in the vicinity
Kurtz: The press is on a losing streak
‘MediaBuzz’ host Howard Kurtz weighs in on how a string of blunders President Trump shred have helped the media credibility.
President Trump is escalating his attacks on the so-called fake-news—and-media-organizations, the him with plenty of ammunition.
With one blunder after another in the last 10 days, the press on a streak of bad luck, the start to take a toll on their collective credibility.
“Very little discussion of the intentionally false and defamatory stories in this week of the Fake-News Media,” the President tweeted. (Clearly, he did not like my last two Sundays.)
“You are the out-of-control – correct-reporting means nothing to them. Big lies written by, to be then forced to be withdrawn after they are exposed to,…a stain on America!”
Now these are hard words, that tar the entire business with the same brush. But at some point you have to ask yourself whether, at a minimum, many of the sockets have a lower bar for stories detrimental to the President. There have been too many cases in which you have thrown on the air or online-with alleged revelations which do not hold.
CNN last error was a serious one, because the premise of the story was totally exhausted. What was initially reported as an incriminating E-Mail to Donald Trump Jr turned out to be nothing, because CNN got the date wrong.
The much-touted exclusive—also “confirmed” by CBS and MSNBC said that an unknown person had sent, the son of the President of an encryption key to view the secret Wikileaks E-Mails in September 2016.
But the consultation charge collapsed when it turned out that the E-Mail was actually sent 10 days later, when the hacked DNC material already made public.
CNN said it took no action against its reporter, because the two sources had provided bad information. But how, exactly, two separate sources that make the same mistake about the date?
And not to have the network off the hook, because it was a sensational charge, based on an E-Mail to its reporters had seen. That is risky.
The trump card came-tweet: “Fake News, CNN has made a vicious circle and targeted error yesterday. They were caught red handed, how lonely Brian Ross of ABC News (who should be fired immediately for his ‘mistake’). Watch to see if @CNN fires the person responsible, or was it just gross incompetence?”
Ross, exposed to ABC for four weeks, have also a crucial date wrong. His original report said Trump and Mike Flynn had ordered, the contact with the Russians during the campaign, what the agreement suggests. But Trump actually directed Flynn, so that during the transition period as President-elect, as such diplomatic outreach would be routine (except that Flynn lied about it to the FBI).
Apart from the regularity of the President calling for the firing of individual journalists, I am impressed by Trump CNN complains of a “malicious and targeted error.” What news organization is intentionally such error would be that only a humiliating correction to run?
Virtually all journalists make mistakes. Including to me. Including those at Fox News. But no one except a Jayson Blair-style-processors would do it intentionally.
Many media-types to do get sloppy on Twitter, and sometimes an anti-Trump bias betrayed. Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel has apologized after tweeting a photo of a half-empty Pensacola-arena—turned out to be good, before the President spoke to a full house on Friday evening—along with a snarky comment.
Trump wasted no time, says Weigel, “just admitted that his image was a FAKE (fraud?) an almost empty arena shows last night for my speech at Pensacola, when in fact, he knew that the arena was Packed (see also T. V.). FAKE NEWS, he should be fired.”
Weigel added, it was a “bad” tweet, ” and said it was fair to call him.
And yesterday, the President went on a lengthy New York Times report said that he watches consumes four to eight hours of television per day (with a dozen diet coke!) and may be in a “bad mood”, if he checked, CNN or MSNBC in the morning instead of “Fox & Friends”
“Wrong!”, so the President says. “So, I rarely, if ever, CNN or MSNBC, both of which I believe to be Fake News. I never watch Don Lemon, I once called the ” dumbest man on TV!’ Bad Reporting.” (CNN, said that in a world of bullying, it was sad to see that the President engaged in “libel and slander.”)
I know that Trump often tweets in response to the segments he sees on TV, and spoke with reporters about the wonders of his TiVo. But whether or not he spends many hours, or “hate-watch” lemon, it is fair to say that his is a television-driven presidency.
Howard Kurtz is a Fox News analyst and host of “MediaBuzz” (Sundays 11 p.m.). He is the author of five books and has its headquarters in Washington. You can follow him at @Howard Kurtz. Click here for more information on Howard Kurtz.