The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, April 29, 2018


Last night, the trained hamsters of the mainstream media conducted their annual White House Correspondents Dinner (WHCD). In a show of hubris that was as breathtaking as it was predictable, the hamsters told us all how important they are to a functioning Democracy (truth to power and all of that) and how dangerous it is for the powerful to attack them. As an abstraction, their claims have merit, but when the hamsters morph from fair, objective and accurate observers and reporters to hyper-partisan hacks, their pronouncements become laughable.

The Editors of The Washington Examiner comment:
When there’s a president so uninterested in political norms and factual accuracy, we need a trusted media. We need information about the administration to come from reliable narrators, not partisan activists. Unfortunately, today’s supposedly hard-hitting political journalism is agitprop.

Take, for example, the many times that reporters and commentators have gone on television to suggest with zero proof that the president may be mentally unstable. There is no excuse for hard news reporters to entertain such baseless speculation.

Just last week, ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos gave former FBI Director James Comey a platform on which to wink and nod to the worst of the unconfirmed rumors in the infamous Trump-Russia dossier, a highly dubious work of opposition research alleging the Russians have compromising personal and financial information about Trump. Stephanopoulos didn’t attempt to rein in Comey’s speculations or pin him down about why the provenance of the dossier was concealed.

Before that, reporters also grossly mischaracterized a revealing interaction between Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, describing the senator as a technologically challenged dotard.

These are a few of the many examples of reporters disseminating unverified or false information in a rush to make Trump and his circle look bad. There’s far more where this comes from, and it spells out a distressing trend for an industry that's supposed to be in the truth business but is doing nothing to recoup lost credibility.

As for the Correspondents’ dinner, it’s fine for reporters and commentators to cut loose and enjoy themselves. But becoming part of the story, which is what reporters did at last year’s dinner , demonstrates the lamentable fact that the fourth estate is more interested these days in preening and prestige than in facts and accuracy.

News media are letting the public down. They’re not doing the great job they’ll congratulate themselves for tonight.
The trained hamsters of the main stream media no longer make any pretense at fairness, objectivity, or accuracy. During the Obama era, these three crucial characteristics of true journalism were jettisoned in an effort to protect a largely incompetent and scandal-ridden administration from honest scrutiny. In the Trump era, those same characteristics were jettisoned in an effort to destroy a president the trained hamsters despise.

But here's the thing. Black tie, self-congratulatory affairs like the WHCD do nothing to help the media. By jettisoning fairness, objectivity, and accuracy, the media is systematically destroying itself. The hamsters are either too stupid or too vain to recognize that simple fact.

UPDATE - I (4/30/2018):

In an extremely detailed article that dissects a biased, dishonest, and inaccurate New York Times hit piece on House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, Molly Hemingway provides yet another example of a classic smear. The NYT reporter makes factual errors that appear to be purposeful, omits facts that clearly change the thrust of his reporting, and never provides any balance or context that might change the reader's view of the story he reports.

The "journalists" who attended the WHCD become VERY defensive when they are accused of producing "fake news." But increasingly, TDS is driving them to do just that. I recommend that you read Hemmingway's entire article.

At the close of the piece, Hemmingway summarizes in the following way:
The New York Times article is riddled with factual errors that are denied on the record by multiple sources. It fails to include information that was easily found and in the public record. And all for the goal of derailing rigorous oversight of intelligence agencies.

Nunes’ spokesman Jack Langer seemed unsurprised by The New York Times‘ partisan ax-grinding and lack of fact-checking, something he’s grown accustomed to in an era when many journalists no longer bother even pretending to aim toward objectivity or accuracy: “If people assume every sentence they read in The New York Times is either outright false or hopelessly biased, they’ll still be granting the Times too much credit.”
I would extend Langer's comment to include virtually all of the mainstream media whenever articles on Donald Trump and the so-called investigations of "Russian Collusion" are published.

UPDATE - II (4/30/2018):

Roger Simon comments on the media's reaction to a mean-spirited comedy routine during the WHCD that attacked (and that is the right term) White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Given the laughter and the scattered applause, it's apparent there's no such thing as misogyny when the target is a woman aligned with Donald Trump. Some of the trained hamsters in the MSM did feel a tad uneasy about the routine, but they shrugged it off, suggesting that their role at defenders of a public trust under attack in the era of Donald Trump was the important message to be gleaned from their self-congratulatory affair. It was, after all, the "golden age" of media.

Simon writes:
What a crock! It's the Golden Age of Leaking, not Journalism. The fantastic success of Woodward and Bernstein during Watergate has brought us to that. Blame "Deep Throat." A journalist is now someone who answers the phone from a leaker, takes down what he or she says, and spits out the innuendoes and lies to win a Pulitzer. You don't have to be Hemingway to do that. You just have to have a decent digital rolodex and be a good kiss-ass.

As for the brilliant exposé of Trump and his administration being done by these people, we know a huge percentage of it is just nonsense. The role of the press in the whole Christopher Steele dossier business would simply be nauseating if it weren't sinister. When the full story of the suborning of the FISA court in an attempt to bring down a sitting president is finally fully revealed, the despicable role of the press, how they allowed themselves to be used, even encouraged it, will be uncomfortably evident. If you think the media are unpopular now, just wait until the inspector general's report comes out.
But it's even more than that. The trained hamsters are active participants in a Democratic smear machine that uses innuendo, falsehood, in an attempt to destroy its opponents. There's big money involved, there's elite media sources (the NYT comes to mind) that are active participants, and there's an intent to mislead and vilify. There's nothing golden age about that. Nothing.

UPDATE - III (4/30/2018)

And finally, this from Jim Treacher discussing the comedienne who "roasted" Sarah Huckabee Sanders in a very personal way:
It's fine for a comedian to roast politicians from either party, but let's not pretend that the same set of standards applies to both. Let's not pretend that insulting a member of the Trump White House is in any way brave. There's nobody safer in America than a comic who offends Republicans. Any Republicans. Wolf [the comedienne] has only raised her profile and drummed up publicity for her upcoming Netflix show. She triggered the people she was supposed to trigger, so now she's a heroine of the #Resistance. Which is fine. Good for her.

Just don't expect me to give a $#!+ the next time a Republican says something "misogynist." If I point out that Michelle Obama reminds me of Aunt Esther but without the dress sense, or that Hillary Clinton looks like an oven mitt with feet, you can yell at me all you want. I don't care if you're offended. I'm just following Michelle Wolf's example.

And in that spirit: I'm impressed that Wolf showed up at the WHCD without giving any thought to her personal appearance. She didn't care that she looked like a shrunken apple in a Carrot Top wig. Kudos.