Trump Hastens Media Meltdown

Few things are better than watching the media weep in despair as President Trump continues to deliver on his promises. One of those things, however, is watching as the intellectually honest among them are forced to admit that he is winning.

And that is exactly what has been happening in recent weeks. Two of the largest and most biased media outlets, marching through vales of tears, admitted that President Trump, arguably, has kept more of his promises than any President in modern history.

The first of these delicious offerings is CNN’s “Donald Trump — Keeper of Promises.” Then, like an early Christmas present, came the second piece in the Huffington Post: “Sadly, Trump is Winning.”

Both articles highlight all of Trump’s major accomplishments and track how closely they line up to his promises on the campaign trail. And both delineate his accomplishments as occasion for lamentations which, of course, cannot ring as anything other than delightful music in the ears of Trump supporters.

CNN talks about how Trump has made good on his word to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Paris Agreement, while also swiftly moving to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and de-certify the Iran Deal. These were all bad deals for our country that Trump promised supporters he would renegotiate, and he is doing that. After fighting the courts for months, his travel ban has finally been fully implemented. Most recently, of course, he made the bold move of declaring Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel, much to the chagrin of the globalist elite and Islamists around the world. GDP growth has been soaring at levels of 3 percent or higher for the last several quarters, and the stock market continues to reach for the sky, with its latest milestone being 24,000.

The Huffington Post piece makes clear, even in the title, that Trump’s success is an occasion for their mourning; yet even they can no longer deny that by Trump’s metrics, he is winning. HuffPo focuses on how Trump recently succeeded in having his OMB Director, Mick Mulvaney, take over the controversial, Obama-era Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), after its former director Richard Cordray resigned. Mulvaney quickly acted and removed many of the Obama-appointed CFPB personnel. Trump himself continues to fill up judicial vacancies with judges who, on average, are rather young and very conservative, from the same mold as Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Most recently, the GOP’s tax cut bill advanced through the Senate, and now faces the last few hurdles in the conference committee as it appears fairly likely to head over to President Trump’s desk.

This turn of events—two of Trump’s biggest media rivals admitting to his success—is about as predictable as as a swarm of laser-sharks attacking Hawaii…which means that, naturally, Scott Adams had already predicted it quite a while ago.

But then again, maybe this turn of the wheel isn’t so surprising after a week of monumentally disastrous mainstream media errors and self-corrections. This list includes, but is not limited to: claims that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was about to be fired; the humiliation of both ABC’s Brian Ross and “The View’s” Joy Behar over a false report on General Michael Flynn; the debunked claims that Robert Mueller’s investigation had subpoenaed President Trump’s account with Deutsche Bank; and an erroneous CNN story claiming that Donald Trump, Jr. had contact with WikiLeaks prior to that website releasing thousands of DNC emails, when that contact actually came about after the leak.

And again, all of this was within the span of just one week. This isn’t the first such week since Donald Trump was sworn in to be the 45th President of the United States. He has always and continues to give the media the vapors.

Former Yale professor Walter Russell Mead addressed this on Twitter. Comparing the current era to a similar media-centric period during the Watergate scandal, Mead recalled: “I don’t remember anything like this level of journalistic carelessness back then.” He also accurately noted: “The constant stream of ‘bombshells’ that turn into duds is doing much more to damage the media than anything Trump could manage.” Fox News’ Brit Hume, who was a reporter during the Watergate era, agreed.

And of course, what better way to address these controversies than deflection to complete non-stories? That’s what Slate did with a recent article taking on what must be considered as truly the most scandalous, the most revolting thing that Donald Trump has ever done in his entire life: “Trump Reportedly Drinks 12 Diet Cokes, Watches Up to 8 Hours of TV Per Day.” The horror.

Scott Adams, once again, said it best: “Slate ran out of ammo.”

And of course, it wasn’t long before CNN also bravely tackled this most consequential  story, and made the genius decision to crowd out coverage of this week’s attempted terrorist attack in New York City in order to make sure the American people got to the bottom of Donald Trump’s terrible aspartame and caffeine fueled presidency.

