It's honestly amazing that people on the right (and some on the left) were able to make "there was no Russia collusion" just... accepted as a statement of fact.

"Oh, you believe in the Russia collusion hoax!?!?" they'll say, derisively.
And while some people are way, way, way over the top about what, exactly, they think Russia did during the 2016 election (no, Putin is not around every corner, no, Trump is not doing his bidding or whatever), it wasn't a "hoax" that the Trump campaign accepted help in 2016.
A big part of the blame here goes to the way it was covered in mainstream media. The day the narrative that it was a "hoax" was the day Barr put out a letter saying that Mueller found "no evidence" (which is not what Mueller found).
I wrote about it at the time, how newspapers just took what Barr said at face value and ran with it. mediamatters.org/cnn/flawed-med…
None of these were accurate headlines
it got to the point where Mueller had to basically be like, "hey, that's not what the report says" mediamatters.org/new-york-times…
The report itself was pretty shocking nytimes.com/interactive/20…
There were a lot of red flags. The Mueller report's listed rationale for not charging Don Jr. with a crime was essentially that he was too stupid to know he was committing one.
But then last month, the GOP-led Senate report was published. It ended up being more damning than even what Mueller put out there. Republicans in the Senate don't exactly have a big incentive to make Trump look *worse* nytimes.com/2020/08/18/us/…
But it's a 1,000 pages of reading, which very few people will do, understandably.

Still, the idea that this was a "hoax" is just not true. It was a thing that happened in 2016, and it's happening again in 2020. But now Trump's got DHS to cover for him nytimes.com/2020/09/09/us/…
All of these things are factual.

What's frustrating is that there are people who can't just accept what *did* and *is* happening, and instead take it to ridiculous levels, yelling about Trump being a spy or doing Putin's bidding or some nonsense.
Their motivation for trying to help elect him was simple: they thought they'd benefit more from his election than from Clinton's election

His motivation for accepting help was also simple: He wanted to win and/or build a dumb building.
No need to go all Galaxy Brain on that. It sucks that this sort of conversation seems to have been boiled down to groups of people who massively understate and massively overstate what happened instead of just accepting the facts as we know them.
Anyway, this thread brought to you by my frustration with this random dude on Twitter this morning.
Anyway, sorry, I got rambling. Coming back to this point:
The way Barr's letter was covered was treated as though he was acting in an impartial capacity and not as Trump's political ally.

A *lot* of things Barr says and does are *still* reported on this way.
And anyone even half-paying attention to Barr knows by now that he's mostly just an extension of Trump's campaign (who happens to control the Department of Justice...)
I sincerely worry that Trump is going to use the government to manufacture news that is positive for him and/or negative for Biden between now and election day. And I worry that it'll still be covered the same way all of this has: as though the government is some neutral entity.
See: the Durham investigation, which Trump/Barr are very clearly trying to make news about before the election: cnn.com/2020/09/11/pol…
See: the GOP Senate investigation into Hunter Biden, which yesterday Ron Johnson straight-up admitted was a political stunt meant to hurt Joe Biden nypost.com/2020/09/14/ron…
How these stories are covered will determine whether these disingenuous stunts pay off. If every newspaper runs front page stories with giant headlines just repeating whatever message Trump wants out there, it doesn't matter if the underlying message is false; he will have won.
He does this bait-and-switch stuff a lot when it comes to his executive orders. He'll make some gigantic announcement that sounds super impressive... but then when the actual text of what he put out there is released, it's not even close to what he said. But it doesn't matter.
Because he will have gotten all he cared about out of it: good headlines. @MattGertz wrote about the most recent example of this: mediamatters.org/donald-trump/n…
I wrote about other examples a few weeks back mediamatters.org/donald-trump/t…
The press matters. A lot. TV, newspapers, tweets, Facebook posts... these things all shape our understanding of what's happening in the world (and, by extension, our own opinions). I recently looked back on the past four years, hoping against hope there'd be improvement.
There really hasn't been.

mediamatters.org/donald-trump/p…
tl;dr the press needs to stop parroting what politicians say and provide context in the initial reporting, even if it means they're slower to report on something. Because once a narrative has been established, you'll have a tough time changing it. You'll have created a "hoax."

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More from @ParkerMolloy

18 Sep
Everything is about bribing their way to victory. Everything.
The funny thing is that after Obama won in 2012, one of the big reactions on the right was to claim that he "bought" his victory by promoting ... the same policies he'd been promoting throughout his first term.
Meanwhile, here's Trump trying to figure out how he can send money to people with a note saying it's from him wink wink nudge nudge etc.
Read 5 tweets
18 Sep
Making Puerto Rico a state is literally in the most recent GOP platform
The Republican freak-out over Puerto Rico becoming a state because they think the senators and representative(s) would be Dems is... kind of odd? Misplaced?
Read 4 tweets
17 Sep
"This is also something that's not widely being reported."

Because it didn't happen. To the best of my knowledge none of the examples of people arrested for arson have had anything to do with the forest fires or were "left-wing activists."
Read 6 tweets
17 Sep
But as @existentialfish and @MattGertz point out, we've seen this happen places like NYT, too.

Take this Bret Stephens column, for instance. He'd spent the weeks leading up to the election warning that Dems were too far left, then published this the day after the election. Image
In that article, which was based on this premise that sure, Dems won the House, but just *barely* had to keep being updated to reflect the actual results, each time with Stephens' take getting worse.

Okay, it was 28 seats...
Okay, it was 37 seats...
Okay, it was 39 seats... ImageImageImage
Read 19 tweets
15 Sep
So, the more I read people talking about COVID-19 on Twitter, the angrier I get.
It's just talking point after talking point after talking point of the dumbest fucking people on the planet doing whatever they can to make the president look better. And I'm so fucking sick of it.
"From or with?" "From or with?" "From or with?"

Oh my god, shut the fuck up
Read 14 tweets
14 Sep
There really needs to be another way to report on this...
This is how normalized all of this has become. The president says he plans to defy the constitution's term limits, and the response is mostly a shrug. Major failure of the press to take the rise of fascism seriously.
He's been saying this for a long time, and everyone just kind of rolls their eyes. At what point do journalists start to treat these claims with the alarm they deserve?
Read 7 tweets

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