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Saturday, February 25, 2017
Eric Boehlert
Flynn

Flynn Scandal Shatters Trump’s ‘Alternative Fact’ Cocoon

Presidents from both parties have always enjoyed partisan cheerleaders in the press who will defend an administration from attacks and enthusiastically support its agenda. But what the Trump team is trying to assemble is something else entirely. It’s trying to build its own self-sustaining, hermetically sealed information bubble so that Trump, his aides, and his supporters don’t have to acknowledge everyday facts.

February 16, 2017
Stephen Miller, Trump Surrogates, Lie

Trump’s Team Of TV Surrogates Constantly Lie

This current crisis of confidence is about an entire White House philosophy of dishonesty driven by Trump himself. And that certainly includes Trump TV surrogates such as Spicer and Miller, who are quickly amassing resumes built around pushing daily falsehoods. If news producers are avoiding Conway, they should also be pondering the worth of hosting Spicer and Miller.

February 14, 2017
Trump TV Ratings

Trump’s TV Star Fades: He’s No Longer A Ratings Magnet

President Trump, who spent 2016 chronically boasting about his ability to spike TV news ratings, clearly falls short of the ratings successes Obama posted early in his presidency. As the least popular new president in modern American history, Trump seems to having trouble connecting with the masses.

February 12, 2017
Conway

Conway’s Bowling Green Massacre Claim Wasn’t An ‘Honest Mistake’

The good news is Conway’s awkward “massacre” fabrication was quickly and aggressively debunked, and her reputation may have suffered a long-term hit. The disturbing downside: The Conway incident isn’t a random, dismissible incident. As the Trump White House has proven repeatedly, making things up is becoming the rule, not the exception.

February 8, 2017
Neo-Nazis, Right-Wing, Trump

White Supremacists Celebrate As Trump Downplays Threat Of Right-Wing Terror

Downgrading the scrutiny given to right-wing radicals has long been a goal of conservative media in America. Now Trump is moving to turn that desire into policy. Today, with the threat of homegrown, radical-right extremists still looming, the Trump administration is following the Fox News lead. Rather than increasing scrutiny, it’s proposing to scale it back.

February 6, 2017
Sean Spicer, White House, Lies

Why The Press Shouldn’t Believe Anything The White House Tells Them

If newsrooms understand that falsehoods are the currency that Trump and his White House aides trade in each day, then reporters should stop treating unconfirmed claims from the White House as fact. Even when the supposed facts revolve around everyday matters like diplomatic phone calls.

February 1, 2017
Trump, Wall, Border

Trump Touts Border Wall While Undocumented Immigration Is Declining

Like his attempts to spread lies about the U.S. unemployment rate (not to mention lies about the size of his inauguration crowd), Trump’s argument for building a wall is built on the fabrication that America is under siege from undocumented immigrants. It’s not. Trump’s proposal is a radical fix for a dilemma already in decline

January 31, 2017
Trump

Deep Character Flaws Will Ultimately Define Trump’s Presidency

Yes, Trump’s a dishonest conspiracy theorist. But he’s also much more than that. He’s a remorseless liar and a grievously insecure man who seems to feed off spite and revenge. It’s not a political strategy, it’s a character defect. Especially for someone like Trump who appears to have no deep ideological moorings.

January 27, 2017
Crowd Size, Trump Inauguration

Trump Embraces Weird Conservative Media Habit Of Fabricating Crowd Sizes

Trump’s weird post-inauguration obsession with puffing up the numbers of his celebration might seem like a baffling, insecure tick. It is — he’s just advertising that insecurity via an established right-wing media tactic. The pattern of lying about how many people assemble en masse enjoys a long history within the right-wing media; a history Trump has revived.

January 25, 2017
Trump, New York Times, Russia

NY Times Embroiled In Controversy Over Its Coverage Of Russia And Trump

New questions have been raised about the Times’ decision late in the campaign to sit on the story that Russian officials may have compromising information on Trump. The Times public editor Liz Spayd suggests that the reason they didn’t run with the “explosive allegations” was that journalists didn’t think Trump was going to win the election, and the paper didn’t want to risk sparking a controversy by reporting on the dossier.

January 24, 2017
Obama Press

The Press Never Stopped Blaming Obama For Radical GOP Obstruction

Fact: When Republican leadership adopted the radical position that they’d refuse to even hold hearings for Obama’s next Supreme Court nominee, the GOP systematically shred more than 100 years of protocol in the process. That’s what Obama faced for much of the last eight years, and the press’s messaging has helped Republicans every step of the way.

January 20, 2017
Trump, Press, White House

Why The D.C. Press Must Take Collective Action To Protest Trump

News organizations face an incoming Trump administration that seems sure to institute new media restrictions that are far more stringent than the Obama White House’s rules for photographers. Yet we don’t we hear much in terms of an organized protest.