Two illustrations will make my point for me. First:

And second:

These truly are pictures worthy of their own full-length comedy film. They present a mainstream media unable to come to terms with a president they so despise and predicted a series of disasters would follow, actually succeeding; thus, they turn to creating one fake “bombshell” after another, only to be forced to admit to their errors, before then turning to the most mundane and pathetic “attacks” imaginable.

The only thing left is the conclusion: will the media finally concede and admit to its bias, and attempt a genuine shift to a more neutral, non-partisan coverage of our president? Not likely.

Will the mainstream media finally lose its monopoly on information in the modern day, and at last be successfully overrun by alternative media? Ideal, but there’s still a long way to go.

Or does the media continue to double down on stupid, in the hope that their pickaxes will finally strike some molecule of gold, instead of hacking off their own feet? Again, this is unlikely. So, grab the popcorn, and enjoy the ongoing picture produced by an anti-Trump media setting itself on fire.

About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

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37 responses to “Trump Hastens Media Meltdown”

  1. News organizations including CNN, ABC, HuffPo, etc., must do more to vet their stories and avoid careless mistakes. Part of the problem is the nature of the medium and today’s round-the-clock news cycle. At the time of Watergate, television news was a half-hour a night on three networks and 60 Minutes on Sunday, and you got your newspaper once a day. To be competitive today, television and internet-based news organizations must deliver a relentless stream of “fresh” news, bulletins, updates, and “bombshells.” Speed is the enemy of accuracy and completeness, and the blinding pace at which today’s news industry must operate will inevitably lead to some inaccurate and irresponsible reporting.

    Of course, Lendrum’s own bias is on full display when he disparages CNN as the incorrigibly biased media and ignores the fact that Fox News is the most-watched news outlet in America. Fox constitutes the “media” as much as any organization and is as biased as it gets. Further, Fox and Breitbart et al. are not immune to the pitfall of the 24/7 news cycle. Given Fox’s viewership, it’s safe to say Fox likely is responsible for the dissemination of more mis-information than all other media outlets combined. Of course, unlike CNN and ABC, Fox takes a page from the President’s playbook and digs in its heels to avoid admitting its own mistakes unless it absolutely has to.

    • Really LO? Make a list of the retractions the last two weeks from CNN, ABC, and MSNBC. Add them all together and then compare them to the number required from FOX. Nine to nothing. Bias is one thing, and I am a Fox watcher, but carelessness, much less an obvious agenda is another.

      • Two weeks is a pretty small sample size. I think we could obtain better data if we go back, I dunno, to the beginning of the 2016 election season? Also, determining whether or not a retraction is “required from Fox” seems pretty darn subjective.

        In any event, i will try to accept the challenge. If time permits, I’ll try to find and review all of Fox’s coverage to compile a list to counter yours. To this end, can you identify the nine retractions to which you refer?

      • “. . .the last two weeks. . .” was hyperbole on my part. However–enjoy:
        1. Three journalists leaving CNN after retracted article
        by Brian Stelter @brianstelter June 27, 2017: 6:00 PM ET
        2. ABC News corrects bombshell Flynn report
        by Oliver Darcy @oliverdarcy December 1, 2017: 11:14 PM ET
        3. CNN Corrects a Trump Story, Fueling Claims of ‘Fake News’
        4. January 20: Nancy Sinatra’s Complaints about the Inaugural Ball
        On the day of Trump’s inauguration, CNN claimed Nancy Sinatra was “not happy” with the fact that
        the president and first lady’s inaugural dance would be to the tune of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”
        The problem? Nancy Sinatra had never said any such thing. CNN later updated the article without
        explaining the mistake they had made.
        5. CNN Actually Admits They Published Fake News, Forced to Issue Retraction
        CNN’s trusted anonymous sources got it wrong once again, forcing the outlet make a retraction
        after a statement from James Comey revealed that their original story was based on a false
        narrative. By Rachel Blevins – June 8, 2017
        6. Rachel Maddow’s Exclusive “Scoop” About a Fake NSA Document Raises Several Key Questions
        Glenn Greenwald July 27, 2017
        7. January 20: The Great MLK Jr. Bust Controversy– NOTE–this was originally published by
        Time Magazine but was picked up by CNN and MSNBC

