By Jeffrey Lord
So, secretly, dear reader, you wish you were a billionaire. Ahhh to dream. But if instead of dreaming — and working to make your dream come true – you simply signed up for as many credit cards as you could get your hands on and went on a massive spending spree that makes you feel like a billionaire?
Not only would that not make you a billionaire, it would make you the saboteur of your own financial credibility. You would eventually find yourself in massive debt, with no possible way to get out short of bankruptcy.
I mention this after watching the media equivalent of this harsh reality of life over the last month and a half. The liberal media’s dream was and is summed up in two words: Get Trump. Regardless of the facts, they were and are obsessed with getting the 45th President of the United States.
This may seem a bizarre obsession in the view of Trump supporters, conservatives and doubtless some rational others, yet undeniably, a liberal media obsession it is. But like our hypothetical billionaire-wannabe, pretending to facts instead of dealing with actual facts has led to bankruptcy — in this case a bankruptcy of journalistic credibility.
An observer can only look on in something of a gobsmacked incredulity as, just in the first month and a half of the new year alone, the media has taken one self-inflicted blow after another to its own credibility.
BuzzFeed reports a story that President Trump directed his ex-lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. The story goes everywhere – then is finally and loudly disputed by none other than Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, producing headlines like this one at Fox News: “Mueller team disputes BuzzFeed report claiming Trump told Cohen to lie.”
The story was reported this way by Fox:
“Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office on Friday issued an extraordinary statement disputing a bombshell news report that claimed President Trump directed Michael Cohen to lie about the timing of discussions over a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow.
‘BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,’ Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller’s office, said.”
That story ran on Friday, January 18. Slightly red faces all around in the liberal media world. But hey…the world moves on.
The very next day the New York Times and the rest of its liberal media mob were headlining another story altogether. Here is the Times headline from January 19th: “Viral Video Shows Boys in ‘Make America Great Again’ Hats Surrounding Native Elder.”
That story, typical of the breed on this newest bit of news, began this way:
“They were Catholic high school students who came to Washington on a field trip to rally at the March for Life.
He was a Native American elder who was there to raise awareness at the Indigenous Peoples March.
They intersected on Friday in an unsettling encounter outside the Lincoln Memorial — a throng of cheering and jeering high school boys, predominantly white and wearing “Make America Great Again” gear, surrounding a Native American elder.
The episode was being investigated and the students could face punishment, up to and including expulsion, their school said in a statement on Saturday afternoon.
The episode was being investigated and the students could face punishment, up to and including expulsion, their school said in a statement on Saturday afternoon.”
A cascade of abuse descended. One liberal media institution, journalist and celebrity after another lost no time in assailing the Covington teenagers, one in particular.
But there was just on teensy problem here. There was more video out there. Whole reams of video, which, when the facts were finally gathered, showed another story altogether. The boys were being harassed by a group calling themselves the Black Israelites, the latter yelling obscenities at the Covington boys as the kids merely stood there waiting for their bus to pick them up.
Into this marched the “Native American elder” who waded into the crowd of boys, walking right up to 16-year old Nick Sandmann, pounding a drum inches from the boy’s face. The response from young Mr. Sandmann, wearing a Make America Great Again red hat, was to stand still and smile.
Once this came out, the nervous media backtracking began. But it was too late for Nick Sandmann, now immortalized on the Internet as some sort of racist, Trump-supporting thug. Not only had the media – again – shredded its own credibility – they were now going to be asked for something that rarely if ever happens — accountability. The recent headlines on this ran like this one from the Washington Times: “Nick Sandmann sues Washington Post for $250 million in first Covington Catholic lawsuit. Newspaper accused of ‘modern-day form of McCarthyism.’”
This stunning story began:
“Attorneys for Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann filed a $250 million defamation lawsuit Tuesday against The Washington Post, accusing the newspaper of targeting the teenager in ‘a modern-day form of McCarthyism.’
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Kentucky, came as the first of what could be dozens of lawsuits stemming from the Jan. 18 viral encounter in which Covington students initially were depicted as harassing Omaha Nation elder Nathan Phillips.
The complaint argues that the newspaper falsely conveyed the impression that the 16-year-old pro-life marcher ‘engaged in acts of racism by ‘swarming’ Phillips, ‘blocking’ his exit away from the students, and otherwise engaging in racist misconduct.’”
Note well the line that stated the lawsuit against the Post “came as the first of what could be dozens of lawsuits.” Lawsuits that will target media outlets and media personalities who rushed to judgment without the facts, letting their “Get Trump” obsession overwhelm basic journalism needs to get the facts.
Now, of course, come the cases of Jussie Smollett and Andrew McCabe.
The first is the actor who claimed he was assaulted on the streets of Chicago by Trump-supporting thugs who shouted “this is MAGA country” as they beat him, dumped bleach on him and slipped a noose around his neck.
In a blink the media swallowed the story hook, line and sinker. The story line: white, racist Trump supporters assault a black, gay man. Now, we learn from the Chicago Police Department that they believe there is not a shred of truth to this tale. In fact, says the CPD, Smollett hired two Nigerian brothers to pretend to assault him.
And sure enough, in this camera-infested country, soon enough the CBS Chicago affiliate had its hands on this video that showed the two Nigerian brothers in a local store – buying a red MAGA hat. The headline:“Video Shows Brothers Linked To Jussie Smollett Attack Buying Items Allegedly Worn In Assault.”
The CBS story begins:
“CHICAGO (CBS) – CBS 2 has obtained video of two men linked to the attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett buying a red hat and ski masks from a store the day before the assault.”
This put a full stop to what had been an endless parade of liberal media figures, but of course, in full “Get Trump” mode and blaming the President for the attack. Smollett was arrested and is now facing felony criminal charges. It was announced soon after that his character was to be written out of the Empire television show.
Then, of course, there is the fired Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who has been feeding a bonfire of phony Trump-Russia collusion stories to his media pals, finally getting fired for his efforts. And as with Jussie Smollett, the Trump obsessed media fell for his lies hoopk, line and sinker.
Not for nothing have my NewsBuster colleagues Brent Bozell and Tim Graham taken note of the interesting similarity, headlining their column: “Andrew McCabe, the Justice Department’s Jussie Smollett.”
To suggest that all of this media insanity is disgraceful is to both understate and miss the point. And the point is very simple.
Just as our fictional wannabe-billionaire pretended to something that was in fact not financial reality and quickly compromised his financial credibility, so too now the liberal media’s “Get Trump” obsession is in the process of bankrupting its own journalistic credibility.
One doesn’t know whether Americans who wish to stay informed by real “just the facts” journalism should laugh or cry at the reality that the liberal media just can’t help itself in controlling its Get Trump obsession and the accompanying rage against Trump supporters.
But here’s one last thought. The Get Trump obsession that is bankrupting the liberal media’s credibility may find its ultimate cure in the painful remedy that is Nick Sandmann’s massive lawsuit against the Washington Post – with the promise of more to come. Once forced to serious financial accountability for its wildly irresponsible “journalism” – it may well be, at last, that a return to just-the-facts journalism is at hand.
One can hope. But the Get Trump obsession being what it is — don’t bet the ranch.