Tag Archives: mainstream media

Tough to watch this exchange: Trump vs. Acosta

I’ll admit to anyone in the world that the exchange between Donald Trump and a notable CNN journalist, Jim Acosta, was difficult to watch.

The president called on Acosta to ask him a question during a White House post-midterm election press conference. Acosta posed the question and then Trump went off.

Acosta’s question dealt with the refugee “caravan.” Trump didn’t like the tone of the question and then he blasted Acosta for being a “rude, terrible person.” He said CNN “should be ashamed” for employing Acosta.

POTUS vs. CNN

Then, later in the day, the White House revoked Acosta’s press credentials, denying him access to sources within the White House and the West Wing.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a Twitter message that said: President Trump believes in a free press and expects and welcomes tough questions of him and his Administration. We will, however, never tolerate a reporter placing his hands on a young woman just trying to do her job as a White House intern…

So, that was the pretext for the White House pulling a CNN reporter’s credentials.

Nonsense. It’s shameful nonsense at that.

Trump still refuses to accept any responsibility

Donald Trump took on the media today and once again demonstrated an inability or unwillingness to accept any responsibility for the anger that permeates the atmosphere throughout the country.

He continues to blame the “enemy of the people,” aka the national media. He lays blame on Democrats and anyone who happens to disagree with him.

The president won’t accept responsibility. I have given up wondering when he might see the light. I have surrendered my desire for him to realize the error of his ways.

He either (a) doesn’t understand what he’s doing or (b) knows precisely what he’s doing and is talking specifically, directly and explicitly to his base of supporters.

You know, the more I think about it, the more I believe it’s the latter.

Donald Trump is not a stupid man. He knows how he is perceived. He doesn’t care one bit about those of us who disagree with him.

Media are doing their job

The media — broadcast and print — have been vilified and pilloried by the president of the United States and those who adhere to his dangerous view of the media’s role in protecting our democratic system.

Indeed, CNN was targeted by someone or some group that has been assembling pipe bombs. It’s been the talk of the nation, if not the world.

Here, though, is something I want to share briefly regarding the media. They are doing their job in informing the public about what is happening in this investigation and hunt for whoever is responsible for terrorizing various political figures and the media.

I salute them as always for the job they are doing.

I’ve actually learned a great deal from reading and listening to the media coverage of this ongoing crisis.

For instance, I have learned more about the U.S. Postal Services investigative arm and how efficient it is in looking for those who use the USPS to deliver instruments of terror.

I also have learned more about the tremendous capability of the New York Police Department. New York City is where many of the initial packages were discovered; thus, the NYPD has been unleashed in the search for the perpetrator.

Also, I have gotten a keener understanding and appreciation of how the FBI cannot reveal too much to the public while it searches; the FBI doesn’t want to “educate” the bad guy(s) on how to continue their mission of terror.

This is a clear and obvious instance where the public needs an independent media to perform its service to the public, which is to inform us and chronicle the events of the day.

The media aren’t the “enemy of the people.” They are our allies.

Trump demonstrates he is utterly without hope

I have admitted already that I am an eternal optimist. I tend to assume the best in people until they reveal themselves to be something I don’t expect.

That eternal optimism has prompted me to write on this blog that perhaps someday Donald Trump will learn to “act presidential,” that he would keep the promise he made upon being elected.

What does he do? He proves me wrong time and again.

Charlottesville gave him a chance to reveal his presidential chops. Then in the wake of the riot in which a white supremacist allegedly ran down a counter protester he said “there were fine people … on both sides!” Yes, he elevated Klansmen, neo-Nazis and white supremacists to the same level of those who protested against them.

Then he went to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria savaged the island territory and engaged in arguably the weirdest photo op anyone’s ever seen: The president tossed rolls of paper towels at a crowd assembled in front of him. Then he got into a public pis**** match with the San Juan mayor over whether the federal government was doing enough to help the stricken island.

Time and again he has failed to rise to the occasion laid before him. He demonstrates a profound lack of empathy, of compassion, of caring for the needs of others.

Still, I hung to the faintest of hope that he would learn how to act and sound like the president of the United States of America.

Now we have a case of bombs being sent to Democratic politicians, a major news outlet, a major Democratic campaign financial donor and two former Democratic presidents of the United States, a former vice president and a former CIA director. Trump hasn’t called the two former presidents — Barack Obama and Bill Clinton — or former VP Joe Biden to offer words of support to them or their families. How do I know that? Because if he had, Trump would tell us!

