As if trying to poison the Potomac water for the new president on his first day in office, the New York Times Inauguration Day off-lead story tried to wrong-foot Trump the moment he takes his hand off the Bible: “With an Oath, Complications In Hotel Lease – Ethical ‘Minefield’ for the President-Elect” by Eric Lipton and Susanne Craig. The jump-page headline, “At Trump Hotel in Washington, Champagne Toasts in an Ethical ‘Minefield.’” The online teaser was blunt: “From the moment he is sworn in, Mr. Trump may be in violation of a lease with the federal government.” Less-hostile explanations were ignored.
Bill who? At a time when Mrs. Bill Clinton is running a race for president and suggesting husband Bill will play a role in her administration “in charge of revitalizing the economy, because, you know, he knows how to do it,” the media has been happy to cover he story as seen here in The New York Times.
At the Democratic convention, Bill Clinton accused Republicans of fabricating a “cartoon alternative” to the real Hillary Clinton. The Washington Monthly’s Martin Longman claims that Democrats don’t need to create cartoon versions of conservatives since there’s already “something cartoonish about the right,” and in that regard Donald Trump “seems like a natural successor” to Sarah Palin and (wait for it) Ronald Reagan and (wait again) Dwight Eisenhower. Conservatism, concluded Longman, has “always been a charade. It’s also a cloak or a mask for selfishness and greed that they gussy up in Bill Buckley style and sell us as intellectualism."
Appearing on Fox News’s Special Report on Monday, The Weekly Standard’s Steve Hayes blasted the media for trying to dismiss the Clinton Foundation scandal as just another Republican attack line against Hillary Clinton: “What amuses me as I follow other media outlets covering this is they continue to try to cast this as if it’s about Republicans. ‘Republicans are attacking Hillary Clinton on the Foundation e-mails. Republicans say – ’ This isn’t about Republicans, this is about Hillary Clinton having made repeated representations that have turned out to be false.”
The New York Times had a mediocre Pulitzer Prize haul this week. Among the Times selections that didn’t win the prize for editorial writing (thought it made the final three) were a package of gun control editorials. Mark Hemingway at The Weekly Standard eviscerated one particularly ignorant, wildly hyped Times gun-control editorial in that package, while accusing the Pulitzers of “a pathetic attempt to further burnish the reputation of the New York Times." Hemingway wrote under the headline "New York Times Is Pulitzer Finalist for Wildly Inaccurate Gun Editorials."
Reviewing Newsweek veteran Jon Meacham’s biography of former President George H.W. Bush, Thomas J. Duesterberg observed in The Weekly Standard that Meacham portrays the 41st President‘s life through a liberal prism. For instance: “The policies of Ronald Reagan are viewed from a decidedly unsympathetic and formulaic viewpoint, which follows the consensus, left-of-center perspective.”
The New York Times has not merely climbed aboard the bandwagon of Truth, which exalts the fraudulent September 2004 CBS 60 Minutes report about President George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard Service. It's now serving as the film's de facto lead apologist.
The most recent example demonstrating how deeply in the tank the Old Gray Lady has gone is Stephen Holden's Thursday film review published in Friday's print edition. Holden's praise comes from an alternative universe where genuine "truth" clearly doesn't matter, and uses a tortured analogy which in reality disproves his attempt at making a point (bolds are mine throughout this post):
The disgraceful determination of Hollywood to rewrite history not favorable to the left, its causes and its personalities has perhaps reached its nadir with the laughably misnamed movie Truth.
The film is about Dan Rather's September 2004 60 Minutes report on President George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard Service during the 1970s. In Rather's words, "The nuanced, not preachy, script makes clear our report was true." The script may say that, but the historical record doesn't. On October 2, John H. Hinderaker and Scott W. Johnson's writeup detailing how bogus that report was from top to bottom appeared online at The Weekly Standard. Reading that essay in its entirely is undoubtedly important; but in this case, so is ridicule. Megan McArdle at Bloomberg View supplied that back in July.
Apparently, the establishment press is waiting for its marching orders on how to handle what an Investor's Business Daily editorial has already called a "scandal."
This one's a joint effort involving Hillary Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal, a recently deceased former CIA operative named Tyler Drumheller who worked with Blumenthal — and CBS News. As Mark Hemingway at the Weekly Standard reported Tuesday afternoon (i.e., now approaching two overnight news cycles ago), "Drumheller, the former chief of the CIA’s clandestine service in Europe who was working directly with Blumenthal as a member of Clinton’s spy network, was concurrently working as a consultant to CBS News and its venerable news program 60 Minutes." IBD's question, reacting to Hemingway's report: "Who is more corrupt, Clinton or the mainstream media?"
Is Hillary hearing donkey hoofbeats? On his Weekly Standard podcast today, Bill Kristol put the odds at "better than 50/50" that one or more of Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden or John Kerry would jump into the race against a Hillary Clinton whom he described as "extraordinarily weak."
Kristol made an undeniable point, to wit, that "if someone came down and gave you the poll numbers on Hillary Clinton, from the last two, three, four public polls, you would look at that and say, whoah: this is a very weak and very vulnerable frontrunner."
According to an expose in the August 18 Weekly Standard, the New York Times hates critical comments and won't print letters to the editors that challenge NYT facts. Writer Kenneth L. Woodward detailed a behind-the-scenes battle to get the paper to correct inaccurate information by Maureen Dowd.
After dealing with an editor, Woodward recounted, "In sum, the Times was telling me that they will accept letters that offer a different opinion, but those that challenge assertions of fact are relegated to the editors of the Corrections column, where minutiae like misspelled names and erroneous dates are corrected for the record."
At the Politico Wednesday afternoon, Jonathan Topaz covered Texas Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar's sharp criticism of President Barack Obama's failure to visit the nation's southern border, or for that matter any of the detention centers set up for "Unaccompanied Alien Children" (the Department of Homeland Security's term).
The Politico is where many stories the rest of the establishment press would rather not cover go to die; they then appear to say, "Well, the Politico covered it, so we don't have to." During the Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 presidencies, the press went with saturation coverage of Republicans who criticized a president from their party. The degree of coverage in Cuellar's situation is quite the opposite, even though, as we shall see, the White House has contacted him in an attempt to convince him to shut up.