Live Free Or Die: America (and the World) on the Brink (23 page)

BOOK: Live Free Or Die: America (and the World) on the Brink
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For example, when Trump removed National Security Council employee Alexander Vindman—who during impeachment hearings described his dismay at how Trump sometimes pursues his own policies and ignores the advice of bureaucrats like Vindman himself—the media mourned over the end of American democracy. A
New York Times
column bemoaned Vindman's “petty” and “vindictive” removal and the “Trumpification” of the National Security Council
44
—because it's apparently a travesty that Trump wants to work with officials who implement his policy instead of sabotage it. CNN's Chris Cuomo called the firing of Vindman, who was tossed along with his brother Yevgeny and
ambassador to the EU Gordan Sondland, another “Friday Night Massacre.”
45
CNN also ran a column declaring that the firing was a criminal act and musing about prosecuting Trump after he leaves office.
46

Trump Derangement Syndrome is so severe in the Fake News outlets that they'll reflexively support anything Trump is against—even terrorists. When U.S. forces killed ghoulish ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—a man who led a murderous cult that burned people alive and operated as a gigantic sex slavery ring—the
Washington Post
headline called him an “austere religious scholar.” Congressman Steve Scalise tweeted, “Every day the Washington Post uses harsher words against
@realDonaldTrump
than they do in writing about one of the world's most evil terrorists. Yet we're supposed to take them at face value. Let that sink in.”
47

But the hate-Trump media just can't help themselves. When Trump ordered the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander Qasem Soleimani on January 3, 2020,
Time
magazine absurdly offered advice for “concerned parents” who might need help talking to their poor snowflake children about the terrorist's death. In fact,
Time
couldn't even bring itself to call him “a terrorist,” instead noting that he was “called a terrorist by President Trump.” Along the same lines, the Associated Press explained that it would not call Soleimani's killing an assassination because the term is “politically freighted,” and so they called it a “slaying,” which is typically synonymous with murder.
Spectator
columnist Dominic Green was having none of it. “The political freight that the pro-Democratic media carry is not fear for the lives of American servicemen and women, or even concern at the epic fail of American nation-building in the Middle East,” wrote Green. “The Americans who do the fighting live as they die, far in social and physical geography from the pampered quasi-aristocrats of the media elite. The freight is a loathing of Donald Trump—for the vulgarity which embarrasses them in front of their European friends, for the coarseness with which he has pricked every bubble of their conceit, for the glee with which he overturned every monument to their fetish object, Barack Obama.”
48

If this wasn't enough, when U.S. guards sprayed tear gas at rioters who stormed the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad, MSNBC host Joy Reid called the incident “Trump's Benghazi”—a direct comparison to the Obama administration's feebleness when terrorists murdered four Americans in Libya. A disgusted Ted Cruz replied, “What's wrong with you? Is partisan hatred really that deep? We root for American soldiers, not against them.”
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Donald Trump Jr. noted that Trump's response to the Baghdad incident “was really the anti-Benghazi response”—decisive action that kept a bad situation from spiraling into worse violence.
50

Sharyl Attkisson, a frequent guest on my show, is as close as it gets to a nonpartisan investigative journalist. She has kept a running tally of major media mistakes in the Trump era that is now up to 131 examples.
51
Attkisson draws attention to many of the media's typical deceits and deceptions in covering Trump: depicting his opinions as “lies”; taking his statements and events out of context; “reporting secondhand accounts” against him “without attribution as if they're established fact”; relying on untruthful, conflicted sources; and “presenting reporter opinions in news stories—without labeling them as opinions.” According to Attkisson, “formerly well-respected, top news organizations” are making “unforced errors” in volumes that “were unheard of” just a few years ago.
52
It particularly annoys her that the media parade their mistakes as virtues because they sometimes correct them, and that they blame Trump for their own errors. “It's a little bit like a police officer taking someone to jail for DUI, then driving home drunk himself: he may be correct to arrest the suspect, but he should certainly know better than to commit the same violation,” writes Attkisson.
53

I deeply admire Attkisson's work but think she's a bit charitable in calling these egregious incidents “mistakes,” because it's impossible to believe this many “mistakes” just happened to all go in the same direction—against Trump. The media is doing something different with Trump than they've done with any other president. Progressive Ezra Klein admitted this as early as August 2016. “Increasingly, the press doesn't even pretend
to treat Trump like a normal candidate: CNN's chyrons fact-check him in real time; the
Washington Post
reacted to being banned from Trump with a shrug;
BuzzFeed News
published a memo telling reporters it was fine to call Trump ‘a mendacious racist' on social media; the
New York Times
published a viral video in which it simply quoted the most vile statements it heard from Trump's supporters,” wrote Klein. “That is not normal…. The media has felt increasingly free to cover Trump as an alien, dangerous, and dishonest phenomenon.”
54

Incredibly, after Trump withstood an unprecedented three-year media assault on his presidency, in February 2020 the
Washington Post
's Margaret Sullivan scolded reporters for not treating Trump
harshly
enough. “Some will argue that many journalists… normalized Trump at every turn and never successfully conveyed to the public a clear and vivid picture of how he has toppled democratic norms and marched the country toward autocracy,” wrote Sullivan.
55
Which mainstream journalists “normalized” Trump? Name one! Can she point to a single one of her Fake News colleagues who didn't panic over Trump's alleged autocracy? Has she read a single article since 2017 in the paper she works for?

