You could hear the creaks and moans as the media finally got around to covering the Durham filing on DNS surveillance of Trump Tower and the White House by Clinton allies. The New York Times fittingly took the lead of trying to argue that it was no big deal.
And that required some heavy lifting.
You can measure the weight of it by the rambling and vague headline and subheader, “Court Filing Started a Furor in Right-Wing Outlets, but Their Narrative Is Off Track – The latest alarmist claims about spying on Trump appeared to be flawed, but the explanation is byzantine — underlining the challenge for journalists in deciding what merits coverage.”
The two things that word salad tells you are that…
1. The media very much views it and everything damaging to their side as a narrative issue
2. It’s hoping that if it keeps emphasizing how complex it all is, readers won’t try to make sense of it.
The sheer stonewalling is almost impressive.
Gone is the, “What, Where, Why” of journalism. Instead, there are frontloaded paragraphs filled with arm-waving that fail to explain what in the world is even being discussed.
When John H. Durham, the Trump-era special counsel investigating the inquiry into Russia’s 2016 election interference, filed a pretrial motion on Friday night, he slipped in a few extra sentences that set off a furor among right-wing outlets about purported spying on former President Donald J. Trump.
But the entire narrative appeared to be mostly wrong or old news — the latest example of the challenge created by a barrage of similar conspiracy theories from Mr. Trump and his allies.
Upon close inspection, these narratives are often based on a misleading presentation of the facts or outright misinformation. They also tend to involve dense and obscure issues, so dissecting them requires asking readers to expend significant mental energy and time — raising the question of whether news outlets should even cover such claims. Yet Trump allies portray the news media as engaged in a cover-up if they don’t.
What did we learn from that boys and girls?
Well there are a few “extra sentences”, suggesting that they’re somehow unneeded or even wrong. We have no idea what those sentences are except that the third paragraph tells us that there are misleading right-wing narratives and misinformation, and that the whole thing is to obscure that it’s not even worth “asking readers to expend significant mental energy and time” on the subject.
Sadly, “Trump allies portray the news media as engaged in a cover-up if they don’t.”
First graders going to school during a snowstorm whine less than the New York Times having to cover a story it doesn’t want to cover. And instead of covering the story, it spends three paragraphs explaining that it hates conservatives and it doesn’t want to talk about the story.