On Christmas evening, appearing in print on Sunday, December 26, Jeremy Peters at the New York Times pretended that the term "fake news" has only gained common currency very recently during the social media era. He also effectively contended that the establishment press holds ownership rights over the term, claiming that "conservative cable and radio personalities, top Republicans and even Mr. (Donald) Trump himself ... have appropriated" it.
Peters, who graduated from the University of Michigan in 2002 and arguably knows better, could not be more wrong. Center-right media critics, pundits and personalities have used the term "fake news" to describe establishment press reporting for at least a decade, usually with total justification. It's the press which is "appropriating" the "fake news" term in the name of marginalizing and silencing non-"mainstream" news sources.
Snopes is having its time in the spotlight in Monday’s New York Times, as reporter David Streitfeld pumped up the famous “fact-checking” website on the front of Business Day. Snopes’ profile is rising with its new relationship with Facebook, but as the site has waded more into politics, it’s getting a liberal reputation and allegations of hypocrisy have been raised. But Streitfeld dismissed any concerns as desperate conservatives lies, in “Bigger Fact-Checking Role for Snopes Brings More Attacks." And his fellow Snopes-fawner, colleague Jeremy Peters, accused conservatives of crying "fake news" to discredit the mainstream media.
On Monday’s Morning Joe, the liberal media’s concern about appointments to the Trump administration was once again observed concerning the latest controversial selection of White House chief strategist. Former Trump campaign chief executive officer, Steve Bannon was appointed last week to one of the most important advisory positions in the White House. Bannon, a former chairman of Breitbart News, has been accused by the leftist press of embodying too far right policies.
Before MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews compared President Barack Obama to Martin Luther King Jr. with a biblical delivery, Matthews expressed on Tuesday some bitterness that “the Supreme Court intervened in our electoral process” back in 2000 to which conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt promptly swatted him down.
The front of the New York Times Sunday Styles section featured a novelty: One of the paper’s political reporters interviewing that noted expert Cher: “Campaign Sighting: It’s Cher – She is going all out for Hillary Clinton, and her Twitter followers are along for the ride.” From the tone it was clear that NYT’s Jeremy Peters was talking both to a rabid Trump-hating Clinton supporter, and a personal heroine: Last month, at a rally for Hillary Clinton, Cher colorfully compared Donald Trump to Hitler and Stalin as fellow “despots.” But Peters ignored that dark link to Hitler in favor of reminiscing about the time he dressed up as Cher for a school talent show. He also celebrated a young Cher trashing her own family’s Republican campaign signs and hailed her present “reputation as one of the more effective and entertaining Trump neutralizers on Twitter.”
During MSNBC’s 10 a.m. ET hour on Wednesday, anchor Thomas Roberts gloated that the latest Donald Trump controversy pushed another Hillary Clinton scandal out of the headlines: “Trump’s comments continue to hurt his overall message, this time distracting from a potentially damaging release of e-mails that could have cost the Clinton camp precious support among independents.”
Playing on long-established stereotypes of the melanin-challenged Republican Party, New York Times coverage of the Republican National Convention on Wednesday put racial controversies front and center, accusing speakers (particularly Rudy GIuliani) of lecturing and moralizing to blacks about law and order as an all-white crowd lapped it up. The paper led with Melanie Trump's speech with this wishful thinking headline: “How Speech for a Trump Stumbled Toward Ridicule – As G.O.P. Nominates the Businessman, His Wife’s Oration Shadows Convention.”
As he endorsed Hillary Clinton yesterday, Bernie Sanders comforted himself by asserting his campaign had brought the Clintons to creating “the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party.” You wouldn’t find those words in The New York Times on Wednesday, but they did carry this story: “Emerging Republican Platform Goes Far to the Right."
The post-Orlando demonizing of the GOP, not radical Islam, as dangerous anti-gay ideologues continued in Thursday’s New York Times, as Jeremy Peters and Lizette Alvarez demonstrated in “A Death Toll Fails to Narrow a Chasm on Gay Rights.” Peters and Alvarez seemed eager to equate lack of support for gay marriage to mass murder of gays: "And the murder of 49 people in an Orlando gay club has, in many cases, only exacerbated the anger from Democrats and supporters of gay causes, who are insisting that no amount of warm words or reassuring Twitter posts change the fact that Republicans continue to pursue policies that would limit legal protections for gays and lesbians."
Nearly two days after Donald Trump revoked press credentials of The Washington Post for his campaign events, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports was still wallowing over it on Wednesday afternoon as the eponymous host and her panel slammed the idea that a candidate would attack the liberal media as both “petulant and childish” plus bashed the Reagan administration’s press record.
Hillary Clinton has yet to put away challenger Bernie Sanders in her quest for the Democratic presidential nomination, and her supporters at the New York Times (and the rest of the media) are trying to shield her from Sanders’ “harm,” while pointing fingers at him for the alleged violence and death threats committed by his supporters after suspicions of process-rigging during the Nevada primary. Refreshing as it is to see the media actually putting blame on a liberal politician or a political movement for the acts of his followers, it's also true that slamming Sanders helps smooth Hillary's path to the nomination.
If you didn’t know the New York Times was in the tank for amnesty, Sunday’s stories would prove it. Reporter Jeremy Peters laid on a family guilt trip by strongly hinting that Sen. Marco Rubio was a hypocrite on immigration because of how his grandfather got to America: “Rubio’s Policies Might Shut the Door to People Like His Grandfather.” Turning to the New York Times Magazine, there was the 9,000-word cover story, “10 Shots Across the Border -- This Is The Wall Where A Mexican Teenagers Was Killed By A U.S. Agent Firing Through The Fence. Is the Border Patrol Out Of Control?” Gee, what do you think, New York Times? At the back of the magazine, Democratic activist Ana Marie Cox spoke to amnesty activist and Univision newscaster Jorge Ramos for the back of the magazine’s Talk page.