Matt Taibbi has done it again.
Like Glenn Greenwald, Mr. Taibbi is a solidly leftward writer….but one who is capable of disallowing his political beliefs from overriding his journalistic integrity.
In that connection, Taibbi has written a commentary for Rolling Stone with the following headline and sub-head – which should give you a very clear idea of what comes afterwards:
The Press Will Learn Nothing From the Russiagate Fiasco
The inability to face the enormity of the last few years of errors will cost the news media its credibility, even with blue-state audiences
I would think that makes Mr. Taibbi’s position pretty plain. But, just in case it does not, here are a few key excerpts:
Conservative media throughout 2015-2016 learned a painful lesson. If your approach is based on telling people what they want to hear, audiences might like it at first. They might gobble it up for decades. But you’ll have quietly lost their respect during that time, and in a key moment, they’ll tune you out.
For this reason, it’s shocking to see national media voices after the release of Robert Mueller’s report patting each other on the back, congratulating themselves for a three-year faceplant they must know will haunt the whole business for a long time.
You know what was fake news? Most of the Russiagate story. There was no Trump-Russia conspiracy, that thing we just spent three years chasing. The Mueller Report is crystal clear on this.
He didn’t just “fail to establish” evidence of crime. His report is full of incredibly damning passages, like one about Russian officialdom’s efforts to reach the Trump campaign after the election: “They appeared not to have preexisting contacts and struggled to connect with senior officials around the President-Elect.”
Not only was there no “collusion,” the two camps didn’t even have each others’ phone numbers!
You may or may not agree with Matt Taibbi’s assessment of conservative media. But, unless you are a hard-left, take-no-prisoners Trump hater, it is hard to argue with his point that a great many media venues are contorting the mueller report from clearing Mr. Trump of collusion with Russia to “proving” it occurred…along with another charge mueller’s report did not make: ongoing obstruction of justice.
This is not the first time Taibbi has done this. Last month, I blogged about his, and Greenwald’s take-down of the “journalists” who refuse to accept mueller’s findings.
We can only imagine how significantly these examples of real, actual journalism will damage Mike Taibbi and Glenn Greenwald. How many nasty emails and tweets will be sent their way. How many parties with the really cool people they won’t be invited to.
But what they get for these indignities is the retention of their honesty and integrity that comes from writing what they believe to be true, rather than getting into uniform and spouting the party line.
Congratulations to them both.