Washington Examiner’s ‘Mainstream Media Scream’ with the MRC’s Assessment: July-Dec 2015 Archive

Since late January of 2012, the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard has once a week featured a “Mainstream Media Scream” selection in his “Washington Secrets” column. For each pick, usually posted online on Monday, I provide an explanation and recommend a “scream” rating (scale of one to five).

This post contains the “Mainstream Media Screams” for July through December 2015. The newest ones, starting in July of 2016, are here. “Mainstream Media Screams” for January to June 2016; for January to June 2015. (2012-2014 are featured on MRC.org: For 2014; for June 17, 2013 through the end of 2013. And for January 31, 2012 through June 11, 2013, when the Washington Examiner was both online and a printed daily newspaper distributed around the Washington, DC area.)

Check Bedard’s “Washington Secrets” blog for the latest choice and his other Washington insider posts. Each week, this page will be updated with Bedard’s latest example of the worst bias of the week.

(For more of the worst liberal media bias, browse the MRC's Notable Quotables with an every other week compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media.)

 

■ December 28, 2015: Mainstream Media Scream: Top media dopes and their wacky words of 2015

(Washington Examiner post)

This week's Mainstream Media Scream features a year-end summary of the the dopiest journalists and their statements of 2016 as pulled together by our Scream partner, the Media Research Center. (MRC’s Best of Notable Quotables year-end awards)

"The Audacity of Dopes Award for the Wackiest Analysis of the Year" were picked by a panel of 39 leading conservative media observers, including Washington Examiner columnist Cal Thomas.

The 2015 award for the dopiest quote was won by Dylan Matthews for a July 4 Vox.com post, which was presciently the Mainstream Media Scream winner in the July 13 Washington Examiner, in which he denounced the American Revolution as a "mistake" because, among other reasons, it has made government too small:

"American independence in 1776 was a monumental mistake....I'm reasonably confident a world in which the revolution never happened would be better than the one we live in now, for three main reasons: Slavery would've been abolished earlier, American Indians would've faced rampant persecution but not the outright ethnic cleansing Andrew Jackson and other American leaders perpetrated, and America would have a parliamentary system of government....Government spending in parliamentary countries is about 5 percent of GDP higher."

The first runner-up, left-wing New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who, in a December 29, 2014 interview, told Vox.com's Ezra Klein that no one could guess his political leanings: "As a Times columnist, I can't do endorsements, so you have no idea which party I favor in general elections."

The second runner-up was another Mainstream Media Scream pick from about a year ago when several CNN analysts, led by Sally Kohn, raised their arms in solidarity with the false "Hands up, don't shoot" narrative: "Right now, thousands of Americans are marching in New York and Washington and across the country, demanding a justice system that applies the same to everybody and honors our values. We want you to know that our hearts are out there marching with them."

Chris Matthews couldn't be left out and made the cut as the third runner-up for, after an Amtrak derailment in May, touting the joys of communist regimes sending railroads straight through neighborhoods while in the U.S. our trains have to make turns:

"We have a country where people can complain. In communist countries like China, they just draw a straight line, whether it goes through your house or not, it's a straight line. We have this Amtrak, I've been taking it for a half a century, it doesn't go in a straight line. In this case, it tried to make a turn and turned over, because there's so many turns on that route. How do you get rid of the turns?"

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains the picks: "Another year of the silliest and most inane from national journalists seemingly unaware of how they are embarrassing themselves with such fatuous pronouncements."

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ December 21: Mainstream Scream: NBC Bear Grylls: Obama has done more than ‘any single human’ to protect Earth

(Washington Examiner post)

This week's Mainstream Media Scream features a roaring approval from outdoor adventurist Bear Grylls who took President Obama into the Alaska wilderness for NBC.

"What you've done with your climate change plan is the most significant thing any single human being has ever done to protect planet," he gushed, easily winning our weekly award for the top liberal media scream.

It occurred Thursday on NBC and featured an hour of Grylls and Obama walking through the Alaska bush country for his show Running Wild With Bear Grylls.

Some of the quotes:

"What you've done with your climate change plan is the most significant thing any single human being has ever done to protect planet." Grylls ended the hour by praying "for him and for protection over the incredible stuff he's doing," declaring "I'm in awe of what you're doing to protect our planet."

…..

"I read somewhere that what you've done with your climate change plan is the most significant thing any single human being has ever done to protect planet. That's amazing because there are so many skeptics out there."

.....

