“We are, heart and soul, friends to the freedom of the press. It is however, the prostituted companion of liberty, and somehow or other, we know not how, its efficient auxiliary. It follows the substance like its shade; but while a man walks erect, he may observe that his shadow is almost always in the dirt. It corrupts, it deceives, it inflames. It strips virtue of her honors, and lends to faction its wildfire and its poisoned arms, and in the end is its own enemy and the usurper’s ally.” —Fisher Ames (1807)
IN TODAY’S EDITION
- Leftmedia: “Mueller report vindicated our reporting.” No it didn’t.
- NRA sues LA over First Amendment violations.
- Daily Features: More Analysis, Columnists, Headlines, Opinion in Brief, Short Cuts, Memes, and Cartoons.
“The Press Didn’t Just Report Accurately on Trump-Russia Corruption. It Prevented the Corruption From Being Worse.” So read a headline at Slate yesterday over a story in which the site’s “chief news blogger,” Ben Mathis-Lilley, argued that the Leftmedia basically got the collusion narrative right all along (though, notably, he used the word “corruption,” not “collusion”). As reporters discovered tidbits, he insisted, Donald Trump and his staff were forced to change course and not actually collude with Russia because of the accurate reporting.
But Mathis-Lilley and his colleagues at Slate are hardly the only ones claiming this absurd revisionist history. CNN’s Shimon Prokupecz claimed Robert Mueller’s report “really corroborated a lot of the good journalism that was done.”
The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake boasted, “The Mueller report was by and large an affirmation of the mainstream media’s investigative reporting. Almost all the big stories were confirmed in the report.”
And the New York Times’ Maggie Haberman insisted, “The report confirms a lot of the reporting by NYT, WaPo and others about the president’s actions, many of which he or his advisers denied in real time.”
While the Leftmedia’s own “fact-checkers” may award points for truth-telling in that some specific claims were indeed factual, from a strategic standpoint it’s hard to unpack how delusional these boasts are. So we’ll focus on just two overarching points.
First, the Leftmedia spent more than two years reporting that Trump had colluded with Russia, not that their reporting stopped him. These scribes may congratulate themselves, but their reporting didn’t even rise to the level of one of Hollywood’s films “based on a true story.” The entire collusion narrative was based on totally fabricated lies, as Mueller’s report made painfully clear. That a few reporters got some facts right while reporting fake news is irrelevant.
Second, a journalist’s job is not necessarily to prevent corruption, as the second part of Slate’s headline claims the media did. It’s true that preventing corruption may be a desired byproduct of good reporting in that no politician wants to get caught, but the idea that journalists should be activists is one of the main problems driving the bias in the media today. Journalism students are taught by leftist academics that they can “change the world,” and these young people then go out into journalism careers thinking their “progressive” mission is to fight everything on the Right. It’s putting it mildly to say that being blinded by partisan advocacy is not conducive to good journalism.
Speaking of blind squirrels, even Hillary Clinton alluded to this nut when she observed in her op-ed that “Watergate offers a better precedent” for going after Trump. Who brought Richard Nixon down? Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein — the idols for subsequent generations of Leftmedia activists.
We find ourselves agreeing with Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, who argues, “It’s shocking to see national media voices after the release of Robert Mueller’s report patting each other on the back, congratulating themselves for a three-year faceplant they must know will haunt the whole business for a long time.” Leftmedia activists learned nothing, and they’re celebrating themselves for it.
The National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles this week for a recent ordinance the city council unanimously passed. The ordinance, introduced by councilman Mitch O'Farrell, requires any city contractor to fully disclose any sponsorship of or contact with the NRA. O'Farrell, along with fellow anti-gun zealot Councilman Paul Krekorian, claimed that the law was needed to combat the NRA, which Krekorian described as “one of the most significant roadblocks to sensible gun safety reform at every level of government across the nation.”
NRA attorney Chuck Michel argued that “politicians are free to disagree with the NRA’s pro-freedom, firearm safety, and self-reliance message, but they aren’t free to censor it — as this would do when NRA supporters drop their NRA affiliations for fear of losing work from the city because they get put on a blacklist.” The lawsuit charges that the city’s anti-NRA ordinance is an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment’s protection of free speech and association as well as the 14th Amendment’s right to equal protection under the law.
Speaking of the NRA, its annual convention is currently underway in Indianapolis, where President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are scheduled to speak today. This will be the third consecutive year Trump has addressed the assembly. The executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, Chris Cox, welcomed the president and his support, stating, “Donald Trump is the most enthusiastic supporter of the Second Amendment to occupy the Oval Office in our lifetimes. President Trump’s Supreme Court appointments ensure that the Second Amendment will be respected for generations to come. Our members are excited to hear him speak and thank him for his support for our Right to Keep and Bear Arms.”
ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY
- Featured Analysis: How Are Corporations Paying No Taxes? — Some billion-dollar giants are paying $0, while small businesses pay out the nose.
- NSA Metadata Collection May Be a Thing of the Past — The agency is now calling for an end to the PATRIOT Act’s Section 215 data program.
- Hispanics Benefit From Trump Economy — Home ownership and income rates are increasing rapidly for Hispanics.
- Grassroots Perspective: ‘And It’s All Free!’ — Except that someone has to pay for it. Who do you think that will be?
- Video: Why ‘Reparations’ Will Never Happen — Steven Crowder breaks down the logistical and moral problems of slavery reparations.
- Video: Kamala Harris Dodges ‘All the Time’ — Her repeated “we should have that conversation” answer earns even CNN’s ire.
BEST OF RIGHT OPINION
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.
TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
- GDP ON SOLID FOOTING: “The U.S. economy grew at a solid 3.2% annual rate in the first three months of the year, a far better outcome than expected, overcoming a host of headwinds including global weakness, rising trade tensions and a partial government shutdown. The advance in the gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic health, marks an acceleration from a 2.2% gain in the previous October-December period, the Commerce Department reported Friday. … It was the strongest first quarter growth rate since 2015.” (ABC News)
- MORATORIUM ON OFFSHORE DRILLING: “The Trump administration is hitting pause on its ambitious and controversial plans to expand offshore drilling in the Atlantic. Newly confirmed Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said the agency has indefinitely sidelined its exploration of offshore drilling options as it grapples with a recent court order that blocks similar drilling in the Arctic.” (The Hill)
- GREEN NEW DUD: “A new study from the American Enterprise Institute questions whether the Green New Deal would have any real impact on climate change at all — leaving it little more than an effort to dismantle industry. The AEI report breaks down the GND into bite-sized policy proposals, assessing not simply the cost, but the proposed effectiveness of each legislative item to address the core goal of the GND: reducing American carbon emissions to a ‘net zero’ by 2050. The researchers’ ultimate conclusion? ‘It is not to be taken seriously.’” (The Daily Wire)
- JUDGE HELPS ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT CIRCUMVENT JUSTICE: “Federal prosecutors charged a Massachusetts judge with obstruction of justice Thursday, saying she prevented immigration agents from arresting an undocumented immigrant after a state court hearing by allowing him to leave the courthouse through a back door. … The indictment accuses District Judge Shelley Richmond Joseph and a court officer, Wesley MacGregor, of allowing the immigrant to leave the courthouse, out of a federal agent’s sight, and lying about it later.” (USA Today)
- BALTIMORE MAYOR UNDER SCRUTINY: “FBI and IRS agents on Thursday raided the home and city hall offices of Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh as part of an investigation into possible public corruption… Pugh took a leave of absence from her position earlier this month after it was revealed that she made $500,000 selling copies of her Healthy Holly children’s-health book to the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) while sitting on the system’s board. It was later revealed that health insurance provider Kaiser Permanente paid Pugh $100,000 for 20,000 copies of the book while the company was seeking a lucrative contract to insure the city’s employees.” (National Review)
- JUDICIAL ACTIVISM ON ABORTION: “A federal judge in Washington state on Thursday blocked a Trump administration rule that would prohibit taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring patients to abortion providers. The preliminary injunction bars enforcement nationwide of a policy that was due to go into effect on May 3 over the vehement objections of abortion supporters who have decried it as a ‘gag rule’ designed to silence doctor-patient communications about abortion options.” (Reuters)
