Seth Abramson @SethAbramson NYT bestselling author. Current—Proof of Conspiracy (Macmillan, Next—Citizen Journalist (Macmillan, 2020). Lawyer. Professor. Poet. Views mine. Mar. 24, 2019 1 min read

This is what we let them do by being so unsophisticated about how we discuss collusion: we've let Fox News' "good" journalists just add the word "criminal" to collusion to create a nonsense phrase that requires a much higher standard than what we've been talking about: collusion.

1/ Remember all the times Trump said "No criminal collusion! No criminal collusion!" No—you don't. Because the standard *was*, until *today*, when FNC's "good" journalist (with a producer in his ear) changed it to "criminal collusion," was collusion, period. They're suckering us.

2/ We needed—have always needed—journalists to be guardians of *language* as well as truth. That's why I teach journalism as well as legal advocacy, professional/technical writing, digital writing, and cultural and literary theory. But on the use of "collusion," we were let down.

3/ When Trump said "no collusion," *every time* media *should've* said, "Well, you *colluded*, but we're waiting to see if it was a *crime*, too."

*Then* they should've explained that if you collude in a criminal way, it can be Conspiracy *or* many *other* statutes you violated.

4/ Instead, right-leaning journalists ensured we had no workable definition for the word "collusion," even as left-leaning journalists irresponsibly misdefined the term in a *different* way by saying it only meant "criminal conspiracy." How did we screw up something so important?

You can follow @SethAbramson.


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