Bozell & Graham Column: The Double Standard on Election Acceptance

Two months ago, the liberal media erupted in horror after the third presidential debate when Fox’s Chris Wallace challenged Donald Trump to accept the election results, and Trump said he would “wait and see.” NBC described a “flood of condemnation” and cited President Obama accusing Trump of “undermining our democracy.’ Today co-host Savannah Guthrie called it an “earthquake.” 

Guthrie turned to retired anchorman Tom Brokaw to denounce Trump. “This is not a banana republic,” he said. “We’ve got more than 200 years of presidential elections and graceful and peaceful transitions to the new administration, as you saw, even Richard Nixon, Al Gore, the people who were caught up in very close races, said, ‘I accept the new president.’” 

Then Trump won the election handily with 306 votes in the Electoral College, and the Democrats flip-flopped, sullenly refusing to accept the results, and neither did the “objective” media. On December 18, there was no “earthquake” at NBC when Clinton aide John Podesta refused to say Trump won a “free and fair election,” saying instead it was rigged by the Russians.

And the ballot errors. And Comey. And the “fake news epidemic.” And the Constitution (that blasted Electoral College!) Nobody brought in Tom Brokaw to lecture Team Hillary about banana-republic behavior.

Back in October, The New York Times issued this front-page alert: “In a remarkable statement that seemed to cast doubt on American democracy, Donald J. Trump said Wednesday that he might not accept the results of next month’s election if he felt it was rigged against him -- a stand that Hillary Clinton blasted as ‘horrifying’ at their final and caustic debate on Wednesday.”

Two months later, they were eagerly giving oxygen to any protest, no matter how fanatical, against Trump. “In Florida, protesters swarmed the Capitol rotunda, one hoisting a ''Trump Is Too Rusky'' sign featuring a hammer and sickle. In Wisconsin's statehouse, a heckler shouted, '’We're all going to go to war and die thanks to you.’”

This was somehow democracy in action. There was no “remarkable” or “horrifying” adjective at the top of the story.  Instead, the Times turned to Adam Jentleson, a top aide to retiring Sen. Harry Reid, who warned “There's not going to be a grace period this time because everybody on our side thinks he's illegitimate and poses a massive threat.” 

Even the leftist late-night comedians showed the double standard. CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert mocked Trump in October: “Oh, suspense! Democracy's going to end in a cliffhanger! I guess we're all going to have to wait until November 9 to find out if we still have a country. If Donald Trump is the mood for a peaceful transfer of power or if he's just going to wipe his fat ass with the Constitution.”

This was Colbert after the Electoral College voted: “Walking around the streets of New York today, a lot of people, a little rough. You know, you could see it in their eyes...This is what it feels like, when America's made great again.” The crowd laughed. “And I was really hoping it would feel better because this sucks! Sucks! And I don't know if you guys had any trouble getting in here tonight because, right now, tonight, thousands of people have taken to the streets in protests in cities all over America.”

Colbert told his audience to accept President Trump (how noble, that), but still the protesters drew screams and hearty applause. Somehow they weren’t fat dictators using the Constitution as toilet paper.  

The Times insisted “the uneasiness with Mr. Trump has hardly receded in the nearly six weeks since his election.” That is because the press will not stop agitating, and all the while calling it “news.”

That, folks, is also “fake news.”

Brent Bozell
Brent Bozell
Brent Bozell is the Founder and President of the Media Research Center
Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis