Washington Examiner’s ‘Liberal Media Scream’ with the MRC’s Assessment

Since late January of 2012, the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard has once a week featured a “Mainstream Media Scream” selection in his “Washington Secrets” column. For each pick, usually posted online on Monday, I provide an explanation and recommend a “scream” rating (scale of one to five).

This post contains the “Mainstream Media Screams” starting in January 2018. (Re-named “Liberal Media Scream” as of June 11, 2018.) “Mainstream Media Screams” for:

> July-December 2017 posts; January through June 2017; July to December 2016; for January to June 2016; for July to December 2015; for January to June 2015. (2012-2014 are featured on MRC.org: For 2014; for June 17, 2013 through the end of 2013. And for January 31, 2012 through June 11, 2013, when the Washington Examiner was both online and a printed daily newspaper distributed around the Washington, DC area.)

Check Bedard’s “Washington Secrets” blog for the latest choice and his other Washington insider posts. Each week, this page will be updated with Bedard’s latest example of the worst bias of the week.

(For more of the worst liberal media bias, browse the MRC's Notable Quotables with an every other week compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media.)

 

■ New on August 6: Liberal Media Scream: Analyst suggests Trump’s media feud could lead to murder

I’ll add text and video here next week, but so the Washington Examiner gets the traffic for their post when it’s fresh, please read Paul Bedard’s post on their site where you can watch the video and read the full quote.

 

■ July 30: Media Scream: NYT picked conservative columnist because he is ‘a Never-Trumper’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Mainstream Scream features a little peek into the New York Times and why it brought on noted conservative columnist Bret Stephens from the Wall Street Journal.

As he said on MSNBC Friday, “One of the Reasons I’m at the New York Times is I’m a Never-Trumper.”

And he hopes President Trump loses reelection.

Speaking on Live with Katy Tur, he gave advice to Democrats resisting Trump:

Bret Stephens: “Donald Trump may be doing what I – doing his greatest disservice, which is he may be making Democrats lose their marbles. If Democrats are gonna win, they need message focus, they need an optimistic strategy for the American people, and they want – they need to show that they’re not just interested in humiliating Trump, they’re interested in making things better for Americans.”

Katy Tur: “Why would a Democrat listen to Bret Stephens, conservative columnist?”

Stephens: “Well, I know how conservatives think and I’ve seen many of these elections before. Look, one of the reasons I’m at the New York Times is I’m a never-Trumper. I want to see Donald Trump, I do not want to see Donald Trump re-elected. I want to make America sane again. I want a president that I can respect. And I’m offering genuinely friendly advice.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Some refreshing honesty from inside the New York Times, conceding that his disdain for Trump allowed career advancement. Just another example of how media institutions enforce a narrow ideological range within their profession.”

Rating: Three out of five screams.

 

■ July 23: Liberal Media Scream: New York Times columnist calls Trump a ‘con man’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Mainstream Scream features New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg fuming at President Trump’s relationship with Russia, calling him a “con man” and “third tier failed businessman whose fortunes were rescued by Russian oligarchs.”

Her comments came Sunday during the roundtable on This Week on ABC:

“I think that increasingly to believe that the president isn’t compromised requires such a leap of faith, that requires so many coincidences and kind of inexplicable behavioral choices. I think that the truth is probably what is right in front of us, which is that Donald Trump was a kind of a con man, a third tier failed businessman whose fortunes were rescued by Russian oligarchs. He presented himself as a kind of titan of industry, which everybody who knows anything about him knew was ridiculous. He became president with the direct intervention of Putin. He sees his fortunes as inseparable from Putin’s. We don’t know I think if Putin is his handler, his hero or his co-conspirator, but that’s obviously where his loyalty lies as opposed to lying with the American people.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Lots of innuendo, speculation and conspiracy-mongering, but not much fact from Goldberg. So much for the New York Times’ promise of ‘all the news that’s fit to print.’”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ July 16: Liberal Media Scream: CNN’s Acosta says Trump, Putin, were ‘playmates’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Mainstream Scream could have gone to many members of the media so anguished over President Trump’s embrace of Russian President Vladimir Putin Monday in Helsinki. For the record, Trump did not scold Putin on any number of issues and he hit his own intelligence agencies while on foreign soil, a big no-no.

And the media went wild, as represented by CNN reporter Jim Acosta, the president’s press room foil, who said the duo “came across as playmates on a soccer field more than they did international rivals.”

Jim Acosta, from Helsinki Monday:

“It was astonishing, just astonishing, to be in room with the U.S president and with the Russian president on this critical question of election interference and to hear the president of the United States retreat back to these talking points about DNC servers and Hillary Clinton’s emails when he had a chance, right there in front of us, right there in front of the world to confront Vladimir Putin and tell him to stay the hell out of American democracy, and he just didn’t do it.

“It was one of those moments, I think, obviously we all think this is a very big deal right now and sometimes these sorts of things can fade away. But I don’t think this is one of those moments. This is one of those moments, Anderson, I think really crystallizes a very critical problem for the United States right now in that you have the president, the leader of the free world, taking the word of Vladimir Putin who, from all accounts inside the U.S. government, the U.S. intelligence community, the law enforcement community, attacked American democracy in 2016.

“You know, when Vladimir Putin was asked whether he wanted Trump to win, that might have been the only honest moment of this news conference when Vladimir Putin said yes, he did want President Trump to win. And then, shortly after that, handed him that soccer ball. They came across as playmates on a soccer field more than they did international rivals, Anderson. The president of the United States very much yielding the field on this day to Vladimir Putin.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Nice to see a member of the news media so concerned about not being tough enough on a Russian leader after spending the Cold War decrying Reagan and others for being too tough. Acosta perfectly encapsulated the disdain for Trump held by the press corps as he scolded Trump for daring to again depart from what reporters wanted him to say.”

Rating: Three out of five screams.

■ July 10: Liberal Media Scream: Joy Behar rants ‘how dare’ Trump pick a Supreme Court justice

(Washington Examiner post)

There were a lot of warnings from left-leaning pundits that President Trump’s pick of U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh could mean the end of America, but The View’s Joy Behar stood out and is our Liberal Media Scream of the week.

Today, on the ABC show the day after Trump announced his pick of the conservative judge and Bush ally, she said that the president should not have been allowed to name a court nominee because he is being investigated by the special Russia counsel. She somehow linked the pick to people “who will still be alive and need abortions.”

