For the better part of three years, The New York Times has been at the forefront of reporting on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and on the subsequent investigation led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.
After a redacted version of Mr. Mueller’s report was released last month, we invited our readers to look back at our coverage and submit any questions they might have about it.
Directed by those submissions (we received hundreds of responses), we drafted a series of questions and passed them along to Matt Purdy, a deputy managing editor who oversees The Times’s investigative and enterprise journalism. Mr. Purdy’s responses are below.
As always, we’re interested in hearing more from you on this topic. After you’ve read the questions and answers, please share your thoughts in the comments section.
Some readers on the left felt that the scope, the tenor and the quantity of our reporting on the Mueller investigation created outsize expectations about its impending conclusions. (A critic at Salon called it “defensible but arguably slanted reporting along the lines of ‘beneath all this smoke, there’s got to be a fire.’”) What would you say to readers who feel that they were led to expect a different outcome?
At the same time, many on the right have contended that The Times and other news organizations overplayed the Mueller story out of an anti-Trump bias. Could there be some truth to that? And how do you ensure that any implicit personal biases among Times journalists don’t affect the coverage of the administration?
PURDY: These are pretty much the same question asked from two perspectives. From the left: Why did you give the Mueller investigation so much coverage, raising our expectations that President Trump would be found to have criminally conspired with the Russians? From the right: Why did you give the Mueller investigation so much coverage when it turns out President Trump was not found to have criminally conspired with the Russians?
We did give the Mueller investigation a lot of coverage, and we broke a lot of stories about the conduct of the president and his aides. We’re proud of that coverage and would do it again.
I urge you to take the politics out of it for a moment and consider the facts as the press saw them.
The nation’s intelligence agencies (and now the Mueller investigation) determined that the Russian government launched a multipronged attack on the 2016 presidential election. The Russians’ ultimate aim was to help with the election of Donald J. Trump. We also know that Russians made multiple contacts with the Trump campaign, some of which elicited responses from Mr. Trump’s aides. And Mr. Trump — both as a candidate and as president — had taken a more lenient posture toward Moscow and Vladimir V. Putin than his predecessors in either party. Finally, the president had previous business interests in Russia, and his aides — primarily his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort — had worked for Putin-backed politicians in Ukraine. All of this led the Trump Justice Department to appoint a special counsel.
This is an extraordinary moment, and I would argue that it is the press’s responsibility to probe all aspects of it. I recognize that, in much of the political realm, the whole affair has come down to whether or not President Trump was charged. But, just to step back: The Mueller inquiry led to more than 100 criminal counts lodged against dozens of people, including six Trump advisers or officials.
When evaluating whether the press devoted too much attention to the Mueller investigation, consider these quotes from the special counsel’s report.
From the introduction to Volume 1, regarding Moscow’s involvement in the campaign:
The Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.
Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and that the Campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.
From the introduction to Volume 2, regarding possible obstruction:
Beginning in 2017, the President of the United States took a variety of actions towards the ongoing FBI investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election and related matters that raised questions about whether he had obstructed justice.
Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.
Whether you were cheered or chagrined by the results of the Mueller report, I urge you to look beyond your political leanings and appreciate the historic nature of these events and why they demanded so much attention from the press.
Now that we have seen the redacted Mueller report, how would you evaluate the amount of resources that The Times devoted to the Russia investigation? Do you think the significant resources The Times put into the coverage were worth it?
PURDY: Yes, without a doubt, for the reasons stated in the answer above. We are covering the Trump presidency as we cover all presidencies: for our current audience as well as for history. From any point of view, we are living through a norm-breaking presidency, and that demands the attention we are giving it.
Many readers who are critical of President Trump have expressed concern that we were overly trusting of Attorney General William P. Barr’s summary of the Mueller report, released on March 24, and, in our initial reporting, were not sufficiently wary of possible conflicts of interest or of his loyalty to the president. Readers have flagged two headlines in particular: “Mueller Finds No Trump-Russia Conspiracy” and “A Cloud Over Trump’s Presidency Is Lifted.”
Given that we later characterized Mr. Barr as acting as a defense lawyer for President Trump and that we now know that Robert Mueller objected to Mr. Barr’s descriptions of the investigation’s conclusions, were we sufficiently skeptical, in our initial coverage, of Mr. Barr’s analyses and motives? In retrospect, are there any articles or headlines that should have been framed differently?
