It’s almost Thanksgiving, so we could give thanks that the election of more than a week ago is mostly over. Or perhaps we could thank the media that things are back to their new normal – journalists attacking President Trump around the clock.
This week was a cornucopia of crazy. There was an MSNBC regular warning that Trump might stage a military coup if he loses the 2020 election. Then there were allegations that the president, who has several Jewish family members, is somehow anti-Semitic.
Washington Post readers were also told that black women covering the president should “expect peak nasty,” although President Trump has been an equal opportunity basher of the liberal press.
Politico reported a former Trump aide said the White House was ‘like an episode of ‘Maury.’” “The only thing that’s missing is a paternity test,” went the comment, which was mis-attributed on CNN.
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The New York Times even asked if the press should “Boycott Trump.” Ever fair, the paper interviewed Democrats who hate Trump and Republicans who mostly hate Trump.
That list included “former Republican presidential strategist” Steve Schmidt, who despises Republicans so much he’s called them “kook,” “nut ball,” “crook” and “weirdo” just this year. That’s how the Times serves neutrality.
MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch was the one cooking up Trump conspiracies about 2020. Deutsch’s bizarre forecast for the future, in the “sad event” the president does run again, is that Trump could toss out the Constitution is he loses the 2020 presidential election.
“He (Trump) would be a president going, ‘I’m not leaving. I’m not leaving. Call the military.’ We have to look at this man. He really would do that,” Deutsch told the “Morning Joe” audience.
News organizations filled their sites with overdone hate. “Trump Is Worse Than Nixon,” went one New York Times op-ed.
“Conservative” Washington Post columnist Max Boot blasted Trump, saying, “America will need years to clean up the toxins Trump has released.”
The GOP was accused of “dancing with autocracy” (Trump) in another Post op-ed.
Hollywood served up some turkeys of its own. Sometime-comedian Sarah Silverman called Trump a “douche bag” and made a Nazi reference to her being “very lucky that I get a star” on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and didn’t “have to sew it on my clothes.”
Even actor Robert De Niro reheated a version of one of his favorite lines to bash the president. De Niro used the Tony Awards stage in June to get the audience excited to hate when he said:
“I’m going to say one thing, f— Trump!”
This time the venue was the Friars Club, and the actor was complaining about the “jerkoff in the White House.” “Down with this motherf—er!” he declared, according to Variety.
There were special words for those who chose not to participate in the hateful anti-Trump holiday. ABC’s “The View” co-host Joy Behar attacked the Country Music Awards because the program didn’t blast Trump. “My personal belief is that we are in an emergency. The democracy is at risk, and everybody should be speaking up, everybody,” she told viewers.
Inexplicably, Behar claimed she would make “10 times more money than I earn” for staying neutral. She didn’t say what outlet would pay this fantasy money. She currently is in the midst of a three-year “lucrative” deal, according to The New York Post’s Page Six.
2. Democrats Win, Media Thrilled: Sometimes the perfect metaphor presents itself. CNN provided the ideal one for the media celebration of Election 2018. The network featured a bizarre Dana Bash segment about “the original Badass Woman of Washington.” None other than return of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
The network posted a clip of the segment that begins with Pelosi walking in slow motion, like “Wonder Woman.” Just in case you thought Bash might be neutral, here’s how she led off. “Nancy Pelosi certain knows her power more than any other woman I’ve ever covered in politics. And I’ve always wondered how.”
I bet CNN execs think this was an apple, not a banana.
MSNBC was also singing Pelosi’s praises. “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough called her ‘like one of the most competent Speakers of the House” and compared getting rid of her to getting rid of a World Series star.
The news channel got even stranger. MSNBC political analyst Zerlina Maxwell continued a recent liberal theme of complaining about how elections are run in the U.S. She followed the lead of former first lady Michelle Obama and criticized how the Electoral College had chosen Trump in 2016 and that “in and of itself is misogynistic and sexist.”
Over at NBC, it was “wow” time. White House Correspondent Kristen Welker used the term “wow” twice in her report. Of course, this was easy to do after the media downplayed new Arizona Sen.-elect Kyrsten Sinema’s liberal record and her history of bashing the state she just ran in.
Sinema’s win was one of the last races called, but the tallies continued elsewhere. The New York Times whined that the GOP was trying “to Discredit (the) Recount.” The paper called that “a cold political calculation: Treat the recount as the next phase of a campaign to secure the party’s majority and agenda in the Senate.”
The article went on to blame the GOP entirely for questioning the tally. It also quoted “Donna Brazile, who managed Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 2000” complaining about the “obvious racial undertones in the Republican attacks on the recount process.” The article failed to note how Brazile herself isn’t even sorry for trying to fix one of the 2016 presidential debates.
3. Suddenly Avenatti Isn’t Big News: Remember when anti-Trump lawyer Michael Avenatti was big news? It should be hard to forget. He was the legal brains behind porn star Stormy Daniels and her lawsuit against President Trump.
The media adored him. By mid-June he had already done 82 CNN interviews as part of his then-173 appearances. Joy Behar on “The View” called him “the only person Donald Trump fears more than Robert Mueller.” CNN’s Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter treated him as someone he was taking “seriously as a contender” for the 2020 presidential nomination. That was just in September.
Then the Senate hearing on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court happened and Avenatti was widely credited with hurting the Democrat attack. After that, the media gave him the cold shoulder and downplayed all of the negative news – such as when Daniels’ defamation suit was tossed out or possible investigation into the Kavanaugh accuser Avenatti represented.
That meant it was only logical for journalists to limit how much they were willing to report on domestic violence accusations that led to Avenatti’s arrest Wednesday. Two key morning shows – CNN’s “New Day” and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” – spent just 67 seconds of their six hours Thursday to cover the arrest. That’s 0.3 percent of the time they had.
First lady of the United States is a hard job. It’s not formally defined yet entails many demands; it has an impact on history but no formal powers; it’s the focus of all eyes, but people like to make it clear nobody elected you. Its locus is the East Wing, which the West Wing considers the silly place. You must be guided by tradition but be open to novelty so no one accuses you of being boring.
Melania Trump has been a figure of sympathy, at least in this space, lauded for her grace, elegance and stoicism. She’s married to a man who, emotionally and intellectually, is not exactly in the middle of the bell curve. She wound up in a job she never particularly wanted, in a time of unprecedented national division. She has done it pretty well. She has brought chic, American glamour and beautiful manners to the world’s capitals. (There was the “I Really Don’t Care Do U?” jacket, but at least that was spirited.) She humbly presented a gift in a Tiffany box to the Obamas on Inauguration Day, while her husband forgot to help her out of their car. She has self-control, and the independence to disagree with her husband — when she said separating families at the border is no good, when she stood up for LeBron James after the president called him stupid. She’s slapped his hand away when he gropily attempts to portray normal unity. She’s put up with many scandals, some personally mortifying.
So it was a surprise to see her issue a hissy-fit of a statement about the deputy national security adviser, Mira Ricardel. “It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House.” Yowza.
Granted, Ricardel’s public reputation suggests she’s quite a blunderbuss. But Mrs. Trump’s statement added to — and included her in, for the first time — the White House’s reputation for chaos, the sense that nobody’s in charge, that it’s all factions, head-butting and rumors about who’s going to get fired next. Wednesday Politico had a quote from an unnamed former White House staffer describing the atmosphere: “It’s like an episode of ‘Maury.’ The only thing missing is a paternity test.”