Friday morning, Garance Burke at the Associated Press's "Investigative" unit broke what the wire service must have believed was an earth-shaking story that "The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants." 30 hours later, you couldn't find that story, or its "Trump administration denies" follow-up, at any of its "Big Story" site's key pages.
One of the more amusing yet pathetic spectacles of the Trump administration’s early weeks — the ongoing establishment press fury at the richly deserved lack of respect it is getting from the President and his press secretary — neared meltdown yesterday. This occurred because Donald Trump wasn't asked a question everyone knew he wouldn't answer if asked about Michael Flynn at a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. On Monday, Scott Whitlock at NewsBusters covered the joint temper tantrum/pity party at MSNBC in which Brian Williams — that's right, "Mr. Madeup Stories" himself — and Katy Tur engaged. CNN, CNN.com, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Associated Press and others joined the roster of not so fine whiners.
The New York Post, though usually perceived as a right-leaning newspaper, has room for columnists from the "other side" — including selective and truth-challenged ones like Jennifer Wright. Wright's February 11 column covers "some of the most gruesome plagues" in human history, in the process promoting a new book that is quite a departure from her previous ventures "covering sex and dating." Much of her work may be fine, but two of her topics, the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak and AIDS, are clearly marred by her political blinders.
Elizabeth Warren has become a heroine of the establishment press and the left — but I repeat myself — after deliberately violating Senate Rule 19 against "imput(ing) to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator" Tuesday evening in criticizing Trump administration Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions. The Massachusetts Democrat's bitter, ugly tweetstorm shortly after Sessions was confirmed demonstrates the wisdom of Republican Senate's move to bar her from continuing to speak. Naturally, establishment press outlets have mostly ignored the tweets or mischaracterized them.
This post was going to be about the establishment press's handling of the story of the mountainous and environmentally dangerous accumulation of trash left behind by Dakota Access Pipeline protesters. When the spring thaw arrives, that waste threatens to seriously pollute the Cannonball River — yes, the very river protesters are claiming they wish to protect from pipeline spills. What's remarkable here, though, is what was found in an initial Google search on the topic. With all the coverage out there, Google has given pictorial prominence to item from an obscure, out-of-nowhere site which is a clear candidate for the "fake news" tag. That site's story bizarrely claims that even more trash is currently being brought into and dumped at the site — "to frame protesters."
What a difference a decade and a different political party make. In November 2005, Ohio GOP Congresswoman Jean Schmidt used the same "I'm just quoting someone else" technique to criticize a fellow Member which Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren employed earlier this week to criticize since-confirmed Donald Trump Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions. Schmidt was vilified to the point where she became the subject of ridicule on Saturday Night Live, while the intemperate Warren has become such an instant heroine on the left that she seems a likely favorably-portrayed subject of a skit this coming weekend, and a future candidate to host the show.
Katrina Vanden Heuvel, publisher of The Nation, went off on John McCain in an ill-advised, unhinged Wednesday morning tweet, declaring the decorated Navy veteran and former Vietnam prisoner of war an "armchair warrior." As best can be determined, vandenHeuvel is upset that the Arizona senator and 2008 Republican presidential candidate has previously stated that if Russia did indeed meddle in the 2016 presidential campaign, he would consider it an act of war.
Given its usual tendencies, I suppose we should be grateful that the Associated Press deigned to fact-check federal judge James Robart at all. The AP's Eric Tucker reported on Monday that the Western Washington District Court judge's claim — that no arrests of foreign nationals have occurred since 9/11 from the seven countries which had been subject to President Trump's temporary travel ban before the judge halted it — was "wrong." So far, so good. But Tucker later seriously watered down that evaluation to "not quite right," and he never genuinely quantified how incredibly wrong Robart really was.
At the Media Research Center, the unhinged infamy of Nina Burleigh, who now toils at Newsweek as its national politics correspondent, goes back to years before NewsBusters began. Burleigh's most recent childish move is something one might expect from an unsupervised freshman writer at a high school newspaper. She has created a "Trump Warning System." It includes four icons, three of which are well-known current and former totalitarian dictators, as shorthand to categorize Donald Trump's presidential actions. It's every bit as pathetic it sounds.
As Curtis Houck demonstrated at NewsBusters on Wednesday, the historic step of including four outside-the-DC Beltway journalists at White House press conferences via Skype is not sitting well "with many establishment media types." The aggrieved folks at CNN are particularly upset.
On Wednesday, an early Associated Press report following the confirmations of two of Donald Trump's cabinet nominees employed extraordinarily strident and bitter language, portraying Republican Senate Committee which approved those nominations as de facto bullies who were "unilaterally" imposing their will. An evening revision updating that afternoon report expanded that portrayal to include Trump's Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch. Naturally, there's no indication that the previous Democratic Senate under Majority Leader Harry Reid employed the same "nuclear option" tactic when his party was had control.
Thanks to the press's obsession with cooperating with and promoting those who object to President Donald Trump's opening week actions, Live Action's exposure of Planned Parenthood as hardly more than a collection of grisly abortion chambers has gone relatively unnoticed. This heroic work deserves much wider exposure, and much more press attention. A week ago, covered by Tim Graham at NewsBusters, a Live Action video demonstrated that the vast majority of PP's facilities contacted provide no prenatal care services. Yesterday, in two new videos, Live Action revealed that Planned Parenthood has plenty of ultrasound machines, but that almost all of them are used solely "to determine a baby’s age and position in the womb" before performing an abortion. Leftist politicians and media members need to abandon their knee-jerk defense of PP as a provider of a variety of "reproductive health services," because that is not what it is.