In a remarks late Tuesday afternoon, President Trump revealed the United States was in high-level talks directly with the North Korean government and had given the okay for South Korea to negotiate an official end to the decades-long state of war. These were major developments on the world stage but the evening broadcasts of ABC, CBS and Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo flat out ignored them. Only NBC Nightly News thought it was important enough to inform their viewers about.
Here is a tale of three headlines. Think of the first two facts as "apples" about about the visit of North Korea leader Kim Jong Un to China to meet the president of that nation, Xi Jinping. And then consider the third headline as a "banana" reflecting the spin control CNN tried to toss in order to express their antipathy towards President Donald Trump.
Friday’s network morning shows were horrified to report that President Trump had decided to replace General H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser with former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton. Journalists on the NBC, ABC, and CBS broadcasts feared that the “controversial” pick would only add to Trump’s “very hardline” national security team.
The sudden, if not unexpected, appointment of John Bolton as President Trump’s national security adviser led the New York Times on Friday and the paper packed a year’s worth of predictable “hard-line” and “hawkish” labels in one edition. (The Times has used “hard-line” to describe Soviet Communists and Iranians who support the continuing Islamic death sentence against author Salman Rushdie, so it’s a pretty loaded term in Timesland.
Thursday marked an awful, no-good, very bad day for MSNBC host Chris Matthews as President Trump picked John Bolton to replace H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser. Less than an hour later, Matthews uncorked a hissy fit for the ages on Hardball lasting the whole show on the man he dubbed a modern Hideki Tojo and “biggest hawk there's ever been.”
Of all the absurd takes on the U.S.–North Korean situation in the wake of President Trump's tentative, conditional agreement to meet with Kim Jong Un, Barbara Demick's Friday "analysis" piece at the Los Angeles Times has to be near the top of any "worst" list. The headline: "Whatever comes next, North Korea's Kim Jong Un can claim a win against Trump." Oh really?
When it was first announced last Thursday that President Trump was to personally meet with North Korea Dictator Kim Jong-un for negotiations, the media’s response varied from optimistic to seething anger. But with some time, it appears as though their consensus is now to denounce the idea, as was blatantly obvious on Sunday’s Meet the Press. The entire panel up in arms and fretting that Trump was either going to hand North Korea a victory or blow a gasket at the meeting and start a war.
Chances are slim that comic Bill Maher, who rarely misses a chance to skewer President Trump with a vengeance, will ever convert to Trumpism. But as of last night, Maher was not nearly as much of a critic.
On the day following stunning news that Trump had accepted an invitation to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, Maher bolted from the liberal media herd that largely downplayed the development and dismissed its significance.
At the New York Times it is mandatory that President Donald Trump receive little or no credit for his accomplishments. This seems to be especially true about the Thursday announcement that Trump will be meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un by May. The Times columnist, Max Fisher, went out of his way to emphasize not only in his Thursday column (which must have been hastily written since the announcement came at 7 PM that day) but also in a series of tweets that Trump just wasn't following proper diplomatic protocol.
When the startling news broke late Thursday that President Trump had accepted an invitation to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, the media intelligentsia begrudgingly shifted their focus away from the Stormy Daniels controversy. But with the leak of an e-mail sent by Trump’s lawyer from his Trump Organization account, they leapt on the excuse to return to their preferred topic.
After some liberal journalists initially praised President Trump’s willingness to meet with murderous North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, a number of them remembered later Thursday night that they’re members of The Resistance. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof was one such lefty, telling host Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC’s The Last Word that Trump has made “a dangerous gamble,” despite Kristof’s past encouragement for direct talks and engagement.
Despite previously warning that President Trump’s tough stance on North Korea could lead to war, on Friday’s Today show, NBC National Security Analyst and former Obama administration official Jeremy Bash refused to credit Trump for agreeing to peace negotiations with Kim Jong-un. Instead, Bash claimed that the President had allowed himself to “boxed in” by the dictator, and had given up a “huge concession.”