To applause, Behar said:

“He’s under investigation. We’re going to have Alan Dershowitz on today and we'll ask him. Why would a president, who is under investigation by the FBI for obstruction of justice and collusion, be allowed to pick a Supreme Court justice who will be there -- I'll be dead. There are many people in this room who will still be alive and need abortions and what have you, need health care. How dare he be allowed to do this when he is under investigation! [Cheers and applause]”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Behar was more unhinged than normal this morning. We only have one president at a time, so if President Trump can’t nominate a justice, because she’s concerned that after she’s dead ‘many people’ will ‘need abortions,’ how will the position ever be filled? Her mind works in mysterious ways. Presumably, if Trump picked a pro-Roe v Wade judge, her indignation about investigations of Trump would quickly fade.”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ July 2: Liberal Media Scream: Hollywood’s Michael Moore to fight Supreme Court pick

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s winner of the Liberal Media Scream goes to Hollywood activist Michael Moore who wants to surround the U.S. Capitol to stop the Senate’s consideration of President Trump’s eventual pick to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.

In the just the latest promise by the left wing to block the pick, still unknown and only because it will come from Trump. Moore said on Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO Friday, “I'll join a million other people surrounding the United States Capitol." Moore was on the show to promote his upcoming anti-Trump movie, Fahrenheit 11/9.

MICHAEL MOORE: We first have to find ways to stop that vote from happening.

BILL MAHER: Find ways? What does that mean?

MOORE: Well, I'll join a million other people surrounding the United States Capitol. I will stand there, I will put my -- Bill, let me tell you something, if this judge goes through, for the rest of our lives it's a right court. That's it, it's over.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: "Moore claims Trump is a fascist, suggesting he'll never leave office, yet it is the ever-outrageous Moore who, when he doesn't get his way, has contempt for the American Constitutional system."

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ June 25: Liberal Media Scream: Hollywood couple compare border to Auschwitz, Trump ‘evil’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s winner of the Liberal Media Scream goes to Hollywood's Rob Reiner, and his wife Michele, who have spun the border crisis into America’s Holocaust.

Both appeared on Sunday’s AM Joy on MSNBC, ground zero for Trump hating.

Rob Reiner: “Let's cut to the chase -- this is about racism. This is pure and simple racism -- that's all this is. He’s hoping that the people who support him will be ginned up and running to the polls to make sure that brown people don’t come into America. That’s exactly what’s going on here.”...

Michele Reiner: “And I have to tell you, my mother was in Auschwitz. She got separated from her entire family -- lost her entire family. I never thought I would live to see something like that, particularly in this country, ever again in my lifetime. It’s hideous. And by the way, as a fellow Jew, I’d like to hear Ivanka speak up. Where is Ivanka?..

“They follow the exact pattern Hitler has, I hate to say it with the propaganda, even down to the Red Cross went into Auschwitz, they cleaned it up for two day, it looked fine, they went back they said everything seems fine there.”

Rob: “It’s a fascist playbook....It’s shocking there are 40 percent as you say, or 46 percent, those people who are supporting what he’s doing here are racists, period.”....

Michele: “To quote that new book that just came out, he is evil. He is evil. And the thing is, I thought, ‘He’ll come in and he won’t really know because he's not that smart smart, and he’ll just do a showmanship thing,’ but he’s evil.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Auschwitz in Austin? Where are the ovens? MSNBC should be ashamed for showcasing such ridiculous, over the top, Hitler rhetoric over how to best handle an influx of migrants at the border. And the charge that all Trump supporters are racists just shows, once again, how much disdain Hollywood has for many of the people buying tickets to see their movies.”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ June 18: Liberal Media Scream: CNN analyst is ‘sorry’ for holding his anger at Trump

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s winner of the Liberal Media Scream goes to CNN political analyst Brian Karem who said that the Trump administration has repeatedly lied to him and that he his sorry for not blasting them until now.

Asked about his outburst at the June 14 White House press briefing, where he spoke out of turn and lectured press secretary Sarah Sanders about the detention policy for illegal immigrants, Karem apologized – but only for not being more anti-Trump sooner.

On Sunday’s Reliable Sources on CNN, Karem asserted that “I’m sorry to those people for waiting so long and holding my temper” and “I’m sorry that I am extremely angry with this administration that has lied to me.”

Karem, a CNN political analyst who also writes for Playboy and the Sentinel Newspapers in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., had this exchange with CNN host Brian Stelter:

BRIAN STELTER: Well Brian, this brings us to your outburst at Thursday’s briefing. I don’t know if you’d call it an outburst, but I would. Here’s part of what happened there.”

KAREM, AT WHITE HOUSE BRIEFING: Come on, Sarah! You’re a parent! Don’t you have any empathy for what these people are going through? They have less than you do.

SARAH SANDERS: Brian! Guys, settle down!

KAREM: Seriously! Seriously!

SANDERS: I’m trying to be serious, but I’m not going to have you yell out of turn.

STELTER: Do you regret losing your cool, Brian?

KAREM: I have an apology to make. I apologize to every human being who’s had to suffer, who have less -- who has less than I do and I did not come to the table sooner. I’m sorry to those people for waiting so long and holding my temper. I’m sorry that I am extremely angry with this administration that has lied to me, continues to lie to me. I’m sorry as a reporter that for so long I thought that the idea was to -- I was struggling so hard to do my job, I forgot that my job is to comfort the afflicted, afflict the comfortable and ask questions for those who have no voice.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “If you were to create a caricature of an out of touch, obnoxious liberal journalist who brings discredit to the profession, you couldn’t do better than what Karem already delivers. He embarrassed himself at the White House briefing by using it to grandstand, but instead of backtracking he doubled down, boasting of how he’s an aggressive advocate more than a journalist.”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ June 11: Liberal Media Scream: Trump is ‘punishment’ for being lazy citizens

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features veteran “conservative” writer David Frum, now with The Atlantic, who declared on CNN that, “in many ways, we got Donald Trump in the first place as a punishment for not being good enough citizens.”

His slap came during a discussion about a Pew Research Center poll which found 68 percent of Americans have “news fatigue.”

“The job of the press is to tell you the truth as it is, whether it’s good news or not. And then it’s your responsibility as a patriot and a citizen to accept it and to internalize it and to act on it. You know, in many ways, we got Donald Trump in the first place as a punishment for not being good enough citizens and our ability to mitigate the harm he’s going to do to institutions, to alliances, to the security of the world will depend on our, as individuals, willingness to do better citizens in the future, and that means being informed citizens. And that’s on us, not on the press.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “No better example of media arrogance on display: You didn’t vote the way I preferred, so you were misinformed and must be re-educated into the correct way of thinking. Very totalitarian. And how does Frum want the wayward public to learn? By consuming even more of the biased news which led so many to reject the establishment and choose Trump.”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ June 4: Mainstream Media Scream: MSNBC’s O’Donnell dubs Obama’s ‘mind too supple, too complex’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Mainstream Media Scream features the gushing of MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell over the brain of former President Barack Obama.

In his new book, The World as It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House, the deputy national security adviser for the Obama administration, quoted Barack Obama as wondering if he may have become president “10 or 20 years too early.”

Reacting to that, MSNBC prime time host Lawrence O’Donnell was in awe: “I cannot possibly fill in the paragraph that that is the first sentence of, if it is spoken by Barack Obama because his mind is too supple, too complex, too rich compared to my own to fill out what the rest of that thought is.”

O’Donnell, on Saturday’s AM Joy on MSNBC:

“When I hear a statement like that -- or read a statement like that from Barack Obama -- who is, as we’ve said, an introspective and thoughtful and very wise man -- and a brilliant writer. And he says something like ‘maybe I came along 20 years too soon,’ my reaction to that is: What do you mean? Which is to say, I cannot possibly fill in the paragraph that that is the first sentence of, if it is spoken by Barack Obama because his mind is too supple, too complex, too rich compared to my own to fill out what the rest of that thought is.”

“And I think he’s got a really interesting thought there and when you hear him, in an extended interview like he most recently did with David Letterman, you understand that wherever that first line began is not -- did not tell you where that answer was going to go 75 or 200 words later.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “You can’t make this stuff up. Liberal pontificators like O’Donnell still have so much reverence for Barack Obama that they become so overwhelmed – what journalist have you ever heard describe anyone as ‘supple’? – that they cannot even offer a comment about what he said. A brief rekindling of a love suppressed under their equally passionate hatred of the man who succeeded Obama.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ May 21 and May 28: No screams.

 

■ May 14: Mainstream Media Scream: CNN’s Amanpour cheers ‘necessary activism’ against Trump

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Mainstream Media Scream features CNN’s Christiane Amanpour calling President Trump a “threat” to journalism that has sparked “necessary activism” against Trump.

On Sunday’s Reliable Sources on CNN, Amanpour repeated her earlier claim that Donald Trump is “a grave and existential threat” to journalism. The CNN International anchor, who now has a half-hour PBS shows and is soon to get a new hour-long one, Amanpour & Company, proceeded to hail “one of the great things of the Trump administration is how it has caused a huge rise in necessary activism.”

She cited how “women” and “black people have come out,” along with the press, to defend “their right to exist under the Constitution.”

Her comments came during a discussion about a Trump tweet: “Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?”

From the Sunday, May 13 Reliable Sources on CNN:

“I have been talking about this ever since the President was elected, even before he was inaugurated, I made a big speech at the Committee to Protect Journalism in November of 2016, warning American journalists that there was now a grave and existential threat to their work....

“But I think one of the great things of the Trump administration is how it has caused a huge rise in necessary activism. You know, everybody was getting a little lazy, everyone was taking everything for granted, particularly in the United States. And I think women of have come out, you know, black people have come out. The press have come out. Everybody is coming out to defend their profession and their right to exist under the Constitution and the laws of the United States.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Nice to hear a liberal journalist see something good from Trump. Naturally, it’s how he’s fueling liberal activism. Funny, I don’t recall Amanpour ever thanking Obama for prompting a resurgence of conservative activism.”

Rating: Three out of five screams.

 

■ May 7: Mainstream Media Scream: Jon Meacham says Trump’s doom is coming

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Mainstream Media Scream features historian and former Newsweek Editor Jon Meacham forecasting certain doom for President Trump and declaring that the Constitution is designed to protect against demagogues.

“It took three years to get Andrew Johnson,” Meacham declared on Sunday’s Meet the Press of the impeached president in predicting how the political system will catch up with Trump and oust him from office over his supposed misdeeds.

The author of a new book, The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels, recalled how “the presidents who get in trouble in the fullness of time are those who think they can put a fast one past the people,” and thus Trump’s dishonesty “will have a cumulative effect.”

Trump is the worst president ever, Meacham maintained “the Founders would have been stunned that it took this long to get a president like this. They designed this document for demagogues.”

From the May 6 Meet the Press on NBC, picking up after the Boston Herald’s Kimberly Atkins rued how “a lot of people” believe the FBI and other institutions are improperly taking on the president and Trump is not losing support because “people are getting tired of this” narrative hostile to Trump:

JON MEACHAM: It took four years to get McCarthy. It took three years to get Andrew Johnson. It’s a dark moment. But I really do think at a certain point, you’re right, people are not thinking as much about this as the political class. The reason he’s president is a lot of people didn’t believe what even more conventional presidents have said recently, right?

He’s president because, of the ten national tickets, eight had a Clinton or a Bush on them. They were basically saying to Washington, ‘If you’re going to act like a reality TV show, I guess we'll send you, we’ll send you a real one.’ And so, I think the polls, I’m skeptical of. I do know this, historically. And I think we all know it intuitively. The presidents who get in trouble in the fullness of time are those who think they can put a fast one past the people. And I think this will have a cumulative effect.

......

CHUCK TODD, referring to Meacham’ book: I have to say, Jon, every moment in here is infused with race, actually.

JON MEACHAM: Absolutely.

CHUCK TODD: Every moment, every rough moment we’ve had, and in some ways it’s some version of race.

JON MEACHAM: Unquestionably. Because it’s our original sin. The Constitution itself, which is otherwise the document that has sort of saved us, because it’s a human document. It recognizes that appetite and ambition. The Founders would have been stunned that it took this long to get a president like this. They designed this document for demagogues. If you said 2016, they would have thought, ‘Hey, pretty good.’ Doesn’t mean that it’s easy. But I think the most important–

CHUCK TODD: Someone might have thought Andrew Jackson had qualified for that, but that‘s okay.

JON MEACHAM: Well, that’s a different story for a different Sunday. But remember, what the document says is that we are on a journey to a more perfect Union, not a perfect one.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “A perfect example of media arrogance on display: We know Trump is an arrogant, incompetent demagogue and the people who support him will realize our prescience. But, sadly for the country, it will take years for them to recognize what’s so obvious to us smart journalists.”

Rating: Three out of five screams.

 

■ April 30: Mainstream Media Scream: CNN blames Trump for ‘comic’s’ press dinner attack

(Washington Examiner post)

Remember when the ills of the world used to be George W. Bush’s fault? Well now blame President Trump.

This week’s Mainstream Media Scream features two CNN big shots blaming Trump for the slam on Sarah Sanders and Kellyanne Conway by TV comic Michelle Wolf at Saturday’s annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.

“Trump has changed this entire conversation,” rued CNN media anchor Brian Stelter this morning before Julie Pace, Washington Bureau chief for the Associated Press agreed Wolf took a “cheap shot” at Sanders. But, she added, “I think that a lot of people have felt the same way when the president has made cracks about people’s looks as well.”

Co-anchor Chris Cuomo echoed: “That’s the irony is that people are complaining, Trump backers, that she went over the line, when he goes over the line all the time and they say nothing to him, say nothing about it.”

