Washington Examiner’s ‘Liberal Media Scream’ With the MRC’s Assessment


Since late January of 2012, the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard has once a week featured a “Mainstream Media Scream” selection in his “Washington Secrets” column. For each pick, usually posted online on Monday, I provide an explanation and recommend a “scream” rating (scale of one to five).

This post contains the “Liberal Media Screams” starting in January 2020.

> For all of 2019. For all of  2018. (Re-named “Liberal Media Scream” as of June 11, 2018.) “Mainstream Media Screams” for:

> July-December 2017 posts; January through June 2017; July to December 2016; for January to June 2016; for July to December 2015; for January to June 2015. (2012-2014 are featured on MRC.org: For 2014; for June 17, 2013 through the end of 2013. And for January 31, 2012 through June 11, 2013.)

Check Bedard’s “Washington Secrets” blog for the latest choice and his other Washington insider posts. Each week, this page will be updated with Bedard’s latest example of the worst bias of the week.

(For more of the worst liberal media bias, browse the Media Research Center’s Notable Quotables with compilations of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media.)

■ New on August 24: Liberal Media Scream: CNN regular calls America the land of racists, case closed

I’ll add text and video here next week, but so the Washington Examiner gets the traffic for their post when it’s fresh, please read Paul Bedard’s post on their site where you can watch the video and read the full quote.

 

■ August 17: Liberal Media Scream: Trump’s fans are racists, case closed, says Donny Deutsch

(Washington Examiner post)

As the presidential election gets closer, TV pundits, reporters, and anchors appear to be in a race to out-do each other in explaining how much they hate, and totally misunderstand, President Trump.

This week’s Liberal Media Scream is just the latest example. For it, we feature MSNBC regular Donny Deutsch, a prize-ranter on the notably anti-Trump show, Morning Joe. In explaining how a third of the country supports Trump, he said, “The answer is only one thing: 1 in 3 Americans are racists.”

That prompted anti-Trump cheerleader Mika Brzezinski to note, “It’s pathetic!”

Deutsch on the Friday, Aug. 14 Morning Joe on MSNBC:

“How do 1 in 3 Americans still believe this man about corona or anything, and the answer is only one thing: 1 in 3 Americans are racists. One in three Americans are terrified that this country by the year 2040 is not going to be majority white — that the black man or the brown man or the yellow man or woman are going to come and take their jobs and take away their suburbs and scare them. And it’s no coincidence yesterday Trump brought up Kamala Harris and the whole birther thing. That is the only explanation. Because you can’t even bring up the economy anymore. That is it, that 1 in 3 Americans [Mika Brzezinski: “It’s pathetic!”] are racists still in this country.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “First, it wasn’t Trump who ‘brought up Kamala Harris and the whole birther thing.’ Trump was responding to a question about it posed by a journalist who brought it up. Second, it’s troubling how comfortable Deutsch is with smearing tens of millions of his fellow Americans as racists. It must be nice to be so smug as to not feel any obligation to make any effort to understand legitimate policy preferences which could lead people to back Trump’s direction for the nation, and/or fear where the nation is headed with uncontrolled violence in some big cities.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ August 10: Liberal Media Scream: Anti-Trump CNN asks where’s the media ‘tearing down Trump’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features one of the craziest claims yet by the anti-President Trump press corps — that there aren’t any media outlets dedicated to “tearing down Trump.”

It came on CNN during a discussion of the anti-Joe Biden theme on some conservative radio shows, especially the bigs: Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin.

During his Sunday show, Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s Reliable Sources, asked: “Is there an equivalent to that on the left, tearing down Trump?” His guest, Errin Haines, editor-at-large of the news site the 19th, answered, “There really isn’t.”

The exchange came after Stelter played audio clips from Limbaugh, Levin, Ben Shapiro, and Michael Savage. “Vile Anti-Biden Rhetoric On Right-Wing Talk Radio” was displayed on the screen.

Brian Stelter: “Errin, your view of this, when you see entire media companies essentially exist to tear down Joe Biden, is there an equivalent to that on the left, tearing down Trump?”

Errin Haines: “There really isn’t. And, you know, what I would say is it’s really a diet of this type of information that a lot of these voters are getting. A lot of the voters that I talk to, I can — when I interview them, I do hear them saying a lot of the talking points that sound very familiar from some of these shows, which I try to listen to when I’m out on the campaign trail or when I’m home watching TV. You can hear these comments being echoed by voters. You know that this is the diet that they’re on: AM radio, conservative talk. Also, social media.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Stelter has become a parody of himself with this unintentionally, very funny exchange, which so well displayed his total lack of basic self-awareness. On a show dedicated every week to denouncing President Trump that airs on a network, which devotes hours every day to denigrating Trump’s policies and character, he seriously wonders if there’s a media outlet as anti-Trump as some radio talk shows are anti-Biden.”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ August 3: Liberal Media Scream: PBS host wants Trump tried for COVID ‘mass murder’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features a PBS host calling for the prosecution of President Trump for the “mass murder” of the 150,000 Americans lost to COVID-19.

Appearing on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation on Saturday, Alexander Heffner, the host of The Open Mind, also rapped Attorney General William Barr while talking with the MSNBC host Rev. Al Sharpton.

Heffer argued that “if we had an actual attorney general in this country,” he would be “prosecuting” Trump and complicit Republicans for “the malfeasance, the negligence, the homicide, the mass murder.”

After Sharpton read a tweet which he characterized as showing Trump “fighting with his own health experts,” Heffner replied:

“Yeah, he’s done that from the beginning. I mean, the scientific illiteracy has immobilized our country. It’s made it impossible to comprehensively assault the medical crisis. You know, in your prior segment, you were discussing the attorney general. If we had an actual attorney general in this country, he would be, or she would be, investigating and prosecuting the malfeasance, the negligence, the homicide, the mass murder — it’s gotten to a point with over 150,000 American souls gone that it’s not just inexcusable, it’s genocidal. It’s mania. And I think that the Senate candidates that you referenced are going to be campaigning for the health and well-being of their citizens. And life and death ought not be a partisan issue, but we’ve discovered it is now.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Leave it to PBS to employ someone so enraged by President Trump that he would stoop to vile allegations of mass murder and genocide over a disagreement with a tweet. Some not so well spent taxpayer money.”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ July 27: Liberal Media Scream: Media darling demands voters choose Biden, ‘end this reign of terror’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features biographer and former Newsweek editor Jon Meacham urging MSNBC viewers to get out and vote in November to “end this reign of terror” of President Trump.

Comparing the president to former President Richard Nixon and former Alabama Democratic Gov. George Wallace, he said, “If you want to end this reign of terror … you’ve got to vote. And the idea that somehow or another because you think — one thinks that Trump is an idiot or he’s, you know, he’s a racist, whatever you might think … it’s not going to matter if what happened in 2016 happens again.”

He is concerned that the 2020 election is similar to 1968 when Nixon and Wallace won 55% of the vote. “If you go back and look at what Wallace and Nixon were saying, it’s what Trump is saying,” he claimed.

Meacham on Sunday’s Weekends with Alex Witt on MSNBC:

“And the figure we need to think about, and the country will have him on its mind for about 24 hours or so, is not Richard Nixon, but George Wallace, who was the governor of Alabama, who was the last person, I believe, to lie in state at the Alabama capitol where Congressman Lewis is now headed on Highway 80. And Wallace said in 1961 that he was going to be the governor who defended ‘segregation today, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.’ In 1964, he ran for president — he did very well outside the American South. People who think this is entirely a Southern problem are wrong. He did well in Indiana. He did well in Wisconsin.

“And on election day 1968, more than 55% of the country, think about that for a second, more than 55% of the country voted for either Richard Nixon or George Wallace. And if you go back and look at what Wallace and Nixon were saying, it’s what Trump is saying. It’s that your neighborhoods are in danger, chaos is in the streets, and ‘I’ — dare I say it, as Trump would say it — ‘I alone can fix it.’ This is a perennial American meme, and it’s something that is going to require immense vigilance on the part of the Democratic Party and people who do not want this election to turn out the way 1968 did. …

“All I’m saying is — and I think Congressman Lewis would echo it in that wonderful voice where he always spoke with a kind of biblical shout. He was a little guy, but his voice was so strong. If you want to end this reign of terror, this reign of terror, in terms of COVID, you’ve got to vote. And the idea that somehow or another because you think, one thinks that Trump is an idiot or he’s, you know, he’s a racist, whatever you might think, one might think — it’s not going to matter if what happened in 2016 happens again.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Another effort to vilify President Trump as a mortal threat to the nation’s well-being. Not satisfied to just characterize his years in the White House as a ‘reign of terror,’ Meacham decided to delegitimize Trump further by painting him as the heir to racist Democrat George Wallace. So the only moral course for the nation, Meacham presumes, is to defeat Trump.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ July 20: Liberal Media Scream: In CNN’s world, conservative outlets, not Times, Post, are intolerant

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features CNN wading into the intolerance debate where it finds that it’s the conservatives outlets, and even religious colleges, that are close-minded.

In the wake of New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss falling victim to the “cancel culture” for daring to run pieces that went counter to left-wing orthodoxy, CNN brought aboard a guest to defend the New York Times and claim the intolerance of opinion is on the Right, not the Left.

“I do think there is a growing intolerance of oppositional political views,” Jill Filipovic said on Reliable Sources, but not at “mainstream and progressive outlets.”

Filipovic, an opinion writer and author of the upcoming book, OK BOOMER, LET’S TALK: How My Generation Got Left Behind, said, “It’s really conservative news outlets, as well as conservative institutions like religious colleges, where you’re lacking diversity of opinion.”

From Sunday’s Reliable Sources on CNN:

Brian Stelter: “Is there growing intolerance in American newsrooms? Is what people like Bari Weiss, is what they’re pointing to a real and serious threat?”

Jill Filipovic: “Yes, I do think that there is growing intolerance of oppositional political views. I think where we get it wrong in this conversation is looking at mostly mainstream and progressive outlets. The reality is, places like the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, host a really wide variety of perspectives. Both the Post and the Times have conservative columnists. There’s really not a day that goes by that you can’t find conservative perspectives on those websites. You really can’t say the same thing about Fox News, about Breitbart, about web sites like Townhall.com. It’s really conservative news outlets, as well as conservative institutions like religious colleges, where you’re lacking diversity of opinion. And what I see happening here is, yes, pointing to something that is a frustrating problem, but by honing in on, quote/unquote, ‘liberal outlets,’ I think you really miss the fuller story and the ways in which I think the Right is really working the refs on this one.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Talk about working the refs. In what alternative universe does Filipovic live? The term ‘cancel culture’ was created to describe what ‘mainstream and progressive’ outlets do to those who dare stray from the approved left-wing view of an issue. ‘Cancel culture’ is real at liberal outlets and has cost several journalists their jobs. And there’s a lot more diversity of political views on Fox News Channel than on CNN or MSNBC. When did you last hear a pro-Trump voice on CNN or MSNBC?”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ July 13: No Liberal Media Scream this week

 

■ New on July 6: Liberal Media Scream: PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor says Trump sits between ‘George Wallace and Ronald Reagan’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features the huge divide over President Trump’s 2020 pivot to the “cancel culture” in America displayed in his speeches at Mount Rushmore and on July Fourth.

We feature PBS NewsHour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor condemning Trump’s Mount Rushmore speech and his depiction of the United States as a nation worthy of pride. On MSNBC, she claimed that Trump was perpetuating the “lie” that the nation “treated men and women equally, that we founded this country just by our own wits,” as she added that “we’re seeing a celebration of America’s independence on land that was stolen from Native Americans.”

Referring to the carvings in the mountainside of presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, Alcindor said it was important to note that two of them owned slaves and that Roosevelt “oversaw the desecration of native lands.”

Alcindor is the recent recipient of the “overall excellence in White House coverage” award from the White House Correspondents’ Association.

Alcindor on Friday night, as MSNBC aired a panel discussion while the Mount Rushmore ceremony began:

“I think what we’re seeing is a president who’s determined to fly in the face of … people who are saying that there’s really a myth of America — that this idea that America treated people well, that they treated men and women equally, that we founded this country just by our own wits, that that is actually a lie and that in fact, what we’re seeing is a celebration of America’s independence on land that was stolen from Native Americans, and it’s over — and it’s being seen and overlooked by two presidents — they’re figures, rather — that owned slaves and a third president in Roosevelt, who talked about going westward and who oversaw the desecration of native lands.

“You saw so many people in this country, especially people of color, look really, really disturbed when the president and then-candidate Trump started saying, ‘Make America Great Again’ — because, of course, the quick question was, ‘Well, what part of America and what period are you talking about? Is it when African Americans were enslaved? Is it when women couldn’t vote? Is it when Native American people were literally run off their lands?’ … He’s sitting somewhere in history between George Wallace and Ronald Reagan, and he’s really fitting in this history that is, in some ways, a Republican history about the idea that they’re really looking at white resentment.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Alcindor displayed the disrespect for our nation’s history — full of scorn for its heroes and emphasis on the sinister view of any achievements — that President Trump was reciting in taking on the Left in the very speech Alcindor was denouncing. Her take illustrated how the media elite are not just opposed to Trump’s reelection but are allied with the far-left who are trying to destroy the legitimacy of the nation.”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ June 29: Liberal Media Scream: ABC lets Pelosi claim Russians ‘have’ something on Trump

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features ABC’s George Stephanopoulos opening the door to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s unproven charge that Russian President Vladimir Putin must “have” something on President Trump.

In a Sunday discussion the New York Times story on how Russia has put a bounty on U.S. servicemen in Afghanistan, Pelosi charged that Russian President Vladimir Putin must be holding something over Trump: “I don’t know what the Russians have on the president politically, personally, financially, or whatever it is,” she said, calling Trump a “gift to Putin.”

But instead of challenging her theory, Stephanopoulos cued her up to elaborate: “You’ve raised that several times now. You said you don’t know what the Russians have on President Trump. But do you believe they have something on him?” After she repeated her points, Stephanopoulos moved on to Joe Biden’s prospects in the election.

From the June 28 This Week with George Stephanopoulos on ABC:

NANCY PELOSI: Just as I have said to the president with him, all roads lead to Putin. He will not — he will not — I don’t know what the Russians have on the president politically, personally, financially, or whatever it is….

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, that’s what I want to ask you about. Do you believe that the president hasn’t been briefed on this? And secondly, how would you explain the New York Times is saying it was actually in the president’s daily brief, perhaps he didn’t read it, how would you explain if the president weren’t briefed on this?

PELOSI: Because the president wants to ignore any allegation against Russia. As I’ve said to him in that meeting when I’m pointing to him in a blue suit, “With you Mr. President, all roads lead to Putin.”… He is a gift to Russia…. All a gift to Putin. Something is very wrong here. But this must have an answer.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve raised that several times now. You said you don’t know what the Russians have on President Trump. But do you believe they have something on him?

PELOSI: How else would you explain his refusal to even — to ignore again and again the intelligence that puts right at the Russian doorstep the involvement into our elections for example? Now he’s saying this is fake news. Why would he say that? Why wouldn’t he say, let’s look into it and see what this is?…. He’s kissing up to Putin in every way, saying they should be in the G-7, even though he annexed Crimea and caused death and destruction in Ukraine, so totally irresponsible. Something is wrong with this picture. But putting that aside for the moment, let’s just dwell on this. We hear also that the administration is considering diplomatic response to this or sanctions to this, well, they either know about it or they don’t know about it. The American people need to know what that is.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Before we go, I do want to ask you a little bit about the 2020 presidential campaign…

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Journalists are obsessed with what they see as crazy allegations from President Trump and are nearly as upset by social media not blocking posts containing ‘false’ information. But when a guest makes a scurrilous allegation against the president, George Stephanopoulos not only refuses to challenge the charge, he enables further elaboration of it.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ June 22: Liberal Media Scream: CBS’s Pauley Gushes for Cuomo, popular and ‘available’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features Jane Pauley’s love fest with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on CBS Sunday Morning.

Pauley didn’t mention deaths in nursing homes that stemmed from his decisions on the coronavirus nor his demand for 40,000 ventilators when a fraction of that number were ever needed.

But she found time to celebrate his “unattached” marital status when he’s “having a moment,” yet being unable to exploit it because of the lockdowns: “Is your social life in a Phase 1 relationship, possibly? Is that an unfortunate set of circumstances?” she asked him.

Pauley, who campaigned for Barack Obama in Indiana in 2008, even urged the governor to aim for a presidential run in 2024. When he demurred, she expressed disappointment: “What is it with the Cuomo’s? The fact that your father never ran for president is still, you know, one of the great mysteries of political life. What does your mother say?”

From the June 21 CBS Sunday Morning:

JANE PAULEY: Cuomo was married for 15 years to Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of Robert F. Kennedy. And until last year, was in a long relationship with author and TV chef Sandra Lee, but he’s unattached now.

PAULEY TO ANDREW CUOMO: You are a bachelor, you’ve got a nice house here, having a moment, and you can’t do a thing with it. Is your social life in a Phase 1 relationship, possibly? Is that an unfortunate set of circumstances?

CUOMO: Well, I think —

PAULEY: I know you’re a bachelor. I know. I know you’ve talked about being available.

CUOMO: Yeah. The house isn’t mine [referring to the governor’s mansion in Albany], sort of like a rental. I will move out one day. I can reopen the economy, but dating, that’s a whole different thing beyond my control.

PAULEY: Pity, isn’t it?

PAULEY: I find it really hard to accept, after decades in government, you don’t have a political agenda in your future that’s on the back of your mind. Four years from now, either Donald Trump will not run for reelection, or Joe Biden will be 82, and probably there will be a search for a Democratic nominee. And I cannot believe that Andrew Cuomo won’t be on that stage.

CUOMO: Joe Biden is going to be the president of the United States, I believe that. I believe Joe Biden will run for a second term.

PAULEY: At 82?

CUOMO: Yes. And I hope to be the governor of the state of New York. I have something to contribute. This is my home. I love it. And I’m happy.

PAULEY: What is it with the Cuomo’s? The fact that your father never ran for president is still, you know, one of the great mysteries of political life. What does your mother say?

CUOMO: We haven’t had that conversation.

PAULEY: Really?

CUOMO: Really.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “It’s good to be a liberal Democrat. It means when you mess up and send infected people into nursing homes, which substantially increased the number of coronavirus deaths in your state, you have friends in the news media who ignore that and look at you with goo-goo eyes, more interested in your dating life and future political stardom.”

Rating: Three out of five screams.

 

■ June 15: Liberal Media Scream: Ben Carson scolds anti-Trump media, ‘ridiculous,’ ‘grow up’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features the soft-spoken Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson calling out ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and others who are whipped up with Trump Derangement Syndrome and are trying to find any reason to attack the president.

On Sunday’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Carson scolded host Stephanopoulos after he tied Trump to the KKK because Trump’s scheduled convention acceptance speech falls on the same date as a horrible race crime called “Ax Handle Saturday.”

Brushing off the host, Carson said, “We’ve reached a point in our society where we dissect everything and try to ascribe some nefarious notion to it. We really need to move away from that.” He added, “It really gets to a point of being ridiculous after a while, and we’re going to have to grow up as a society.”

From Sunday’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos:

Stephanopoulos: “Finally sir, the president’s convention acceptance speech is now scheduled for Jacksonville on Aug. 27, which is the 60th anniversary of ‘Ax Handle Saturday,’ when a KKK mob attacked mostly black civil rights protesters. Is it appropriate to be having a convention speech on that anniversary in that city?”

Carson: “You know, we’ve reached a point in our society where we dissect everything and try to ascribe some nefarious notion to it. We really need to move away from that. We need to move away from being offended by everything, of going through history and looking at everything, you know, of renaming everything. I mean, think about the fact that some of our universities, some of our prestigious universities, have a relationship with the slave trade. Should we go and rename those universities? It really gets to a point of being ridiculous after a while, and, you know, we’re going to have to grow up as a society.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Stephanopoulos illustrated the desperation too many journalists have to vilify President Trump by trying to hold him culpable for a coincidence of dates, desperately digging through Google to find something to connect to him. But like a disappointed dad scolds his wayward son taken in by silly concerns, Carson firmly put Stephanopoulos in his place for trying to elevate such a petty attack.”

Rating: Three out of five screams.

 

■ June 8: Liberal Media Scream: Covering both sides ‘doesn’t actually work’ in Trump era, says NYT staffer

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features the internal battle at the New York Times over running an op-ed by Republican Sen. Tom Cotton that didn’t sit well with some of the paper’s reporters, who believe they and the paper should censor his views.

Explaining the outrage that led to the resignation of the paper’s highly regarded editorial page editor, New York Times Magazine staff writer Nikole Hannah-Jones said on CNN on Sunday that in the Trump era, media opinion outlets shouldn’t present both sides, like Cotton’s.

The news media are “really struggling to cover, in a way that appears to be nonpartisan, a kind of political landscape where one political party has in many ways gone rogue,” she said. “This adherence to even-handedness, both sides-ism, the view from nowhere, doesn’t actually work in the political circumstances that we’re in,” she added.

Her comments came during the June 7 broadcast of Reliable Sources as she tried to justify the outrage from New York Times’s staff over the paper posting the Arkansas senator’s commentary:

“I think what happened is a larger symptom that we’re seeing in news organizations across the country, which is they are really struggling to cover in a way that appears to be nonpartisan a kind of political landscape where one political party has in many ways gone rogue and is not following the rules. But there’s a sense if you just cover that straight down the line, you will look like you are picking sides.

“So, this adherence to even-handedness, both sides-ism, the view from nowhere, doesn’t actually work in the political circumstances that we’re in. And what a lot of people said is that, you know, it is fine. We as a news organization must air the opinion of someone like Sen. Tom Cotton. But in a news article, where we can check the facts, where we can push back, that you don’t just hand over your platform to someone that powerful making assertions that might have been unconstitutional and most certainly some of them were not accurate.

“So, it is not just the New York Times. News organizations have really been struggling with: How do you cover where we are politically without always having to get those calls that somehow the coverage is in opposition to the Republican Party as opposed to just covering what is happening.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Jones’s rationale for censored journalism, in which she defends not even reporting views her and her colleagues have decided are unworthy, represents all that is wrong with modern journalism and why so many see the news media as an arm of the political Left. Her concern with conveying misinformation is particularly ironic given her lead role in the Times’s ‘1619 Project’ which is based on the discredited assumption the U.S. primarily declared independence from Britain in order to preserve slavery.”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ June 1: Liberal Media Scream: Somehow it’s Trump’s fault the left is attacking media

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features the hard-to-believe claim on CNN, of course, that President Trump’s regular criticism of the liberal media to his right-leaning fans is to blame for the attacks on the press covering the violence linked to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

On Sunday’s Reliable Sources on CNN, Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik held Trump accountable for the attacks on journalists by those protesting police misconduct over the weekend.

“Let’s not leave Trump out of this conversation,” Zurawik told host Brian Stelter. “What he’s done the last four years of encouraging people to hate the press” is “a large factor in the attacks on press that we’re seeing on the streets today.”

Zurawik on the May 31 Reliable Sources:

“Let’s not leave Trump out of this conversation. What he’s done the last four years of encouraging people to hate the press, ‘enemy of the people,’ ‘scum of the Earth,’ using those rallies, it’s a weapon he used, and we see the effects, I think. I’m not totally blaming him, but it’s a large factor in the attacks on press that we’re seeing on the streets today.”

Brent Baker, vice president of research for Media Research Center, explained our weekly pick: “I didn’t notice many MAGA hat-wearers in the crowd, which attacked the CNN building in Atlanta, nor in those outside the White House who menaced the crew from the Trump-friendly Fox News Channel. But Zurawik can’t help but see everything through the lens of his disgust for Trump, so if it’s bad, Trump must have caused it.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ May 25: Liberal Media Scream: Media bigs tell Kayleigh McEnany don’t you dare challenge us

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features the inevitable rip by media big shots on newly installed and battle-eager White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

And the hits didn’t come just from the usual liberal suspects, but Fox News’s Chris Wallace and the Dispatch’s Jonah Goldberg.

It came on Wallace’s popular show Fox News Sunday in a discussion with Goldberg over McEnany’s scolding of reporters for not looking further into the Michael Flynn scandal and how it showed the unraveling of the Russia collusion narrative.

Wallace declared: “I have to say that if Kayleigh McEnany had told Sam Donaldson and me what questions we should ask, that would not have gone well.” Goldberg said that McEnany’s behavior was “indefensible and grotesque” and like a “Twitter troll who goes on attack, doesn’t actually care about doing the job they have.” Wallace echoed that “McEnany isn’t acting like she is working for the public. She acts like she is what she used to be, which is a spokesperson for the Trump campaign.”

McEnany had told reporters at Friday’s briefing: “If I write them out in a slide format, maybe we’re visual learners, and you guys will follow up with journalistic curiosities. … Why was Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn unmasked? Not by the intel community entirely but by Obama’s chief of staff, by the former Vice President Joe Biden. By Susan Rice. By the treasury secretary. I mean, this is extraordinary.”

From the May 24 Fox News Sunday:

CHRIS WALLACE: Jonah, first of all, it’s not extraordinary. Unmasking is pretty routine. The effort by people in an administration to find out who a masked American person is. It happens in the Trump White House. It happened, I think, 16,000 times the year before last. What’s a crime is leaking it, but unmasking isn’t. In addition, to which, I have to say that if Kayleigh McEnany had told Sam Donaldson and me what questions we should ask, that would not have gone well, Jonah.

JONAH GOLDBERG: Yeah, look, it’s nice to see Donna so deferential to Kayleigh McEnany. I think her behavior is indefensible and grotesque. And I think that what she has done is she — there’s this cliché in Washington that President Trump wants a Roy Cohn as DOJ, as attorney general. What Donald Trump wants in a press secretary is a Twitter troll who goes on attack, doesn’t actually care about doing the job they have, and instead wants to impress, really, an audience of one and make another part of official Washington another one of these essentially cable news and Twitter gladiatorial arenas. And it’s a sign of the defining of deviancy down in our politics, and it’s only going to make things worse.

WALLACE: Jonah — Josh, rather. In the time we’ve got left, you know, the White House press secretary is always a complicated job. They work for the White House. But they’re paid by taxpayers. They are public officials. And Kayleigh McEnany isn’t acting like she is working for the public. She acts like she is what she used to be, which is a spokesperson for the Trump campaign.

Republican communications adviser Josh Holmes: Chris, I just disagree. I think Kayleigh’s doing a nice job, and what’s missing from this conversation that we’ve had this morning is the context by which she’s making these statements. I think that any spokesperson in the Trump world, whether it’s in the White House or the campaign, finds themselves under constant attack by the press. The confrontational nature by which journalists approach the questioning is not really to obtain much information so much as to try to back them into a corner, and I think Kayleigh said, ‘I’m not going to play that game,’ and so yeah, it is completely different from what we’ve seen from years and years of briefings from press secretaries. But I think it’s reflective of the nature that we find ourselves in.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Wallace and Goldberg obviously aren’t used to a press secretary who fights back and takes on a press corps which is the most hostile ever to a president. What they find so appalling in McEnany is what Trump supporters find so refreshing: an advocate for the president willing to get into the faces of journalists to directly address their biases.”

Rating: Three out of five screams.

 

■ May 18: No Liberal Media Scream this week

 

■ May 11 Liberal Media Scream: CNN’s Stelter hits ‘obsession’ with ‘deep state’ and Michael Flynn

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features CNN media critic Brian Stelter ripping the “right-wing” media’s “obsession” with the persecution of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, treating it “like it’s a bigger deal than the deaths of 2,000 Americans a day” from the COVID-19 virus.

Stelter said Sunday, “It’s so disappointing to look at what we’re seeing from right-wing media these days, where there’s such an obsession with the deep state and these revelations about the Russia probe and the decision about Michael Flynn.” Last week, the Justice Department dropped charges related to the fumbled Russia collusion case against Flynn.

And suggesting the media should only be covering Trump’s handling of the virus in a big way, he added, “In what right mind is any scandal, any political scandal, any Department of Justice story, more important to ask the president about than the pandemic that’s raging?”

From Stelter’s commentary at the top of Sunday’s Reliable Sources on CNN:

“It’s like New Orleans floods every day. It’s like the planes go into the towers every day. And to look away or act like it’s now normal or acceptable is a disgrace to the victims. It’s so disappointing to look at what we’re seeing from right-wing media these days, where there’s such an obsession with the deep state and these revelations about the Russia probe and the decision about Michael Flynn. They’re treating the Michael Flynn story like it’s a bigger deal than the deaths of 2,000 Americans a day.

“We were seeing this on Fox and Friends and other shows. When the president called into Fox and Friends the other morning, Friday morning right before the unemployment rate numbers came out, he talked about the Flynn case for 20 minutes before he was asked about the pandemic. In what right mind is any scandal, any political scandal, any Department of Justice story, more important to ask the President about than the pandemic that’s raging?

“Look, ultimately it’s about news judgment, it’s about lack of judgment, but I find it befuddling that some people are acting like this death toll is just normal, and accepted, and common, and just another day now. Imagine if 1,000 to 2,000 Americans were dying a day from terror attacks? Imagine the president’s response?”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “How dare other media outlets inform people about a major news development on the now-discredited ‘Russia collusion’ media storyline which CNN remains, undeterred by facts, so devoted to promoting. Maybe Stelter could use the time he spends whining about President Trump the Fox News Channel to provide at least some time examining CNN’s distorted reporting on Flynn and ‘Russia collusion’ while still keeping viewers informed about the pandemic. A real news organization can walk and chew gum at the same time.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ May 4 Liberal Media Scream: Bill Maher wants police to drag Trump out after loss

(Washington Examiner post)

In this week’s Liberal Media Scream, talk show host Bill Maher, speaking with Obama-era Attorney General Eric Holder, is so convinced that President Trump will lose reelection and refuse to leave the White House that police will have to be called in to drag him out.

But while Holder said that federal agents have the power to force Trump out, Maher doubted that they would because they like Trump.

“They have the ability. … Do they have the will?” he said on Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO, adding, “Police love his dirty draws. Do you really think they’re going to pull him out of the White House?”

From the Friday Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO:

Bill Maher: “As I’ve been saying for years now, I don’t think Trump … I cannot picture that man gracefully conceding and walking away, and I keep asking Democrats — you’re probably the one with the most law enforcement experience I’ve ever asked this — what do you do if he says, ‘It was rigged, blah, blah, blah. It’s not safe for me to leave.’ Whatever bullshit he’s going to come up with and refuses to leave. I want to know what the plan is.”

Eric Holder: “On the day of the inauguration, I actually think that he will leave, and if he doesn’t leave, the United States Marshal Service, the Metropolitan Police Department here in Washington, D.C., the Secret Service, all have the ability to pull him out of the White House, and we’ll get on with the inauguration and the presidency of Joe Biden.”

Maher: “They have the ability. … Do they have the will? I mean, you mentioned the police department. Police love his dirty draws. Do you really think they’re going to pull him out of the White House?”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Trump really is living inside the minds of liberals who have become deranged in seeing him as completely incompetent and simultaneously an omnipotent force maneuvering government powers. It’s just sad that Maher had to impugn the integrity of law enforcement officers in order to fulfill his darkest imaginations about Trump.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ April 27 Liberal Media Scream: Dr. Deborah Birx hit for standing by Trump, credibility under fire

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features two prominent journalists turning their fire on longtime public servant and coronavirus task force member Dr. Deborah Birx, apparently not satisfied with their daily criticism of President Trump.

On NBC’s Meet the Press, Andrea Mitchell said that top scientists such as Birx should resign to protest some of the things Trump has said that the media doesn’t like or agree with.

And host Chuck Todd asked if Birx was getting “sucked into the Trump vortex,” a sort of guilt by association.

From the panel segment on the April 26 Meet the Press:

Andrea Mitchell: “…dangerous, toxic advice coming from the White House. And unfortunately, I think that the credibility of the scientists really now is on the line, that they have to decide whether to stay inside and be valuable or whether or not they have to see another alternative, like [former Trump chief of staff] Jim Mattis, and quit. Because when Dr. Birx said to you today that sunlight does kill the virus, she is perpetuating an unscientific, untested single study presented by a nonscientist from the Department of Homeland Security, which led to the president, as she put it, not fully digesting the data. She needed to be very clear on disavowing it. And to this point, she still has not been, even this morning.”

Chuck Todd, to another guest on the panel: “Dr. [Vin] Gupta, are you worried that Dr. Birx is letting her credibility get sort of sucked into the Trump vortex?”

Brent Baker, Media Research Center vice president of research, explains our weekly pick: “Journalists claim President Trump’s supposed misstatements at the task force briefings are harmful, yet here are two leading journalists not hesitating to impugn a task force scientist, Dr. Birx, who provides accurate information. What she has done wrong, in the eyes of these two TV news stars, is to not provide a strong enough rebuke of Trump. Thus she too must be discredited.”

Rating: 3 out of 5 screams.

 

■ April 20 Liberal Media Scream: New York Times’ columnist calls Trump a mental case, supporters ‘reckless’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features the latest unhinged attack on President Trump from the New York Times as, well, “unhinged.”

It comes from columnist Thomas Friedman, appearing on CNN, who also ripped the United States for its “reckless” election of Trump in 2016.

Reacting to anchor Wolf Blitzer’s characterization that Trump is “egging on” those protesting stay at home policies, Friedman said, “What the president did today is just another reminder that in electing Donald J. Trump as president, the American people did the most reckless thing they have ever done in our history.”

He then added, “I don’t know what mental illness he has, Wolf, but it’s just really important that we in the press don’t catch it. It’s really important that we continue to do our job.”

Trump and the New York Times have been in a love-hate relationship since his election, and lately, it has veered more toward hate.

From the Friday, April 17 edition of CNN’s The Situation Room:

Anchor Wolf Blitzer: “The president is egging on people who have been protesting … Is he potentially putting these peoples’ lives in danger?”

Thomas Friedman: “What the president did today is just another reminder that in electing Donald J. Trump as president, the American people did the most reckless thing they have ever done in our history. I think the governor of Washington state got it exactly right, it’s ‘unhinged.’ The job of the president right now is to be the nation’s chief scientific officer, tell us where we are, what’s working where. And secondly, to be the nation’s chief procurement officer. Get people the testing equipment they need if they are going to end sheltering-in-place restrictions over the next few weeks. Those are his only two jobs right now. Fomenting revolutions in blue states with Democratic governors, unhinged is the only word for it. I don’t know what mental illness he has, Wolf, but it’s just really important that we in the press don’t catch it. It’s really important that we continue to do our job.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Sufferers of Trump Derangement Syndrome, like Friedman, should be cautious about hurling ‘unhinged’ and ‘mental illness’ allegations, lest others accuse them of projecting. His overwrought reaction — that electing Trump was the most reckless act ever in U.S. history — reflects how the New York Times approaches Trump not as a news subject with whom nearly all the staff disagree, but as a dire enemy it must destroy.”

Scream rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ April 13 Liberal Media Scream: Reporter suggests payback for Trump voters, ‘now your loved ones can die’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features Baltimore Sun media reporter David Zurawik suggesting that President Trump’s supporters, who “stuck it to the elites” in the 2016 election, are facing a potential payback — “now your loved ones can die.”

On CNN’s Reliable Sources, he ripped Trump’s regular press conferences on the coronavirus, calling them “outrageous lies.”

But ending his comments, Zurawik warned Trump’s supporters that the “game’s over” for them.

Zurawik on the Sunday Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter:

“Health workers are risking their lives daily. And to see him come out there and for 90 minutes, and two hours, sometimes, doing exactly what you said — he’s spinning a narrative. And the narrative is, ‘I didn’t do anything wrong. I was ahead of everybody. I was great! The federal government’s doing great work.’ And it’s an outrageous lie. But what’s worse is every minute he spends doing that, he is not getting respirators to hospitals, he’s not helping the states out with the kind of PPEs they need. People are dying because of his foolishness. It’s really foolishness at this point.

“You know, America — you know, folks who loved him, fine. You voted for him. You stuck it to the elites for three years. But now your loved ones can die. The game’s over. This isn’t reality TV anymore. People are dying and this guy is acting a fool.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Will journalists ever tire of this pernicious ‘Trump is causing people to die’ storyline? It’s lost its potency through repetition, to say nothing of inaccuracy. And if Trump is so incompetent, why does Zurawik want him spending more time on logistics? What Trump says at briefings certainly annoys reporters, but how does it prevent thousands of government workers at all levels, and the healthcare industry, from doing what they think best?”

Rating: 5 out of 5 screams.

 

■ April 6 Liberal Media Scream: Trump virus briefings ‘worse than’ Vietnam War lies

(Washington Examiner post)

They haven’t won their campaign to shut down the daily White House Coronavirus Task Force briefings, so the liberal media have shifted tactics to call what’s said lies.

For this week’s Liberal Media Scream, we have New Yorker magazine writer Susan Glasser comparing the briefings with President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and a host of doctors and agency heads to the mocked Pentagon briefings during the Vietnam War, dubbed the “5 o’clock follies.”

“I believe that this is Donald Trump’s version of that,” she said on CNN Sunday.

Glasser on the Sunday airing of Reliable Sources:

“I can’t think of a more collective act of the American people watching day after day, the inconsistency and untruths and misleading, confusing response by the federal government in the form of the president over the last few months. So my perspective is this, having watched basically, I think, every single one of these briefings — my takeaway, I wrote about them as comparable to, if not worse than, the 5 o’clock follies during the Vietnam era in which the Pentagon lied to the American people about the Vietnam War. I believe that this is Donald Trump’s version of that.”

Brent Baker, vice president of research at the Media Research Center, explains our weekly pick: “Glasser reflects the disdain so many in the Washington press corps have for President Trump, putting their personal revulsion toward Trump ahead of seeing the big picture — how the briefings, which always include top government official beyond just Trump, provide a lot of relevant information. If Trump makes a misstatement, journalists can easily correct him afterward. And they certainly haven’t hesitated to do so.”

Rating: 4 out of 5 screams.

 

■ March 30 Liberal Media Scream: Virus fight shows ‘cocktail’ of Trump’s ‘worst qualities,’ says NY editor

(Washington Examiner post)

For this week’s Liberal Media Scream, we could have just declared the legacy media as the worst of the week, because there were so many examples of liberal-leaning outlets blaming President Trump and his team for killing Americans.

But we had to pick one, so we chose New Yorker magazine editor David Remnick, whose comments on CNN’s Reliable Sources sized up the media’s approach to Trump.

Remnick, when asked by host Brian Stelter about the contrasting approaches from Trump and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said:

“Truth versus mendacity. Gov. Cuomo … is treating this with truth and straightforwardness. He’s treating the citizens of New York as adults, people who can make their decisions based on the truth and understand the truth. The president of the United States, well, the cocktail of all his worst qualities, his mendaciousness, his constant telling of lies, his narcissism, his lack of empathy for people in general, his obsession with the money classes, et cetera, has led to disaster, has led to delay. And this will be, and I think history will prove this, this will be something that’s paid in human lives, and that’s an enormous tragedy.”

Brent Baker, Media Research Center vice president of research, explains our weekly pick: “Remnick, like much of the press corps, has found a new hero in the liberal Cuomo while he remains so disgusted with President Trump that he doesn’t hesitate to blame him for causing deaths through supposed indifference for too long. Remnick has chutzpah. Where were the establishment news media and Democrats in January and into February? Obsessed with a futile and distracting quest to impeach Trump, hardly warning of the impending danger of the emerging coronavirus.”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ March 23 Liberal Media Scream: Rachel Maddow wants Trump’s briefings filtered through her

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features the ranting from the left media that the daily coronavirus briefings given by President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and top agency doctors and emergency officials should be pulled off the air so that the media can chew them up and tell the nation its view of the news.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow is the latest to scream, “Stop!”

She said on her Friday broadcast that Trump is “lying” at his daily briefings and even suggested his words could kill people.

She argued that “if he keeps lying like he has been every day on stuff this important, we should — all of us — should stop broadcasting it. Honestly, it’s going to cost lives.”

From The Rachel Maddow Show:

“Even when he’s talking about what he has done or what he will do, he is consistently lying and giving you happy talk that is stuff that the federal government isn’t actually doing. And it’s making people around the country count on the fact the federal government is doing that stuff when they’re not.

