IRONY: Lemon, WashPost Reporters Insist Media Are Not a Political Party or ‘At War’ with Trump

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On the same CNN Tonight in which host Don Lemon refused to apologize for his venomous Saturday night segment against Trump supporters, Lemon and guests Washington Post journalists Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker hilariously insisted Wednesday that the media are not a political party, “not at war” with the Trump administration, and journalists “apologize” when they get stories “wrong.”

Oh, and in the words of Rucker, President Trump exhibits “authoritarian impulses.” But remember that we’re supposed to trust them when they say they’re not working on behalf of the left against the right or trying to remove the President from office.

 

 

The pair spent much of the segment plugging the new book A Very Stable Genius by Leonnig and Rucker, but they concluded with a clip of Trump praising Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for his verbal tussle with NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly.

Leonnig had the first crack, parroting her boss and Post executive editor Marty Baron by lamenting that “the President has made the media a separate party in a way in our democracy and that is not our job” because “[w]e are at work, as you are, trying to report the facts and we're not at war with the administration.”

She added that, despite the President’s dismay over the book, its claims “are rigorously reported, vetted, fact-checked, and we're very proud of what we were able to learn inside the room.”

As NewsBusters analyst Nick Fondacaro then noted in his piece late Tuesday about Lemon’s non-apology, Lemon then made his case worse by stating this about journalists when things go south: “[W]e're not perfect. When we get it wrong, we say we got it wrong, we apologize and we move on.”

Leonnig and Rucker's own newspaper should take a crack at reviewing that one because it was worth at least four Pinocchios from WashPost fact-checker Glenn Kessler.

Rucker closed it out, huffing that Trump’s praise of Pompeo’s handling of the NPR interview “fits a pattern of behavior...of these authoritarian impulses that the senior officials...told Carol and I for this reporting in the book, that they are concerned about that behavior and that they think it's clear and present danger for the country.”

To see the relevant transcript from January 28's CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, click “expand.”

CNN Tonight with Don Lemon
January 28, 2020
10:35 p.m. Eastern

DON LEMON: This is the President — you remember the NPR reporter. Remember Mike Pompeo and their interactions with the President weighed in on that. Let's watch this.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I was very impressive, Mike. That reporter couldn't have done too good a job on you yesterday. He did a good job on her actually. That's good, thank you, Mike.

LEMON: So, he's talking about the secretary that said, berating a reporter, giving him a gold star.

CAROL LEONNIG: You know, the President has made the media a separate party in a way in our democracy and that is not our job. We are at work, as you are, trying to report the facts and we're not at war with the administration. Some of the facts that we unearthed as Mary Louise Kelly did at NPR are unflattering and probably unwelcome and the President hasn't really liked the thing he's read about our book, but they are rigorously reported, vetted, fact-checked, and we're very proud of what we were able to learn inside the room.

LEMON: And when — we're not perfect. When we get it wrong, we say we got it wrong, we apologize and we move on.

PHILIP RUCKER: I would add, Don, too that the President’s comment there fits a pattern of behavior of his over the last three years of these authoritarian impulses that the senior officials who served him and work closest with him told Carol and I for this reporting in the book, that they are concerned about that behavior and that they think it's clear and present danger for the country.

NB Daily Media Bias Debate CNN CNN Tonight NPR Washington Post Video Carol Leonnig Philip Rucker Don Lemon Donald Trump Mike Pompeo
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