PURDY: There is no question what the top-line news was in Attorney General William P. Barr’s four-page summary of conclusions of the Mueller report: President Trump and his aides had not been found to have coordinated with the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
This investigation had been a cloud hanging over Mr. Trump’s presidency since the day he took office, and the single fact that neither the president nor any of his aides would be criminally charged with conspiracy was big news. Hence, the two front-page headlines that readers have questioned.
The Times’s digital report that day had a range of stories examining every aspect of the letter: its implications, the many unanswered questions, the immediate criticisms of Mr. Barr’s summary and of his decision to personally clear the president of obstruction of justice — a step Mr. Mueller had not taken.
The front page on March 25 did carry those two headlines, which captured — in the space allowed for print headlines — the news of the day. But it is worth considering the many other words on the front page that day, which communicated the nuances of Mr. Barr’s actions beneath the headlines.
Here are the first two paragraphs of the story headlined “A Cloud Over Trump’s Presidency Is Lifted,” by Peter Baker, the most experienced White House correspondent in Washington:
For President Trump, it may have been the best day of his tenure so far. The darkest, most ominous cloud hanging over his presidency was all but lifted on Sunday with the release of the special counsel’s conclusions, which undercut the threat of impeachment and provided him with a powerful boost for the final 22 months of his term.There are still other clouds overhead and no one outside the Justice Department has actually read the report by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, which may yet disclose damning information if made public. But the end of the investigation without findings of collusion with Russia fortified the president for the battles to come, including his campaign for re-election.
Within hours of the release of Mr. Barr’s letter, two other reporters, Charlie Savage and Michael Schmidt, surfaced in our digital report the most contentious part of the attorney general’s actions: his decision to clear the president of obstruction of justice.
Their story was also on the front page on March 25, along with the main news story and the analysis by Peter Baker. The story by Charlie and Michael raised skepticism about Mr. Barr’s decision. After pointing out that Mr. Mueller had neither exonerated President Trump on obstruction nor come to a conclusion on whether he should be charged criminally, the story said:
Then, Attorney General William P. Barr, a political appointee whom Mr. Trump installed less than a month ago and who began reading Mr. Mueller’s report on Friday, stepped in. With the concurrence of his deputy, Rod J. Rosenstein, Mr. Barr seized the opportunity to render a judgment — pronouncing Mr. Trump clear of committing any criminal offense.The propriety of that move by Mr. Barr — who had written an unsolicited memo last year arguing that Mr. Mueller ought not be permitted to investigate Mr. Trump for obstruction of justice — is certain to be a focus of political contention as Congress grapples with what it now knows about the still-secret Mueller report.
A review of our work on that day shows that we captured the biggest news as well as the complications and looming controversies behind it.
The release of the redacted Mueller report prompted some readers to revisit their grievances about an article that ran in The Times in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election: “Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia.” The article left many readers, just days before the election, with the impression that the Trump campaign had been exonerated.
Last year, after James Comey questioned the article, our executive editor, Dean Baquet, acknowledged that “the headline was off” but stated that the story “was NOT inaccurate based on what we knew at the time.”
What, if anything, has changed about our understanding of how we handled that story?
PURDY: Perhaps not surprisingly, I agree with Dean Baquet on this one. The headline might have been a bit too definitive, given that we were reporting on an ongoing investigation in its early stages, the details of which were not fully known to us.
One of the key lines near the top of the story said: “Law enforcement officials say that none of the investigations so far have found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government.” Two and a half years later, many of the details have been filled in, and we know much more about the events surrounding the 2016 election. Yet that statement, which was our best assessment at the time, remains true.
Just to add one point unrelated to the article in question. In my role overseeing investigative journalism at The Times, I find that, while preparing sensitive articles, it is always valuable to ask the question, “What don’t we know?” We are so often — both by necessity and given the nature of unfolding events — writing without complete knowledge. Answering that question helps us evaluate the strength of our story, and disclosing what we don’t know to readers helps them keep in perspective the known facts that we are reporting.
With the approach of the 2020 election, many readers are looking back at our 2016 campaign coverage and expressing lingering concerns about the relative importance we assigned to the Trump-Russia story, particularly as compared with our articles about Hillary Clinton’s emails.
In retrospect, do you think that the two stories — the F.B.I. investigation into Trump-Russia ties and the F.B.I. investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server — were given proper coverage?
PURDY: During the 2016 presidential campaign, the press had to deal with the extraordinary circumstance of both major party candidates facing criminal investigations. Coverage of both was justified as news.
