The three big networks have been extremely resistant to credit Donald Trump with any policy success. So it was rather surprising to see CBS This Morning on Wednesday tout the President’s “huge impact” in filling the courts with “conservative powerhouses.” Reporter Jan Crawford explained a low key success that has been flying under the media’s radar.
Surprise! Journalists should stand up to those in power and “question the government.” That’s the lesson learned from the hosts of CBS This Morning after seeing a worshipful new film about the Washington Post. On Wednesday, reporter Jan Crawford talked to two stars of The Post, a film set in 1971 that features “heroes” who stand up to Richard Nixon.
Since Thursday, CBS News has run two different reports -- both by correspondent Jan Crawford -- which fearmonger about the possibility that private charities and millions of people who benefit from them will suffer because the new tax cuts passed by Republicans would result in fewer people taking tax deductions for charitable contributions as in the past. Not much thought was given to the possibility that if people's taxes are being cut, they might donate even more money to charities, as Crawford was preoccupied with people who will stop itemizing who might therefore lose interest in making donations.
CBS on Tuesday finally noticed a big win by the White House in the Supreme Court. Barely. The journalists on This Morning only allowed a scant 51 seconds to Donald Trump’s travel ban being allowed (for now) to go into effect. This is after the network ignored the 7-2 victory on Monday.
On Monday morning, even rumors about the possibility of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy retiring sent the network morning shows into panic mode. Reporters wrung their hands over the potential that President Trump could replace the high court’s “swing vote” and make it “solidly conservative for decades.”
Could James Comey have broken the law? In a day dedicated to live testimony of Jeff Sessions about the Russian investigation, two journalists at CBS actually circled back to a potentially big problem for Comey and his liberal defenders: Whether or not he broke the law by leaking documents to the media.
One of the largest revelations to come out of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s public hearing with former FBI Director James Comey on Thursday was that President Trump was not under investigation. That fact didn’t seem to sit well with CBS’s John Dickerson when he appeared during CBS News Special Report after the hearing. Almost desperately, Dickerson tried to argue Trump had to be under scrutiny, “So, a President who was once concerned about not being under investigation those actions he took may now, in fact, make him under investigation.”
After Hillary Clinton used a softball inteview during a Silicon Valley tech conference on Wednesday to blame everyone but herself for her failed presidential campaign, Thursday’s network morning shows eagerly promoted her excuses, even pushing unfounded conspiracy theories advanced by the former Democratic nominee.
The frenzied liberal journalists at ABC, CBS and NBC on Wednesday smelled blood in the water. They threw around the “I-word,” “impeachment” and “impeachable offenses” for Donald Trump. Rather than waiting for actual memos to appear or for evidence unrelated to anonymous sourcing, former Bill Clinton operative and Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos excitedly wondered, “The big question, did President Trump try to block the FBI's Russia investigation [and] commit an impeachable offense?”
On Monday, the network morning shows were openly gleeful that former President Obama used his speech accepting a Profile in Courage Award from his liberal friends in the Kennedy family to trash Republican efforts to fix the mountain of problems created by ObamaCare. The ABC, CBS, and NBC broadcasts managed to ignore any of those failures as they cheered on Democratic efforts to use the issue to tear down the GOP.
NBC didn't bury the story after a commercial break like the other networks, but they did try to paint President Donald Trump’s nominee in a highly negative light, literally. “Gorsuch says he met Mr. Trump when interviewed for the job,” reported justice correspondent Pete Williams on NBC Nightly News. While he was saying that, a dreary black and white clip of Gorsuch shaking Trump’s hand played in slow motion. It looked as though it was a scene out of a TV murder documentary.
Capitol Hill was a hive of activity on Monday. The House Intelligence Committee conducted a hearing with FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers about the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. In the Senate, the Judiciary Committee conducted the first in a series of hearings in the confirmation process of Judge Neil Gorsuch. Both were major events on the hill but the Comey hearing drew the overwhelming majority of the network news attention, leaving one anchor to say it was “overshadowing” Gorsuch.