Monday, November 13, 2017

Portland Press Herald Panel on Media Bias



The Maine Sunday Telegram reported there will be a panel discussion Friday, November 17th at USM in Portland on media bias and the question: “Is the Press Being Fair to President Trump?” On that I agree with former President Jimmy Carter, who said two weeks ago: “I think the media have been harder on Trump than any other president, certainly, that I've known about. I think they feel free to claim that Trump is mentally deranged and everything else without hesitation.”


The big name brought in for the panel is The Boston Globe’s Walter Robinson, head of the Globe Spotlight Team which won a Pulitzer Prize for exposing the homosexual priest scandal in the Catholic Church. Robinson would likely chafe at my characterization because his team was careful to label it a pedophile priest scandal and play down the overwhelmingly obvious homosexual dynamic. Nonetheless, I applaud the Spotlight Team for their work. It nearly caused me to abandon Catholicism -- the religion of my  youth to which I had returned only a dozen years before the scandal broke in 2002.


When Maine Sunday Telegram reporter Ray Routhier asked Robinson why it’s important to look at Trump’s treatment in media, Robinson said: “…because nearly half of the American people believe that the so-called ‘mainstream media’ are making stories up about him.” That’s an accurate assessment borne out by opinion polls, but then Robinson said: “When…the president…spends all of his time saying that reporters are enemies of the American people and they make everything up all the time, that’s bound to have some effect…even if it’s not true, which it isn’t.”


“All his time”? “Make everything up”? “All the time”? Talk about hyperbole. Yes, Trump has tweeted and said: “Fake news,” and has characterized some media as “enemies of the people” on occasion, but not all media. Rather, he singled out obviously biased media like NBC, ABC, NYTimes, CBS, and CNN. If he had more than 140 characters, he would no doubt have included The Boston Globe and the Maine Sunday Telegram as well. Let’s compare two stories currently in the news for just one example of liberal media bias:

Menendez and Moore

Conservative Judge Roy Moore recently won the Alabama Republican senatorial primary in his bid to replace Jeff Sessions who became US Attorney General. Moore defeated what some call the “establishment” Republican, Luther Strange. Weeks later, the Washington Post published allegations that Moore had initiated a sexual encounter wit a 14-year-old girl in 1979. Ever since, those mainstream media outlets cited by Trump have given enormous attention to the story which Moore vehemently denies.


Liberal Democrat New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez has been on trial for corruption for over two months and his jury deliberates at this writing. According to politico.com: “…a grand jury indictment accuses Menendez of carrying out numerous political favors for [Salomon] Melgen, a close friend. Melgen gave more than $750,000 in campaign contributions, flights on his private jet, and hosted the senator at his private villa in the Dominican Republic’s Casa de Campo resort…” However according to The Daily Caller, Menendez and his friend are also alleged to have had sexual encounters with underage girls at that villa — and the FBI has written testimony from at least one of them.


How has mainstream media handled these two stories? Though Moore has not been formally charged, MSM has given extensive coverage to the allegations against him while completely ignoring the two-month trial of the sitting Senator Menendez. According to the Media Research Center: “In the past 24 hours [as of 11-10-17], the same networks that couldn’t find a single second to mention Menendez in 65 days, spent 24 minutes and 36 seconds on serious allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.”


That extremely biased coverage corresponds to how mainstream media has covered flimsy allegations of election collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign/administration. The only actual evidence after more than a year of intensive investigation is circumstantial at best, but mainstream media has given more attention to it than anything else in all of 2017. Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller issued indictments against former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort and his assistant, but not for collusion. The indictments had nothing to do with Trump. They were for money laundering and other things long before his association with Trump. There is, however, relatively hard evidence against the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee of election collusion with Russia which has been virtually ignored.


UPDATE: As of Tuesday morning, four more women have accused Moore of sexual misconduct when they were teenagers. Also, the Menendez jury may be deadlocked. The judge sent them home for a rest Monday.


17 comments:

Uber_Fritz said...

