Ingraham, Guests Eviscerate Press on Their Sudden Respect for Bushes, Using Passing to Bash Trump

Monday’s Ingraham Angle began with quite the takedown of the liberal media for the insistence on the part of many that tributes for the late former President George H. W. Bush include condemnations of the current President. 

Assisted in the opining by legendary conservative historian Craig Shirley, Bush 41 administration counsel C. Boyden Gray, and former Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR), host Laura Ingraham succinctly defined the media bias term sudden respect near the end of the segment: “They embrace a Republican in death but don’t treat them fairly in life when they’re actually in office.”

 

 

 

“A day of tributes in the nation’s capital after the passing of the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, and in moments, my Angle takes a look at how the media are shamelessly using what should be this reverend occasion, well, to hit the current occupant of the White House, President Trump,” Ingraham stated at the top of the show.

After soundbites linking Bush to Trump from MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski and Nicolle Wallace, Ingraham unsuccessfully tried to explain their logic (click “expand”):

Well think about it this way, President Bush was a man who loved his country, loved his family, his faith and his friends. He was a war hero and a dedicated public servant throughout most of his life. So are these folks really honoring that legacy and his innate sense of decency and kindness by slashing the man who entered the White House 25 years after him? Look, even if you don’t care for President Trump, even if you just hate President Trump, try showing just a little bit of class and decorum, as Bush 41 would have. The hits on Trump — subtle and not subtle at all — have been interwoven throughout the commentary and the coverage.

Ingraham played three more bites and conceded that “[a]t some point you don’t even know what to say to these people” because “[t]hey lack all sense of decency” as they’ve “reduce[d] a presidential death to just a political battering ram like any other issue.”

Shirley observed moments later that, for Republicans going back to even Eisenhower, the press only offered commendations once they “no longer [had] power” and, as for Bush 41, he alluded to the “Annoy the Media, Vote for Bush” bumper stickers during the 1992 campaign as well as Bush’s disdain for Newsweek when the Evan Thomas-led publication called him a “wimp.”

Following a fourth set of soundbites, Ingraham torched the press and brought up the famous battle between Bush and Rather on January 25, 1988 (click “expand”):

Alright, this rank revisionism is stunning and it’s — they regularly spewed vile against George H.W. Bush. Boyden, you worked at the White House. I was here as a young Reagan staffer. They were trashing him and Maureen Dowd by the way, who’s lionizing him today, I mean, and she’s a very — I love her writing. I’m going to say it’s really fun. She used to call him like — just belittle the Bushes like what they watched, what they listened to for music. I was reading a column from May 1, 1990, but she called them “the gracious cruise director of international politics.” She lampooned him for “patting Barbara on the derriere” during the Dukakis campaign. That’s the nice stuff she said about him. As for his great relationship with the press as we alluded to earlier, look at this 1987 Newsweek cover. Bush considered it the cheapest shot of his political career. Check it out. Well, you could read it. It’s like referring to him as the “wimp factor,” or how about this great relationship with Dan Rather during a 1988 interview.

Shirley added that “Mary McGrory with The Washington Post once wrote that George Bush reminded every woman of her first husband”. To further illustrate how the press were “vicious to him during the ‘80 campaign”, he recalled how one group of reporters charging Bush with not being “tough enough to be president.” He also offered this sick burn of Thomas as “the original red-diaper baby because his parents were both well-known rich limousine liberals.”

Gray went back to the Rather exchange to relay how he was “in the White House” that night and had to stay late “for three hours because of the phone response” since so many people “loved it and to think that he was a wimp or something like that, when he took on Dan Rather, that was one of the high points of his campaign.”

Near the end of the discussion, Huckabee and Ingraham reacted to CNN’s Jamie Gangel and John King wondering if there would be an increased sense of bipartisanship to honor Bush on things like the border wall and Mueller probe (click “expand”):

INGRAHAM: Okay, so governor, Trump should give up the wall because George H. W. Bush died. That’s the argument they’re actually making on CNN.

SHIRLEY: Sophistry. 

