Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Don's Tuesday Column

                 THE WAY I SEE IT   by Don Polson  Red Bluff Daily News   1/09/2018

              They can’t handle the truth

There are clear common threads that connect the multitude of stories, news items and issues related to (candidate, now-President) Donald Trump and the coverage—often hyperventilated, hysterical and baseless—we have witnessed from the news media.
It’s pretty clear that the journalist class (aka Democrats-with-bylines) has abandoned nearly all pretense of objectivity in their coverage of President Trump, to the extent that nearly every story—even with no direct angle bearing on Trump—often contain some gratuitous swipe at Trump. California’s massive fires (while fire-prone conditions have taken decades to build to recent tinderbox status) must include global warming nonsense and anti-Trump fodder. Read, with irony, “Why Californians Should Blame Gov. Brown, Not Global Warming, for Wildfires—The governor is ignoring near-term practical solutions as he pins his state’s fate on climate accord.” (Tom Elliott, Grabien.com)
Trump’s first 60-days worth of coverage was analyzed by Pew Research Center: Compared to the prior 3 presidents (Clinton, Bush and Obama), negative stories dwarfed positive stories on Trump by as much as an 8 to 1 ratio. Only 5 percent of the statements that had an identifiable slant on Trump had a “Positive assessment.” That calculates to only 7 percent positive, 93 percent negative (one-third of stories were neutral); hence Pew’s pie-chart title: “Coverage of Trump’s first 60 days delivered greater share of negative assessments than coverage of previous presidents.”
Indeed, bias was relatively even-handed during President Clinton’s early term (28 percent positive vs. 27 percent negative); George Bush’s term had 2 out of 3 stories being negative. Neutrality apparently went out the window, however, in favor of Barack Obama for a similar early period: 2 out of 3 stories were positive toward their new president. So, 42 percent of Obama news was positive compared to only 5 percent of Trump news. That’s an 8 to 1 ratio.
“The Democrats are doing the same thing to Donald Trump that they did to Ronald Reagan—questioning his sanity, claiming he is senile and unstable, denying his fitness for office. There are two differences: the Democratic Party controls the press more monolithically today than it did during the 1980s, and the Democrats hate Trump even more than they hated Reagan…
“In this crazed historical moment, Ambassador Nikki Haley is, as usual, a voice of sanity. She responds to George Stephenopoulos’ faux concerns about the president. Notable quote: ‘Having been governor, now an ambassador, I’m always amazed at the lengths people will go to lie for money and for power.’” (J. Hinderaker, Powerlineblog.com)
The raw thirst for power—in the case of the unelected writers of the “first draft of history,” the power to destroy an elected president—overrides reporting of perfidy by both sides. Hence, the slavishly positive coverage of Obama flips without a blink into adversarial opposition expressed in 90+ percent negative coverage of Trump.
A thread connecting the “Steele dossier,” from which all things connecting Russia and Trump emanate, to the current iteration of Trump Derangement Syndrome—“Fire and Fury” by Mr. Wolff—would have to be the salting of an otherwise fictional assemblage of non-facts and manufactured falsehoods with a few bits of verifiable accuracy. That provides gullible people with a hook to lend some credence to the garbage; it also gives the propagandists and fabulists among the partisan press with a disingenuous talking point: “Some of it has been verified.”
I hate to pop any bubbles of hope that the (fill-in-the-blank) latest expose will be the final nail in the coffin of the Trump presidency, but “truthiness” works the other way: Once blatant lies are discovered that were evident at the time of writing, the entire document—the Steele dossier or the Wolff book, etc—is discredited as a stream of undifferentiated mud and filth. Fictional at best.
In Trump’s case, we have a veritable library of discredited, retracted, corrected and phony news. Look up “Mainstream media errors in the Trump era: Your catalog of the media’s bias-fueled failure-fest” by T. Becket Adams, 12/31/2017, Washington Examiner. “The press’ credibility problem took a turn for the worse this year. Chalk it up to bias, sloppiness, or sheer panic in response to the election Donald Trump, but the bottom line for 2017 is that there was a shocking decline in the quality and reliability of political journalism.” Last January, CNN (falsely) “reported” that Nancy Sinatra objected to the Trumps dancing to “My Way.” On Dec. 26, CNN lied about Republican funding of the infamous Steele/Russian dossier; there are 100+ examples.
Writer (and not a Trump fan) Charlie Martin provocatively asked, “Should We Trust the Trump/Russia Coverage,” last May; his analysis concluded resoundingly “no.” He initially suspects the veracity of any story on Trump, “Simply enough, because however suspicious of Trump I might be, I’ve gotten to be even more suspicious of anonymously sourced stories about Trump from the Washington Post, the New York Times, and frankly, from all of the legacy media.” He links to the same Washington Examiner list by T. Becket Adams.

The Federalist’s Mollie Hemmingway wrote “Here Are The 10 Most Important Reported Claims About The Steele Dossier On Russia,” in October, citing accurate reporting that undercut numerous media myths about that piece of trash funded by Democrats and informed by Russian officials. V.D. Hanson: “In sum, fake news is journalism’s popular version of the nihilism of campus postmodernism. To progressive journalists, advancing a leftwing political agenda is important enough to justify the creation of misleading narratives and outright falsehoods to deceive the public—to justify, in other words, the creation of fake but otherwise useful news.”

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