Here’s the thing that baffles.
Suddenly this week, as analysis of the Kavanaugh turmoil came to a head, my old CNN colleague Matt Lewis boldly suggested he obvious: that the mobs chasing Senator Ted Cruz and wife Heidi out of a Washington restaurant, not to mention those pounding - literally - on the doors of the Supreme Court and storming the Senate until arrested were, well, mobs.
Not only was he roundly scolded for using the “M Word” in appearances with Brooke Baldwin and Don Lemon, other anchors elsewhere - MSNBC - took offense at the same thing. As NewsBusters' Ryan Foley noted here, Laura Ingraham was quick to assemble the on-the-record video tape of just how forgetful the critics of the use of the word “mob” were.
And that’s what baffles. Of course there had to be video tape like this out there. It always amazes me that a network’s liberal anchors will stir a media hornet’s nest like this when it is inevitable that tape is to be found somewhere that completely contradicts what they are now saying, in this case hotly denying that a mob is a mob. Except, of course, when some conservatives are protesting? Mob is the first word that pops into their minds.
The Foley story on Ingraham’s priceless rejoinder opened this way:
“During Wednesday’s The Ingraham Angle, host Laura Ingraham pointed out how the media have strenuously objected to the use of the word “mob” to describe left-wing protesters but did not seem to mind using the word “mob” at all when describing tea party protesters back in 2009.
She opened her segment by declaring that “only the media can tell you, the American people, when a mob is or isn’t an actual mob.”
And with that, Laura was off and running, making watching the show utterly gleeful. From CNN, she moved on to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. (And yes, full disclosure, I appear from time to time on The Ingraham Angle.)
Here is Matthews in 2018: “[t]he President and his Republican allies tried to channel their supporters’ outrage over protests into a winning issue by casting Democrats as an angry mob.”
And here is the very same Chris Matthews in 2009: “Town hall meetings on healthcare are turning into mob scenes; noisy, angry, vengeful crowds are shouting down members of Congress.”
You can’t make this stuff up.
Also going viral this week was this supercut posted by the Washington Free Beacon’s Andrew Kugle.
In a brilliant comparison the video cuts back and forth between liberal commentators insisting that these were “protestors” and not a “mob” - and then shows clips of angry “protestors” yelling, screaming, ripping up signs of peacefully protesting opponents, not to mention pounding on the doors of the Supreme Court after storming the building.
Notably the clip has Don Lemon saying this: “In the Constitution you can protest whenever and wherever you want.” Well, respectfully, not so - and Don knows this. Case in point? Let’s say for the sake of argument that anti-CNN protestors wanted to protest Don Lemon. They show up at CNN’s New York bureau. Then they head inside to go upstairs to Don’s studio or newsroom office. What would happen to what Don calls their right to “protest whenever and wherever you want”?
What would happen is that the protestors would be met the moment they stepped foot into the CNN lobby by armed security guards who would in a blink eject them from the building or call the NYPD to do it for them. There are no circumstances - absolutely none - in which anti-CNN protestors would ever be allowed past the metal detectors at the far side of the lobby, much less allowed to crowd into the elevators beyond and go up to Don’s studio or office to protest.
Which is to say, if Don really thinks they have a right to protest whenever and wherever they want, his own network visibly makes certain that they do not. Is CNN violating the Constitution? No. CNN is simply using common sense to protect its employees from a security breach. And to be clear all networks have a version of this physical setup - for exactly the same reason.
So why? Why say such a silly thing? The only possible answer is that Trump Derangement Syndrome has so infected the minds of liberal journalists that they will say anything - anything - that comes to mind in a discussion/debate. As if to confirm this, over at Politico John Harris and Sarah Zimmerman have penned a piece that, while more broadly focused on the American population writ large applies in spades to liberal network anchors and commentators. The headline:
Trump May Not Be Crazy, But the Rest of Us Are Getting There Fast
Psychologists’ couches are filling up as Americans seek relief from Trump Anxiety Disorder.
The piece begins this way:
“CNN before love-making is not his idea of a turn-on.
But she can hardly turn it off—engrossed as she is in the latest unnerving gyrations of Washington.
Who else to blame but Donald Trump? A president who excites hot feelings in many quarters has cooled them considerably in the bedroom of a Philadelphia couple, who sought counseling in part because the agitated state of American politics was causing strain in their marriage.
The couple’s story was relayed to POLITICO by their therapist on condition of anonymity. But their travails, according to national surveys and interviews with mental health professionals, are not as anomalous as one might suppose. Even when symptoms are not sexual in nature, there is abundant evidence that Trump and his daily uproars are galloping into the inner life of millions of Americans.”
The piece goes on, amusingly but tellingly along these lines. The sex life of a Philadelphia couple aside, without doubt Donald Trump lives rent-free in the heads of liberal media anchors and commentators. And he is so embedded there that they are completely willing to say things on air - like denying a mob is a mob - when reams of video tape are available that not only illustrates how obviously wrong they are but also shows them using the same exact word when talking about opponents.
Whatever else will happen in the Trump era, without doubt one of his more significant contributions is taking on the liberal media to the point that their responses have fewer and fewer Americans taking them seriously.
And there’s nothing baffling about that.