        8. Pre-note–This was originally factually reported by NBC News. I’m printing most of the article
        because of the context and the list of bad actors in Paragraph 3:

        January 20: Betsy DeVos, Grizzly Fighter
        During her confirmation hearing, education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos was asked whether schools should be able to have guns on their campuses. As NBC News reported, DeVos felt it was “best left to locales and states to decide.” She pointed out that one school in Wyoming had a fence around it to protect the students from wildlife. “I would imagine,” she said, “that there’s probably a gun in the school to protect from potential grizzlies.”

        This was an utterly noncontroversial stance to take. DeVos was simply pointing out that different states and localities have different needs, and attempting to mandate a nationwide one-size-fits-all policy for every American school is imprudent.

        How did the media run with it? By lying through their teeth. “Betsy DeVos Says Guns Should Be Allowed in Schools. They Might Be Needed to Shoot Grizzlies” (Slate). “Betsy DeVos: Schools May Need Guns to Fight Off Bears” (The Daily Beast). “Citing grizzlies, education nominee says states should determine school gun policies” (CNN). “Betsy DeVos says guns in schools may be necessary to protect students from grizzly bears” (ThinkProgress.) “Betsy DeVos says guns shouldn’t be banned in schools … because grizzly bears” (Vox). “Betsy DeVos tells Senate hearing she supports guns in schools because of grizzly bears” (The Week). “Trump’s Education Pick Cites ‘Potential Grizzlies’ As A Reason To Have Guns In Schools” (BuzzFeed).

        9. February 2: Easing the Russian Sanctions
        Last week, NBC News national correspondent Peter Alexander tweeted out the following:
        “BREAKING: US Treasury Dept easing Obama admin sanctions to allow companies to do
        transactions with Russia’s FSB, successor org to KGB.”

        I stayed with the number 9 though I could have found others. I also stayed with ABC, CNN, and MSNBC as that was my original claim. There have been many, many more. I also stayed on stories that involved Trump in particular. You can call this cut and paste because that is what it is. I tried to provide enough source information so you could look at them yourself.

      • Thanks, I genuinely appreciate your effort here. I’ll take a closer look at all of these, and it probably won’t surprise you if I dispute some of the details. But that said, if I’m reading things correctly, the challenge for me is to identify (1) nine stories (2) relating to Trump or the Trump administration (I’m taking my cue here from your number 9, which relates to Russia, but isn’t about Trump per se), that Fox (3) reported inaccurately, misleadingly, etc., to the point where (4) it either issued a retraction or correction or where I think one is warranted (I promise to try not to be not to be ticky-tack).

        Fair enough?

      • A quick “google” search came back with 15 hits for 2017 and about 10 hits for the time period leading up to the election. I’m giving you the link to MSM network. Most of the hits go back to a You Tube video that cites the study. But I have to admit I’m surprised you weren’t already aware of the various news reports on the trend in the stories.

        Back around August there was a study that took in both print and television media that had the number at 93%. And back around March or April the numbers had Fox News at 53% unfavorable and 47% favorable. CNN and MSNBC were both at 91% unfavorable.

      • I don’t doubt that most news reports on Trump are “negative” (though that’s a very squishy term). But without more we can’t know whether it’s because the media (1) has an anti-Trump agenda, (2) are playing for ratings by pandering to the tens of millions of Americans who think Trump and his ideas suck, or (3) genuinely believe the best evidence and analysis suggests Trump and his ideas actually do in fact suck.

        I want to look at the actual methodology of and data produced by the Media Research Center study. Without that, I don’t think we have enough information to conclude that the media are unfairly biased, much less that that bias leads to a disproportionate number of anti-Trump mistakes. I’ll let you know what I find – lucky you! :-)

      • I appreciated your response. I’m currently replacing some flooring in my kitchen. This will take the balance of the afternoon. Look for an expanded response later this evening. I would like to offer a few points on both the Israel issue and the Korea issue.

