Chris Hedges, The Mueller Report Ends a Shameful Period for the American Press

Chris Hedges

The Mueller report’s categorical statement that Donald Trump and his campaign did not collude with Russia ends one of the most shameful periods in modern American journalism, one that rivals the mindless cheerleading for the Iraq War by most of the press. It further erodes and may prove fatal to the credibility of a press that has steadfastly rendered most of the country invisible and functions as little more than an array of gossiping courtiers to the elites.

“ ‘[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,’ ” the report by special counsel Robert Mueller says, according to a direct quotation given in an official letter by U.S. Attorney General William Barr.

The charge that Russia stole the 2016 presidential election, that Vladimir Putin has secret “pee tapes” of Trump cavorting in a Moscow hotel with prostitutes or that Trump has been a longtime “Kremlin agent,” repeated by reporters whose work I admired in the past, is demagoguery as pernicious as the vile taunts and racist tropes that come out of the White House. The press endlessly repeated such allegations while ignoring the expanding social inequality and suffering of a country where half the population lives in poverty, as well as the collapse of our democratic institutions. These facts, not Russian manipulation, saw enraged American voters elect a demagogue who at least belittles the elites, including those in the press, who sold them out. The charge that Trump was a tool of Russia is entertaining. It attracts billions in advertising dollars. It allows the press to posture as a moral crusader. But over the past three years this obsession blotted out most of the real crimes committed by this administration and the reality most Americans endure.

The mainstream press, owned by the corporations that have extinguished the democratic state and are fleecing the public, as well as destroying the ecosystem on which we depend for life, does not hold its employers to account. The empty chatter about Russia, including in The New York Times, exposes the bankruptcy of the U.S. media. MSNBC and CNN, which long ago abandoned journalism for entertainment, have breathlessly clogged the airwaves with ridiculous conspiracy theories and fantasies and used them to justify a faux crusade.

The Russia Hoax Comes Apart at the Seams (Jim Fetzer, Ph.D.)

Don’t expect any of this to change. Rachael Maddow, like Jack Tapper or any other fatuous news celebrity, will not be held to account for slogging through this fiction night after night. Maddow will still collect her $10-million-a-year salary. And the handful of reporters who exhibited journalistic integrity—Glenn GreenwaldMatt Taibbi, Aaron Maté, Robert Scheer, Max Blumenthal and Katrina vanden Heuvel—will continue to remain on the margins of the media landscape. The press is an arm of the corporate-funded burlesque that has replaced the country’s political life and turned civic debate into a vast reality show.

The more the big news outlets try to spin this report, arguing that they need to see the full report rather than the attorney general’s summary, or that Jared Kushner sought to use the communications systems of Russian diplomats, the more credibility they will lose. And they do not have much credibility left. The lurid details of the president’s alleged sexual relations with a porn star and a Playboy bunny, and of “Russiagate,” have replaced journalism. These stories have nothing to do with the lives of most Americans. This descent into the inane and the tawdry gives immunity to Trump. In attacking the press he attacks an institution most Americans loath. And with good reason. The press, unwittingly, enhances a president it seeks to destroy. And its decline, accelerated by its collaboration with liberal Democratic elites who scapegoat Russia to avoid confronting their responsibility for trashing the country in the service of corporate oligarchs, will get worse. Little the press says about Trump will now be believed.

There was, of course, massive interference in our election by a foreign power—Israel. But try saying this naked truth out loud and you will suffer the character assassination, chanted by the unified chorus in the press and the political hierarchy of both parties, that was unleashed on Rep. Ilhan Omar. The engine driving our animosity toward Russia comes from the arms industry, which with the expansion of NATO up to Russia’s border—despite assurances given upon the unification of Germany that this would not happen—is making billions of dollars selling weapons to countries in Eastern Europe. The situation is also exacerbating tensions between two of the world’s biggest nuclear powers. But this is just one more suppressed truth.

The Trump administration has carried out policies that, rather than serve Russian interests, have further antagonized our relationship with Moscow. It has imposed sanctions. It is openly attempting to overthrow the government of a country that Russia supports, Venezuela. It is attempting to block the sale of Russian natural gas to Europe. It has sold weapons to Ukraine, a foe of the Kremlin. It has armed insurgents in Syria and carried out airstrikes, even as Russian troops seek to prop up the Syrian regime. It has withdrawn from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. But facts matter little to Russian-conspiracy theorists.

It is not only Trump who has obliterated the line between fact and fiction. It is the press. It hyped and reported allegations it never investigated or confirmed. And by doing this, repeating failures of the kind that appeared in its coverage of the invasion of Iraq, it has committed suicide. A nation that lacks a functioning press becomes a tyranny. This is not Trump’s fault, but our own.

Chris Hedges is a Truthdig columnist, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, a New York Times best-selling author, a professor in the college degree program offered to New Jersey state prisoners by Rutgers University, and an ordained Presbyterian minister. He has written 12 books, including the New York Times best-seller “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” (2012), which he co-authored with the cartoonist Joe Sacco. His other books include “Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt,” (2015) “Death of the Liberal Class” (2010), “Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle” (2009), “I Don’t Believe in Atheists” (2008) and the best-selling “American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America” (2008). His latest book is “America: The Farewell Tour” (2018). His book “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” (2003) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction and has sold over 400,000 copies. He writes a weekly column for the website Truthdig and hosts a show, “On Contact,” on RT America.

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23 thoughts on “Chris Hedges, The Mueller Report Ends a Shameful Period for the American Press”

  1. Chris Hedges obviously knows nothing about the CIA’s influence and control of the MSM and other types of media.
    This whole article is a dive into tired clichés. Rather than an insight into the situation, Chris reveals how much he does not know.

    He even calls President Trump….” a demagogue…” which he is not. He obviously does not know a demagogue when he sees one.

    Its always good to know what these ”ordained Presbyterian ministers” think. Sorry Chris but you appear to be trying to appeal to the absolute lowest of the willfully stupid and misinformed.

    If you readers believe any of this article you’re living in some kind of dream world of unreality.

  2. If Putin,Trump and Netanyahu aren’t all three colluding with Israel and Chabad Lubavitch,, and Rothschild,, against the American and Russian and to some extent the Israeli population itself and if all 3 aren’t colluding or conspiring against the marginalized Palestinian population then what else do you call it ?
    And whatever became of those billions of dollars or rubles of Yukos oil passed on to Rothschild after Putin jailed Jewish oligarch Khodorkovsky’ some years ago ? Why did Putin not recover those shares for the Russian state and Russian people ?

    LONDON (Agence France-Presse) — Control of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s shares in the Russian oil giant Yukos have passed to renowned banker Jacob Rothschild, under a deal they concluded prior to Mr. Khodorkovsky’s arrest, the Sunday Times reported.

    Voting rights to the shares passed to Mr. Rothschild, 67, under a “previously unknown arrangement” designed to take effect in the event that Mr. Khodorkovsky could no longer “act as a beneficiary” of the shares, it said.

    Mr. Khodorkovsky, 40, whom Russian authorities arrested at gunpoint and jailed pending further investigation last week, was said by the Sunday Times to have made the arrangement with Mr. Rothschild when he realized he was facing arrest.

    Mr. Rothschild now controls the voting rights on a stake in Yukos worth almost $13.5 billion, the newspaper said in a dispatch from Moscow……..

