You're Not Alone

Good grief there has been a lot of news today about Donald Trump and Russian collusion. Some of it is reported rumors, rather than news. Some of it is just absolutely impossible to verify. All of it is coming very quickly: An eighth person (?) allegedly in attendance at the meeting with Don Jr.; Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Kremlin-connected lawyer with whom Don Jr. met, says she was in contact with a Kremlin-appointed official about the U.S. sanctions law; Trump was in New York on the day of the meeting; two years of personal emails from "official working in the secretive intelligence arm of the State Department focusing on Russia" reportedly hacked.

Some of these stories have been reported in part or whole at sites that are known or suspected to be Kremlin-affiliated, before they made it into major U.S. news outlets. So not only do we have to contend with "fake news," but also various Russian-linked outlets "scooping" the legitimate news to disseminate information they want to get out to pressure Trump — in the process humiliating and potentially discrediting our press. The scope of it all is unfathomable.

And in addition to just trying to get our heads around the scope and all the players' allegiances and reliability, information is coming so quickly that it's difficult to assess all of it for accuracy, or see if it even begins to pass the smell test, before the next story breaks.

That I feel like my head is swimming trying to process it all is not good news for how the casual news consumer, even one who isn't primed to dismiss all of this out of hand, is processing it all.

The average reader of this space is quite beyond a casual news consumer, but I suspect lots of you are overwhelmed as well.

If you are, know that I am, too. This is not normal. And you are not alone.

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