Rich Lowry Rips Media for Analyzing Sharpiegate Like the 'Zapruder Tape'

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After a week of President Trump and the media battling over an outdated and edited projection map of Hurricane Dorian, which had been dubbed “Sharpiegate,” National Review editor Rich Lowry humorously ripped that media on Sunday for their obsession with the story by suggesting they’re like conspiracy theorists “analyzing this with the detail of the Zapruder tape.”

Before even directing the panel to discuss the called off peace negotiations with the Taliban at Camp David, This Week host and ABC chief anchor George Stephanopoulos wanted them to discuss “Sharpiegate.” “What I don't understand is sticking with it for seven days after that. What is that about,” he desperately asked former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

“[T]his President has shown over and over again that he believes that admitting mistakes is admitting weakness. And I don't think it's hard to understand to him -- people seem mystified by this. And I'm mystified by them,” Christie quipped.

Stephanopoulos still didn’t get it, so Christie had to spell it out for him (click “expand”):

CHRISTIE: Because it drives you guys crazy and the media focuses on this instead of focusing on what Rahm was just talking about or other issues. I mean, we're talking about this before we talk about Afghanistan and negotiations with the Taliban.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We led with Afghanistan. We’ll talk about that too.

CHRISTIE: But my point is this, though, that is what lots of folks in the media talk about. And it's a distraction. I don't think the President necessarily thinks that distraction is bad for him.

 

 

But we talk about it because he's talking about it,” ABC senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce frantically exclaimed. “I mean, he was relentless in his justification of this. And it wasn't that he wouldn't let this go…”

But he's talking about it because you're talking about it. It's like this circle that never ends,” Lowry rebutted.

After noting that the President didn’t give himself “the escape route” to say he made a statement based on older projections and correct the remarks, Lowry ripped the media’s unhealthy obsession with the story.

But that the media was analyzing this with the detail of the Zapruder tape was completely absurd,” he mocked. “And it was totally lost that the major story was actually a category 5 hurricane that devastated the Bahamas and was threatening the east coast of the United States.”

Lowry had a point. As NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck and research analyst Bill D’Agostino discovered, during a 12 hour period on Thursday, CNN and MSNBC spent 145 minutes covering “Sharpiegate.”

CNN blogger Chris Cillizza even took the photo of Trump and the map to zoom in on a pen sitting on the President’s, as if that was the offending marker. All that was missing was Cillizza saying the hurricane projection was extended "back and to the left."

Pleading with the panel to stop the “Sharpiegate” discussion, citing more important things to talk about, former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel ripped the panel. “I think this is where the American people are. They think all of us are crazy. We should stop this,” he demanded.

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

ABC’s This Week
September 8, 2019
9:48:02 a.m. Eastern

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, Chris Christie, I think it's entirely possible that first briefing the President had, whatever it was, ten days ago said it might hit Alabama. There’s no question that when he tweeted last Sunday Alabama is going to get harder than anticipated. That's flatly just not true. What I don't understand is sticking with it for seven days after that. What is that about?

CHRIS CHRISTIE: Well listen, I think, that this President has shown over and over again that he believes that admitting mistakes is admitting weakness. And I don't think it's hard to understand to him -- people seem mystified by this. And I'm mystified by them. This is who the President of the United States is. I've known him for 18 years.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why would he want this to be part of the dialogue for seven days?

CHRISTIE: Because it drives you guys crazy and the media focuses on this instead of focusing on what Rahm was just talking about or other issues. I mean, we're talking about this before we talk about Afghanistan and negotiations with the Taliban.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We led with Afghanistan. We’ll talk about that too.

CHRISTIE: But my point is this, though, that is what lots of folks in the media talk about. And it's a distraction. I don't think the President necessarily thinks that distraction is bad for him.

MARY BRUCE: But we talk about it because he's talking about it.

CHRISTIE: Exactly.

BRUCE: I mean, he was relentless in his justification of this. And it wasn't that he wouldn't let this go, he also was deploying government resources to help in his argument. And when you’re facing, you know, a hurricane of significant consequence, you have to think about how much time and effort was spent defending the President's argument versus focusing on some other key issues.

RICH LOWRY: But he's talking about it because you're talking about it. It's like this circle that never ends. And he never allows himself, as Chris points out, the escape route: “Oh, it was old information. I revise and extend my remarks.” But that the media was analyzing this with the detail of the Zapruder tape was completely absurd. And it was totally lost that the major story was actually a category 5 hurricane that devastated the Bahamas and was threatening the east coast of the United States.

(…)

RAHM EMANUEL: Here’s my thing. I think this is where the American people are. They think all of us are crazy. We should stop this. You have kids dying with vaping. You have a major health care crisis in the United States. You have a major rebuilding. And we're obsessed. The fact is, he’s wrong. Full stop. Let’s move on.

NB Daily Hurricanes Conspiracy Theories Broadcast Television ABC This Week Video Rich Lowry George Stephanopoulos Donald Trump Chris Christie Rahm Emanuel

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