Yes, the end-of-the-year accolades are a required exercise this time of year and we here at Riffed From The Headlines are no different. Given that this column is dedicated to cataloging, critiquing, and occasionally mocking the departures in the press from journalistic standards and ethics it stands to reason we would also compile an annual list honoring the…well, achievements witnessed in the media complex.
In this column the dysfunctional actions are sorted into categories for ease of explanation, so as a result, we will spend a few days trying to “honor” the various notable activities we presented throughout 2022. Maybe pour yourself a stiff one and strap yourself in; this will be a bumpy ride.
DEMOCRAT CUSTODIAL SERVICES
CNN discovered the southern border and covered some activity there - after the midterm elections. The coverage was how extending Title 42 and other issue created challenges for those arriving illegally.
Voice Of America covered Kamala Harris fumbling her speech overseas when she praised North Korea. Absent any criticism, VOA was there to assure us she merely “misspoke”.
When Jose Biden spoke with French leader Emmanuel Macron about an electric vehicle agenda CNN regarded this as positive news – despite his proposal of massive spending increases by subsidizing purchases appearing in The Inflation Reduction Act.
Las Vegas journalist Jeff German was murdered in his front yard. Despite this taking place as the press was in full anti-violent-rhetoric news cycles, CBS News (and most others) had a hard time noting the alleged killer was a Democrat state politician.
WINNER – New York Times While the press bemoans lying and misinformation they are faced with a president who is pathological when it comes to embellishing his history. The New York Times softens his lies by referring to Biden as ‘The Storyteller In Chief’, describing his litany of mythmaking with all manner of colorful euphemisms while avoiding saying he is constantly lying.
NEWS AVOIDANCE SYNDROME
There was a notable lack of extended coverage and opinion-making about guns and political violence when BLM activist Quintez Brown was arrested for attempting to kill a mayoral candidate in Kentucky.
In a rave of how great Biden was accomplishing things White House Press Secretary Jenn Psaki bragged that “Sometimes the best things happen in the dark, away from the public." The lack of criticism at this show of a lack of transparency was only heightened when it was approvingly reported in the paper that touts “Democracy Dies In Darkness”.
There were no blaring headlines to be seen when we went through the months of July and August without any named storms in the Atlantic, for the first time since the 1940s.
Considering all the details from the January 6 committee that were blared across the media, the fact that a court case revealed the FBI had eight informants embedded with the Proud Boys ahead of the Capitol riot was barely touched.
WINNER – Biden’s Immigrant Flights As Ron DeSantis enraged the media with his flight of immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard the media hysterics over human trafficking and all other forms of accusation meant they had to ignore Biden has been conducting these very types of flights for over a year. The 48 people taken to the island were surpassed by the amount of shipments Biden had sent to Florida alone.
PATHOLOGICAL MEDIA AMNESIA
In January Joe Scarborough criticized Joe Manchin for stalling Biden’s Build Back Better spending boondoggle. In June ScarJo praised Manchin for blocking the bill.
Joy Reid complains that all the Ukraine war coverage was racist, because of all the black conflicts being overlooked. Her show log at the time revealed numerous times she covered Ukraine, and not a moment was spent on the conflicts she listed.
Brian Stelter was ridiculing Fox News over its coverage of Disney being a possible danger to children. CNN ran a number of stories over the years about pedophiles arrested who were Disney employees.
The press was in full team defense of John Fetterman as a stroke victim. Years earlier the media called for GOP Senator Mark Kirk to be voted out due to a stroke he suffered years earlier.
WINNER – Jennifer Rubin She first mocked the concept that the Supreme Court had allegedly killed off the EPA in its recent decision. But then Jenn suggested that the Democrats should use as a platform item the fact that SCOTUS had killed off the EPA. This was not a months in the making contradiction – her comments were just hours apart.
Two - hour - difference— Brad Slager: Free Agent for New Social Platform (@MartiniShark) June 30, 2022
She is a marvel... pic.twitter.com/DVAxtq86Ab
FIRST AMENDMENT STRIKE FORCE
Another silencing of the New York Post took place when its story on the Black Lives Matter founder purchasing a sprawling mansion was blocked by Twitter and Facebook.
YouTube banned Dan Bongino from its platform, but he had already pledged to be leaving to go set up his show on Rumble.
NBC News decided it was taking its fight against misinformation to new levels when it announced it began a “pre-bunking” program.
As the press was insisting that Paul Pelosi’s home invasion attack was caused by commentary from the right Margaret Brennan on Face The Nation suggested that Republicans suspend their campaign ads.
WINNTER – Max Boot The faux-servative columnist declared that in order to preserve democracy we need to curtail the 1st Amendment rights of others.
After the press gave us years of outrage over Trump’s social media WaPo’s Yasmeen Abutaleb was praising Biden for attacking others on Twitter.
Well look at that -- mean tweets are suddenly back in style. https://t.co/Kz1EhzkcAy— Lie-Able Sources (@LieAbleSources) August 29, 2022
YouTube took down videos by Daily Beast reporter Julia Davis that exposed Russian propaganda.