"One of the things I really wanted to do was to be able to say a little prayer with him, and it's always awkward doing that. But, you know, here's a man who really has the weight of the world on his shoulders and everyone's always taking from him, and I just wanted, just for ten seconds, just to be able to pray for him and for protection over the incredible stuff he's doing. 'Lord, I thank you for the president's great strength of courage and character. Bless and protect his work and his family. Forgive us when we fall short, and help us to be strong in you. Amen.' You're amazing. Honestly, it's been such a privilege. As I said, I'm genuinely, I'm in awe of what you're doing to protect our planet."

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "Just when you thought figures in the media couldn't get any more sycophantic toward President Obama, NBC turns over an hour of prime time to a Brit in the midst of a bromance with Obama. Forgive me if I don't want to be forgiven for falling short of meeting Obama's ideals."

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ December 14: Mainstream Scream: CNN’s Zakaria sees Hitler in Trump, ‘Heil, heil, heil!’

(Washington Examiner post)

It was just a matter of time before the Mainstream Media started to berate GOP frontrunner Donald Trump with the same kind of Trumpesque language they deplore.

The best example came Sunday from CNN's Fareed Zakaria, the Indian-born host of the cable network's top global affairs program, GPS.

During the show, Zakaria compared himself to German Jews criticizing Adolf Hitler during his commentary at the beginning of the show. And he showed video of Hitler receiving at least three "heils."

Zakaria:

"I think of myself first and foremost as an American. I'm proud of that identity because, as an immigrant, it came to me through deep conviction and hard work, not the accident of birth. I also think of myself as a husband, a father, a guy from India, a journalist, New Yorker, and on good days maybe an intellectual. But in today's political climate, I must embrace another identity. I'm a Muslim.

"Now, I'm not a practicing Muslim. The last time I was in a mosque, except as a tourist, was decades ago. I'm completely secular in my outlook. But, as I watch the way in which Republican candidates are dividing Americans, I realize that it's important to acknowledge the religion into which I was born. And yet that identity doesn't fully represent me or my views. I am appalled by Donald Trump's bigotry and demagoguery – not because I am a Muslim, but because I'm an American.

"In his diaries from the 1930s, Victor Klemperer describes how he, a secular, thoroughly assimilated German Jew, despised Hitler. But he tried to convince people that he did so as a German, that it was his German identity that made him see Nazism as a travesty.

[Shows clip of Adolf Hitler shouting "Heil!" repeatedly with audience members chanting "Heil!"]

"In the end, alas, he was seen solely as a Jew....

"In the end, America will reject this fear mongering and demagoguery as it has in the past. But we're going through an important test of political and moral character. I hope, decades from now, people will look back and ask, 'What did you do when Donald Trump proposed religious tests in America?'"

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "Trump really knows how to set off journalists who, as perfectly exemplified by Zakaria, become unhinged by Trump's comments. Trump's policy prescriptions should be debated, but when reporters like Zakaria become so irrational in going right to Hitler analogies, they play into Trump's hand by illustrating media hostility to the concerns of so many in middle America."

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ December 7: Mainstream Scream: Dan Rather lectures on gun control, ‘We do nothing?’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week's Mainstream Media Scream features a one-time media regular, former CBS newsman Dan Rather, and his reaction to the shootings in California and terrorism.

He took to Facebook and Twitter last week to equate terrorism with gun violence, as many Democrats have in Washington.

"We are attacked by foreign terrorists and we go to war and spend trillions of dollars to defend ourselves. But we are terrorized daily by gun violence, and we do nothing? When will we, as a nation, finally decide to take action? What will it take?"

On Twitter:

We are attacked by foreign terrorists and spend trillions to defend ourselves. But we are terrorized daily by gun violence, and do nothing?

Also he joined anti-gun advocates in mocking those who offered prayer.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "How classy to seize on a tragedy to push your political agenda. I guess not much has changed for Rather since his days anchoring at CBS. In this instance, he looks pretty silly thinking more 'gun control' would inhibit jihadist terrorists. It worked so well in Paris."

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ November 30: Mainstream Scream: Media mock Tim Tebow’s breakup over abstinence

(Washington Examiner post)

Tim Tebow can't get a break in the media.

The former college football star is now being ridiculed over the break up with his Miss Universe girlfriend, Olivia Culpo, over his abstinence until marriage stance.

It hit such a fever pitch over the weekend, that Fox & Friends Monday ran a roundup of the media mockery.

New York Daily News: "Tim Tebow still can't find the end zone"

CBS in Tampa: "Apparently an NFL job isn't the only thing Tim Tebow can't hold onto."

