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

Brent Bozell, Courts, Media

The Media vs. Brett Kavanaugh

Supreme Court retirements under President Donald Trump cause an extra measure of heartburn for Democrats. They nominated Hillary Clinton and her seven-mile train of scandalous baggage for president, and that’s jake. They elected Bill Clinton as president, who perjured himself and sullied his office. Not a problem.

The one guarantee with Trump appointing Judge Brett Kavanaugh is that the Democrats, fueled by their mindless street mobs, will try to destroy him. It’s how Democrats behave. It is not how the “news” media should behave. Is there anyone who disputes that? But it is how they will comport themselves, because they are one with their Democratic brothers and sisters.

One by one, leftist Democrats have been making preposterous comments since the moment Trump made his announcement. Sen. Kamala Harris, for instance, immediately described Kavanaugh as a deadly threat, saying, “his nomination presents an existential threat to the health care of hundreds of millions of Americans.”

The “news” media reaction to Democratic rants? Nothing but airtime.

Leftist websites like the Daily Beast presented Trump’s short list of candidates as a plot by “Catholic fundamentalist” puppet masters. Where are the news reports about Kavanaugh being slandered for his Catholic faith? To beat this old saw, what if National Review had attacked Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s nomination as a plot led by Zionist puppet masters? You could have heard journalist heads explode.

Instead, reporters like NPR’s Nina Totenberg — who not only smeared Associate Justice Clarence Thomas with unsubstantiated sexual harassment bilge but also openly allies herself in public appearances with Justice Ginsburg these days — are warning that Kennedy’s retirement will be the “end of the world as we know it,” leading to “a hardcore conservative majority of a kind not seen probably in three-quarters of a century.”

To conservatives, that sounds great. But this reaction underlines why people don’t trust the liberal-media fun house anymore. Under President Barack Obama, the Democrats tried to socialize health care with Obamacare. They pushed same-sex marriage, and the Supreme Court imposed it on 50 states. Obama also imposed radical federal “guidance” on public schools with “inclusive” policies for transgender students.

Our liberal TV anchors and taxpayer-funded Totenbergs never described all this as the “end of the world as we know it.” It wasn’t the work of a “hardcore leftist” administration. But now the idea of reversing any of this is called a shift “sharply to the right.”

When Obama nominated then-Judge Sonia Sotomayor and then-Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the court, no journalists talked about extremes. They gushed like schoolgirls. Try ABC’s Claire Shipman (Mrs. Jay Carney) on Sotomayor nine years ago. This sounds like an Obama campaign advertisement: “Even as a little girl, growing up in a drug-ridden South Bronx housing project, stricken with juvenile diabetes, she had that trademark knack: Instead of seeing dead ends, young Sonia saw possibilities. … She’s also an avid Yankees fan, a mean guacamole maker and a fierce biker.”

Sotomayor sits at the left-wing extreme of the Supreme Court, but at her confirmation hearings, the networks were in denial. Jan Crawford Greenburg at ABC said, “Sotomayor … calmly, persistently, repeatedly … described herself differently, sounding almost conservative.”

But any research seems to bring us back to the eternally shameless Totenberg. She said of Sotomayor, “In fact, on a lot of criminal law issues, you could say that she’s more conservative than some members of the Supreme Court, including Justice Scalia.”

When Kagan was nominated in 2010, Totenberg took to NPR and — we’re not making this up — put on the theme song of the “Superman” TV show from the ’50s to compare Kagan, the former Harvard Law School dean, to Superman: “Kagan, who can raise money by the millions! Kagan, who can end the faculty wars over hiring! Kagan, who won the hearts of students … !”

They are about to show the world what first-class hypocrites they really are.

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

Big govt, Brent Bozell, Media

New Jersey Votes to Fund the Media

In the liberal mind, the way to prove you value something is by funding it with taxpayer money. So if you love journalism, you take taxpayer money and give it to journalists.

It is a sacred mantra of the left that corporate funding of media inevitably results in a pro-corporate media bias. Consistency would dictate that government funding of media would lead to a pro-government bias.

Not in New Jersey. The idea of the press as a check and a balance on government has just been placed on the Jersey Turnpike and squashed to pieces.

Garden State legislators have approved a bill to use taxpayer money to support “grants to strengthen local news coverage,” starting with a $5 million kitty. The goal when the bill was first introduced was to have $20 million allocated toward the “civic information” fund every year for five years.

“Particularly during these uncertain times, we need a strong and free press, which we know is the best safeguard for truth in our state and the country,” State Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg declared. We’re supposed to believe this won’t make anyone with a press pass feel better about Weinberg and her fellow Democrats.