January 13, 2017
Trump, Media

Faced With Trump’s Looming Press Crisis, Media Embrace Timidity

Over and over we’re seeing this discouraging and potentially dangerous pattern unfold: At a time when Trump and his team are ratcheting up their attempts to discredit the media, and as they stand poised to choke off all meaningful access for journalists, too many news organizations are responding with timidity and accommodation.

January 10, 2017
Trump, headline, Carrier

It’s Time To Banish ‘Trump Says’ Headlines — They Don’t Work

Lazy, misleading headlines play right into Trump’s strategy of routinely lying while also being historically inaccessible to reporters. Within that sphere, I’d suggest there’s a very specific headline problem — the “Trump says” formula. Solution? Ban uncritical, context-free “Trump says” headlines. It’s a good first step.

January 7, 2017
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a speech during a campaign event at the Trump Soho Hotel in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., June 22, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Trump Coverage Should Reflect That He Is Historically Unpopular

Donald Trump’s a wildly unpopular political figure, yet the press continues to gloss over that fact while granting him soft coverage. In terms of polling data, there’s virtually no good news for Trump. The results generally point in the same direction: He’s widely disliked and inspires little confidence in his presidential abilities.

January 3, 2017
Fox News has sent its former boss Roger Ailes and his scandals down the memory hole

The Year Fox News Flushed Roger Ailes (And His Scandal) Down The Memory Hole

Known for whipping up partisan fears and corralling voter suspicions of the other, Ailes is a logical choice to occupy a vaunted position on Team Trump after the election. Yet he seems to have joined the ranks of the disappeared in recent weeks.

December 25, 2016
NBC, Trump, Celebrity Apprentice

NBC In Bed With Trump — The Media’s Latest Grand Failure

Lots of Beltway pundits, the type who obsessed over the appearance of conflicts for Hillary Clinton during the campaign, now shrug their shoulders and suggest Trump maintaining a lucrative business association with a news and entertainment giant is no big deal.

December 16, 2016
Trump transition

One Month Later, Press Failing Trump Transition Test

The best way for journalists to cover Trump moving forward is to assume they’ll never have any access. That means news organizations can, and should, stop fretting about possibly offending Trump.

December 10, 2016
Obama saved 1.5 million auto jobs

Remember When Obama Saved 1.5 Million Auto Industry Jobs?

In the end, the bailout that Obama championed saved more than one million jobs, and Fox News still hated it. If only Obama had saved 1,000 Carrier jobs instead.

December 1, 2016
Bannon Breitbart

Stop Normalizing Hate: Reactionary White Nationalism Doesn’t Equal ‘Populism’

The term “populist” badly downplays the fact Bannon helped run a race-baiting cesspool, while underplaying Bannon’s own alleged history of anti-Semitism.

December 1, 2016
Press finally focusing on Trump's business conflicts

Too Little, Too Late: Media Finally See Trump’s Potential Conflicts

If Clinton arrived at the White House with open and boundless business conflicts, how would the press cover that story? What kind of outraged, lecturing tone would journalist take? Now treat the Trump story the same way.

November 30, 2016
A combination photo shows U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (L) and Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump (R) in Los Angeles, California on May 5, 2016 and in Eugene, Oregon, U.S. on May 6, 2016 respectively. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (L) and Jim Urquhart/File Photos

No, The New York Times Was Not ‘Too Mean’ To Trump Supporters

Even though the New York Times’ treatment of Hillary Clinton has been the topic of an ongoing media debate, the Times devoted the review of the paper’s election work almost entirely to detailing ways in which the paper hadn’t been understanding enough of Donald Trump’s supporters.

November 21, 2016
Trump gunning for the press

With The Trump White House Gunning For The Press, It’s Time To Fight Back

When Trump gleefully ignored all sorts of media norms on the campaign trail, he was met with modest resistance from the press, and he won the election. So why would he suddenly feel pressure to follow previous White House media traditions?

November 18, 2016
Trump, Kellyanne Conway

Of Course The Press Played A Major Role In Trump’s Victory

Question: How well did the press succeed in getting Trump to release his tax returns? In getting him to release relevant health information about himself? In getting him to hold a press conference during the final months of the campaign?

November 15, 2016
The media devoted more time to Clinton's emails

The Media’s Final Email Flop, A Fitting End To Journalism’s Troubled Campaign Season

For the entire year, the networks have devoted zero minutes to in-depth policy discussions, but they dedicated 125 minutes to Clinton emails. Media Matters found that in the week following’s Comey’s announcement, five major newspapers published 100 stories about the emails, 46 of which appeared on the front page.

November 7, 2016