  3. What also scares me is that New Zealand threatened up to 14 years for sharing the video, that is really scarey. It is draconian:
    (of laws or their application) excessively harsh and severe.
    “the Nazis destroyed the independence of the press by a series of draconian laws”
    synonyms: harsh, severe, strict, extreme, drastic, stringent, tough, swingeing, cruel, brutal, oppressive, ruthless, relentless, summary, punitive, authoritarian, despotic, tyrannical, arbitrary, repressive, iron-fisted; raresuppressive
    “collaborators suffered draconian reprisals”

  4. “Operation Gladio, the Unholy Alliance” > at
    the Vatican, CIA & Maria terror campaign, coupled with Operation Mockingbird to mock Truth with feudalist propaganda


    As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium one, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling 2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons.

    via: panama papers: Podesta brothers involved with Uranium One.
    Attorney General Eric Holder approved the sale of 20% of US Uranium to the Russian Government.
    Bob Mueller hand delivers samples to Rusian FSB officials.
    Deal is closed and Uranium One is allowed to continued operations in the United States.

  6. Speaking of Uranium One

    Robert Michael Gates is an American statesman, scholar, intelligence analyst, and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. He was originally appointed by President George W. Bush, but was retained for service by President Barack Obama. This traitorous entity voted FOR the Deal as he was on the The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS ) committee under Obama.

    Bill and Hill and their “foundation” are still walking around free somewhere in the USA. That proves we no longer have the rule of law in the USA. That pair have been shown to be operating that foundation grossly illegally since its inception. The evidence is all there but for some reason not only will no one touch them, they are being ostensibly PROTECTED by the Department of Justice, so Judicial Watch has said many times.

    1. As absolutely stunning as it is to say that the rule of law is dead in the US, INC., I see no other way to rationalize what is currently happening. It’s total madness and I never thought I would see this day. As much as I respect Dr. Fetzer and his courageous efforts, I hate to be the one to say I cannot see any exposure of these hideous and nefarious acts going very far WITHOUT A MASSIVE DEMAND from at least a critical mass of our fluoridated/chemtrailed/hypnotized population.
      After having spent a few days with some friends in a house that has the TV on 24/7, it became too apparent that most of the population is in some state of hypnosis or “alpha wave” sleep.

      1. At least there are some awake…good for you being one of them willie.

        Don’t standby and do nothing, spread wake-up DVD’s / upload them to youtube, etc.
        I find, being awake and doing nothing about it is the worst.

        1. Willy with a “y”…thank you.
          I’m one of about two folks here in Suwannee County Florida who run around with signs on the car. I’ve given out countless DVDs in this area. Maybe some get something from it…maybe not…but it satisfies something within.
          In 15 years, I have had about 6 folks respond to the signs on my car.
          Sad, but true.

          1. Hey, Willy
            I wonder what happened to Purposo. Do you think he was a hit-and-run lol?
            He didn’t seem like it. He was so enthusiastic.

          2. About an hour ago I was going to post the same….you musta heard me!

            I am quite sure he was not a hit and run. On that podcast, Fetzer knew him well (as Angel). Maybe he’s as frustrated with this system as myself.

          3. About an hour ago I was going to post the same….you musta heard me!

            I am quite sure he was not a hit and run. On that podcast, Fetzer knew him well (as Angel). Maybe he\’s as frustrated with this system as myself.

          4. Yeah, could be frustration. I suspect, though, that he maybe he was just goosing up interest in the podcast. Remember when he said, hey, you guys (meaning you and me) wanna be on Jim’s show? That was kind from out of nowhere. I guess he was looking for callers.

            Little sad if that was all it was. FFF lol

          5. Heckuva lotta effort for little return…as far as I could tell. Little if nothing has changed here.
            ………..and so it goes.

          6. Willie, that’s what Purposo got me excited about, too, better comment section performance!
            Oh, well. We persevere.

  7. I have tried six times to post this comment with no success so will shorten it and try again

    Go here for most relevant conversation


    1. Trump’s move will be most important. He may not have 2020 as wrapped up as he thinks (not that I vote….I gave up that nonsense many years ago)

    2. Thanks for the link, Dachsie.

      I replied to your comment at MHB, if you would please take a look. It’s about Scott Creighton. He had a kind of run-in with Caitlyn Johnson (who is in the broadcast at the link) about whether Assange is a CIA honeypot.

      My expanded question is here:

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