One reason Republicans in Congress never have the nerve to defund (or even cut) public broadcasting is fear of terrible publicity — not just from public radio and TV stations but from journalists in general. It’s not state-run TV, just statist-run TV.

Legislators argue that the state’s location between large media markets in New York City and Philadelphia lead to poor coverage of “hyperlocal issues” for most of the state. But CNN’s Brian Stelter was thrilled about going nationwide with this socialist notion. He tweeted, “What if every state provided some seed $$$ for local journalism — as a way to rebuild some of what’s been lost through years of” — private sector — “budget cuts and layoffs?”

The socialist advocacy group Free Press has been pushing for this for years, alongside its efforts to prevent any public broadcasting funding cuts. “Never before has a state taken the lead to address the growing crisis in local news,” proclaimed Mike Rispoli, the New Jersey director of the Free Press Action Fund. They talk in panicky tones about the “disappearance” of local news.

The question liberals never ask is this: Are newspapers and TV stations losing their audience because they’re too liberal? You can’t fix that by doubly reinforcing Democrat-friendly government-funded local news operations. Last year, The New York Times mourned layoffs at The Record of Bergen County because it broke the vastly overhyped Bridgegate scandal against former Gov. Chris Christie. To The Times, that’s a triumph of “news.” To Republicans, it reeks of a partisan media bias.

It also makes you wonder why any private-sector investor would try to bail out such a failing effort. Media owners like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos or Carlos Slim get hailed as philanthropists for bailing out the liberal media. If you can’t make a profit, you can at least improve your own public relations.

Obviously, the collapse of classified-advertising revenue and the rise of online news have caused major problems for newspapers. Let us agree for the sake of argument that a) this affects local news more than national news and b) local news should be covered.

There are a growing number of liberal multibillionaires who could easily throw $5 million at this New Jersey effort instead of the government. Men like George Soros have poured millions of dollars into journalism to promote their political agenda, so why not “hyperlocal” news? Answer: There’s not enough glamor or political advantage in it. Besides, why should they? Let the little people do it with their tax dollars.

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

CNN Host Proclaims ‘National Emergency’

July started with a lull. On the Monday before Independence Day, the news network morning shows led with the oppressively hot weather. The normal feverish panic about living in Donald Trump’s America was missing for a few hours.

You can count on CNN “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter to stay true to the trash-Trump parade. At the liberal Aspen Ideas Festival, he interviewed Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron. Stelter claimed to speak for the crowd when he began asking: “Are we living through a national emergency? And if so, how in the heck should journalists be covering it that way?”

Baron replied that it isn’t his place to answer that. His newspaper’s role “is to cover very aggressively this administration as we would cover any other administration.” He claimed, “We’re not in the business of sort of characterizing the era.”

This is preposterous. The Post greeted the Trump presidency by posting a new motto on the front page each day: “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” It sells T-shirts with the motto to other liberals. By contrast, during Barack Obama’s presidential transition in 2009, the Post promoted to national editor a journalist who wrote gushy captions for a coffee-table book titled “Obama: The Historic Campaign in Photographs.”

Most Americans would suggest that the Dow Jones Industrial Average being up 5,000 points since President Trump’s inauguration and the unemployment rate being 3.8 percent is not a national emergency. But then again, most Americans aren’t journalists.

The silliness continued. Stelter told Baron, “The media critique from the left is that this is a crisis and thus journalists have to cover it differently than Bush or Obama or other past presidents.”

Baron acknowledged the Post is “more blunt about calling out falsehoods” than it was previously “because there are so many of them and they’re so blatant.” Then he added: “Steve Bannon tried to call us the opposition party. We don’t see ourselves as the opposition party and we’re not inclined to embrace the notions of some people who would like us to be the opposition party. We’re an independent news organization. We’re independent of all parties and all ideologies.”

Baloney. Baron simply cannot believe that, unless the Kool-Aid is stronger than we thought. Wouldn’t it be fun to find out just how many Washington Post reporters and editors voted for Hillary Clinton over Trump? If a single Trump voter could be found in the newsroom, that would be a surprise. How “independent of all parties” would the Post look then? We found in 2016 that among the Post employees who donated to candidates for federal office in recent years, 15 donated only to Democrats and one advertising sales manager gave to $200 to former Gov. Mitt Romney.

Stelter kept pestering Baron from the left in Aspen: “Your famous line is that ‘We’re not at war; we’re at work.’ … But if one side is at war and the other side is a pacifist, doesn’t the pacifist lose?”

This may be the one occasion where liberals discuss the benefits of war and the pitfalls of pacifism!

“It’s not the way that I would frame it,” Baron explained. “(W)e have the greatest credibility when we do our jobs honestly, honorably, accurately, fairly, diligently, energetically, unflinchingly.”

