"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. (For a VIP discount drop SLAGER in the signup form.)
Presentation Paradox – NEW YORK TIMES
The New York Times delivers a large exploration of the Hunter Biden laptop story and manages to do two things: It lays out the facts that have been claimed about the story and then insists that the Republicans and others who have insisted for years on these proven details existed – are completely wrong.
Michael Schmidt is one of the three reporters who delivered this exploration, and after delivering the goods he attempts to say that those pushing these details all this time have been wrong…all the while.
In our reporting we found that the crimes that DOJ is considering charging Hunter with are far removed from the ones most aggressively promoted by Republicans. https://t.co/aXGO8rSowK— Michael S. Schmidt (@nytmike) January 11, 2023
You get the sense of desperation from this piece in how there is the heavy reliance on how the Republicans have long been trying to leverage this story politically. Yes, it basically is founded in the “pouncing” witnessed the Republicans using. The challenge for Michael is that as he insists on this, look at the list of details shown in his article: President Biden met with Hunter’s business partners, he met with Hunter’s Chinese business contacts he was dealing with, he discussed Burisma with his son, and he even wrote to another business dealer on behalf of Hunter on White House letterheads.
Mind you, these are all things Biden has denied, yet Schmidt and the Times gloss over all of that while claiming the GOP is out of line…as they then prove the GOP points are correct.
A close look at the Hunter Biden story, as he faces a fresh round of hostile congressional hearings under a Republican House majority. https://t.co/Fdmm9wQuor— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 12, 2023
Low Octane Gas Lighting – CNN
How to fix those plummeting ratings? How about MORE pro-IRS coverage!
Joining in on the dogpile of journalists who want to protect Jose Biden and scorch the Republicans, Jake Tapper became the latest to take the position of protecting the vaunted character and beloved nature of…The IRS.
In a contentious interview with Rep. Mike Johnson (LA) Jake had to follow the script from the fact-checkers that the 87,000 new hires are not ALL going to be agents. His semantics argument had to ignore that his claim that this is an empty GOP talking point was explained by Johnson as actually coming from a Congressional committee report.
Jake Tapper has to glide over the fact that Mike Johnson explains the positions on the new IRS funding derives from the Joint Committee on Taxation, a bipartisan body, in order to frame what he calls inaccurate to be a Republican talking point. pic.twitter.com/g4Y0UV8Qdf— Lie-Able Sources (@LieAbleSources) January 12, 2023
Artisanal-Crafted Narratives – CNET
While the threat this presents is easily seen, many might not be worried considering who is being replaced. It was discovered that at the tech news outlet CNET, they have a new source for reporting. In November the site started publishing economic news items under the heading of “CNET Money Staff”. However, when you click on the linked bio of that heading you get this telling piece of information.
- ABOUT ME: This article was created using an AI engine and reviewed, fact-checked and edited by our editorial staff.
Robot reporters. That will explain the severe lack of content about how everything is Trump’s fault.
Reporting On The Mirror – NEW YORK TIMES
The Motherboard division from Vice News details that in a well-known feature from the New York Times covering the Russia-Ukraine conflict that the paper had inadvertently exposed Russian soldiers who were being critical of their effort and of the military - including Vladamir Putin.
- The New York Times in September, 2022, inadvertently exposed the apparent phone numbers of Russian soldiers as well as the apparent civilian family members they were speaking to, Motherboard has learned.
As cell phone usage has been a key component in the Ukraine effort – tracking cellular use to pinpoint military locations – it was found that in the metadata of the Times’ piece the soldier’s cell phone numbers and those of family members were visible in the source code. This is seen as a high risk for reprisals from the vindictive Russian leadership.
New: last year NYT ran a blockbuster investigation w/ calls of Russian soldiers criticizing the war. NYT only used first names to protect. We found the article actually had the soldiers' phone numbers in the page source code, exposing them for *months* https://t.co/dZL35374k5— Joseph Cox (@josephfcox) January 11, 2023
Matching Media Memorandum – CNN
Another media mynah bird joins the latest flock.
It has been one of the most asinine of narratives to crop up in this young year, but literally, overnight we have become inundated with Democrats and journalists who are all consummate experts on the vile dangers found in homes with gas stoves and ovens.
Joining in on the hectoring hordes was CNN’s environmental expert Bill Weir, who was perfectly willing to repeat the brand-spanking-new talking point, even invoking “science” in the process, so you cannot even debate the matter, supposedly.
Unfortunately for Bill, as he was imploring us to toss out our ovens, the Biden administration had already rescinded their plan to call for the halt of these deadly devices.
So now we wait to find out if Bill Weir will:
Recant his breathless reporting
Impugn the Biden White House for killing children
Never bring up the topic of gas stoves on the air going forward
(Hint: Circle #3)
CNN's @BillWeirCNN: "The science is showing us having a gas stove, in a small apartment especially with bad ventilation, is like having a car idling there. If you have young kids, it can affect cognitive abilities, as well as asthma." pic.twitter.com/L0KSDLqltA— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 11, 2023