“I mean, there may be other people in the federal government who are saying things that are true, but these daily briefings from the White House are a litany of things from the president that would be awesome if they were true, if they were happening, but they’re not. And so the sooner we come to terms with that, I think the better for all of us. If it were up to me, and it’s not, I would stop putting those briefings on live TV. Not out of spite, but because it’s misinformation. If the president does end up saying anything true, you can run it as tape, but if he keeps lying like he has been every day on stuff this important, we should — all of us — should stop broadcasting it. Honestly, it’s going to cost lives.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “After months of high-dungeon whining from journalists about the lack of White House press briefings, the president goes fully transparent, taking questions at length every day. Yet Maddow can only view the world through her Trump-hating filter, and so she wants to stop letting the public see them because Trump’s prominence only enrages her. It doesn’t say much about her faith in the public or the public’s trust in the media that she presumes reporters are unpersuasive when they correct Trump, and thus what she sees as his ‘lies’ are believed.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ March 16 Liberal Media Scream: Cheers for the coronavirus ‘swamp’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features cheers from New York Times columnist David Brooks for Washington’s bureaucratic swamp during the coronavirus outbreak.

His hope was that the swamp can dole out some cash to people, as it has done in some past times of crisis. Brooks’s call Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press for $1,000 checks “to everybody” came a day before Utah Sen. Mitt Romney made the same call and echoed former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s promise for a handout.

“The swamp looks pretty valuable right now,” Brooks argued on Meet the Press. “You want an establishment that can do stuff,” and so, “The federal government should be sending $1,000 checks to everybody.”

Brooks during the roundtable on the March 15 Meet the Press:

“We’ve weakened our institutions over the decades. We’ve had candidates run against the swamp. Well, the swamp looks pretty valuable right now. You want an establishment that can do stuff. What we’re lacking right now is a complete mobilization. The federal government should be sending $1,000 checks to everybody.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “A synergy of establishment Republican thinking now that Sen. Mitt Romney on Monday followed Brooks in calling for $1,000 checks to everyone. But Brooks couldn’t resist exploiting the pandemic to take a shot at the disdain for ‘the swamp,’ which Donald Trump was elected to drain, as if the election of Romney or Jeb Bush would have prevented the outbreak.”

Rating: Three out of five screams.

 

■ March 9: Liberal Media Scream: HBO, CNN reporter link Trump to 1940s anti-Semitism

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features claims in a new HBO series that President Trump and Charles Lindbergh share anti-Semitic views in their “America First” rallying cry.

Next Monday, The Plot Against America will debut on HBO, and last week, PBS’s Amanpour and Company promoted the show’s allegories to America under Trump. “Before Trump’s America First,” Christiane Amanpour said, “Charles Lindbergh represented America First, the powerful isolationist organization. Lindbergh was pro-Germany and was denounced by many as anti-Semitic.”

Amanpour, who doubles as a London-based correspondent for CNN, saw the show that imagines Lindbergh winning the presidency in 1940, as “a warning tale” for today. David Simon, creator of the series, said the Philip Roth 2004 novel, which inspired the series, “just sings as a allegory for our time” as “it’s sort of astonishing how close he captured this political moment in America.”

Simon, best known for creating The Wire two decades ago, saw many parallels with Trump’s America: “You look at the programming and the raw manipulation of civil liberties that Roth depicts in the book, and they compare almost precisely.”

From last Wednesday’s edition of Amanpour and Company on PBS:

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Lindbergh is famous for his trans-Atlantic flight, but what’s lesser known are his views on politics. Before Trump’s “America First,” Charles Lindbergh represented America First, the powerful isolationist organization. Lindbergh was pro-Germany and was denounced by many as anti-Semitic. …

It’s sort of a warning tale, and I don’t know how much of what you have committed your creativity to here sort of collides with real-life politics in the United States right now. I mean, you imagine the year 1940 presidential election, the then-aviator hero Charles Lindbergh — anti-Semitic, white nationalist — wins the presidency against FDR. …

DAVID SIMON: Philip Roth, one of four great novelists, he wrote this alternate history through the eyes of his family in New Jersey, and it just sings as a allegory for our time with every page. I mean, if you turn it and just read, it’s sort of astonishing how close he captured this political moment in America.

Roth was using the vulnerable group in 1940, which were Jewish Americans, whose loyalty was being challenged by the America Firsters and the German American Bund and Lindbergh, he was using that group to tell the tale, but, right now, the people who are most vulnerable in America right now are people with black and brown skin and Muslims. …

There are so many moments in Roth’s book where I read a page and I would think about what happened at the airports, the mayhem at the airports in the aftermath of the inauguration when even American citizens were having their passports regarded as insufficient to guarantee their civil liberties or what’s happening at the southern border right now in terms of family separation. You look at the programming and the raw manipulation of civil liberties that Roth depicts in the book, and they compare almost precisely.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “That such a fantasy would be greenlighted by HBO shows just how deep the hatred for Donald Trump and conservatives is in the Hollywood culture. Yes, let’s take an alternate history story about a Nazi sympathizer gaining power in America and slam it into today’s political narrative in order to discredit conservative policies and paint the most pro-Israel president ever as some kind of anti-Semite. And, instead of challenging the premise, Amanpour decided to promote it.”

Rating: Three out of five screams.

 

■ March 2: Liberal Media Scream: CNN says blame Rush, Hannity, and Don Jr. for virus panic

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features left-wing CNN rushing in to blame “right-wing media” for whipping up a political fight over the coronavirus.

In this case, CNN media analyst Brian Stelter cited several conservatives who he said are charging that the media is using the virus to attack President Trump.

From the top of the Sunday, March 1 Reliable Sources on CNN:

BRIAN STELTER: “News outlets have a really important job right now, conveying accurate information, and part of the job is to tamp down on undue fears. Unfortunately, this virus has infected the political arena in ways that are truly jaw-dropping. Pro-Trump media stars are defending Trump’s handling the outbreak by accusing news outlets — I can’t even believe — they’re accusing news outlets of rooting for the virus. Watch.”

RUSH LIMBAUGH: “It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump.”

STELTER: “Recent Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Rush Limbaugh, one of many cooking up partisan conspiracy theories about the coronavirus. Chief among them, it’s the news media’s fault.”

MICK MULVANEY AT CPAC: “They think this is gonna be what brings down the president. That’s what this is all about.”

STELTER: “Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney making the shocking claim that the media is somehow using the virus to take down Trump. Mulvaney picking up right where Fox’s Sean Hannity left off, blaming Democrats for making this political.”

SEAN HANNITY: “Sadly, politicizing and actually weaponizing an infectious disease. What is basically just the latest effort to bludgeon President Trump.”

STELTER: “These talking points are bouncing back and forth between the Trumps and their TV surrogates, portraying the president as the victim-in-chief. And going so far to say the president’s perceived enemies actually want people to die.”

DONALD TRUMP JR.: “Anything that they can use to try to hurt Trump, they will. But for them to try to take a pandemic and seemingly hope that it comes here and kills millions of people so that they can end Donald Trump’s streak of winning is a new level of sickness.”

STELTER: “This is not the first time the Trump machine has conjured up a conspiracy narrative, full of misinformation and fearmongering. But this time, the backdrop is a public health emergency. Still, irresponsible claims abound.”

LIMBAUGH: “I want to tell you the truth about the coronavirus. Yeah, dead right on this. The coronavirus is the common cold, folks.”

STELTER: “Experts have debunked that, but it’s all part of a Trump defense strategy: fighting a virus by playing politics.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Stelter has it exactly backward. It isn’t conservatives who are infecting the media with misinformation, but liberal media figures like Stelter, who are infecting media coverage of a disease by viewing the coronavirus through the prism of their political take on President Trump’s performance.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ February 24: Liberal Media Scream: MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell calls Putin ‘Trump’s running mate’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features the Left media’s inability to let go of its Russia infatuation and continued efforts to tie President Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

This time it’s MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell who on Thursday called Trump a “Russian operative” and Putin “Trump’s running mate.”

Picking up on some news reports on a briefing about intelligence community speculation that Russia may want to help Trump’s reelection, which came a day before reports that Russia wants to help Democratic contender Bernie Sanders, O’Donnell asserted the Trump administration “might be better labeled the Trump-Putin regime.”

He said: “Trump is operating … in conjunction with Vladimir Putin, to hide what Vladimir Putin is doing to help Donald Trump get reelected.” And, he said: “This is a darkly momentous event in the history of this country, in the history of this world. Vladimir Putin has become Donald Trump’s running mate once again.”