Stelter soon proposed: “Maybe it’s a good thing people in that room were uncomfortable.”

From CNN’s New Day on Monday, April 30:

BRIAN STELTER: I do think, as with everything else, Trump has changed this entire conversation. Everything is political now. And even raunchy jokes told at a fun dinner is now political.

CHRIS CUOMO: Right. But it wasn’t fun for Sarah Sanders. We talked about this before on the show with Saturday Night Live.

STELTER: It wasn’t fun for George W. Bush. It wasn’t fun for Barack Obama. He sat there.

....

CUOMO: But I thought that that was a clear line that was passed here with this comedian as she went after Sarah for her looks and she had to sit there and take it. I thought that, you know, that sucked.

JULIE PACE, AP: It’s a cheap shot. And I think that a lot of people have felt the same way when the president has made cracks about people’s looks as well.

CUOMO: Yes. That’s the irony is that people are complaining, Trump backers, that she went over the line, when he goes over the line all the time and they say nothing to him, say nothing about it.

STELTER: That’s why so many viewers are listening to this thinking, wait a second, why do you all care what a young comedian said? The president has changed all these conversations.

CUOMO: She’s joking. He’s actually telling the, he's telling his truth when he says these things.

STELTER: And Wolf’s argument is, she wasn’t talking about Michelle -- she wasn't talking about Sarah Sanders looks. Michelle Wolf's argument is, I was talking about her, quote, despicable behavior that, you know, everything’s upside down and, frankly, comedy’s supposed to be uncomfortable. Maybe it’s a good thing people in that room were uncomfortable.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “When has Trump ever disparaged someone’s physical appearance in front of them? Wolf displayed a new low for public discourse, yet after three years of decrying Trump’s caustic comments, these journalists rationalize bad behavior by their profession’s chosen dinner entertainer by reflexively lashing out at Trump instead of holding accountable those who chose Wolf. That illustrates so well why Trump supporters have such disdain for journalists.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ April 23: Mainstream Media Scream: ABC’s Karl complains Trump investigative reporting ‘too late’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Mainstream Media Scream features the Trump-obsessed media complaining that there wasn’t enough reporting on Donald Trump.

In the midst of a discussion with New York Times reporter Amy Chozick, author of the new book Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling, This Week moderator George Stephanopoulos fretted how Hillary Clinton’s campaign was supposedly harmed by the media’s fealty to giving equal time to “wrongdoing” on both sides.

“If you point out a wrongdoing on one side,” he said, “you have to point at a wrongdoing on the other and they automatically become equivalent and that isn’t always fair.”

ABC’s chief White House correspondent, Jon Karl, jumped in to regret how there was “not enough investigative reporting” on Trump “until it was too late.”

Exchange on the April 22 This Week on ABC:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s a big question for all of us. You look back and say, listen, there were things done wrong. No question about that. But there’s something structurally in the media where we have to equalize everything. If you point out a wrongdoing on one side, you have to point at a wrongdoing on the other and they automatically become equivalent and that isn’t always fair.

JON KARL: I think the problem though may have been not enough equalization. I don’t think it’s a problem how much we covered or how much the press covered the e-mails. How much investigative work was done on Donald Trump. Particularly during the primaries.

STEPHANIE CUTTER, DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR OBAMA: Not enough.

KARL: He was portrayed more as a phenomenon, the excitement, the attacks, the latest, you know, outrageous thing he said, or whatever. There wasn’t much investigative reporting going, frankly, until it was too late.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “This one could use a laugh track. More than a year into the most hostile coverage any modern president has had to endure following very negative coverage during the final campaign season, ABC’s top political correspondents are concerned the press corps were too tough on their favorite and not tough enough on Trump. Well, they’ve certainly made up for any break, real or imagined, they gave Trump in 2016.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ April 16: Mainstream Media Scream: Stephanopoulos, who’s boss was impeached, targets Trump

 

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Mainstream Media Scream features the James Comey interview by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, whose one-time boss, former President Bill Clinton, was impeached. Stephanopoulos, who helped to politicize the FBI during the Travelgate scandal, pushed Comey in his Sunday interview to recommend impeachment of President Trump.

In the interview, Comey was pushing his book, "A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.”

The beginning of the final segment:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Almost a year has passed since James Comey was fired by President Trump. Since then, he’s come to some stark conclusions about the use of power and moral leadership.

STEPHANOPOULOS TO COMEY: You write that President Trump is unethical, untethered to the truth. Is Donald Trump unfit to be president?

JAMES COMEY: Yes. But not in the way I often hear people talk about it. I don’t buy this stuff about him being mentally incompetent or early stages of dementia. He strikes me as a person of above average intelligence who’s tracking conversations and knows what’s going on. I don’t think he’s medically unfit to be president. I think he’s morally unfit to be president....

STEPHANOPOULOS: If you are right, what is the remedy? Should Donald Trump be impeached?

COMEY: Impeachment is a question of law and fact and politics.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’re a citizen. You have a judgment.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “What an orchestrated sham and an example of what makes so many have disdain for the mainstream media. Get a political operative for the other party, who is now working as a journalist, cue up an avowed enemy of the president with provocative talking points the opponent wants to make in order to sell books. And give it an atmosphere of importance by putting it all in prime time.”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ Mainstream Media Scream: NYT editor rips ‘out of control’ Trump, says Fox and Friends not ‘serious journalism’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Mainstream Media Scream features the executive editor of the New York Times, Dean Baquet, ripping President Trump as “out of control.”

It came during a live segment on CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday.

Decrying Trump’s criticisms of the media, Baquet rued: “If he creates a culture where Fox and Friends and Jesse Watters are regarded as serious journalism, and the New York Times and the Washington Post are not, he will have done longstanding, harmful effect on the country.”

Host Brian Stelter asked if Trump’s attacks on the media are “out of control?” Baquet agreed with the characterization.

BRIAN STELTER: What do you think is the cumulative effect of more than a year of these attacks?

DEAN BAQUET: It’s bad. I mean, it hurts the media – I think the president missed the part of high school civics where the First Amendment was explained, and where the role of a free and independent press was explained. And I think this is debilitating. I think that the press will keep doing what it does, but a president has two roles. One role, of course, is to pursue his agenda. The other role is to sort of build an understanding of the culture and to sort of create a culture.

And if he creates a culture where Fox and Friends and Jesse Watters are regarded as serious journalism, and the New York Times and the Washington Post are not, he will have done longstanding, harmful effect on the country.

STELTER: Is it out of control?

