By Jeff Charles - libertynation.com
You know that feeling when you get information that proves a deeply held belief is utterly incorrect? It can be jarring. It's a sensation known as cognitive dissonance, and in the aftermath of Attorney General William Barr's announcement that the Mueller report indicated no evidence of collusion, it is clear that members of the establishment media are suffering from this psychological condition.
From MSNBC's Rachel Maddow almost breaking down on the air to frantically written op-eds explaining away the report's conclusions, it is clear the left-leaning press is feeling the "sads" because a favorite narrative is crumbling. For these hapless individuals, the emotional impact is akin to discovering that Mother Teresa was a serial killer.
But the Fourth Estate is not giving in. Already, it is spinning the results of the report to nurse their flagship conspiracy back to life. They are pursuing various avenues of attack, favoring two at the moment.
For starters, the media are pouncing on the fact that Barr's letter said that the report does not establish that Trump obstructed justice, but it does not exonerate him, either. This statement has caused the left to pivot away from collusion as Trump's alleged crime to obstruction. Now, it demands the release of the full report to find any evidence pointing to obstruction.
After completing his morning routine of staring at himself in the mirror for hours, CNN's Jim Acosta tweeted: "Worth repeating...The Mueller probe 'does not exonerate' Trump per Barr letter."
Journalist Jennifer Rubin, who plays a conservative on TV, also chimed in: "It would behoove the media to point out it is FALSE that Mueller exonerated Trump of obstruction. The report explicitly said that, as Barr quoted. BARR exonerated Trump which is ridiculous."
Finally, Vox's Andrew Prokop published a piece speculating that the report might contain information that could lead to - you guessed it - impeachment. "Perhaps the biggest unanswered question is what the report will say about President Trump himself," Prokop wrote. "Does it make clear Mueller does not believe Trump engaged in any criminal activity? Or does it lay out a prosecutorial fact pattern about the president, as a potential prelude to impeachment?"
Along with calling for the release of the full report, the progressive media have adopted another strategy: attacking special counsel Robert Mueller. Nobody saw that coming, right? MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who pines for the days when he felt a thrill up his leg while watching an Obama speech, criticized the special counsel, arguing that he could have done more.
"Maybe he missed the boat here," he said. "Why was there never an interrogation of this president? We were told for weeks by experts, 'You cannot deal with an obstruction-of-justice charge or investigation without getting the motive.' ... How could they let Trump off the hook?"
ABC trotted out Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who has been claiming to have evidence of collusion since the investigation started. In an appearance on This Week, he said, "It was a mistake to rely on written responses by the president. That's generally more what the lawyer has to say than what the individual has to say."
Oddly enough, Schiff has not yet produced the evidence he claims to possess, even though his precious Russiagate story is about as dead as Michael Avenatti's law career. It's almost as if Schiff had no evidence and was merely doing his part to push a false narrative.
The left is right about one thing, however. This fight is not over. The Democrats have been dealt a serious blow with Mueller's revelations, but they will undoubtedly attempt to remove President Trump by other means. House Democrats have already indicated they plan to launch a series of investigations of the president and his family, hoping to turn up any bit of information that might result in a successful impeachment attempt.
Nevertheless, an assessment of guilt in the Mueller report was supposed to be the foundation of the Dems' case against Trump. With the new developments, they are reduced to investigating people instead of crimes, leaving them in a severely weakened position.