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

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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 “Liberal Media Screams” starting in January 2020.

> For all of 2019. For all of  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.)

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 Media Research Center's Notable Quotables with compilations of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media.)

 

■ New on April 6 Liberal Media Scream: Trump virus briefings ‘worse than’ Vietnam War lies

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.

 

■ March 30 Liberal Media Scream: Virus fight shows ‘cocktail’ of Trump’s ‘worst qualities,’ says NY editor

(Washington Examiner post)

For this week’s Liberal Media Scream, we could have just declared the legacy media as the worst of the week, because there were so many examples of liberal-leaning outlets blaming President Trump and his team for killing Americans.

But we had to pick one, so we chose New Yorker magazine editor David Remnick, whose comments on CNN’s Reliable Sources sized up the media’s approach to Trump.

Remnick, when asked by host Brian Stelter about the contrasting approaches from Trump and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said:

“Truth versus mendacity. Gov. Cuomo ... is treating this with truth and straightforwardness. He’s treating the citizens of New York as adults, people who can make their decisions based on the truth and understand the truth. The president of the United States, well, the cocktail of all his worst qualities, his mendaciousness, his constant telling of lies, his narcissism, his lack of empathy for people in general, his obsession with the money classes, et cetera, has led to disaster, has led to delay. And this will be, and I think history will prove this, this will be something that’s paid in human lives, and that’s an enormous tragedy.”

Brent Baker, Media Research Center vice president of research, explains our weekly pick: “Remnick, like much of the press corps, has found a new hero in the liberal Cuomo while he remains so disgusted with President Trump that he doesn’t hesitate to blame him for causing deaths through supposed indifference for too long. Remnick has chutzpah. Where were the establishment news media and Democrats in January and into February? Obsessed with a futile and distracting quest to impeach Trump, hardly warning of the impending danger of the emerging coronavirus.”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ March 23 Liberal Media Scream: Rachel Maddow wants Trump’s briefings filtered through her

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features the ranting from the left media that the daily coronavirus briefings given by President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and top agency doctors and emergency officials should be pulled off the air so that the media can chew them up and tell the nation its view of the news.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow is the latest to scream, “Stop!”

She said on her Friday broadcast that Trump is “lying” at his daily briefings and even suggested his words could kill people.

She argued that “if he keeps lying like he has been every day on stuff this important, we should — all of us — should stop broadcasting it. Honestly, it’s going to cost lives.”

From The Rachel Maddow Show:

“Even when he’s talking about what he has done or what he will do, he is consistently lying and giving you happy talk that is stuff that the federal government isn’t actually doing. And it’s making people around the country count on the fact the federal government is doing that stuff when they’re not.

“I mean, there may be other people in the federal government who are saying things that are true, but these daily briefings from the White House are a litany of things from the president that would be awesome if they were true, if they were happening, but they’re not. And so the sooner we come to terms with that, I think the better for all of us. If it were up to me, and it’s not, I would stop putting those briefings on live TV. Not out of spite, but because it’s misinformation. If the president does end up saying anything true, you can run it as tape, but if he keeps lying like he has been every day on stuff this important, we should — all of us — should stop broadcasting it. Honestly, it’s going to cost lives.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “After months of high-dungeon whining from journalists about the lack of White House press briefings, the president goes fully transparent, taking questions at length every day. Yet Maddow can only view the world through her Trump-hating filter, and so she wants to stop letting the public see them because Trump’s prominence only enrages her. It doesn’t say much about her faith in the public or the public’s trust in the media that she presumes reporters are unpersuasive when they correct Trump, and thus what she sees as his ‘lies’ are believed.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ March 16 Liberal Media Scream: Cheers for the coronavirus ‘swamp’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features cheers from New York Times columnist David Brooks for Washington’s bureaucratic swamp during the coronavirus outbreak.

His hope was that the swamp can dole out some cash to people, as it has done in some past times of crisis. Brooks’s call Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press for $1,000 checks “to everybody” came a day before Utah Sen. Mitt Romney made the same call and echoed former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s promise for a handout.