      • Another thing to mull while you’re putting down tile (or is it hardwood?):

        The argument seems to be (1) the percentage of negative Trump stories is far greater than positive Trump stories, which (2) suggests unfair media bias. In turn, this suggests that the only honest, un-biased breakdown would be 50/50.

        I ask you to indulge a thought experiment:

        Let’s imagine that in 2019 Sean Penn announces he is a candidate for President. Sean Penn is a brilliant actor, who generally is on my side of the aisle politically. But I suspect you and I would agree that Sean Penn is woefully unqualified to be President and often says and does things that are patently stupid, silly, offensive, or obnoxious. (If you don’t feel that way about Sean Penn, go with the self-important, blowhard Lefty entertainer of your choice. Susan Sarandon or Kanye West, maybe.)

        But if Trump has proven anything it’s if you’re famous, you have a shot, so let’s imagine Sean Penn somehow becomes President. As President, he continues to say and do things that you and I both agree are patently stupid, silly, offensive, or obnoxious. So many people agree with you and me that President Penn says and does so many stupid, silly, offensive, or obnoxious things that his approval ratings steadily hover at 35-40%.

        I suspect that if the the majority of Penn-related stories in “the media” were “negative,” you and I would share the sentiment that “Sean Penn is an unqualified, silly, offensive, obnoxious jackass. Of course the majority of the stories are negative. I can’t believe so many are positive.” I further suspect you and I would agree that the ratio of negative to positive stories wouldn’t reflect media bias, but simply stood to reason.

        Isn’t it possible the same conclusions obtain if we run the thought experiment with Donald Trump?

      • Would you be willing to try another thought experiment? Put Obama in Trump’s shoes right now, just within the realm of media coverage. Obama was new to the political stage, to a certain extent, having been a junior senator before running. Look at the media’s treatment of Obama as a new president as compared to their treatment of Trump, and please share your thoughts.

      • I don’t understand, are you asking me to imagine that Obama is the current occupant of the White House and to speculate about how the press would be treating him right now, or to compare how the press treated Obama and Trump during their first years?

      • An 80 year old home–dry rot in both the flooring and the joists. Taking it down to the dirt and replacing with new. Three rooms completed and working on the fourth and last–the kitchen. Had to remove all the cabinets. What fun.

        Isn’t it possible the same conclusions obtain if we run the thought experiment with Donald Trump?
        Yes and no. We’ve had two pretty famous actors run for and win office–Ronald and Arnold. Both governors in California. (We’ve also had Al Franken and Sonny Bono too, but let’s stick with executive offices) Ronald cut his chops as President of the Screen Actor’s Guild. One may count that as some preparation but, for me, I wouldn’t count it as much. He surprised many after he became governor. He did a pretty good job, yet it still wasn’t enough the first time he ran for president. Then came Carter. A recession and double digit inflation (stagflation). The country was ready for a major change. They took a chance on an ex-actor, ex-governor. I think that turned out pretty well.

        When Arnold ran for Governor the state was ready for a change. Like when Reagan ran for office the State of California was in an economic fix. Arnold promised fiscal responsibility. He promised to entice new jobs to the state and fix the state’s electrical grid (remember Gray Davis?). He promised to fix the roads and fix the education system. Unlike Reagan though, he did not surround himself with quality folks. From 2003 – 2011 he didn’t get much done. The voters were so unhappy they decided to give Jerry Brown a try again. Governor Moonbeam. Take a look at Arnold’s wiki page. You know how much space they devote to his governorship? LESS than one paragraph.

        So I would say we are one for two in the actor turned politician lottery.

        If all we had, when it comes to presidents is their prior qualifications, we wouldn’t have much. Take Truman. A haberdasher. When he ran in ’48, everyone thought Dewey would be a shoe in. Even the Chicago Times thought so. He turned out to be a pretty strong president. So I guess we are one for one in haberdashers.

