A sensational Buzzfeed article accusing Donald Trump of instructing Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about the construction of a Trump Tower in Moscow has been proven to be fake news, with Special Counsel Robert Mueller himself releasing a statement attesting to its inaccuracy.
Many personalities associated with mainstream media had become enamored with the story, suggesting that it was the long-sought smoking gun that would lead to Donald Trump’s impeachment and removal from office. A running count of calls for Trump’s impeachment on CNN and MSNBC reached more than 200 individual instances, on Friday alone.
Instead, the contents of the article have dismissed as inaccurate by federal law enforcement figures investigating the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory. Somewhat hilariously, it appears that the theory that would lead to Trump’s impeachment in the minds of progressives has been shot down by the hero of their own fan fiction, Robert Mueller himself.
Establishment-aligned media was quick to cast blame for the fake news story on their own, in several cases targeting Buzzfeed for its publication and circulation.
CNN’s in-house tattletale Oliver Darcy also expressed a desire to see the fake news network distanced from Buzzfeed’s report- despite running eagerly with the story and promoting it vigorously.
Expect POTUS to use the disputed BuzzFeed report as a way to demean the entire news media. https://t.co/nUV2SE7BeO
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) January 19, 2019
Buzzfeed sought to defend its own reporter, Jason Leopold, from CNN’s accusations, publishing a statement claiming that the network was unfairly attacking him and stating that his reporting was somehow accurate despite being rejected by Mueller.
Coverage of the story’s collapse also seemed to take a decidedly negative approach towards Special Counsel Mueller himself- possibly representing the end of his reputation on the left as an imminent savior set to remove Trump from office at any moment. CNN’s Chris Cuomo said that he “hadn’t done any favors to the media” by debunking the report- as if the former FBI Director was obligated to let the lie slip as a favor to the fake news media.
In fact, Buzzfeed’s fake report is simply the latest in a long line of sensational Trump-Russia stories from mainstream outlets floating an “unconfirmed” or anonymous source about supposed collusion, usually warranting immediate impeachment.
In a remarkably similar scenario, ABC News correspondent Brian Ross was demoted and suspended after an earlier sensational fake report accusing Trump of requesting direction from unspecified Russians during his Presidential campaign. Ross had spun the claim wildly from its original context, in which the President sought to conduct diplomacy with Russia after being elected.
Should Americans expect the Fake News media to learn from its enduring pattern of sensational lies and fake reports about Trump and Russia? Probably not.
Should Americans expect mainstream media to fall into the same trap again and again of circulating sensational and easily-debunked Trump-Russia “bombshells” until losing all credibility with the American people?
CNN, MSNBC and Buzzfeed seem to be working overtime to answer that question with a resounding “yes!”
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