BAQUET: It’s out of control. It’s out of control and his advisors should tell him to stop, because it's actually affecting the civic life and debate of the country. It started -- when I first heard it, I thought, okay, a year ago, it felt like an exaggerated version of what we’ve heard from presidents forever. But it’s out of control.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “What arrogance. If a significant portion of the public believe Fox News shows and their on-air personalities more than they do the New York Times, whose fault is that? Baquet and Stelter are in their own bubble, unable to recognize that decades of biased and distorted journalism is what, for many, gives credibility to Trump’s efforts to discredit old media institutions and point toward new voices.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

April 2: Mainstream Media Scream: Morning Joe crew denounces Sinclair, ‘chilling’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Mainstream Media Scream features a regular, the MSNBC Morning Joe crew, this time feigning outrage at the growing Sinclair TV group and the commentary warning of "one sided news stories plaguing our country” they had local anchors read.

Joe Scarborough cited “all of the false information coming out of the White House” and how he saw “an ally of the president using a lot of local news stations to run a propaganda clip.” Co-host Mika Brzezinski called it “frightening” before guest Jon Meacham, the former editor of the once thriving Newsweek, denounced it as “beyond chilling.”

Scarborough tarred Sinclair as “America’s new Pravda.”

From the Monday, April 2, 2018 Morning Joe on MSNBC:

JOE SCARBOROUGH: “This weekend I was struck by all of the false information coming out of the White House, it seemed like a more steady pace. And then, on top of that, I actually saw an ally of the president using a lot of local news stations to run a propaganda clip. So here you have an entire broadcasting system running a propaganda clip.”

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: “It’s pretty frightening.”

SCARBOROUGH: “Attacking news agencies while the president himself was running a lot of fake news stories.”

BRZEZINSKI: “Well, and I find the anchors to be frightening, too, that they did this....The broadcaster is known for pushing a conservative platform and mandating must-run commentary. Over the past week or so, anchors nationwide were required to read from the script, not their own commentary, the commentary of their company as this mash-up from Deadspin illustrates the results are chilling.”

BRZEZINSKI, picking up on line from the Sinclair anchor video: : “This is extremely dangerous to our democracy.”

SCARBOROUGH: “A national broadcasting system that is shoving propaganda down local anchor’s throats, straight from the pen of somebody who’s a Trump acolyte is really, really chilling.”

JON MEACHAM: “It’s kind of beyond chilling, right? It’s state media, essentially....”

.....

SCARBOROUGH: “You combine this with Donald Trump attacking actually respectable news outlets that actually fight hard everyday to get it right, while Donald Trump in his White House and his allies are churning up their own fake news. They’re lying to the American people throughout the weekend, over the past year, year and a half. But they’re trying to discredit those who are actually calling them out on their lies and now they’re using an entire broadcast system, and I’m not sure who advertises on these stations, but they’re basically advertising for America’s new Pravda.”
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Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Pot, meet kettle. What clueless chutzpah. ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS all reach near 100 percent of American households and MSNBC can be seen in just about every home with cable. They all deliver uniform messages while Sinclair reaches only 40 percent of households, and yet it is Sinclair which so frightens Joe and Mika? Why are they so afraid of journalists wanting to eliminate fake news?”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ March 26: Mainstream Media Scream: Journalism cheered as ‘a form of activism’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Mainstream Media Scream features the co-editor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, site of the Florida mass slaying, telling her truth on the media that it is a “form of activism.”

Appearing on CNN’s Reliable Sources during the weekend of anti-gun protests in Washington, Rebecca Schneid, co-editor-in-chief of the Eagle Eye, said the purpose of journalism is to be a change agent.

Host Brian Stelter interviewed her the day after she participated in the “March for Our Lives.”

The exchange on the March 25 edition of Reliable Sources on CNN:

Brian Stelter: Rebecca, I wonder what yesterday felt like for you because I see a lot of Parkland students becoming activists, but you all were there as journalists. Do you see a difference right now between journalism and activism and what you're doing?

Rebecca Schneid: I think that for me, the purpose of journalism is to raise, you know, the voices of people that maybe don’t have a voice and so, I think that in its own right journalism is a form of activism. And I think that there is distinctions for me, you know as a journalist and also as someone that wants to demand change, but I think that the partnership of the two is the only reason that we are able to make a change.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “The press corps have enthusiastically embraced the anti-gun rights sentiments of the high schoolers behind the ‘March for Our Lives’ while maintaining they are just covering the facts. High school journalist Rebecca Schneid, however, has shown the next generation of journalists may be more astute than their elders, recognizing how many members of the media really are activists using journalism to advance a political agenda.”

 

■ March 19: Mainstream Media Scream: Carl Bernstein hails ‘Greatest reporting...in 50 years’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Mainstream Media Scream features an icon of investigative journalism declaring that reporting on President Trump and his administration has marked a high-point in the industry.

While the mainstream media is always critical when other industries police and evaluate themselves, the press loves it when it comes to them, and there are few held in higher esteem than Bernstein of the famed Washington Post Watergate team.

He appeared on Sunday’s CNN Reliable Sources to rue an “authoritarian, demagogic president appealing to a base that has the Republican Party, so far, held hostage.” Yet he then insisted the press must be “rigidly reportorial, not go beyond what we know” and not be “provocative.”

And he celebrated how “we have seen, in the last year, the greatest reporting on the presidency of the United States, by a great number of news organizations that we’ve seen in the last 50, 60 years.”

From the Sunday, March 18 Reliable Sources on CNN:

CARL BERNSTEIN: But in this cultural civil war, in this cold civil war, there is real question as Jeff Greenfield has said today, of whether or not it’s possible for a legitimate investigation to prevail as opposed to an authoritarian, demagogic president appealing to a base that has the Republican Party, so far, held hostage.

HOST BRIAN STELTER: So, Carl, what is the role of the press as you see it in this difficult moment?

BERNSTEIN: To stay reportorial, to be really rigidly reportorial, not to go beyond what we know, and it’s very difficult because when you say that the president of the United States lies and lies repeatedly, that’s very difficult to listen to, particularly if you are a supporter of the president and at the same time, it is a reportorial, demonstrable fact that everyone has to deal with here, and it’s true of this whole story. But I think that the less we show ourselves as provocative, if we can keep our tone to being as reportorial as we can, and at the same time, be strict in terms of pointing out what we know, what is fact, what is speculation.

We have seen, in the last year, the greatest reporting on the presidency of the United States, by a great number of news organizations that we’ve seen in the last 50, 60 years in this country, by the New York Times, by the Washington Post, by the Wall Street Journal whose owner, Rupert Murdoch, is a supporter of the president, by some right wing outfits as well.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Bernstein’s comments explain a lot about the media’s lack of balance or fairness when it comes to Trump. In Bernstein’s mind, calling Trump an ‘authoritarian’ is not ‘provocative’ and is just plain simple reporting of the facts. Meanwhile, such hostility toward Trump represents ‘the greatest reporting on the presidency’ in decades. I guess he’s inadvertently admitting they weren’t so tough on Obama.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ March 12: Mainstream Media Scream: Chuck Todd insists media not the ‘opposition’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Mainstream Media Scream features Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd at a media dinner pledging that the press isn’t the opposition, but “simply a voice of truth.”

