Brent Bozell, Politics

Media Wail for Brennan and Clapper

Republican Sen. Rand Paul sent the media into another meltdown on July 23 when he called on President Trump to revoke the security clearance of former President Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan. He charged that Brennan is “monetizing” his privileges by becoming an on-air analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. That doesn’t even count Brennan’s speaking fees.

Brennan’s spouting inanities about treason that make a mockery of his former position is a disgraceful spectacle.

When John Gizzi of Newsmax asked White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about Sen. Paul’s request, she said yes, and not just about Brennan’s clearance but that of other Obama appointees like former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former national security adviser Susan Rice. “The president is exploring the mechanisms to remove security clearance because they politicize and, in some cases, monetize their public service and security clearances,” she said.

Not surprisingly, the Trump-hating networks wailed and screamed — especially the ones paying Brennan (NBC and MSNBC) and Clapper (CNN). When these men come on television, they are treated as national treasures, described as nonpartisans and asked softball questions. Clapper’s toughest interrogator — the only one reminding viewers he lied to Congress — has been Meghan McCain on ABC’s “The View.” How is that not pertinent to his credibility?

Removing their clearances could be painted as petty, but it would also remove some insider glamor and any remaining shred of nonpartisanship — if you’re not paying attention to their wild talk on TV and Twitter about Trump’s “treasonous” actions and other assorted evils.

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer even desperately claimed, “If you remove security clearances from a James Clapper, for example … that’s a potential national security threat.” Because no one upholds national security like … CNN? The network that falsely accused the U.S. military of gassing Laotians during the Vietnam War? The network that channeled Iraqi propaganda about America bombing baby-formula factories? The network that couldn’t show enough Abu Ghraib photos worldwide as it explained how each image was a terrorist recruitment poster?

On NBC, chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson tried to claim that people like Brennan and Clapper are somehow bipartisan, a most laughable proposition. “Most of the officials worked for both Democrats and Republicans and have been tough on President Trump publicly,” she said. If you call Trump treasonous, NBC calls that “tough.” If you suggest these former Obama aides are greedy partisans, NBC suggests that’s “authoritarian.”

What’s comical is reporters like Jackson accusing Trump of “politicizing” this fracas … when these Obama intelligence officials were spying on the Trump campaign in 2016, unmasking identities in a search for dirt to bury him. As top FBI officials probed the Russia ties of Trump aides, they were trading texts about how Trump had to be stopped. Even now, getting paid by highly ideological CNN and MSNBC to offer regular Trump-bashing analysis is politicizing intelligence. When in the last 50 years have we seen our intelligence officials so wildly exploit their power and moral authority (such as it is) to get a president removed from office?

The networks have (SET ITAL) always (END ITAL) politicized intelligence, back to the Vietnam War days. The FBI and the CIA were under fervent leftist attack in the 1970s. They seemed to be filled with villains every time the Republicans were in office — with former President Nixon and Watergate, former President Reagan and the Iran-contra affair, and former President George W. Bush and the Iraq War. But when they’re scheming alongside Obama to help Hillary Clinton win, well, that’s somehow patriotic activity.

The outraged journalists are not seriously addressing their own self-interest here: how they may have used these Obama officials as anonymous sources to ruin Trump since 2015. We may never know how useful they were, but the media ardor on behalf of these “nonpartisans” should color everyone’s view of this kerfuffle.

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM

Brent Bozell, Media, Politics

Showtime ‘Fakes News’ for the Left

CBS’s pay-cable Showtime channel is the latest backer of con artist/”comedian” Sacha Baron Cohen’s performance art, as in the movies “Borat” and “Bruno.” It’s a new TV show called “Who Is America?” that is designed, as usual, to mock Americans — mostly conservatives — as gullible and stupid.

The most prominent victim this time around is former Gov. Sarah Palin, who said she was asked to appear in a “legit Showtime historical documentary” but instead was pranked by Cohen and asked questions she said were “full of Hollywoodism’s disrespect and sarcasm.” Cohen also apparently asked former Vice President Dick Cheney to autograph a “waterboard kit.” The promise of these embarrassments thrills the left. It was not an auspicious debut: It drew just 327,000 viewers. Among the key demographic of adults ages 18 to 49, it pulled a low 0.1 rating.

Even as the first show began with Cohen pulling a prank on Sen. Bernie Sanders, it’s Cohen’s fraudulent tea party patriot who’s the joke. When Sanders does his usual socialist schtick about redistributing the wealth, Cohen’s character says, “I prefer to be anally raped than give one more dollar to the Treasury.” Sanders just calmly watches him … which might make most viewers suspect Sanders knows what’s being filmed.

