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Are They Stupid Or Do They Just Think That We Are?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo by/NBC, William B. Plowman, File

Journalists have long held their audiences in contempt. Not active contempt of the hatred variety, but condescending contempt – the belief that we’re all so far beneath them as to be insignificant and unworthy of their genius. They’re better than us, just ask them. That attitude was on full display over the weekend on Meet the Press and the ironically named “Reliable Sources,” when the personalities that host those shows committed arrogant and hypocritical frauds on their audiences that can only happen when you’re marinated in the ignorance of your own body odor.


Brian Stelter, the talentless Democratic Party mouthpiece with a face for radio and a voice for print, started his show with a lecture about priorities and “news judgement.” Stelter’s show, “Reliable Sources,” usually contains more clips of Fox News than original content or independent thought, and this week was no different. Where he usually whines about what was said, this monologue was about what wasn’t, or at least what wasn’t said soon enough.

Choking back tears less sincere than OJ shed over Nicole’s murder, Stelter was angry that Fox & Friends dared ask President Donald Trump Friday about the Department of Justice moving to dismiss the case against retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn before asking him about the coronavirus pandemic. The Flynn news had just broken the day before, along with the release of transcripts Democrats kept hidden from the public showing Obama administration officials were telling Congress the exact opposite of what they were saying on cable news because one venue offered large paychecks for bombast and narrative-feeding and the other charges of perjury. 

“It's so disappointing to look at what we're seeing from right-wing media these days, where there's such an obsession with the deep state and these revelations about the Russia probe and the decision about Michael Flynn,” the human Weeble groused. “They're treating the Michael Flynn story like it a bigger deal than the deaths of 2,000 Americans a day.”


Continuing his sermon, Stelter chastised Fox for asking the President about a developing story “for 20 minutes before he was asked about the pandemic.” 

Curiously, Brian never did talk about the Flynn case in any meaningful way on his own show, nor did he mention the talking heads, many of whom are colleagues on the payroll at CNN, who spent the last 3 years knowingly lying to their audience while testifying to the exact opposite in private. You’d think a guy who rests the homemade crown journalistic sanctimony on his pointy head would be interested in the news that his profession and employer have been soiling their audience with falsehoods would rate a segment on a show about the media, maybe even wrestle with the concept of accountability for those who lied. You’d be wrong.

So what did the Potato dedicate limited and precious air time to instead? He did an interview segment with a mother who, along with her 2 daughters, discovered how use WordPress and started a blog during quarantine. I kid you not. After starting his show lamenting how anyone in media would ask the President about major developments in a story that has dominated his entire administration while people are dying, Stelter did a puff piece about people blogging about their families. 

Did no one on staff, and there are a lot of people, notice the disconnect?


Down the dial, and a couple of hours earlier, Meet the Press ran another dishonest smear against Attorney General Bill Barr. Host Chuck Todd showed a clip of Barr speaking Friday with CBS News saying, “history is written by the winners so it largely depends on who's writing the history,” when asked how the DoJ’s decision to drop the Flynn case would be viewed by history. 

The Ginger Avenger was indignant “by the cynicism of the answer,” telling the MtP audience, “He didn't make the case that he was upholding the rule of law. It was almost admitting that, ‘Yeah, this is a political job.’”

The only problem is if Chucky has played another 10 seconds of the Barr clip he would’ve heard exactly what he claimed wasn’t said. “But I think a fair history would say it was a good decision because it upheld the rule of law. It upheld the standards of the Department of Justice, and it undid what was an injustice,” Barr continued in the whole clip.

The clip of Barr wasn’t tossed on the cutting room floor, it was broadcast in its entirety on CBS News. You had to stop the tape in order not to see it. 

So why did Todd stop the cut he used where he did? There are only 2 options: he’s either lazy or a liar. If he’s lazy, a producer brought him the cut and he expressed no curiosity about what Barr said immediately after and had no interest in the context. The other option is he knew and didn’t care, his narrative was fed with the partial clip, the whole story was just an inconvenience. 


Meet the Press, not Chuck Todd, offered something masquerading as an apology…10 hours later. “Earlier today, we inadvertently and inaccurately cut short a video clip of an interview with AG Barr before offering commentary and analysis. The remaining clip included important remarks from the attorney general that we missed, and we regret the error,” they said on the show’s Twitter feed

Chuck, the “political director” at all of NBC News, has remained mum on the subject, not even bothering to retweet his own show’s tepid mea culpa. 

There was a time when people like this could get away with the hypocrisy and lying, before the internet and DVRs, even before VCRs. Back when if you didn’t see it live, you pretty much missed it forever. That’s not today; that’s not even the world Chuck and Brian grew up in. The Internet exists, they both got their starts writing on it. 

That leaves their audiences wondering between 2 choices when it comes to why they and their colleagues would so blatantly engage in such dishonest and hypocritical actions: they’re either genuinely stupid people, or they think their audience is. I have my suspicions that it’s the former. Then again, if their audience is looking for truth for either one of these two, or their networks, maybe it’s both.

Derek Hunter is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a daily radio show on WCBM in Maryland, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses. Follow him on Twitter at @DerekAHunter.


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