Firework smoke still lingered in the sky over Mount Rushmore as journalists began their daily routine of story-spinning, as if their very lives depended on headlines reflecting the exact opposite of true events. President Donald Trump’s pro-America speech, dripping with unity and patriotism, was decried in legacy media as diabolical.
Just moments after the star-spangled spectacle, The New York Times blasted out a news alert, calling the president’s remarks “dark and divisive” and condemning his Independence Day speech as insufficiently focused on the Wuhan virus. ABC News claimed “Trump pushe[d] racial division” and defied pandemic rules, while the Washington Post opted for “dark” descriptors and blamed Trump for “exploit[ing] social divisions.”
One honest look at Trump’s speech spikes these media fictions into orbit.
President Trump’s unyielding push to preserve Confederate symbols and the legacy of white domination was crystallized by his harsh denunciation of the racial justice movement Friday night at Mount Rushmore.
My latest report w/ @PhilipRucker https://t.co/rRox4Xin5Y
— Robert Costa (@costareports) July 4, 2020
“President Trump used his inflammatory Fourth of July speeches at the White House and Mount Rushmore to distract from the real threat facing America: the coronavirus,” @MaeveReston writes. | Analysis https://t.co/IvYh9UjXMb
— CNN (@CNN) July 5, 2020
This same media over the last several years has routinely railed against the president for his dismissal of what he calls “fake news.” Journalists lost their minds in February 2017 when Trump took things a step further, for the first time characterizing the fake news media as the “enemy of the people.”
The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
CNN’s chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, who frequently spars with the president while grandstanding in the press briefing room, capitalized on the phrase while playing the martyr, publishing a book called “The Enemy of the People” last year. Ironically, Acosta used the same words to characterize Trump’s rhetoric about the press as the press used to slander Trump: dark and dangerous.
“What may have begun as something of a reality TV-style parlor trick has mutated into a full-blown assault on the American free press,” Acosta argued, saying of the president’s “enemy of the people” remark, “It was a dark and dangerous tweet that may well define much of his presidency.” Plenty of others have echoed Acosta’s sentiment.
In short, Trump delivers a unifying speech, and the media lies, calling it dark and divisive. Trump exposes the media for its lies, and the press calls his rhetoric dark and divisive. The cycle has repeated itself over and over again.
While the press’s most recent Fourth of July smear was blatantly partisan and anti-American, it’s worth noting that this wasn’t an isolated instance of media misspeak. Bad-faith actors in the press have proved time and again that they are indeed the enemy of the people.
Liar, Liar, Cities On Fire
This is the same media that has spent the last six weeks stirring up strife over the death of George Floyd and lying about the resulting chaos. While rioters and looters desecrated major cities across the United States, many journalists downplayed the violence and tried to convince Americans most of the actors were simply peaceful protesters.
“I want to be clear in how I characterize this. This is mostly a protest. It is not, generally speaking, unruly,” said one MSNBC reporter as buildings burned down behind him.
“This mostly a protest. It is not, generally speaking, unruly.
But fires have been started.”
MSNBC reporter says protests in Minneapolis are not “generally speaking, unruly” as buildings burn in the background. pic.twitter.com/IzzEmKgxhM
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 29, 2020
This goes to show the extent of the fires last night in Minneapolis (note this is after the 6 story building collapsed): pic.twitter.com/XBcrN0xj8J
— Kyle Hooten (@KyleHooten2) May 28, 2020
This will guide our reporting in MN. “While the situation on the ground in Minneapolis is fluid, and there has been violence, it is most accurate at this time to describe what is happening there as “protests”–not riots.”
— Craig Melvin (@craigmelvin) May 28, 2020
The media malfeasance was endless. Many outlets initially failed to report on the autonomous zone mayhem in Seattle, compared the anarchy and violence to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters, and pretended the looting was the same as peaceful lockdown protests.
All the while, many mainstream journalists ignored the ongoing pandemic they were otherwise using to shame Americans into lockdown. After hundreds of thousands of protesters and rioters clambered through the streets, the media continued blaming churches for coronavirus upticks, while crediting Black Lives Matter protests with helping to “slow the spread” of the virus.
Of course, one can’t forget the media storm over Trump’s trek from the White House to St. John’s Episcopal Church, when every single major media outlet falsely reported that Park Police had attacked peaceful protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets so the president could have a photo-op. It turns out none of that was true. CBS then later deceptively edited an interview with Attorney General William Barr, leaving out important details about the violent nature of the protests outside the White House. The Washington Post even ran this headline with this infographic:
Countless media personalities and outlets then eliminated clear context to pretend Trump’s remarks about Floyd and equality were instead making light of Floyd’s death to tout an improvement in unemployment numbers.
President Trump touted the improved unemployment numbers in the Rose Garden this morning and said they marked a “great day” for George Floyd https://t.co/HGd2aN1GUk pic.twitter.com/GA2Qi2ydlj
— POLITICO (@politico) June 5, 2020
A “great day” for George Floyd, the president says. https://t.co/O6jIwdPk2M
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 5, 2020
“Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing that’s happening for our country,” President Trump said, mentioning George Floyd while touting the jobs report. “This is a great day for him. It’s a great day for everybody.” https://t.co/5sRG8W8Qr6
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 5, 2020
This is only a fraction of the press’s spin over the protests and riots — which have only been going on since May 26.
All The Pinocchios
Before that, the press compulsively lied about COVID-19 on every front, using a bogus hydroxychloroquine study to bash the president, shaming small business owners for protesting lockdowns, blaming Republicans for Democrats’ failures, scorning Christians for wanting to prioritize their spiritual health over physical, distorting remarks by members of the Trump administration, and running constant cover for Communist China and the World Health Organization.
.@jgriffiths looks at the global response to China’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic – a crisis which has highlighted the benefits of a strong government and centralized planning while exposing the limitations of private industry to respond quickly. https://t.co/mC7nlwy0FF
— CNN Asia Pacific (@cnnasiapr) April 29, 2020
Instead of seeking answers to questions plaguing the American people, reporters used press briefings to make the story about themselves, casting themselves as victims and asking asinine questions such as “Is Chinese food racist?” They ridiculed Trump for featuring Mike Lindell, the MyPillow guy, who pledged to use his facilities to manufacture masks, while they spit out pro-China headlines that easily could have been written by communist dictator Xi Jinping.
This is the same media that spent years peddling a Russia collusion hoax based on opposition research funded by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. The same media that ran interference for Democratic lawmakers in their ridiculous impeachment sham. The same media that slandered Brett Kavanaugh over sexual assault allegations but largely refused to cover seemingly more credible allegations against their 2020 savior Joe Biden. The same media that lied about former national security adviser Michael Flynn, airing deceptively edited videos and then blaming journalistic ineptitude.
If journalists aren’t checking original sources/transcripts, what the HELL are they doing? https://t.co/NmxH2i7fTg
— Kylee Zempel (@kyleezempel) May 12, 2020
This is the same media that perpetuated Jussie Smollett’s race hoax and defamed a Catholic high school student. The same media that scoffed at Trump voters and “stupid” Republicans, defended defunding the police, and published revisionist history such as the 1619 Project. The same media that exploited deaths of minorities that fit their “America is racist” narrative while ignoring the killings of black police officers. The same media that tried to silence this very publication for criticizing it.
Enemy of the People
In a May 2020 interview with WGBH News, ABC News correspondent and president of the White House Correspondents’ Association Jonathan Karl described Trump’s tension with the press, using the media’s preferred vernacular to describe the relationship as having taken a “dark turn.”
“I think [Trump has] sent the message that you can go out and say things that are completely untrue and you can vilify anybody who criticizes you and just basically say that it’s all fake and made up, and get away with it,” Karl said.
Karls words, however, could just as easily be said about corporate media, as they publish lies wholesale and denigrate anybody who finds fault with them.
The American people deserve the truth. They’re smart enough to intake facts and discern what action to take based on unadulterated information filtered through their own values. They don’t need the news sifted through the skewed moral framework of the Washington Post and The New York Times or packaged inside the worldview of Brian Stelter and Yamiche Alcindor.
This life consists of enemies and allies, and we constantly discern the two. When you encounter an entity that trashes the things you cherish and promotes the things you hate, that repeatedly lies to you, slanders you, mocks you, hides things from you, and actively tries to mislead you, should you conclude it is anything but your enemy?
Trump called the fake news media the enemy of the people, and they’ve proved him right.