“The swamp looks pretty valuable right now,” Brooks argued on Meet the Press. "You want an establishment that can do stuff,” and so, “The federal government should be sending $1,000 checks to everybody.”

Brooks during the roundtable on the March 15 Meet the Press:

“We’ve weakened our institutions over the decades. We’ve had candidates run against the swamp. Well, the swamp looks pretty valuable right now. You want an establishment that can do stuff. What we’re lacking right now is a complete mobilization. The federal government should be sending $1,000 checks to everybody.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “A synergy of establishment Republican thinking now that Sen. Mitt Romney on Monday followed Brooks in calling for $1,000 checks to everyone. But Brooks couldn’t resist exploiting the pandemic to take a shot at the disdain for ‘the swamp,’ which Donald Trump was elected to drain, as if the election of Romney or Jeb Bush would have prevented the outbreak.”

Rating: Three out of five screams.

 

■ March 9: Liberal Media Scream: HBO, CNN reporter link Trump to 1940s anti-Semitism

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features claims in a new HBO series that President Trump and Charles Lindbergh share anti-Semitic views in their “America First” rallying cry.

Next Monday, The Plot Against America will debut on HBO, and last week, PBS’s Amanpour and Company promoted the show’s allegories to America under Trump. “Before Trump’s America First,” Christiane Amanpour said, “Charles Lindbergh represented America First, the powerful isolationist organization. Lindbergh was pro-Germany and was denounced by many as anti-Semitic.”

Amanpour, who doubles as a London-based correspondent for CNN, saw the show that imagines Lindbergh winning the presidency in 1940, as “a warning tale” for today. David Simon, creator of the series, said the Philip Roth 2004 novel, which inspired the series, “just sings as a allegory for our time” as “it’s sort of astonishing how close he captured this political moment in America.”

Simon, best known for creating The Wire two decades ago, saw many parallels with Trump’s America: “You look at the programming and the raw manipulation of civil liberties that Roth depicts in the book, and they compare almost precisely.”

From last Wednesday’s edition of Amanpour and Company on PBS:

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Lindbergh is famous for his trans-Atlantic flight, but what’s lesser known are his views on politics. Before Trump’s "America First," Charles Lindbergh represented America First, the powerful isolationist organization. Lindbergh was pro-Germany and was denounced by many as anti-Semitic. ...

It’s sort of a warning tale, and I don’t know how much of what you have committed your creativity to here sort of collides with real-life politics in the United States right now. I mean, you imagine the year 1940 presidential election, the then-aviator hero Charles Lindbergh — anti-Semitic, white nationalist — wins the presidency against FDR. ...

DAVID SIMON: Philip Roth, one of four great novelists, he wrote this alternate history through the eyes of his family in New Jersey, and it just sings as a allegory for our time with every page. I mean, if you turn it and just read, it’s sort of astonishing how close he captured this political moment in America.

Roth was using the vulnerable group in 1940, which were Jewish Americans, whose loyalty was being challenged by the America Firsters and the German American Bund and Lindbergh, he was using that group to tell the tale, but, right now, the people who are most vulnerable in America right now are people with black and brown skin and Muslims. ...

There are so many moments in Roth’s book where I read a page and I would think about what happened at the airports, the mayhem at the airports in the aftermath of the inauguration when even American citizens were having their passports regarded as insufficient to guarantee their civil liberties or what’s happening at the southern border right now in terms of family separation. You look at the programming and the raw manipulation of civil liberties that Roth depicts in the book, and they compare almost precisely.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “That such a fantasy would be greenlighted by HBO shows just how deep the hatred for Donald Trump and conservatives is in the Hollywood culture. Yes, let’s take an alternate history story about a Nazi sympathizer gaining power in America and slam it into today’s political narrative in order to discredit conservative policies and paint the most pro-Israel president ever as some kind of anti-Semite. And, instead of challenging the premise, Amanpour decided to promote it.”

Rating: Three out of five screams.

