By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media
The anti-Trump venom from the mainstream media has become so virulent that broadcasters and reporters alike risk becoming little more than extensions of the late-night “comedic” lineup, bashing the President without regard for truth or factual accuracy. And above all, most of these journalists realize, and sometimes admit, that they want to help the Democrats win the next election.
The comparison between late night show hosts and the news media becomes stark when one compares Joy Reid’s new segment on MSNBC, “Flip This House,” to Bill Maher’s “Flip A District” on HBO in the run-up to the 2014 elections. The goal for both of them was to try to help Democrats win elections, with Maher admitting on his website that he was “outright meddling with the political process.”
“The 2018 midterm elections are still more than a year away, but the Democrats are already hoping to flip this house,” said Reid on her show, telling Democratic candidate Linda Weber, “So we will be paying attention to that race, and we will see if you can flip that House district.”
This comes very close to an endorsement. Has Reid or MSNBC registered as a Super PAC? Isn’t this an example of a corporation, Comcast, making significant donations to a political party?
It has gotten to the point with the news media, such as MSNBC and CNN, that broadcasters air anti-Trump messaging as vitriolic as late night show hosts’ so-called comedy routines. The point is to ridicule, not to report. And if reporting is necessary, the news media print fake news, as John Nolte documented for The Daily Wire in his article, “8 Facts Contradict the MSM’s Serial-Comey Lies.” At this point, it’s hard to distinguish the late-night comedy fake news from the primetime MSNBC or CNN line-up of fake news.
Take, for example, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who said to Trump defender Jeffrey Lord that if Trump “took a dump on his desk, you would defend him.” Cooper later apologized, but his comment was indicative of the level of discourse that takes place regularly on MSNBC and CNN, when it comes to Trump. Mika Brzezinski questioned Trump’s patriotism. The First Amendment protects all of this speech, but the point is how much hatred and contempt it reveals toward the President and the more than 60 million Americans who voted for him.
Consider the coverage of supposed collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. In a May 24 NPR piece, “Why the Russia Investigation Matters and Why You Should Care,” the author argues that “Russia is accused, as [former CIA Director John] Brennan said, of not only trying to influence the election by hacking and releasing emails, but engaging in a full-fledged influence campaign through propaganda to get Donald Trump elected.” He continues, “That’s the assessment of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies.”
It is not the assessment of “all 17 intelligence agencies,” but rather the assessment of the CIA, FBI, NSA and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) only, all four of which were headed up by Obama political appointees. But this oft-repeated soundbite has been used to bolster the left’s passionate attempt to impeach Donald Trump. Former DNI James Clapper testified that “there were only three agencies directly involved in this assessment plus my office.” As we have reported, Clapper told the Senate that “We had no way of gauging the impact that—certainly the intelligence community cannot gauge the impact—it [Russian cyber activities] had on the choices the electorate made.”
But Bill Maher, who frequently talks about Trump voters living in a “fact-free bubble,” was still repeatedly peddling the “all 17 of our intelligence agencies say that” nonsense just last week, with his usual simian smirk. It had been debunked long ago, but Clapper had done so again just days before.
“Former CIA director John Brennan testified before the House Intelligence Committee…that he was not sure if there was any evidence of collusion between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign,” reports Breitbart. This is nearly a year into this phony investigation.
It may be that the mainstream media are loath to “normalize” Trump by reporting on him in an objective and fair manner. I recently pointed out how CBS News’ Bob Schieffer was challenged for possibly “normalizing” Trump because he called Trump’s speech “presidential.” Schieffer justified himself as trying to report objectively.
The left is still apoplectic that Trump won a presidential election that they believe should have been handed to heir apparent Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Nothing short of impeachment is a sufficient remedy.
Perhaps members of the media, aware of this Trump Derangement Syndrome, are wary of the fate of those who embrace, or even treat fairly, President Trump. For example, Jimmy Fallon, the host of NBC’s Tonight Show, still suffers from the aftereffects of tousling Trump’s hair and giving him what Salon called a “hair-raising softball interview.” “Was this Fox News?!?” screamed the Salon headline.
In contrast, Bill Maher has kept the hate going. When he brought Trump ally Boris Epshteyn on the show, he made a “gentlemen’s” wager that Trump would be “out by Christmas.” He also observed that “It looks like he [Trump] is trying to get impeached.”
CBS’s Stephen Colbert has given similar treatment to the President. “Fortunately, folks, there is a band of heroic go-getters who can lead us out of this dark time,” he said. “Congressional Democrats,” he added, continuing to mock.
“And as Mr. Fallon is well aware, viewers haven’t seen him in quite the same light since an interview he conducted with Mr. Trump in September, which was widely criticized for its fawning, forgiving tone,” reports The New York Times in a recent piece. It quotes Fallon as saying that “They have a right to be mad…If I let anyone down, it hurt my feelings that they didn’t like it. I got it.”
Colbert’s show has edged out Fallon in total viewership for the first time, but Fallon continues to outperform in the key demographic of adults 18 to 49.
What is clear, however, is that anti-Trump reporting boosts ratings. Business Insider reports that Fox fell to third “during primetime in the coveted advertising demographic of 25-54 year-old viewers, the first time it had done so in 17 years…” MSNBC and CNN outperformed Fox.
For the time being, Trump hatred drives ratings. But journalists, having stooped so low as to be indistinguishable from third-rate, hostile, buffoonish comedians like Maher and Colbert, should remember what it is they sacrifice in sullying their integrity in an attempt to cash in on Trump Derangement Syndrome. Certainly some of them are sincere, but others may just be giving the network bosses exactly what they want.
Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at email@example.com. View the complete archives from Roger Aronoff.