        Let’s fast forward to Trump. Since HW Bush ran in ’88 the Republicans haven’t had much of a field of contenders. We had Bush, Dole, and Pat Robertson in ’88. In ’92 we had Bush and Buchanan. In ’96 we had Dole and Buchanan again and Steve Forbes. In 2000 we had GW Bush, McCain, and Keyes. In ’04 we had GW Bush. 2008 opened the doors again. We had the biggest field running for the Republican nomination since 1976. McCain (AGAIN), Romney, Huckabee, Ron Paul, Fred Thompson (actor or politician–you pick), Keyes, Hunter, and Guiliani. This time we end up with McCain and now he is running against a pretty popular African-american and name recognition woman. Everyone–including McCain knew we were going to end up with our first Black president or our first Female president.

        Why the list? Because when you look at the field the Republicans have offered since Reagan it has been a pretty weak field. Trump ran against 16 other men and women–8 of which (my secret list) would have made fine presidents and 3 of which (my secret list again) may have beaten Hillary. AND Trump beat them all. HE beat the establishment candidates; he beat the female candidate, he beat the governors, and he beat the Doctor. He beat the best the Republican Party could throw at him.

        He beat the media too! Why do you think the media gave him all that FREE air and print time? They wanted him to win! With him as candidate Hillary was a shoo-in. But then came Sanders. You know the dirty tricks the Clinton campaign and the DNC pulled on him. So did the voting public. Oh, she took the coasts all right, but she lost fly-over country in the process.

        Trump wasn’t my pick. I didn’t vote for him in the Texas Primary. But I was a never a never-Trumper.
        He has surprised me at well he is doing domestic and foreign. Hell, cutting regulations makes him my new best friend. Gorsuch was icing. His Asia trip was a huge success. Xi respects him, maybe even fears him a little–something he never did with Obama. He is the Saudi’s new best friend. They now know they have a firm ally against the Sh’ias. And he did it without pissing off the Israelis. Announcing the embassy move was a master stroke. Why? Perhaps I will have time and space in another post.

        Get over it LO. He won. He’s the guy for the next 3 to 7 years. I am rooting for him to succeed–not to fail. I even rooted for Obama after he was elected. Who wants a failure as president?

      • Sorry, I wasn’t clear. The thrust of the thought experiment wasn’t intended to be “imagine another actor/entertainer/celebrity turned politician,” but rather “imagine a hypothetical person you and I both would agree constitutes a Bad President.” I used other celebrities for the sake of story symmetry, but profession is really irrelevant.

        The point being, isn’t it likely that if the press ran mostly negative stories about this person we both agree is a Bad President, we’d both think the press is just reporting things as they are, not that they are unfairly biased? And if this is the case, isn’t the reverse likely true? Namely that if a disproportionate number of stories about any President are negative, doesn’t that suggest he actually is a Bad President as much it suggests the media is unfairly biased?

        I take your meaning about wanting any President to succeed: Assuming the GOP tax plan passes, I definitely will hope my current position is completely wrong and that I and the entire country reap the benefits of the resulting economic boom.

        But no, I can’t root for Trump. When Rush said he didn’t want Obama to succeed, I knew exactly what he meant: If Obama actually accomplished what he said he wanted to accomplish, it would (Rush believed) either directly harm America or change and diminish America’s fundamental character and standing in the world. I feel exactly the same way about Trump. I don’t want Trump to succeed, I want America to succeed in spite of him.

      • I read the Hemingway piece. It may not surprise you that my main takeaway is “Hi, kettle? It’s Mark Hemingway. You’re black.” He concludes the media are hopelessly biased and “the errors always run in the same direction” by citing only examples of bad reporting on Trump, his administration, etc. This conclusion would be justified only if he also analyzed examples of allegedly bad reporting on Clinton, the Democrats, etc.

