The media will have a rare second shot at covering Robert Mueller’s findings when the former special counsel testifies before Congress this week, Margaret Sullivan argues. When they do, she says, they’ll need to wrest the narrative back from Attorney General William Barr’s rendering of Mueller’s conclusions and instead “substitute a well-rendered portrait of a subject that could hardly be more important to the country.”
What was billed as a series finale turned out to be more of a midseason cliffhanger as journalists explained the 448-page special prosecutor’s report on live TV.
Media Must Resist Its Worst Tendencies Today
It’s certainly possible that the news media will do a nuanced, accurate job Thursday of helping citizens understand the redacted version of the Mueller report. But don’t count on it — especially on live cable news in the initial burst of coverage but also as print news organizations and the broadcast networks struggle to get something up immediately on websites and on social media.
A redacted version of the Mueller report will be released Thursday, leaving reporters with the daunting challenge of speed reading some 400-plus pages in real time while avoiding the temptations and perils of taking shortcuts.