At the Radio Television Digital News Foundation’s “2018 First Amendment Awards” held Thursday night, at D.C.’s Marriott Marquis Hotel, Todd was presented with the group’s First Amendment Award.

Two days later, President Trump campaigning in Pittsburgh called Todd, “a sleeping son of a bitch. I’ll tell you.”

NBC’s Chuck Todd at the March 8 dinner:

“One thing we’re not is the opposition. We’ve never tried to be part of the political debate, but people want to drag us into it. We shouldn’t take the bait. We’re simply a voice of truth. There’s no balance, there’s just fairness and truth. And a true voice and the truth is what we all need to be hearing right now. A voice that no matter how many disparaging tweets or calls of fake news, we can’t let it be silenced....

“There’s plenty of people trying to undermine what we do for a living. There’s plenty of people that motivated to undermine us for their own gain – political, financial, or whatever. Just keep that in mind. We just need to be fair, credible, honest, and most importantly, transparent. Because I believe in the 21st century, transparency is the new objectivity.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Todd’s ludicrous arrogance, about how journalists are ‘dragged’ into the political world and are only after ‘the truth,’ no doubt is part of what fueled President Trump’s ‘sleeping eyes’ slam of him. A year ago, barely two months after Trump took office, Todd asked of the Trump presidency: ‘Is it on the brink of collapse?’ Was that part delivering ‘fairness and truth’?”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ March 5: Mainstream Media Scream: Classless media tries to trip Dolly Parton up over Trump

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Mainstream Media Scream features a classless effort by ABC to trap “9 to 5” star Dolly Parton into saying something bad about President Trump, even after she said “I don’t do politics.”

In the end Parton won and kept true to her policy of keeping “your damn mouth shut if you want to stay in show business.”

It occurred Thursday on Nightline when ABC’s David Wright tried to get Parton to denounce Trump in an interview, an episode devoted to “Icons of Change” and pegged to Parton’s “Imagination Library” providing children’s books to the Library of Congress.

Wright played video of Lilly Tomlin and Jane Fonda, who co-starred with Parton in “9 to 5,” denouncing President Trump at the Emmy Awards.

(Fonda: “Back in 1980, that movie, we refused to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.”

(Tomlin: “And in 2017, we still refuse to be controlled by a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.”)

ABC then showed Parton cautioning Wright: “I’m not being political. I don’t do politics. I’m not getting into any of that. Because I have a lot of fans out there and I don’t want to offend anybody. And besides, I don’t get into that. And so, if you are deciding, you may want to ask me something more serious, don’t. Because I’m not going to answer it.

Wright, lightheartedly: “Fair warning. Okay. I’m duly warned, I might still ask.”

Parton: “Well, you can ask, but I might still tell you where to put it if I don’t like where you got it.”

Clip of Jane Fonda in the 9 to 5 movie: “You’re a sexist, egotistical lying hypocritical bigot.”

Wright pursued the sentiment: “The sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot portrayed so effectively in that movie by actor Dabney Coleman hasn’t exactly disappeared from the culture.”

Wright zeroed in on Trump, asking Parton: “We have a president of the United States who said those things on that bus.”

Parton resisted: “I’m not addressing that. I do not get into that. Of course I have my opinion about everybody and everything. But I learned a long time ago, keep your damn mouth shut if you want to stay in show business. I’m not in politics. I’m an entertainer.”

Wright gently pressed: “And yet, you’re also a role model.”

Parton: “Yes, I am. That’s why I don’t talk about people.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Wright recognized he was going where Parton didn’t want to go, and took Parton’s warning with good humor, but he, nonetheless, couldn’t help himself from using a segment about a good cause – free books for little kids – to try to get a celebrity to denounce President Trump. Parton showed true class in demurring.”

Rating: Three out of five screams.

 

■ February 26: Mainstream Media Scream: CNN, Dan Rather challenge Trump’s ‘fantasyland’ 

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Mainstream Media Scream features two of the media’s self-appointed fact police who feel their role is to call out President Trump.

Says Dan Rather, “if journalists cower, then how long can we sing we’re ‘The home of the brave’?”

And CNN’s Brian Stelter added, “this ridiculous rhetoric has to stop.”

It all went down on CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday when the talk turned to arming teachers, as is done to some degree in eight states already.

Brian Stelter: “He’s promoting this idea of arming more and more teachers. Let’s look at how he framed this discussion at CPAC.”

President Trump at CPAC: “The teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened.”

Stelter: “This ridiculous rhetoric has to stop. This is part of Trump’s fantasyland....We’ve got to provide the proper context for these ridiculous quotes that are out there. Even if President Trump prefers to live in a fantasyland, journalists have to at least try to help him see the reality. Joining me now is Dan Rather, former anchor of the CBS Evening News. He currently anchors The News with Dan Rather on The Young Turks streaming network....”

Stelter, given that Trump’s false claims are so well established: “Do you think there’s less use then in journalists trying to check the false claims?”

Dan Rather: “Not only do I think it’s useful, I think it’s imperative now more than ever is when the press needs to be a kind of truth squad for this and every other president. It’s perhaps more important with President Trump because there are more untruths to set record straight. But if journalists cower, as many in Congress – both some Republicans and some Democrats in Congress – are cowering with the NRA, if journalists cower, then how long can we sing we’re ‘the home of the brave’?”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Not sure which is more ridiculous: CNN putting up Dan Rather as an expert on truth or Rather presuming that, after his ‘memogate’ hit job on former President George W. Bush, anyone would take him seriously as a barometer of truth. But I guess Stelter and Rather live in their own ‘fantasyland,’ where attacking those already much-demonized by the media, represents some sort of bravery.”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ February 19: Mainstream Media Scream: MSNBC sees anti-GOP black vote the ‘hope for the country’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Mainstream Media Scream features the hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe show suggesting that the “hope” for the future of the country is with black voter turnout for Democrats.

On Friday’s show, the host, Joe Scarborough, cited the recent high black voter turnout in the Alabama Senate race and said Republicans should be scared going into the 2018 midterms.    

Joe Scarborough: “The coalition of the ascendant, energized, all you have to do is look at what happened in Alabama, black turnout higher in Doug Jones’ off-year special election race than it was for Barack Obama. That remains the most remarkable statistic of this year and the reason why Republicans should be shaking in their boots right now.”

Co-host Mika Brzezinski: “It also remains our hope for the future of this country.”

