Making Sense of Our Russiagate Failure | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Making Sense of Our Russiagate Failure

The most consequential function of journalists is not reporting facts, but establishing a narrative framework for making sense of those facts. In the wake of the Mueller investigation’s whimper-like conclusion, it is apparent that the roots of the Trump-Russia failure—and there is no question that the vast majority of media coverage merited some sort of reverse Pulitzer prize—lay in a collective refusal to subject the story’s broad narrative to critical scrutiny.

For many, that narrative was powerfully attractive. It argued that the triumph of an ill-mannered, self-worshipping, know-nothing reality show star in the 2016 election was not the product of our political establishment’s alienation of key middle American constituencies or the weakness of Hillary Clinton’s campaign strategy. Rather, it was the result of Russia’s malign influence, which co-opted and conspired with Donald Trump to subvert American democracy and the broader international order.

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