        As for the the examples he selects, some indeed are pretty bad. Others are not so bad, in that the organizations acted responsibly by quickly correcting or retracing them. And Hemingway puts his own disingenuous spin on the Orrin Hatch/CHIP reporting. Joe Scarborough sent a poorly thought-out tweet (gee, where have we seen that recently?), but he was taken to task very quickly (including by CNN’s Jake Tapper) and every piece of actual reporting I saw acknowledged that Hatch supports the CHIP program. The criticism was that it sounded like he was smearing millions of people as welfare queens to justify supporting the GOP tax cut at the same time CHIP was unfunded.

        His critique of the media’s growing willingness to run poorly-sourced stories is spot-on. I ignore most articles that contain the word “Report [colon]” in the headline, because they may as well read “Rumor Has It” or “Gossip!” Still, I suspect this phenomenon is mostly a function of the evolution of the news business, not bias. Scores of outlets are competing for eyeballs in real-time, and thus are compelled to deliver attention-grabbing stories 24/7. Today’s news outlets simply don’t have the resources to run things to ground as they should. (Note, this isn’t an excuse, just an explanation.)

      • His critique of the media’s growing willingness to run poorly-sourced stories is spot-on. I ignore most articles that contain the word “Report [colon]” in the headline, because they may as well read “Rumor Has It” or “Gossip!” Still, I suspect this phenomenon is mostly a function of the evolution of the news business, not bias. Scores of outlets are competing for eyeballs in real-time, and thus are compelled to deliver attention-grabbing stories 24/7. Today’s news outlets simply don’t have the resources to run things to ground as they should. (Note, this isn’t an excuse, just an explanation.)

        Then we both have to recognize that our own bias stems from where we stand–and that seems to be on different sides of the street. I would imagine that to see this level of vitriol we would have to go back to the mid-90s during the worst of the Clinton impeachment hearings. I recall during that time Fox News, and Rush Limbaugh ( and I could add Michael Savage and Mark Levin) were the most vocal on the anti-Clinton band wagon. As far as print goes, I imagine that would be The American Spectator and WND as being the loudest print guys on the right. So adding that up that comes to 6 very loud voices. On the other side was the entirety of the Main Stream Media–video and print coming to the Clinton defense.

        Contrast that with today. The same voices exist on the left ( when did MSNBC go online?) ON the right we have added PJM, TAI, Newsbusters, Circa, Am. Greatness, et al–but even some of them–TAI and AG for example–have a strong anti-Trump bent. On the left we now have added Salon, Politico–60% of the time, HuffPo, Talking Points Memo, and The Daily Beast.

        For me I put it equal measures of the pressure of the 24/7 news cycle and anti-Trump bias that leads them into error so frequently and so horrendously.

        What cannot be ignored is that in the rush to judgement the amount of bias against Trump colors virtually all of the news. I think you would at least recognize that much from the Hemingway piece.

        The slant on the domestic news is bad enough, but how the efforts internationally are being portrayed is criminal. Trump, Pence, Tillerson, and Mattis are doing an outstanding job on the international front–especially in regard to the ME, Korea, Russia, and China. But you wouldn’t know it from MSM reporting.

        Consider the move of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. That was voted for by Congress 22 years ago. Forty two times (once every six months) the various presidents in the WH had to send a letter to Congress explaining why the time isn’t right yet. 42 TIMES! Trump follows through and the world comes to an end. And if you want to be really truthful, the move will not make one whits worth of difference in the outcomes of any peace process–because the truth is that the Palestinians and the Iranians do not want peace.

        So, I guessing here that you and I will have to agree to disagree on what is cause and what is effect. I find very few never-Trumpers (not putting you in that category yet, but you are teetering on the edge) are willing to concede ANTHING positive about what Trump has done so far and what he has yet to do.

      • Oh, I’m definitely a Never-Trumper. I think Donald Trump himself is just…well, I won’t spew adjectives and epithets at you, but you can probably imagine. But that’s not the same thing as being never-Conservative, or never-Republican, or even never-Trump Administration. On November 9, 2016 I committed to trying my best to realize that not everything that comes out of the Trump White House will be outrageous or egregious. Conservatives and Republicans get to win sometimes; it’s healthy, in fact. “Loyal Opposition” is intended to reflect this sentiment. So I’m not going to pretend to be shocked and cry “villains!” when a Republican government does something as predictable as passing a tax cut. I think it’s a bad mistake, but it’s not radical or evil.

