The Democratic Left is trying to pretend that Donald Trump wasn’t really elected President last year, with an unprecedented 67 U.S. Representatives boycotting Trump’s Inauguration after Congressman John Lewis told NBC that Trump was not “a legitimate President.”
But instead of scolding this divisive and unhelpful repudiation of a new President, the news media are enabling the sore-loser Left.
After Lewis announced his rejection of Trump, NBC’s Chuck Todd prodded him for more extreme action: “You believe this President is not legitimate. What would you tell young folks, young activists to do?”
And even though Trump hadn’t yet been inaugurated, Todd also pressed Lewis about impeachment: “Are you one of those that believe the impeachment process should begin?”
Contrast that with the news media’s hysterical reaction eight years ago when Rush Limbaugh said of incoming President Barack Obama and his ardently liberal agenda: “I hope he fails.”
It was a sentiment Limbaugh repeated a month later when he spoke at the annual CPAC conference: “What is so strange about being honest and saying, ‘I want Barack Obama to fail,’ if his mission is to restructure and reform this country so that capitalism and individual liberty are not its foundation? Why would I want that to succeed?”
Liberal reporters freaked out. CNN political analyst Bill Schneider said Limbaugh’s CPAC speech had “sinister” tones and had “crossed a line.” During a CNBC interview, host Mark Haines lectured Limbaugh that it was a “stupid and mean spirited thing to say,” an exchange that so tickled MSNBC host Keith Olbermann that he re-played it that night on his Countdown program.
Republican politicians were pressed to denounce Limbaugh. ABC’s Diane Sawyer asked John McCain to say he was “offended” by the remark (McCain demurred), while then-MSNBC anchor Norah O’Donnell scolded then-Indiana Representative Mike Pence: “Why don’t you feel like you could denounce something like that?”
On MSNBC in 2009, the failure to appreciate Obama was seen as treasonous, as Hardball host Chris Matthews asked viewers: “Does Rush Limbaugh hate this country?”
But last week, before Trump was sworn in, Matthews pressed Democratic Representative Maxine Waters if she would consider impeaching the not-yet-President. During Friday’s inauguration coverage, Matthews described Trump’s speech as “Hitlerian” and suggested Trump could use “Mussolini” tactics if he wanted to jettison his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as a White House advisor.
And over the next few days, ABC, CBS and NBC all provided heavy and positive coverage of an anti-Trump protest march that included speakers like Madonna seeming to suggest assassination: “I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.”
The news media are obviously not demanding a consistent respect for the office of the U.S. Presidency. The most obvious explanation is that eight years ago most in the so-called “news” media wanted Barack Obama’s left-wing policies to succeed and were appalled by dissent.
Now, the media see themselves as part of the opposition to President Trump and his agenda to roll back Obama’s policies — and they hope he fails.
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