The Washington Examiner
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Brit Hume says Mueller report coverage ‘worst journalistic fiasco’ he’s seen in 50-year news career
by Mica Soellner
| May 12, 2020 08:51 PM
Veteran journalist Brit Hume called the media’s coverage of President Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia the “worst journalistic fiasco” he’s seen in his 50-year career.
Hume’s criticism comes in light of a trending social media theme of #Obamagate after former President Barack Obama expressed his concern over the Justice Department dropping charges against Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn last Friday.
Flynn was fired in early 2017 for lying about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador. Trump and his allies have accused Obama of being aware of a “deep state” ploy within the highest levels of federal law enforcement to deny Trump the presidency.
Trump has been the subject of a longtime media storyline linking his 2016 campaign team to Russia. Trump and his camp were eventually investigated by former special counsel Robert Mueller, who compiled a report documenting the findings and the evidence for Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. While the report found Russia had used disinformation tactics to meddle in the election, it did not find substantial evidence linking Trump’s campaign with the foreign actor.
On Tuesday, Hume blasted the pursuit of the “collusion narrative” by top newspapers such as the New York Times and the Washington Post in a relentless chase that eventually landed the coverage Pulitzer Prizes in 2018.
“It was the worst journalistic fiasco of now my more than 50 some years in journalism,” Hume said on Fox News’s The Story with Martha MacCallum on Tuesday. “It was a disaster.”
Hume, a senior political analyst for Fox News and former ABC News White House correspondent, also criticized Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times, for the paper’s operational methods of covering the story.
“We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well,” Baquet said in an interview with Slate in 2019.
Hume disagreed with this sentiment, saying Baquet claimed, “He had set up his whole newsroom, his whole journalistic operation was to cover that story, and it ended up going nowhere.”
“It was a terrible journalistic misjudgment, and it was rooted in their view, in my opinion, it was rooted in their view of Donald Trump that when this charge arose, they thought so little of him and that he was such a terrible person, that it had to be true,” Hume continued.
Hume also criticized the media going after a story revolving around the Covington Catholic students, accusing them of being offensive to a Native American activist they appeared to clash with in a viral video. He also blasted the coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, saying they are pushing a narrative that shutdowns need to continue.
“You would think they’d learn,” Hume said. “They don’t seem to learn though, these journalists who were involved in that. They got the whole story about the Covington kids wrong,
and it goes on, it’s still going on.
And I think the coverage of the coronavirus epidemic has reflected this. Now, there’s a desire to see this thing as, the shutdown should continue endlessly, and anything that points in that direction, they love, and anything that doesn’t, they don’t.”