HUCKABEE: I know. Every President has his own personality. They have their own focus and you know, the media in what you’ve just played has reminded us why most of Americans absolutely don’t trust them and hold them in contempt and every President has their contentious relationship with the press. This one that we have now is probably, maybe has the most contentious relationship but is in large measure because the press absolutely refuses to be journalists and they just want to be opinion mongers and it’s unfortunate they’re taking what ought to be the celebration of a great patriot, a great statesman, a great selfless servant of this nation and instead of focusing upon his qualities, they’re trying to focus on what they perceive to be as the lack of qualities in Donald Trump — the very qualities that many Americans, frankly, believe to be the reason he’s President right now.

INGRAHAM: Seven percent, Craig, of the media, seven percent voted for George H. W. Bush in 1988. Boyden’s listening goes, wait a second. Was it that many?

SHIRLEY: Was it that high? Yeah.

GRAY: Was it anyone?

INGRAHAM: So again —

GRAY: I guess they had a lot of writers at National Review that year.

INGRAHAM: Oh yeah. They embrace a Republican in death but don’t treat them fairly in life when they’re actually in office, appointing people like Justice Clarence Thomas. Remember it? They trashed him for the Clarence Thomas for whom I clerked and love.

To see the relevant transcript from FNC’s Ingraham Angle on December 3, click “expand.”

FNC’s Ingraham Angle
December 3, 2018
10:00 p.m. Eastern

LAURA INGRAHAM: A day of tributes in the nation’s capital after the passing of the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, and in moments, my Angle takes a look at how the media are shamelessly using what should be this reverend occasion, well, to hit the current occupant of the White House, President Trump....But first, honoring Bush by bashing Trump. That’s the focus of tonight’s Angle. When a former President passes away it’s appropriate to celebrate his life, his achievements and to remind the public of his record and his legacy. Sadly, though, with the death of George H.W. Bush some in the media and politicians from both parties are abusing this moment to trash, instead, the sitting President. As the Bush motorcade was making its way to the Capitol for the last time MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, a former Bush aide herself, could not restrain herself.

NICOLLE WALLACE [on MSNBC’s Deadline: White House, 12/03/18]: I think what everyone is getting at is that under Donald Trump the office of the presidency has been debased in a way that’s unimaginable for people who served every past President. [SCREEN WIPE] I think what’s lost in this moment is our reverence and our dependence and the way we need and rely upon the elegance and the traditions of the presidency.

INGRAHAM: Let’s get this straight. She’s talking about reverence and she’s trashing the current President as the motorcade is inching its way up Capitol Hill. And then there was this gem from earlier in the day.

MIKA BRZEZINSKI [on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, 12/03/18]: Let’s see what happens at Wednesday’s memorial service. My prediction is that Trump fakes more respect for a family whose unprecedented history of public service has repeatedly belittled, then he goes back to making a mockery of the very office George Bush and this nation long revered.

INGRAHAM: Well think about it this way, President Bush was a man who loved his country, loved his family, his faith and his friends. He was a war hero and a dedicated public servant throughout most of his life. So are these folks really honoring that legacy and his innate sense of decency and kindness by slashing the man who entered the White House 25 years after him? Look, even if you don’t care for President Trump, even if you just hate President Trump, try showing just a little bit of class and decorum, as Bush 41 would have. The hits on Trump — subtle and not subtle at all — have been interwoven throughout the commentary and the coverage.

DAVID GREGORY [on CNN’s New Day, 12/03/18]: They both believe that the presidency is bigger than themselves which is not something that this President always adheres to.

STEVE SCHMIDT [on MSNBC’s Deadline: White House, 12/03/18]: What George Herbert Walker Bush is being remembered for this week isn’t a tweet or isn’t a press release or nothing much more than his fundamental character.

RON KLAIN [on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, 12/03/18]: I do not know how it’s going to work when Donald Trump is an ex-President and theoretically a member of this club. I really think it’s going to change because I don’t think these men who share something in common will share that in common with Donald Trump.

