A cascade of embarrassing details has poured out over the last few weeks on how special counsel Robert Mueller's staff is a gang of Democratic partisans with a rooting interest in Hillary Clinton in 2016. Mueller deputy Andrew Weissman even attended the doomed election-night Clinton "victory party" in New York.
Those news items are pouring out from every direction except the "news" media.
The network anchors can barely mention the fact that senior FBI agent Peter Strzok was removed from Mueller's team months ago for exchanging anti-Trump, pro-Hillary text messages with the woman with whom he was having an affair, who was another FBI official. Or that former Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr met with ex-British spy Christopher Steele and the opposition-research firm Fusion GPS, which assembled a dossier of unverified dirt on President Trump.
They're not outraged that Mueller and Justice Department officials have kept these facts from Congress. Mueller is stonewalling Congress; the media are stonewalling the public.
It's apparently distasteful to report that among the 15 Mueller lawyers, nine are Democratic donors — several of whom contributed to Clinton's 2016 campaign. Jeannie Rhee donated to Clinton and former President Obama and defended The Clinton Foundation against a racketeering lawsuit. Rhee even represented Clinton personally to prevent the release of her emails. Aaron Zebley represented Justin Cooper, the former Clinton aide who helped set up her private email server and destroyed several of her mobile devices to obstruct investigations.
This information isn't disturbing to the "objective" media. Reporting it is. CNN host Don Lemon found it "shocking" that there has been a "huge rise in anti-Mueller and FBI rhetoric from right-wing media recently." This is how CNN greets facts it doesn't like: It says they are merely "rhetoric" from ideologues. They run against The Narrative.
To see how The Narrative is concocted, see Time magazine's gushing tribute to Mueller in its Person of the Year issue — as if a June cover story titled "The Lie Detector" wasn't enough. In the issue, he's called "A prosecutor known for rigor and rectitude goes after the president's men."
Time's Massimo Calabresi gushed, "the special counsel has held the country in his thrall" with "rare bipartisan support and a team of veteran cops and prosecutors." Why, "There is barely a handful of people in all of America with the reputation and experience to take on the task of untangling a multipronged Russian influence operation." Mueller is snidely juxtaposed against "the arrival in our nation's capital of a roguish figure elected on the exhilarating notion that rules are to be flouted."
This is how Democratic hacks write copy. Somehow, the Clintons have never been roguish figures who demonstrated that all the rules in their way would be ignored.
On the criticism of Mueller's partisanship and stonewalling, Time says: "The pressure has hurt the President more than the prosecutor. Mueller is a lifelong registered Republican." There was no mention in its ridiculous puff piece of any Democratic partisanship on Mueller's staff. None at all.
For contrast, recall Time's Men of the Year issue at the end of 1998. Back then, anti-Kenneth Starr commentary wasn't "shocking." It was mandatory. Time insisted Starr had engaged in a witch hunt and "disastrously" included stark sexual details in the Starr Report. The magazine responded to Clinton's impeachment with moral equivalence, saying: "The more Starr pushed, the more Clinton stalled. And in the end, each drove the other to a kind of madness." Time concluded that "like Bill Clinton, he still dreams of being found not guilty."
But Time now insists Mueller is "the personification of the idea that rule of law remains paramount." There's a reason these "news" magazines have crumbled: They are only trustworthy if what you want to read is a Democratic National Committee talking-points memo.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org.