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Washington Examiner’s ‘Liberal Media Scream’ With the MRC’s Assessment

Posted on 28 January 2021

Since late January of 2012, the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard has once a week featured a “Mainstream Media Scream” selection in his “Washington Secrets” column. For each pick, usually posted online on Monday, I provide an explanation and recommend a “scream” rating (scale of one to five). This post contains the “Liberal Media Screams” starting in January 2021. > For all of 2020. For all of 2019. For all of  2018. (Re-named “Liberal Media Scream” as of June 11, 2018.) “Mainstream Media Screams” for: > July-December 2017 posts; January through June 2017; July to December 2016; for January to June 2016; for July to December 2015; for January to June 2015. (2012-2014 are featured on MRC.org: For 2014; for June 17, 2013 through the end of 2013. And for January 31, 2012 through June 11, 2013.) Check Bedard’s “Washington Secrets” blog for the latest choice and his other Washington insider posts. Each week, this page will be updated with Bedard’s latest example of the worst bias of the week. (For more of the worst liberal media bias, browse the Media Research Center's Notable Quotables with compilations of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media.)   ■ New on March 1: Liberal Media Scream: MSNBC’s Ali Velshi says racism defines America I’ll add text and video here next week, but so the Washington Examiner gets the traffic for their post when it’s fresh, please read Paul Bedard’s post on their site where you can watch the video and read the full quote.   ■ February 22: Liberal Media Scream: Liberals rush to dump on Rush Limbaugh (Washington Examiner post) This week’s Liberal Media Scream takes note of the death of conservative talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh, who influenced many and even pushed some, notably former Vice President Mike Pence, to jump into politics. Friends and allies were effusive in their praise. So too was the hate from his foes, too many to list here. But as an example, we feature former New York Times media reporter Bill Carter who disparaged Florida’s plans to honor the long-time resident. Appearing on CNN’s Reliable Sources, Carter, now a “media analyst” for CNN, contended Limbaugh didn’t deserve the attention given him by Gov. Ron DeSantis, who plans to lower the state flag. After host Brian Stelter asked him about the plan by DeSantis, Carter said: “Well, it’s kind of shocking because, I mean, first of all, you know the governor of Florida is just playing for conservative attention in doing that. But the justification is really questionable. "I mean, look, Limbaugh had a huge following, and it was very popular among, you know, a group of right-wing listeners. But he wasn’t a heroic figure. I mean, he had a lot of incidents that were extremely questionable, and his views were pretty ugly, and they hurt a lot of people. They hurt some people personally. “And I think – you know, there were an awful lot of people who are justifiably saying why are you celebrating a guy who attacked Barack Obama on race, who sang ‘Barack the Magic Negro’ and all kinds of extremely outrageous things that, frankly, the conservatives loved. They loved him for that. And he established the brand. He did. That was a brand. But to make it a heroic thing or something that should be celebrated like, you know, a war hero, I find that pretty questionable.” Media Research Center Vice President Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Pretty standard liberal ‘conventional wisdom’ here from Carter, and that’s the disappointment. You’d hope a reporter with a career covering the media could rise above just passing along liberal bromides and, at least in the days after his passing, would offer something positive about a man who earned the loyalty of millions for more than thirty years and inspired generations of Americans about the benefits of conservative policy solutions.” Rating: 3 out of 5 SCREAMS.   ■ February 15: Liberal Media Scream: CNN’s Don Lemon goes there and blames ‘horrible Reagan’ (Washington Examiner post) This week’s Liberal Media Scream features ranting CNN host Don Lemon tying everything he doesn’t like to one of the most popular presidents in United States history: Ronald Reagan. “Reagan was horrible,” said Lemon, who suggested that the Republican's two-term presidency paved the way for the Capitol riots. Shouting over fellow CNN host Chris Cuomo, Lemon said Republicans are also bad for respecting Reagan. “They hold him up to a gold standard. When you look at what he actually accomplished, he didn’t,” he said. From the Thursday, Feb. 11 CNN Tonight, during the handoff from Chris Cuomo’s 9 p.m. show to Lemon’s 10 p.m. show: CHRIS CUOMO: Reagan and Bush Republicans were nothing like these guys. DON LEMON: I don’t know about that. CUOMO: Just the issue of immigration. Look at how Reagan and George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush talked about immigration. LEMON: Reagan was the first presidential election that I voted in. And listen, ... I’m just saying that people hold him up to be — Reagan was not perfect. Reagan was horrible when it came to— CUOMO: Perfect? He gave us one of the biggest deficits we’ve ever seen, and he absolutely fed the divide. LEMON: That's what I mean. They always hold him up as a gold standard. But when you look at what he actually accomplished, he didn’t. He was horrible when it came to racial issues. He was horrible when it came to the AIDS crisis. He was horrible when it came to uniting the country. He didn’t unite the country — he was a divider. And so they hold him up as a gold standard. ... I just think it’s degrees, but I think the Republican Party has been moving in this direction forever. Again, they are the party of everything that they’re trying to pretend that they’re not. Now saying, "The people in the Capitol, that’s not us." Yes, it is you! "The people that were in Charlottesville, that’s not us." Yes, it is you! Those people are not marching for Democrats. And this whole weird thing that they keep saying, "What about the riots and the demonstration that happened this summer?" That’s apples and oranges. First of all, the demonstrations, the protests were for something that’s real. It was for inequality. It was for police brutality. It was for all those things. It was people who were rising up for their rights. What happened at the Capitol was built on a lie. Media Research Center Vice President for Research and Publications Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Such disdain for the late former president, who is a hero to conservatives and an inspiration to many oppressed by communism around the world, shows the baselessness of the widespread media line that they had to be hostile to Donald Trump because he posed a new kind of dangerous and racist threat to democracy and all that is good about the United States. If Lemon had a CNN show in the 1980s he would have been just as hostile to Reagan, calling him a racist night after night, as he was and is to Trump. Conservative presidents come and go, but the media contempt for them never wavers.” Rating: 4 out of 5 SCREAMS.   ■ February 8: Liberal Media Scream: Reporter decries ‘ex-boyfriend...abuse’ from Team Trump (Washington Examiner post) This week’s Liberal Media Scream had a lot of choices from reporters never happier than to have a new administration that thinks like they do to report on. But only one expressed the relief she felt in getting to cover the Democratic Biden administration after the “bad ex-boyfriend” abuse she felt dealing with Team Trump. On CNN on Sunday, Yahoo News White House correspondent Brittany Shepherd came down hard on former Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. She compared McEnany's White House briefings to “having a really bad ex-boyfriend. We were getting essentially abused by Kayleigh for so long.” And worse, she charged that McEnany incited people to “go to deadly ends for some people with death threats.” But now, with spokeswoman Jen Psaki, “It’s very refreshing.” Shepherd on CNN’s Reliable Sources: “It’s been really refreshing to have briefings every day and to even know who the senior officials talking to Biden are. We were not getting that in any of the Trump years, especially in those waning days of the McEnany briefings. “And it is refreshing, I do kind of put it towards like having a really bad ex-boyfriend. We were getting essentially abused by Kayleigh for so long, or at least she was calling us fake news and inciting her followers and followers of the president to not only harass us online but obviously go to deadly ends for some people with death threats. “Now, we have Jen and the entire Biden team. It’s very refreshing. But it’s important to remember that the bar has literally been left on the floor, and just being able to show up and clear it isn’t enough.” Media Research Center Vice President Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Shepherd exemplifies the hostility the White House press corps had toward Kayleigh McEnany and all things Trump, combined with their eager embrace of the new administration, quick to hail Biden’s press team as ‘very refreshing.’ It’s as if Shepherd just got a job transfer from an office full of people she finds disreputable to a new office full of people who inspire her.” Rating: 3 out of 5 SCREAMS.   ■ February 1: Liberal Media Scream: New high in CNN bias, blames GOP for ‘divided America’ (Washington Examiner post) This week’s Liberal Media Scream features a new high in the anti-GOP bias shown by CNN, this time blaming the political divide on the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Roger Ailes, Fox News, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and, of course, former President Donald Trump. Over one hour last night, Fareed Zakaria pointed a big finger at the GOP in his special, The Divided States of America: What Is Tearing Us Apart? Over and over, the answer was boiled down to Republicans. And if that wasn’t enough, Republicans were sometimes described as racists. Zakaria said, “When scholars spent time with Tea Party activists, they found that behind the talk of taxes and big government were people mostly motivated by fears about race and immigration.” He moved on to how Ailes “turned his channel into a right-wing bull horn, blurring facts and opinion like never before.” He added, “Trump had a role model for his exploitation of the class divide: Sarah Palin, who did it first.” His final target was Gingrich: “Before there was a Donald Trump, there was a Republican pioneer who paved the way for the Trump brand of destructive politics. ... His legacy has been both dark and far-reaching — a permanent state of war between the parties.” Some excerpts from CNN’s The Divided States of America: What is Tearing Us Apart? which aired Sunday night, Jan. 31: FAREED ZAKARIA: When scholars spent time with Tea Party activists, they found behind the talk of taxes and big government were people mostly motivated by fears about race and immigration. JON MEACHAM: The people who have been most radicalized by the Trump years believed that diversity was an idea, not a vivid reality. ZAKARIA: In 1950, the year our political parties were said to be too similar, the country was about 90% white. Now in 2021, as we face an existential crisis of political division, America is about 59% white. MEACHAM: We are living in the most vivid manifestation of the politics of fear in our history. That’s where we are now. ... ZAKARIA: Ailes became the go-to right-wing media strategist of the 1980s, infamous for his vicious attacks. TV AD NARRATOR: As Gov. Michael Dukakis gave weekend furloughs to first-degree murderers. ZAKARIA: In 1996, Ailes found his destiny when billionaire Rupert Murdoch came calling. The right wing's favorite hatchet man was now creating a new news network. The old, mainstream media cartel had splintered. BRIT HUME, IN OLD FNC PROMO: These days, people think TV news is about as unbiased as the commercials. ZAKARIA: On cable, every channel needed to find its own slice of the audience. Ailes turned his channel into a right-wing bull horn, blurring facts and opinion like never before. Big ratings and profits soon followed. ... ZAKARIA: Donald Trump had a role model for his exploitation of the class divide: Sarah Palin, who did it first. When America’s hockey mom became John McCain’s running mate in 2008 — SARAH PALIN, FORMER REPUBLICAN ALASKA GOVERNOR: They say the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull: lipstick. ZAKARIA: She leaned heavily on identity politics, on American values and culture, to rile up her base. PALIN: I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. ZAKARIA: Her brand of America, talking about the real America, saying, 'I’m one of you,' was the precursor of Trump’s war on elites. GEORGE PACKER: Sarah Palin, who I think of as John the Baptist to Trump, she was the one who came first. DONALD TRUMP: Governor Sarah Palin. ... ZAKARIA: But before there was a Donald Trump, there was a Republican pioneer who paved the way for the Trump brand of destructive politics. NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER REPUBLICAN HOUSE SPEAKER: I am a genuine revolutionary. They are the genuine reactionaries. We are going to change their world. ZAKARIA: This is the story of Newt Gingrich, the man who wrote the playbook for the modern conservative movement. ... It was a very different time in politics when civility and compromise mattered. House Republican Leader Bob Michael was widely known as Mr. Nice Guy. Imagine that. VAN JONES: Newt Gingrich comes in with a buzz saw. GINGRICH: What we are living through is a fundamental civil struggle, a civil war fought in public speeches rather than with armies. ZAKARIA: The Gingrich philosophy: The only way for Republicans to win back power was to be nasty — really nasty. GINGRICH: For the Democrats to basically say not only are we going to rape you but you have to pay for the hotel room is a bit much. ZAKARIA: To treat Democrats not as opponents but the enemy. ... His legacy has been both dark and far-reaching — a permanent state of war between the parties. Media Research Center Vice President Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Quite a pretentious feat by CNN and Zakaria in managing to blame all of the nation’s ills on the tone of the rhetoric from conservative political figures, as if liberals are blameless for political divisiveness. By choosing to blame only one side, CNN and Zakaria are exacerbating the very problem they claim to be trying to diagnose.” Rating: 5 out of 5 SCREAMS.   ■ January 25: Liberal Media Scream: Nuremberg trial for Trump? (Washington Examiner post) You would think they would be happy to move on, but this week’s Liberal Media Scream features an ABC News analyst calling for the second impeachment trial in the Senate of former President Donald Trump to be more of a truth and accountability commission process. “To me, the impeachment — we have to separate the parts of the impeachment vote. I mean, other countries have gone through this before, Germany, Japan, South Africa, and the thing before you get to reconciliation and healing, you have to have some element of truth and accountability in this,” said Matthew Dowd. What happened in those countries? South Africa set up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission after the end of apartheid, Japan had the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal after World War II, and Germany had the Nuremberg trials. In calling for a Trump truth tribunal, Dowd suggested that without one, the United States could be in for a century of political trouble that he compared to racism. Dowd during the roundtable on Sunday’s This Week on ABC: “Well, to me, the impeachment — we have to separate the parts of the impeachment vote. I mean, other countries have gone through this before, Germany, Japan, South Africa, and the thing before you get to reconciliation and healing, you have to have some element of truth and accountability in this. “And even besides those foreign country examples, we have an example in our country during Reconstruction in the aftermath of the Civil War when we went through — we were supposed to go through a process of truth and accountability and changing the nature of what went on. And when Abraham Lincoln was killed and Andrew Johnson took over, reconciling — I mean, the idea of forming a thing and demanding truth was stopped. And what did they result in, George? It resulted in this country of Jim Crow laws, it resulted in this country of the KKK, and it resulted in this country of 100 years more of a fight for justice and truth and equality in our country. “And so, we have to get to a situation where, yes, let’s have a discussion of what was the truth, what did Donald Trump do, what should be his accountability, and the final stage of that is: What should be his punishment? “And to me, the only way to do that is to have a conversation in the trial in the Senate where facts and knowledge and data and information is presented in such a way that the American public can see exactly what went on, what was Donald Trump responsible for, what should he held accountable to. And then, ultimately, what should his punishment be? “But we should not do what happened in Reconstruction. When Reconstruction was ended and we went through this huge, long, centurylong process when justice finally prevailed in the end. We have to have an insight into the truth before we get to reconciliation and healing.” Media Research Center Vice President Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “To say anything Donald Trump has done is on par with genocidal regimes, or that he has left the nation in a condition anywhere similar to a segregated, race-based two-class system like the America in the decades after the Civil War, is just ridiculous. The other panelists should have laughed at him. Dowd needs his own accountability session to separate reality from his overwrought historic comparisons.” Rating: 4 out of 5 SCREAMS.   ■ January 18, 2021: Liberal Media Scream: Call to silence conservatives and kick OANN and Newsmax off air (Washington Examiner post) This week’s Liberal Media Scream features CNN providing a platform for a call to take competitors OANN and Newsmax off the air and to also rob conservative influencers of social media outlets. On the heels of Big Tech kicking the conservative chat site Parler and firearms site AR15.com offline, the former head of security for Facebook and Yahoo said taking platforms away from conservatives is the result of the election and protests at the U.S. Capitol. Alex Stamos said, we “have to turn down the capability of these conservative influencers to reach these huge audiences” on Facebook and YouTube. “Then we’re going to have to figure out the OANN and Newsmax problem,” urging they be removed from cable systems. “These companies have freedom of speech, but I’m not sure we need Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and such to be bringing them into tens of millions of homes.” Stamos, on Sunday’s Reliable Sources, where he appeared with Krebs Stamos Group partner Christopher Krebs, the Trump administration’s former director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency: “First, you have to focus on the violent extremists, and those companies have to be brave in that way. And, second, we have to turn down the capability of these conservative influencers to reach these huge audiences. There are people on YouTube, for example, that have a larger daytime — larger audience than daytime CNN, and they are extremely radical and pushing extremely radical views." “And, so, it’s up to the Facebooks and YouTubes, in particular, to think about whether or not they want to be effectively cable networks for disinformation. And then we’re going to have to figure out the OANN and Newsmax problem, you know, these companies have freedom of speech, but I’m not sure we need Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and such to be bringing them into tens of millions of homes. This is, you know, allowing people to seek out information if they really want to, but not pushing it into their faces, I think is where we’re going to have to go here.” Media Research Center Vice President Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “A very solid signal Big Tech’s agenda goes beyond what they want to portray as benign efforts to shut down those advocating violence. Stamos laid out the next step: Use current concerns to justify a wider suppression of conservative voices who have allowed space for views those on the Left find appalling. The answer is more free speech, not letting a small group of wealthy Silicon Valley tech leaders abuse their power to serve as ‘speech police,’ deciding which views are OK or not with the elite at the moment.” Rating: 4 out of 5 SCREAMS.   ■ January 11, 2021: Liberal Media Scream: CNN wants conservative media squelched in ‘national emergency’ (Washington Examiner post) This week’s Liberal Media Scream features CNN’s senior media reporter demanding the targeting of conservative media outlets who ignored their anti-Trump bias in reporting on the president and his administration. On Sunday’s Reliable Sources, Oliver Darcy demanded conservative news sources be “held accountable,” clearly suggesting that they must be squelched, an expansion of the so-called “cancel culture” imposed with glee by outlets such as Twitter and Facebook on conservatives and even President Trump. He cited Fox News and “TV providers that beam OAN and Newsmax into homes, or Rush Limbaugh. There are a lot of people profiting off of lies and conspiracy theories.” He insisted, “this informational environment” must be “cleaned up.” Darcy, at the end of Sunday’s Reliable Sources: “The story this week was bringing our informational crisis to the forefront. It’s a national emergency. You have corporations and people that are profiting off lies and conspiracy theories, whether that’s big tech, whether that’s Fox News, whether that’s TV providers that beam OAN and Newsmax into homes, or Rush Limbaugh. There are a lot of people profiting off of lies and conspiracy theories, and I don’t really see how things get better, how we move on as a country until this informational environment is cleaned up.” After host Brian Stelter complained that “Fox News, the Murdochs, they are still enabling this stuff because they’re obsessing over big tech bias, that’s what they call it, and trying to ignore the riot,” Darcy demanded: “Where are they? They need to be held accountable as well. We were talking a lot about people like Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz. Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch, they need to be held accountable for the lies that they have peddled to this country, not only in the past two months about the election either, but in the past, you know, several years that have really brought this to the forefront.” Media Research Center Vice President Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Darcy revealed the true agenda the hard left inside CNN: Selectively cite the baseless allegations of a few on one side of the political spectrum to justify shutting down all the major outlets which allow conservative views to get an airing, silencing those with which Darcy disagrees, thus allowing the public to only hear left wing views. A perfect example of ‘cancel culture.’” Rating: 4 out of 5 SCREAMS.   ■ January 4, 2021: Liberal Media Scream: Smug Chuck Todd to senator, ‘I’ve Had Enough of Hearing This!’ (Washington Examiner post) This week’s Liberal Media Scream features NBC’s Chuck Todd, who put on his most dismissive smirk Sunday to mock Republican Sen. Ron Johnson’s defense of President Trump’s claims of election fraud. It came on Todd’s show, Meet the Press, and despite talking over Johnson, a matter-of-fact lawmaker/businessman, the senator stood his ground and told the host after being badgered, “You have destroyed the credibility of the news media by your bias.” When Johnson pointed out, “This fire was started when you completely ignored, for example, our investigation of Hunter Biden,” Todd jumped in: “Senator. All right, I’ve had enough of hearing this!” During the heated, multi-minute exchange, Todd turned to ridicule when Johnson discussed investigating Trump’s allegations of voter fraud. “Why didn’t you hold hearings about the 9/11 truthers? There’s plenty of people who thought 9/11 was an inside job.” And: “How about the Moon landing? Are you going to hold hearings on that?” From the Sunday, Jan. 3, Meet the Press: SEN. RON JOHNSON: Chuck, this fire was started back in, you know, January of 2017. People like Mark Zaid in his tweet, ‘The coup has started. First of many steps. Rebellion and impeachment to follow ultimately.’ This was started when the mainstream media stopped, dropped any pretense of being unbiased and actually chose sides during this election. This fire was started when you completely ignored, for example, our investigation of Hunter Biden. You know, no evidence of wrongdoing there. And now we find out after the election, no, there is a fair amount of evidence to the point that we have a real FBI investigation. So- CHUCK TODD: Senator. All right, I’ve had enough of hearing this! JOHNSON: No, listen. I’ve had enough of this, too. It’s the bias of the media. TODD: No, senator. It is, you have spent, you have spent the last two years — JOHNSON: It’s the bias in the media that has created a situation where Republicans and conservatives do not trust the mainstream media. And that is what, that is what has destroyed the credibility of the media and our institutions and really — TODD: Right, no, the destruction of the institutions — JOHNSON: — shaken confidence in this election result. So I didn’t start this ... I didn’t, I didn’t light this fire. This fire was lit over four years ago. And we’ve destroyed the credibility, you have destroyed the credibility of the news media by your bias. And of course people like James Comey, Andrew McCabe, John Brennan destroyed the credibility of the FBI and our justice system as well. We have an enormous problem in this country. It’s unsustainable. And the only way you solve it is with information, and transparency, and hearings, and investigations. It’s not quackery, it’s not conspiracy theory. It’s what’s going to be required. TODD: Let me ask you this. Then why didn’t you hold hearings about the 9/11 truthers? There’s plenty of people who thought 9/11 was an inside job. So you’re basically saying is if there’s enough people who believe a conspiracy theory, if there’s enough people who hold, how about the Moon landing? Are you going to hold hearings on that? JOHNSON: There are all kinds of things that I’d like to hold hearings on. You have to kind of pick and choose based on priorities. Right now, we have this election. We’ve got tens of millions of Americans that think this election was stolen. We need to get the bottom of it. Again, what’s explained, we need to explain it, get that off the table. We also have to acknowledge there were some real problems here. There’s some issues that need to be explored and investigated. TODD: You’ve got to ask yourself when you tell people a million times that something was stolen or something was fraud and then they believe it, I think you need to look in the mirror and ask yourself why so many people believed it. JOHNSON: Well, Chuck, you need to look at your mirror because you carried the Democrats’ water on the whole Russian collusion with the Trump campaign hoax — TODD: Sen. Johnson, I’ve got to go. I appreciate you coming on. I’ve let you, I’ve let you say plenty of — JOHNSON: That is what you did in the media. You carried that water for years. You destroyed the credibility of the press, not me. TODD: Sen. Johnson, other than, other than crediting you for coming on, I appreciate that because only two of your colleagues had the guts to say yes this weekend about this conspiracy theory that you’re working on. Media Research Center Vice President Brent Baker explains our weekly pick: “Todd couldn’t have been more smug and sanctimonious toward a guest as he used his platform to discredit and ridicule a U.S. senator with whom he disagrees. Quite an egregious abuse of Todd’s journalistic role, especially since it’s very hard to imagine him ever showing such disdain toward a liberal guest, and one more example of why Trump supporters don’t trust the ‘mainstream media.’” Rating: 5 out of 5 SCREAMS.     > Liberal Media Scream posts for 2020. > For all of 2019. > For all of 2018. > For July through December 2017. > For January through June 2017. > For July through December 2016. > For January through June 2016. > For July to December 2015.