INGRAHAM: At some point you don’t even know what to say to these people. That was Ron Klain by the way. They lack all sense of decency. They reduce a presidential death to just a political battering ram like any other issue. But what you hear — if you listen closely, is the last gasp of an embittered establishment. Now, as we have seen across Europe and across much of the United States, populism is swamping the old guard, whether it’s on the right or on the left. So rather than direct their anger at Trump, the establishment frankly in both parties should be directing it at themselves, for it is their policies that the voters turned against in 2016. Things like open borders, China trade, NAFTA, high taxes, endless wars, those weren’t Trump policies. Those were the policies of the establishment and the establishment GOP’ers apparently think that the way — what, — win them back the people that they lost to Trump is to belittle the President non-stop, even during formal and informal on-air eulogies and tributes? At a time like this when a father, a grandfather, a great grandfather and a former President has died, we should be bigger than the petty politics of the moment. I think we should be capable of uniting as Americans and celebrating the best of George H.W. Bush without resorting to the same, old, usual political snark and calumny and isn’t that what President Bush would have wanted? And that’s The Angle.

(....)

10:07 p.m. Eastern

CRAIG SHIRLEY: Richard Nixon was cited the other day, I saw on MSNBC as an exemplary President and remember how they treated Richard Nixon in office. Gerald Ford was mocked when he was in the White House and then they made him an exemplary figure. They like Presidents who — Republican Presidents who no longer have power. They bashed the heck out of George Bush when he was in office. Annoy the — you know, the bumper stick in ‘92 — Annoy the media, Vote for Bush —

INGRAHAM: We’re going to get to that in a second.

SHIRLEY: — yeah. In ‘88 he had famous dust-ups with the media. He banned Newsweek from his campaign plane because they produced that awful cover.

INGRAHAM: You never know this.

(....)

10:11 p.m. Eastern

INGRAHAM: Some of the more absurd moments of the past 24 hours came when the rabidly anti-Trump press again tried to piggyback on the death of an American patriot to defend their own reputations.

JOE SCARBOROUGH [on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, 12/03/18]: He understood that the press wasn’t the enemy of the people, and even said basically at the end of the day, “We’re all in this together and I will be here for you just like I know you would be here for me.” What a remarkable difference between 1988 and 2018.

FRANK SESNO [on CNN’s Reliable Sources, 12/02/18]: I think it was a mark of that sense of respect as I say that was very, very noticeable then and is all — is virtually absent now.

CHRIS MATTHEWS [on MSNBC Live with Ali Velshi, 12/03/18]: He had good relations with the media. He called us the media, invited us to White House dinners occasionally. He kept up with us. I was just reading Maureen Dowd. I love Maureen Dowd.

INGRAHAM: Alright, this rank revisionism is stunning and it’s — they regularly spewed vile against George H.W. Bush. Boyden, you worked at the White House. I was here as a young Reagan staffer. They were trashing him and Maureen Dowd by the way, who’s lionizing him today, I mean, and she’s a very — I love her writing. I’m going to say it’s really fun. She used to call him like — just belittle the Bushes like what they watched, what they listened to for music. I was reading a column from May 1, 1990, but she called them “the gracious cruise director of international politics.” She lampooned him for “patting Barbara on the derriere” during the Dukakis campaign. That’s the nice stuff she said about him. As for his great relationship with the press as we alluded to earlier, look at this 1987 Newsweek cover. Bush considered it the cheapest shot of his political career. Check it out. Well, you could read it. It’s like referring to him as the “wimp factor,” or how about this great relationship with Dan Rather during a 1988 interview. [GEORGE H. W. BUSH VS. CBS’s DAN RATHER, 01/25/88] Alright, give us all a break. We could go on and on with this but Craig, that just — Helen Thomas, all of these crowd, Boyden, you had to deal with these people.

SHIRLEY: Mary McGrory with The Washington Post once wrote that George Bush reminded every woman of her first husband. I mean, the media was vicious to him during the ‘80 campaign. He got in a very contentious argument with a group of reporters because they charged he wasn’t tough enough to be President. This man was a war hero. He would set out in the wilds of Texas to create a business. Of course he was tough enough and he got really angry with them. He says, “You know, none of you ever had to watch your child die. I did.” So this idea that he wasn’t tough enough to be President, which is nonsense, but the media, the wimp factor, which was written by Evan Thomas, who was the original red-diaper baby because his parents were both well-known rich limousine liberals, is that they — they viciously attacked him all during his presidential career.

