NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham appeared Friday night at the start of Fox's Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss the media's dramatic anti-Trump bias, recently documented in a study by Harvard's Shorenstein Center, especially the bias against any federal crackdown on illegal immigration. There's a presumption of racism and Islamophobia as the basis for Trump's policies.
TUCKER CARLSON: Tim, does the Harvard study surprise you, the results of it? Ninety-six percent of the stories hostile to immigration?
TIM GRAHAM, MEDIA RESEARCH CENTER: No. Because that certainly what we found in our 100-day study at the Media Research Center. I guess it's surprising that Harvard would admit it. But if you are studying the media, this is what you are going to find. They are overwhelmingly hostile. And I think what you have to ask them now is we know you are doing it. Now defend how that's the right thing to do. They clearly feel this is exactly what Trump deserves and what America needs.
Carlson also showed video of CNN anchor Kate Bolduan screaming at ex-Navy SEAL Carl Higbie when he slammed the cowardice of anonymous sources, hiding behind a wall as they trash the president. Carlson couldn't believe she went unpunished for the screaming on set (rudeness may be unprofessional, but it's "great TV"):
CARLSON: I don't even know what to say about that other than 20 years ago an anchor who did, who completely loss control of herself, started screaming and clapping her hands would have been, I don't know, sends on a timeout for a while. She's on the air the next day. Is that not considered weird anymore?
GRAHAM: Well, I thought you were going to say it reminded you of Dan Rather yelling at George H.W. Bush. But yes. The Kate Bolduan there, clearly, lost any notion of professionalism. And she really should enter an anger management program at least for when she's on television. But he was making an excellent point. Which is the news media today gets to use these anonymous sources, and the anonymous sources can say all sorts of terrible things about Trump. But to attack a CNN reporter? What? That's just intolerable. You can't do it. They'd start screaming at you when they suggest somehow this so-called mainstream press might, you know, have a bad motive.
This allowed a further discussion on the media's use of anonymous sources. Graham decried the media as "stenographers to anonymous power," enabling Trump's powerful enemies to be presumed as all-wise and nonpartisan, even patriotic, when no one knows their identities or motives:
CARLSON: Well, he was actually and Carl Higbie is a former Navy SEAL who was making a point that reporters used to make. All the time. And I was glad what they did was be skeptical. Don't accept things at face valuable. Ask where they came from. Ask what the agenda might be. Ask what this actually means. And yet now skepticism is a sin, I guess, in the eyes of a lot of the press, if the skepticism undercuts the message they are trying to deliver.
GRAHAM: This is a whole week of news media about Trump that has been driven by anonymous sources trying to destroy this president. So what you have is the media used to say, we aren't here to be stenographers to power. What they have been this week is worst. They have been stenographers to anonymous power, to people they call "Current or former U.S. government officials" who we don't know. Are they Obama officials? Are they the Clintons? Are they current government officials who Obama appointed? All of this information would help us decide whether these sources, what they are saying, might have an axe to grind.