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "Some unoriginal and condescendingly journalists just can't miss an opportunity to ridicule someone who is devoutly religious and lives by a moral code. What did Tebow ever do to them?"

Rating: Three out of five screams.

 

■ November 23: Mainstream Media Scream: NBC’s Chuck Todd scolds GOP ‘politics of fear’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week's Mainstream Media Scream features NBC Meet the Press host Chuck Todd's slap of Republican presidential candidates for pushing the "politics of fear" and "Islamophobia" after the ISIS attacks in Paris.

On Sunday's show, Todd used clips of GOP candidates to tease a panel discussion. He said, "How will the ISIS threat and the politics of fear impact the 2016 campaign? Also, Syrian refugees and America, are there legitimate reasons to slow the process or is this just Islamophobia?"

And in another plug for the upcoming segment, he said, "The attacks in Paris have shifted the focus of the campaign, at least temporarily, from the economy to terrorism. And while President Obama's response to the Paris attacks was roundly criticized for being a bit tone deaf and dispassionate, the Republican presidential candidates have been playing on the politics of fear and in an extraordinary way."

GOP quotes followed:

Donald Trump: A database is okay. And a watchlist is okay. And surveillance is okay. If you don't mind, I want to be – I want to surveil! I want surveillance of these people that are coming in. I want surveillance of certain mosques, okay? If that's okay. I want surveillance. And you know what? We've had it before and we'll have it again.

Sen. Ted Cruz: Those planes that flew into the Twin Towers weren't piloted by a bunch of ticked off Presbyterians.

Ben Carson: If there's a rabid dog running around your neighborhood, you're probably not going to assume something good about that dog, and you're probably going to push your children out of the way. Doesn't mean that you hate all dogs.

Todd wrapped it up this way, "The politics of fear can be effective politically, but when does tough rhetoric turn into Islamophobia?"

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "Not even George Stephanopoulos, a former Clinton operative, was as obsessed on Sunday as was Todd with trying to discredit the Republican reaction to the Paris terrorism. Accusing conservatives of using fear and hatred is a very old media song rarely, if ever, applied against liberals."

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ November 16: Mainstream Media Scream: CBS’ Pelley mocks Speaker Ryan

(Washington Examiner post)

This week's Mainstream Media Scream features new House Speaker Paul Ryan getting the treatment from CBS News Anchor Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes.

On Sunday's show, Pelley said to Ryan:

"On your first day as Speaker you said you were going to wipe the slate clean. And then in your very first news conference you said the president has, quote, 'Proven himself untrustworthy on immigration.' That's not wiping the slate clean, that's blowing chalk dust in the President's face."

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "President Obama has a long record of, to use Obama's favorite term, 'unprecedented' actions which demonstrate his contempt for Congress. Yet to Pelley, it's a few words from Ryan which are worthy of censure."

Rating: Three out of five screams.

 

■ November 9: Mainstream Media Scream: CNN talker says ‘self-made’ is a myth, ‘the greatest lie’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week's Mainstream Media Scream features a blast from the past, a reference to the 2012 fight sparked when President Obama said that, "If you've got a business — you didn't build that."

The latest version came Sunday from Marc Lamont Hill, a CNN commentator and distinguished professor of African-American Studies at Morehouse College, who suggested that stories of self-made men like Ben Carson are myths and lies.

On "CNN Newsroom With Poppy Harlow," he said:

"I mean, Ben Carson — the greatest lie in American history is the myth of the self-made person. Nobody makes themselves. We're all shaped by communities, by people who struggled and sacrificed for us, by governments that offer safety nets. And what Ben Carson is able to do essentially is reject all that stuff and say that I was saved ...

"Ben Carson is able to say, 'I was saved by Jesus and hard work.' That allows him to reject a safety net. That allows him to push back against the expansion of a welfare state. That allows him to resist tax cuts for the middle class and poor and tax hikes for the wealthy. It allows him to create an entire narrative and when people say, 'Hey, wait a minute, why are you doing this?' Ben Carson can say, 'Hey, because I did it myself,' and it makes white voters feel comfortable ..."

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "Hill echoed Barack Obama's, 'You didn't build that' mentality that individual success in America isn't possible without government. It explains the dependency mentality which Carson's story threatens, so liberals like Hill must discredit Carson's inspiring 'self-made man' narrative."

