Media outlets ranging from CBS to CNN and MSNBC had egg on their faces Tuesday night after their bombshell revelations about a supposedly new, “previously undisclosed” meeting between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin fell flat upon reading a July 8 BuzzFeed news item.
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg reacted to a U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Deal by pledging $15 million to the United Nations’ climate change efforts.
As a billionaire and the eighth richest person in the world, he can afford to — unlike all the ordinary taxpayers and low-income households who would have been saddled with the burden of living up to the agreement. One of the many pieces of his media empire, Bloomberg Businessweek, promoted the same pro-Paris Climate Accord perspective. That one-sided June 1, story claimed the U.S. would be the “loser” if Trump abandoned the deal.
On Friday, the government reported that the economy added a seasonally adjusted 211,000 jobs, and that the unemployment rate dropped to a 10-year low of 4.4 percent. The day's press coverage had three noticeable highlights. The first was the headline at the Associated Press's coverage — "US JOBS DATA SHOW SOME SCARS FROM RECESSION FINALLY HEALING."
On Friday, Adam Housley at Fox News delivered bombshell news that a "very well-known, very high up, very senior (person) in the intelligence world" not in the FBI had engaged in "the unmasking of the names of American citizens" in the course of surveillance surfacing "members of the Trump administration" that had nothing to do with Russia ... or foreign intelligence of any kind." On Sunday morning's Fox & Friends, Clayton Morris reported that the Big Three broadcast networks, CNN and MSNBC devoted had to that point devoted absolutely no coverage to what Housley reported, despite granting heavy play to a Thursday New York Times story which Housley's sources insist is wrong.
Scott Adams, the Dilbert cartoonist who has been portraying life in the office cubicle for over three decades, spotted the Donald Trump phenomenon early on, wrote that "I have never seen better" persuasion skills, and ultimately predicted that Trump would win the presidency. Bloomberg Businessweek's Caroline Winter, apparently originally believing like so many others that Adams would be proven decisively wrong and that she could punish him quickly for his errancy after the results came in, interviewed Adams a week before Election Day. When Bloomberg finally published her hit piece early Wednesday morning, it took Adams less than half a day to rip her "fake news" to shreds.
Meg Kinnard at the Associated Press betrayed quite a bit of unhappiness Wednesday evening and Thursday morning in her coverage of workers' decisive rejection of a union organizing effort at Boeing Corp.'s 787-10 production plant in North Charleston, South Carolina. In two very similar reports found at the wire service's Big Story site, Kinnard solely blamed "Southern reluctance toward unionization" for the rejection. Though that was clearly a factor, it is hardly the only reason for the overwhelming 74 percent to 26 percent rejection. Kinnard "somehow" forgot to report that this is the very same plant whose opening former President Barack Obama's National Labor Relations Board deliberately delayed in 2011.
UPDATE, Feb. 7: On Feb. 5, Jake Tapper tweeted that "if you're concerned about things being 'incomplete' maybe consider adding into your post Manchin on same show response to rule." I attempted to find that video, and could not. If it was so important, and in the interest of balance, one would hope it would be part of the CNN video at the web link cited below — and it's not.
As Nicholas Fondacaro noted at NewsBusters Friday morning, CNN had a Thursday afternoon "You can't make this up" moment. While covering Congress's rescission of an Obama administration coal and mining industry rule, the network ran footage from the disastrous government-caused 2015 Animas River spill in Colorado and New Mexico in the background. As pathetic and embarrassing as that element of CNN's report was, government regulation correspondent Rene Marsh's one-sided and incomplete report as the Animas River footage ran behind her and The Lead host Jake Tapper was arguably worse.
Here's an episode which indicates that many reporters in the establishment press expect the worst from Donald Trump, and can't wait to put it out there when they think they have it. On Friday, when Time Magazine political reporter Zeke Miller didn't immediately see the bust of Martin Luther King in the White House's Oval Office where he expected to see it, his knee-jerk assumption was that it was no longer there. So he tweeted that it was gone, with no indication that he first attempted to confirm with anyone in a position to know that it had been removed. Sensing a golden opportunity, others in the press accepted Miller's non-observation and freely retweeted it.
Bloomberg's John Heilemann played up President-Elect Donald Trump's "very monochromatic group" of Cabinet picks so far during a segment on Monday's CBS This Morning. Gayle King underlined how Vice President-Elect Mike Pence stated that Trump "will represent all of the people of the country," and added that "when you look at the picks so far, there are some troubling signs, some say, about lack of diversity there." Heilemann contended that "the current array of choices...[are] not just a monochromatic group, but a hardline group ideologically."
For the but-tell-us-how-you-really-feel file, this headline on a Friday post by Mother Jones blogger Kevin Drum: “Fuck You, James Comey.” The post, of course, centered on the presumed effect on presidential voting of Comey’s October 28 letter which jump-started the Hillary Clinton e-mail story. “When an election is close…there are dozens of people, events, and movements that can make a difference of 1 percent or so,” wrote Drum. “But if we're going to choose one particular person who managed to hand the White House to a buffoonish game show host, it's FBI director James Comey, the guy who…provided the match that Trump used to light the country on fire.”
Thursday evening, Venezuela's Bolivarian Socialist government arbitrarily suspended the recall effort against "President" Nicolas Maduro, demonstrating beyond any doubt that the South American country now functions as a dictatorship. Given its gravity, this news, described in coverage at the Wall Street Journal as "a crisis of democracy," is not getting the visibility it should be receiving.
The federal government's fiscal year ended on September 30. As has been the administration's habit for years with news that might draw negative attention, the Treasury Department conveniently released its year-end Monthly Budget Review Friday afternoon to minimize the discussion of its grim news.