It is true that the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails received more coverage during the campaign than the investigation of Donald Trump and his aides, but that was largely a function of timing. The Clinton investigation played out during the campaign and came to a very public conclusion — and a brief revival — through the official actions of James Comey, the director of the F.B.I. at the time. All of that generated coverage — again, justified coverage, given Mrs. Clinton’s role as the former secretary of state handling classified matters and as the Democratic nominee for president.
By contrast, the Trump investigation began in the summer of 2016, was in its relatively early stages by Election Day, and was not the subject of public disclosure by the F.B.I. For those reasons, that inquiry received less press attention. Obviously, though, as the Trump investigation has played out, it has dominated much of the coverage of the first two years of the Trump presidency.
We do think a lot about proportion in our coverage. We understand that readers often see political coverage through — no surprise! — their own political lens. Our job is to work hard to see this coverage from an objective news perspective. What is important for readers to know? Are we holding the powerful to account appropriately? Are we being fair?
In the political context, we are facing these questions from the public as never before, especially as we head into the 2020 campaign, and we take them seriously.
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鬼谷子心水论wrsug.com【羊】【人】？ 【黑】【夜】【一】【族】？ 【众】【人】【先】【是】【愣】【了】【愣】，【这】【才】【想】【起】【他】【们】【到】【底】【是】【来】【干】【嘛】【的】【了】，【之】【前】【被】【李】【清】【华】【的】【脑】【洞】【这】【么】【一】【打】【岔】，【完】【全】【忘】【了】【这】【回】【事】【儿】【啊】！ 【对】【啊】，【那】【群】【顶】【着】【羊】【头】【的】【怪】【物】【都】【跑】【去】【哪】【了】？！ 【环】【顾】【着】【周】【围】【的】【城】【镇】【废】【墟】，【感】【受】【着】【风】【声】【穿】【过】【石】【缝】【木】【板】【传】【来】【的】【呜】【咽】，【苏】【小】【茜】【不】【由】【得】【缩】【了】【缩】【脖】【子】：“【你】【们】【有】【没】【有】【发】【现】【这】【里】【安】【静】【得】【有】
【玉】【贞】【邀】【请】【沈】【蝶】【舞】【留】【她】【这】【里】【过】【年】，【沈】【蝶】【舞】【先】【是】【拒】【绝】，【耐】【不】【住】【玉】【贞】【热】【情】，【最】【后】【还】【是】【答】【应】【了】。 【这】【么】【多】【人】【聚】【在】【一】【起】【过】【年】，【这】【也】【是】【玉】【贞】【始】【料】【不】【及】【的】，【也】【幸】【好】【家】【里】【备】【足】【了】【米】【面】【粮】【油】【和】【菜】【蔬】【肉】【食】，【不】【过】【厨】【房】【却】【没】【准】【备】【这】【么】【多】【人】【的】【午】【饭】，【管】【家】【问】【玉】【贞】【怎】【么】【办】？ 【玉】【贞】【有】【办】【法】，【让】【云】【拂】【衣】【和】【丑】【妹】【并】【祝】【九】【娘】【先】【吃】，【因】【为】【云】【拂】【衣】【有】【两】【个】【孩】【子】