Our media have shunned any notion of objectivity under Trump. Activists like Brian Stelter keep urging top editors to oppose, rebel and resist, and they wonder why their own approval ratings continue to sink lower, and lower, and lower.

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

Liberals Hype Comedian ‘Collusion’

The late-night hosts hate President Donald Trump, so the idea that they would make friendly alliances shouldn’t be shocking. But as we’ve come to understand, in today’s world anything that reflects negatively on this president becomes “news.” So when Stephen Colbert at CBS called up Jimmy Fallon at NBC and Conan O’Brien at TBS for a joint mockery of Trump, the liberal media jazzed up its importance.

Vanity Fair called it a “Historic Group Chat,” as if these were world leaders in arms negotiations. Entertainment Weekly hyped them as superheroes engaging in an “Avengers-esque collaboration.” CNN senior media reporter Brian Stelter led his “Reliable Sources” newsletter with the headline “Late night collusion!”

This underlines how liberals elevate late-night comedians and “Saturday Night Live” satirists as the smartest, greatest Americans, an honor they don’t deserve.

The “cold open” that Colbert and Fallon presented on their shows was, as usual, a lame series of references to insults President Trump had issued. At a Monday-night rally in South Carolina, he called Colbert a “lowlife” and Fallon a “lost soul.” Colbert and Fallon greeted each other with these insults.

Oh, how touchy these comedians are when the tables are turned, where Colbert acting like a “lowlife” registers as a really serious insult. This is the same Colbert who ranted last year that Trump is the “presi-dunce” and “prick-tator” and speaks “like a sign-language gorilla who got hit in the head.” Colbert even said the only thing our president’s mouth is “good for” is being Russian President Vladimir Putin’s penis holster.

All that is acceptable. Calling Colbert a “lowlife” in response is not.

Colbert and Fallon wrapped up by lamely agreeing to do lunch … at the Red Hen, the Virginia restaurant — #Resistaurant? — that kicked out White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Trump also mocked Fallon for an interview he gave to the Hollywood Reporter in which he sounded like a distraught teenager when obsessing over being attacked for mussing Trump’s hair on his show in 2016. “Choking up,” the Reporter writes, Fallon said: “I heard you. You made me feel bad. So now what? Are you happy? I’m depressed. Do you want to push me more? What do you want me to do? You want me to kill myself?”

Comedians are expected to do the left’s bidding like pop-culture guerrillas. The agitators apparently driving Fallon to brink of suicide threats never minded when Fallon fawned all over Hillary Clinton.

In 2012, he hosted then-President Obama for a segment of “Slow Jam the News” during which he let Obama push his agenda and then endorsed it, saying: “Awww, yeah. You should listen to the president, or as I like to call him, the preezy of the United Steezy.” In 2013, Fallon dressed up as a woman and partnered with then-first lady Michelle Obama for a skit called the “Evolution of Mom Dancing.”

All is apparently right with the world when the networks work overtime to confirm the “effortless” coolness of Democratic leaders. But Republicans can never be normalized or humanized by late-night hosts.

When Johnny Carson mocked President Ronald Reagan, it was gentle and had a “just kidding” vibe. All these years later, the left expects late-night comedians to lead a vicious campaign of character assassination to ruin Trump, which is why Fallon’s hair mussing gets metaphorically reimagined as treason.

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, International

Afghanistan: Less Important Than Porn Stars

The “news” you see at night on broadcast television is defined by what “outrage” has been perpetrated by President Donald Trump. Last week, ABC, CBS and NBC devoted an enormous chunk of their airtime to parents who immigrated to the country illegally being separated from their children by federal agents — 128 minutes, almost half of their total nightly airtime not including commercials, according to the Media Research Center.

By contrast, other parts of the nation’s business are nearly invisible. Take, for one example, America’s war in Afghanistan, which is obviously not a new topic, since it started in 2001 and is now the longest war in American history. If it doesn’t feel like that, it’s because it’s out of sight, out of mind.

Last week, U.S. Central Command said it conducted 591 airstrikes in Afghanistan in May, the most of any month this year. And more bombs were dropped in April and May than over all of 2015.

But from January through June 22, the networks only mustered 32 minutes between them, barely 10 minutes each. ABC led the pack with a measly 12 minutes and 49 seconds, and CBS (11 1/2 minutes) and NBC (seven minutes and 11 seconds) were even worse.

One reason should be obvious: The number of dead Americans is very low. Only two American soldiers have died in combat in Afghanistan in 2018. Those men, Sgt. 1st Class Mihail Golin and Spc. Gabriel Conde, each drew about 20 seconds of airtime on each network when they were killed.

