Let's turn to what I believe is a very important story about press coverage of Donald Trump. And that is the subject of this evening’s Talking Points Memo
As you may know, The New York Times published a front page article on Sunday with the headline "Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved with Women in Private".
The article is now in dispute as one of the primary women interviewed says her words were taken out of context and that the reporters did not accurately portray her interactions with Mr. Trump. Both sides have been all over cable news.
The situation is important to you the American voter because it signals that it will be very difficult for Americans to get the truth when Donald Trump is involved.
The New York Times assigned reporters Michael Barbaro and Megan Twohey to write the story. As Joe Concha reported on the website Mediaite, Mr. Barbaro has written a number of anti-Trump tweets - nothing egregious- just trivial pursuits.
However in an honest media operation, those tweets would have disqualified Mr. Barbaro from reporting on Donald Trump.
Ms. Twohey is another story. She's an excellent reporter with a great resume. She has accomplished much, including being nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. The problem is that Megan Twohey is a feminist or so it seems.
The factor asked Ms. Twohey to appear this evening. She declined. No surprise.
This is a tough forum. She and Mr. Barbaro did appear on other cable outlets that are friendly to liberal points of view.
Now the reason I mention feminism in connection with reporting on Donald Trump is that his resume goes against that ideology. For example, Mr. Trump ran beauty contests, referred to women as "Trump girls" and has been flamboyant in his interactions with the opposite sex. We asked Ms. Twohey if she herself is a feminist both on the phone and in writing. She declined to answer in both cases.
But here's what she said about the trump article yesterday:
TWOHEY: "I think there were some themes that emerged. There were, you know, that some of the accounts with regards to unwelcome romantic advances, this unending commentary on the female form, this sort of shrewd exploitation of ambitious women. (EDIT)We can sit here and sort of analyze you know what we think of Donald trump but you know what we wanted to do with this piece was to really give the women their voices and what their experience has been, and it's a complicated story."
It is a complicated story and one that needs to be examined by reporters with no agenda.
Let's put it another way. Would you assign a person who escaped from Castro's Cuba to report on Bernie Sanders? Would that be fair to put a person who obviously despises socialism in a position to gather information about the socialist senator? No, it would not be fair. So why then would an editor allow a feminist to report on Donald Trump?
By the way, being a feminist can be a very good thing. That political position has led to many positive changes for American women. So there is no denigration in my analysis.
It all comes back to being fair and giving you, the American voter, an unbiased look at the presidential candidates.
The fundamental problem is in the national media. There are very few non-liberal people. Many journalism schools are crazy left, insane professors spewing all kinds of nonsense. Some of the students reject it, as I did at Boston University. But others fall under the sway. And then if you get a job at the New York Times or other national media, you had better toe the liberal line. If you don't, it will be tough to advance because many editors are not “holistic” toward non-liberals, to use a PC term.
Bernie Goldberg wrote a book about this called Bias. And he knows, having worked at CBS News for more than 20 years.
But today things have reached critical mass. The New York Times and other national media are strongly anti-Trump and they cannot discipline themselves to cover the campaign fairly. Talking points told Mr. Trump himself this would happen.
Finally, there was no question in 2008 and again in '12 that the national media favored Barack Obama.
And yes, they hit John McCain and Mitt Romney but not with a vengeance -- although the Times ran a poorly sourced story about McCain's private life that turned out to be an embarrassment to the paper when its own ombudsman criticized the report.
But the Trump media thing will be much more personal than Romney-McCain. Believe me.
And it will get very nasty.
And that's “The Memo”.