【孙】【玉】【兰】【看】【看】【方】【若】，【看】【看】【周】【舟】。 【最】【终】【还】【是】【拉】【起】【了】【周】【语】【容】【的】【手】。 【不】【过】，【她】【并】【没】【有】【强】【制】【要】【周】【语】【容】【离】【开】，【只】【是】【和】【周】【语】【容】【一】【起】【站】【在】【外】【面】【看】【着】【方】【若】【和】【周】【舟】。 【这】【是】【她】【做】【出】【的】【态】【度】。 【周】【舟】【看】【向】【方】【若】，【手】【叉】【着】【腰】，【没】【有】【说】【一】【句】【话】。 【方】【若】【只】【看】【了】【一】【眼】，【只】【一】【眼】【便】【知】【道】【了】【周】【舟】【的】【意】【思】。 【他】【想】【要】【方】【若】【走】，【却】【又】【没】【有】【说】【出】【口】
【一】【对】【金】【如】【意】【被】【摆】【在】【了】【左】【弗】【面】【前】【的】【案】【几】【上】。 【在】【高】【庸】【将】【金】【如】【意】【拿】【来】【后】，【她】【拜】【谢】【了】【天】【子】【后】【便】【回】【到】【了】【自】【己】【的】【座】【位】【上】。 【离】【着】【她】【不】【远】【的】【孙】【训】【珽】【举】【杯】【朝】【她】【而】【笑】，【她】【亦】【是】【报】【以】【一】【笑】，【举】【杯】，【将】【酒】【饮】【尽】。 【言】【官】【们】【吃】【了】【憋】，【且】【发】【现】【了】【皇】【后】【的】【嫉】【妒】，【暂】【时】【也】【蛰】【伏】【了】【下】【来】，【宴】【会】【又】【热】【热】【闹】【闹】【的】【开】【了】【下】【去】。 【只】【是】【在】【这】【歌】【舞】【升】【平】【中】【到】【底】鬼谷子心水论wrsug.com【毕】【竟】【在】【那】【个】【时】【候】【他】【从】【来】【别】【的】【女】【孩】【子】【都】【没】【有】【睁】【眼】【的】【看】【上】【一】【眼】，【这】【样】【一】【说】【他】【还】【真】【没】【想】【起】【来】【他】【是】【谁】。 【他】【的】【心】【里】【面】【想】【着】【的】【是】，【他】【们】【两】【个】【人】【不】【都】【已】【经】【是】【分】【手】【了】【吗】？” 【什】【么】【时】【候】【又】【在】【一】【起】【的】，【一】【点】【都】【没】【听】【说】，【还】【是】【别】【问】【的】【比】【较】【好】，【下】【个】【月】【我】【们】【就】【要】【结】【婚】【了】，【学】【长】【要】【是】【有】【时】【间】【的】【话】，【可】【以】【和】【阳】【阳】【一】【起】【的】【过】【来】【参】【加】【我】【的】【婚】【礼】，【到】【时】
“【让】【开】。”【看】【到】【男】【人】【没】【有】【回】【应】，【灵】【曦】【又】【重】【复】【了】【一】【遍】。 【因】【为】【灵】【曦】【的】【这】【句】【话】，【男】【人】【回】【神】。 【他】【看】【着】【灵】【曦】，【然】【后】【给】【灵】【曦】【让】【开】【一】【条】【路】。 【不】【管】【是】【鬼】【怪】【还】【是】【鬼】【仙】，【都】【不】【是】【他】【能】【得】【罪】【的】。 【他】【还】【是】【先】【去】【调】【查】【清】【楚】。 【灵】【曦】【就】【这】【么】【从】【男】【人】【身】【边】【飘】【过】。 【变】【成】【一】【只】【鬼】【还】【是】【有】【好】【处】【的】。 【比】【如】【说】【现】【在】。 【原】【主】【住】【的】【病】【房】【是】
【舒】【洛】【只】【相】【当】【于】【一】【张】【双】【双】【的】【王】【牌】，【和】【一】【张】【清】【雪】【一】【张】【天】【空】【一】【张】【地】【面】。【如】【果】【韩】【方】【突】【然】【暗】【杀】，【就】【没】【有】【机】【会】【了】，【连】10%【的】【机】【会】【都】【没】【有】。 “【嗯】?【什】【么】?” 【这】【时】，【方】【庆】【雪】【的】【眼】【睛】【里】【又】【闪】【过】【了】【一】【点】【惊】【讶】，【因】【为】【在】【她】【眼】【里】，【方】【涵】【的】【身】【体】【是】【一】【无】【所】【有】【的】，【那】【是】【娇】【嫩】【的】【皮】【肤】，【瘦】【削】【的】【肌】【肉】，【光】【滑】【的】【体】【型】，【丰】【富】【的】【爆】【发】【线】。 【明】【亮】【洁】【净】
【但】【是】【今】【时】【不】【同】【于】【往】【日】，【慈】【禧】【已】【经】【不】【是】【那】【少】【年】【的】【个】【性】【的】【了】，【但】【是】【一】【听】【完】【安】【德】【海】【的】【分】【析】【和】【脑】【补】，【这】【慈】【禧】【也】【不】【由】【得】【疑】【心】【窦】【起】【来】。 【等】【安】【德】【海】【汇】【报】【完】【毕】，【就】【见】【那】【慈】【禧】【沉】【思】【了】【片】【刻】【之】【后】，【方】【才】【缓】【缓】【的】【对】【那】【安】【德】【海】【说】【道】：“【如】【此】【说】【来】，【你】【这】【番】【话】【倒】【颇】【有】【道】【理】【的】。” 【顿】【了】【一】【下】【子】，【又】【见】【那】【慈】【禧】【淡】【淡】【的】【说】【道】：“【这】【样】【子】【吧】，【你】【先】【去】【那】