From Thursday’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC:

“The president is a Russian operative. That sounds like the description of a bad Hollywood screenplay, but it is real, and it is Vladimir Putin’s greatest achievement, decades after America’s victory in the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the president of the United States is now helping the president of Russia help the president of the United States to get reelected so that the president of Russia will have four more years of the president of the United States who he wants in the Oval Office.

“This is one of those shocking news days, if you retain the capacity to be shocked in the Trump era, by the Trump regime, which might be better labeled the Trump-Putin regime.

“Donald Trump is operating, in the White House, in conjunction with Vladimir Putin, to hide what Vladimir Putin is doing to help Donald Trump get reelected. Donald Trump is a Russian operative.

“This is a darkly momentous event in the history of this country, in the history of this world. Vladimir Putin has become Donald Trump’s running mate once again.”

Brent Baker, Media Research Center vice president of research, explains our weekly pick: “O’Donnell’s paranoia on full display, lashing out with a ludicrous charge as he’s unable to accept how this Russian interference on behalf of Trump narrative has run its course. If Putin has to choose between Trump, who has reversed the Obama’s administration’s soft policy on Ukraine and missile defense in Europe, versus a man who honeymooned in the Soviet Union, Bernie Sanders. Why in the world would he prefer Trump to stay in office?”

Rating: Four out of four screams.

 

■ February 17: Liberal Media Scream: How to tell if your cable news host is a lefty

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features a warning from CNN’s media critic “creeping authoritarianism” under President Trump, an “aspiring autocrat.”

CNN’s Brian Stelter opened his Sunday show, Reliable Sources, with a lengthy lecture about “the aspiring autocrat and the media’s response.” The autocrat, of course, was Trump. The on-screen graphic screamed: “EXPERTS SEE SIGNS OF ‘CREEPING AUTHORITARIANISM.’” Stelter soon recited from a Harvard University professor’s piece, “10 Ways to Tell If Your President Is a Dictator.”

Trump, he said, met all of the qualifications: “He said, after impeachment, the president has been passing most of the checkpoints on the way to authoritarianism. On his list are things like fearmongering, demonizing the opposition, and using state power to reward corporate backers and punish opponents. Does that sound familiar?”
    
Here is a portion of Stelter’s opening commentary at the top of the Feb. 16 Reliable Sources:

But first, the aspiring autocrat and the media’s response. As this banner on Fox says, President Trump is unleashed [“PRESIDENT TRUMP UNLEASHED”]. That’s why there are growing fears of something called “democratic backsliding.” This is a term used in political science, a term used to describe the erosion of institutions that sustain democracy.

Another way to put it is “creeping authoritarianism,” a move toward autocracy. Now, that’s a word we’re increasingly seeing being tied to President Trump. You can see it in some of these headlines in the past week, “Trump’s authoritarian style is remaking America,” things like that.

Now, a lot of these are opinion columns, perspective pieces, but these are important and complicated concepts.

My question for you is, how can the nation’s news media make time and space to explain this? I mean, we live in this new story every minute, info-saturated world. But this may be the biggest stories of them all. So, what are the best ways to cover it?

Well, one way is with a list. Harvard professor Stephen Walt has been keeping a checklist ever since 2016. He called it “10 Ways to Tell If Your President Is a Dictator.” Now, he wasn’t saying Trump’s a dictator. But he was watching for troubling signs.

So, he revisited the list this week and you’ll notice the checkmarks here. He said, after impeachment, the president has been passing most of the checkpoints on the way to authoritarianism. On his list are things like fearmongering, demonizing the opposition, and using state power to reward corporate backers and punish opponents. Does that sound familiar?

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Stelter has long lost any credibility as an analyst of news media coverage of politics as he devotes much more of his show to his disdain for President Trump than failings by the media to offer fair and balanced coverage of him. Stelter actively encourages journalists to promote the wildest conspiracy theories of the far Left. He’s earned his own list: ‘How To Tell If Your Cable News Host Is a Left-Wing Activist.’”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ February 10: Liberal Media Scream: Morning Joe show says Trump ‘is now us,’ oh the horrors

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream features longtime Morning Joe contributor Mike Barnicle shuddering at the thought that some Americans have become like their president.

On Monday’s MSNBC show, from a hotel restaurant in Manchester, New Hampshire, Barnicle despaired that the “horrendous things [President Trump] says and does” have been normalized and now, “That’s the United States of America.”

The dismissive Barnicle said, “That’s why this vote this year in every state is the most important ballot anyone will ever cast.”

Barnicle talking about Trump and the president’s campaign event Monday:

“You know what we’re talking about here, what the president will speak about tonight, what all the candidates speak about at their different rallies in different towns and hamlets here in New Hampshire points to the obvious, that this is indeed the most important presidential election in the history of this country.

“All the distortions that we’re talking about, the jammed phone lines, the dishonesty, the corruption within the administration, all of that in a sense, through Donald John Trump, unfortunately, has been normalized. And people shrug their shoulders now at the most obscene elements of government, the most horrendous things he says and does. ‘Oh, that’s just Trump.’ No, that’s not just Trump. That’s now us. That’s the United States of America. And that’s why this vote this year in every state is the most important ballot anyone will ever cast.”

Brent Baker, Media Research Center vice president of research, explains our weekly pick: “Trump is ‘now us.’ The horror! The realization by Barnicle that so many don’t share his fear that Trump is an existential threat to the nation has sent him into a panic, declaring that since Trump must be replaced, this election is the most important ever. One can only presume it’s a view shared by much of the press corps, meaning an even more dire tone ahead toward Trump.”

Rating: Four out of five screams.

 

■ February 3: Liberal Media Scream: NBC rips Trump, ‘functionally a monarch at this point’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream had a lot of angry media reactions to the Senate impeachment trial to pick through, and we settled on NBC’s feeling that it’s not a good thing that “Trump may well have now become the most powerful president in American history.”

The statement came on Friday and was from “NBC News presidential historian” Jon Meacham during a special report on the trial and vote to not call witnesses.

The former top editor of Newsweek said: “President Trump is functionally a monarch at this point. If the king does it, it’s okay.” He argued “all Americans” should “think about the long-term implications of having a president who is above the law.”

From NBC Friday:

“I think the significance of today and going into the weekend and into next week is I think it is now arguable … is that Donald Trump may well have now become the most powerful president in American history. So just pause for a second and think about that. He has the capacity, he has such a standing with his political base that senior United States senators have decided that, though he is guilty, they are not going to risk the wrath of the people in order to follow through on what is clearly spelled out in the Constitution.

“That is a raw and elemental definition of power. And I think it’s something that we haven’t fully grappled with. The idea that what President Trump has done, and this is why the example going forward is fraud. President Trump is functionally a monarch at this point. If the king does it, it’s okay that that’s what we’re seeing unfold in Washington right now. And I think all Americans, whether you support the president or you don’t, should pause significantly and think about the long-term implications of having a president who is above the law.”

Brent Baker, Media Research Center vice president of research, explains our weekly pick: “The worst fear realized of the fake news media: Their colleagues and Democratic allies have failed, making Donald Trump ‘the most powerful president in American history.’ But instead of just being demoralized and moving on, Meacham lashed out, not giving up on trying to discredit and decapitate Trump, deriding him as an improper ‘monarch’ who ‘is above the law.’ Who are the ones unwilling to cede power? Meacham and his colleagues should learn to be better losers.”

Rating: Five out of five screams.

 

■ January 27: Liberal Media Scream: CNN ridicules Trump, supporters are ‘boomer rubes’

(Washington Examiner post)

This week’s Liberal Media Scream is brought to you by CNN, again, and host Don Lemon and a panel of Trump haters that laughed themselves into tears ridiculing supporters of the president.

Lemon, on Saturday night, dabbed a tissue to dry his eyes as he and two guests mocked President Trump and his supporters as rural southern dummies.

The exchanges came during a segment on the conflict between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly, whom Pompeo asked to point to Ukraine on a map.

CNN contributor Rick Wilson charged that “Donald Trump couldn’t find Ukraine on a map if you had the letter ‘U’ and the picture of an actual physical crane next to it.” As Lemon fell forward in laughter, Wilson claimed Pompeo was trying to please “the credulous boomer rube demo that backs Donald Trump,” before he broke into an impersonation to make fun of a Trump supporter: “Donald Trump’s the smart one, and y’all – y’all elitists are dumb!”

