"Riffed from the Headlines" is Townhall's daily VIP feature with coverage of 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.
Presentation Paradox (Pt. 1) – MSNBC
- "Nobody has ever used this term for an FBI warrant…uh, after today."
For some rather revelatory reasons, many in the press are insistent about how they would rather you not refer to the FBI search and seizure mission on Mar-A-Lago as a "raid." Among the most adamant has been MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle.
Stephanie's lecture manages to ring just a tad hollow. While she wants to make it sound like everyone has been using this term incorrectly and that she is above such mischaracterizations, history shows she is very much on the level with such mischaracterizations.
Stephanie Ruhle:— Brad Slager: MarALago Raid Veteran/CNN+ Subscriber (@MartiniShark) August 10, 2022
AUG 2017 (on Manafort) "This is extraordinary. I haven't had the FBI raid my house any time recently."
AUG 2019 "The FBI has launched a raid on Jeffrey Epstein's private island." https://t.co/SAwSXo7R6V pic.twitter.com/GrNDeJIU60
Presentation Paradox (Pt. 2) –MSNBC
- Don't pay attention to that man behind the graphics suite…
While the network strives to maintain this narrative, it appears that while delivering condemnation to the general public about calling the FBI raid on Donald Trump's residence a "raid," MSNBC failed to send out a companywide email to this effect.
As former FBI figure Frank Figliuzzi was on a segment, repeating the line that the FBI does not prefer the term "raid," it dawned on a producer that they had fallen prey to that very practice. Watch as the chyron is oh-so-subtly changed mid-sentence during his appearance.
Need any more evidence this insistence of "don't call it a RAID" is a load of manufactured crap?— Lie-Able Sources (@LieAbleSources) August 11, 2022
MSNBC itself was calling it such, and as @FrankFigliuzzi follows the narrative the network slyly alters its chyron in real-time. pic.twitter.com/vNMwj9dBuE
Pathological Media Amnesia – CNN
While MSNBC has been preoccupied with forgetting what word not to use, CNN has also been failing to be mindful of what the press was promoting. In a story about a teenage girl and her mother coming under police investigation, two reporters were dismayed by the actions of the police – seemingly forgetting that their complaint contradicted the Mar-a-Lago narrative.
The girl had forcibly terminated her pregnancy, and she and her mother sought to cover up their actions by burying the stillborn child in the backyard while claiming to have had a miscarriage. CNN is rather bothered that police had resorted to using messages between the pair, gathered from Facebook, to prove their activities.
- "It highlights an issue digital privacy experts and some lawmakers have been raising alarms about in recent months: That law enforcement in some states could use people's personal data to enforce laws prohibiting abortion, a practice which experts worry could increase following the Supreme Court's ruling."
Where they went astray in this report is that the police obtained the messages when they served Facebook with a warrant for the text messages. You cannot be suggesting that this kind of acquisition of evidence is a violation when your own network applauds the authorities with the warrant they served on Donald Trump.
A Nebraska mother and her 18-year-old daughter are facing multiple charges in a case that involved police obtaining their Facebook messages https://t.co/Ly8H7ToTDW— CNN (@CNN) August 10, 2022
Stealth Story Evolution – WASHINGTON POST
- We cannot have this kind of accuracy getting out for the public to see!
When the Washington Post did a follow-up piece on the FBI warrant and the ensuing upheaval, they dared approach the topic with a level of objectivity. WaPo mentioned the political machinations that could have been behind the unprecedented move, and this rankled quite a few people – namely, it made a lot of journalists extremely cranky.
The Washington Post disgraces itself with this story, and the headline is particularly awful. pic.twitter.com/Tl4yQk7Bci— Dan Gillmor (@dangillmor) August 10, 2022
As a result of the uproar from their contemporaries, upset that the paper might dare present another facet of the story that possibly aided Trump, WaPo made a wholesale revision of their headline and subheader, absent any further notice of the changes.
Attorney General Merrick Garland is in the middle of a political firestorm after the FBI searched Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago golf club and home.https://t.co/UKr2d3w9pb— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 10, 2022
MATCHING MEDIA MEMORANDUM – HEARST TELEVISION
- Your first problem is saying criticizing one man impugns a whole race. Your second…
For somewhat obvious reasons, many in the press bristle at any kind of criticism leveled at billionaire George Soros. The go-to retort these days is that anytime someone on the right invokes his name, the charge of that being an example of veiled antisemitism has to be brought up. In the most recent example, Senator Marco Rubio brought up the recent efforts by Soros to fund the campaigns of hyper-progressive district attorneys, which has led to the likes of George Garcon in Los Angeles, who springs hardened criminals back into society with nary a bail to keep them at bay.
Soledad O'Brien was one to impugn Rubio with this tired method.
Hey all you full-time Florida residents. When he says “Soros-backed” he means “Jewish”. But you already knew that! https://t.co/umtIP5zh9J— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) August 9, 2022
It is not entirely clear how it is Jewish intolerance to say George Soros is funding these DAs when the fact is he has been funding these DAs. It becomes even more obtuse when you realize that if anyone accusing Soros of funding DAs is accused in this manner, then it was just weeks ago when George Soros was being antisemitic by writing about why he funds and supports these district attorneys.
One of the government’s most important roles is to ensure public safety. Yet our system is rife with injustices that make us all less safe. The idea that we need to choose between justice and safety is false, writes @georgesoroshttps://t.co/aKZfCAFup9— Wall Street Journal Opinion (@WSJopinion) August 7, 2022
Pre-Written Field Reports – ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Associated Press is still on the quest to bring down Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, or if possible, at least wound the countenance of his press secretary Christina Pushaw. In the latest effort from the news syndicate, the outlet claims that the Florida Parental Rights in Education law has led to an explosion of anti-LGBT hate online.
You see, this is going to go astray as a biased attempt at reporting when you see them relying on the error-prone description of the "Don't Say Gay" law. But then it delves into the report by the Human Rights Campaign, and more problems surface. The campaign tabulated times that people on social media voice opposition to pedophiles and/or groomers of young children. The group automatically leaps to the conclusion that these referenced only, and directly, LGBT individuals, despite the fact that the vast majority of the time, these individuals were not at all referenced.
This leads the AP down the foggy path of accusing intolerance based on its own prejudice that "pedophile" or "groomer" automatically translates to LGBT, something that will happen when you continue to wrongfully accuse a law of being "anti-gay" when the legislation contains no such provision.
Research analyzing social media posts has found that hateful references to gays, lesbians and other LGBTQ people surged online after Florida passed a law that bars instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity for young students. https://t.co/a5K2vAzmZI— The Associated Press (@AP) August 10, 2022
Pulitzer Prize Nomination – MSNBC
- "Ma'am? We've been getting complaints from the bowling alley about the noise…"
On MSNBC, they were covering the live event of Joe Biden signing the CHIPS legislation into law on the South Lawn. Monica Alba was giving a live remote from the event, and then as Biden dropped his name on the bill, the reporter decided that while live on the air, it was appropriate to screech out questions. She does so from about 50 or so feet away, with zero hope of the president hearing her over the crowd, let alone it even being possible to expect a conversation to play out.
WARNING: Scale back your volume control as she launches into her journalisming-style of inquiry.
Working at the White House is such a shrill!— Lie-Able Sources (@LieAbleSources) August 11, 2022
Warning, turn the volume down, as Monica Alba thinks Joe Biden might possibly answer her question, shouted from 50 feet away in the Rose Garden. pic.twitter.com/dDlJsavFrH