This week The New York Times published an epic 10,000 word piece entitled "The Plot to Subvert and Election - Unraveling the Russia Story So Far."
It's essentially the Times' summary of everything that can be definitively established thus far after two years of national obsession and inquiry into alleged Russian election meddling and influence that supposedly ushered Trump into the White House in 2016.
The massive investigative piece has the following lede at the top: For two years, Americans have tried to absorb the details of the 2016 attack — hacked emails, social media fraud, suspected spies — and President Trump’s claims that it’s all a hoax. The Times explores what we know and what it means.
But what do we learn? Buried among the nearly 200 paragraphs of seemingly endless intelligence "claims" wherein the reader will be disappointed to find no smoking gun detailing any actual conspiracy of meddling and collusion, we find two specific paragraphs — which though contradictory — are incredibly revealing about the nature of the whole 'Russiagate' scandal.
First, in paragraph 5 we are told by the Times journalists:
President Trump’s Twitter outbursts that it is all a “hoax” and a “witch hunt,” in the face of a mountain of evidence to the contrary, have taken a toll on public comprehension.
And as Moon of Alabama blog astutely observes, after one-hundred-and-seventy-eight paragraphs featuring repetition of "unproven intelligence claims, spin around a few facts and lots of innuendo" the same authors finally admit that Trump is actually right.
Near the end of an exhaustively long piece meant to chronicle the "evidence" that few are likely to ever read in full, we find this bombshell candid admission:
Mr. Trump’s frustration with the Russian investigation is not surprising. He is right that no public evidence has emerged showing that his campaign conspired with Russia in the election interference or accepted Russian money.
In an astounding contradiction within a single NYT article, the "mountain of evidence" at the opening becomes Trump "is right that no public evidence has emerged" by the story's closing.
That's right, after two years of almost 24/7 media coverage and frenzy over the Trump campaign and White House supposedly being under a perpetual Kremlin shadow of compromise, we have a 10,000 word piece by the "paper of record" attempting to tie all the "evidence" together which ultimately ends on a whimper.
Buried in this 10k-word NYT piece: "no public evidence has emerged showing that [Trump's] campaign conspired with Russia." This is a pattern: ample words for Trump-Russia innuendo; quiet acknowledgment of no evidence. And 0 words on what has been debunked. https://t.co/rew5FLEfKD pic.twitter.com/igNIxEXuHr— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) September 20, 2018
Again, The Times began by citing "a mountain of evidence" in paragraph 5, but ends with: "Mr. Trump’s frustration with the Russian investigation is not surprising. He is right that no public evidence has emerged..."
Journalist Aaron Maté rightly concludes, "This is a pattern: ample words for Trump-Russia innuendo; quiet acknowledgment of no evidence. And 0 words on what has been debunked."