned totally, but some of the other people protesting the removal of a statue were fine people. That’s quite an important bit there. Or when they edited out the Japanese PM dumping out the crumbs of his fish food dish into the koi pond, and only showed Trump emulating him, accusing him of trying to kill prized Japanese koi. There are so many mainstream viewers who have no idea how often their news sources manipulate and lie to them.

    I wish there was a general culture in journalism today to strive for integrity. We need more straight news and less op ed. People are getting used to the mainstream media telling them what to think. They can repeat talking points, but, when pressed, flounder and have to resort to ad hominem. They cannot defend positions they are repeating without understanding.

    We are becoming a nation of sheep, constantly bleating about one manufactured crisis after another, and promptly forgetting it. The media and Hollywood tell the flock what to think, and nudge them in whatever direction they choose. Vance is just the most recent example, with tens of thousands of sheep all bleating about Fox not carrying Mueller’s hearing, and Trump, without bothering to check it out first. You can see the instant amnesia at work in the sheep on the blog. Old news. Just a joke. Nothing to see here. Hey, can we get a new false story about Trump or Fox here so we can redirect people’s attention and get them to forget about it faster?

    Democrat or Republican, learn to think for yourself. If you are unable to criticize any action by whatever party you follow, then you’ve lost your judgement.

    1. Karen, you are the biggest sheep of them all. You believe anything Faux News says, but especially their endless drumming that “mainstream media” cannot be trusted. You are also not a conservative, as has been pointed out several times. Did you turn on your Google machine and read what a real conservative, George Will, has to say about Trump and why he isn’t a conservative? If, as you claim, you have learned to think for yourself, check it out.

      You are totally wrong about Trump’s praise for White Supremacists. He said there are “fine people on both sides”. Later on, when it was pointed out how bad this sounded, he tried to back-pedal, but he did call White Supremacists “fine people”. Kellyanne came up with the story that the rally was over controversy about a statute. That was also a lie: it was a torch-carrying White Supremacist rally. One of them murdered Heather Heyer. That’s the truth.

      1. Two paragraphs, both shrewish attacks on Karen. You’ll never be able to afford her house in Fresno, Natacha, so just get over it. While we’re at it, your horrid friends running Ravelry are not normal adults, your delusions to the contrafy.

        One paragraph incorporates a fairly thorough mischaracterization (an error which would be made by someone who hasn’t read a George Will column in about 20 years) and the other a falsehood (hooked to her insane rage at Kellyanne Conway).

        Pretty amusing to contemplate just what is the menu of psychotropics holding Natacha together.

        1. From who else, but TIA:

          “Pretty amusing to contemplate just what is the menu of psychotropics holding Natacha together.”
          ____

          TIA would seem to know a lot about ‘psychotropics’ — and it’s not because he’s a psychiatrist.

          TIA’s message (whatever it is) is undercut when he spews the ‘psychotropics’ bs.

        2. TIA @ 1:42 PM: “Two paragraphs, both shrewish attacks on Karen”

          Nonsense.

          And TIA again @ 1:42 PM: “You’ll never be able to afford her house in Fresno, Natacha, so just get over it.”

          More nonsense. Truth be told, though, “it’s a reasonable wager” that Karen wouldn’t have that ‘house in Fresno’ without her husband.

              1. And you’re a complete idiot at time, TIA. Stick to spouting facts; it’s what you do best — even when they aren’t correct.

                1. David Brock does not pay me a bonus, TIA. The pleasure and honor of serving him is reward enough.

            1. Without all of Karen’s input about her personal life, it might be sexist. But given what she’s shared over the years, it’s not.

  7. Professor Turley: You are wasted on CBS, where you operate in an environment not entirely comfortable with your honesty, perspicuity and objectivity. Come back to that network where things are “fair, balanced and unafraid.” We miss you.

  8. Lying to the Democrats is a skillset listed in bold font atop their CV.

    Jeffrey Epstein Visited Clinton White House Multiple Times in Early ’90s

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/jeffrey-epstein-visited-clinton-white-house-multiple-times-in-early-90s

    Days after Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest on sex-trafficking charges in New York, Bill Clinton distanced himself from the high-flying financier and convicted sex offender. The former president owned up to just six encounters with Epstein, starting in 2002: four flights on the billionaire’s private jet, a single trip to his Harlem office, and one “brief visit” to his New York apartment, all with staff and security detail in tow.

    Now, a Daily Beast investigation has uncovered ties between Epstein and the Clinton administration that date back to the president’s earliest days in the White House, casting doubt on the oft-circulated narrative that the two only began associating after Clinton left office.

    As early as 1993, records show, Epstein donated $10,000 to the White House Historical Association and attended a donors’ reception hosted by Bill and Hillary Clinton. Around the same time, according to a source familiar with the connection, Epstein visited presidential aide Mark Middleton several times at the White House. Two years later, businesswoman Lynn Forester de Rothschild wrote a personal letter to Clinton thanking him for their talk about the financier.

    Clinton also failed to mention the intimate 1995 fundraising dinner at the Palm Beach home of Revlon mogul Ron Perelman, where Clinton hobnobbed with the likes of Epstein, Don Johnson, and Jimmy Buffett. (Nearby, at Epstein’s own Palm Beach mansion, the money man allegedly abused hundreds of underage girls.)

    The two were clearly chummy by the early Clinton Foundation years, as attested to by a 2002 photo of Epstein and Clinton in Brunei that appeared in Vicky Ward’s 2003 profile of the financier. In a 2002 piece for New York magazine about the Africa trip, Clinton praised Epstein as a “highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist.”