 

■ March 2: Liberal Media Scream: CNN says blame Rush, Hannity, and Don Jr. for virus panic

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features left-wing CNN rushing in to blame “right-wing media” for whipping up a political fight over the coronavirus.

In this case, CNN media analyst Brian Stelter cited several conservatives who he said are charging that the media is using the virus to attack President Trump.

From the top of the Sunday, March 1 Reliable Sources on CNN:

BRIAN STELTER: "News outlets have a really important job right now, conveying accurate information, and part of the job is to tamp down on undue fears. Unfortunately, this virus has infected the political arena in ways that are truly jaw-dropping. Pro-Trump media stars are defending Trump’s handling the outbreak by accusing news outlets — I can't even believe — they're accusing news outlets of rooting for the virus. Watch."

RUSH LIMBAUGH: "It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump."

STELTER: "Recent Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Rush Limbaugh, one of many cooking up partisan conspiracy theories about the coronavirus. Chief among them, it’s the news media’s fault."

MICK MULVANEY AT CPAC: "They think this is gonna be what brings down the president. That’s what this is all about."

STELTER: "Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney making the shocking claim that the media is somehow using the virus to take down Trump. Mulvaney picking up right where Fox’s Sean Hannity left off, blaming Democrats for making this political."

SEAN HANNITY: "Sadly, politicizing and actually weaponizing an infectious disease. What is basically just the latest effort to bludgeon President Trump."

STELTER: "These talking points are bouncing back and forth between the Trumps and their TV surrogates, portraying the president as the victim-in-chief. And going so far to say the president’s perceived enemies actually want people to die."

DONALD TRUMP JR.: "Anything that they can use to try to hurt Trump, they will. But for them to try to take a pandemic and seemingly hope that it comes here and kills millions of people so that they can end Donald Trump’s streak of winning is a new level of sickness."

STELTER: "This is not the first time the Trump machine has conjured up a conspiracy narrative, full of misinformation and fearmongering. But this time, the backdrop is a public health emergency. Still, irresponsible claims abound."

LIMBAUGH: "I want to tell you the truth about the coronavirus. Yeah, dead right on this. The coronavirus is the common cold, folks."

STELTER: "Experts have debunked that, but it’s all part of a Trump defense strategy: fighting a virus by playing politics."

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Stelter has it exactly backward. It isn’t conservatives who are infecting the media with misinformation, but liberal media figures like Stelter, who are infecting media coverage of a disease by viewing the coronavirus through the prism of their political take on President Trump’s performance.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ February 24: Liberal Media Scream: MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell calls Putin ‘Trump’s running mate’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features the Left media’s inability to let go of its Russia infatuation and continued efforts to tie President Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

This time it’s MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell who on Thursday called Trump a “Russian operative" and Putin “Trump’s running mate.”

Picking up on some news reports on a briefing about intelligence community speculation that Russia may want to help Trump’s reelection, which came a day before reports that Russia wants to help Democratic contender Bernie Sanders, O’Donnell asserted the Trump administration “might be better labeled the Trump-Putin regime.”

He said: “Trump is operating ... in conjunction with Vladimir Putin, to hide what Vladimir Putin is doing to help Donald Trump get reelected.” And, he said: “This is a darkly momentous event in the history of this country, in the history of this world. Vladimir Putin has become Donald Trump’s running mate once again.”

From Thursday’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC:

“The president is a Russian operative. That sounds like the description of a bad Hollywood screenplay, but it is real, and it is Vladimir Putin’s greatest achievement, decades after America’s victory in the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the president of the United States is now helping the president of Russia help the president of the United States to get reelected so that the president of Russia will have four more years of the president of the United States who he wants in the Oval Office.

“This is one of those shocking news days, if you retain the capacity to be shocked in the Trump era, by the Trump regime, which might be better labeled the Trump-Putin regime.

“Donald Trump is operating, in the White House, in conjunction with Vladimir Putin, to hide what Vladimir Putin is doing to help Donald Trump get reelected. Donald Trump is a Russian operative.

