"Riffed from the Headlines" is Townhall's daily VIP feature with coverage on the deeply flawed aspects of journalism in the nation. We'll look to bring accountability to the mishaps, malaprops, misdeeds, manipulations, malpractice, and manufactured narratives in mainstream media.
Legalized Press-titution – WASHINGTON POST
It was one year ago when Jennifer Rubin made the bold declaration that she was no longer a conservative. What she thought had been a bold declaration instead fell into line with what most assumed about her for years already, and it simply appeared as if she were the last person to realize this about herself.
Today, Jennifer is embroiled in a Washington press feud, and there is a curious ally rising to her defense.
Politico ran a scathing piece on Rubin, noting her very fluid political standards and willingness to curry favor with the Biden administration and that she has blossomed into the favorite journalist at the White House.
- "Over the past eight months, she has distinguished herself as the Biden administration’s favorite columnist. Chief of Staff RON KLAIN has retweeted or @ mentioned Rubin more than three dozen times since mid-May. That’s because Rubin usually backs up the administration. It’s been a mutually beneficial relationship. Though it often dismisses the Beltway press, the administration can leverage the credibility that comes with a washingtonpost.com link. And Rubin’s columns are frequently among the most popular on the site."
NEW: columnist Jennifer Rubin was one of the Obama administration’s most reactionary critics— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) September 17, 2021
Now she’s the Biden admin’s favorite columnist
We reached out to Rubin her columns and divisions at Wapo over them
Her response—>https://t.co/ZigZyLctwt pic.twitter.com/KZZAK1tXhq
Stealth Story Evolution – CNN
Yesterday, we covered how Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo were becoming hostile toward unvaccinated people, using their primetime bully pulpit to insult and ridicule anyone not getting the shots. This appears a network-wide position, as CNN was caught changing a headline of a story to fit their shame narrative.
In their report of a woman who died from Covid after being vaccinated, the news channel tried to lay the blame directly on unvaccinated people, despite not having any clue how exactly she had contracted the virus.
CNN altered this headline, after they were found to have been pushing a narrative, based on its reading of someone's obituary. pic.twitter.com/tD5zVUjcSA— Brad Slager - Focused On Lasers (@MartiniShark) September 17, 2021
After blowback, CNN changed the headline to now read, "In her obituary, a family says a mother's Covid-19 death could have been prevented if more people were vaccinated." After the change, CNN kinda-sorta-a-little-bit acknowledged the shift in a tepid correction at the end of the piece.
- "Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the name of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It also mischaracterized breakthrough infections."
Both Kinds Of Standards – MSNBC
- It was brilliant when we did it, but now those people are idiots!
Joy Reid is becoming possibly the most reliably inept pundit going. Nightly, she has been ramping up the hysterics and tinfoil-hat accusations, but occasionally she backs up these segments with just pure stunted thinking. Last night, she decided it wise to address the fact that she had been an anti-vaccine voice last year, something that stands as a bit of a problem when she has been so insistent on wailing about the vile nature of those idiots out there – who oppose the vaccine just as she did.
Joy attempted to make sense of this contradiction, and in the process…managed to simply entrench her reputation as a shallow thinker.
Joy Reid again defends her belief that it was NECESSARY to be anti-vaxxer when Trump was in office: "I was hesitant. When Donald Trump was out there controlling the CDC & controlling the FDA & manipulating them & making them put out falsehoods, anybody rational was hesitant." pic.twitter.com/dBFT8lTvWw— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) September 17, 2021
While it does not need to be said, it does need to be on the record. The vaccine was released in late December. Her position is that it was smart to question the vaccine because of Trump corrupting the FDA and the CDC, but just one month later – once Joe Biden was inaugurated – it was now wise to be in favor of it, even though it was the exact same vaccine, and those agencies are now being run by the exact same people – just 30 days later.
DNC PR Firm – PUBLIC BROADCASTING SERVICE
- Is it a fashion statement when nobody is sure what is being said?
Yesterday, Joe Biden stumbled through a speech – again. He also walked off without fielding a single question from the press – again. And most in the White House Press Corps were perfectly fine with this unacceptable performance. Yes – again.
As proof, Yamiche Alcindor of PBS sent out a message just after this non-performance, and curiously she alluded to the fact that there was some kind of organized dress code in the press rows.
President Biden didn’t take any questions.— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) September 16, 2021
But, there was this super color coordinated red row waiting to try. pic.twitter.com/1lUJ87mqIm
Rather than being bothered that Biden took flight, these stenographers were really proud of their moment of fashion display. We are left to wonder what going with "The Handmaid's Tale" colors was supposed to convey.
Presentation Paradox - MSNBC
- Your point may be valid, but not sure it is one you want to make, Brian.
Brian Williams ran a clip of Rep. Madison Cawthorn appearing on Newsmax, discussing vaccine requirements in certain industries and declaring that air travel is a Constitutional right.
Williams had Cawthorn dead to rights on the issue, and he let the GOP congressman have it with both barrels.
Brian Williams on Madison Cawthorn's claim of a constitutional right to air travel, "We checked the constitution, no mention that we could find of airlines, increase legroom, trade table, carry on bags, peanuts, none of that." pic.twitter.com/maKYeTYwfX— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) September 17, 2021
This is an interesting new standard, Brian. If we are going to look into the Constitution and declare what we do not find as a reason to restrict activity, tell us where in the Constitution you see things regarding abortion, vaccine mandates, and medical requirements to be imposed on private businesses, for instance.