Totally agree it’s not a smoking gun, but it was hyped by the MSM like it was a giant cannon. Each time CNN gets its talking heads to inflate a new tidbit into a gargantuan “this time it will finally bring down Trump” mountain of hype, it convinces more objective observers that it’s fundamentally trying to be a propaganda organ rather than a purveyor of truth.
A foundational problem with the whole Russia story is that its proponents don’t really believe it. They seized upon it tactically as a way to make allegations against Trump, allegations not easy to disprove, even if false. This is from the same group who favored a Russian reset a few years ago. They also claim to have made great discoveries: that Russia might be cheating at cribbage, that Russian propaganda might not be the all true, that Russia has sent us off to find a left-hand sprocket wrench and is not above playing tricks and laughing at us. To take any of it seriously requires an unbelievable level of naïveté.
The MSM has also invested an inordinate amount of effort trying to criminalize routine activities and prevent a rational discussion of foreign policy alternatives. Why is going to a reception and seeing the Russian Ambassador there the equivalent of sharing our nuclear launch codes? Why is anyone a traitor who doesn’t view Putin as Satan incarnate or is hesitant about pushing confrontation with a nuclear superpower over nothing vital to our national interest?
Even if Donald Trump Jr. received and sent emails from Wikileaks begging for dirt on Hillary, it’s still a big “so what”. Everyone wants dirt on their opponents. Some even pay to have other sources release smears on their adversaries.
Even the purported Russian hacking of the DNC remains more alleged than proven and woefully light on evidence. But even if we grant the veracity of that storyline, why is it more than a minor venal sin? If the NYT had gotten access to DNC emails and released them, it would have been a great journalistic scoop with Pulitzers all around. The release of real DNC emails was a great service to the American people — it gave us the most clear glimpse at the truth we had in 2016.