  9. Turley calls it “advocacy journalism”…..Trump simply calls it what it is: Fake News. And Trump calls this “fake news” the enemy of the people. He’s not wrong. And Rachel Maddow is not just bizarre, she’s a disgrace.

  10. “Some of us had heard months ago that Robert Mueller had “lost a step” and was not viewed as in control of the final report.”
    So…..exactly how MANY months ago? This is absolute crap that our country was put through this BS with the “elites” knowing full well the man “in charge” was not even able to be in charge. They all knew Weissman was driving this and they all kept pretending that everything was A OK!
    This should make EVERY CITIZEN ticked off that our so-called “betters” concealed this information.

    1. Exactly why I have NO sympathy for Mueller. None. He chose to participate in the sham cover up witch hunt. He’s been around the swamp for decades. He was not duped or used — he chose this role. He was on board with the whole plot to overthrow Trump. He’s a political player and he’s no saint. He can and should be held to account, fully, for the lies, leaks, coverups and all the rest of this sham investigation that bears his name once it is exposed. No off ramp for Mueller. Rosenstein has some questions to answer as well.

      1. That’s why Mueller interviewed with Trump for FBI director. If Mueller got inside, again, as FBI director, then he could continue to coverup the bad actors and illegal actions by his old friends like Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Baker, etc. who attempted to overthrow a duly elected president. I wonder how much the current FBI director – Wray – is covering up as well.

      2. Anonymous…. You’re so right. As I have said in other comments, if he has early dementia, which I believe he does, it does NOT excuse what he did and I do not feel sorry for him.
        He allowed himself to be used!

        1. Very true. The maneuvering of these people has been going on a long time likely occurring before any significant loss of mental capacity for Mueller. That could have become problematic for them or they might never have expected a problem because it was decided all along to use a team that would destroy Trump legally or illegally.

      3. Meuller got paid, he’s going off to golf, he doesn’t care and they wont do diddly against him

        them others got some splainin to do

    2. And what about all Ph’in Nut Job Federal Judges running acting like they’re Gods!

      Ruth Ginsburg, etc….

      What are there, 900 something or if we include the Fake Judges, the administrative judges, 3500, just pulling crap rulings out their backside the in no way the USC gives them any authority other then to order their offices shut permanently & to resign.

  11. This whole story about Russiagate is about to be blown open. It will be interesting to see how propagandists deal with the information in the linked lawsuit. There will be an interview about this lawsuit, this coming Friday on Consortium News.

    https://www.scribd.com/document/417578836/Butowsky-Complaint

    The fact is that Mueller did not conduct an actual investigation. His “investigation’s” starting point was a redacted report from Crowdstrike, a company paid for by the DNC. The FBI did not look at the DNC servers. That’s not proper law enforcement. It’s risible.

    These lies have been tearing our nation to bits. I resent deep state toadies such as Maddow who keep encouraging the “hunt for red october”. They are liars and they know it.

    The president just said he could obliterate Iran and Afghanistan should he so desire (and if his horoscope in the paper recommends that course of action). That is the action of a murderous madman. I really think we need to quit worrying about a lying investigation and start trying to form a peaceful resistance to mass murder of other human beings.

    1. And he could. But he won’t. I’ll tell you what: Trump likes to swing around his big stick, but he is not a murderous madman. Now if Hillary was president? Hoo boy, lookout world. “We came, we saw, he died” Ba!hahahaha! Sick? You bet.

    2. Thanks for the link to Butowsky’s complaint, Jill. I saw a reference to it last week, I think, but the complaint had been removed from that particular site. We’ll see where this goes…

  12. Cramming what people don’t want and don’t need and can’t afford down their throats… And then convincing them it tastes yummy: It’s the Democrat way.
    Wait til the public finds out that the major players knew Mueller was showing signs of dementia when the “investigation” started……but was propped up as the lead anyway.

    1. Cindy Bragg is stepping out — as Cundy and Anonymous — in an apparent attempt to move away from her role as Chief Sycophant.

  13. Well, people’s capacity and inclination to lie is on a spectrum. That of MadCow and Marcus Raskin’s son is at the high end of the spectrum (as is Robert Reich’s) and is that of nameless people who produce The Week‘s editorial matter. That of Laurence Tribe is closer to the median.

    1. One more time, with more clarity:
      The Democrats have clearly entered that stage of political death called “denial”. Interviewing the doctor in front of five news networks in Congress, two months after he’s given them the Message from God won’t change their terminal prognosis.

      The Donkey Party has lived in the World of Spin so long, they can’t see the steep stair they took down from Truth from where they now live. Of course, that’s how they lost in 2016.

      1. The Donkey Party has lived in the World of Spin so long, they can’t see the steep stair they took down from Truth from where they now live. Of course, that’s how they lost in 2016.

        Excellent comment.

        Just like with Bill Clinton till this very day, Democrats cant stop lying. When the likes of Michael Moore denounce the Democrats as being limp, you know things look bleak for the Donkey Party.
        Couldn’t happen to a better group of blood thirsty, abortifacient, decapitating new born infant, anti-Semitic, racist hogs. Democrats are the Party of Death to Americans ala Ilhan Omar

  14. The Democrats have clearly entered that stage of political death called “denial”. Interviewing the doctor two months before the cameras of five news networks in Congress after he’s delivered the Message from God won’t change the patient’s terminal prognosis.

    The Donkey Party has lived in the World of Spin so long, they can’t see the steep stair they took down from Truth from where they now live. Of course, that’s how they lost in 2016.

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