When Elon Musk rolled out his proposal for Twitter Blue, Leyland Devito of the Detroit Metro Times declared the voluntary subscription to be ‘a tax on journalism”.
Journalists migrating to other social media sites like Mastodon are turning those places into worse platforms.
WINNER – Taylor Lorenz In a scathing piece on what Elon Musk was doing to Twitter she quotes Harvard “expert” Alejandra Caraballo about how doxxing, harassment, and bullying will be like “opening up the gates of hell”. That she had basically described the practices of Lorenz was amusing enough, but Caraballo just one month earlier proposed doxxing those who proposed having free speech on Twitter.
BLUE-ANON (proof the press only despises other people's conspiracies)
CNN’s deposed morning show New Day allowed Florida politician Shevron Jones to say the Florida parental rights law will lead to elementary-aged suicides.
The Hill concocts a plan for Gavin Newsom to become our unelected President.
In a marvel of leftist hysterics Michael Beschloss gave a nightmare laundry list of all the horror that will befall our country because the Republicans took the House.
First the media promised that a truckers’ strike would be staged at the Super Bowl. When nary a semi even arrived they shifted the narrative to say that a Republican effort to bring in truckers failed.
Winner – Trump’s Golf Course Conspiracy When it was reported Donald Trump arrived in D.C. wearing golf shoes the speculation ran wild. He supposedly rushed to the Capital in the middle of a game; was it because of a legal issue, the Mar-A-Lago raid, or a medical emergency?!?! The Associated Press took surveillance photos of Trump meeting advisors on putting greens, a sure sign of secret meetings away from reporters! It all turned out to be a gathering concerning the design of the new golf course.
PRE-WRITTEN FIELD REPORTS
The Guardian got in on the school controversies by hightlighting a book taken out of schools. The paper spoke with the author and publisher about the horror, except – the book had never been blocked by the school district.
Ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Ian Politico’s Matt Dixon said this would be the first test of such a response for Ron DeSantis. Dixon, who works out of Tallahassee, was oblivious that Hurricane Sally made landfall near that city in 2020.
NPR put out a report on environmentalists becoming more accepting of nuclear power. They could not research that just days before Greenpeace declared its opposition to nuclear.
After President Biden was caught on a hot mic saying the Peter Doocy of Fox News was a “Stupid son of a bitch”, CNN’s then guru on the media stated boldly that Fox was getting miles of coverage of this recording. Doocy appeared on one program and made a joke of the episode before it never being brought up again.
WINNER – Jennifer Rubin Following the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson Jennifer Rubin declared Republicans would be intentionally mispronouncing her name. This was promptly followed by Jenn Psaki, a White House aide, and Biden himself butchering the name of the nominee.
HOAX & CHANGE
Nicolle Wallace calls for foreign countries to now assist in our elections, because of the sheer promise of right-wing meddling in the electoral process.
A high school in Washington claims their football team was taunted throughout a game with racial slurs from the stands. A full investigation turns up zero evidence.
An employee at Northeastern University claimed to have been a victim of a mail bomb that he had staged entirely.
Signs above water fountains at a California high school reading “Blacks Only/Whites Only” had been placed there by a black student.
Winner – Duke University volleyball player Rachel Richardson was a national story after claiming she suffered racial taunts during a game at BYU. No witnesses or evidence supported her claims, as the BYU student newspaper did better reporting than the media complex running Richardson’s story.
GLOSSARY OVER THINGS
Following the Colorado shooting at the Q Nightclub many who never heard of the term before were accusing “Stochastic Terrorism” as the cause of the murders.
With the failure of “Latin-X” as an accepted new term Salon tries to get people to use “Latine” instead.
After being incapable of defining “woman” accurately Dictionary.com announced that it was declared the Word Of The Year.
After already changing its style guide over the “proper” use of woman or female, the outlet reverted back to allowing its original use, because so many outlets were reporting on “Pregnant women” as a result of the Roe vs. Wade news.
WINNER – Daily Mail When an asteroid landed in the waters near Iceland it was described as being “half the size of a giraffe”.
THE DNC PR FIRM
When Jeff Zucker was let go by CNN, correspondent Jamie Gangel reported that many members of the January 6 Committee “felt devastated for our democracy” upon hearing the news.
At ABC News Mary Alice Parks heard that SCOTUS struck down powers the Democrats were using via the EPA, and her response was, “Who is going to save the planet?”
The LA Times raved about the January 6 hearings as being such a wonderful television event that you got the sense that they were hoping it would be picked up for a second season renewal.
Jon Karl claimed that no other first term president had enjoyed gains in the Senate. He was incapable of researching all the way back to the Trump administration.
WINNER – Chris Cillizza The now-former pundit at CNN was famed for saying “for the billionth time” the press was not biased. Meanwhile, when he was analyzing the election campaigns he early int he year declared that GOP candidates needed to step away from election denialism. The in the fall he gave a report where he noted many of them were doing just as he told – so Chris promptly criticized them for a shameless flip-flop for essentially following his order.