"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.
Democrat Custodial Services – POLITICO
- "When making the comparison of two apples, we'll just call one of them an orange."
The news that Jose Biden was found to be in possession of classified documents from his time as vice president has the press working to explain this away, given the months spent declaring that Trump's possession was going to render the nation to a pile of rubble. How, after the FBI raid hysterics, will they justify Biden's own issue, especially after the president himself declared Trump wandering off with documents to be a heinous act?!
Easy, as Politico's Jonathan Lemire shows us – just say it is "No Big Whoop."
Some key differences between these documents and those recovered at Mar-a-Lago:— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) January 10, 2023
1) A far smaller amount
2) These were turned over when discovered https://t.co/9m64xrtwhU
And just like that, it is wiped away, all clean. This way, the journalists do not have to address a few of the key questions that still linger, however.
- The amount of documents is not the issue so much as the contents, and no one is detailing what was in these papers.
- The "when discovered" aspect is amusing, considering Biden has had these classified docs for at least six years.
- Note that the reporting on these classified docs does not follow "when discovered." These were located in his possession before the midterms but are making the news two months later.
- The classified nature of documents is in question when it is a president; why and how did the vice president obtain those when he was not authorized to do so?
Gilded Reframe – THE NEW YORK TIMES
Flashback for just a moment to the Trump era, when his confrontational approach with the press was declared to be a threat to our nation's institutions. It was an intemperate assault on The Fourth Estate, it shook the foundations of our democracy, and it was going to lead to violence against journalists.
Bear all of that in mind as The New York Times looks ahead at a possible Ron DeSantis run for the White House, and they see an even bigger threat.
He…um…is not attacking the press.
In reference to a recent piece in the paper about how the governor of Florida chooses to not engage with the press. In the report, they even talk glowingly about how Trump engages with reporters and speaks to them by name. Best of all, Peter Baker tells us that DeSantis being apathetic toward journalists and basically ignoring them more often is "a more radical approach."
Trump elevated media-bashing into a high art for Republicans. But ahead of the next presidential race, DeSantis and others are taking a more radical approach: not just attacking nonpartisan news outlets, but ignoring them altogether. @grynbaum https://t.co/Ngql179F2T— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) January 10, 2023
Matching Media Memorandum – VARIOUS OUTLETS
- The "We-don't-like-it-so-it-must-be-TRUMP!" talking point has been delivered.
Over in (or is it "down in"?) Brazil, they had their own little burst of democratically-inspired protests. Images of citizens storming their congressional building were far too much to resist for the pundits. Obviously, this action only came about for one reason, and one reason alone.
"It looks very, very close to what happened to the United States on January 6th."— CNN (@CNN) January 8, 2023
Supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro breached security barriers and gained access to Brazil's congressional building, the Supreme Court and the presidential palace, images show. pic.twitter.com/iGOi9U01wY
I am not an expert criminal, but I am relatively certain that the first step in executing a copycat crime is to choose a crime that is successful.— Lie-Able Sources (@LieAbleSources) January 10, 2023
When @NicolleWallace claims Brasil is copying Trump she refers to a man not in power, because the Jan. 6 riot accomplished nothing. pic.twitter.com/3ixfdDSlf8
Small detail Nicolle overlooks; for this to be a copycat crime, it means these people are trying to match a crime that failed. The man who supposedly inspired this has not been in office for two years because their claim he was trying to overthrow the government failed.
The MAGA extremism goes global. Meanwhile Bolsanaro chilling in Florida. Can't make it up.— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) January 8, 2023
Live Updates: Brazil Election Protesters Storm Government Offices https://t.co/vlZPeArycE
I hope Republicans are watching what's happening right now in Brazil and recognize that their feckless inability to condemn Trump for January 6 (not to mention complicity in his scheme) has allowed far-right insurrectionism to spread across the world.— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) January 8, 2023
Of course, for all of these experts to have their opinion hold up, they have to ignore that Brazil was not uniquely inspired. It seems over the past few decades that mobs overrunning the congressional building is a semi-regular occurrence in their country.
If Kevin is this strategic then he deserves to be House leader! pic.twitter.com/SSOCn9uhMO— Brad Slager: CNN+ Lifetime Subscriber (@MartiniShark) January 9, 2023
Presentation Paradox – MSNBC
- Remember a time when the leftists in the press saw these agencies as forces of oppression and graft?
On "Morning Joe," the titular host was speaking with Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, and Joe Scarborough was just beside himself over the fact that Republicans running the House would lead to serious threats to some of our governmental authorities, like…the IRS.
Mo-Jo was upset at the concept that the GOP dares to impugn the good name of the FBI and the recently-woke military, and he was mewling about how this is a severe problem. It might sound off to hear coming from a left-leaning news channel, but once you understand that they love the idea of a bigger and more oppressive state, it begins to make sense. The most precious part is when Joe bemoans the targeting of the IRS and states this will affect the safety of Americans.
How are things over at MSNBC, you ask?— Lie-Able Sources (@LieAbleSources) January 10, 2023
Well, they are just promoting state agencies like the FBI, and the military, and telling us we need the IRS to keep Americans safe.
If it is state-run power bases they are all in favor. pic.twitter.com/paO9PzB186
Low Octane Gas Lighting – METRO UK
- We cannot be sure you know the definition of that word.
It has been a bit of a laugh to watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make absolute spectacles of themselves as they appear in just about any and all press outlets – to discuss how oppressive journalists can be. Currently, the Clown Prince is making a promotional blitz to promote his just-released book – you know, because the Royal pariahs are just so over the press.
The funniest, though, arrives from this British tabloid. As the past couple of months have seen this duo on everything from television, streaming services, interviews, podcasts, publishing, and anything else involving broadcasting their plight, the Metro UK just HAS to be sarcastic as they go on to describe the ousted monarch as "The Media-shy Prince Harry."
Prince Harry has shared details about his new book on a US TV show in a ‘revealing’ interview set to be aired on Sunday.https://t.co/wccS0feHcI— Metro (@MetroUK) January 2, 2023
Stealth Story Evolution – WASHINGTON POST
- It's getting to the point that the most prolific writers at The Post are the editors issuing the corrections.
At least it was not because of Taylor Lorenz this time. In a piece about some of the education initiatives Ron DeSantis is putting in place in Florida, Post writer Valerie Straus included portions regarding education activist Christopher Rufo. Upon publication, the never-media-shy Rufo went after the paper over a number of inaccuracies in the piece regarding how he was portrayed.
This led to an editor coming clean and rectifying numerous details as a result.
WINNING: The Washington Post's latest hit piece against me has collapsed. Education editor Adam Kushner admits to publishing four false statements about my work and has officially retracted them. This is a supreme embarrassment for the newspaper and reporter @valeriestrauss. pic.twitter.com/D6V1Qs2TF6— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) January 8, 2023
Stealth Story Evolution (Rufo Files Pt. 2) – NEW YORK MAGAZINE
- Really, Jon, it is best to not even cover Rufo.
Last year, Chris Rufo caught Jonathan Chait misquoting him, and when called out, Chait tried to weasely say that the correct direct quote did not alter the content – despite an edit and a correction becoming required. Once again, Chait resorted to lazily quoting Rufo based on assumptions, and Rufo called him out on it – again.
As Rufo notes, the charge Rufo prefers to use against various DeSantis critics is "grooming," not being a "groomer." We have tweaked the copy to make sure no erroneous impression is possible. pic.twitter.com/hkxVSd5BFO— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) January 9, 2023