One Cohen character is supposed to mock the left, but he ends up making two supporters of President Trump look like they were trying way too hard not to overreact to his idiocy. His bald but ponytailed NPR-T-shirt-wearing lefty character claims he makes his daughter “free-bleed” during her period on the American flag. Then he waits for the Trump fans to freak out, or, more likely, be grossed out. Cohen’s humor has all the maturity and sophistication of a 13-year-old boy.

Several people dismissed Cohen’s fraudulent act within minutes. One was former ABC News star Ted Koppel. He says Cohen’s crew lied shamelessly to him and said the Showtime program being filmed was called “Age of Reason,” and Cohen quickly showed he wasn’t the slightest bit reasonable. The network attracted Koppel with a request full of flattery, saying: “Our project’s goal is to cut through the noise and disinformation surrounding today’s most important issues in a way that’s clear and accessible to everyday Americans. As one of the world’s most well-respected media figures who has really seen it all throughout his career, we’d be thrilled to have Mr. Ted Koppel on our program.”

Another tough customer was a gun-shop owner in Riverside, California, named Norris Sweidan. “I’m looking at the producer and I’m just like, ‘Am I being fooled right here?” Sweidan said. “And I just kept looking at the guy and I was like, ‘You’re Borat.’ As soon as I said that, his eyes just looked at me … and he did a turn right out the door.” Sweidan said he knew “Borat” went there to mock gun owners and gun shops. “He was fake. The producers were fake. The show was fake. And Showtime is fake, to be honest with you,” he said. “They want a real story. Come talk to us. We’ll give you a real story.”

Showtime Networks CEO David Nevins shares Cohen’s lack of shame. In a statement announcing this shady series, he claimed: “He is the premier provocateur of our time, but not for the sake of ‘gotcha’ moments. Behind the elaborate setup is a genuine quest for the truth about people, places and politics.”

It’s more like “Behind the elaborate lying is a genuine quest to show the ‘truth’: that conservatives are morons.” The Hollywood left cannot keep greenlighting nasty shows like this and then claiming it is merely trying to explore America, not expose its contempt for the flyover states.

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM

Brent Bozell, Issues, Media

Avenatti, the Media’s Legal Hero

On July 10, The New York Times Magazine devoted nearly 6,000 words to Michael Avenatti, the Trump-trashing lawyer representing porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims she had sex with President Donald Trump. How is he worthy of so much attention?

This man is running a one-man show trafficking in anti-Trump propaganda. He started as the defender of the porn star and stripper. He has moonlighted with memos suggesting Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen is the tool of Russian oligarchs. Now he’s even taking on immigrants who came to the country illegally as clients to paint Trump as evil for separating mothers and children at the Mexican border.

He boasts that he’s a “mercenary” and says, “I don’t apologize for it.” He claims he has offers to have his own TV show but he doesn’t want one. Why be a host when you can be the star witness? He’s even threatening to run against Trump for president in 2020 if no one else can match his talent — his talent, that is, for getting himself on television.

Avenatti boasted to New York Times writer Matthew Shaer that he’s made over 200 appearances on national TV news shows and late-night shows since March (including two appearances on Stephen Colbert’s show). He’s been paid by raising hundreds of thousands of dollars from Trump haters through a CrowdJustice account. “None of this happens if we don’t have a high profile,” he admitted.

In short, Avenatti is the dictionary definition of a showboating lawyer, whose clients are mere playthings to get him into the bright lights. When federal Judge Kimba Wood told him in a hearing that he couldn’t represent Daniels if he was going to go on a “publicity tour,” he dropped his bid to argue in Wood’s courtroom. Publicity is all.

But The Times gushed all over Avenatti, over his “blatant blue eyes” and his “steely and composed” face with “Cubist” geometric angles. He “traffics primarily in a commodity in short supply among left-leaning voters: hope.” He has a “messianic standing among liberals.” And “canonization proceedings were under way” among his Twitter fans. “There is a God,” one tweeted. “He sent us Avenatti.” “You and Stormy,” wrote another, “may be the saviors of our democracy.”

The biggest bouquet of praise came from Daniels’ comparing her attorney to Michelangelo: “every time I watch him work, I think, This is what it must have been like to see the Sistine Chapel being painted. But instead of paint, Michael uses the tears of his enemies.”

