The media hastily have distanced themselves from their projections of street brawls and naked partisanship at the Salute to America event following a largely patriotic, unobjectionable July 4 speech by President Trump. Since TV news audiences are unlikely to hear talking heads acknowledge their numerous false predictions, here is a reminder of the worst of the bunch — ranging from the cynical to the absurd.
Like the rest of the media, CNN heavily hyped a tragic image of a drowned father and daughter trying to cross the Rio Grande river to enter the country illegally. On CNN’s New Day Wednesday morning, host Alisyn Camerota and John Berman brought on legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin and the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, to pre-emptively condemn Trump for comments he hasn’t even made yet and bash him as responsible for the pair’s deaths.
Still more evidence that the New York Times will analyze everything Trump does only in the most cynical political terms, reporters Annie Karni and Maggie Haberman immediately put President Trump on the defensive by reducing his administration’s bipartisan criminal justice reform plan to raw political cynicism in Friday’s edition: “The White House Subject Was Criminal Justice. The Subtext was 2020.” It’s galling that the Times, after complaining for years of Republicans using tough-on-crime, gun-rights, anti-gay-marriage stances as “wedge issues,” are now calling reforming the justice system a “wedge issue”!
On CNN's New Day, New York Times reporter and CNN analyst Maggie Haberman said "Joe Biden's core strength is his decency," and claimed the Trump campaign is "having a very hard time figuring out how to attack that." We'll leave on the table whether the Avenatti-Stormy Network has the credentials to talk about anyone's "decency." But Haberman's phrasing is strange. Trump doesn't have trouble "figuring out" how to attack anyone. Maybe liberal reporters think the punches won't land, but he's going to punch.
On CNN's New Day on Friday, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman worried out loud that Attorney General William Barr's investigation into the origins of the Russia probe might lead to selective leaks from intelligence agencies that carry a partisan narrative to hurt Trump's political opponents. The lack of introspection in this oration is stunning. On the radio Friday morning, Chris Plante laughed that the reporters were acting like this was "the Pentagon Papers, in reverse." Suddenly, the Forces of Transparency wanted to stop the disclosures!
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s latest disturbing comment, this time describing the 9-11 terror attacks dismissively as “some people did something....”, provided fodder for the New York Times to get offended. Not offended by Omar’s comment, of course, but against Donald Trump and New York Post for tough responses. Maggie Haberman and Sheryl Gay Stolberg tried to artificially widen Trump’s Twitter attack on Omar’s 9-11 comments into an assault on all Muslims in America on Tuesday’s front page: “Trump Rekindles Campaign Threat Of Islamic peril.” It began: "President Trump has often seen the political benefits of stigmatizing Muslims."
Reporters and columnists took a petulant tone in Wednesday’s New York Times in the aftermath of the Mueller report and the Trump Administration’s triumphant reaction. One can visualize gritted teeth and pursed lips of the paper’s journalists reporting on Trump administration insiders, celebrating vindication, But fear not, there is hope for the Democrats. Wednesday’s lead story, “Move to Nullify Health Care Act Roils Democrats,” had this cheery text box summary: “A chance to shift the conversation from the Mueller report.”
One word perfectly sums up the tone of the conversation on Sunday’s edition of Reliable Sources: hyperbolic. Throughout the hour, CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta effectively compared President Trump to Kim Jong-un while host Brian Stelter suggested to a New York Times White House correspondent that rather than covering a White House beat, she was covering a “criminal beat.”
In a This Week discussion about the prospects for different Democratic 2020 candidates on Sunday, ABC’s faux Republicans Matthew Dowd proclaimed that the Democratic Party was much closer to what the rest of the country believed than the Republican Party was. On top of that, Newsweek and Daily Beast writer Michael Tomasky suggested that a candidate with low name ID like Washington Governor Jay Inslee could “very easily” beat President Trump.
“Trump Court Pick Causes Stir With Abortion View,” in Wednesday’s New York Times contained a hefty dose of extraneous “conservative” labeling: 12 “conservative” labels in non-quoted material in a 1,200-word story. Meanwhile, Times science reporter Denise Grady tried to quell any qualms from the paper’s liberal readership under the soothing headline: “‘Executing Babies’: Here Are the Facts Behind Trump’s Misleading Abortion Tweet -- Infants are rarely born alive after abortion procedures, and if they are, doctors do not kill them.”
New York Times political reporters Maggie Haberman and Annie Karni clearly objected to President Trump meeting with “hard-right” activists led by Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in Sunday’s “Trump Is Said To Have Met Wife of Justice And Activists.”
New York Times religion reporter Elizabeth Dias went to Kentucky to see how the locals were handling the unearned vitriol aimed at their sons at Covington Catholic High School after the viral video of the infamous confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial, for Tuesday’s “A Digital-Era Frenzy Sweeps Up a School Steeped in Tradition.” While the mainstream media has been forced to back off their more inflammatory and false charges against the boys, who were abused and confronted by both the Black Israelites and a drumming Native American activist, Dias maintained a churlish tone: