"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.
Reporting on the Mirror – CNN
- There’s been a Brian Stelter sighting – and, meh.
Deposed media maven Brian Stelter was seen yesterday making an announcement about a segment on his former network. Likely due to the timetable being shortened with a Republican majority taking over next month, January 6 Committee member Representative Zoe Lofgren was on the reconstituted “CNN This Morning” to announce that the committee was poised to release its findings in the coming weeks.
We felt the need to let you know, considering this was an announcement from a committee few people care about anymore being made on a program fewer people even watch.
Gilded Reframe – MSNBC
- Showing surprise at politicians turning political is just precious.
With this news getting out, last night Stephanie Rhule brought on Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig to discuss the J-6C details. Leonnig was basically serving as a cheerleader for the committee, but a detail emerged that had the hostess of “The 11th Hour” turning inquisitive regarding the fact that the committee is going public with findings while the DOJ has been more reticent over what it knows.
- "I guess I’m still scratching my head. Based on what you’re telling me, that sounds like the committee is being super political. If the whole basis of their work in the committee is to get this information and make sure the country is stronger and safer, wouldn’t they take all the work and hand it over to the Justice Department immediately? It sounds like what you’re telling me is no, they want the world to see what they did and take a victory lap. That sounds political."
A detail that has been evident to any objective observer of this committee from the time it was constructed is just now coming to light for this journalist. Stephanie Rhule did not previously consider a committee occupied by hand-selected members, operating like a kangaroo court, and cherry-picking what evidence it wanted to focus upon while staging things for primetime television might be biased. Only NOW does it strike her as political.
In keeping with the Christmas spirit, it seems apt to paraphrase the holiday classic “Die Hard”: “Welcome to the party, gal!”
Presentation Paradox – ASSOCIATED PRESS
With Georgia’s Senate runoff election about to be held, President Jose Biden is campaigning for Democrat Raphael Warnock. Sort of.
Biden is setting out to stump for the incumbent but is doing so in a curious fashion. A stumbling Biden detailed his efforts for the press today. Sort of.
- “'I’m going to Georgia today to help Senator Warnock,' Biden declared on Friday morning, before catching himself to say that he was headed north to do 'a major fundraiser up in Boston today for our next and continued Senate candidate and senator.'”
AP reporter Zeke Miller covered this oddness and was filled with only the barest of critical thinking on the matter. Sort of.
- "President Joe Biden has traveled to ... Massachusetts? (The appearances) mark the culmination of Biden’s support-from-a-distance strategy that he employed throughout the midterms and that his aides credit with helping his party beat expectations in key races. Aides said that the Boston trip was requested by Warnock’s campaign, and that Biden obliged, reflecting his promise to go wherever Democratic candidates wanted him in 2022."
Democrat Custodial Services – CNN
- We are spending our way into savings, goes the theory.
As Biden continues to deliver American pride abroad while meeting with international leaders, CNN covers his proposals in the most genteel manner. No need to apply rational thinking to the agenda, just regurgitate the announcements dutifully. So when Biden declares he is going to push a program of payouts to consumers under the Inflation Reduction Act, you just push through it as if that makes complete sense.
President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron signal progress in dispute over electric vehicle subsidies included in the Inflation Reduction Act https://t.co/K5m8FCZLUH— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) December 1, 2022
Pre-Written Field Reports – REUTERS
- Maybe people will begin to accept a feminine erotic drama THIS TIME around!
Netflix is releasing an adaptation of the D.H. Lawrence classic “Lady Chatterley's Lover,” and the production team sent out lead actress Emma Corrin on a publicity junket to promote the film. We will choose the side of this being ginned up controversy in an attempt to earn some publicity because complaining about people being repressed over a film that is based on a 100-year-old novel and has been adapted dozens of times for decades is an argument that comes off as rather…er, flaccid, let’s say.
Reporting on the Mirror – THE NEW YORK TIMES
- It would appear these newsmakers have not been keeping up with the news.
As labor negotiations are reaching a stalemate stage at The New York Times, up to 1,000 workers are pledging to walk out next week if a labor deal is not achieved.
Breaking--More than 1,000 newsroom workers at The New York Times warn management that they will hold a 24-hour strike on Thursday, Dec. 8, if the NYT & union don't reach a contract by then. Those Times employees haven't had a raise in more than two yearshttps://t.co/pz7OCfzPiR— Steven Greenhouse (@greenhousenyt) December 2, 2022
When it comes to negotiating power, this is a case of diminished influence, considering there are widespread examples of media companies going through hardships and cutting staff. In just the past couple of weeks, there were layoffs at CNN, Vice News, and Gannet. In addition, The Recount, Parade, Politico Tech, and the Washington Post Magazine are shutting down, and a number of other businesses from Disney on down announced hiring freezes.
Pulitzer Prize Nomination – CNN
- If this was a paid product placement THEN this makes sense.
In light of the just-announced plan for hundreds of layoffs, it is not too mysterious as to why, when you see CNN concentrating on deeply trenchant reporting like this.
Pepsi has launched a campaign encouraging customers to mix milk into their soda -- and it's backed by Lindsay Lohan. https://t.co/LCfH9cg5hB— CNN (@CNN) December 2, 2022