“This is a darkly momentous event in the history of this country, in the history of this world. Vladimir Putin has become Donald Trump’s running mate once again.”

Brent Baker, Media Research Center vice president of research, explains our weekly pick: “O’Donnell’s paranoia on full display, lashing out with a ludicrous charge as he’s unable to accept how this Russian interference on behalf of Trump narrative has run its course. If Putin has to choose between Trump, who has reversed the Obama’s administration’s soft policy on Ukraine and missile defense in Europe, versus a man who honeymooned in the Soviet Union, Bernie Sanders. Why in the world would he prefer Trump to stay in office?”

Rating: Four out of four screams.

 

■ February 17: Liberal Media Scream: How to tell if your cable news host is a lefty

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features a warning from CNN’s media critic “creeping authoritarianism” under President Trump, an “aspiring autocrat.”

CNN’s Brian Stelter opened his Sunday show, Reliable Sources, with a lengthy lecture about “the aspiring autocrat and the media’s response.” The autocrat, of course, was Trump. The on-screen graphic screamed: “EXPERTS SEE SIGNS OF ‘CREEPING AUTHORITARIANISM.’” Stelter soon recited from a Harvard University professor’s piece, “10 Ways to Tell If Your President Is a Dictator.”

Trump, he said, met all of the qualifications: “He said, after impeachment, the president has been passing most of the checkpoints on the way to authoritarianism. On his list are things like fearmongering, demonizing the opposition, and using state power to reward corporate backers and punish opponents. Does that sound familiar?”
    
Here is a portion of Stelter’s opening commentary at the top of the Feb. 16 Reliable Sources:

But first, the aspiring autocrat and the media’s response. As this banner on Fox says, President Trump is unleashed [“PRESIDENT TRUMP UNLEASHED”]. That’s why there are growing fears of something called “democratic backsliding.” This is a term used in political science, a term used to describe the erosion of institutions that sustain democracy.

Another way to put it is “creeping authoritarianism,” a move toward autocracy. Now, that’s a word we’re increasingly seeing being tied to President Trump. You can see it in some of these headlines in the past week, “Trump’s authoritarian style is remaking America,” things like that.

Now, a lot of these are opinion columns, perspective pieces, but these are important and complicated concepts.

My question for you is, how can the nation’s news media make time and space to explain this? I mean, we live in this new story every minute, info-saturated world. But this may be the biggest stories of them all. So, what are the best ways to cover it?

Well, one way is with a list. Harvard professor Stephen Walt has been keeping a checklist ever since 2016. He called it “10 Ways to Tell If Your President Is a Dictator.” Now, he wasn’t saying Trump’s a dictator. But he was watching for troubling signs.

So, he revisited the list this week and you’ll notice the checkmarks here. He said, after impeachment, the president has been passing most of the checkpoints on the way to authoritarianism. On his list are things like fearmongering, demonizing the opposition, and using state power to reward corporate backers and punish opponents. Does that sound familiar?

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Stelter has long lost any credibility as an analyst of news media coverage of politics as he devotes much more of his show to his disdain for President Trump than failings by the media to offer fair and balanced coverage of him. Stelter actively encourages journalists to promote the wildest conspiracy theories of the far Left. He’s earned his own list: ‘How To Tell If Your Cable News Host Is a Left-Wing Activist.’”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ February 10: Liberal Media Scream: Morning Joe show says Trump ‘is now us,’ oh the horrors

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features longtime Morning Joe contributor Mike Barnicle shuddering at the thought that some Americans have become like their president.

On Monday’s MSNBC show, from a hotel restaurant in Manchester, New Hampshire, Barnicle despaired that the “horrendous things [President Trump] says and does” have been normalized and now, “That’s the United States of America.”

The dismissive Barnicle said, “That’s why this vote this year in every state is the most important ballot anyone will ever cast.”

Barnicle talking about Trump and the president’s campaign event Monday:

“You know what we’re talking about here, what the president will speak about tonight, what all the candidates speak about at their different rallies in different towns and hamlets here in New Hampshire points to the obvious, that this is indeed the most important presidential election in the history of this country.