He now blames Democrats for the anger that has engulfed the nation. He blames the media for their reporting of “fake news.” He tosses out blame and takes not an ounce of responsibility for what he has done to contribute to the toxic climate that infects our public discourse.

He has failed … again to demonstrate the qualities of leadership we expect in our president.

I no longer am going to wish that he will find it within himself. Yes, I know others gave up on this individual long ago, that I am late to the party. However, I have arrived.

The man no longer deserves the benefit of any doubt at all. I am officially convinced the president is a political reprobate.

POTUS fails to deliver on unity pledge

Where do we stand at this moment?

Authorities are discovering bombs being sent to offices of Donald Trump’s critics. Two of those critics happen to be former presidents of the United States. The current president vows to seek “unity” and “peace” in a pledge to find whoever is responsible for these acts of terrorism.

What, then, does Donald Trump do? He fires off a tweet this morning that says the following: “A very big part of the Anger we see today in our society is caused by the purposely false and inaccurate reporting of the Mainstream Media that I refer to as Fake News. It has gotten so bad and hateful that it is beyond description. Mainstream Media must clean up its act, FAST!”

I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like a message of unity and, dare I say it, presidential leadership.

Donald Trump continues to be totally and utterly tone deaf to the role he has played in fomenting the anger that has manifested itself in this ongoing political crisis.

Federal and local authorities have now discovered 10 devices sent to addresses of presidential critics. They include former Presidents Obama and Clinton. They also include CNN, a former attorney general, a sitting U.S. congresswoman, a former vice president, a big Democratic political donor, an Oscar-winning actor … sigh!

There well could be more devices found, perhaps even before I finish writing this brief blog post.

The president, though, continues to blame others. He continues to lay it at the feet of his critics and, yes, the media.

What’s more, he stood before that campaign rally crowd in Wisconsin last night and began to poke fun — poke fun! — at what’s been happening. He boasted to laughter from the crowd that he was “trying to be nice” in his remarks, as if that suffices as a toning down of his inflammatory rhetoric.

Do you remember a year ago when Republican members of Congress were attacked on a ballfield as they practiced for a charity baseball game? One of them, House GOP whip Steve Scalise, was grievously wounded by gunfire. How did House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, react? She rallied to her colleague’s side, offering public prayers for his complete recovery.

Donald Trump cannot bring himself to respond in a way that reflects the danger of the threats being posed against his critics.

Shameful.

Trump salutes ‘great friends’ at Fox

Take all the time you need to come up with an answer to this question: When was the last time you heard a president of the United States salute his “great friends” at a major mainstream media organization?

I know. You can’t remember it. Neither can I.

Yet there he was at an Iowa campaign rally, hollering about all his “great friends” at the Fox News Channel, which has become a sort of de facto state-run media outlet. Fox News is the preferred cable news and commentary network of Donald Trump. Why? Because its commentary gives the president a pass — virtually — on all the mistakes, missteps, misstatements and miscues he commits on a daily basis. Fox doesn’t call the president out on all the lies he tells, nor does it question the policy decisions he makes.

So the president has “great friends” there. He cited Jeannine Pirro, Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Steve Doocy and how they use the term “Dims” to describe Democrats. Funny, huh? Aww, not really.

The media aren’t supposed to be “friends” with politicians, let alone with presidents of the United States. They are charged with asking tough questions, of holding public officials accountable for their actions and rhetoric. Every president prior to Donald Trump has recognized that necessary role the media play in maintaining the strength of our system of government.

This guy, Trump? He labels tough questioners to be purveyors of “fake news” and relies on the feel-good “reporting” he gets from his “friends at Fox News.”

Very weird, man.

‘Enemies of the people’ answer the call

I feel the need to say a good word about the so-called “enemies of the American people.”

These are the men and women of the media who at this moment are placing themselves in harm’s way to report on the impact of Hurricane Florence as it slams the Carolina coast.

It should go without saying, that the media are there to report on the impact of the storm, to tell human stories of grit, courage, survival and heartache.

Except that the president of the United States has chosen to label the media unfairly as the “enemy.” Why? Because the media at times report news he deems to be negative. He calls negative news coverage “fake news.” He denigrates the hard work of these individuals.

Hurricane Florence is bringing considerable damage to the east coast, just as Hurricane Harvey did a year ago to the Gulf Coast, and as Hurricane Maria did in 2017 when it savaged Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands … and as Mother Nature does whenever she decides to unleash her untold wrath.

