“As early as next week,” the time period from next week until the time when the Atlantic and Pacific oceans converge somewhere in Kansas. But make no mistake: The rest of the world got ready for a Mueller report on Feb. 25.
Then came Friday afternoon. News organizations received an update on the status of the report’s ETA, as summed up by CNN’s own Shimon Prokupecz:
So then CNN had to come up with another chyron concerning the Mueller report and next week:
On CNN’s air Friday afternoon, Baldwin inherited the unfortunate work of adjusting expectations. “We’ve got some breaking news now with respect to the Robert Mueller probe," said Baldwin, who noted that Prokupecz had been “reporting out the wind — seeming that it would be imminent, this Mueller report would be dropping. . . . Do you have an update on the timeline?”
No, responded Prokupecz. No new timeline, though the report still is pretty much complete. The Justice Department, he said, doesn’t want to overshadow the news of President Trump’s visit to Hanoi next week for a summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
After additional analysis on the matter, Baldwin displayed some extemporaneous brilliance, saying, “And again, the news from Shimon Prokupecz just a second ago, saying that there were thoughts that the Mueller report would be coming out next week and now, according to Shimon and his sourcing, it won’t be next week because the special counsel’s office doesn’t want to step on the toes of the White House and this big trip to Vietnam next week."
Bolding added to highlight “thoughts,” a word that substitutes quite nicely for “reports from CNN.” The “next week” shenanigans are a fitting sequel to all the other expectations stated by journalists for months and months that Mueller is just about done.
“There is no upside for journalists trying to predict when this investigation is going to end. It ends when it ends,” said Adam Goldman, who covers the FBI for the New York Times.