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ October 26: Mainstream Media Scream: Hillary faced McCarthyism, says Carl Bernstein

(Washington Examiner post)

There were no lack of media voices praising Hillary Clinton's appearance last week before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, but former Washington Post Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein took it to another level when he shouted McCarthyism.

On CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 just minutes after the day-long hearing ended, Bernstein not only praised Clinton's "command," but slapped the GOP majority as "reckless and outrageous."

He also bounced over to another CNN show, CNN Tonight, to double down on the McCarthy charge.

On Anderson Cooper 360, he said:

"I thought we got a great look at who President Hillary Clinton would be, for the first time really, a kind of competence, the kind of command over the whole scene that she was being asked to testify under. She knew the issues. There was nuance about her positions. It was very impressive, given what she was up against and the other thing is I think you have to go back to Joe McCarthy, to the House Un-American Committee, to find a process as abusive in a congressional hearing as this one was....This was a reckless and outrageous hearing."

And he added on CNN Tonight an hour later:

"She did great, because she was up against a group of demagogues. You have to go back to Joe McCarthy to see this kind of demagoguery in a congressional hearing and what they did is they gave to give her a platform to show her what kind of President of the United States she would be."

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "Nobody is better than Bernstein in symbolizing how many in the Washington press corps are emotionally linked to Hillary as their candidate who must be protected at all cost. In this case, Bernstein was particularly disreputable in impugning the motives of anyone who dared to challenge her. What is he so afraid of?"

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ October 19: Mainstream Media Scream: Left loves Trump’s attack on Bush’s 9/11 record

(Washington Examiner post)

The left-wing media establishment has finally fallen in love with Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, agreeing that former President George W. Bush, in office for eight months, blew the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

This week's Mainstream Media Scream features pundit Jonathan Alter on the MSNBC weekend show "Up With Steve Kornacki" crediting Trump for offering "great contributions" in the campaign when he barks at the Bushes.

Alter:

"This is one of Donald Trump's great contributions to this campaign, whatever else he's doing that we all object to. He is calling out the Bush people for Orwellian, deceptive, historically amnesiatic thinking, right? For Jeb Bush to say, 'My brother kept us safe,' is not true, you know. Facts are stubborn things, as other politicians have reminded us.

"Not only did it happen on his watch, but there was something called the Hart-Rudman Report -- Senators Hart and Rudman -- tried to get to the White House in early 2001 to say, 'We are about to get attacked.' They had been studying it for years. They couldn't even get in the door to meet with the national security advisor. These are two former United States senators. Then, over the summer of 2001, Bush at Crawford, Texas, gets a report -- 'Al-Qaeda Planning Attacks in the United States' -- they were warned. The idea that he kept us safe is not true.

"Now, just one other thing on this. That doesn't mean he was responsible for the attacks. so when the Republicans try to counterattack on this, they say, 'Oh, you're blaming Bush,' nobody is blaming Bush. They're just saying, 'Stop telling us he kept us safe when it's not true.'"

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "To the press corps, Donald Trump is a raving maniac – until he resurrects old left-wing thinking about blaming former President George W. Bush, in office for barely eight months at the time of the terrorist attacks, for 9/11. Then Trump is making a 'great contribution' to the campaign. For Alter, it's liberalism first, journalism second."

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ October 12: Mainstream Media Scream: CNN rips Carson, lacks ‘sensitivity chip’

(Washington Examiner post)

If there's one person running for president who just dumbfounds the media, it's Dr. Ben Carson. He has stayed near the top of the political polls while taking positions and making statements that seem to shock the mainstream media.

The latest example is a CNN host's outrage over Carson's recent statement that the Holocaust could have been prevented if Jews had been armed.

On Monday's New Day, co-host Alisyn Camerota demanded, "Does Dr. Carson have any sense of how hurtful this is to American Jews who may have lost grandparents or great grandparents in the holocaust?" and read a statement critical of Carson from the Anti-Defamation League.

Her guest, Carson advisor Armstrong Williams, countered: "Anybody who's gotten to know Dr. Carson – not just during this presidential election cycle – knows that he is just not an offensive human being. That's just not who he is."

Camerota responded:

"Well, but at this point he has offended some American Muslims by suggesting that he could not support a Muslim president. He has offended at least one victim of the Oregon massacre who said that he does not -- he felt hurt by what Dr. Carson said about how had he been in that room he would have rushed the gunman, even though one person in the room did rush the gunman and ended up being shot seven times. He's now offended some American Jews and the Anti-Defamation League. Is it possible that Dr. Carson, while meaning well, is missing some sort of sensitivity chip?"