“All the distortions that we’re talking about, the jammed phone lines, the dishonesty, the corruption within the administration, all of that in a sense, through Donald John Trump, unfortunately, has been normalized. And people shrug their shoulders now at the most obscene elements of government, the most horrendous things he says and does. ‘Oh, that’s just Trump.’ No, that’s not just Trump. That’s now us. That’s the United States of America. And that’s why this vote this year in every state is the most important ballot anyone will ever cast.”

Brent Baker, Media Research Center vice president of research, explains our weekly pick: “Trump is ‘now us.’ The horror! The realization by Barnicle that so many don’t share his fear that Trump is an existential threat to the nation has sent him into a panic, declaring that since Trump must be replaced, this election is the most important ever. One can only presume it’s a view shared by much of the press corps, meaning an even more dire tone ahead toward Trump.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ February 3: Liberal Media Scream: NBC rips Trump, ‘functionally a monarch at this point’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream had a lot of angry media reactions to the Senate impeachment trial to pick through, and we settled on NBC’s feeling that it’s not a good thing that “Trump may well have now become the most powerful president in American history.”

The statement came on Friday and was from “NBC News presidential historian” Jon Meacham during a special report on the trial and vote to not call witnesses.

The former top editor of Newsweek said: “President Trump is functionally a monarch at this point. If the king does it, it’s okay.” He argued “all Americans” should “think about the long-term implications of having a president who is above the law.”

From NBC Friday:

“I think the significance of today and going into the weekend and into next week is I think it is now arguable ... is that Donald Trump may well have now become the most powerful president in American history. So just pause for a second and think about that. He has the capacity, he has such a standing with his political base that senior United States senators have decided that, though he is guilty, they are not going to risk the wrath of the people in order to follow through on what is clearly spelled out in the Constitution.

“That is a raw and elemental definition of power. And I think it’s something that we haven’t fully grappled with. The idea that what President Trump has done, and this is why the example going forward is fraud. President Trump is functionally a monarch at this point. If the king does it, it’s okay that that’s what we’re seeing unfold in Washington right now. And I think all Americans, whether you support the president or you don’t, should pause significantly and think about the long-term implications of having a president who is above the law.”

Brent Baker, Media Research Center vice president of research, explains our weekly pick: “The worst fear realized of the fake news media: Their colleagues and Democratic allies have failed, making Donald Trump ‘the most powerful president in American history.’ But instead of just being demoralized and moving on, Meacham lashed out, not giving up on trying to discredit and decapitate Trump, deriding him as an improper ‘monarch’ who ‘is above the law.’ Who are the ones unwilling to cede power? Meacham and his colleagues should learn to be better losers.”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ January 27: Liberal Media Scream: CNN ridicules Trump, supporters are ‘boomer rubes’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream is brought to you by CNN, again, and host Don Lemon and a panel of Trump haters that laughed themselves into tears ridiculing supporters of the president.

Lemon, on Saturday night, dabbed a tissue to dry his eyes as he and two guests mocked President Trump and his supporters as rural southern dummies.

The exchanges came during a segment on the conflict between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly, whom Pompeo asked to point to Ukraine on a map.

CNN contributor Rick Wilson charged that “Donald Trump couldn’t find Ukraine on a map if you had the letter ‘U’ and the picture of an actual physical crane next to it.” As Lemon fell forward in laughter, Wilson claimed Pompeo was trying to please “the credulous boomer rube demo that backs Donald Trump,” before he broke into an impersonation to make fun of a Trump supporter: “Donald Trump’s the smart one, and y’all – y’all elitists are dumb!”

CNN contributor Wajahat Ali jumped in, also making an impersonation: “You elitists with your geography and your maps and your spelling!”

From CNN Tonight with Lemon on Saturday evening:

DON LEMON: Kelly has a master's degree in European studies from Cambridge University. Also, [Pompeo] doesn’t really say that she couldn’t identify Ukraine on a map, he insinuates it’s just a — it’s just a petty attempt to put her down, right? Is that what this is?

