Henry Rogers of The Daily Caller recently tried to ask New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, a Democrat, about the Green New Deal. Menendez responded by saying he wouldn’t answer questions from The Daily Caller and told Rogers “you’re trash” before threatening to “race to the Capitol Police” if Rogers refused to stop “harassing him.” On The Ingraham Angle Thursday, guest host Tammy Bruce highlighted the media silence on this matter and contrasted it with their outrage when President Trump declares the media “the enemy of the people.”
Bruce began the segment by sharing the relevant audio exchange with the audience. Prior to playing the audio clip, Bruce brought up an effort by The Boston Globe and many other editorial boards to “scold President Trump...about his ‘frequent attacks on the media’” before sarcastically suggesting that “there will be surely a similar campaign...for this gross attack on the press.”
Not so much. Throughout the beginning of the segment, the chyron at the bottom of the screen read “liberals committed to free speech (when it benefits them).” In other words, liberals jump on President Trump for his attacks on the media but do not express the same outrage when one of their own demonstrates hostility towards the fourth estate.
Menendez’s anger likely comes from a highly controversial story the Daily Caller ran in 2012 publishing claims that the Democrat had relations with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. The Washington Post ultimately reported that the claims were made by an escort.
Liberal politicians have not hesitated to trash The Daily Caller in the past; Democratic Congressman Gregory Meeks once referred to it as a “fringe, right-wing tabloid.”
After interviewing Rogers, Bruce played some clips of “the leftist media when they don’t like something that Trump says.” One of the clips featured Andrea Mitchell complaining about President Trump referring to the press as “the enemy of the people.” Using the media’s own standards, the word “trash” certainly qualifies as a synonym for “enemy of the people.”
Bruce summarized the clips by saying “when a member of the conservative media gets attacked...that obviously doesn’t count as much.” Bruce asked Democratic Strategist Scott Levenson “why does the left only really defend the media when of the…or freedom of the press in general when it’s convenient for them?”
Not surprisingly, Levenson used his platform to accuse President Trump of “creating a hostile work environment” for the press while dismissing Menendez as a “politician not wanting to answer questions.” Bruce responded: “certainly but you can say no to answering a question without saying you are going to call the police on someone.”
The discussion concluded with Former Tennessee Congressman Zach Wamp, a Republican, arguing that “in this country, we should be able to disagree without being enemies.” Hopefully, Menendez and the hypocrites in the media heard that message loud and clear.
A transcript of the relevant portion of Thursday’s edition of The Ingraham Angle is below. Click “expand” to read more.
The Ingraham Angle
TAMMY BRUCE: Back in August, The Boston Globe gathered more than 300 of its like-minded editorial boards to scold President Trump with his quote, about his “frequent attacks on the media” so there will be surely a similar campaign, we believe, for this gross attack on the press.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
HENRY ROGERS: I’m wondering why you won’t answer questions on the Green New Deal.
SENATOR BOB MENENDEZ: I won’t answer questions to The Daily Caller, period! You’re trash.
ROGERS: Why do you think we’re trash, sir?
MENENDEZ: Don’t keep harassing me anymore or I’ll race to the Capitol Police.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
BRUCE: Well in case you missed it, that was Senator Bob Menendez threatening to call the coppers on Daily Caller reporter Henry Rogers because he didn’t like the questions being asked. That reporter, Henry Rogers, joins us live right now. Henry, have you heard from the Senator’s office or any reporters about this?
ROGERS: Well, it’s funny actually. His communications directors tweeted about this shortly after it went viral, after this clip went viral, after he would not speak to my intern and I and threatened to call the police on us. So actually, they, they tweeted out the article in support of, of Senator Menendez’s comments.
BRUCE: Yeah, you know, this is particularly troubling, though. I mean, he, he got particularly hostile when he found out that you weren’t legacy media. That, you know, that was the reason why not. What do you think he has, he has a problem with obviously conservative media or the Daily Caller in particular? What do you think?
ROGERS: Well, we broke a story about him a couple of years ago which led to an investigation which basically found him guilty of hiring underage prostitutes. So I understand why he doesn’t, he might not like us, or The Daily Caller that much. But that’s no reason for him to threaten to call the police on me for asking a fair question, a softball question…
ROGERS: …about the green new deal.
BRUCE: Yeah. Henry, absolutely. I agree with you. I don’t, he wasn’t, I don’t believe he was found guilty. I think that there was a, a hung jury and they dropped charges ultimately. But bottom line is he didn’t like questions being asked and he’s a lawmaker threatening to call the cops on a reporter…certainly a little bit of hypocrisy there. Henry, thank you very much. I want to point out for all of you in fact the media hypocrisy in all of this. This is the leftist media when they don’t like something that Trump says.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
MAGGIE HABERMAN: No President in the U.S. has done what he is doing which is single out, you know, political enemies, lump them in with the media…
ANDREA MITCHELL: The President of the United States repeatedly calling the press the enemy of the people.
