Wild fantasies are Napolitano’s bread and butter. He regularly appears on Fox to fulminate over the alleged crimes of progressives. He has used his Fox platform to champion 9/11 trutherism, suggest that Osama bin Laden wasn’t really dead, and blame President Abraham Lincoln for having “set about on the most murderous war in American history” over slavery.
Ten years later, the denizens of the program’s curvy couch still frequently don’t know what they are talking about. But now, their conspiracy theories and bogus claims are repeated by the White House as if they were credible reports from distinguished journalists. Under the Trump administration, the hosts and guests of Fox & Friends are setting the national agenda, thanks to their biggest fan, the president of the United States.
Breitbart.com is coming for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and it’s using the GOP health care bill that President Donald Trump supports to attack him. Last night, the sycophantic pro-Trump site previously run by White House chief strategist Steve Bannon published audio of a House GOP conference call from last October in which Ryan said he was […]
The press. Government employees. Non-partisan government agencies helmed by Republicans. All of them are now being portrayed by the administration as unworthy of the public trust, because they put out information damaging to the president.
Jason Miller served as the Trump campaign’s senior communications adviser, then was tapped for the role of White House communications director before withdrawing for family reasons. He joins paid Trump advocates Jeffrey Lord and Kayleigh McEnany at the network.
You don’t need to be a bitter partisan to come to the conclusion that Donald Trump is a liar. It’s perhaps the single most banal conclusion to draw from Trump’s behavior over his political life.
Based on the Benghazi precedent, it is very clear that if a similar set of facts had emerged during a Democratic presidency, Fox’s coverage would have been apocalyptic. Instead, the network’s commentators have sought to carry water for the president.
President Donald Trump shamelessly and publicly deceived the widow of a fallen U.S. serviceman about her husband’s death in order to diffuse widespread concerns about the raid that resulted in his death, and journalists are rewarding him by praising his actions as “presidential.”
White House Correspondents’ Association is acting as if the White House press corps exists by the sufferance of the administration. As long as the press corps engages in such open display of weakness, the White House will continue to see what it can get away with.
The Trump administration’s press strategy is clear: delegitimize mainstream news organizations, especially those that produce critical reporting that jeopardizes its efforts, while lifting up unabashed propaganda outlets. And his fans love it.
A “fringe element” is now in the White House. But direct association with racists and misogynists isn’t great for the conservative movement’s brand — or Breitbart’s bottom line. So the organizers of this week’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) are working hard to redefine the term “alt-right” in order to retroactively separate that movement from the White House and the website.
Breitbart.com spent years shilling for Trump’s candidacy. Now Trump will swagger through the conference that Andrew Breitbart once owned, while the news site he created is a dominant force at CPAC. An ascendent Breitbart.com and President Trump are truly Andrew Breitbart’s greatest legacy.
Given that Breitbart is a sewer with no standards, Yiannopoulos leaving would suggest that the website, amid a major advertiser boycott, has finally found a limit to the bad press it is willing to tolerate from one of its biggest stars.
Thanks to Bannon and Trump, Breitbart’s efforts to stoke fears about refugees, Muslims, and immigrants will have the official aid and imprimatur of the federal government. This creates a synergy between the right-wing media and the Trump administration. The Trump administration wants excuses to limit immigration and crack down on undocumented immigrants, so they need an inflamed base focused on those issues.
“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile,” Steve Bannon told The New York Times. “I want you to quote this. The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”
Journalists are hesitant to use the blunt word “lie” to describe the statements of politicians. But this hesitance has drifted into acceptance of the George Costanza Rule of Lying: a statement cannot be termed a “lie” unless there is demonstrable evidence that the speaker truly believes it to be false. Since reporters can’t read minds, it is virtually impossible to meet this standard.
In the first official White House press briefing of the Trump administration, Spicer manipulated the press and tried to delegitimize criticism with falsehoods. But the method — without Saturday’s yelling and direct attacks on the media — went down much easier with his targets.
Trump’s ascent would not have been possible without the years of vitriol that the right-wing media directed at his predecessor. After years of listening to anti-Obama vitriol from right-wing talk radio and television hosts, conservatives wanted someone who could match that hate. They found him. And today, he’s the president.
The Trump administration’s reported proposal to move the White House press briefing to a large room that can accommodate pro-Trump sycophants and propagandists is brazen and destructive. But it’s also not entirely new — the Bush administration adopted a similar strategy in 2004.
Something is happening here that is more insidious than Trump and his administration lashing out at perceived enemies. According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, the administration is interested in potentially “stacking press conferences with conservative columnists and staffers from pro-Trump outlets.”
Trump sought to use yesterday’s press conference to conflate the two stories and employ them to shatter the credibility of the news outlets that published them. The result was a horrifying day for press freedom. Trump will be sworn in as president in eight days. Things can still get much, much worse.
Trump’s defense has actually included citing the Kremlin’s denial as evidence that the story isn’t true. And yet, some in the media have followed along, conflating BuzzFeed’s work with CNN’s and focusing on BuzzFeed’s decision to release the memo rather than engaging with the troubling implications of the CNN report.
Trump lies habitually, so unwinding the rationale behind any particular falsehood is difficult. But the result is a news environment in which facts become unstable, reality is constantly under attack, and both journalists and news consumers are unable to process new information within a coherent collective framework.
With six different confirmation hearings stacked on the same day, on top of Trump’s press conference, it’s impossible for the media to provide the information people need. And that’s the point — it appears to be a deliberate effort to manipulate both the press and the public.