Ari Fleischer Hammers PBS Reporter Calling Out Trump 'Lie' About Obama at the G-7

September 3rd, 2019 4:39 PM

Over at The Federalist, former Bush White House press secretary Ari Fleischer singled out PBS NewsHour reporter Yamiche Alcindor as a vivid example of liberal media bias during a press conference at the G-7 meetings in France. Alcindor grew emotional when Trump dared to say Obama was "outsmarted" by Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Reporters believe Obama is far too smart to ever be outsmarted. 

PRESIDENT TRUMP: He was outsmarted by Putin, he was outsmarted. President Putin outsmarted President Obama. [sudden flock of media hands go up] Wait a minute --  And I can understand how President Obama would feel. He wasn't happy. And they're not in for that reason. Now, I'm only thinking about the world, and I'm thinking about this country.... 

YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Why do you keep using the misleading statement that Russia outsmarted President Obama! --

TRUMP: Well, he did.

ALCINDOR: -- When other countries have said that the reason why Russia was kicked out was very clearly because they annexed Crimea. Why keep repeating what some people would see as a clear lie? Why keep --

TRUMP: Well, it was annexed during President -- I know you like President Obama, but it was annexed during President Obama's term. If it was annexed during my term, I'd say, "sorry, folks, I made a mistake."

That night on PBS, Alcindor introduced the clip by saying "He also repeated his incorrect claim that Russia was kicked out of the group because Russia outsmarted former president Barack Obama." 

Fleischer wrote: "There you have it. A member of the White House press corps rising to protect President Obama while calling President Trump’s perfectly reasonable assertion a lie. For eight years, the press was soft on President Obama and for four years, they have been brutal to Trump. Yet most reporters don’t see themselves as the question to President Trump showed, too many reporters live in a self-reinforcing, anti-Trump bubble where they praise one another for confronting the president, ignoring that they’re doing immense damage to their institutions." 

The public sees the press as very one-sided, but Fleischer wrote "Many reporters get offended when they hear me say their job is to stop being analysts and instead tell their readers and viewers what happened. That would turn them into stenographers, they argue. In an era of instant news, they say they need to provide context and analysis."

But that context, he wrote, is often just liberal thinking, like Alcindor's exclamations for Obama. Fleischer recounted some classic Obama-lovin' doozies before Obama was inaugurated. 

Time' s Joe Klein gushed in a 2006 cover story: “Obama seemed the political equivalent of a rainbow – a sudden preternatural event inspiring awe and ecstasy. He transcends the racial divide so effortlessly that it seems reasonable to expect that he can bridge all the other divisions — and answer all the impossible questions — plaguing American public life.”

On Christmas Day 2008, Washington Post writer Eli Saslow left Obama a gift. "[H]e was photographed looking like the paradigm of a new kind of presidential fitness, one geared less toward preventing heart attacks than winning swimsuit competitions. The sun glinted off his chiseled pectorals sculpted during four weightlifting sessions each week, and a body toned by regular treadmill runs and basketball games."

Fleischer concluded "I would have loved to have been President Obama’s press secretary. It would have been easy. Not so for President Trump. The press never gave him a chance."

As for Alcindor, "No doubt, she earnestly believes President Obama was not outsmarted by President Putin and that President Trump is a liar. The fact that neither she, nor apparently the rest of the White House press corps, thought her question was out of line, and an example of bias, shows how deep the bias runs."