When in the past two years has the press gotten anything right about Donald Trump?
These dodos said his hair was a toupee!
On Tuesday, in a news story, CNN implied that President Trump is an agent of a foreign government. It did so without one scintilla of evidence that Russia is blackmailing the duly elected president.
Shep Smith at Fox News defended CNN. He should be cashiered. Anyone who defends CNN should be let go because what it did was not journalism, but rather disinformation.
Don't worry about CNN. President Trump just kicked it to the curb along with the Washington Post. Oh, they will survive. There is a niche market for craziness. Info Wars, for example.
Michael Goodwin of the New York Post said the press declared war on President Trump:
BuzzFeed, a liberal Web site, published the 35 pages of memos Tuesday evening that accuse Trump of numerous misdeeds even as its editor said, “there is serious reason to doubt the allegations.”
Nonetheless, in an instant, The New York Times, The Washington Post and others released stories describing the content of the memos without actually publishing them. Those and other large organizations said they had received the memos months ago and had withheld making them public because they could not verify the allegations. Yet because BuzzFeed went ahead, the others felt obliged to do their own stories lest they be scooped.
Once upon a time, it was a good thing to be scooped on a bad story. And ask yourself this: Would the Times and Washington Post make the same decision if the unverified allegations were about President Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton? Of course not, so their rabid anti-Trump agenda still distorts their decision-making.Meanwhile, S.E. Cupp at the New York Daily News, said the press must band together from Trump's attacks:
In 2010, when the Obama administration refused Fox News’ White House pool reporter an interview with “pay czar” Kenneth Feinberg, pool reporters from other networks banded together and refused to interview him.
As CBS’ White House correspondent put it, “All the networks said, that’s it, you’ve crossed the line.” Another bureau chief said, “It’s all for one and one for all.”
It worked. Fox got the interview.The difference being Fox News did not call the president a foreign agent. There was no Fake News reported by Fox News.
CNN did report Fake News.
A commentator at CNN, Cupp wrote:
But Trump also blamed CNN for pushing “fake news.” That’s a total falsehood. CNN published a report about the documents being shown to President Obama and Trump, but didn’t include any of the unflattering allegations about Trump, precisely because they were unverified.That is the spin.
Here are the facts. Four reporters, including Carl Bernstein filed the inflammatory report, which was aimed not at disseminating the truth, but at attacking the legitimacy of President Trump's presidency.
They reported without giving President Trump a chance to respond.
They should have held the story another day or two -- or even a week -- to allow the president to respond.
Instead, CNN reported:
Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.The network reported this false alarm as if it were a ten-alarm fire.
CNN had its chance to get President Trump's side of the story before publication. It chose not to. Instead CNN wrote, "The Trump transition team declined repeated requests for comment."
That is not good enough. The president is a busy man whose staff is assembling a government in very short fashion.
The story was too important -- the stakes too high -- to go without any comment. That is bad journalism.
Would they have done this to Barack Obama?
Treat Trump the same, then.
President Trump rightly penalized CNN at his press conference.
CNN should apologize. Its staff won't. Its staff is under the delusion that CNN did nothing wrong, even though the story bombed in the face of CNN like an Acme Rocket in the hands of Wile E. Coyote.
That is the network's problem.
Our problem as a nation is we do not have a free press. We have one that goes out of its way to destroy Republicans. The conservative Media Research Center said 91% of the new stories on Trump were negative last year.
I will let you in on a little secret: the same would have been true no matter whom Republicans nominated. The jackalope candidate Jebbio McCruzney would have played defense 24/7 and instinctively apologized at every turn.
As I said in "Trump the Press," President Trump played bigger rooms than the DC media. He wrestled Steinbrenner for the sports front pages of the New York tabloids for years, often winning.
Did anyone in Washington read "The Art of the Deal"?
As Sun Tzu said, "Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win."
Everybody, Trump was Sun Tzu fighting. He won, then entered the race. The press never caught up.
The national press suffered a collective mental collapse in the early morning hours of November 9, when all the anchors and pundits read the results and realized that all their efforts to stop Trump were in vain.
His election proved that the press is neither as powerful as it thinks it is, nor should it be.
Rather than do any introspection, these bums who sold out journalism to a socialist cause are doubling down on stupid, grasping at everything and anything in desperation, as they want to bring President Trump down.
