Randy Hall

Contributing Writer


Randy Hall is a contributing writer for NewsBusters.

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Given the ongoing anti-Trump onslaught in late-night television, it should come as no surprise that Republicans and Democrats have very different perspectives on how political content is used in those  “comedy” shows, whether they’re on the mainstream networks or cable TV. According to a recent survey, 54 percent of Democrats said they watch late-night talk shows, compared to 26 percent of Republicans. Also, Democrats were far more likely than those in the GOP to say they like it when late-night hosts discuss politics or personal political views.



It should be an obvious concept that during a New Day segment called a “Reality Check,” the reporter should make sure that the information is complete and accurate. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case on Monday morning, when CNN Senior Political Analyst John Avlon went out of his way in an attempt to connect the terrorist shooting in New Zealand last Friday with President Trump.



Ever since Donald Trump was elected President, liberal Democrats have been eagerly demanding that he be impeached. However, those efforts were dealt a serious blow on Monday when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told The Washington Post that America “should not go down that path because it divides the country....and he’s just not worth it.” Instead of being disappointed, Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski called Pelosi’s statement “kind of fantastic” and claimed it is actually driving Trump “crazy.”



A common complaint from people in the “mainstream media” is that President Trump gives special access to correspondents at the Fox News Channel while slamming other outlets as “the enemy of the people” because they produce “fake news.” However, these reporters often ignore the fact that the Republican occupant of the White House also makes regular connections with key figures in other media organizations ranging from newspapers to online press websites.



As part of MSNBC’s never-ending quest to find worst-case scenarios in the hope of bringing down Donald Trump, presidential historian Jon Meacham on Thursday yet again repeated the concept that the GOP occupant of the White House might be “in thrall to a foreign power” while referring to Russia. Meacham went on to compare the situation with the 1790s, when Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson accused Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton of being too loyal to Great Britain even though America had declared its independence from that nation years earlier.



Hardly a day goes by without liberals in the “mainstream media” accusing the popular Fox News Channel of having a “unique relationship” with Donald Trump, the Republican occupant of the White House. Of course, those same people avoid or deny that a similar connection existed between former Democrat President Barack Obama and the CNN and MSNBC networks. As a result, Erick Erickson -- a reporter who worked at FNC for five years -- has claimed that “the truth” about the channel and its liberal counterparts has more to do with ratings dominance than any pro-GOP bias.



Even though CNN promotes liberal philosophies throughout its operation, an organization of black journalists has accused the network of falling short when it comes to maintaining a proper racial balance among the company’s leaders. As a result, the National Association of Black Journalists has placed the cable channel on a “special media monitoring list,” and a four-person team from the NABJ “will perform further research and an analysis of CNN’s diversity, inclusion and equity practices,” then “publicly report on identified deficiencies in hiring a diverse workforce in news decision-making capacities.”



Even though things have recently been hurtling downhill for Empire actor Jussie Smollett, the gay celebrity still has at least one person in his corner: black actress and singer Queen Latifah. Despite Smollett facing felony charges filed by the Chicago Police Department regarding an alleged “hate crime” that took place on January 29, Latifah said during a television interview that -- in this case at least -- she subscribes to the principle of “innocent until proven guilty.”



It certainly comes as no surprise that anyone watching CNN can always count the number of conservative Republican commentators on the fingers of one hand. However, Rick Santorum -- who was formerly a two-term senator and GOP presidential candidate -- states that “I love it” at the liberal channel because “I can say whatever I want to say and however I want to say it” even though he often must play the role of a "responsible" and "lone voice” from “the other side” of the political aisle.



Soon after former Trump attorney Michael Cohen testified in front of the House Oversight Committee hearing on Wednesday, a panel of commentators on CNN surprised viewers by contradicting the disbarred lawyer’s claim that he never wanted a post in the White House. Cohen’s troubles began when Dana Bash, the chief political correspondent for the liberal channel, pointed out that he was “not the perfect messenger” to attack Trump because of “one potential problem” contradicting CNN’s reports on the matter.



