Four White House correspondents flew out to Las Vegas for this past week’s 2019 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show and, as is usually the case with such public events, journalists offer revealing takes that are both good and bad. Most notably, they condemned the President’s rhetoric toward the media, suggesting it places their lives in “serious danger.”
Appearing on CNN’s New Day Thursday, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper weighed in on Attorney General William Barr’s testimony on Capitol Hill earlier in the week; particularly taking issue with his declaration that “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign at the hands of the intelligence community. Clapper also told co-host Alisyn Camerota that he could not “speak specifically” to what the FBI did, an apparent 180 from his denial that the FBI spied on the Trump campaign during an appearance on The View a year earlier.
The liberal media are forever vigilant about racism and anti-Semitism among the "white nationalists," but go very soft when hateful anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam surfaces at public events. On Thursday, Farrakhan was invited to speak at a memorial service for the rapper Nipsey Hussle, and "mainstream" media outlets either skipped right over it, or noted it without criticism. CNN included Farrakhan in articles titled "The stars align for Nipsey Hussle."
One more indictment that came as a result of the Trump-Russia probe came tumbling down the pike on Thursday, when a former White House counsel for President Obama was charged with lying to investigators about his foreign lobbying work for Ukraine. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s similar to what former Trump campaign head Paul Manafort was convicted of. But despite the similarities, the airtime dedicated to the indictment by the broadcast networks was grossly lopsided.
Former porn star lawyer Michael Avenatti is back in the headlines after being indicted Thursday on 36 charges ranging from fraud to tax dodging. Incidentally, this is the same Michael Avenatti whom broadcast and cable news networks have hosted a whopping 254 times over the past year, according to the MRC's latest count of the spotlight-loving attorney's televised escapades.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested after being kicked out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London...finally. For media who have spent the fast few years focused on the narrative, Assange was seen as the face that symbolized the threat posed to the United States by Russia, second only to Vladimir Putin. However, it wasn't always that way.
After the media failed to notice controversial Democratic Congresswoman Ihan Omar making offensive public comments two weeks ago in which she downplayed the September 11th terrorist attacks as “some people did something,” NBC’s Today show finally discovered the story on Thursday. The ABC and CBS morning shows continued to ignore Omar’s latest scandal, while NBC tried to paint her as a victim.
On Wednesday, both NBC’s Today show and ABC’s Good Morning America promoted congressional Democrats complaining about Attorney General William Barr’s testimony on Capitol Hill regarding the upcoming release of the Mueller report. Little or no attention was given to Republicans as anchors and reporters warned of “Democrats still not happy.”
In a hearing that was originally slotted to be about the Justice Department’s budget, Attorney General William Barr was grilled on Tuesday by House Democrats about the Special Counsel Report. He told Congress that he asked Robert Mueller to review his letter (which Mueller declined), but not to help him prepare it. During ABC’s World News Tonight, congressional correspondent Mary Bruce twisted that to suggest Barr blindsided the Special Counsel by not charging President Trump with obstruction of justice.
The panel on ABC’s This Week Sunday expressed their reservations about President Trump’s decision to nominate former Presidential candidate Herman Cain and former economic adviser to the Trump campaign Stephen Moore to the Federal Reserve Board; with a particular focus on Cain. No one went further than ABC Political Analyst Matthew Dowd, who suggested that freshmen economics students have higher qualifications to serve on the board than Cain and Moore.
On Monday, all three network morning shows reveled in Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announcing her resignation with relieved reporting about her “tumultuous tenure” at the department being over and touting Democrats blasting the Trump cabinet official. Correspondents fretted over who would replace Nielsen as they bid her “good riddance.”
Television journalists hurried to get in their obligatory parting jabs at DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen following Sunday's announcement that she would be leaving her post. The consensus was that Nielsen would forever be remembered as “the face” of family separation at the border, and that she deserved “no sympathy” for any difficulties she might face in the wake of her departure from Trump Administration.