In this overlong article, we’re told how Avenatti commands the media, talking for hours on CNN and MSNBC. Avenatti is such a regular he seems to know everyone at CNN by name. He snuck into a corner of the greenroom to chat with CNN President Jeff Zucker. He exchanged “profane banter” with CNN host Don Lemon, his new best friend. He “keeps in close contact with reporters in Washington and New York,” pressing the scribes to confirm his opposition research on Trump so he can do more TV.

Doesn’t all of this add up to a smoothly running liberal media machine in which the lines of responsibility vanish? Who is the journalist digging up the opposition research on Trump, and who is the trial lawyer? Where does advocacy end and journalism begin? Does anyone care? They all share a goal: to destroy Trump. Anyone who boasts (as Avenatti does) that he can ensure Trump won’t finish a single term can treat the liberal networks as putty in his hands and put The New York Times in his back pocket.

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM

Brent Bozell, Culture, Media

Hollywood Balks At Brett Kavanaugh

No one is more upset about Trump’s second Supreme Court nomination than the liberal media … unless it’s the entertainment elites in Hollywood and Manhattan. These liberals couldn’t see the flagrant hypocrisy surrounding their sentences as they unloaded their fear and loathing on television and Twitter.

For example, notice the white male late-night comedians mocking Trump for naming a white male to the court. On ABC, Jimmy Kimmel joked Trump “narrowed his candidates down to three — but, in the end, Kavanaugh was the white man for the job.” Stephen Colbert pulled a Bingo card from his pocket on CBS. “I have Trump nomination Bingo,” he announced. “You see, all the squares say ‘White Guy.'”

This is fascinating from the insulated world of late-night comedy shows, where all of the hosts (except for Trevor Noah and Samantha Bee) are white guys. Colbert didn’t make this joke when CBS exchanged Colbert for David Letterman, and James Corden for Craig Ferguson.

Merrick Garland is another one of those white guy judges out there. But Obama nominated him, so who cares?

That’s not all. Colbert also mocked the name Brett as the name of a Ruby Tuesday waiter. That’s rich coming from a guy who pronounces his last name like he’s the snobbish maitre’d at Le Cirque. On Twitter, Colbert claimed a senator had called Kavanaugh “the Forrest Gump of Republican politics.” It would be amusing to see Colbert take on Kavanaugh in a match of intellects.

In one last stab at a late-night white guy, Conan O’Brien’s sidekick Andy Richter was so alarmed he tweeted (in capital letters). “WHY DOES ANYONE TALK ABOUT THIS PRESIDENT AS IF THE FACT THAT HE’S CARRYING OUT A PUTIN-ASSIGNED CHORE LIST ISN’T AS OBVIOUS AS THE BLUE SKY?”

Earth to Andy: in Hollywood, it has long been considered a paranoid “Red Scare” to proclaim the conspiracy theory that someone in power — or in Hollywood — is a Russian agent.

This Tinseltown tweet was also painfully clueless: “I don’t know what kind of a judge Brett Kavanaugh is but he and all the other white and in many cases old folks at the event looked so out of date, so out of sync with what the world is becoming. What the world needs to become. A last gasp of a way of life we’re past.”

This philosopher’s name is Ken Olin. If you’re young and have never heard of this man, he starred on an all-white ABC drama called “Thirtysomething” back in the 1980s. At 63, Olin is mocking “out of date old folks” (like Kavanaugh) who are 10 years his junior.

Then there are the anti-gun hypocrites, led by actress Julianne Moore, fresh from her role as the drug-lord supervillain in the hyperviolent movie “Kingsman: The Golden Circle.” Moore tweeted: “This country cannot afford a justice on the Supreme Court who is likely to support the gun lobby’s extreme, absolutist interpretation of the Second Amendment.”

To be a Constitutional originalist is to dabble in extremism.

For sheer lunacy, “Hellboy” star Ron Perlman compared Kavanaugh’s Catholicsm to Sharia: “The move back to Medieval Values, Shariah Law even, where old, bitter men get to tell women what is best for their bodies, lives, and well being is as done a deal as this is Twitter. Unless we say NO! NO!” In these slanderous circles, it’s apparently a Catholic conspiracy by the Supreme Court to impose Sharia law?

Finally, there were the loony producers who insist this democratic process is the end of democracy. “Autocracy here we come,” tweeted Rob Reiner. “Even CONSIDERING this nomination will cement the first American dictatorship,” added Joss Whedon.

Paging George Orwell: The Two Minutes Hate has commenced.

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2018 CREATORS.COM