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It’s as simple as this: No one knows anything.
Brian Lowry emails: While March Madness plays on a suite of Turner networks and CBS, is it fair to say the cable news networks have a pretty good case of Mueller Madness? It’s been fashionable to draw comparisons between the Trump admin and reality shows, but the waiting game for the report — with chyrons referring to Washington being on “high alert” — tap into other popular genres, beginning with a tantalizing mystery. And one suspects that the longer the suspense drags out, the harder it’ll be for pundits to heed all the calls and reminders to be patient and avoid speculation…
But seriously — where is the Mueller report?
The “NBC Nightly News,” several CNN programs, and several MSNBC programs led with the possibly imminent Mueller report on Thursday evening. “Bracing for Mueller,” NBC’s Lester Holt said: “The anticipation is palpable tonight, after almost two years into an investigation that moved under a virtual airtight cloak of secrecy, impervious to political arrows. There’s a growing belief that the Mueller report is all but complete.”
Notice Holt’s use of passive voice. He said “there’s a growing belief.” Among whom? Why?
Over on ABC, Jon Karl cited “widespread speculation his investigation is about to end.”
This seems like one of those times when reporters know more than they can say. Are officials at the DOJ providing guidance about an expected timeline? Are well-placed legal sources standing by for news? Again, it seems that way, but I don’t know.
I appreciated Anderson Cooper’s candor about the situation on “AC360” Thursday night: “We thought that today might be the day,” he said, “and we were certainly not alone…”
“The TMZ phase of this probe”
Another sign that newsrooms thought Thursday might be the day: Multiple news agencies had photographers outside the special counsel’s semi-secret office location in DC on Thursday morning. They snapped photos of Mueller pulling into the parking garage, ball cap on his head, security pass in his hand.