Here’s How TV News Unpacked the Redacted Version of the Mueller Report

By A.J. Katz 

Blue check mark media Twitter is still abuzz on Good Friday roughly 24 hours after the public, redacted version of the Mueller report was released. But let’s take a step back to yesterday when TV newsers first received a copy of the two-volume, 448-page report and tried to unpack its findings live and on-air for the viewers at home.

NYT’s Michael Grynbaum complied some of the more notable on-air moments from the day, beginning with NBC News’ Justice correspondent Pete Williams trying to explain what he saw in the report.

Fox News chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge asked her colleagues for patience, Grynbaum writes. “I’m going to take a break here, continue reading, and flag headlines as we get them,” she said at one point. She also said: “for the folks at home…I want you to bear with me.”

MSNBC chief legal correspondent and host of The Beat Ari Melber remained seated at a small desk in a different area of the set, and hosts frequently went to him for updates throughout the day.

Some of the content in the report was a bit explicit, and newsers had to determine in real time whether or not to spell out those words.

CBS News’ White House correspondent Paula Reid replaced a profane phrase uttered by President Trump about the appointment of Special Counsel Mueller with, “I’m effed.” (It’s still broadcast TV after all). CNN, FNC, MSNBC would probably have gone all the way with that one. And you know TVNewser has no problem with spelling out expletives.

ABC News chief justice correspondent Pierre Thomas showed a copy of the report and did his best to explain what was in it during his network’s live coverage as well.

Like Grynbaum, we also noticed that Vice News had posted a livestream of one of its producers-Michael Kalenderian– reading the entirety of the report aloud! 12 hours, 22 minutes.

Some saw danger for President Trump from the outset. Grynbaum writes:

It was “an extraordinary political commercial for the president,” said Jeffrey Toobin on CNN, summing up his fellow panelists’ skepticism about Mr. Barr’s remarks. On Fox News, Chris Wallace said that Mr. Barr “seemed almost to be acting as the counselor for the defense, as the counsel for the president, rather than the attorney general — talking about his motives, talking about his anger, his feeling that this was unfair.”

Wallace’s colleague Bret Baier seemed to have a bit more confidence in Attorney Barr, as did many on the right; though Baier’s defense of the process ended up being slightly less, shall we say “passionate,” than how Fox News prime time hosts interpreted the day’s events, much to the delight of the president.