On Monday, we noted the latest Rasmussen Reports survey found that 46 percent of those surveyed felt the debate moderators would assist Hillary Clinton – something that happened with liberal Lester Holt in Monday’s debate. On Friday, Rasmussen has a new survey of 1,000 likely voters demonstrating a major distrust in media-elite “fact checking” of the candidates:
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.
Daniel Halper at the New York Post reported on the close ties between the Democrats and CBS News as we near the vice presidential debate on October 4, moderated by CBS correspondent Elaine Quijano:
Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, is being prepped for the vice presidential debate by Bob Barnett, the husband of CBS correspondent Rita Braver — just as another CBS correspondent and anchor prepares to moderate the high-stakes debate in Farmville, Virginia.
The notion that the press offers “independent fact checkers” took another blow when Washington Post “Fact Checker” Glenn Kessler appeared on The Daily Show on Comedy Central shortly after the debate Monday night to make fun of Donald Trump as a checker-playing bozo, while fact-checking Hillary Clinton is “like playing chess with a real pro.”
Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple grabbed a quick interview with NBC News president Andrew Lack at the first presidential debate at Hofstra University. Lack predictably talked up Brian Williams and his new show The 11th Hour as "off to a nice start." (As usual, MSNBC is getting thumped in the ratings by O'Reilly Factor reruns.) But Lack tried to claim the serial-exaggeration scandal that forced Williams out of his NBC Nightly News anchor chair last year was already "ancient history," as far as he was concerned.
The impenetrable bubble in the mind of disgraced CBS anchor Dan Rather continues to amaze. In a post-debate Facebook post, Rather described Donald Trump’s approach as “often facts be damned.” He concluded: "To call Trump a con man, as many have, is a disservice to the art of the con. By its definition a con requires deceit. But Trump has not tried to hide his lies or the sheer unrealistic audacity of his cartoonish policy positions."
Dan Rather has few rivals in the sheer unrealistic audacity of his cartoonish pose as a truth-teller instead of a reckless fact-mangler.
Washington Post political correspondent Chris Cillizza should win some kind of award for the worst pre-debate spin. He tried to defend NBC anchor Lester Holt: “It turns out Holt is actually a registered Republican. Trump still might find things to complain about Monday night, but a case for partisan bias against him will be tough to make.”
Right after the debate, despite all evidence, Cillizza doubled down: “Want a testament to how well Holt did? I guarantee you no one is talking about him tomorrow. That's a win.” That is precisely as the press would want this. But that’s not what America saw.
Apparently, the public has been made painfully aware that the moderators will not be fair in this election cycle. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey taken before the first debate found "a plurality (46%) of likely U.S. voters believes most moderators will try to help Clinton in the upcoming debates. Only six percent (6%) think they will try to help Trump instead. Just 32% say most of the moderators will try to be unbiased."
Charlie Hoffmann at the Washington Free Beacon found MSNBC anchor Kate Snow pulling a mental muscle on national television today. She claimed Trump has never been on a debate stage with a female candidate. We know that liberals have a hard time conceding that conservative women count as real women, but facts are facts. This inaccuracy comes from the people who insist journalists need to be fact checkers in these debates.
The Washington Post and Time magazine are trying to play up the fact that debate moderator Lester Holt is a registered Republican – as if this means anything about his performance. Registering only gives you the right to vote as a Republican. It doesn’t mean that you actually do. It could just be a public-relations ploy. NBC and Holt have studiously avoided comment, perhaps because they wouldn’t want a probe of all the registered Democrats at 30 Rock.
NPR comes to the news of police shootings ready and willing to feel the pain of “black and brown” people, including the children. On Weekend Edition Saturday, anchor Scott Simon launched into a commentary with the online title “For Students In Tulsa, Pain Frames Conversation About Crutcher.”
Simon shared a viral Facebook post by a teacher in Tulsa at a school attended by a daughter of Terrence Crutcher, who was shot on date. The teacher, Rebecca Lee, worried about “creating an identity crisis in all of our black and brown students. Do I matter? Am I to be feared? Should I live in fear? Am I human?”
