Newsweek's Nina Burleigh (Yeah, the Kneepad Nina) Creates Childish 'Trump Warning System'

February 7th, 2017 9:38 PM

At the Media Research Center, the unhinged infamy of Nina Burleigh, who now toils at Newsweek as its national politics correspondent, goes back years before NewsBusters began.

Burleigh's most recent childish move is something one might expect from an unsupervised freshman writer at a high school newspaper. She has created a "Trump Warning System." It includes four icons, three of which are well-known current and former totalitarian dictators, as shorthand to categorize Donald Trump's allegedly presidential actions. It's every bit as pathetic it sounds.

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In July 1998, Burleigh, as reported by Howard Kurtz, who was then at the Washington Post, was overwhelmed at the idea that then-President Bill Clinton, in her mind, "found me attractive."

Clinton was in the midst of trying to fight off the sex- and assault-related scandals which ultimately led to his grand-jury perjury and impeachment. Somehow, despite the controversy and the growing evidence of misogyny surrounding the President, Burleigh told Kurtz that she wanted to encourage him in a special way because of one specific political position (bolds are mine throughout this post):

In an interview, Burleigh, now a New York freelancer, said she in no way felt harassed or pressured by the president but that it was "not unusual for women" to swoon over him. What is unusual, for a journalist, is Burleigh's sexually charged declaration of support for Clinton. "I'd be happy to give him {oral sex} just to thank him for keeping abortion legal," she said.

I think American women should be lining up with their Presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.”

Burleigh's reference to "the theocracy" is hysterical, given that she felt that those on her side needed to, uh, get down on their knees.

The Media Research Center's July 7, 1998 CyberAlert entry has more detail, including a telling reference to a mid-1990s item Burleigh wrote when she worked at Time Magazine. In it, she hysterically claimed that "Liberals tend to value tolerance highly, so there's a greater reluctance to destroy enemies than among the right." Robert Bork was apparently unavailable for comment.

Burleigh's history at NewsBusters, particularly her error-filled 2007 attack on the site's Tim Graham, is replete with the kind of hostility which betrays a willingness, if only she had the power, to engage in the very character assassination and career destruction she wants us to believe that liberals avoid.

That her hostility has carried into Donald Trump's presidency should surprise no one. Channeled into what she thinks is cute ridicule, her February 3 column at Newsweek really reveals that she still hasn't gotten past the election results on November 8:


In this, the second Week of Trump, it is becoming increasingly clear that we need a much better system of quickly analyzing and broadcasting the implications of current events emanating from the general vicinity of the White House. Why should busy, hardworking Americans be made to freak out every day and lose sleep while anxiously updating Twitter or watching 24-hour cable news?

Television producers and online editors can resolve this looming public health hazard by immediately classifying all further White House news by degree and attaching a corresponding logo to every hyperlink and TV news update. I suggest, in ascending order of national emergency, using the heads of Ronald Reagan, Vladimir Lenin, Nero and Kim Jong Un.

Yes, she really wrote that. As to how the four icons are to be utilized:

  • Reagan — "The Reagan head icon will indicate that Trump’s latest act or order is still within the bounds of traditional conservative statesmanship." Naturally, Burleigh couldn't remain mature for more than a sentence or so. She then slammed Reagan, who as much as anyone on earth ended the Cold War, as having, like Trump, "the idea of violence and starting World War III to gain tactical advantage in the global order, without actually initiating it."
  • Lenin — This icon "will inform the public that the Trump White House has committed an act that is most likely political theater but, in the long run, could possibly lead to a more violent and destabilized world." Burleigh's gratuitous Lenin-based dig is directed at Trump adviser Steve Bannon, with the predictable "white-nationalist" smear.
  • Nero — This is for "behavior and events that bring into question the commander in chief’s mental stability." There has to be a spare Nero icon or two available somewhere for someone who would write trash like this.
  • Kim John Un — The use of his icon would be "the visual equivalent of the old Emergency Broadcast System, indicating that viewers and readers would be wise to duct-tape the windows pronto and turn on shortwave radios for further instructions."

Burleigh is apparently unaware that Lenin and Kim were and are, respectively, far-left communists — unlike Trump, who, to the extent he can be categorized, is generally a center-right nationalist patriot.

Really, Nina, the only "Americans" who are "freaked out" (i.e., in "a period of irrational behavior or emotional instability, as under the influence of a drug") are far-left bitter-enders, leftist professional protesters, and establishment press journalists — but I repeat myself.

Among the rest of America, many have genuine concerns about Trump's presidency, a reaction which is understandable and has some basis, but is still clearly rational. No one among the non-"freaked-out" needs an inane icon-based "warning system" to get their arms around the news of the day.

We do appreciate the "freaked-out" Burleigh's de facto admission that she's among those who have effectively lost it.

Cross-posted at