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A Media Stampede to Report on Nothing in Regards to Trump, and a Fact-Checker Is Hounded By the Truth

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04.03.23

Matching Media Memorandum – VARIOUS OUTLETS

  • "We now provide you with blanket coverage of the man we fought to silence as we declared him Public Threat #1."

Recall in 2016 when networks were ridiculed loudly because their obsession with then-candidate Donald Trump led them to broadcast images of an empty podium for half an hour? Well, that shame seems forgotten, as the various news outlets today gave exhaustive up-to-the-minute updates about Trump's trip to New York City to face his arraignment tomorrow.

This "news" could really be summed up in a couple of sentences. Instead, the networks delivered shots of an open gate with no activity, Trump's plane sitting on a tarmac, and other non-gripping images.

Then, once there was activity, we received gripping coverage as cameras tracked the former president's motorcade in White Ford Bronco fashion.

CNN was all over the movements of the motorcade. That is, they gave live shots of cars driving on a road.

Again, all that took place today from the standpoint of news was contained in two brief sentences: Trump left for New York City today. He will be arraigned in court in Manhattan on Tuesday. There, you are done. 

Instead, we got hours of "reports" concerning his movements. This hysterical reaction to commuter traffic was so intense that they locked onto Trump's plane and kept filming until it was a mere ink stain on the horizon. These networks have lost their keel.

Low Octane Gas Lighting – CNN

  • While all were shameful, Manu Raju and CNN managed to distinguish themselves.

You might think it difficult to discern that one outlet was the worst in all of this vacuous yet breathless coverage, but Manu Raju speaking over the video of Trump's motorcade – driving to an airport – has to be the epitome of the paradox in the juxtaposing of non-news and an intense narrative about what is transpiring.

- "This is a little rather historic moment. We're seeing a former President getting on a plane. He's gonna be inside the courtroom tomorrow. You see these remarkable pictures on screen. This is quite a moment."

Gilded Reframe – CNN

  • So…the worst thing that could happen is the very thing you have been cheering to take place…?

CNN, as they displayed today and as seen over the past couple of weeks, has been a collection of giddy cheerleaders over the prospect of a Donald Trump arrest and arraignment. It has been quite the disturbing display, which makes the on-air hand-wringing we have seen over the fallout of the now-announced arrest all the more amusing.

David Axelrod came on to state that this thing they have wished for is now the last thing they want to see happening.

- "If I were the DA…I would give him every courtesy that I could. I would certainly not handcuff him. I think he would love that picture. I would make very sure that booking photo is not released. He would turn it into t-shirts and turn himself into Che Guevara there as an iconic image."

Joining in the revisionism of intent was presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, who also warned against the images of a Trump arrest leading to unwanted popularity.

- "Now we're set up to see the biggest reality show that's come to life … I can't even think of an artifact except maybe 'Wanted: John Wilkes Booth' after the Lincoln assassination of a wanted poster or a mug shot that's going to be circulating around the world in a kind of way this one of Donald Trump is."

And who is it, Douglas, making this carnival of fools into a reality show-level spectacle? Anyway, many of these concerns are already too late being aired, as Trump's legalities in New York have led to him hoovering $5 million in new donations and rising in the polls as a result.

Body Checking the Fact-Checkers – WASHINGTON POST

  • Now as historic moments go, a fact-checker being fact-checked on his fact-check of his prior fact-check, which had initially been fact-checked, has to be a first.

Glenn Kessler has always been a dependable source of providing examples of the issues within the fact-checking wing of our news complex. Glenn is a hyper-partisan, and the way he massages his reports to be tailored for Biden and Democrats is now legendary. But even by his low standards of quality, he distinguished himself this weekend.

Glenn made the mistake of attempting to wade into the debate over Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his campaign being funded by George Soros. On Friday, we addressed how many were getting themselves strung up with their attempts to defend Bragg from – well – the facts, but Mr. Kessler was incapable of learning from their mistakes.

Glenn tried to go with the concept that George Soros did not support Bragg's campaign; he gave money to a group, which then went on to donate to Bragg. Even in his report, Kessler shows a PAC pledged money to Bragg, and immediately Soros donated that exact sum to them in a matter of days.

What made things amusing was that Kessler's report was fact-checked by the Twitter community, pointing out the factual specifics, to go along with other news outlets that reported on the Soros funds going to Bragg. This clearly rankled the Truth Detector, as he commented after about the "trolls" who dared come at him with factual accuracies.

Then things became elevated to historic levels, as his weasely attempt at skirting accountability was also fact-checked by Twitter users in comedic fashion.

Anti-Social Media – TWITTER / THE NEW YORK TIMES

  • As a legacy myself, can I just say this is all rather embarrassing – for you all.

There has been all manner of hyperventilating on Twitter about the prospect of blue check verification going away this month. Those who were previously verified were being told they would need to pay for their privilege, and now it appears that instead, Twitter is just lumping all blue checks together, which renders it a completely worthless designation, but whatever. Matt Yglesias is one of those journalistic elites particularly bothered.

But then we see Musk has taken things to a truly risible level. He has required news outlets to pay an initial $1,000 for the gold check verification, then a monthly subscription based on the number of verified employees. The New York Times has balked at this surcharge, and as a result, this weekend, their official accounts lost their legacy blue-checked verifications. Musk showed that he was not too sympathetic to their supposed plight. He noted that as The NY Times complained about subscribing to Twitter, the outlet still charges for their content. He then showed just how unimpressed with the paper he has been.

Legalized Press-titution – MORNING

  • Okay, maybe he is not "failing upward" but rising via inactivity.

On the Sunday morning show, hostess Jane Pauly had a sitdown with John Fetterman and his wife, Senator Giselle Fetterman. (Ahem.) In the course of the interview, Doonsbury's wife dared make the suggestion that Fetterman was on track for the presidency. We waited, but nope – this was not a light-hearted attempt at banter. She posed that as a serious prospect.

Let's see; an unremarkable run as mayor, he was mostly absent as lieutenant governor, he was largely a no-show on his campaign following a stroke, and once elected, the senator has spent almost his entire term so far in rehab at the hospital. I guess when you measure up next to President Jose Biden, then sure, Fetterman might actually appear as presidential material.

Glossary Over Things – POLITICO

Recently, we covered how author Amber Athey, in her new book "The Snowflakes' Revolt," found Politico had a rather creative and extensive style guide for their writers, filled with woke guidelines and creative language. Amber just learned that Politico has recently updated their guide, and the new selections are no less ridiculous than the original discoveries.

- "[Politico] scrapped the word 'consider' from the reproductive health section. Now, reporters are told to 'use 'pregnant people,' 'people using birth control,' 'abortion patients' or 'people seeking abortions.'' Other updates to the guide include a ban on the term 'unmanned' and the addition of the term' marginalized genders.' Politico describes this as the 'preferred term to describe everyone who is not a cis man,' i.e., a man who is not transgender."

This is enough to give a person a migraine. Or, based on the wrong assumption being made, maybe it is a "they-graine."


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