Next Sunday’s New York Times Sunday Magazine will feature a long essay by left-wing historian Rick Perlstein: “I Thought I Understood the American Right. Trump Proved Me Wrong.” Approach with caution, warn two prominent conservative writers. National Review's Jonah Goldberg warns: “Perlstein’s essay offers a really good insight into how the Times has jettisoned so much credibility in the age of Trump.”
How is Donald Trump “not a normal Republican”? Let New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait count the ways. Trump is “crudely ethno-nationalist,” wrote Chait in a Tuesday post, and he’s “personally ignorant and undisciplined in a manner that sets him apart not only from traditional Republicans but most human adults.” That’s pretty much it for Trump’s deviations from orthodoxy, according to Chait, who thinks current White House economic and fiscal proposals are “perfectly orthodox” by party standards, notwithstanding blasts at them from GOP-aligned sources such as National Review.
People will believe silly things when it fits their ideological preconceptions. Even when they have been debunked and are contradicted by first-hand information and news reports. A handful of mostly left-leaning publications repeated a British tabloid’s wild claim that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch started a “fascism forever club” in high school. This bizarre smear of Gorsuch was debunked by Snopes.
In his must-read Politico Magazine column published on Tuesday, National Review editor Rich Lowry doled out some advice for hyperventilating journalists over President-elect Trump blasting their profession (like this week when BuzzFeed News published the salacious dossier).
Wednesday afternoon, the Associated Press's Mary Clare Jalonick served as Democratic Party Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's mouthpiece, relaying his promise to "oppose with everything we have" any Supreme Court nominee who isn't fit the Senator's definition of "mainstream."
In his "Morning Jolt" e-mail newsletter on Wednesday, National Review’s Jim Geraghty tore into an article comparing Harry Reid to Yoda. Jason Zengerle, a writer for Politico's magazine, wrote a gushy profile of Reid for New York magazine that included this passage: "Reid is as stern and blunt as ever, and the combined effect of his mental and physical condition has given him a Yoda-ish quality."
Donald Trump is a visceral and emotional conservative, not a philosophical conservative, but that’s good enough for government work, suggests New York blogger Chait. The main aim of Chait’s Thursday post was to slap down the argument from some righty pundits that candidate Trump was, as Chait paraphrased it, “a non-ideological figure, or even a progressive…who chose the Republican Party for no particular reason, and who shares none of its salient characteristics.” Chait indicated that in general, conservatives’ distaste for the president-elect is found among journalists and intellectuals, while “activists” have worldviews similar to Trump’s.
Washington Post local columnist Petula Dvorak waded into the ginned-up fake news debate in her Tuesday column as she compared the false and unsubstantiated Pizzagate story to the “doctored” and “gotcha” videos that spawned the Planned Parenthood scandal and Sarah Palin causing then-Congresswoman Gabby Giffords to be shot in 2011 (even though the first case was real and the second was thoroughly debunked).
As Mike Ciandella at NewsBusters noted Thursday morning, newly obtained documents indicate that the White House and Secretary of State John Kerry's underlings worked aggressively to "crush" any chance that he might be questioned about Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email account for public business or her stationing of a private server registered under a pseudonym at her Chappaqua, New York home on the March 15 edition of Face the Nation — and he wasn't. Fox News, apparently alone among the major broadcast and cable networks, aired a segment on the matter on Friday. It included a weak response from CBS News. Additionally, a review of the transcript from the related Face the Nation broadcast shows that Mrs. Clinton's email and private server were discussed — just not with Kerry.
Never let it be said that the folks at the Associated Press aren't on top of the news, making sure that readers as well as subscribers who use AP copy in their radio and TV broadcasts learn the most important developments of the day.
That's sarcasm, folks. Friday evening, in a story primarily about the FBI's grant of immunity to longtime Hillary Clinton assistant Cheryl Mills, the AP's Michael Biesecker blandly informed readers — in Paragraph 22 of 25 — that, in regards to her illegal and improperly secured private server, "The new FBI documents (released Friday) also reveal that Clinton occasionally exchanged messages with President Barack Obama, who used a pseudonymous email address." That's it. Nothing unusual here. Now move along.
Kevin Drum has been blogging for a long time, so it’s not surprising that he’s got a flair for clickbait. You have to admit that the Monday headline “Hillary Clinton Is One of America’s Most Honest Politicians” is quite an attention-grabber. Of course, whether or not it’s true is another matter. Drum commented, “All politicians lie sometimes. That includes Hillary Clinton. But...Hillary is one of the most honest politicians on the national stage...I know it's in their partisan self interest for conservatives to insist that Hillary is the world's biggest liar. But she isn't. Not by a long, long way. Republicans need to get the beam out of their own eye before they keep banging on about the mote in Hillary's.”
Hillary Clinton’s proposal to spend $350 billion on “affordable” tuition may have been outrageous, but at least it provoked some poignant comments on the pitfalls of big government.