On Tuesday, the Associated Press produced a dispatch exemplifying why the public so deeply distrusts and despises the establishment press.
Tasked with covering President Donald Trump's lunch with Republican senators, reporters Lisa Mascaro and Anne Flaherty decided that relaying what happened and what was discussed was relatively unimportant. Instead, in a transparent attempt to fuel controversies not germane to the event and to perpetuate the meme of a Trump presidency mired in controversy, they made their story primarily about what didn't happen and what wasn't discussed.
GOP senators lunch with Trump, don’t bring up McCain remark
President Donald Trump appeared to be in a good mood Tuesday when he met privately with Senate Republicans, buoyed by primary election results and talks with North Korea, and bypassing any serious discussion of high-profile trouble spots in the administration.
Senators did not ask about a White House aide’s crass remark of ailing GOP Sen. John McCain. They did not bring up special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference.
Attendees also apparently didn't discuss how Washington's NHL hockey and NBA basketball teams haven't won a championship in 43 and 40 years, respectively (though the hockey team's current-year hopes are still alive). Someone really needs to investigate those scandals.
The AP pair's opening volleys justified (in their minds) bloviating further in later paragraphs:
... But much like when Trump was headed to the GOP Senate lunch to talk policy in October 2017, the White House agenda was eclipsed by another story.
Says who? Says a pair of AP reporters who have a consistent Trump-bashing agenda which was more important than reporting on what happened at the event:
... During a closed-door meeting last week, White House communications aide Kelly Sadler dismissed McCain’s opposition to CIA nominee Gina Haspel by saying of the Arizona Republican: “He’s dying anyway.” The 81-year-old McCain was diagnosed in July with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
Sadler has apologized to the McCain family privately, but McCain’s daughter has asked for a public apology.
... Senators did not press the issue. “That’s not what we do in these meetings,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., told reporters.
Corker, who has been an outspoken Trump critic, was essentially telling the AP: "Get a life."
Mascaro and Flaherty didn't get the hint. They were also horrified that those who attended seem to like Trump:
... Senators appear to have long given up on trying to change Trump and are increasingly relying on the president to help protect the GOP’s slim 51-49 majority in the Senate this fall.
... He received applause from behind closed doors.
Politicians gravitate towards success. Imagine that.
Though one would never know this from reading AP content, Real Clear Politics indicates that the 2018 Senate campaign appears to be far less about whether Republicans can protect their majority than it is about how much they can expand it.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.