News and Commentary

WATCH: Greenwald: Media Responding In ‘Alarming’ Way After Mueller Report ‘Obliterated’ Collusion Conspiracy Theories

In a report for The Intercept Thursday, Glenn Greenwald broke down all the Trump-Russia conspiracy theories that the final report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller “did not merely reject,” but “obliterated.” Speaking with Tucker Carlson Thursday night, Greenwald pointed out what he described as an “alarming” response by the partisan media to this complete “obliteration” of the narrative in which they’d so thoroughly invested for over two years.

“The two-pronged conspiracy theory that has dominated U.S. political discourse for almost three years — that (1) Trump, his family and his campaign conspired or coordinated with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election, and (2) Trump is beholden to Russian President Vladimir Putin — was not merely rejected today by the final report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. It was obliterated: in an undeniable and definitive manner,” Greenwald wrote Thursday.

“The key fact is this: Mueller — contrary to weeks of false media claims — did not merely issue a narrow, cramped, legalistic finding that there was insufficient evidence to indict Trump associates for conspiring with Russia and then proving their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That would have been devastating enough to those who spent the last two years or more misleading people to believe that conspiracy convictions of Trump’s closest aides and family members were inevitable. But his mandate was much broader than that: to state what did or did not happen,” Greenwald conintinued. “That’s precisely what he did: Mueller, in addition to concluding that evidence was insufficient to charge any American with crimes relating to Russian election interference, also stated emphatically in numerous instances that there was no evidence — not merely that there was insufficient evidence to obtain a criminal conviction — that key prongs of this three-year-old conspiracy theory actually happened. As Mueller himself put it: ‘in some instances, the report points out the absence of evidence or conflicts in the evidence about a particular fact or event.'”

Appearing on Carlson’s Fox News show that night, Greenwald addressed the media’s reaction to the “collusion”-destroying report — a reaction he condemned as “off the rails” and downright “alarming.”

“This is one of the problems that I think let the media just to go so far off the rails is that, especially those two cable networks [CNN and MSNBC], but also even newspapers, pretty much prohibited dissent from ever being heard so they constantly fed each other these conspiracy theories and told each other they were on the right track they advanced it further. And never really had to confront anybody who questioned or challenged them in any way,” said Greenwald (partial transcript via RCP).

After noting that he has personally made a point of trying to debate people with different views on the collusion story in order to challenge his own premises, Greenwald turned to the troubling trend he’s noticed in media circles post-Mueller report: the attempt to conflate collusion and obstruction in order to declare false victory.

“If you listen to the media discourse, outside of a few circles, they’ve just put collusion and conspiracy and all of those conspiracy theories they’ve spent the last three years endorsing, just flushed it down the toilet like they don’t event exist and just seamlessly shifted to obstruction,” he said. “And then they’re conflating them to claim essentially that they were right all along. And that is really the alarming thing.”

Donald Trump, he said, apparently “broke the brains of a lot of people, particularly people in the media who believe that telling lies, inventing conspiracy theories, being journalistically reckless, it’s all justified to stop this unparalleled menace.” That might be a “good thing” for an activist to think, but it’s a “really bad thing for a journalist to think,” he added.

WATCH (video via Fox News):

Related: WATCH: Tucker Carlson: Mueller Report ‘Single Most Humiliating Thing That Has Ever Happened To The White House Press’