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "I'd suggest Camerota is missing some sort of journalistic integrity chip, trying to create controversy to discredit Carson by seeking out people who are supposedly offended instead of addressing the underlying policy points Carson was trying to raise. And how 'sensitive' are journalists usually to victims of tragedies?"

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ October 5: Mainstream Media Scream: Stephanopoulos harangues Trump on taxes

(Washington Examiner post)

This week's Mainstream Media Scream features Sunday show regular George Stephanopoulos sounding obsessed with how Donald Trump's new tax plan will impact, if not help, rich folks like the GOP presidential front-runner. "You're not going to be paying more taxes," the former Clinton aide told Trump.

The video has been shortened from this back and forth on This Week:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You made about $250 million in the last year.

DONALD TRUMP: $605 million.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay, 605. The top rate goes from 40 percent to about 25 percent. Capital gains comes down from 23 to 20. That's a huge -- that's tens of millions of savings for you.

TRUMP: Everybody's going to save according to my plan.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're not going to be paying more taxes.

TRUMP: George, that money is going back into other things.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you're going to get a tax cut?

TRUMP: I don't know, because I have very big deductions. Frankly, some of them are ridiculous. You're entitled to deductions. So I don't know that I am.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But not $600 million worth.

TRUMP: I think probably I'll end up paying more under this to be honest. I don't think im going to. If you look at all of the kinds of deductions that people are allowed to take that you're not going to be taking anymore, including carried interest, that's just one of them, I think I probably don't do as well.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But where your family would make potentially hundreds of millions of dollars, eliminating the estate tax?

TRUMP: Well, the estate tax is a different thing. The estate tax is a very, very horrible weapon that has destroyed many families, in particular farms and things where they make an income and they have a certain value and they have to go out and borrow money and then they put mortgages on their farms.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It's twenty farms in the last year.

TRUMP: George, if you have a business, and let's say it's a business that's not very liquid, and people have to go out and borrow against the business, you're having travesty. And the other thing is, it's a double-taxation. The tax has already been paid. I mean, you been hearing this argument for many years.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So you're family would benefit but you're saying it's just wrong?

TRUMP: No, no, I say it's a double-taxation. The death tax is an unfair tax because the tax has already been paid.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Bottom line, you do accept that you're going to make out well under your tax plan?

TRUMP: I don't know. I mean, if the economy is good, if the economy is great, everybody makes out well.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "Silly priorities from Stephanopoulos, more interested in making petty liberal political points about Trump's personal situation than exploring whether Trump's tax plan would boost an economy sagging through seven years of Obamanomics."

Rating: Three out of five screams.

 

■ September 28: Mainstream Media Scream: Colbert lectures Cruz on Reagan

(Washington Examiner post)

This week's Mainstream Media Scream features new CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert lecturing Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a GOP presidential candidate, about Ronald Reagan, suggesting Reagan wasn't as hard-line.

"Does today's modern Republican Party reflect some of the things that Reagan did. Reagan raised taxes, okay. Reagan actually had an amnesty program for illegal immigrants. Neither of those things would allow Reagan to be nominated today. So to what level can you truly emulate Ronald Reagan?"

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "Colbert has quickly confirmed his character on Comedy Central, in which he played a conservative buffoon, wasn't a stretch for him since he's quite liberal and has disdain for conservatives. In this case, trying to use a conservative hero to undermine Cruz when everyone knows Reagan was a much bigger tax cutter than raiser and would never advocate repeating his 1986 immigration deal."

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ September 14: Mainstream Media Scream: Ellen tells Clinton, ‘You are the smartest, most-qualified’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week's Mainstream Media Scream features a new voice, Ellen DeGeneres, talking about, well lauding, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

On last week's syndicated daytime "the Ellen show," she told Clinton:

"Let's just get this out of the way. Let's talk about the emails. What? ... I mean, I actually don't think you need to. It's just that people keep bringing it up. They have not found a thing. They keep saying they've found something, but then we don't hear anything about it. So they haven't found anything ...

"You are the smartest, most-qualified person for this job. If I'm looking for someone who's qualified, if I'm looking for a plumber, I want someone who has snaked a drain before – you know what I'm saying? I think you know what I'm saying. I want someone who is qualified and I feel like, if I look at all the other candidates, someone who is for rights across the board — equal rights for women, equal rights for every ethnicity, equal rights for everyone — it is — the only person I can look at is you."