People magazine’s interview with Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine in the October 3 issue carried the usual hard-hitting questions from Sandra Sobieraj Westfall: “Here’s one you probably won’t get in the debates: What emoji best describes you?”
Clinton replied “All the happy emojis, the heart eyes, the hug ones. I use them with family.” Back in April, People asked Trump about comparisons to Hitler, and found an expert to suggest Trump could end America.
On Friday’s PBS NewsHour, anchor Judy Woodruff thought the police shootings were the top news story of the week, but she wasn’t pleased when both liberal Mark Shields and pseudo-conservative David Brooks reluctantly agreed that looting and disorder were going to help Donald Trump politically.
Looting? Woodruff hadn’t really wanted to get that specific. She suggested that wasn’t typical of Black Lives Matter protests.
Washington Post media reporter Paul Farhi wrote a very strange article headlined "Dear readers: Please stop calling us ‘the media.’ There is no such thing." The headline in the paper was "What's wrong with the media? For starters, it doesn't exist."
Low poll ratings and complaints from both parties have caused Farhi to suggest the media is some sort of phantom menace. It's "lazy and unfair" to lament the media:
The September 26 issue of Time magazine carried this cover line over the heads of Stephen Colbert, Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Trevor Noah, Seth Meyers, and Jimmy Kimmel: “We Joke. You Decide.” The allusion to the Fox News tagline was deliberate. The subheadline announced they would report on “The seriously partisan politics of late-night comedy.”
Deep in the A-section of Thursday's USA Today was this surprising headline: "Obama's half-brother supports Donald Trump." None of the networks (and none of the other elite liberal newspapers) seemed to find this tidbit interesting. Obama used his half-siblings in Kenya for dramatic effect in his memoir Dreams from My Father, but as president, the media have been very quiet about their activities or opinions.
Snopes.com was checking out a story the liberal media doesn’t want to touch: “Hanan al-Hroub, whose husband was jailed for providing chemicals used in making bombs that killed Israelis, was invited to speak at a Clinton Global Initiative dinner.” Ruling: True.
So the liberal media thrills at any chance to associate Donald Trump with David Duke, but it can’t possibly find the newsworthiness in the Clinton Foundation honoring the wife of a terrorist bomb-maker. Only The Wall Street Journal has touched the story.
Cameron Cawthorne at the Washington Free Beacon offered a clear case for the "fact checkers" at PolitiFact and other sites of a Bill Clinton fib on CNBC. He claimed that "we make everything public, we disclose everything" in the land of Clinton philanthropy. This turns out to be Trumpian bluster.
Clinton also slammed the political press for having "no previous exposure to the way we work," which clearly can't include the many "mainstream media" stars, like Anderson Cooper and George Stephanopoulos, who've been moderators or panelists at CGI events, adding celebrity glamour to the proceedings.
New York magazine writer Gabriel Sherman has been the liberal media’s leading investigator/prosecutor of former Fox News boss Roger Ailes and the network’s settlement with Gretchen Carlson on sexual harassment claims. Now Evan Gahr in the New York Observer reports that Sherman didn’t exactly come clean with readers about lengthy negotiations to get hired by MSNBC:
The latest Gallup poll confirms that the level of trust in the media has reached another new low. For Republicans, the percentage who hold a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in the press has dropped precipitously to 14 percent.
It’s no accident these numbers emerged while the liberal press slams the GOP nominee as too dangerous to be allowed to win. Public trust is on the line when moderators line up for the presidential debates. Will they be fair, or will they deide “history” is too important and pound on Trump before a national audience?
New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg – best known for arguing on the front page that the media was facing a “Murrow moment” to put Donald Trump on the ash heap of history – continued on this quest by trashing Larry King and Ed Schultz as Russian propaganda tools and “Manchurian anchors” on Monday.
The headline was “Old Hands Help Russia Navigate U.S. Media:" Rutenberg proclaimed: "But wittingly or not, Mr. Schultz and Mr. King are playing the equestrians to Russia’s Trojan horse (or, as The Daily Beast called them in an article last week, 'Manchurian anchors')."