WOLF BLITZER: President Trump says the media are responsible for the country’s angry political climate, ignoring his own hostile rhetoric.
JEFFREY TOOBIN: He really hates the news. He hates us.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
BRUCE: All right. But when a member of the conservative media gets attacked, well, that obviously doesn’t count as much of the same certainly as we saw in that last segment there with Henry. Joining me now is former Tennessee Congressman Zach Wamp and Democratic Strategist Scott Levenson. Scott, so why does the left only really defend the media when of the…or freedom of press in general when it’s convenient for them? Do you see it that way? I would think you probably don’t.
SCOTT LEVENSON: I obviously don’t. But I think the real issue is we’re creating parallels where they don’t exist. The issue with the President is he’s created a hostile work environment. It’s a safety issue. We had a cameraman assaulted last week. He’s removed press passes and kept people from the people’s house, the White House. So the fact that on the President’s side we have a safety issue; not just a politician not wanting to answer questions. That happens every day in this country.
BRUCE: Well, he didn’t…certainly but you can say no to answering a question without saying you are going to call the police on someone. You don’t think creates a security issue or sends a signal to Americans that, that reporters should be arrested if they dare to ask a question?
LEVENSON: As far as I know, the Capitol Police weren’t called. He…they weren’t asked…
BRUCE: But he threatened it. But he threatened it.
LEVENSON: The halls of Congress are a public zone and the press have a right to that public zone. The people’s house…keeping press from the White House. It’s the people’s house.
BRUCE: Well, you can…keeping press is not the same as simply asking for a different reporter to represent an entity. And I understand what you’re saying but I think that the President’s powerful. A senator is powerful. Zach, what are your, what’s your take on this?
ZACH WAMP: So, what’s good for the goose is obviously not good for the gander. But on the big issue here and the reason that the President can get away with saying fake news. Remember Walter Cronkite said that the media is actually the fourth branch of the federal government. That scares a lot of Americans. Who gave them that kind of power?
BRUCE: Well, it’s an important role though. It is.
WAMP: It’s an important role.
BRUCE: It is an important role and when they have abdicated their, their job, it, it negatively affects our democracy.
WAMP: If the media and journalism is not done without fear or without favor and stays objective, they lose credibility. They’ve lost so much credibility that the President can say “fake news” and it resonates with the American people.
LEVENSON: But Zach, that is why I wanted to distinguish between the credibility of the news and the safety environment. Yellow journalism has existed for…since the 1890s in the country. People have critiqued the credibility of the media.
LEVENSON: But when you start to put the press in danger, when they start to have to be in fear of doing their job…
BRUCE: But this becomes a difference also between the President issuing an opinion of his, of the media that it is the enemy of the people or that it’s fake. That’s an opinion. I would argue also, if the President came out and said a reporter should be arrested…
LEVENSON: Tammy, there was an assault…
BRUCE: …for asking him a question he doesn’t like…
LEVENSON: Tammy, there was an assault of a cameraman at a rally with the President last week; an assault. So if he is encouraging this type of aggression towards the news reporters, how can they possibly do their job?
BRUCE: I think that, I think it’s a bit specious to suggest that what the President’s saying, considering what the media says about Trump supporters, what the media says every single day, what Americans hear. I mean, the media is out there to be heard by all Americans; to suggest that somebody with an encounter and exchange with a, with a cameraman that that’s the President’s fault, that’s one of the problems here; is that not everything is President Trump’s fault. You know, this is I think why people begin to have a question about the veracity of media and their attitude and what they are trying to promote.
WAMP: Tammy, we have a trust problem. The Congress needs to restore their trust problem, frankly Senator Menendez needs to restore his trust problem and the media needs to restore their trust problem and then the country would actually have more trust, more faith.
BRUCE: Well, and we’re seeing it also affected in the ratings. Right? You’ve, you’ve got networks that are being beaten by ancient aliens because they’re not trusted so much.
BRUCE: People don’t necessarily need to agree with everything they hear. They want to know why you’re saying it, get some background so that they can make up their own mind about the nature of what’s occurring. And we can’t conflate having an opinion with, with suggesting or threatening to have someone arrested. I mean, that is, and when you actually could do it in the Senate. You would agree that that was an inappropriate thing to say to, to, to that reporter.
LEVENSON: I mean, again, I don’t know that the Capitol Police were even called in this case, Tammy.
BRUCE: But, but it would be like you going in and threatening to kill someone. But this like, I didn’t kill him even though I threatened him.
LEVENSON: Tammy, I just don’t think it’s analogous with the violence we saw last week.
WAMP: But in this country, we should be able to disagree without being enemies.
BRUCE: Well, we used to be able to do that. We’ll get back to that at some point, I do believe. All right, gentlemen, thank you very much for joining me.