"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.
Both Kinds of Standards – CNN
- Taking a biased view on biased news appointments.
It is a running joke that whenever someone bails on the Biden administration, that individual is set to sign a deal with one of the new networks. That punchline is deflated slightly when the event actually takes place.
Looking over the announcement that former Kamala Harris spokesperson Symone Sanders, who just stepped down from the troubled VP office weeks ago, signed with NBC News, Brian Stelter had little to say. This is surprising, given she is from the current administration and will show on MSNBC as well as a slot with the Peacock streaming outlet. Meanwhile, in March, when former press secretary for Donald Trump, Kayleigh McEnany, signed on with Fox News, it was regarded in harsher view by Brian.
No carping to be found about a member of the current administration getting a huge platform with NBC News, being granted 2 shows.— Brad Slager - Incontinent On Another Continent (@MartiniShark) January 10, 2022
This is what Stelter had to say in March about a member of the prior administration appearing in a contributor's role. https://t.co/SdTFToh3Yo pic.twitter.com/xrFuIWS5tz
Reporting on the Mirror – CNN
- How to talk about oneself without ever thinking of reflecting on your image.
In a recent issue of his media newsletter, Brian Stelter detailed that a report in Radar stating Andy Cohen would not be back for the New Year's Eve broadcast next year was completely false. Brian then mentioned a personal experience he had with that outlet and detailed the methods he says they employ.
- "They post something nutty; they claim to have multiple sources, but they don't check with the subject at all; and they aren't swayed by reality. Then they garner follow-up coverage from outlets with an ounce of credibility, which triggers even more coverage, and eventually, the original "report" is two or three or four steps removed from the unreliable source."
He seems to look down on this type of reporting. Seems a curious critique when you look back recently to stories CNN reported on, such as the fake Ivermectin poisonings flooding hospitals, the false border agents whipping migrants reports, the fraudulent mother of three they featured for the eviction moratorium debate, the faux claim that Trump left Biden with no vaccine distribution plan…
Anti-Social Media – NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO
The announcement was made today that Audie Cornish was signing on to be at the upcoming streaming service CNN+. Cornish shocked many with the recent announcement she was leaving the high-profile NPR show "All Things Considered." She joins a list of recent departures of high-profile personalities of color, as well as a longer list of reporters and producers who have fled the outlet over the past year.
Something is percolating under the surface, as this thread from another employee details.
???? One of those names you wouldn't recognize who's leaving. It's an incredibly bittersweet, confusing, demoralizing, infuriating and at times lonely decision. https://t.co/TIddatXdtD— Ha-Hoa (@hahoais) January 5, 2022
Stealth Story Evolution – AXIOS
In a recent report on the Senate exploring election reform measures, Axios detailed how a partisan group of politicians was talking and meeting on Zoom calls about the possible legislation. At the end is a bit of amusement from this correction.
- "Editor's note: This story has been corrected to identify Joe Manchin as a Democrat, not a Republican."
Body Checking the Fact-Checkers – WASHINGTON POST
WaPo's Glenn Kessler should really stop "correcting" Senator Tom Cotton. Recall, last year Glenn had to hose egg off of his face after declaring that Cotton's comments about the Wuhan lab leak story had merit after all. The latest is even more embarrassing.
It was last March when Kessler leaned on Cotton over his legislation trying to prevent prisoners and illegal immigrants from receiving Covid relief stimulus checks. Glenn said that Cotton stating that the Boston Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev received a check was not accurate and lacked context. Well, Kessler has had to issue a correction, now that it has been learned that Tsarnaev did, in fact, receive a payment from the program.
It turns out Tom Cotton predicted correctly -- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston bomber, did get a stimulus check. So we've adjusted the Pinocchio rating on this 2021 fact check. https://t.co/L87j8TvFjn— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) January 6, 2022
Pulitzer Prize Nomination – BUSINESS INSIDER
A former reality star has decided to take a pass on her former venture, which was her passing off her passing gas as an asset. Stephanie Matteo claims to have bottled up a small fortune by selling her jars of flatulence on the market. However, she had to bring an end to her work when it landed her backside in the hospital.
- "The former star of TLC's '90 Day Fiancé' said she made around $200,000 from selling her bottled farts to her fans, but doctors advised her that her excessive wind-breaking was taking a toll on her body."
She has decided to move to a less fumigating fungible commodity. She is selling NFTs of her bottled gases.
Matto, 31, made headlines around the world when she announced that she'd have to retire from selling her farts in jars.— Tech Insider (@TechInsider) January 8, 2022
She had said she was hospitalized while trying to keep up with the skyrocketing demand. ??https://t.co/27gXXiui0s
News Avoidance Syndrome – VARIOUS OUTLETS
- Until we get official word, they remain categorized as CosPlayers.
Over the weekend, the nebulous and non-influential group calling themselves The Patriot Front appeared in Chicago to march nearby the March For Life taking place at the same time. That no one of merit wanted these mooks on-site goes without saying, but the real indicator is how these dress-up activists continue to get airplay in the media without ever speaking to a member of the press.
Note this video as the uniformed dorks are loading back up in their vehicles, all of which have the license plates covered up to avoid detection. All the accusations of them being a false-flag group of posers at the least have some merit when you consider the police in attendance had no qualms about this violation. Just as revealing: no one in the media broadcasting their arrival ever seems interested enough to actually speak to anyone from the group and get them on record saying…anything.
A caravan of over a dozen private vehicles with taped-over license plates pulls up, the Patriot Front members load up their shields and flags outside Soldier Field here in Chicago pic.twitter.com/JYUl1RDOps— Brendan Gutenschwager (@BGOnTheScene) January 8, 2022