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "Hillary Clinton couldn't have picked a bigger sycophant to 'interview' her. DeGeneres makes the MSNBC team look tough by comparison. Note to Ellen: 'They have not found a thing' in the email because Mrs. Clinton deleted all the incriminating ones!"

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ September 8: Mainstream scream: MSNBC’s Barnicle slaps ‘seriously wrong’ GOP

(Washington Examiner post)

This week's Mainstream Media Scream features MSNBC Morning Joe regular Mike Barnicle saying that there is "something seriously wrong" with the GOP if non-establishment Republicans running for president like Donald Trump are the favorites.

On Bloomberg TV's With All Due Respect last week, he 'dissed the frontrunners while talking GOP candidate baggage with host John Heilemann.

John Heilemann: I got Carson at 18. I got Cruz it 8, I got Walker it 8, Bush at 6. The key thing is: Trump, Carson, Fiorina and Cruz. Four anti-establishment candidates. All of them total over 50 percent of that vote in Iowa. That is a huge story. The top four establishment candidates: Walker, Rubio, Bush, Kasich, they're about 20 – somewhere in the mid-20s. Again, yearning for something new, something different. Not standard politics, not establishment.

Mike Barnicle: Could you give me those names and those numbers again? Add them up. What are they?

Heilemann: Which ones?

Barnicle: The four names and what they add up to.

Heilemann: The four anti-establishment ones?

Barnicle: Yeah.

Heilemann: Trump, Carson, Cruz, Fiorina -- add up to about 53 percent.

Barnicle: 53 percent.

Heilemann: 54. Something like that.

Barnicle: So that means that if I lived in Iowa, I would want to know where each of those members of that 53 percent were. I would want to live as far away from them as possible. Because there is something seriously wrong with the Republican Party if those people combined have a majority of the voters.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "Barnicle perfectly encapsulates the disdain of the press corps toward Republican primary and caucus voters. He just has the honesty to admit it -- no, boast of it."

Rating: Three out of five screams.

 

■ August 31: Mainstream Scream: Trump antagonist Jorge Ramos thinks he’s Morrow, Cronkite

(Washington Examiner post)

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump wasn't the only big ego in last week's media clash with Univision's Jorge Ramos.

This week's Mainstream Media Scream features Ramos and how he described himself and his questioning of Trump. On ABC's This Week on Sunday, he said that he was advocating for immigrants as he envisioned legendary journalists Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite would:

"I think that, as a reporter, many times you have to take a stand when it comes to racism, discrimination, corruption, public life, dictatorships and human rights. We have to take a stand. The best examples of journalism that I have – Edward R. Murrow against McCarthy, Cronkite during the Vietnam war or the Washington Post reporters forcing the resignation of the Richard Nixon -- that's when reporters challenged those who are in power. And I think it is our responsibility to do that. I find it ironic and fascinating that I'm being criticized by other reporters for asking questions. Isn't that the essence, exactly, of what we do?"

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "Univision should be embarrassed by the unprofessional behavior of Jorge Ramos, who is obviously more of a left-wing, anti-conservative activists than any kind of journalist. And to compare himself to journalistic icons, in lecturing Trump on what he 'cannot' do, is the height of self-aggrandizement."

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ August 24: Mainstream Scream: Carter revisionism begins, called ‘too nice’ to beat Reagan

(Washington Examiner post)

The mainstream media's revisionism of former President Jimmy Carter's doomed presidency has begun amid reports he is battling brain cancer.

Leading the charge last week was MSNBC's Joy Reid, a national correspondent who was host of the "Reid Report" from February 2014 to February 2015.

She addressed Carter's situation on Thursday's "Last Word" show:

"I think it does say something profoundly about who we are as a people that Carter's decency and goodness was taken for weakness and had to be remedied with the sort of bluster of a Ronald Reagan and that the idea that we needed a cowboy to replace what people viewed as a man who wasn't cowboy enough to be president, that he was too nice."

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "Carter wasn't too nice. He was too incompetent and clueless about economics and the communist threat, both of which Reagan well understood. Reid's fond memories of Carter demonstrate that he would have easily won re-election if the vote were limited to journalists."

Mainstream Media Scream Rating: Three out of five screams.

 

■ August 16: Mainstream Scream: Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge ‘helped to wreck’ U.S.

(Washington Examiner post)

They're they go again.

This week's Mainstream Media Scream features the latest liberal attack on the anti-tax pledge Grover Norquist, president for Americans for Tax Reform, seeks and usually wins from candidates.

