There has been one narrative that has dominated headlines across the mainstream media for over two years: #Russiagate.
Starting with the infamous Steele dossier, the #Russiagate narrative has drawn the attention of Americans of all stripes. It alleged that President Donald Trump was an asset of Russian intelligence, whether directly or through kompromat, compromising material that can be used to blackmail. It was explosive, if true, alleging Russian contacts, deep state collusion and dangerous corruption claims.
And the media, along with pundits, politicians and activists, clung tight to that type two conditional clause “if true.”
Top outgoing US officials jumped to the cause, leading to the authorization of a special investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Importantly, the scope of this investigation would include the allegation of links or coordination between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government. In other words: collusion.
But this was no Watergate.
When Attorney General William Barr wrote his letter to Congress summarizing the findings and conclusions of the special counsel investigation on March 24, the narrative was finally faced with reality.
There was no collusion, and will be no further indictments.
There was no smoking gun or silver bullet.
The whole Russia thing was just a big “nothing burger” after all.
The investigation conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller was always meant to be a neutral fact-finding affair. Yet instead of letting the special counsel do his work, the media found itself undermining the very institutions of American government, and it did so without regard for confirmation.
Instead Mueller became venerated, as if a saint, by many of Trump’s political adversaries as the savior for the “resistance.”
The Russia story was so ripe for the telling that pursuit of the truth was set aside for the greater narrative, dismissing accuracy for the partisan idealism and wish for impeachment. A massive conspiracy theory with all the twists and turns of a political spy thriller was spun night after night on live television and day after day on the front pages of national newspapers across the country.
#Russiagate has demonstrated a lack of integrity and ethics among media elites, and the massively influential “11/9 truthers” need to be held responsible for their destructive actions.
The narrative surrounding the Mueller investigation was always about collusion, and #Russiagate will be remembered as the greatest news that never was.