        And I’ll go further: Neil Gorsuch was a reasonable choice, I’m glad the Administration is re-aligning NASA’s mission to emphasize manned, extra-orbital space flight, and I fully supported the President’s strong words against North Korea: You don’t get to repeatedly threaten the United States with nuclear weapons, period. If you do, we’re going to threaten you back. (And for what it’s worth, when the Lewinsky scandal broke, I went on record in the local print and television media calling for Clinton to resign.)

        That said, I do have a different take on the examples you cite and what they say about media bias and error. Because foreign policy is enormously complicated and more an art than science, I respectfully submit that your flat assertion that the Administration’s foreign policy work has been “outstanding” reflects more than a little bias. For example, North Korea continues its missile testing and I believe we should hit Russia much, much harder for its election-meddling. None of this is to say I’m right and you’re wrong, just that reasonable minds – including reasonable minds in the press – really can differ.

        ((As for moving our embassy in Israel, I would put this in the “radical” category.

        You assert the “truth” is that “the Palestinians” don’t want peace. You may be right. But then again, considering there are lots of Palestinians and I wager you don’t know most of them, you may be wrong. Peace may or may not prove to be possible, but “it’s not possible” definitely is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

        This is the frame of mind that led Republican and Democratic Presidents to say “the time isn’t right” for 22 years: The consensus was that doing otherwise seriously undermines any U.S. claim to be a good-faith peace broker. Trump seemed to confirm that we’re truly picking sides by agreeing to move the embassy without getting a single concession from Israel, yet more evidence he’s not exactly the savviest of dealmakers). To my eyes, Trump changed decades of stable, bipartisan policy relating to the most intractable issue in the most volatile part of the world for no other reason than to appease part of his political base. To my eyes, this is egregious.))

  2. Mr. Lendrum’s media criticism might merit more respect were he to criticize the right media.

    Slate’s “12 Diet Cokes” piece was actually a riff on a piece that appeared in the New York TImes – something you’d know if you read even halfway through the first sentence of the Slate post, but not something you’d know if you only read the Slate headline or Scott Adams’ Tweeted response to it.

    Far from being frivolous, the NYT piece is an example of how the president – our employee – spends his day, receives information, and processes that information. Far from being a meltdown, it’s a thoroughly reported piece about the moods and activities of a president whose actions are very much mood-driven.

    I don’t care what CNN did with it. Cable news, whatever its ideological stripe, is bad for you, designed to get your blood pressure running, a kabuki presentation of our politics.

    But I don’t mind organizations minimizing a failed terrorist attack that killed nobody. Terrorism is designed to create terror. Conservatives do the bidding of terrorists by demanding we all run around screaming when some wannabe who can’t build a half-decent bomb blows himself up, and doesn’t even do THAT well.

    • Why do you put any faith in the NYT? It is no more trustworthy than the rest of the leftist media. it has pushed to Russia meme that has been totally discredited, ignored the great things Trump has done like appointing conservative judges and ending the Paris accord. They are leftist propaganda with a better reputation that is undeserved.

      • Can you prove what they reported was wrong, or just that you don’t like them?

      • Who cares how he spends his day? It what he accomplished that matters and he has done great things. Great Judges selected, Ending TPP and the Paris Accord, Stopping the Iran sellout, Reducing the invasion, Reducing the bureaucracy paperwork and power, Reviving the economy. All this and more in one year. The hell that Obama created is becoming a bad dream, thanks to Trump.

      • They don’t really report though, Joel, that’s the problem. Reading their pieces, I have to squint and blur my eyes through their biased innuendo B.S. to find the real “reporting” in their opinion pieces heavy with slant. And when I look at their sources and the facts that they are actually reporting, I find there are no named sources, and no actual facts.

        Yet liberals argue, “Well, that was debunked by the New York Times (insert WaPo here),” but…no, it really wasn’t. Time and time again.

