A 77-year-old man died the other day, and, according to The Nation’s Walsh, it should have been a major learning moment for the Republican Party. In a Thursday piece about the career and legacy of former Fox News Channel boss Roger Ailes, Walsh mused that the passing of the GOP’s “intellectual patron” might “serve as a warning to the party” that “anger, arrogance and seething resentment of a rapidly changing country can be fatal.”
After initially refraining from making irresponsible comparisons between President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey to the Watergate scandal, on Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News and Thursday’s Today, the network could no longer resist its liberal instincts, joining ABC and CBS in labeling Trump the new Richard Nixon.
Appearing on CNN Wednesday afternoon to participate in the network-wide meltdown over James Comey’s ouster as FBI Director, longtime liberal journalists and CNN political analyst Carl Bernstein invoked Watergate but went further, fretting that “this is terribly dangerous moment in American history.”
In a hyperbolic segment for MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday, co-host Joe Scarborough went all in comparing President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey to the firing of U.S. Attorneys by Richard Nixon at the height of the Watergate scandal. He proclaimed that in the wake of Trump’s decision, “The capital is filling with echoes of Watergate...”
In a two-minute video posted at PJ Media on Sunday, MSNBC's Chris Matthews stated that he wants Donald Trump to succeed, and that he "used to think" that presidential preference polls were honest, but "they were wrong." This is pretty odd coming a guy who, as seen in several recent NewsBusters posts, has frequently compared the Trump family to the Romanovs, and who has seemed to encourage people at the IRS to leak Trump's prior-year tax returns, saying that doing so would be "a good leak."
The headline in the March 5, 1929 edition of the Chicago Tribune read, "Plain Citizen Coolidge Shuts Desk and Quietly Goes Home." Calvin Coolidge would write a newspaper column from Northampton, Massachusetts, for which he presumably was paid a pittance, but other than that he refused to exploit his notoriety or accomplishments as president for money.
As Ben Stein appeared as a guest on Sunday's CNN Newsroom, host Ana Cabrera was visibly surprised that the right-leaning actor and economist slammed Hasan Minhaj's anti-Donald Trump jokes as "sickening" as the two discussed the liberal comedian's appearance at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Stein also called out the media as a "joke" and a "sharp instrument of the left" that are constantly "attacking" President Trump.
According to Leah Finnegan in her Thursday piece for The New Republic, when Steve Bannon cast the mainstream media as full-fledged opponents of the Trump White House, it wasn’t an accurate statement, but it may have been the next best thing: a self-fulfilling prophecy. “What if, rather than reflexively assuming its defensive posture of ‘objectivity,’ the press embraced this opportunity to go full-offense?” wondered Finnegan, who added, “In declaring the media the ‘opposition party,’ Bannon may have actually done it [sic] a great favor, tacitly casting it as a worthy adversary to Trump’s newfound power.”
You might call it The Media versus America. The President of the United States held a press conference on Thursday. On that, everyone agreed. But after that? Words like “unhinged” a particular favorite to describe the event. Here’s a sample of the headline reaction.The New York Times: An Aggrieved President Moves His Surrogates Aside, The Washington Post: Debrief: In an erratic performance, Trump shows his supporters who’s boss
On Friday’s CBS Evening News, anchor Scott Pelley strayed into punditry as he observed that “the common denominator of Mr. Trump’s woes is the Constitution” and not the media because they didn’t cause the departure of Mike Flynn, halt his immigration executive order, or have Andy Pudzer withdraw as the Labor Secretary nominee.
Is it hasta la vista, baby, for the venerable White House daily briefing for the media? Way back there in 1955 James Hagerty, the press secretary for President Dwight Eisenhower, came to the conclusion that admitting television cameras to presidential press conferences Ike held in the Indian Treaty Room of the next-door to the White House Old Executive Office Building (now named for Eisenhower) was the future.
Appearing as a panel member on Tuesday's CNN Tonight, CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley repeated as if were fact the claim that Ronald Reagan's campaign in 1980 pressed the Iranian government to delay the release of the Americans held hostage to hurt President Jimmy Carter's reelection chances. Neither host Don Lemon nor fellow CNN presidential historian Timothy Naftali noted that a Democratic Congress failed to find evidence of such illicit activity when they investigated the October Surprise conspiracy theory in the early 1990s. Brinkley: "Ronald Reagan was taking on Jimmy Carter, and there was the October Surprise meeting keeping the hostages in Iran. William Casey, people in the Reagan administration were interfering with foreign policy then saying, 'Keep the hostages in until after the election.' So it has happened before."