A second reason is less obvious: The networks don’t have many reporters overseas anymore, and certainly not reporters covering “forgotten wars” with few casualties. The networks are, by nature, more likely to cover American military action when it goes wrong, as in when civilians die in the bombings.

But neither reason is an excuse. This is not how war is meant to be covered — when it’s your country at war.

The networks haven’t been any more interested in the war on terrorism in general. Trump can largely vanquish the Islamic State group as a territorial power and you can hear the crickets.

Try this: On May 9, The New York Times, to its credit, reported that “a complex cross-border sting carried out by Iraqi and American intelligence” concluded with the capture of five senior Islamic State group officials. On CBS that night, this triumph drew 35 seconds. ABC and NBC did nothing. But all three offered full stories on the black Yale University student who was upset because someone called the police when she was found napping in a dormitory common room.

So let’s go back to the big picture of 2018. What did the networks obsess over instead of spending more than 32 minutes on Afghanistan? In the same time period, ABC, CBS and NBC offered 442 evening-news minutes on the still-unproven allegations of the Trump campaign colluding with the Russian government in 2016. (That’s in addition to the 1,234 minutes on this subject in 2017, adding up to a whopping 1,676 minutes total.)

The hush-money scandal with porn star Stormy Daniels has received 107 minutes of evening-news attention. That’s not counting another 81 minutes devoted to the exploits of Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen (who wrote the check to Daniels) and whether the FBI raid on his office will uncover nefarious Trump-enabling secrets.

The American Army at war in Afghanistan is 30 percent as important as a two-bit prostitute.

Whatever might cause the end of the Trump presidency is “news.” Whatever might cause the re-election of Donald Trump is treated like it belongs in a deep, dark cave like containers of radioactive waste.

Whatever is news is not news if it doesn’t fit that narrative.

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

The Media Insulate Obama From Scandal

Former President Barack Obama is swaggering around and claiming he didn’t really have any scandals as president. In February, he said we “didn’t have a scandal that embarrassed us.” This only means shamelessness can seem like a winning tactic. In May, he said, “I didn’t have scandals, which seems like it shouldn’t be something you brag about.”

By any objective measure, this man is a liar.

Obama can claim he was only following the lead of his servile press corps. CNN, which screams about Donald Trump scandals all day long, ran a two-hour Obama special at the end of his second term during which host Fareed Zakaria claimed: “He ran an administration that was largely scandal-free. … And he did it all the while under a microscope — because he looked different.”

This man is a liar as well. There’s no other way to put it.

So when the Justice Department inspector general released a report on the Hillary Clinton email scandal on June 14, it’s not surprising that the network newscasts ignored any reference to Obama, who is certainly scolded in the report, including pages 66 to 69.

ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS did multiple segments on the IG report, and all of them completely skipped an Obama angle. They centered their coverage on how the IG scalded former FBI Director James Comey, and they ignored that Comey was appointed by … who? Obama in 2013.

These networks also skipped over the report’s discussion of the scandal of then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch meeting with former President Bill Clinton on a tarmac shortly before the Justice Department announced it would not prosecute. Naturally, in their liberal eyes, the scandal here was that President Trump was claiming he was vindicated by the IG report. This was apparently the false statement.

Obama can lie without any consequences. For starters, in 2015 he denied knowing that Hillary Clinton used a private email address for her government business. The IG report makes clear that Obama “was one of the 13 individuals with whom Clinton had direct contact using her clintonemail.com account.” As he so often did during eight years of assorted scandals, Obama claimed he only learned about it “through news reports.” No one called him a) dishonest or b) clueless.

But it was worse than that. Obama caused indigestion inside the FBI when he went on television and insisted nothing Clinton did was worth prosecuting.

On “60 Minutes” on Oct. 11, 2015, Obama insisted, “I can tell you that this is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.” CBS’ Steve Kroft nudged him, saying, “This administration has prosecuted people for having classified material on their private computers.” Obama replied: “there’s no doubt that there had been breaches, and these are all a matter of degree. We don’t get an impression that here there was purposely efforts … to hide something or to squirrel away information.”

Lynch told the IG that Obama stepped in it by prematurely proclaiming on CBS that there was no national security damage. It created a suspicion of political bias at the top of the Justice Department. Obama repeated his line about Clinton’s lack of harm to national security in a “Fox News Sunday” interview on April 10, 2016.

It’s not like the networks couldn’t find these video clips. As energetically as they create a persistent “crisis” for Donald Trump, they have put a protective bubble around their precious Obama. He can boast that he has no scandals because the “facts first” media have manufactured that false perception for 10 years.

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