On Wednesday morning, Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan explicitly advocated that since Trump administration spokesmen are liars, they should be denied any admission to the network Sunday talk shows. She called up Sunday show hosts and demanded it. Can you imagine the Post arguing in 1998 that the Clinton administration should be denied access to television because they were obviously lying about Monica Lewinsky?
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis. His career at the MRC began in February 1989 as associate editor of MediaWatch, the monthly newsletter of the MRC before the Internet era.
Graham is co-author with MRC president Brent Bozell of the books Collusion: How the Media Stole the 2012 Election and How To Prevent It From Happening Again in 2016 (2013) and Whitewash: What The Media Won’t Tell You About Hillary Clinton, But Conservatives Will (2007). He is also the author of the book Pattern of Deception: The Media's Role in the Clinton Presidency (1996).
Graham is a regular talk-radio and television spokesman for the MRC and has made television appearances on MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, and the Fox Business Channel. His articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times, National Review, and other publications.
Graham left the MRC to serve in 2001and 2002 as White House Correspondent for World, a national weekly Christian news magazine. He returned in 2003. Before joining the MRC, Graham served as press secretary for the campaign of U.S. Rep. Jack Buechner (R-Mo.) in 1988, and in 1987, he served as editor of Organization Trends, a monthly newsletter on philanthropy and politics by the Washington-based Capital Research Center.
The New York Times was correct in 2011 when it proclaimed Saturday Night Live had no equal “when it comes to stamping a politician in the public consciousness.” Republican politicians like Sarah Palin were described as incapable of escaping the SNL treatment, and voters actually thought Palin uttered Tina Fey’s satirical line “I can see Russia from my house.”
And yet, as the Times noted after three years in office, the NBC show couldn’t seem to locate a comedic angle on Barack Obama. He came into the White House as his impersonator Fred Armisen lamely spoke over a cool-jazz beat “I keep it cool -- I take my kids to school, I don’t lose my temper, it’s my only rule.”
The Trump administration is less than a month old, and Gen. Mike Flynn, the brand-new National Security Adviser, has resigned. This matches the picture the anti-Trump media want to paint right now. Chaos. Disarray. Amateur hour.
They also expect the president to help them paint it. This is why they’re going nuclear. He chose to ignore them instead.
The Sunday newspaper supplement Parade Magazine has been an absolutely Trump-free zone since the election. The Obamas repeatedly came for softball interviews and cover stories, for example as they promoted a “working families summit” in 2014. One can guess the Trumps aren’t granting access, but the magazine staff is almost pretending they don’t exist. On Sunday, Parade spotlighted a different liberal couple on the cover with the words “LIFE IS GOOD: Tragedy. Courage. Resilience. Love. The story of MARK KELLY & GABBY GIFFORDS.”
CBS White House correspondent Major Garrett wrote an op-ed for Sunday’s Washington Post imploring journalists not to skip the White House Correspondents' Dinner. The headline was "Skipping 'nerd prom' now would prove Trump right" -- that journalists hate him too strongly to sit through a dinner with him.
Garrett also pushed back against the Post’s own Margaret Sullivan, who argued that it would be appropriate to cancel the event altogether because the press should not be Mr. Trump’s “prom date.”
Culture critics have long hammered the Grammy Awards as tragically unhip. So CBS knew there was one way to get hip quickly: Sunday night’s awards ceremonies will be their first show with a male trophy presenters and….a trans woman presenter.
Washington Post music critic Chris Richards is still using the occasion to champion the Left in an article headlined: “No Grammys for old men! And don’t let these millennials win, either.”
The group called SNAP – the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests – disparaged Pope Francis meeting with victims on his American trip as an empty public-relations gesture, a dodge. On CNN, SNAP spokesman Manny Vega demanded that if the pope “wants to put an end to this, he has to be completely transparent, allow the names to go unredacted, allow the files -- allow researchers to get into the Vatican files and take a look at everything that's happened. There has to be complete disclosure.”
But CNN and the other television networks haven’t touched the amazing story of the shoe going on the other foot in the last few weeks. Suddenly, SNAP is falling apart after a lawsuit alleging they were funded largely by kickbacks for contingency-fee attorneys extracting billions of dollars in settlements.
You know The Washington Post is a liberal newspaper when the big splashy figure on the front of Friday’s Style section is…Keith Olbermann. The man whose career has now “evolved” into ranting in obscurity for a fashion magazine? Yes.
Political reporter Ben Terris is clearly not thrilled with this assignment. He will clearly wound Keith’s massive ego by proclaiming late in the piece “Some of Olbermann’s commentaries are infused with a frenetic energy akin to the right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.”
The Washington Post is joining the liberal chorus of wishful thinkers that Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer impression might damage Spicer and Donald Trump. Post reporter Elahe Izadi – who pitches herself as a stand-up comedian on the side – set out to promote anonymously-sourced stories of Trump unrest over the skit, and find leftist comedians who wished and hoped the NBC comedy show could convince President Trump to resign.
Time magazine has singled out White House strategist Steve Bannon for their Darth Vader cover treatment, with a picture of Bannon looking like a Marvel Comics villain and the title “The Great Manipulator.” Bannon had dared identify the liberal media as the “Opposition Party.” and Time took offense – and in so doing demonstrably proved him right.
