Media furor was aroused last week by four major Supreme Court cases that went against the left and by a Supreme Court retirement that will enable President Trump to appoint a solidly conservative justice to the high court. That was followed by a horrific mass shooting at a Maryland newspaper that some journalists tried to link to criticism the president has leveled at the media.
The Supreme Court dominated much of the week. Each successive ruling seemed to infuriate journalists and liberals more. But Justice Anthony Kennedy’s announcement of his retirement was the last straw.
ABC’s “Good Morning America” Correspondent Terry Moran set the ominous tone, saying that Kennedy’s retirement “guarantees that this court and this country is going to change profoundly.”
Others called the nomination of a new justice an “earthquake” or an incident that would evolve into “a months-long bare-knuckle fight over this nominee.”
CNN’s legal team acted as if the Constitution itself was at risk because the high court is now expected to move farther right. Topics like abortion and religious freedom dominated the coverage.
CNN Legal Analyst Laura Coates said the retirement of Kennedy means even more. There are “a whole host of areas where we require a swing vote for other more progressive-minded notions and ones that, frankly, are in line with our democratic principles and we don't have that now,” she warned.
Conservatives aren’t allowed to have “democratic principles,” it seems.
CNN Legal Analyst Jeffrey Toobin was particularly overwrought. He warned gay customers who patronize businesses owned by religious conservatives that “you will not be able to buy a hotel room, be served in a restaurant, buy a wedding cake.”
Many other outlets were nearly as hyperbolic: The Daily Beast warned of a “judicial apocalypse.” Slate’s Dan Kois wrote about his own “frothing, incoherent rage.” Seldom funny “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah complained that President Trump was “giving America judicial herpes.”
Coverage continued to spin out of control once the media started asking about next steps. MSNBC’s “Hardball” host Chris Matthews argued that the fight over Kennedy’s replacement was “going to be almost like Spanish Civil War stuff.” It’s worth noting that hundreds of thousands of people died in that civil war.
Matthews warned Democratic leaders that they must “prevent the Republican-controlled Senate to pick another justice on this hard-right court.”
Slate was more straightforward. It reported that a more conservative Supreme Court would be one “that subverts American democracy for decades.”
Journalists are unable to grasp how the prospect of a more conservative court actually makes tens of millions of Americans positively giddy. That narrative was almost impossible to find.
2. Journalists Defend Abortion, Again: Abortion is one of the most sacred “rights” for the media. This becomes obvious any time defunding Planned Parenthood becomes a key news topic. That factored heavily into coverage of the Supreme Court vacancy.
“CBS This Morning” host and resident Democratic donor Gayle King couldn’t help herself and asked conservative Leonard Leo, of the Federalist Society: “But should we be worried about Roe v. Wade going away?”
CNN’s Toobin continued his panic, predicting that abortion will be banned in 10 to 20 states in less than two years once President Trump appoints another conservative to the Supreme Court. Roe v. Wade, he warned, is “doomed and abortion will be illegal in a significant chunk of this country in 18 months.”
Hollywood embraced the Toobin narrative. Cher tweeted breathlessly: “Some Americans could find themselves in internment camps!!” Actor Don Cheadle claimed that “all of our rights are in the balance.” Actress Bette Midler cited a famous anti-fascist book in her tweet: “And you thought it couldn’t happen here.”
“The View” outdid itself in kooky commentary. Host Whoopi Goldberg went on a lengthy rant that ended with: “Get out of my behind! Get out of my vagina! Get out!” Her co-host Joy Behar whined that the GOP might end up controlling all three branches of government. “What is that called? Dictatorship I believe!”
3. Blaming Trump: The shooting deaths of five employees at the Capital Gazette newspaper near Annapolis, Maryland drove some in the media to blame President Trump. A Massachusetts reporter resigned after making a false claim that the shooter had dropped a “Make America Great Again” hat during the attack. Reuters Breakingviews Editor Rob Cox apologized for tying President Trump to the incident, after it was discovered the shooter had a longstanding fight with the paper.
CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta turned full-scale heckler, shouting at the president during an event this week: "Mr. President, will you stop calling the press the enemy of the people?” He was so distracting, one guest even shushed him. Acosta tweeted in response: “We also had a few folks who shushed is in the audience. Of course we are not going to be shushed.”
4. Socialism Will Work This Time, They Promise: The media were agog over the Democratic primary victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28-year-old member of the Democratic Socialists of America for a congressional seat representing part of New York City. The New York Times dubbed her “an instant political rock star,” helped in huge part that she’s in the Big Apple and only slightly to the left of the staff at The Times.
Her campaign platform has more giveaways than a TV game show and so-called neutral journalists absolutely adore her. Reporters didn’t focus on how socialist nations take away rights and murder their citizens. They didn’t even inquire about her stance on Venezuela, where things are so bad that citizens broke into the zoo … to cook up the animals.
No, journalists focused on her lipstick.
I almost hate myself for even writing that word. Lipstick. The first one of these discredited, unprofessional stories came from People magazine. It was headlined: “Congressional Primary Victor Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Reveals Her Power Red Lipstick Shade.”
Racked called the lipstick, “a symbol of change.” Refinery29 said it was “More Than Just A Color.” Jezebel raved about how “Her Lipstick Remained Intact.” Allure, Quartz and others all gave her some lip. Then CBS broke the big news: “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez name-dropped her lipstick brand and it sold out.”
Ocasio-Cortez's lipstick is like Wendy Davis’s tennis shoes. It’s designed to make her appear like an everywoman, despite her far-left politics. This is socialism with a Madison Avenue marketing campaign.
Of course, the other aspect of Ocasio-Cortez's surprising victory was how badly The New York Times missed it – right in its own backyard.
Former Times executive editor Jill Abramson accused her old paper of “making horrible mistakes left and right.” (Mostly left, but that’s for another time.) Abramson did call out the paper and say “it should have covered her campaign,” instead of being surprised she had won.