Rachel Maddow was in her element Friday night. She started off a segment that seemed like it was going to be about Mike Flynn, and the karmic satisfaction of the man singlehandedly responsible for the fascist "Lock her up!" chants about Hillary Clinton being sentenced to jail time himself, for lying to the FBI.
Maddow shifted, though, to the obsession that the entire segment of Right Wing Nut Jobs had with Hillary Clinton. Trump, Fox News, Jeff Sessions, Bill Barr, all using the full force of the U.S. Justice Department to pursue the very real option of actually putting Hillary Clinton in jail. Investigation after investigation, all ending in absolute whimpering defeat for the Hillary-haters.
She even slammed James Comey by reminding us that the Justice Department IG found "[t]he only real wrongdoing related to this e-mail thing was the FBI director deciding to make public statements about that investigation during the campaign because he felt like he was under so much pressure to look tough on Hillary Clinton, that he felt like he had to say something about Hillary Clinton in the middle of this investigation, even though it probably influenced the election, and even though the FBI itself concluded there was never any reason to bring charges in this case."
Then, however, it became apparent Maddow was just gassing up. She'd saved the strongest of her righteous analytic firepower for...
The New York Times.
When the State Department Inspector General ultimately conclusively decided there really was no crime here, no great scandal, no systematic wrongdoing whatsoever, really nothing to see, The New York Times put that story on page A-16 of the Saturday print edition of their paper, under a headline that called it "a quiet ending." See under the headline? "A quiet ending into inquiry for e-mails and server." Yes, it was a quiet ending. Yes, The New York Times, you gave it quite a quiet ending, especially compared to how big an opening you gave it on the front page for months.
Similarly, it was The New York Times that put the supposed Uranium One scandal on its front page in the heart of the campaign in April 2015, with a sort of reporting partnership with the right-wing author who appears to have invented that scandal, who was working with Trump campaign chief Steve Bannon at the time. The New York Times did a reporting partnership with that guy, put that nonsense, that made up non-scandal above the fold on the front page in the heart of the campaign, made it look like it was mainstream news instead of a Steve Bannon joint cooked up in a caldron. They then went back to the story again, ran more headlines about it in November of 2017, which is when Fox News and the Trump folks had heated up that story again, and when Attorney General Jeff Sessions decided that he needed to appoint this new Justice Department review to go back over the Uranium One thing and e-mails thing again to see if there could possibly be any charges there. The New York Times had front-paged it during the campaign. They went back and put it in their news again, in partnership with this Steve Bannon-connected right-wing author, when they wanted to go back to it, when the Trump administration insisted that scandal was live again in the fall of 2017, which is how we got that Justice Department review.
Well, now that Justice Department review has apparently concluded that there's nothing there. And, in fact, the review wound down months ago, and found nothing, and no reason to charge anybody or even open a formal investigation and, oops, never mind, guess there was nothing there. Thus far, at least, The New York Times has not reported on the conclusion of that review at all. It's been reported in The Washington Post and in CNN thus far, but we haven't seen The Times touch it. I bet they will. I look forward to seeing their story and how they contend with the fact they, more than anybody else in the mainstream media promoted that story. I also look forward to seeing whether the "Lock her up!" chant about Hillary Clinton will nevertheless live forever, even after Mike Flynn's sentencing.
I don't mind telling you that a good number of people for whom I have high intellectual esteem look at me like I am out of my ever-lovin' when I blame the media, in LARGE part, for the election of Trump. The very next time that happens, I am going to play this video for them.
As a matter of my opinion, I believe that
The New York Times Rachel Maddow is one of the great wonders of the world, and we are a better country and a better world for having The New York Times Rachel Maddow in it.