Scarborough: “Yeah, hope.”                                                                                                                           

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “What’s remarkable is that anyone could consider these two to be any sort of independent journalists when they so obviously have, to borrow one of Haley Barbour’s favorite phrases, a dog in the fight.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ February 12: Mainstream Scream: DHS pushes back on NBC, ‘no evidence’ Russians ‘manipulated’ elections

(Washington Examiner post)

The Department of Homeland Security made the rare move Monday to officially discredit an NBC News report that claimed a top Trump official found that “Russians successfully penetrated the voter registration rolls of several U.S. states prior to the 2016 presidential election.”

In a statement, DHS said the “breaking news” report was not only wrong and hyped but is also being ripped by other media.

In the report, NBC interviewed Jeanette Manfra, the head of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security, who said, “We saw a targeting of 21 states and an exceptionally small number of them were actually successfully penetrated.”

In the statement, Manfra said, “let me be clear: we have no evidence – old or new - that any votes in the 2016 elections were manipulated by Russian hackers.”

She added, “NBC News continues to falsely report my recent comments on attempted election hacking – which clearly mirror my testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last summer – as some kind of ‘breaking news,’ incorrectly claiming a shift in the administration’s position on cyber threats. As I said eight months ago, a number of states were the target of Russian government cyber actors seeking vulnerabilities and access to U.S. election infrastructure. In the majority of cases, only preparatory activity like scanning was observed, while in a small number of cases, actors were able to access the system but we have no evidence votes were changed or otherwise impacted.”

The NBC headline on one story was, “Russians penetrated U.S. voter systems, top U.S. official says.”

Here is Manfra’s full statement:

DHS Statement On NBC News Coverage Of Election Hacking

WASHINGTON - Today, Jeanette Manfra, National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) Assistant Secretary for the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications, released the following statement regarding the recent NBC news coverage on the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to combat election hacking.

“Recent NBC reporting has misrepresented facts and confused the public with regard to Department of Homeland Security and state and local government efforts to combat election hacking. First off, let me be clear: we have no evidence – old or new - that any votes in the 2016 elections were manipulated by Russian hackers. NBC News continues to falsely report my recent comments on attempted election hacking – which clearly mirror my testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last summer – as some kind of “breaking news,” incorrectly claiming a shift in the administration’s position on cyber threats. As I said eight months ago, a number of states were the target of Russian government cyber actors seeking vulnerabilities and access to U.S. election infrastructure. In the majority of cases, only preparatory activity like scanning was observed, while in a small number of cases, actors were able to access the system but we have no evidence votes were changed or otherwise impacted.

"NBC’s irresponsible reporting, which is being roundly criticized elsewhere in the media and by security experts alike, undermines the ability of the Department of Homeland Security, our partners at the Election Assistance Commission, and state and local officials across the nation to do our incredibly important jobs. While we’ll continue our part to educate NBC and others on the threat, more importantly, the Department of Homeland Security and our state and local partners will continue our mission to secure the nation’s election systems.

"To our state and local partners in the election community: there’s no question we’re making real and meaningful progress together. States will do their part in how they responsibly manage and implement secure voting processes. For our part, we’re going to continue to support with risk and vulnerability assessments, offer cyber hygiene scans, provide real-time threat intel feeds, issue security clearances to state officials, partner on incident response planning, and deliver cybersecurity training. The list goes on of how we’re leaning forward and helping our partners in the election community. We will not stop, and will stand by our partners to protect our nation’s election infrastructure and ensure that all Americans can have confidence in our democratic elections.”

Secrets nominates this clash as our Weekly Mainstream Media Scream.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Looks like a pretty clear case of NBC News letting its interest in furthering its anti-Trump agenda get ahead of the facts. In a sure sign of how much credibility the story had, much of the rest of the media, which are just as interested in nailing Trump with a ‘gotcha’ Russian hacking story and all of which quickly picked up NBC’s report, quickly dropped it.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ February 5: Mainstream Media Scream: Jimmy Fallon plays Bob Dylan to hit Trump, laud NFL protests

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Mainstream Media Scream features Tonight Show Host Jimmy Fallon, in his post-Super Bowl show, singing an anti-Trump, pro-NFL protest version of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin.”

Showing off his talents for showmanship and impersonations, the video done in black and white puts a liberal 2018 spin on the classic. His lyrics:

Come gather round people wherever you roam

And admit that our country don't feel like our home

And that silence speaks louder than those who condone

If a tweet to you is worth favin'

Then lift up your voices and put down your phones

For the times they are a-changin'

Come women and men who hashtag Me Too

And believe me when I say that we believe you

For weak is the man who calls truth "fake news"

Time’s up, our silence we’re breaking

And even though Mel Gibson was in Daddy's Home 2

Well the times they are a-changin'

Come athletes with platforms throughout the land

Who by taking a knee are taking a stand

And before you shout out that they should be banned

Listen to what they are saying

Perhaps they'd stand up if you reached out your hand

Well the times they are a-changing

Come journalists, writers who report the facts

And brandish your pen to fend off his attacks

Look past what he says and look at how he acts

The fire and fury is raging

For his words can hurt, but your words can fight back

New York Times, they aren't a-failin'

Come leaders who bully like Internet trolls

We'll curse you with four-letter words 'love' and 'hope'

For we will go high even when you go low

The order is re-arranging

For you have the power, but we have the vote

The times they are a-changin'

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Fallon is a talented impersonator with a very good tribute to Dylan. But it’s disappointing to see the one late night host, who had yet succumb to Trump Derangement Syndrome, seemingly ease toward his competitors in seeing a quick laugh in mocking President Trump and the values espoused by his supporters.”

Rating: Three out of five screams.

■ January 29: Mainstream Scream: CNN banana says ‘Only a matter of time until someone gets hurt’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Mainstream Media Scream features CNN turning to a banana to preach “Facts First.”

It hit Twitter last week and some fans of the president saw it as criticism of President Trump who regularly claims the cable network is producing “fake news.”

It features a banana peel and the narrator saying:

“Some people might try to tell you that this is an apple. It might even start as a joke. But when they say it over and over and over again, and people start to believe it, it’s only a matter of time until someone gets hurt.”

Then on screen “Facts First” flashes.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “CNN doth protest too much? Maybe if CNN put a little more effort into fair, balanced and factual coverage they wouldn’t have the need to create these silly ads which only prove President Trump has them rattled.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ January 22, 2018: Mainstream Media Scream: Morning Joe creates anti-Trump #Resist music video

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Mainstream Media Scream features MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough singing his way into the #Resist movement with a new music video built around the anti-Trump movement and the weekend’s protests.

