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Say What You Will About Both Sides Do It, It’s An Ethos

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Our nation’s elite reporters have apparently looked at their 2016 coverage and decided that they handled everything perfectly:

“Who’s been the better quarterback this season? Many say Patrick Mahomes. But Joe Flacco’s wife and several of his cousins say Joe Flacco.”

But of course the extent to which “Is the Pacific Ocean larger than the koi pond at my favorite sushi restaurant? Views differ” is hardwired into Beltway jornos has been evident from the beginning. Handed a scoop about a scandal that could well be of historic magnitude, Ken Vogel managed to use it as an occasion to rub his thighs about…Joe Biden:

On May 1, the New York Times published a story that contained the most important facets of the Ukraine story. The Times reported that President Trump, through his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was pressing Ukraine’s government to investigate Joe Biden. And yet, having uncovered a massive scandal, the Times buried its own scoop. The revelation, which many people now see an an impeachable offense, was buried in the middle of a story that was primarily devoted to carrying Trump’s water.

Headlined “Biden Faces Conflict of Interest Questions That Are Being Promoted by Trump and Allies,” the story spun out a version of the narrative Giuliani has been trying to implant in the media. It suggested that, during his tenure as vice-president, Joe Biden took untoward action to help his son Hunter’s business in Ukraine by demanding the firing of a prosecutor who was investigating him. The news about Trump’s role arrived only after nine paragraphs of insinuations against Biden. And then, after a brief detour that casually reveals that the Biden story is the product of an extraordinary abuse of power by the president, it returns to a long unspooling of the Biden-Ukraine narrative.

Even at the the time, and especially in retrospect, it was an example of extremely bizarre journalistic judgment. One of the biggest presidential scandals in history had been dropped into the Times’ lap, and it relegated the news to a subplot to its main story of vague insinuations against Biden. The reporter, Ken Vogel, was too wrapped up in trying to nail the story he set out cover to notice that the actions of his sources, rather than the information they were promoting, was the real story.

Oh, and where does the Hunter Biden story come from? Why, none other that Peter “Clinton Cash” Schweizer.No matter how many times they come up empty these people will never stop chasing Steve Bannon’s snipe hunts.

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