Tom:

This is the key for me:

"Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller issued indictments against former Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort and his assistant, but not for collusion. The indictments had nothing to do with Trump. They were for money laundering and other things long before his association with Trump. There is, however, relatively hard evidence against the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee of election collusion with Russia which has been virtually ignored."

You had personal contact with Clinton at the Conway Daily regarding Benghazi. And, she tried to dance around that issue. I recall that you asked who was lying and she responded with, "Well, it's not me!" We later learned that she was, indeed, lying. Also what would be the motivation of victims' families to fabricate anything?

Personally, I want to see a Grand Jury convened specifically for Hillary.

Anonymous said...

This incredibly ill-informed and naive column was obviously written by somebody who fills them self up with extremely biased news (Faux news, Breitbart and the fringe lunatics like hannity etc.) and dismisses real news as fake.

Peter said...

Trying to downplay the fact that a hostile nation made an attack on the American election is obviously and stupidly partisan. Even taking collusion out of the picture (although continuing revelations make this harder and harder to do), this is a MAJOR story. How on earth can the White House ignore the story as if it were no big deal?! How can a US president stand on foreign soil on Veteran's Day weekend and slander and belittle American veterans and instead side with an old KGB leader???!!!??? This story does not deserve MASSIVE attention in the media?? The fact that Trump's people lied about meeting Russians? The fact that Trump has mocked just about everybody EXCEPT Putin, who's butt he continues to kiss? Nothing but praise....not suspicious to you? Sure. And now the Donald Jr. Wiki activity?

Then you try and equate Menendez to Roy Moore, as if they both deserve equal media attention. With Menendez we have a case in which one of the women who had accused him stated that she had been paid to falsely implicate the Senator and had never met him. On March 18, 2013 police in the Dominican Republic announced that three women had said they had been paid $300–425 each to lie about having had sex with Menendez.

With Moore you have just had the 5th accuser make a statement (and unless she is a better actress than Meryl Streep she was very believable) and even had a yearbook displaying what a total creep the thirty something year old Moore was with underage girls, refuting his "I don't even know her". The scumbag was even banned from a mall for his pedophile type behavior there! And he claims to be Christian. You would think real Christians would rebel against such behavior.

C'mon, certainly you can see the differences between the two cases.

As for your alleged "relatively hard evidence against the Hillary Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee of election collusion with Russia", can you point out what this evidence is?

I'll be waiting.

Tom McLaughlin said...

Follow the link, Peter. Then follow the links in Andrew McCarthy's article.

Peter said...

About the Dossier, it certainly is a freaky twist to claim that paying for an investigation into whether or not Trump's campaign colluded with Russia is the actual collusion! Funhouse mirror thinking.

As for the uranium,But there is no evidence Clinton even was informed about this deal. The Treasury Department was the key agency that headed the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States which approved the investment; Clinton did not participate in the CFIUS decision. The deal was also approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Ultimately, only the president could have blocked or suspended the arrangement.

Moreover, no uranium produced at Uranium One’s U.S. mines may be exported, except for some uranium yellowcake which is extracted and processed in Canada before being returned to the United States for use in nuclear power plants.

Removing partisan blinders one sees that this is all just desperate attempts at distraction and muddying the waters of the ever thickening swamp.

Tom McLaughlin said...

"Clinton did not participate in the CFIUS decision."

Are you kidding? She was one of the nine necessary signatories. All the rest were part of the Obama Administration.

Mueller was FBI Director. Rosenstein was in DOJ, and Comey was also involved, along with AGs Holder and Lynch. Together they took pains to keep Congress in the dark about illegal activities throughout the deal, including money laundering, bribery, and racketeering by various Russians.

The Clinton Crime Family Foundation then received $144 million from donors related to the Uranium One deal, not to mention Bill's $500,000 speech remuneration and his cozy relationship with Kazakhstan's president.

You need to take your blinders off and do more homework.

Peter said...

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., who chaired the House Intelligence Committee at the time also said he did not know about the investigation.

