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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Chris Wallace and the thin-skinned press

The Guardian reported, "Fox host lambastes Trump over 'most sustained assault on press freedom in U.S. history.' Chris Wallace, admired for breaking ranks with some in the conservative network, drew applause with most stinging critique yet."

Wallace is wrong.

FDR censored news reports. Obama spied on James Rosen, who was one of Wallace's reporters at Fox.

But the thin-skinned Wallace and his colleagues in DC are upset because President Donald John Trump criticizes them for publishing and broadcasting Fake News. He is correct, which really upsets them. Orange Man Bad.

The Guardian reported that Wallace drew applause at a function at the Newseum last night.

He said, "He has done everything he can to undercut the media, to try and de-legitimize us, and I think his purpose is clear: to raise doubts when we report critically about him and his administration that we can be trusted. Back in 2017, he tweeted something that said far more about him than it did about us: ‘The fake news media is not my enemy. It is the enemy of the American people.’"

Why would Fake News not be an enemy? It is propaganda. Why would Wallace, who is a good reporter (lousy commentator) defend Fake News? Why would any of them?

But they do. They awarded Pulitzers to the Jeff Bezos Washington Post and the Carlos Slim New York Times for their coverage of the Russian Collusion story, which was exposed as a lie to justify Obama's spying on Donald John Trump.

No one has returned the Pulitzers or apologized.

Speaking of lack of apologies, instead of showing remorse and apologizing for promoting the FBI scapegoating of Richard Jewell, which ruined his life, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is doing everything to discredit Clint Eastwood's new biographical film on Jewell.

The Los Angeles Times reported the newspaper's lawyers sent a letter objecting to the implication that its reporter, Kathy Scruggs, slept with an FBI source to get the story. As she died in 2001 and the newspaper succeeded in stopping having to reveal the source of the Fake News, neither version can be fact checked.

I am curious as to why newspapers refuse to reveal sources when the story turns out to be false. Anyone else would punish a liar.

The Times story said, "Another point of contention is the representation of the newspaper’s behavior around the 1996 story. The letter, sent Monday from L.A.'s Lavely and Singer law firm, maintains that the organization 'acted responsibly.'"

He was a hero who saved lives that the newspaper turned into a villain.

23 years later, the Des Moines Register did the same thing this summer to Carson King, 24. As a joke, he held up a sign on a national TV asking for beer money. The money flowed in. He decided to give it to a children's hospital. The beer company, Busch Light, joined his effort.

Then the newspaper had reporter Aaron Calvin go after King. Calvin found some tweets King wrote as a teen. The newspaper's editors published the tweets. The beer company deserted King.

After a national uproar, the newspaper fired the reporter -- not the editor who published the story.

In his speech last night, Wallace said, "Let’s be honest, the president’s attacks have done some damage. A Freedom Forum Institute poll, associated here with the Newseum, this year found that 29% of Americans, almost a third of all of us, think the first amendment goes too far. And 77%, three quarters, say that fake news is a serious threat to our democracy."

The media can blame itself. Instead it uses the president as a whipping boy. He has sent no one to jail, he has not censored any stories, and as far as I can tell he has not spied on any reporters.

President Trump merely calls out their lies.

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