What? ABCTV, without sneering, covered Trump at the Osaka G20 last week and with Kim Jong-un the other day. So not all the ABC’s Trump coverage is hostile – maybe only 98 per cent.
Authors L. Brent Bozell and Tim Graham have now anatomised the US media’s Trump jihad in Unmasked, Big Media’s War Against Trump.They document from the start of the Hillary/Donald race to the Mueller report last March. Typically, 90 per cent of Trump items per month are negative.
This bias washes to Australia daily and unrelieved, with added spin from ABC autocue writers and US correspondents. There’s not so much cover here about record job rates for US blacks, Latinos and women, four million fewer needing food stamps, America’s biggest-ever corporate tax cuts, regulations cut by tens of thousands and US shale gas unleashed after eight years of Obama’s obstructions.
The front page of the Washington Post says, ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness’. The book’s authors remark, ‘It is not democracy that dies in darkness, it is the credibility of the institutions now attempting to undermine it… This is the story of a media that set out to destroy a president and his administration, but destroyed themselves instead.’
Here’s a WaPo reporter profiling Obama as a living god: ‘The sun glinted off his chiselled pectorals sculpted during four weightlifting sessions each week.’ But when WaPo’s editorial board wrote about candidate Trump’s plans against illegal immigration, it’s genocide time: ‘He would round up and deport 11 million people, a forced movement on a scale not attempted since Stalin or perhaps Pol Pot.’ Apart from data analysis, the book highlights Trump-haters’ nastiness. On CBS TV, late-night host Stephen Colbert suggested the only thing the President’s mouth was good for was as a ‘holster’ for Putin’s member. The audience gasped and guffawed. While CBS was nonchalant, ‘Amazingly, Colbert finally was pressed into a measure of regret . . . by the gay Left for disparaging same-sex activity!’
Late-night comedian Samantha Bee a year ago calls Trump’s daughter Ivanka ‘a feckless c—’. TV celebrity Jon Stewart rushes to Bee’s defence, ‘You could not find a kinder, smarter, more lovely individual than Samantha Bee. Trust me, if she called someone a c—’ [then she must deserve it]. Even our ABC comedians haven’t dropped the c-word on daughters of conservatives yet, only on their dads.
About that data: From CBS, NBC and ABC (US) evening news, for the duration of the Clinton-Trump contest, 88 per cent of the Trump stories were negative. When Obama was inaugurated, the anchors said things like ‘never have so many people shivered so long with such joy’ and ‘The mass flickering of cell phone cameras on the Mall seemed like stars shining back at him’. But they savaged Trump right from his inauguration speech for saying ‘America First’. Apparently that reeks of fascism and isolationism. When a year ago Trump’s sixty missiles clobbered Syrian chemicals dumps, the media spin subsided from 90 per cent negative to only 82 per cent. By December, the stockmarket boom softened the tone from 90 per cent to only 85 per cent negative.
The three networks were desperate to paint Trump as emotionally unstable. In the first nine months of last year they called Trump ‘angry’ 185 times, or 20 times a month. He was ‘furious’ (17 times), ‘fuming’ (14), ‘outraged’ (8) and ‘seething’ (2). He ‘lashed out’ (53),was ‘frustrated, aggravated or dismayed’ (33), and ‘worried, anxious, shaken or afraid’ (14). Trump if happy was ecstatic, thrilled or gleeful. Just once he was ‘calm’.
Media extremism knew no limit. The Huffington Post ran a piece by ‘leftist engaged citizen’ Jesse Benn in mid-2016 advocating violent resistance to prevent Trump’s ‘normalisation’. When a radical leftist gunned down Republican congressman Steve Scalise a year later, Benn tweeted that the shooting was understandable but not well enough organised. A CBS subsidiary published an anti-Trump novel by Hollywood’s Sean Penn with a message to the president, ‘We are a nation in need of an assassin’.
Any gossip-fuelled book exposé of Trump gains saturation media. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews compared three anti-Trump sleaze-books to the Bible: ‘At the risk of blasphemy, all these authors do have sort of a rhyming aspect to them like the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.’ Our ABC follows suit with 7.30’s Leigh Sales and Laura Tingle celebrating Trump-hating authors Michael Wolff (June 20) and Rick Wilson (May 31), not to mention Sales’ adoration of disgraced FBI director James Comey and his Higher Loyalty book a year ago.
In contrast, Peter Schweizer’s best-seller Clinton Cash in 2015 was virtually ignored, despite documenting Bill Clinton’s $US500,000 for a speech in Moscow closely followed by Hillary waving through a Russian company takeover of 20 per cent of US uranium reserves. Through 2015-18, the Uranium One scandal got under four minutes from CNN. This contrasted with the networks’ 40 minutes of outrage over Trump privately dissing African ‘shitholes’ or CNN savouring the faked Steele ‘pee-tapes’ 77 times in its first five days (2,200 minutes by the three networks from 2017-19).
All politics tragics know about Russian lady lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting Donald Trump Jr in Trump Tower on June 9, 2016 to hand over dirt about Hillary (this smoking gun fired blanks). But did you know the Russian lady met with Glenn Simpson, founder of Fusion GPS, on the day before Trump Tower, on the same day, and on the day after, while Fusion was on Hillary’s payroll seeking dirt on Trump? To anyone not from Mars, that Tower meeting now looks like Democrat-Russian collusion for a sting. Network news interest? Zero.
Trump’s inspirational speech to rapturous Warsaw citizens two years ago merited only seconds, while the media focussed that day on Trump ‘failing to answer directly’ the latest (baseless) allegation about Russian collusion. They also ran the fake news that Poland’s first lady had declined to shake Trump’s hand.
Talking of collusion, in 2012 Obama was caught on an open mike telling Russian President Medvedev, ‘This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility [on Europe-based missiles].’ Medvedev: ‘I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir [Putin].’
The NYT ran this sinister exchange on page 14, headlined mildly, ‘Microphone catches a candid Obama’. The polls show that Trump’s not highly trusted. And that the media’s trusted even less.
Subscribe to The Spectator Australia today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Subscribe – Try a month free