And so we have CNN implying the president-elect is a Russian agent.
Never mind that the House of Saud put up $10 million to $25 million -- illegally -- laundered through a fake charity -- to prop up the "Weekend at Bernie's" candidate Clinton.
CNN's staff has convinced itself that Trump is an evil puppet of Putin.
Over in Never Trump Land, Jonah Goldberg orgasmed when he read the preposterous account in BuzzFeed of golden showers and the like. People need to quit reading Internet porn.
A few very quick responses in no particular order:
1) It could all be entirely false. I am sure some of it is.Some of it is untrue? Let's not jump to conclusions. We must assume it is all true. I mean, liberal news organizations are always right, right?
2) I think Buzzfeed’s decision to publish the memo without confirming it is questionable at the very least.Oh, don't be silly. Verification is a 20th century concept. The 1980s called. It wants its ethics back.
3) Even when it’s a (potentially) horrible news story for Trump, you have to admire his ability to steal the oxygen from everyone else, in this case Barack Obama who is giving his Farewell Address tonight. I suspect even Obama’s biggest fans in the media will be struggling to pay attention, given the Trump buzz.Yes, Trump just stole that by being blind-sided by CNN and BuzzFeed.
4) If Trump cancels his press conference tomorrow, he will look like he’s hiding. If he holds his press conference tomorrow as scheduled, we will be in uncharted waters.
5) Substantively, I think the best quick reaction to the explosive — and unverified — allegations about the Russians having compromising information about Donald Trump is from the Lawfare Blog. You should definitely read the whole thing. But I think this point is particularly important:
Um, Goldberg, shouldn't those things have been checked out first, you know before implying the President of the United States is being blackmailed?Fourth, it is significant that the document contains highly specific allegations, many of which are the kind of facts it should be possible to prove or disprove. This is a document about meetings that either took place or did not take place, stays in hotels that either happened or didn’t, travel that either happened or did not happen. It should be possible to know whether at least some of these allegations are true or false.
5a) I think the above is important for two reasons. First it highlights why Buzzfeed’s decision to publish the report is going to be second-guessed by a lot of people and may bring legal action. There are a lot of facts that could have been corroborated before publication.Corroboration is a sweet old-fashioned notion.
5b) If Trump can disprove some/any of the specific allegations in the report, it will likely do more to inoculate him than cripple him. If he can’t disprove any of the specific allegations, his presidency will be wounded, perhaps more mortally.The presumption of guilt is the standard when dealing with Republicans. Little did we realize that Goldberg's book, "Liberal Fascism" was a How To book.
6) Even if this whole thing is a complete fabrication, there’s still the vexing question: Why is admiration for Putin and his government the only issue Trump has never wavered, equivocated, or flip-flopped on? If these allegations are false, that question still remains.Proving one's innocence is never good enough in Never Trump Land.
Hatred of Trump drove Jonah Goldberg and his mates at National Review insane. They now defend the Fake News media. This is what years of living in a swamp will do.
Many of the rest of the Washington press corps and pundits are in the same boat. For the first time in their lives, they lost. They need a safe place.
Thus they grasped this hare-brained story and hung on to it for dear life.
They are corrupt, insular, and oh so wrong.
They have fallen for The Lie Too Big To Fail.
The press treats President Trump as an enemy -- and recoil and wave the Constitution when he treats them as such. How can he do this, they ask.
Easy. The Constitution protects his right to free speech, too.
Every Democratic president receives a honeymoon from the press. Obama's lasted eight years. Bush 43 and Trump received none.
That is to the detriment of a highly partisan and juvenile press. Americans have a long history of respecting the president regardless of who he is or how he got there.
The press mistakes Hillary's plurality in the popular for a mandate.
Most Americans may not have wanted Trump to be president, but it also is true that most Americans did not want her.
President Trump must prove himself worthy of the title. The press must regain its credibility.
Appointing good men and women to the Cabinet, moving on the economy, and pushing Obamacare reform helps Trump.
Falsely implying the president is a pawn of Putin helps no one.
But if Cupp wants to go over that cliff, I cannot stop her.
Please read "Trump the Press," in which I skewer media experts who wrongly predicted Trump would lose the Republican nomination. "Trump the Press" is available as a paperback, and on Kindle.
It covers the nomination process only. The general election will be covered in a sequel.
For an autographed copy, email me at DonSurber@GMail.com
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