CNN contributor Wajahat Ali jumped in, also making an impersonation: “You elitists with your geography and your maps and your spelling!”

From CNN Tonight with Lemon on Saturday evening:

DON LEMON: Kelly has a master’s degree in European studies from Cambridge University. Also, [Pompeo] doesn’t really say that she couldn’t identify Ukraine on a map, he insinuates it’s just a — it’s just a petty attempt to put her down, right? Is that what this is?

RICK WILSON: Of course, of course. He’s just trying to demean her, and obviously, it’s false. And, look, he also knows, deep in his heart, that Donald Trump couldn’t find Ukraine on a map if you had the letter ‘u’ and a picture of an actual physical crane next to it. He knows that this is a, you know, an administration defined by ignorance of the world, and so that’s partly him playing to their base and playing to their audience, you know, the credulous boomer rube demo that backs Donald Trump — that wants to think that [does impersonation] ‘Donald Trump’s the smart one, and y’all – y’all elitists are dumb!'”

WAJAHAT ALI: You elitists with your geography and your maps and your spelling!

WILSON: Your math and your reading!

ALI: Yeah, your reading, you know, your geography, knowing other countries, sipping your latte!

WILSON: All those lines on the map!

ALI: Only them elitists know where Ukraine is! [ending impersonation] Sorry, I apologize.

LEMON, laughing: Oh, my God!

ALI: But it was Rick’s fault. I blame Rick. But, in all honesty —

LEMON: Hold on — hold on — hold on. That was good, sorry. Rick, that was a good one — I needed that.

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Lemon and his cohorts could not have done a better job demonstrating the disdain of the media elite for the masses, breaking into derogatory impersonations as they admiringly laugh at what they see as their own profundity. President Trump would have a hard time finding better evidence of the level of contempt CNN has for the president and anyone who supports him.”

Rating: Five out of five SCREAMS.

 

■ January 20: Liberal Media Scream: Manic Maher says Trump won’t leave if defeated

(Washington Examiner post)

Liberals are already measuring the drapes in the Oval Office but are fretting that President Trump will be hiding behind them if defeated in November.

This week’s Liberal Media Scream finds a manic Bill Maher leading that cry, practically begging Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang to explain the plan to yank Trump out of the White House.

“You don’t really think that Trump is going to concede,” Maher asked. “What’s the plan?”

Maher, to Yang, on the Friday, Jan. 17 episode of Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO:

“You don’t really think that Trump is going to concede? What’s the plan? This is my question for Democrats all this year: What is the plan when he says, ‘It’s rigged, we found irregularities, I’m hearing, I’m suspending everything,’ and he’s not leaving on January 20th? What do you do?”

(Yang is counting on the military to make sure Trump doesn’t stay: “I genuinely think that he’d make a lot of noise, but he would leave. Because in order to stay, you literally need the military on your side, and the military, if it’s a free and fair election, which it will be when I defeat him in November, then the military isn’t going to circle the White House and say, ‘We are going to keep this guy in.'”)

Media Research Center Vice President of Research Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Maher seems to be trolling his most paranoid viewers, baselessly trying to instill fear that the threat from Trump could continue beyond his term, that Trump would defy the U.S. system for the transfer of power. But it is Maher who is ginning up fears, advancing a wild conspiracy theory, the very thing liberal media figures charge is done by Trump supporters.”

Rating: Three out of five SCREAMS.

 

■ January 13, 2020: Liberal Media Scream: Former New York Times critic says Trump aides are cultists, ‘toadies’

(Washington Examiner post)

It’s hard to imagine supporters of President Trump being ’dissed worse than Hillary Rodham Clinton’s slap as “deplorables,” but a former New York Times critic has gone way beyond that, comparing them to cultists such as those who adored Charles Manson and even Adolf Hitler.

For our weekly Liberal Media Scream feature, we present Frank Rich, who was featured on MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell’s show to elaborate on his New York Magazine feature, “What Will Happen to the Trump Toadies? Look to Nixon’s defenders, and the Vichy collaborators, for clues.”

On the Thursday episode, Rich said, “Whatever crimes are found out now or in the course of the Trump presidency is nothing compared to what’s been buried that none of us know about.”

He also described Trump supporters as part of a “cult,” warning “the cult leader, whether it be the Reverend [Sun Myung] Moon, who was a Nixon supporter, or Jim Jones or whomever, Charlie Manson, they’re never going to be reformed.”

Rich on Thursday’s Last Word with O’Donnell on MSNBC:

“What I tried to do in this piece is make the point whoever goes to jail or doesn’t go to jail, whatever crimes are found out now or in the course of the Trump presidency, is nothing compared to what’s been buried that none of us know about, not even a very zealous investigative press has found yet. And people are going to be turning over rocks for decades. And you look back at history, General Motors and Ford both had executives who were essentially Hitler appeasers, and in the case of General Motors, were involved in the armaments that were used against American troops in manufacturing them in Germany during the war. It took 40 years to find all that out, but it all came out.

“And people who support these kind of regimes, whether it be appeasement then or America first in the ‘30s or Trump, which is, you know, let’s face it, a criminal presidency however you want to slice it, there’s going to be a reckoning. And one other thing I wanted to mention is, you can only take the Nixon analogy so far because, yes, Nixon abused his office. He also tried to throw a presidential campaign. But it would never occur to him to collaborate and aid the Soviet Union, America’s own enemy. It would never occur to him, to my knowledge, to break up immigrant families at the border and turn away refugees from horrors in other countries. It would never occur to him to, quite the contrary, to fight climate change science and to downgrade a regulation of environmental poisons. And so these are really serious crimes and whether they produce jail sentences or not for the people who did them, they’ll be implicated and so will their children and their grandchildren. There’s going to be a stain.

“Here, it is a cult because they absolutely — people who, in some cases, did have reputations that they’ve now destroyed, good reputations, have made fools of themselves for their dear leader. And the thing about cults is they always do come to an end. And the cult leader, whether it be the Reverend Moon, who was a Nixon supporter, or Jim Jones or whomever, Charlie Manson, they’re never going to be reformed. And that’s certainly true of Trump. They will never see the problems with their ways. But the people who swirl around them and were taken in, they’re going to pay a price, a human price, and a reputational price forever.”

Brent Baker, Media Research Center vice president of research, explains our weekly pick: “The very definition of Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS), getting all the paranoia into one article and TV segment, though transferring his disdain from President Trump directly to those working for Trump. Supporters are like those who worked on behalf of the Nazis, the legally enacted policies staff helped implement are ‘serious crimes’ and those in Trump’s orbit are in a cult similar to the one led by Charles Manson. Liberals were upset by the ‘Lock Her Up’ chants against Hillary Clinton, but isn’t that just what Rich is doing here in criminalizing policy disagreements?”

Rating: Five out of five SCREAMS.

 

■ January 6, 2020: Liberal Media Scream: CNN’s Don Lemon promises ‘to lean in harder’

(Washington Examiner post)

CNN anchor Don Lemon, one of cable’s notable critics of President Trump, is the first 2020 winner of our weekly Liberal Media Scream feature for his promise to turn up the heat on “the craziness.”

In celebrating the New Year on CNN shortly after midnight, he said, “I’m going to lean in harder.”

Co-host Brooke Baldwin, live from Nashville with Lemon, asked, “What does that mean?”

Lemon said, “I’m going to lean in harder. I’m sick of the craziness. So, if you thought I went hard in 2019, watch 2020, baby. There’s more to come. I’m a soldier. I’m ready to fight … We’ve got to get ready. It’s an election year. We’re on the grind.”

Media Research Center Vice President of Research and Publications Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Lemon, who doesn’t hesitate to disparage President Trump as ‘unhinged’ and a ‘racist,’ already seems unhinged on many a night in his vitriol toward Trump, so it’s hard to imagine how he can ‘lean in harder.’ Telling, though, that he sees himself as a ‘soldier’ who is ‘ready to fight’ for a cause. That shouldn’t be the motivation for anyone pretending to be a journalist.”

Rating: Four of Five SCREAMS.

 

 

> Liberal Media Scream posts for 2019.

> For all of 2018.

> For July through December 2017.

> For January through June 2017.

> For July through December 2016.

> For January through June 2016.

> For July to December 2015.

 



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