May 19, 2018


The irredeemable irresponsibility of The Federalist (Damon Linker, May 18, 2018, The Week)

Some day, when the Trump administration is over and the true extent of its corruption has become part of the public record, the right-wing website The Federalist and its leading promoters and writers (especially Sean Davis and Mollie Hemingway) will receive proper recognition for the significant and distinctive contribution they made to polluting the waters of American public life.

Along with Sean Hannity's prime time show on Fox News, the House Intelligence Committee under Devin Nunes, and the president's own lie-filled Twitter feed, The Federalist is a leading disseminator of pro-Trump conspiracies and up-is-down, funhouse-mirror distortions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling and potential Trump involvement. [...]

The latest example of this inverted political reality occurred this week, in The Federalist's coverage of the long article published Wednesday in The New York Times about how the FBI concealed its early investigation of four affiliates of the Trump campaign (Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and George Papadopoulos) while being far more publicly transparent about its investigation of Hillary Clinton's email server practices during her time as secretary of state.

To most people reading this story, its point was plain: The FBI behaved in a way that was deeply unfair to the Clinton camp, which had to contend with a constant stream of stories about the email investigation, including it being briefly reopened (and then closed again) less than two weeks before Election Day. The Trump campaign, by contrast, not only faced no such bad press but even enjoyed a (now notorious, because false) front-page Times story in late October 2016 that actively denied it was under investigation at all.

It's hard to conclude anything other than that the FBI made things much harder for the Clinton campaign while simultaneously protecting the Trump campaign (out of a fear that the implications of the Trump-campaign investigation were so grave that publicizing them before the election could fatally damage it).

But for The Federalist, this isn't the takeaway from the Times story at all. 

Posted by at May 19, 2018 7:32 PM