Pity Party: Liberal Journalists Paint Themselves as Victims at D.C. Awards Dinner

On Thursday, many members of the liberal media gathered in Washington D.C. for an awards banquet to honor themselves for being bold truth tellers during the “dangerous” times of the Trump administration. The dinner took on the tone of a group therapy session as journalists assured each other that they weren’t fake news.

The event that drew the media elite was the 28th Annual Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNF) First Amendment Awards. The organization’s executive director Dan Shelley set the theme of the evening by proclaiming: “This is one night in our nation’s capital during which we can find safe haven from cries of ‘fake news’ and ‘enemy of the American people.’”

 

 

He went to rant: “Never in our nation’s modern history has it been more dangerous to be a journalist....So toxic is today’s environment that newsrooms have had to drastically increase security. Some news organizations have felt it necessary to send their crews into the field with armed security guards.”

After making America sound like a totalitarian state, Shelley told the night’s award recipients: “None of tonight’s honorees, and no one else in this room, is a purveyor of fake news. And no one in this room is an enemy of the American people.” He also congratulated the press for having “stepped up its game” in the Trump era.

Amazingly, MSNBC Morning Joe co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were honored for their “responsible journalism” (yes, really). Scarborough seized the chance to portray him and his fiancee as martyrs for the cause: “We make no mistake of the fact, and the people in our office make no mistake of the fact, that times such as these do demand that our team beats back against the tide of brutish threats from the President and from some of his allies.”

“We also know that it’s our responsibility to call out those times when constitutional norms are being challenged, those times when the President of the United States actually channels Joseph Stalin and calls the media ‘the enemy of the people,’” the anchor sneered.

Providing some much needed comic relief, though unintentionally, Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd – accepting an award marking the broadcast’s 70-year history – declared:

One thing we’re not is the opposition. We’ve never tried to be part of the political debate, but people want to drag us into it. We shouldn’t take the bait. We’re simply a voice of truth. There’s no balance, there’s just fairness and truth. And a true voice and the truth is what we all need to be hearing right now. A voice that no matter how many disparaging tweets or calls of fake news, we can’t let it be silenced.

There are simply too many examples to list here of the media being deep in the tank for the Democratic Party to counter such a laughable statement.

Perhaps thinking of NewsBusters, Todd later warned his colleagues: “There’s plenty of people trying to undermine what we do for a living. There’s plenty of people that motivated to undermine us for their own gain, political, financial, or whatever. Just keep that in mind.”

He concluded: “We just need to be fair, credible, honest, and most importantly, transparent. Because I believe in the 21st Century, transparency is the new objectivity.”

The only thing the press have ever been “transparent” about is their disdain for conservatives and hero worship for liberals. Maybe acknowledging that blatant bias should have been a topic of dinner conversation.

Here are excerpts of the March 8 awards event:

7:04 PM ET

DAN SHELLEY [EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, RADIO TELEVISION DIGITAL NEWS FOUNDATION AND ASSOCIATION]: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. And welcome to the Radio Television Digital News Foundation 28th Annual First Amendment Dinner. [Applause] Thank you.

This is one night in our nation’s capital during which we can find safe haven from cries of “fake news” and “enemy of the American people.” [Applause] And we can celebrate the very first of our constitutionally-enshrined Bill of Rights.

(...)

SHELLEY: Never in our nation’s modern history has it been more dangerous to be a journalist. According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, of which RTDNF is a founding partner, there were 44 physical attacks on journalists across the country in 2017 alone. There have already been a handful so far this year. Last year, there were 34 arrests of journalists in America, reporters and photo journalists who were handcuffed, jailed, pepper-sprayed, and sometimes violently assaulted by police officers just for doing their constitutionally-guaranteed duty to serve the public.

So toxic is today’s environment that newsrooms have had to drastically increase security. Some news organizations have felt it necessary to send their crews into the field with armed security guards. Extremists all along the ideological spectrum have felt emboldened to lash out, often too harshly, at responsible journalists who’s work they either just don’t like or just don’t understand.

(...)

SHELLEY: None of tonight’s honorees, and no one else in this room, is a purveyor of fake news. And no one in this room is an enemy of the American people. [Applause]

Something very good, actually, has emerged during these perilous times for the First Amendment, tonight’s responsible journalist honorees and the news organizations they represent, and many other news outlets, have stepped up their games. They’ve heeded the call that I and others have made during the past year that the only antidote to attacks on journalism is more and better journalism.  

(...)

7:20 PM ET

REP. ERIC SWALWELL [D-CA]: We’ve seen the attacks on the media and we’ve seen that in recent years those attacks have been emboldened by a president who has called you “the enemy of the American people.” But hostility towards the media began before the election of Donald Trump and it won’t go away when he does.

(...)

7:42 PM ET    

JOE SCARBOROUGH: We make no mistake of the fact, and the people in our office make no mistake of the fact, that times such as these do demand that our team beats back against the tide of brutish threats from the President and from some of his allies. And some of the threats that we heard about against other journalists, against the threat, actually, against my fiancee from NRATV, saying that her time is running out and then ominously holding an hourglass and turning it over.

We also know that it’s our responsibility to call out those times when constitutional norms are being challenged, those times when the President of the United States actually channels Joseph Stalin and calls the media “the enemy of the people.” And those times when the White House and other politicians do all they can do to undermine the credibility of those who actually try to check their power.

(...)

8:35 PM ET

CHUCK TODD: One thing we’re not is the opposition. We’ve never tried to be part of the political debate, but people want to drag us into it. We shouldn’t take the bait. We’re simply a voice of truth. There’s no balance, there’s just fairness and truth. And a true voice and the truth is what we all need to be hearing right now. A voice that no matter how many disparaging tweets or calls of fake news, we can’t let it be silenced.

(...)

TODD: There’s plenty of people trying to undermine what we do for a living. There’s plenty of people that motivated to undermine us for their own gain, political, financial, or whatever. Just keep that in mind. We just need to be fair, credible, honest, and most importantly, transparent. Because I believe in the 21st Century, transparency is the new objectivity.

(...)

NB Daily Media Bias Debate NBC Meet the Press MSNBC Morning Joe Video Joe Scarborough Mika Brzezinski Chuck Todd

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