    • And that, ladies and gentlemen, is an example of SPIN–gyroscopic 24,000 rpm SPIN. A complete read of the Times piece shows exactly NO sources to the allegations of how the president spends his day. One paragraph quoting Lindsey Graham on Trump is not what I would call a revelation of any sort.

      • “Despite all his bluster, he views himself less as a titan dominating the world stage than a maligned outsider engaged in a struggle to be taken seriously, according to interviews with 60 advisers, associates, friends and members of Congress.”

        I mean, except for the 60 people interviewed.

      • I saw that paragraph. 60, not 59, not 61 AND not one of them named. More bullshit from the Times Joel. Until they name sources that can be fact-checked, it is all bullshit.

      • It was not the NYT I read the entire ‘spend his day’ article more than 3 days ago, but, stopped keeping track of ‘fake news/culture media’, when The New Yorker decided to destroy Taylor Swift for being a secret alt-Right princess through their music review tactic,

  3. Or does the media continue to double down on stupid, in the hope that their pickaxes will finally strike some molecule of gold, instead of hacking off their own feet?

    Three guesses, and the first two don’t count.

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  4. The biggest loss for America’s media is the people. Outside of shoddy news is the extreme left leaning nature of the main stream media. That is partly due only a few major companies controlling all media and those companies owned by the extreme left.
    Currently 15 billionaires own all the media according to Forbes. names like Michael Bloomberg, Peter Thiel, Rupert Murdoch, James Cox, Jeff Bezos, Mortimer Zuckerman, Warren Buffett, Victor Vekselberg are some of these owners and their neocon leanings.

    • It’s my hope that more and more people have access to the internet and, like me, found some good conservative websites (like this one) to go to for opinion and news pieces that are worthwhile (i.e., well written and researched, with no Orwellian undertones).

  5. The MSM is lost to me as most of media is. I have long given up on these liberal corporate masters that do no real journalistic service but sound whatever they are told to tweek. DC is a swamp full of bottom feeders.

  6. Does CNN really expect us to think that they’re seriously concerned about Trump’s health? They probably spend their lunch breaks praying to Gaia that he has a heart attack.

  7. There are levels to thinking. Perhaps the lowest level is to simply react emotionally to some stimulus without any abstract or reasoned processing. The next lowest level is ideological thinking – substituting slogans for the syllogisms and rigid principles free of correction from real world data for logic. The third level usually associated with intelligent individuals is to be careful in apprehending what the facts are, reasoning about them with logic, drawing out the abstract principles that accurately summarize the facts of reality, and thinking forward with a strong sense of cause and effect. And perhaps the highest level, typical for science and philosophy is to build a network of principles strictly derived from reality and subject to constant testing, potential falsification and revision and to understand, preferably quantitatively, how the interaction of those theoretical constructs (hypotheses, theories, laws, high level concepts) produces the patterns of reality.

    For the most part the mass support of the left is confined to that first level – concrete stimuli evoking emotional reactions. These masses are manipulated by the second level thinkers – given slogans to give verbal form to their emotions, sold on an ideology to believe in regardless of whether it actually predicts reality – all of which makes the masses easily manipulated and funneled to action. The left tries to adopt the forms of the third level of thinking, facts and logic, but pretty much always loses to the right in this realm because their attachment to their ideology and slogans os just too rigid. The left can never think at the fourth level because the whole idea of potential falsification of emotionally held beliefs is too painful to them. The fact that Progressive (AKA rebranded Marxist) economics always fail to produce the economic goods and inevitably lead to shortages and famine with a speed directly proportional to the extent to which their ideology is employed. The fact that success of individual human beings depends far more on characteristics not based on their race or gender or ethnicity but far more on their character, energy amd intelligence. So many pesky facts of reality that make thinking scientifically or causally unacceptable to them.

    It is a sad life to be a leftist. A crippled mind, unable to reach the higher levels that mankind is capable of is a sad thing. And all the expropriated wealth and power based on force that the left rewards its adherents with is a poor substitute for a life filled with meaning, purpose, full utilization of ones capabilities, independence, and creativity.