What is Sullivan's prescription for the fake problem she presents? Just like Rutenberg, she wants journalists to shed their standards—as if they have any left. “First, we need to abandon neutrality-at-all-costs journalism, to replace it with something more suited to the moment,” she writes. “Call it Fairness First.” That means “describing the world we report in honest and direct terms.” Outraged that Trump claims vindication over his impeachment trial acquittal, she insists the press must “apply more scrutiny and less credulity to his increasingly extreme actions and statements.” Traditional “just the facts” reporting, she says, might be good in theory but not in practice. The mainstream media is failing its audience by “not getting across the big picture or the urgency.”

Sullivan's flight from reality is alarming. How could the media treat Trump news with greater urgency? It sounds like she wants the media to expressly declare all-out war against him instead of waging that war while pretending not to. She closes, “With Trump unbound,
the news media need to change. Yes, radically. The stakes are too high not to.” Unlike the Fake News Media, you just can't make this stuff up!

FAKE NEWS VS. FOX NEWS

If you listen to my radio show and watch my TV program, then you know about the Fake News Media's obsession with Fox News—and their false claims that the network is politically biased. There are major differences between Fox and the Fake News networks. Our news division and opinion divisions are separate, and our news reporters and broadcasters present the news with objectivity and journalistic integrity. Our programs, in both the news and opinion divisions, have both conservative and liberal guests. My friend Juan Williams is a passionate liberal, yet day in and day out he's on the network presenting his positions. Bret Baier reliably includes liberals on his all-star panel. We on the opinion side are open about our views. I'm up front that I'm a conservative and a Trump supporter, and I present facts to back up my opinions. The same can't be said for my Fake News counterparts.

I am very up-front about what I do for a living. As a talk show host, I sometimes present straight news, other times opinion, and often a combination of both. With my trusted team of journalists, I also offer extensive investigative reporting. But unlike certain hosts of many other biased networks who falsely hold themselves out as journalists, I don't pretend that my opinions are excluded from my commentary. Every listener and viewer knows where I stand, because I am honest about my opinions. Contrast this with the numerous pseudo-journalists of other networks who laughably pretend to be objective reporters.

You will rarely find conservative guests on the Fake News. But you'll find a slew of Never Trumpers, many of whom, in their maniacal hatred for Trump, have abandoned everything about conservatism.
Yet the title in the chyron falsely identifies them as conservatives. If any real conservatives, like Jeff Lord, find their way onto those networks, they're eventually fired for bucking the party line, as Lord was in 2017.
56
They fired him after he said that Media Matters members were behaving like fascists in promoting a boycott of my show, and he posted “Sieg Heil!” on Twitter to mock Media Matters president Angelo Carusone. CNN summarily fired Jeff over the post, saying that “Nazi salutes are indefensible.”
57

I hate Nazis, of course. But any reasonable person would understand Jeff was mocking Media Matters for the way they conduct themselves, not promoting Nazism. By the way, did any Fake News outlets demand firings, for example, when news surfaced that a high school history lesson at Loch Raven High School near Baltimore had compared President Trump with Nazis and communists?
58
Of course not. It all depends on whose ox is being gored—and as long as the ox belongs to President Trump, you may gore away.

Fox's reporting of the news might seem biased to Fake News viewers because they hear only one side of the story—the liberal, hate-Trump version. They object that we present both sides, because liberals tend to believe there is only one reality—the liberal reality—and all other perspectives are false. The Fake News networks have no clear division between news and opinion, yet they pretend their “news” reports are unbiased and objective. Back before Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, it was nearly impossible to get the other side of the story. But the rise of the alternative media has robbed the Fake News of their monopoly.

The Media Research Center found that the three major Fake News networks—ABC, CBS, and NBC—devoted almost seven times more coverage to news that former attorney general Jeff Sessions, when he was a U.S. senator, had met with a Russian ambassador than they did in June 2012 when Congress held Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress.
59
The Holder contempt citation involved serious misconduct—stonewalling Congress about the Obama
administration's gun-walking program, which allowed U.S. weapons to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. The Sessions meeting, by contrast, was a momentary encounter with the Russian ambassador at a cocktail party. But that was useful for the fake Russian collusion narrative, so the media mob manufactured so much hysteria over the incident that Sessions was forced to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

Altogether, the three major Fake News evening newscasts spent more than half their news coverage on Trump and his administration during the first thirty days of his term—and a whopping 88 percent of it was negative.
60
How is that even possible during what is typically a “honeymoon” period? Well, it didn't get any better afterward. In the first ninety days of his presidency, Trump got 89 percent negative coverage from the Fake News broadcast networks,
61
and it got even worse during the summer, with 91 percent negative coverage of Trump.
62

The networks despise Trump, but the Fake News cable stations have found a way to exceed the networks' bias. Take MSNBC, for example. The Media Research Center found that MSNBC interviewed congressional Democrats
thirteen times
more often than Republicans and that 81 percent of the policy questions directed at Democrats were supportive versus just 3 percent supportive for Republican guests.
63
Meanwhile, there's an endless list of crazy anti-Trump and anti-conservative outbursts on the network. A short sampling of lowlights would include:

  • Lawrence O'Donnell announcing, “The president is a Russian operative.”
    64
  • Chris Hayes claiming Trump's support for a border wall is rooted in pandering to his racist supporters, who prefer an “ethnically pure America.”
    65
  • Chris Matthews denouncing President Trump's inauguration speech as “Hitlerian.”
    66
  • Roland Martin saying, “White conservative evangelicals are Christian frauds.”
    67
  • Joe Scarborough claiming, “Donald Trump is either an agent of Russia or he's a useful idiot,” and that Trump “pledged his fealty and loyalty to Vladimir Putin.”
    68
  • Chris Matthews comparing Trump to Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth, Ugandan dictator Idi Amin, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, communist Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, and the Romanov dynasty in Russia, and suggesting Trump could channel Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and execute his own son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
    69
BOOK: Live Free Or Die: America (and the World) on the Brink
8.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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