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OPINION
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The Media Wails As the 'Trial of the Century' Has Been Canceled

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Townhall Media

04.18.23

Reporting on the Mirror – VARIOUS OUTLETS

  • There was a collective GROAN heard across the media landscape.

Today was scheduled to be the opening arguments of the highly anticipated defamation trial involving Fox News and the Dominion Voting Systems company. The suit concerned coverage that aired on the network about the company in the wake of the contentious 2020 general election. 

Various news outlets have been eagerly covering this case, clearly hoping to see Fox News brought down, seemingly oblivious to the ramifications across the industry had this gone to a jury verdict. Had Fox been found guilty, the repercussions across the media sector would have been dangerous, as the case likely would be held up as a basis for any number of future defamation charges to be brought forward. 

There is a collective moaning being heard as the "Media Trial of the Century" coverage that has been prepped for weeks just evaporated when what should be heard are sighs of relief. The short-sightedness across the news outlets is quite obvious.

Both Kinds of Standards – CNN

  • So you are saying that any network that settles has become compromised?

Among those acting insufferable today are those with the least reason to do so, the crowd at CNN. It is nearly unwatchable to see this collection spewing forth condescension.

Oliver Darcy, clearly bothered at the loss of months of copious content for his "Reliable Sources" newsletter, rattles off all of the expectations he had for this trial that now will no longer be playing out.

Worse yet, though, was Jake Tapper. The once-respectable figure at the network goes into sneering, smarmy depths as he reads off the statement from Fox News, mocking and laughing at the words about the integrity of the network. These are people who want everyone to forget/ignore/pretend that CNN has recently settled their own defamation case with Nick Sandmann. For these people to behave in this fashion is just debased.

Legalized Press-titution – VANITY FAIR

  • Even as the entire focus has gone away, it is still relevant!!

Perhaps hardest hit with today's announcement that the trial has been settled is Brian Stelter. JUST as the deposed media maven had begun to reestablish himself, his basis for a rejuvenated career has been interrupted.

He was just brought on by Vanity Fair to cover the trial proceedings, and he has a Fox-obsessed podcast, of course. AND he recently announced he signed a deal for a sequel to his Fox-centered book "Hoax," which was to be centered on the Fox trial.

Oh well, you can still preorder the book today, don't forget!

Low Octane Gas Lighting – AXIOS

  • Let's understand – you see a company torched for its pro-trans agenda, so you joined in?

It is rather remarkable to see a company like Anheuser-Busch become scorched in a matter of days and then have a news outlet watch this unfold and essentially say, "Here, hold our beer."

In a column dripping with condemnation over a beer boycott, Axios not only comes out in opposition to the protest, the site essentially is saying that if you stop drinking Bud Light, it means you want trans people to die:

What this captures: The inflamed politics around transgender rights. The lack of perspective or grace from vocal transgender opponents. Remember the power imbalance. Trans issues are talked about a lot now. But trans people remain a small, largely marginalized group. For trans people, political issues are a matter of life and death. Across the country, bills are being debated and passed that take away their rights to access health care.

Pre-Written Field Reports – NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO

  • The man who wrote a book on divisiveness gives a how-to lesson, it seems.

Honestly, it would have benefitted NPR culture critic Eric Deggans to have followed his employer off of Twitter. Deggans saw a PR release from the Disney company and pounced on just what the announcement could mean concerning Gov. Ron DeSantis. Why? Because Eric opposes divisiveness, you see. Uh…huh.

The announcement was that there would be a Pride Night celebration at the theme park in a couple of months. The TV expert decided this would be a great way to un-divisively slam DeSantis.

A few problems here, Eric. Is DeSantis a bigot for opposing Disney? He has not exactly made any anti-gay moves legislatively, so that is the assumption. Also, Disney has staged these Pride days in Orlando for decades, and there has never been anything in the way of opposition from the governor.

Oh, and one last detail: How is the governor of Florida in any way being rebuked when this announcement is for an event being held in the Disneyland resort in Anaheim, California?

Pulitzer Prize Nomination – NEW YORK POST

In our end-of-the-year "Pulitzer Prize Dis-Honors," we pay tribute to the better headlines found, with a category named after the outlet renowned for making the most of a front page over the years. There is a reason The Post is the namesake for this category.


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