Back in the spring of 2016, when it was clear Hillary Clinton was about to be exonerated for her emails, the mainstream media collectively made a full court press to convince us that she was instead about to be indicted for her emails. Media outlets all knew this was a false claim, but they also knew that it was too good for ratings to pass up, so they all gave each other cover by pushing the same line of bullshit. When Hillary was exonerated, we were so relieved, we didn’t stop to think about how dishonestly the media had just played us. Now it’s happening again, with Donald Trump and Robert Mueller.
I can’t sit here and guarantee you that Trump won’t fire Mueller. But I can tell you that there is literally zero evidence to support that notion. The Republican Party has, rather obviously, spent the past two weeks trying to publicly sabotage Mueller’s reputation so that it can try to shrug off Mueller’s eventual findings about Trump. The GOP knows that, based on public demand alone, someone will see the Trump-Russia investigation through to the finish. Firing Mueller would only make it worse for their side, and they know it. They’re planning to let Mueller get to the finish line. They’re just setting the stage to claim that he cheated along the way.
The media knows this. Veteran political reporters know that if the Republican Party were truly looking to force an unpopular move such as ousting Mueller, it would be publicly trying to distance itself from the idea, even while engineering it behind the scenes. Instead the GOP is trying to publicly marry itself to the idea that Mueller is corrupt, which is a fairly clear sign that it intends to let Mueller stick around. The GOP doesn’t want him gone; it wants him compromised, so that his eventual findings will appear compromised.
But the media can’t tell you that this is all theater on the part of the Republicans, because it’s unwilling to kill its own best ratings cash cow. This is no different than when the media sold us the false story that Hillary was about to be indicted, or that Bernie Sanders was about to enter the general election as an independent, or the last five times the media tried to convince us that Donald Trump was about to fire Robert Mueller. Again, I can’t promise you Mueller won’t be fired. But there is literally nothing to suggest it’s about to happen, and plenty to suggest it won’t. The mainstream reporting on this is, in a word, bullshit.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report