Americans who depend on the media need them to be there. Just as they do whenever circumstances warrant it, the media are answering the call.

They, too, deserve a nation’s prayers as they do their duty and tell the story as it unfolds in real time.

Why the mention of ‘Fox News’?

Is it me or do others hear the same thing from our friends and family members who like to invoke the name of “Fox News” whenever they refer to hearing something on the mainstream media.

I keep getting this specific media reference when the person with whom I am speaking about the news of the day.

You know what I’m talking about, yes?

You’re talking to someone about, oh, a particular event. It might have something to do with politics of public policy; or … it might not. The person to whom you are talking will say, “I heard something on Fox News about that … ”

The Fox News reference might be relevant. So many times, though, it is irrelevant. It lends nothing to whatever discussion is taking place. I generally feel no need to mention the source of whatever item I heard on cable or broadcast TV news networks.

But, hey, that’s just me … I guess.

To be candid, this kind of gratuitous mention of “Fox News” is about as relevant as the individual who says: “I was walking down the street and this colored guy waved at me.”

Do you get where I’m going with this?

It’s as if the Fox News devotees are trying to validate something about their broadcast/cable TV watching preferences. Or, it might be that my friends and family members — knowing that I do not watch Fox News — are trying to get under my skin.

I’m not irritated. I’m just, oh, curious.

Would a career have survived Donald Trump era?

I don’t think much any longer about the career I left behind nearly six years ago.

It was a fruitful, modestly successful career in print journalism. It ended quickly and unhappily — in the moment.

As I look back on it today and as I ponder the direction the nation took in November 2016 when it elected Donald John Trump to the presidency, I am actually grateful to have been “reorganized” out of a job I thought I was doing pretty well.

My question centers on this: Could I have survived in my position as editorial page editor of a conservative newspaper, serving a conservative community as Donald Trump campaigned for and then served in the highest office in the land?

The answer I am sure is a categorical, emphatic “No! As in hell no!”

Over the years I wrote editorials for newspapers in Texas and in Oregon I had to write opinions with which I disagreed. I wrote editorials endorsing candidates for public office who didn’t get my vote in the ballot box. I would compose editorial editorials about policy proclamations that I found objectionable; or I would write editorials against policies I supported.

That’s all part of working for The Man. Or, as a former colleague of mine once reminded me, “If you take the man’s money you play by the man’s rules.”

How would I have done during the presidency of Donald Trump?

Not well … at all!

I am trying to imagine how I would react if my corporate bosses had told me, “We’re going to endorse Trump over Hillary Clinton; please draft an editorial for us to examine before we publish it.”

Trump would have presented a serious dilemma for me. I cannot stand the thought of this man occupying the presidency, let alone making decisions that affect all Americans. It’s visceral, man. It’s personal. His prior record is replete with examples of fraud — moral, financial, you name it. He brought not a scintilla of interest — let alone record — of public service to the presidency.

How in the world could I possibly say anything positive about this guy? I cannot.

Yes, I have used this blog to speak positively since he became president. There have been damn few opportunities. I’ve taken them, but I’ll admit to swallowing hard prior to writing those positive words.

Could I have worked for an organization that throws its corporate support behind this charlatan/president and then demanded that I be the paper’s mouthpiece?

Not in a million years. Never.

Thus, I am glad to be on my own.

MSM now gets pounded … from the left!

The so-called “mainstream media” can’t get a break.

They’ve long been the punching bag for conservative media and fellow right-wing adherents, suggesting that the mainstream media were tools of the liberal/progressive left.

But, hey, get a load of this: Now the mainstream media are under attack from a noted liberal/progressive activist who blames the MSM for allowing Donald J. Trump to be elected president of the United States in 2016.

Welcome back to the fray, actor/comedian Rosie O’Donnell, an occasional target of Trump’s insults and barbs.

According to The Hollywood Reporter: Though speaking to MSNBC, the comedian did not shy away from critiquing the network for being one of the outlets that refused to be sufficiently critical of Trump. “It took you guys a long time to call him a liar, and the man’s been lying every single day since he’s been in office,” she argued.

Though the president and O’Donnell have notoriously feuded in the past, with Trump once referring to her as a “fat pig,” the comedian says she’s actually “never spoken” to Trump. “He was on my show once. …. But I never spoke to him in my life.”

So, there you have it. The mainstream media have been targeted from those on both ends of the political spectrum.

If I were still working for an MSM outlet, I would consider it a compliment.