It started with a Saturday tweet that said, “My new single is out. Inspired by the Women’s March and dedicated to those who #Resist. Mika and I salute you”

On Monday’s show, co-host Mika Brzezinski set up a video montage to accompany the new song, “Stand,” sung by Scarborough. She said, “We go to break with some of the powerful images from over the weekend as millions of Americans gathered in cities and streets across the nation for the 2018 Women’s March.”

Viewers then saw images and video clips of protesters, as well as “Impeach Trump” signs, interspersed with politicians talking about the shutdown. The music video ended with a sign declaring “RESIST.”

Some of the lyrics:

“Once in your life, you may get the chance to stand against a column of tanks”

“And once in your life, you may get the chance to say words like deep within your heart that change the outcome of the day”

“And how the world turns violently, we’re battered by the savagery but we will not wake not on bended knees, we will not go down quietly, will not go down silently”

“And though the world turns violently, we’re battered by the savagery, but we will not wake, not on bended knee, we will not go down quietly”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “This one blows away the one to five scream rating. Five screams not nearly enough. Joe Scarborough has become a parody of himself, abandoning any pretense of being taken seriously as a journalist as he tries to be a modern day James Taylor, but without any of the talent.”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ New on January 15, 2018: Mainstream Media Scream: MSNBC questions Paul Ryan’s motives, ‘pathetic’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Mainstream Media Scream features two regular MSNBC Republican haters pressing their boots onto the neck of House Speaker Paul Ryan, suggesting that his agenda is for himself and not the middle and underclass he has fought for in his career.

Both Chris Matthews and Joy Reid denounced Ryan for not speaking out more forcefully against President Trump with Reid making this amazing statement: “I think it’s one of the darkest sort of chapters in the Trump era is Paul Ryan revealing himself.”

From Friday’s Hardball:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me go to Joy on this. I think everything Paul Ryan hears or thinks about has to do with his agenda. He’s not very personal. It’s all about this sort of Ayn Rand, objectivist goals he has. Less taxes, less government, you know, less entitlement programs.

You know, that’s his goal in life and anything that advances that is fortunate. And anything that doesn’t advance that is unfortunate.

JOY REID: It’s unfortunate.

MATTHEWS: He doesn’t care about these moral questions or these issues of how we should talk as Americans.

REID: I agree with you. There has never been a more single-minded politician than Paul Ryan. He cares only about eviscerating the social safety net, repealing the 20th century, all of the New Deal, the Great Society, he wants that gone and it is true. He is pathetic. I think it’s one of the darkest, sort of chapters in the Trump era is Paul Ryan revealing himself.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: ‘‘He doesn’t care about these moral questions,’ he’s ‘pathetic’ and represents ‘the darkest chapter’ of the Trump era. Those are astonishing slurs on the character of an elected leader by two media figures who are so quick to condemn personal attacks by President Trump. The hypocrisy is ripe.”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ January 8, 2018: Mainstream Media Scream: ‘Fire and Fury’ author claims ‘no political agenda’

(Washington Examiner post)

He’s predicted that his new anti-Trump book “Fire and Fury” will bring down President Trump, but author Michael Wolff swears he has “no political agenda.” Seriously.

His comments on CBS This Morning and Monday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC won this week’s Mainstream Media Scream by a country mile.

On CBS This Morning, he contended: “The important point I want to make is this book is not about my impression of the president. I came into this with no agenda. I continue to have no political agenda.”

A half hour later, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, he asserted: “You can remove the politics from this, and I went into this literally with no political agenda at all, and there’s really not much politics per se in this book.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Quite some howlers from a veteran New York City writer who, just over the weekend, told BBC radio ‘it’s not ideal’ that Trump is in the White House and boasted the revelations in his book ‘will end this presidency.’ That sounds very much like a man proud of his political agenda.”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ January 2, 2018: Mainstream Scream: CBS compares Trump’s border wall to Berlin Wall ‘Death Zone’

(Washington Examiner post)

The CBS Evening News began the New Year last night with a new hit on President Trump, this one comparing his promise to build a border wall to keep illegals out to East Germany’s Berlin Wall put up to keep its citizens from escaping communism.

“Do walls really work? Mark Phillips went to Berlin to find out,” said anchor Jericka Duncan in our Mainstream Media Scream of the week.

ANCHOR JERICKA DUNCAN: President Trump has signaled he’s willing to extend protections for young immigrants brought into this country illegally, but on one condition. Last week he tweeted: “There can be no DACA without the desperately needed wall at the southern border.” But do walls really work? Mark Phillips went to Berlin to find out.

MARK PHILLIPS: If anybody knows anything about walls, it’s probably Hans-Peter Spitzner.

PHILLIPS TO SPTIZNER: So you would have approached Check Point Charlie.

SPITZNER: The first time Spitzner was at Check Point Charlie was when he and his daughter Peggy would be the last people to escape across the Berlin Wall before it fell.

SPITZNER: It was a great danger for us, and I thought a thousand things were in my head.

PHILLIPS: It’s the tourist attraction now, but from its building by the old East German regime in 1961, the wall was a death zone for almost three decades.

....

While around 5,000 people escaped across, through, over, or under it, at least 139 died trying. Some death estimates run to well over 1,000. But Hans-Peter was desperate.

SPITZNER: And this is the car I crossed the border.

PHILLIPS: The car was owned by American G.I. Eric Yaw (sp?), now a family friend. With Spitzner’s wife Ingrid already in the west, allowed out for an aging aunt’s birthday, and with Peggy just seven years old at the time, Hans-Peter asked dozens of G.I.s with access to East Germany to smuggle them out. Only Eric Yaw agreed to hide them in his trunk.

SPITZNER: I said to him, “you are now a member of my family.”

....

PHILLIPS: The Spitzners have strong views about walls, not just the Berlin example, now a living history lesson. Whether it’s here or the security barrier the Israelis have built between them and the Palestinians or going back to the Great Wall of China, they see all walls as monuments to political failure. The Berlin Wall, of course, was different than all the others. The others were designed to people out, and this one designed to keep them in. There is one thing they all have in common, though, critics will tell you that when governments build walls, it’s a sign that something else isn’t working.

PEGGY SPITZNER: It’s always to keep someone in, to keep someone out, to keep someone from doing something, so it’s always a bad thing really, and it’s always a monument of a problem.

PHILLIPS, over a video of people in 1989 using pickaxes on the Berlin Wall: A monument that with a will can always be overcome.

HAN-PETER SPITZNER: I say never again, never again. Please.

PHILLIPS: Mark Phillips, CBS News, Berlin.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “What an inane comparison. Deep into his report Phillips acknowledged the obvious, that Trump’s wall would keep people out while the Berlin Wall was ‘designed to keep them in,’ but that only proves the idiocy of the premise of the whole story. There is no rational comparison between a communist regime, which murdered its own citizens trying to escape, and a democracy trying to stem the flow of those trying to illegally enter.”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

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