If the assistant FBI director at the time knew nothing of the investigation, then Clinton -- someone in a different department and several rungs higher in the organizational chart -- might not have known about it.

Stewart A. Baker, a partner at the law firm Steptoe & Johnson, was skeptical that such information would have reached the Secretary of State -- "at least not until she was asked to weigh in on the transaction, and that would only happen if it were deeply controversial, which it was not. In my experience, the State Department was always one of the quickest agencies to urge approval of a deal, and they did that without checking with the Secretary."

The vast majority of cases that CFIUS reviews are handled by lower-ranking staffers and appointees, added Stephen Heifetz, a partner at the law firm Steptoe & Johnson who specializes in CFIUS law.

"Even though the heads of the CFIUS agencies comprise CFIUS as a matter of law," he said, "it is relatively rare to have a cabinet secretary directly involved in a CFIUS case."

So I guess your homework now is to find a copy of the decision with her signature on it.

And why this distraction now from the current and very serious case of Russians interferring with our elections. Is that not an attack on our country?

Brian said...

The cartoons attempting to portray Trump as some widely beloved, popular with Americans President are hysterical! Well, I guess only if you take into account the fact that he has the historical lowest approval ratings for any president after a year in office. Which, since it is a fact, Trump supporters are unlikely to do.

Thanks for the laughs, you can't make this stuff up!

Anonymous said...

It looks like Roy Moore is pulling from the Mclaughlin playbook and blaming all his troubles on an unfair media, and complains that they are "harrassing" him. Aw, poor little thing, the media should just leave him in peace and forget about about all the "harrassing" he did with underage girls. That damned biased media.

Tom McLaughlin said...

I notice you've ignored the $144 million in "contributions" to the Clinton Crime Family Foundation by Uranium One affiliates, Brian.

Peter said...

It seems that donations were indeed made to the Clinton Foundation, although the $144 million may be greatly exaggerated as Politifact concluded that nine people related to the company did at some point donate to the Clinton Foundation, but found that the bulk of the $145 million came from Giustra. Guistra said he sold all of his stakes in Uranium One in the fall of 2007, "at least 18 months before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state" and three years before the Russian deal, which drops the contribution amount to $4 million.

But again, this seems like deflection from the current issue of tampering of our election by a hostile nation. And I notice you ignored the fact that the White House has blown this off as if it was no big deal. And ignored the fact that Trump was belittling veterans while siding with an old KGB agent. And ignored the vast differences between the Menendez and Moore situations. And I'll assume that your dog ate your homework concerning Hillary's signature.

Anonymous said...

“Jesus, he copy pasted his response to a mass shooting and forgot to change the location. What a clown.”

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-shooting-wrong-tweet_us_5a0bedf9e4b0bc648a0ebb0a

And that darn media might just be biased enough to mention it. Unfair!

Anonymous said...

With this 51 seconds I now really understand what Trump supporters see in this guy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryLRwmInQwc

Brian said...

I can't believe how biased the Boston Globe was today! Nothing about Moore on the front page , but a big column on Melendez was on page 2 with still no sign of Moore.

Anonymous said...

On Fox News, Tucker Carlson covered the Harvey Weinstein scandal extensively, he devoted only 46 seconds to the Moore allegations.

The media bias continues.

Brian said...

Well, the bias has just hit new levels, with the president himself. How can the president ignore a case of a serial child predator and then speak out on a milder case of sexual harassment?? And that is putting aside the extreme case of hypocrisy coming from a self-confessed sexual predator with 15 or so allegations of their own. Unbelievable.

Erik said...

The Berkman Klein Center at Harvard has released a new report of the role of media.

They found that Liberals tend to share items about equally from centrist sites and far-left sites. Conservatives, however, almost literally have no interest in centrist sites. They only share items from extremely partisan sites. THey also found that conservative media is more partisan and more insular than the left. They singled out Gateway Pundit as being in a class of its own, known for “publishing falsehoods and spreading hoaxes.”