George W. Bush
When it comes to the so-called mainstream media, it’s a case of Kanye West vs. Kanye West. The Networks on Thursday and Friday mocked the “bizarre,” “surreal” rapper for appearing at the White House with Donald Trump. But these outlets gushed over the “thoughtful” entertainer when he derided then-President George W. Bush as a racist.
A new character assassination, er, I mean biopic about Vice President Dick Cheney is set to hit theaters this Christmas. Starring Christian Bale in the titular role, Vice appears to be less of a thoughtful political drama detailing Cheney’s role during the Bush years, and more of a gritty, gangster movie, depicting the vice president’s quest for absolute power.
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.”
The August 6 episode of Ballers, "In the Teeth," had a couple of great moments for the left-wing viewers as one athlete provided a cliché soundbite about the right trying to keep people of color from succeeding, and another character was called out by the feminist PC police for pointing out that a woman with the NFL who has never played professional football doesn't know what it's like to play professional football.
Since CNN’s middle name is “News,” viewers of the weekday morning New Day program expect to catch up on the latest headlines and watch in-depth investigations on the topics of the day. That wasn’t quite the case on Wednesday, when the final segment of the program was devoted to a “hard-hitting” report on whether President Donald Trump is afraid of stairs.
The two-minute segment by Jeanne Moos, the network’s national correspondent, focused on several British newspapers that claim the GOP occupant of the White House has “bathmophobia,” the fear of stairs and slopes.
Esquire’s Charles Pierce is accusing President Trump of adding to something he vowed to subtract from. In a Thursday post, Pierce called the White House’s proposed federal budget a “vast, noxious swamp into which all those tributaries of modern conservative thought have emptied themselves. People die in there, swallowed up in deep sinkholes of empowered bigotry and class anger.”
MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews compared White House chief strategist Steve Bannon on Thursday to Star Wars villain Darth Vader, even though “he’s a good speaker” albeit “a little strong but, you know, that’s part of the deal he’s got.”
Logic and proportion may be non-factors in media coverage of Donald Trump’s presidency, fears Lloyd Grove. In a Wednesday column, Grove opined that journalism “is in danger of passing through the looking glass, only to land in a menacing, topsy-turvy world, namely the White House Press Room…It’s likely to be [a] place where language will occasionally signify its opposite, and government spokespeople will declare, as Humpty Dumpty famously scolded Alice, ‘When I use a word, it means what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.’” The key to this process, indicated Grove, is the use of the term “fake news” as the “Trump administration’s rightwing-populist bludgeon to delegitimize the purveyors of real news.” Among Grove's expert witnesses: Dan Rather.
On Sunday's Reliable Sources on CNN, while introducing a segment about how to deal with a President Donald Trump when he "lies" about something, host Brian Stelter dubiously included a clip of former President George W. Bush from his April 2013 speech declaring that the U.S. had "prevailed" in Iraq as an example of Presidents telling "lies" alongside deliberate presidential deceptions like Bill Clinton's "I did not have sexual relations with that woman," Barack Obama's "If you like your current insurance, you keep that insurance," and Richard Nixon's "I'm not a crook."
Presidential visits to wounded soldiers at Walter Reed should be non-political events worthy of non-partisan coverage, but the New York Times manages to shows its colors even in those solemn moments. In the half-page “Obama’s Sacred Duty: Visiting the Wounded -- Trips to Walter Reed Take Toll and Inspire," reporter Gardiner Harris brought a somber, emotional, personalized tone to the proceedings. But visits by George W. Bush were greeted with terse headlines and criticism.
When Donald Trump is POTUS, he’s likely to get deferential, even helpful, media coverage, predicted Atrios on Monday. After all, he explained, that’s been the pattern for Republican presidents since the 1980s. When Ronald Reagan was in the White House, Atrios alleged, “members of the press knew that [he] had some form of dementia, that he was not actually fit to run the country, and they covered it up because the feefees of America would be hurt because Reagan was the most popular president in the history of the universe. Of course he wasn't the most popular president by any reasonable measure, but the press loved him so America loved him and they added 10 extra points to his popularity rating in their minds. They did that for [George W. Bush], also, too.”
On Tuesday, CBS This Morning went gaga over liberal comedian Jon Stewart's and the 17 years of his Daily Show. Charlie Rose gushed that "it became, for all of us, a, kind of, cultural event — more than a show." He later added, "There was nothing quite like him. A lot of people did it very well....But Jon had a special place." Rose, along with Gayle King and Norah O'Donnell, later marveled over the show's "extraordinary collection" of comedians. The newscast also touted several clips of the Comedy Central program mocking Republicans.