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Sunday, May 28, 2017

Understanding the News

On the Sunday New York Times, there is an article at the top of the front page that says that the White House is facing a "growing crisis" over Russia ties.  This may sound strange, but the article is a sign that the media attack on President Trump is running out of steam.  First of all, while the story is in its mandatory position on the front page, it is only one column wide and is dwarfed by other stories on that page.  Second, the "growing crisis" motif is second only to the "Trump something or other in chaos" when the media have nothing to write but still have to slam the President.  We all remember how the Trump primary campaign, the Trump convention plans, the Trump general election campaign, the Trump transition team and the Trump White House were and, in some cases, still are described as being "in chaos."  At the same time, the "crisis" regarding a non-existent problem with Russia has been a recurring motif in media reports since the election.  Third, the last "big news" flash thrown out there by the media, the supposed dealings by Jared Kushner with the Russians was a major dud and it has become harder for the media to continue to milk that one.  We all knew for many months that Kushner had met with the Russians last December.  The media problem is that they have nothing at all suspicious about anything that Kushner did or said.  Given the deluge of leaks from the intelligence community and State Department, no one honestly thinks it unusual if Kushner actually wanted to set up a back channel of communications with the Kremlin.  On top of that, Kushner has said all along that he would gladly testify before any congressional committee investigating this subject, so he seems to have nothing to hid.  Indeed, there is so little to discuss regarding Kushner that all the attack articles had to add paragraphs that no one alleges that Kushner did anything wrong and that he is not the target of any investigation.

Maybe the Times went light on its story because it is Memorial Day weekend, but I doubt that.  It seems as if things may be quieting down even in the media. 

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