RICK WILSON: Of course, of course. He’s just trying to demean her, and obviously, it’s false. And, look, he also knows, deep in his heart, that Donald Trump couldn’t find Ukraine on a map if you had the letter ‘u’ and a picture of an actual physical crane next to it. He knows that this is a, you know, an administration defined by ignorance of the world, and so that’s partly him playing to their base and playing to their audience, you know, the credulous boomer rube demo that backs Donald Trump — that wants to think that [does impersonation] 'Donald Trump’s the smart one, and y’all – y’all elitists are dumb!'"

WAJAHAT ALI: You elitists with your geography and your maps and your spelling!

WILSON: Your math and your reading!

ALI: Yeah, your reading, you know, your geography, knowing other countries, sipping your latte!

WILSON: All those lines on the map!

ALI: Only them elitists know where Ukraine is! [ending impersonation] Sorry, I apologize.

LEMON, laughing: Oh, my God!

ALI: But it was Rick’s fault. I blame Rick. But, in all honesty —

LEMON: Hold on — hold on — hold on. That was good, sorry. Rick, that was a good one — I needed that.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Lemon and his cohorts could not have done a better job demonstrating the disdain of the media elite for the masses, breaking into derogatory impersonations as they admiringly laugh at what they see as their own profundity. President Trump would have a hard time finding better evidence of the level of contempt CNN has for the president and anyone who supports him.”

Rating: Five out of five SCREAMS.

 

■ January 20: Liberal Media Scream: Manic Maher says Trump won’t leave if defeated

(Washington Examiner post)

Liberals are already measuring the drapes in the Oval Office but are fretting that President Trump will be hiding behind them if defeated in November.

This week’s Liberal Media Scream finds a manic Bill Maher leading that cry, practically begging Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang to explain the plan to yank Trump out of the White House.

“You don’t really think that Trump is going to concede,” Maher asked. “What’s the plan?”

Maher, to Yang, on the Friday, Jan. 17 episode of Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO:

“You don’t really think that Trump is going to concede? What’s the plan? This is my question for Democrats all this year: What is the plan when he says, ‘It’s rigged, we found irregularities, I’m hearing, I’m suspending everything,’ and he’s not leaving on January 20th? What do you do?”

(Yang is counting on the military to make sure Trump doesn’t stay: "I genuinely think that he’d make a lot of noise, but he would leave. Because in order to stay, you literally need the military on your side, and the military, if it’s a free and fair election, which it will be when I defeat him in November, then the military isn’t going to circle the White House and say, 'We are going to keep this guy in.'")

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Maher seems to be trolling his most paranoid viewers, baselessly trying to instill fear that the threat from Trump could continue beyond his term, that Trump would defy the U.S. system for the transfer of power. But it is Maher who is ginning up fears, advancing a wild conspiracy theory, the very thing liberal media figures charge is done by Trump supporters.”

Rating: Three out of five SCREAMS.

 

■ January 13, 2020: Liberal Media Scream: Former New York Times critic says Trump aides are cultists, ‘toadies’

(Washington Examiner post)

It’s hard to imagine supporters of President Trump being ’dissed worse than Hillary Rodham Clinton’s slap as “deplorables,” but a former New York Times critic has gone way beyond that, comparing them to cultists such as those who adored Charles Manson and even Adolf Hitler.

For our weekly Liberal Media Scream feature, we present Frank Rich, who was featured on MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell’s show to elaborate on his New York Magazine feature, “What Will Happen to the Trump Toadies? Look to Nixon’s defenders, and the Vichy collaborators, for clues.”

On the Thursday episode, Rich said, “Whatever crimes are found out now or in the course of the Trump presidency is nothing compared to what’s been buried that none of us know about."

He also described Trump supporters as part of a “cult,” warning “the cult leader, whether it be the Reverend [Sun Myung] Moon, who was a Nixon supporter, or Jim Jones or whomever, Charlie Manson, they’re never going to be reformed.”