- BANK OF AMERICA’S BIG ABORTION LIE: “2ndVote has released documentation challenging Bank of America’s defense of its contributions to Planned Parenthood. In a letter recently obtained by 2ndVote, the president of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation apparently responded to a customer concerned with the bank’s support for Planned Parenthood: ‘Bank of America does not make any direct grants to Planned Parenthood.’ Bank of America did contribute over $50,000 in what appears to be so-called ‘matching gifts’ to the abortion giant through its foundation in 2017.” (2ndVote)
- WOODSHED PREPARES FOR JAMES COMEY: “A ‘bombshell’ report on former FBI Director James Comey is coming out in two weeks, attorney Joe diGenova said on Wednesday. … ‘The Horowitz report is coming out in May or possibly early June,’ Joe diGenova, a former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said. He was referring to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act investigation. ‘There’s another report that everyone has forgotten about involving James Comey alone,’ diGenova said. ‘That will be out in two weeks. That report is going to be a bombshell. It is going to open up the investigation on a very high note, and there are going to be criminal referrals in it.’” (Washington Examiner)
- HUMOR: Elizabeth Warren proposes replacing government-created problem with new, bigger government-created problem (The Babylon Bee)
- POLICY: Should we shutter the Department of Education? (Washington Examiner)
- POLICY: Congress must a play a critical role in securing the U.S. border (American Enterprise Institute)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.
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OPINION IN BRIEF
Erick Erickson: “The 21st century is overrun with people who think that unless they experience something themselves or have firsthand knowledge of a fact, there is no truth. This is deeply destructive. One need not go to space to know the Earth is a sphere. If you think the physical resurrection of Jesus being a necessary part of Christian faith is just one person’s opinion, it is time to stop thinking flat-Earthers are wrong. With the same logic as those who reject the physical resurrection of Jesus but call themselves Christians, men who love women can call themselves lesbians and those who love to eat meat can call themselves vegetarians. After all, facts no longer matter and everything is opinion. Thinking a person can be a Christian while rejecting the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ is akin to anti-vaccine advocates believing vaccines cause autism. Just because supposed experts make the claim does not make the claim credible.”
“The problem with the Mueller investigation, and with former intelligence officials such as Brennan, Clapper, Comey and McCabe, is pious hypocrisy. Those who have lectured America on Trump’s unproven crimes have written books and appeared on TV to publicize their own superior virtue. Yet they themselves have engaged in all sorts of unethical and illegal behavior.” —Victor Davis Hanson
A blind squirrel finds a nut: “You gotta control the border. When you have an increase of apprehensions of illegal entries by 374% since October, you’ve got a situation where border security is not sufficient.” —leftist New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman
With friends like these… “I asked President Obama not to endorse. And he doesn’t want to — whoever wins this nomination should win it on their own merits.” —Joe Biden (“I have also asked Obama not to endorse me. Reluctantly, he agreed.” —Matt Walsh)
Captain Obvious: “I think the Democratic Party is broken in a lot of ways and just damaged from these past several years.” —Scarlett Johansson
Non compos mentis: “Instead of asking, ‘Should the Boston Bomber have the right to vote?’ Try, ‘Should a nonviolent person stopped w/ a dime bag LOSE the right to vote?’ [Because] that question reflects WAY more people.” —Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Hypocrite of the week: “Democratic strategist Symone Sanders has joined the 2020 Joe Biden campaign, despite her previous comments that white people should not lead the party.” —The Washington Free Beacon
Dumb and dumber: “I am extremely happy that @JoeBiden has decided to enter the race. He offers Dems the very best chance in 2020, especially in key states. He has the fight, intelligence and fortitude to beat Trump and begin to make America, America again. He has my enthusiastic support.” —Michael Avenatti, who instead of running for president himself is likely to end up behind bars as a felon
And last… “The man who WROTE the crime bill of 94 which led to the mass incarceration of black men is now running because he’s worried about white supremacy. Dear Joe: Trump just reversed your white supremacy with the #FirstStepAct.” —Candace Owens
For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.
For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher