President Trump made a shift to the right this week and the media treated it like he was all wrong. The president announced he will replaced National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster with former Ambassador and Fox News contributor John Bolton – a move loved by conservatives and despised by the media.
The New York Times called Bolton, “an Undiplomatic Voice for American Might” and mockingly said he “Joins the Trump Cast.” HuffPost called him “As Dangerous As You Remembered.” Far left Splinter News actually headlined: “Trump Hires Bush Administration Demon John Bolton as New National Security Advisor.”
The devil you say.
The news media soon dubbed Bolton’s joining the Trump administration as the hiring of a “hawk.” NPR let fly with its assessment of the pick: “Bolton Brings Hawkish Perspective To North Korea, Iran Strategy.” The Atlantic took said of the choice: “McMaster Is Out, an Even Bigger North Korea Hawk Is In.” The New York Times envisioned him as “a hawk among hawks.”
There was so much use of the word “hawk” that the news started to sound like the Discovery channel. Or perhaps a conference of birdwatchers.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews’ comments were for the birds, calling Bolton the “biggest hawk there's ever been.” Matthews found almost no end to his lofty hyperbole. “He wants war with Iraq. He pushed and pushed and pushed and wanted to go to war with Syria. Name a country in the Middle East he didn't want to go to war with,” he whined.
The choice of Bolton spoiled one liberal narrative. Alternet’s question: “Is John Bolton Too Tough on Russia for Donald Trump?” It might be good for Alternet to remember how many Russian mercenaries the U.S. has killed under Trump.
2. Trump’s Forbidden Words: President Trump congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin for his victory in the sham elections held in his country. The result sent the news media into a tizzy.
NBC reporter Peter Alexander clearly didn’t like it. “The president congratulating Vladimir Putin on his re-election, despite specific warnings from his national security advisers not to,” he told the “Today” audience.
CNN national security reporter Zachary Cohen took a sarcastic approach. “Both Trump and Kim Jong Un have now congratulated Putin on his election win,” he tweeted. Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey went on CNN to complain about Trump congratulating "leaders who are not democratically elected."
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow described the leak of that congratulations call as a sign of a “national security problem.”
Of course, NBC was the only one of the big three networks to mention a huge point – that President Obama had done the same thing, congratulating Putin in 2012. Even left-wing Snopes agreed that it was true. So it’s OK when President Obama congratulates the leader of Russia, but bad when President Trump takes the identical action.
3. It’s Spring, Time to Bash Trump: Trump Hunting Season seems to never end. In just one week, the media compared President Trump’s actions to interning Japanese-Americans in World War II and to the death of a young woman in a car driven by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.
Both of those actions were taken by Democrats, not President Trump. In the Washington Post review of American “fascism” images, it never even mentioned President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, just Trump. That article made clear comparisons of deporting illegal aliens with interning people who broke no laws.
Then there’s the new movie about Kennedy’s accident titled simply “Chappaquiddick.” In theory, it’s about how Kennedy’s actions resulted in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. At the Post, talk of that scandal leads us to … “what resonance does this movie have for a Trump presidency and the current political climate?” Because everything in the Post ties back to Trump.
4. Just Beat It! President Trump and presidential wannabe Joe Biden traded insults and physical threats this week in what the Washington Post described as a “Septuagenarian smackdown.” Of course, some in the media were siding with the contender.
“The View,” fresh off of Joy Behar’s apology for attacking Christians, now wants someone to assault the president. Co-host Sunny Hostin asked a bizarre question on Thursday: “Why hasn't anybody taken (Trump) out back and kicked his little butt?” The lone conservative on the show, Meghan McCain, called the question “not reality.”
The Daily Beast’s Matt Lewis handed the win to Biden in a knockout. “Joe Biden Could Beat Trump in a Fight — and an Election.”
In one of the strangest hot takes of the week, Kurt Bardella wrote an opinion piece for NBC saying: “Trump and Joe Biden's Twitter feud proves how threatened Trump is by men who can cry.” Bardella has gone from a right-wing worldview to concocting clickbait opinion that bashes conservatives. Still, this is odd even for him.
To his credit, TheRoot.com Politics Editor Jason Johnson said of Biden’s threat to Trump, “that’s not the kind of public discourse that we want anymore from anybody who ever might run for office again.”
5. Bunnies and Trolls: The left will attack anyone tied to President Trump, even Vice President’s Mike Pence’s daughter. Comedian John Oliver tried to make a mockery out of her and her dad in a bunny book battle, but she had the last laugh.
The New York Times described the younger Pence’s book “‘Marlon Bundo’s Day in the Life of the Vice President”’ as “a picture book written by Mr. Pence’s daughter Charlotte that focuses on the bunny’s observations of the vice president, with illustrations by his wife, Karen.”
Oliver decided to make fun of Charlotte’s book with a children’s book of his own – about two gay bunnies tormented by an evil stink bug, drawn as a bug-like Mike Pence.
Of course, the media loved Oliver’s book. And they were all set to belittle Charlotte as well. Only she caught them off guard by admitting she had bought Oliver’s book, too. Why? Because, “his book is contributing to charities that I think we can all get behind.”
Cool enough to even beat John Oliver at his own game.
6. Americans Are Sick of Politics: The media are obsessed with politics – jamming it into to everything from an NFL game to nightly sitcoms. Turns out, Americans don’t agree.
According to new a poll from a McLaughlin & Associates/Media Research Center, 75 percent of likely voters say they watch entertainment and sports to get away from politics. But politics keep intruding. Just this week, The Sporting News was highlighting an interview that compared college basketball to “slavery.”
The poll results are telling; 44 percent of those interviewed said they are less likely to watch entertainment and sports because of political statements. Given the lousy ratings for the Oscars, that says a ton. But Hollywood never listens. It just lectures more.
7. MSNBC Gets Graphic: It’s 3 a.m. and your Poli Sci 101 course report needs a graph and you throw together something that looks nice but is utterly inane. That’s what it looked like when “MSNBC aired the saddest graph ever,” wrote Daily Caller’s Amber Athey.
She was calling out the network for an exercise in graphic violence created for MSNBC’s “The Beat.” Some poor designer created a graph of the number of times Trump tweeted about Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The chart, titled “Trump Tweets Mentioning Mueller By Name.” runs from May 2017 to March 2018. Every month has the graph at 0. Then in March, it takes a huge leap … to 2.
This is why you should believe it when you hear commentators say Trump has driven the media crazy. Here’s proof.