INGRAHAM: I’m going to tweet this column after the show or maybe during the commercial break, “Bush’s Taste Down Home to Less So” ridiculing the Bushes morning — I’ll just read this one piece because it captures what — everything that elites think, and they were the elite. I mean, the Bushes were the elites. This is the media elites trashing Bush because he was a Republican, Boyden.

C. BOYDEN GRAY: Well, I knew that he was going to win the election with that Dan Rather thing, I happen to be in the White House and stayed, couldn’t leave for three hours because of the phone response.

INGRAHAM: Love it.

GRAY: They loved it and to think that he was a wimp or something like that, when he took on Dan Rather, that was one of the high points of his campaign and I think one —

INGRAHAM: But Boyden, you were there, Craig was there, I was there. This was nonstop combat. People had this — looking back, all that Reagan was an avuncular man. Reagan was so nice and optimistic. Trump is so mean while Bush is so — Bush was tough when he need to be. They’re different personalities. Different — different world experiences. So what? It’s okay.

SHIRLEY: The author, Evan Thomas — the Newsweek was banned from the campaign.

INGRAHAM: Banned from Air Force One. Mike Huckabee, Jamie Gangel who interviewed the Bushes many times. Remember — everyone has to remember Bush did not vote for Donald Trump. He called him a blowhard according to, you know, he said “I didn’t like Trump, but I know he’s a blowhard, etc.” Bush didn’t like Trump. That’s fine. I mean, I disagree with him but it’s fine. Jamie Gangel spoke today on CNN about whether the Bush funeral and the memory of George H. W. Bush will necessarily alter the way Donald Trump speaks. Like he should have different policies, I guess, because George H. W. Bush passed away, and I want to play this exchange for you, governor, and have you react on the other side. Let’s watch.

JAMIE GANGEL [on CNN’s The Situation Room, 12/03/18]: Will it have an effect on the tenor of this town?

JOHN KING [on CNN’s The Situation Room, 12/03/18]: It’s a great point and a great question because we had this conversation just three months ago when we said farewell to Senator McCain and everybody thought maybe that would be a reset moment in Washington and, of course, it was not.

[SCREEN WIPE]

GANGEL [on CNN’s The Situation Room, 12/03/18]: The Bush family has said he has the White House and I think John Kelly has been responsible for this, that they have really just opened the doors, bent over backwards to make everything work.

KING [on CNN’s The Situation Room, 12/03/18]: But come next week, do we see a more bipartisan Washington when they get back to the border wall fight, when we’re back to new developments on the special counsel? I would not bet on it.

INGRAHAM: Okay, so governor, Trump should give up the wall because George H. W. Bush died. That’s the argument they’re actually making on CNN.

SHIRLEY: Sophistry. 

HUCKABEE: I know. Every President has his own personality. They have their own focus and you know, the media in what you’ve just played has reminded us why most of Americans absolutely don’t trust them and hold them in contempt and every President has their contentious relationship with the press. This one that we have now is probably, maybe has the most contentious relationship but is in large measure because the press absolutely refuses to be journalists and they just want to be opinion mongers and it’s unfortunate they’re taking what ought to be the celebration of a great patriot, a great statesman, a great selfless servant of this nation and instead of focusing upon his qualities, they’re trying to focus on what they perceive to be as the lack of qualities in Donald Trump — the very qualities that many Americans, frankly, believe to be the reason he’s President right now.

INGRAHAM: Seven percent, Craig, of the media, seven percent voted for George H. W. Bush in 1988. Boyden’s listening goes, wait a second. Was it that many?

SHIRLEY: Was it that high? Yeah.

GRAY: Was it anyone?

INGRAHAM: So again —

GRAY: I guess they had a lot of writers at National Review that year.

INGRAHAM: Oh yeah. They embrace a Republican in death but don’t treat them fairly in life when they’re actually in office, appointing people like Justice Clarence Thomas. Remember it? They trashed him for the Clarence Thomas for whom I clerked and love.

GRAY: Remember the hearings? Remember the Thomas hearings, how vicious they were?

INGRAHAM: Yes, well again.

GRAY: Yes, right.

INGRAHAM: So, but that is the world as it is.


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