Metastasizing Media Mendacity
The Leftmedia's collective effort to undermine Trump over the last two years is remarkable.
“People on the left say whatever advances their immediate agenda. Power is their moral lodestar; therefore, truth is always subservient to it.” —nationally syndicated radio talk-show host Dennis Prager
“It became a business model for most media to attack Donald Trump.” —Donald Trump Jr.
Perhaps nothing more succinctly summarizes the current state of America better than the above quotes. For nearly two years, a collection of partisan hacks presenting themselves as journalists assured the American public that Donald Trump had conspired with Russian President Vladimir Putin to steal the election from its rightful winner, Hillary Clinton.
The effort was breathtaking in range and scope. NewsWhip, a social-media analytics company, revealed that since May 2017, an astonishing 533,074 web articles were published about Russia and Trump/Mueller, generating 245 million interactions on Twitter and Facebook.
The Media Research Center revealed that from the presidential inauguration through March 21, 2019 — the last night prior to Mueller sending his report to Attorney General Robert Barr — just the evening newscasts of ABC, CBS, and NBC alone generated 2,284 minutes of “collusion” coverage, with 1,909 of those minutes occurring after Mueller’s appointment on May 17, 2017. “Since his presidency began, nearly one-fifth (18.8%) of all of Trump’s evening news coverage has been about this one investigation,” MRC explained.
Moreover, there was no mistaking the slanted nature of that coverage. MRC adds, “From January 1 through March 21 of this year, the spin of Trump coverage on the evening newscasts has been 92% negative vs. just eight percent positive — even worse than the 90% negative coverage we calculated in 2017 and 2018.”
CNN and MSNBC also contributed to the debacle, averaging between two and three hours per day of Russian collusion stories since the inauguration, rife with reports of imminent arrests, implications of treason, etc.
The print media? The New York Times and The Washington Post alone published nearly 1,000 front-page articles, many of which precipitated retractions long after after the damage was done. The Associated Press and Reuters followed suit, dispatching similarly slanted stories to their newspaper, radio, and television-station subscribers throughout the country.
How good was that for business? “There was an omnipresent awareness that this was, strategically, a very important story for us,” an MSNBC executive told Vanity Fair columnist Joe Pompeo, who also noted the network had its best year ever in 2018. “There was no market for skepticism about it. As a business model, they see the ratings, and we were getting rewarded for this every day. When we had a slow day, it was kind of like: when in doubt, call the lawyers on; call the F.B.I. people.”
Columnist Peter Barry Chowka concurred. “The ratings success of MSNBC and to a lesser extent CNN … suggested that the strategy of the executives at NBC and CNN starting in November 2016 to go all-out 24/7 anti-Trump was paying off,” he explains.
In fact, while Fox News has long been the leader in the field, it was often topped in the 9 p.m. time slot when MSNBC’s chief conspiracy-monger, Rachel Maddow, beat Fox host Sean Hannity in both the total numbers of viewers and the coveted 25-54-year-old demographic.
After the Mueller report was released, followed by the release of Barr’s letter exonerating Trump? “The Rachel Maddow Show” endured a 13% decrease in viewership, including the loss of nearly 500,000 viewers on her Monday, Mar. 25 show, compared to her show a week earlier. She also saw a 15% decrease in the 25-54 demo audience.
She was not alone. Fox New surpassed CNN and MSNBC combined in every hour on Monday, March 25, from 5 p.m. to 12 midnight. In addition, CNN had its second-lowest weekday prime-time ratings of 2019 and its third-lowest 25-54-year-old demographic viewership for the year, according to Nielsen Media Research. Ratings for other shows on both networks have also declined by as much as 50%.
Repentance? Introspection? “I don’t know anybody who got anything wrong,” insisted CNN’s Jake Tapper. “We didn’t say there was conspiracy. We said that Mueller was investigating conspiracy.” CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter asserted that viewers weren’t tuning in to CNN and MSNBC following the release of Mueller’s report because “there hasn’t been much news.”
MSNBC’s Lawrence O'Donnell declared that “no one in the news media … has read a single sentence of the Mueller report,” and network president Phil Griffin insisted via a spokesperson that his network is going to “keep doing our job, asking the tough questions, especially when it involves holding powerful people accountable.”
One is left to wonder whether that includes those powerful people at Griffin’s own network who flat-out lied to America for more than two years, including regular contributor and former CIA Director John Brennan, who actually stated a “treasonous” Trump was “wholly in the pocket of Putin.”
Brennan’s response to the report? “Well, I don’t know if I received bad information but I think I suspected there was more than there actually was.”
Former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson summed up Brennan’s judgment — along with the judgment of his equally contemptible Obama administration colleagues Susan Rice, Samantha Power, and James Comey — in a devastatingly accurate tweet: “If Clapper, Brennan, Rice, Power, Comey genuinely believed Trump ‘colluded’ with Russia and he didn’t, what does that say about the judgment of our one-time top intel types?” she asked.
Maybe it’s time for the American public to find out. But they shouldn’t expect any help from the likes of CNN. In fact, an astounding quote by CNN President Jeff Zucker reveals the level of corruption that infests his network. “We are not investigators,” he insisted. “We are journalists, and our role is to report the facts as we know them, which is exactly what we did.”
That the term “investigative journalism” apparently eludes the president of an ostensible news network is amazing.
Going forward? If the wholly discredited “hands up don’t shoot” media campaign of Ferguson, Missouri, is any indication, the media continue to believe that wholesale lying is a good business model. And when that model is employed to delegitimize this president, and the 63 million “deplorables” who voted for him, so much the better.
The bigger picture? The media remain wholly in service to a Democrat/Deep State/Never-Trump Republican/corporatist/globalist alliance determined to reimpose the status quo — by any means necessary. And their media accomplices are so all in, they are warning Americans that if Trump shuts down the border, we would soon run out of … avocados.
When national sovereignty and security is even part of the same conversation as America’s guacamole supply, the corruption is all-encompassing.
In 2016, the electorate expressed its collective disgust when it put a media-despised, status-quo-crushing outsider in the Oval Office. Reelecting Trump in 2020 might be the only real antidote to the legions of braying jackals whose shameless pursuit of power made a complete mockery of anything resembling truth and journalistic integrity.
One collective middle finger aimed in their direction was an anomaly. Two would be the beginning of a welcome trend.