Paul Bedard of the Washington Examiner reports on another new poll demonstrating that confidence in the media “has hit rock bottom, with many news consumers believing that reporters file their reports before knowing the facts.” The press had a higher percentage of people choosing they have "hardly any confidence at all" in it than the Congress. 



Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s … Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? Yes, the Socialist Representative from New York will continue to make a big impression on pop culture in May, when she and the rest of the Democrat “Freshman Force” will take on villainous Republicans in a one-shot comic from the Devil’s Due publishing company. 



One word that is not often used to describe the mainstream media these days is “objective.” This concept indicates that a reporter or journalist should not have any hidden connections with people or products being discussed. That philosophy took a major hit on Thursday, when NBC News correspondent Stephanie Ruhle was accused of promoting Under Armour shoes without letting viewers know she has “close ties” with the sports apparel company’s CEO, Kevin Plank.



The bizarre tale of Empire star Jussie Smollett took another interesting turn on Thursday morning, when black commentators appeared on CNN with At This Hour host Kate Bolduan to discuss the charges of disorderly conduct filed by the Chicago police against Smollett.Keith Boykin -- who said he has known Smollett for eight years -- said he was “devastated” by the accusations of staging a fake homophobic and racist attack and sending a threatening letter containing white powder to himself. In addition, political commentator and weekend CNN anchor Van Jones described the situation as the “fall of an icon.”



If anyone should be able to detect a gigantic hoax, it’s Al Sharpton, who was catapulted into the national spotlight in the 1980s while defending black teenager Tawana Brawley in what turned out to be false claims she was raped by four white men. When the news broke in the past several days about Jussie Smollett supposedly being attacked by two masked men in Chicago yelling racial and anti-gay slurs, Sharpton was immediate in his support for the gay black actor: “We’re with you, Jussie.” However, after it was revealed that Smollett and the two other black men had perpetrated a hoax, the MSNBC host responded that the persons involved “ought to face accountability to the maximum.”



For the past few decades, Elizabeth Warren has claimed that she is an “Indian American” and has used this falsehood to take advantage of programs supporting minorities, a tactic that eventually resulted in the Massachusetts Democrat being elected to the U.S. Senate. However, Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican from the same chamber, learned recently that he had a distant relative who was a Native American, which gives him at least twice as much of that ancestry as the liberal candidate for the 2020 presidential election.



While people in the mainstream media were delighted that Democrat “rising star” Beto O’Rourke held a “counter-rally” to President Trump’s visit to the border in El Paso, Texas, their coverage of Monday’s event was far from complete. Among the aspects of the rally that eluded the reporters’ attention were the people in the crowd who took great pleasure in slamming a large piñata that resembled Donald Trump and the Mexican flags carried by a number of participants.



Less than a day after Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced her “Green New Deal” to the public, reaction to her proposal has been sharply divided between conservatives and liberals, a fact that was reflected in Friday morning’s edition of the Fox & Friends program. While the three co-hosts expressed deep skepticism about the project, their guest -- and liberal Fox News contributor -- Geraldo Rivera praised it as “idealistic,” “aspirational” and a “wish list” from the New York socialist.



The New York Times is considered one of the most influential newspapers in the nation, and that liberal daily has a circulation of more than four million subscribers. However, executives at the Times have been unhappy with being a favorite target of President Trump, who has accused the paper of being a huge purveyor of “fake news.” As a result, the newspaper is producing a documentary-style TV series entitled The Weekly that will debut on the FX cable channel in June. Each half-hour episode will focus on a different Times reporter and a different story while taking audiences behind the scenes to “show the power of journalism,” which is “under assault in a way that it never has been before.”



For several years, late-night talk show hosts have regularly hurled their barbs at President Trump, but on Monday, most liberal comics instead made fun of Virginia Democrat Governor Ralph Northam, who was allegedly found in a 1984 yearbook that contained a picture of one man in blackface and another wearing a KKK costume. Most of the time, Jimmy Kimmel -- host of his eponymous show on ABC -- and Jimmy Fallon of The Tonight Show on NBC lead the way in attacks on the late-night front, but this time they avoided the day’s biggest topic, probably because both comedians have previously used blackface makeup in their careers.