When a normally garrulous and gossipy media turns taciturn, the explanation is usually political correctness. In this case, an extreme sensitivity to Islam has a chastening effect on reporters who would typically exert themselves for a scoop. Even many hours after the mayhem, few of their stories contained any descriptions of the attacker from witnesses.
The newspaper industry is declining, as USA Today surely knows: Gannett split into two companies in 2015, one for broadcasting and one for the less profitable print business. It is interesting to watch elite newspapers in the Trump era doubling down on the liberal-activist course. There's a reason half the country no longer cares to read them.
When it was to Democrats' partisan advantage to support the this-is-about-Trump storyline, they supported it. Now that it is to their partisan advantage to deny that storyline, they deny it. And a propagandistic media lets them get away with it by treating this story as a game of parsing and semantics, all the while playing dumb about the very investigation their own coverage for the last four months either pushed or presupposed.
Harvard University's library website now features a new page titled, "Fake News, Misinformation, and Propaganda." And ConservativeHQ.com and other conservative and right-leaning organizations, think tanks and news portals make-up the core of the list.
It's beyond ironic that the press that champions transparency also advocates relying on completely opaque sources on a daily basis. In political combat over allegations that the Obama administration holdovers in the intelligence community tried to take down Trump, wouldn't it help to know whether these liberal newspapers are relying on the holdovers and granting them all the benefits of anonymity?
The media and Dems are looking to scalp Sessions not for any misdeeds but for his conservatism, and these Republican frauds are helping them. That the chattering has even turned to whether he should “resign” is a measure of the partisan hysteria of the moment. Every Dem under the sun is rushing to a microphone to call for his resignation. With a straight face, Nancy Pelosi even called for prosecuting him: “Jeff Sessions lied under oath during his confirmation hearing before the Senate.”
Among other things, what the dust-up over President Trump’s non-appearance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner has revealed is that presidents of the United States are used as the main attraction to fund a scholarship program that, in turn, funds young liberal journalists, the particular irony being that Republican Presidents have been essentially used to perpetuate the liberal media bias that they and their supporters so frequently complain of.
Despite the self-promotion, the White House Correspondents Association dinner is hardly a “tradition” in the sense most Americans think of our national traditions, such as turkey for Thanksgiving dinner or fireworks on the Fourth of July.
Contrary to the whining of Jake Tapper at CNN, last week’s press conference was not a distraction from his governance but an essential component of it. He recognizes that his agenda can only move forward if the people tune out the media’s distortions of it. Were Trump to take the media’s advice, he couldn’t govern. The more he neutralizes the media, the more successful he will be.
Mr. Trump is an unusual president in that, unlike any we can think of, he speaks only for himself. There is no army of Trump interest groups and loyalists and activists to respond to his command or suggestion. He does not have deep knowledge of policy, government or politics. He does not have longtime organizational ties.
After last week's Trump press conference, the press bristled at charges from the new president that they are selling fake news — and immediately goes out and proves his point. Just when you thought Washington couldn’t get any weirder.
Contrary to what Senator McCain said about dictatorship starting by suppressing a free press, it is not hard to see parallels between today’s free, but highly politicized establishment elite media, and the media in Germany that helped the Nazis take power.
Chic Trump hatred and sick talks of coups — or worse — hinge on economic growth. If Trump’s agenda hits 3 percent GDP growth or above by 2018, then his critics — progressive shock troops, Democratic grandees, mainstream media, Never Trump Republicans — will either shift strategies or face prolonged irrelevance. But for now, ending Trump one way or another is apparently the tortured pathway his critics are taking to exit their self-created labyrinth of irrelevance.
Trump is serving notice that he, and not the media, sets the nation’s agenda. And that when journalists behave like opponents, he will treat them like opponents, punching back harder than they punch him.
Limbaugh claimed the media have a "blueprint for destroying" Republicans they disagree with, but they won't take Trump down. "He doesn't fit that mold. They're trying to every day. It's kind of comical to watch," he said referring to the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, CBS and NBC, among others.
The press in general believes and acts as if they are a protected class. But this leads to them behaving like bulls at a corrida, rushing around everywhere, attacking every possible target until the matador arrives, focusing their attention. Yes, Trump gives them plenty of possible targets -- more than he should and doubtless would like to. But this obscures the larger issues on which he is so often right and in sync with the public. And on this day, he was able to play the press like a picador, banderillero, and matador all rolled into one.
Why does President Trump’s adversarial relationship with the establishment media seem to help him sell himself and his agenda? What could be better than getting your enemies in the media to provide you with a live broadcast documenting your beatdown of them.
Over the last eight years, the press was never interested in making trouble for Obama. Instead, it projected the opposite. He was "scandal-free." If he had trouble, it didn't come from a rough press conference. It emerged from evil Republicans who were plotting.
If members of the press really want to start with a clean slate, they need to come forward and admit that they're biased and that they openly colluded, as we have pointed out many times, with the Clinton campaign. If reporters do their job fairly, there shouldn't be any problems. If not, people from the Trump administration clearly stand ready to call them out and set the record straight.
Reporters, columnists, talk radio blabbers, and even the elite media in Washington and New York think Trump is obligated to deal with them pretty much on their terms. Trump doesn't agree. The notion of catering to them has never crossed his mind. And probably never will.