This time the hit came from pundit Jonathan Alter of the Daily Beast while appearing last week on MSNBC's Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. It came in reaction to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie taking the ATR pledge while Jeb Bush earlier declined to do so:

Alter: "The pledge has helped to wreck the United States. It is about the worst kind of public policy that you can imagine for the reasons we have just heard. So I actually respect Jeb Bush for taking a position against it, especially since Bob Dole's refusal to sign the pledge in New Hampshire in 1988 is how Jeb's father was elected president of the United States. He won that primary after having lost in Iowa and went on to be the next president

"So this is in the core of the Republican Party. It's terribly destructive. And I pray that Donald Trump is not such a wimp that he changes his mind and signs the pledge. And if he holds out against it and does fine anyway, and Chris Christie goes by the wayside, which he will, then maybe the Republican Party can start to move into a post-pledge environment."

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "Same old song from Alter who, for years when he wrote Newsweek's 'Conventional Wisdom Watch,' regularly gave down arrows to anyone opposed to tax hikes. As government grows every year, he disparages anyone trying to hold the line on taxes, like Norquist, who is a hero to conservatives but a devil to media liberals."

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ August 9: Mainstream Scream: CNN’s Costello squeals over Cruz’s ‘machine gun bacon’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week's Mainstream Media Scream features exactly the type of squeal Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican presidential candidate, likely expected when he used a semi-automatic rifle to cook bacon.

In a report on how the senator cooked bacon on the barrel of a AR-15 style rifle heated during target practice, CNN's Carol Costello blasted Cruz's timing coming at a time of mass shooting headlines.

She calls Cruz's machine gun bacon spoof "so unsettling," followed by a clip of the Cruz video, and then said:

CAROL COSTELLO: So, I wrote an op-ed about America's cavalier attitude towards guns. I know my op-ed made an impression. 225,000 users checked it out. I argued we no longer respect our weapons. We forget that guns can actually kill. If you want the facts to back that up, 100 children were killed in unintentional shootings between December 2012 and 2013, the year after the Newtown shootings, by the way. And there have been 1,104 accidental shootings so far this year. It's great Senator Cruz loves guns. Nothing wrong with that. But seriously, while a jury in Colorado decides whether James Holmes gets life or death for killing 12 people, should you fry bacon on your machine gun?

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "A perfect example of the cultural divide between the coasts, where liberals and journalists, but I repeat myself, are appalled by guns, and the nation in between which laughed along with Cruz and enjoyed his creativity. He combined two of America's favorite things: bacon and guns."

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ August 3: Mainstream Scream: Cokie Roberts calls Hillary Clinton’s ‘grandma’ message ‘brilliant’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week's Mainstream Media Scream features NPR's Cokie Roberts cheering on Hillary Clinton's "grandmother message" on issues like global warming as "brilliant."

On ABC's This Week Sunday, the grandmother of six said of Clinton:

"She does have a new message out from the last time which is the grandmother message and she's using it very well. On climate change for instance when she says everybody says I'm not a scientist. She says I'm not a scientist either, I'm just a grandmother with two eyes and a brain. Now, that's brilliant."

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "Roberts is easily impressed by cute one-liners – when they come from liberals who she admires. Plenty of older conservatives are grandmothers and grandfathers, but I don't recall Roberts ever trumpeting any of their comments as 'brilliant.'"

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ July 27: Mainstream Scream: Matthews hails ‘immaculate’ Obama, ‘perfect’ Michelle

(Washington Examiner post)

This week's Mainstream Media Scream features MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews with his latest comments that the Obama presidency is near perfect.

On his July 22 show, he heralded Obama's "immaculate" presidency, reacting to Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's charge that "we already have a president now that has no class."

As his two journalist guests nodded awkwardly, Matthews said:

"That's the kind of slur, that's not a political charge, that's a slur against a man, against the president ... Look how he's led his life. He does everything right. He worked hard in school. He got into the good schools. He got to be head of Harvard Business Review [sic]. In a blind test to get in. It had nothing to do with minority or affirmative action, none of that.

"He got all the way through, and instead of going and grubbing the money on Wall Street, he went out to people and helped his community. He's ran statewide, faced the electorate the way we say you should do. Risked citywide and then statewide. He's done everything right.

"He's been immaculate in the presidency. Nobody has accused him of any corruption. His kids are perfect. His wife is perfect.

"He's done everything that these right-wing white conservatives say we're supposed to be in this country. He's done everything right. And this sleazy comment, that he has no class. What does that mean?