Rich on Thursday’s Last Word with O’Donnell on MSNBC:

“What I tried to do in this piece is make the point whoever goes to jail or doesn’t go to jail, whatever crimes are found out now or in the course of the Trump presidency, is nothing compared to what’s been buried that none of us know about, not even a very zealous investigative press has found yet. And people are going to be turning over rocks for decades. And you look back at history, General Motors and Ford both had executives who were essentially Hitler appeasers, and in the case of General Motors, were involved in the armaments that were used against American troops in manufacturing them in Germany during the war. It took 40 years to find all that out, but it all came out.

“And people who support these kind of regimes, whether it be appeasement then or America first in the ‘30s or Trump, which is, you know, let’s face it, a criminal presidency however you want to slice it, there’s going to be a reckoning. And one other thing I wanted to mention is, you can only take the Nixon analogy so far because, yes, Nixon abused his office. He also tried to throw a presidential campaign. But it would never occur to him to collaborate and aid the Soviet Union, America’s own enemy. It would never occur to him, to my knowledge, to break up immigrant families at the border and turn away refugees from horrors in other countries. It would never occur to him to, quite the contrary, to fight climate change science and to downgrade a regulation of environmental poisons. And so these are really serious crimes and whether they produce jail sentences or not for the people who did them, they’ll be implicated and so will their children and their grandchildren. There’s going to be a stain.

“Here, it is a cult because they absolutely — people who, in some cases, did have reputations that they’ve now destroyed, good reputations, have made fools of themselves for their dear leader. And the thing about cults is they always do come to an end. And the cult leader, whether it be the Reverend Moon, who was a Nixon supporter, or Jim Jones or whomever, Charlie Manson, they’re never going to be reformed. And that’s certainly true of Trump. They will never see the problems with their ways. But the people who swirl around them and were taken in, they’re going to pay a price, a human price, and a reputational price forever.”

Brent Baker, Media Research Center vice president of research, explains our weekly pick: “The very definition of Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS), getting all the paranoia into one article and TV segment, though transferring his disdain from President Trump directly to those working for Trump. Supporters are like those who worked on behalf of the Nazis, the legally enacted policies staff helped implement are ‘serious crimes’ and those in Trump’s orbit are in a cult similar to the one led by Charles Manson. Liberals were upset by the ‘Lock Her Up’ chants against Hillary Clinton, but isn’t that just what Rich is doing here in criminalizing policy disagreements?”

Rating: Five out of five SCREAMS.

 

■ January 6, 2020: Liberal Media Scream: CNN’s Don Lemon promises ‘to lean in harder’

(Washington Examiner post)

CNN anchor Don Lemon, one of cable’s notable critics of President Trump, is the first 2020 winner of our weekly Liberal Media Scream feature for his promise to turn up the heat on “the craziness.”

In celebrating the New Year on CNN shortly after midnight, he said, “I’m going to lean in harder.”

Co-host Brooke Baldwin, live from Nashville with Lemon, asked, “What does that mean?”

Lemon said, “I’m going to lean in harder. I’m sick of the craziness. So, if you thought I went hard in 2019, watch 2020, baby. There’s more to come. I’m a soldier. I’m ready to fight ... We've got to get ready. It’s an election year. We’re on the grind.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research and Publications Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Lemon, who doesn’t hesitate to disparage President Trump as ‘unhinged’ and a ‘racist,’ already seems unhinged on many a night in his vitriol toward Trump, so it’s hard to imagine how he can ‘lean in harder.’ Telling, though, that he sees himself as a ‘soldier’ who is ‘ready to fight’ for a cause. That shouldn’t be the motivation for anyone pretending to be a journalist.”

Rating: Four of Five SCREAMS.

 

 

> Liberal Media Scream posts for 2019.

> For all of 2018.

> For July through December 2017.

> For January through June 2017.

> For July through December 2016.

> For January through June 2016.

> For July to December 2015.

 

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