"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 – VANITY FAIR
When partner site RedState broke the Katie Hill scandal that ended her political career, the press did everything they could not to run the story and protect the California Democrat. To this day, her story is always recast as one of her unfairly smeared, and not one of a politician found engaging in an ethics-defying sexual relationship with her staff in the midst of the MeToo movement, loudly declaring such arrangements as the worst example of powerful harassment.
Vanity Fair now arrives with a lengthy glowing bio on Hill as she has announced her pregnancy with her current boyfriend, Alex Thomas. What is remarkable in this feature is not only what is written but also what is not covered. Hill is given complete freedom to say her mind with little in the way of challenges or corrections. "I...felt like there was a fundamental injustice here that happened and could only happen to a woman," she says early in the piece. This is obliviousness, or an outright lie, given that MeToo had chased numerous prominent males out of jobs in the exact same fashion at the exact same time – former Senator Al Franken is just one glaring example. But then VF makes this audaciously asinine comment.
- "Politics doesn't lend itself to nuance, and so the circumstances of Hill's resignation can be hard to tell. Yes, Hill engaged in an inappropriate, arguably exploitative, relationship with a campaign staffer. But she was also a victim."
It's not at all clear how she can be blatantly guilty of the accused actions and still be framed as a victim. It's also unclear how her boyfriend, Thomas, is heroically portrayed here with no mention of how he was an active DC correspondent for Playboy who made efforts to defend Hill during the scandal and never revealed their relationship. His desperation to excuse her actions was quickly debunked, and he was essentially laughed out of Washington.
The closest the article comes to the truth is the severe understatement in this laugher of a line. "Hill has inherently cast a narrower silhouette since. But she has been fighting. She has also been losing."
This is because the allegedly heroic victim who was supposedly unfairly run out of politics has been suing over this incident – and having her cases tossed from the courts. But the press will not let those facts get in the way of crafting a great fable.
DNC PR Firm – CNN
- "John King – cleanup, Aisle – V."
That the Terry McAuliffe campaign for Virginia governor has been troubling is becoming more evident. The man who was expected to coast into the governor's mansion has become embroiled in a real battle as the polls show him in a virtual tie and bad press mounts around him. After looking ridiculous when he walked off an interview with a local affiliate, McAuliffe went on CNN for damage control, and John King was on hand to dutifully do the dirty work.
When addressing the issue of demonizing his opponent Glenn Youngkin by tying him in with the January 6 riot and Donald Trump, McAuliffe denied he was doing so. CNN played a piece of a campaign ad from the campaign, grudgingly acknowledging he was, in fact, doing so.
CNN and John King only showed a fraction of this ad. Terry McAuliffe is hilariously denying to CNN that his strategy against Youngkin is anti-Trump ads. pic.twitter.com/5f4Aut3T5l— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) October 19, 2021
Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers – WASHINGTON POST
There has been a lot of people outraged and dismayed by the announcement that the administration and the Treasury Department want to go after billionaires not paying appropriate taxes – by targeting bank transactions from accounts with $600. WaPo rose up to dispute a GOP press conference where it was alleged that the Treasury would have sweeping access to bank accounts.
The piece noted Democrats issued a revision of their proposal just prior to the press conference in order to save face, and it then had all manner of weasely explanations of how the Republicans were inaccurate. The summation comes down to saying, "No the government will not be spying on accounts, the banks will be providing the information to the IRS so they can decide to audit those suspicious accounts."
Fact Checker: No, Biden isn’t proposing that the IRS spy on bank records https://t.co/PB5yoSdNJ1— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 20, 2021
Prose & Contradictions – NBC NEWS
- Questioning elections is now trendy once again.
Well, this is going to put a wrinkle in the entire media narrative of 2021. Consider how many times we have been treated to a lecture in the press that anyone who dares question election integrity is threatening our democracy by pushing The Big Lie.
Now, we look in on two of the bigger doubters of election results – Hillary Clinton and Stacey Abrams.
This undynamic duo was on a Zoom conference together, and Hillary – who spent years calling into question the 2016 election result – opened things up by announcing how she feels that Abrams actually won her election for the governorship of Georgia. So either these two ladies need to immediately be canceled by the media complex, or else it is cool once again to cast doubts on our electoral process.
.@HillaryClinton and Louise Penny are doing a book event tonight on Zoom about their new political thriller, with Stacey Abrams as moderator.— Jane C. Timm (@janestreet) October 19, 2021
Clinton just said she feels "strongly" that Stacey Abrams "actually won" her 2018 race, before pivoting quickly back to the book
Matching Media Narrative – CNN
- Joe Manchin – a one-man global threat.
Clearly, there is an orchestrated effort to force Joe Manchin into changing his position and supporting Joe Biden's craptacular spending proposal worth trillions of dollars. The idiocy began earlier this month when Rolling Stone declared Manchin was single-handedly poised to kill every single living thing on the planet because he was not supporting the spending bill. This, of course, means that Joe Biden is the one to single-handedly save every single living thing on the planet, an even more asinine claim.
To keep this overheated global-warming rhetoric going, CNN has joined in now.
Joe Manchin -- Bond Villain, continues in the press. pic.twitter.com/iWUl328neX— Brad Slager - Focused On Lasers (@MartiniShark) October 20, 2021
First Amendment Strike Force – TIKTOK
- Silencing the proof of outlets being silenced is an odd flex.
The Media Research Center made an announcement that a video they made had been taken down by the platform TikTok. The offensive material appears to have been about media that has been taken down by providers. Huh.
Pulitzer Prize Nominations – WASHINGTON POST
Just when you think we have not injected racial politics into enough industries, here comes WaPo to do some injecting. It turns out, to nobody's surprise, the zookeeping industry is racist.
Maybe Joe Biden's infrastructure deal can set aside a few billion dollars to construct inner city zoos and promote more POC ostrich wranglers.
Perspective: Zookeeping isn’t common in the Black community. This Black zookeeper wants to change that. https://t.co/c35REGD6JZ— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 19, 2021