"I'd love to get him under sodium Pentothal and say, 'Buster, what do you mean by no class?! What do you mean by that?!' And find out what he does mean. It's a cheap slur that works with the cheap seats in the Republican Party. You know it does. It doesn't mean anything, he has plenty of class."

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "More proof, as if any more were needed, that Matthews sees himself, first and foremost, as a defender of the Obama's against anyone who dares not share Matthews' idolatry. Obama's family is 'perfect' and the president is, as if he is a religious leader, 'immaculate' — and thus anyone who violates the halo must be shamed."

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ July 20: Mainstream Scream: Chuck Todd suggests GOP mistake embracing Trump

(Washington Examiner post)

This week's Mainstream Media Scream features Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd suggesting that the GOP might have made a mistake building up Donald Trump after he dropped out of the 2012 presidential race.

"Is this a reap what you sow"moment, he asked on his highly-rated Sunday public affairs show while interviewing Texas Gov. Rick Perry who has come under fire from Trump.

Said Todd:

"Is this a reap what you sow, though, issue here for the Republican Party? There was an -- the party embraced Donald Trump four years ago. Mitt Romney sought his endorsement. A lot of you did one-on-one meetings courting Donald Trump back in 2011 after he dropped out, during his whole birther craze at the time, and you actively reached out to him. In hindsight, was that a mistake for the party in general to embrace Trump four years ago?"

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "The news media have done more to embrace and promote Trump over the past few weeks than Republicans ever have."

Rating: Two out of five screams.

 

■ July 13: Mainstream Scream: Vox calls American Revolution ‘a monumental mistake’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week's Mainstream Media Scream features a recent post about America's July 4th birthday from Vox.com that said America's Founding Fathers would have made a better decision supporting the British crown, not fighting for independence.

It was written by Vox's Dylan Matthews and headlined: "3 reasons the American Revolution was a mistake." Our picks are normally from the prior week, but we missed this -- and shouldn't have.

Matthews argues that had the colonies remained under British control, slavery would have been abolished earlier, government would be more proactive, and calls for a carbon tax would have passed with ease.

An excerpt:

I'm reasonably confident a world in which the revolution never happened would be better than the one we live in now, for three main reasons: Slavery would've been abolished earlier, American Indians would've faced rampant persecution but not the outright ethnic cleansing Andrew Jackson and other American leaders perpetrated, and America would have a parliamentary system of government that makes policymaking easier....

In the US, activists wanting to put a price on carbon emissions spent years trying to put together a coalition to make it happen, mobilizing sympathetic businesses and philanthropists and attempting to make bipartisan coalition — and they still failed to pass cap and trade, after millions of dollars and man hours. In the UK, the Conservative government decided it wanted a carbon tax. So there was a carbon tax. Just like that. Passing big, necessary legislation — in this case, legislation that's literally necessary to save the planet — is a whole lot easier with parliaments than with presidential systems....

And the efficiency of parliamentary systems enables larger social welfare programs that reduce inequality and improve life for poor citizens. Government spending in parliamentary countries is about 5 percent of GDP higher, after controlling for other factors, than in presidential countries. If you believe in redistribution, that's very good news indeed.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "The very definition of Blame America First liberalism in the guise of 'explanatory journalism.' The U.S. never should have been created so it would be easier, 230 years or so later, for liberals to pass a carbon tax. How petty. Save Harvard University the embarrassment and never again allow their graduates into journalism."

Rating: Five out of five screams.

■ July 6, 2015: Mainstream Scream: Couric presses Cruz about ‘empathy’ for illegals

(Washington Examiner post)

This week's Mainstream Media Scream features Yahoo's Katie Couric, who last week interviewed Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texan running for president, about his hardline against illegal immigration. It was loaded from the start.

For Couric, it comes down to one word: empathy.

On Yahoo News Monday, Couric said:

"Well, let's talk immigration, because I'm very curious about your views on that. I know you've staunchly oppose President Obama's executive actions on immigration. You've worked to block every legislative effort to allow undocumented immigrants to remain legally in this country. So, given the fact that your father immigrated here from Cuba, do you have any empathy for people who come here looking for a better way of life and is there a way to have some kind of comprehensive immigration reform and what would you do with the eleven million people who are in this country illegally?"

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our pick: "That's a lot of hostile assumptions in one question. Liberals like Couric can't separate policy from emotion, so if you're a conservative she presumes you don't care about other people. An example of how journalists impair rational policy discussion."

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

>> Mainstream Media Screams for January to June 2015 <<

>> Mainstream Media Screams for 2014, as posted on MRC.org <<

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center