Steyn, Concha Blast ‘Bonkers’ CNN for Iraq Trip ‘Hysteria’

Filling in as the host of Tucker Carlson Tonight on Thursday, Mark Steyn wasted little at the top of the program to slam the liberal media for their “hysteria” surrounding President Trump’s trip to Iraq to spend Christmastime with the troops. Dubbing it “yet another liberal media meltdown”, Steyn pointed out how they took “the opportunity to turn a presidential visit to American troops into an attack on Trump.”

He also noted how CNN was not content with just attack the President, “they decided to attack the troops as well” for daring to bring their “Make America Great Again” hats to get autographed. “Of course, nobody cared back when presidential candidate Barack Obama signed memorabilia for the troops back in 2008. He had a ‘D’ after his name though instead of an ‘R’,” Steyn recalled.

As short time later, Steyn teamed up with The Hill media reporter Joe Concha and together they tag teamed the liberal media’s nonsense on the issue.

Well, the optics around that, Mark, are horrific,” Concha declared. “Because what you are doing here is it's okay to go after the President in terms of policy or the things that he says. Once you start attacking the people that voted for him or military people that are obviously serving overseas during Christmas, no less, then you have got a problem.

After Concha accurately noted that no liberal media outlet would dare condemn soldiers who brought “hope and change” memorabilia to Obama to sign, Steyn tore into CNN for trying to make “MAGA” hats an offense the soldiers could be court-martialed for. “And the preoccupation of the American media is whether hats, the troops chose to take to that event, are somehow some potential crime that they can be pulled up in front of a military court for. I mean, that's bonkers isn't it,” he exclaimed.

 

 

Concha agreed that CNN’s was “bonkers” and detailed how the media’s new negative narrative shifted as a previous narrative fell apart (click “expand” to read):

And I think that pivot happened because the original narrative was -- we all recall – was that President Trump was supposed to be the first president since 2002 to not visit the troops at Christmas. And once that fell apart when he literally landed in Iraq as the story was going up and originally came from NBC, then social media goes nuts.

And what happened was the pivot went from, “oh, yeah, okay. Trump went, sure. But what was his motive, exactly for going?” I give you The Washington Post, Mark. Quoting: “The president's visit follows months of public pressure for him to spend time with troops deployed to conflicts in the Middle East.” Think about that again, “follows moths of public pressure”; in other words, we the media got the public riled up to force Trump to go to a war zone instead of him just going like every president has done for the past 17 years.

Steyn then recalled how “Soledad O’Brien actually gave Alyssa Milano credit for shaming the President for getting on the plane that he’d already gotten on.

“When you go to Iraq, you kind of have to plan it in advance. You have to do it weeks in advance obviously for security,” Concha added before noting how trust in the media was at an all-time low.

As Concha was signing off, Steyn joked about how “[a]s soon as the media call[s] for a special counsel to investigate how those MAGA hats got to Iraq everything will be fine.”

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson Tonight
December 27, 2018
8:00:36 p.m. Eastern

MARK STEYN: But first, yet another liberal media meltdown. The mainstream media taking the opportunity to turn a presidential visit to American troops into an attack on Trump. Take a look at the hysteria as the talking heads accuse the President of turning the post-Christmas visit into a political event.

(…)

STEYN: Over at CNN, attacking the President wasn't enough, they decided to attack the troops as well.

(…)

STEYN: Of course, nobody cared back when Presidential candidate Barack Obama signed memorabilia for the troops back in 2008. He had a D after his name though instead of an R. Thankfully not everybody has lost their mind. Some liberals scolded the media for their hysteria.

(…)

STEYN: Well, Joe Concha writes about media for The Hill he joins us now. Joe, is this a good look for the media? Why are serving soldiers in a war zone bringing particular hats to an event on base in a combat zone at Christmas?

JOE CONCHA: Well, the optics around that, Mark, are horrific. Right? Because what you are doing here is it's okay to go after the President in terms of policy or the things that he says. Once you start attacking the people that voted for him or military people that are obviously serving overseas during Christmas, no less, then you have got a problem. You have to ask yourself this question, Mark. Let's say honestly like you pointed out as I did in my column today on The Hill, if President Obama, as he did in 2008, signed a “hope and change” t-shirts, do you really think any news organization would have gone ahead with that story? Of course they wouldn't have.

(…)

STEYN: And the preoccupation of the American media is whether hats, the troops chose to take to that event, are somehow some potential crime that they can be pulled up in front of a military court for. I mean, that's bonkers isn't it?

CONCHA: It's bonkers, yes. And I think that pivot happened because the original narrative was -- we all recall – was that President Trump was supposed to be the first president since 2002 to not visit the troops at Christmas. And once that fell apart when he literally landed in Iraq as the story was going up and originally came from NBC, then social media goes nuts.

And what happened was the pivot went from, “oh, yeah, okay. Trump went, sure. But what was his motive, exactly for going?” I give you The Washington Post, Mark. Quoting: “The president's visit follows months of public pressure for him to spend time with troops deployed to conflicts in the Middle East.” Think about that again, “follows moths of public pressure”; in other words, we the media got the public riled up to force Trump to go to a war zone instead of him just going like every president has done for the past 17 years.

STEYN: Well according to Soledad O’Brien, who is a lovely lady, but she thought it was actually minutes of public pressure that Alyssa Milano who actually tweeted, as the President was halfway across the ocean, “why haven't you visited our troops?” Soledad O’Brien actually gave Alyssa Milano credit for shaming the President for getting on the plane that he’d already gotten on.

CONCHA: Yeah. And what's forgotten in all of this is, of course, if you want to go to Walter Reed-- Let's say the President was shamed and he goes to Walter Reed which is close to the White House, then okay you could say it's a last-minute thing. When you go to Iraq, you kind of have to plan it in advance. You have to do it weeks in advance obviously for security. Air Force One has to fly in with shades down and cell phones off and all of that.

So, you would think you would see though, however, at least from NBC and others, some remorse, some apology, some arranged – “Hey, we went ahead with this story a little bit too early because we ran a story on Christmas saying that the President hadn't been to see the troops on Christmastime”. People don't mind that sort of transparency from the media. Yet, we never see those sort concessions. Instead we see the pivot to the negative like we always do in these situations.

And that's why trust in media is this: Axios, Survey Monkey poll just last year, 93 percent of Republicans think that the media knowingly creates stories, makes them up, they’re false. And you can say all right, that’s Republicans, they’ve always hated the media. They don't trust them. 79 percent of independents, Mark! 53 percent of Democrats, even a majority. That's the thing. I mean this is something that's going across the board in terms of all parties seeing exactly what's happening here.

STEYN: Hey Joe, Thanks. Don’t worry about that though. As soon as the media called for a special counsel to investigate how those MAGA hats got to Iraq everything will be fine.

CONCHA: There you go.


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