USA Today senior political reporter Heidi Przybyla is a willing publicist for feminist Democrat groups. On page 3 of Monday’s paper came an article headlined “Women Across the USA Marshal Political Forces: EMILY’s List is on a mission to groom female candidates.” Above the headline is a picture from the “Women’s March on Washington,” with a woman holding a sign that reads “Women Are the Wall, and Trump Will Pay.”
This visual encourages the idea that women as a group are all anti-Trump, although exit polls showed 42 percent of females voted for Trump. Pryzbyla’s entire 1,206-word story read like the liberal group’s commercials or annual report, promoting the efforts of EMILY’s List to train pro-abortion Democratic women to run for office.
The Washington Post expressed its unhappiness with democratizing the press briefings on Sunday with an op-ed by former ABC News star Ted Koppel – to liberals a symbol of “mainstream” media objectivity, and to conservatives a poster boy for liberal media arrogance and denial.
Under the preachy headline “Democracy depends on the facts,” Koppel began with an anecdote from the Nixon years when Roger Ailes stacked the audience of a town-hall event with amateur questioners and a friendly audience. What’s silly about that is ignoring how much the Clintons and the Obamas have employed the same tactic – often with a liberal network airing it across the country.
NBC Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon was roundly condemned by the Left for mussing Donald Trump’s hair for five seconds, and “normalizing” him for the American public. But they were quiet on Thursday night when Fallon spent a much longer time “normalizing” disgraced CBS anchorman Dan Rather, who defined “fake news” for a generation with his false Texas Air National Guard documents about George W. Bush.
Fallon began with the unctuous note that while the social media is a wilderness, you come across “An eloquent 500-word essay by Dan Rather, and I wanna say thank you for being the voice of reason on social media.”
The Boy Scouts of America used to be derided as a “traditional values” organization, whose oath spoke of a “duty to God” and whose law insisted scouts be “reverent.’ Now the BSA worships something else: corporate donations. It should have been expected after they folded on homosexual scouts, and then on homosexual scoutmasters.
Within a month of being pressured by the case of 8-year-old “Joe” (born Jodi) Maldonado, the BSA folded on God and how “He made them male and female.” Instead, in today’s culture, the secular Left lets man overrule God on who's a boy.
There are dangers to pre-taping current-events shows, and that includes current-events "comedy" shows. On Wednesday night, TBS Full Frontal hostess Samantha Bee insisted to Trump supporters that "protesters are not your enemy" at about the same time that "protesters" in Berkeley, California were breaking windows and starting fires to prevent a Trump support from speaking on campus.
CNN has rained fire on Donald Trump's tweets for being extremely unfair. But on Tuesday night, CNN host Jake Tapper asked Nancy Pelosi her take on the brand-new Neil Gorsuch nomination to the Supreme Court, and she made a wild overstatement: “If you breathe air, drink water, eat food, take medicine, or in any other way interact with the courts, this is a very bad decision.” Wouldn’t it seem natural to ask Pelosi how precisely it is that Gorsuch opposes air, water, food, and medicine? But Tapper must moved along to the process question of how the Democratic Party should handle the pick.
It shouldn’t be considered remarkable that all three broadcast networks offered a news story on the tens of thousands who came for the 2017 March for Life. But it is. Between the morning and evening shows together, they gave it almost 22 minutes of airtime. To illustrate how shocking that number is, consider that last year ABC gave the march 35 seconds of coverage. NBC ignored it altogether. Ditto CBS.
There are two obvious reasons for this change. First, unlike the Reagan administration or the two Bush administrations, the Trump administration made modern history by sending speakers – two top-shelf speakers in Vice President Pence and top aide Kellyanne Conway.The second was the media’s massive coverage of the “Women’s March on Washington.”
NPR media reporter David Folkenflik touted the news on Monday that CNN announced a “major new initiative in investigative reporting” without really noticing the irony: Why are all the liberal outlets beefing up their I-teams now that Barack Obama has left the White House?
The laugh line comes in the middle, when Andrew Morse, the executive vice president of editorial for CNN/U.S insists: "This effort is not a response to the administration in Washington, but it's certainly well-timed," Morse said. "It's very important for us to do good, solid independent work at a time like this."
People magazine has celebrated the two Barack Obama inaugurations, but they clearly loathe Donald Trump. In the February 6 edition, there's only a tiny mention on the cover of a "special report" on "The Inauguration & Women's March." Inside the magazine on pages 52 and 53, there's a full-page picture of President Trump with a fist raised and a full-page picture of the Women's March (with a prominent sign "Dissent Is Patriotic.")
The headline was "A Nation Divided: Unprecedentedly unpopular and proudly impolitic, Donald Trump moved into the White House one day -- and faced a massive pink-hatted revolt in his new backyard the next." In the upper left-hand corner was a third headline: "The Inauguration of a President / The Rise of the Resistance."
Oliver Darcy at Business Insider reports that as much as the CNN Media team loves to boast about being the scolds of "fake news," CNN has been making ersatz claims about tying Fox News in inauguration ratings. It's a little odd to suggest Donald Trump is running an Alternative Reality Administration while you're citing Alternative Ratings.