‘Hardball’ Bemoans ‘False Statements’ by WH, Claim Media Bias Cries Aim to Discredit Russia Probe

A number of establishment, liberal journalists responded with smugness on Thursday’s Hardball to President Trump’s tweet earlier in the day that the Senate Intelligence Committee should investigate news organizations for spreading “Fake News.” 

As expected, they touted their supposedly strict standards and brushed aside claims of media bias as aimed at undermining the Russia investigations.

 

 

“It seems to me that Trump doesn’t care about opinion from me or anybody else. He cares about straight, front-page news reporting. It drives him crazy. He hates facts,” MSNBC host Chris Matthews bemoaned to The Washington Post’s Anne Gearan. 

Gearan responded: 

He certainly gets a lot of his news from what's on television and he processes information visually and, I think, on a gut level and if he likes what he hears, if he thinks it is — has a positive spin about what he's doing, he likes it. And he — and if he doesn't, he blasts with equal opportunity at anybody who has reported.

Gearan had one of the gushiest and mindless interviews ever with Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign and gloated about compiling world leaders attacking Trump, but I digress.

What’s interesting about that statement is most reasonable people expect to see a biased opinion from those who make clear that they’re pundits and not reporters. It’s when straight news reporters engage in liberal bias that most (including the Media Research Center) have a problem and look to expose them.

Moments later, New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush joked to Matthews that investigating journalists “would be hideous from a constitutional perspective, but I think there are a lot of reporters in that briefing room who wouldn't mind having the entire panoply of west wing staff being forced under oath to testify all of these stories are incorrect.” 

“Because you know why? They're not. They're totally true,” Thrush asserted as a self-described liberal hack would.

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

Up next was MSNBC host/NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell, who was teed up by Matthews telling her that he’s so “lucky to serve” with her at NBC News. He soon added:

The seriousness with which the news industry at a high level like NBC, The New York Times, The Washington [Post] is so serious and so grown-up and to be criticized by this President who says things like Obama is an African, says things that don't mean anything, is an absurdity.

Mitchell agreed, touting how superior the reporting standards organizations like NBC have compared to the White House:

Well, we have systems at all of our news organizations have systems, have people in charge of standards, in charge of legal review. Everything gets reviewed and mistakes can happen that everyone is human, but we double and triple-source. But to compare that with the false statements that are made on a daily basis by government officials is pretty astounding and I do think it undermines the credibility and in this — in this environment, it is directed at, I think, undermining the credibility of the news media, particularly on the Russian probe, because that will, I think he believes and it’s probably having its effect make a lot of people not respect the findings of either Robert Mueller, the committees, or the reporting.

Such “standards” have allowed Brian Williams to remain employed, a major evening newscast to ignore liberal Harvey Weinstein's sexual harassment misdeeds, and falsehoods about guns, but again, I digress.

Mitchell also asserted that decrying liberal, anti-Trump media bias hopes to undermine the credibility of the Russia investigation. In reality, Mitchell should know better that efforts such as the MRC have been calling out the media’s liberal slant for 30 years. Thus, this whole discussion predated Trump and the Russia probes. Spare me the fretting.

This defense of the liberal media was brought to you by advertisers Amazon’s Audible, Discover, and Keurig.

Here’s the relevant transcript from MSNBC’s Hardball on October 5:

MSNBC’s Hardball
October 5, 2017
7:10 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS MATTHEWS: It seems to me that Trump doesn’t care about opinion from me or anybody else. He cares about straight, front-page news reporting. It drives him crazy. He hates facts. 

ANNE GEARAN: Well, I’d love to think he was reading the front pages every day. He certainly gets a lot of his news from what's on television and he processes information visually and, I think, on a gut level and if he likes what he hears, if he thinks it is — has a positive spin about what he's doing, he likes it. And he — and if he doesn't, he blasts with equal opportunity at anybody who has reported.

MATTHEWS: What do you — Glenn, what do you think of this big investigation about the Intel community? I think you said earlier today, you wouldn't mind if he did investigate all the reporters. So what? 

GLENN THRUSH: It would be hideous from a constitutional perspective, but I think there are a lot of reporters in that briefing room who wouldn't mind having the entire panoply of west wing staff being forced under oath to testify all of these stories are incorrect. Because you know why? They're not. They're totally true. 

MATTHEWS: Andrea, you work for a major news organization I'm lucky to serve in a different capacity. The seriousness with which the news industry at a high level like NBC, The New York Times, The Washington [Post] is so serious and so grown-up and to be criticized by this President who says things like Obama is an African, says things that don't mean anything, is an absurdity. 

ANDREA MITCHELL: Well, we have systems at all of our news organizations have systems, have people in charge of standards, in charge of legal review. Everything gets reviewed and mistakes can happen that everyone is human, but we double and triple-source. But to compare that with the false statements that are made on a daily basis by government officials is pretty astounding and I do think it undermines the credibility and in this — in this environment, it is directed at, I think, undermining the credibility of the news media, particularly on the Russian probe, because that will, I think he believes and it’s probably having its effect make a lot of people not respect the findings of either Robert Mueller, the committees, or the reporting.

MATTHEWS: That's the plan. That’s the plan. Don’t you think that’s the plan? Let me go to Carol on this. Carol, I think that I've watched now for three days now, ever since your reporting on the word “moron,” which maybe isn't the most important thing ever reported, but it is fascinating the way nobody has denied it. Not Huckabee Sanders, not the secretary of state, not the President. Any one of those guys could have come out with their mouths and say, he didn't call me a moron. They haven't. 

CAROL LEE: That's right and that's because it's true. The only two people who have denied it are R.C. Hammond — 

MATTHEWS: Who doesn't know. 

LEE: Well, who also, you know, had — said something to NBC that the Vice President's office said was absolutely, patently false and the — Secretary Tillerson and the press secretary at the State Department. They're the only two people who have come out and denied that Secretary Tillerson said that. So I think, you know, the secretary had multiple opportunities yesterday to knock that down and he very specifically chose not to. 

MATTHEWS: The next time the President talks about siccing investigators on the news media, the prominent news media, I think we should all recall his friends, enemies, critics and neutralists, if there are any, how he was sending down investigators, top investigators out to Hawaii to check into the president's birth certificate and they were developing what he said, some very interesting information. All nonsense. Made up. That's the fake news coming from the President.


Please support NewsBusters today! [a 501(c)(3) non-profit production of the Media Research Center]

DONATE

Or, book travel through MRC’s Travel Discounts Program! MRC receives a rebate for each booking when you use our special codes.

BOOK NOW
NBDaily Russia Media Bias Debate Liberals & Democrats NBCNews.com MSNBC Hardball New York Times Washington Post Video Anne Gearan Glenn Thrush Andrea Mitchell Chris Matthews Donald Trump
Curtis Houck's picture