So Tuesday morning there is White House Press Secretary and my old CNN compadre Kayleigh McEenany on Fox and Friends. She is asked by Brian Kilmeade about the reaction to remarks she made on Friday. He noted that she had said to the White House press corps that she would run down a list of questions that she doesn’t get asked – and once she had read the list she left the podium.
Cue astonishment and anger in the press.
First they accused Kayleigh of questioning their religious beliefs, which she never did nor, I would add, would do. Her point was easy – easy for some – to understand. She was asked eleven questions on the issue of opening churches – but the reporters have an amazing lack of curiosity and questions about Obamagate. Said Kayleigh:
“There has been a dearth of journalists asking the real questions for President Obama, the criminal leak of Michael Flynn’s identity, who leaked that identity, the dossier which was used to launch a three-year investigation into this president and his campaign. Why aren’t those questions being asked? Its journalistic malpractice not to ask those questions and I can count on one hand the journalists who are, like Maria Bartiromo, Catherine Herridge. But where is the lack of curiosity from the current press corps? There is an extreme lack of curiosity at play.”
She added: “Journalists are not above being questioned themselves.”
“Journalists are not above being questioned themselves.”
Kayleigh is right – and in fact she knows the answer to this problem just as many of the rest of us know it. Look no further than this Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal by Van Gordon Sauter, the former president of CBS News.
Sauter headlined his piece this way:
The ‘Liberal Leaning’ Media Has Passed Its Tipping Point
Among other things the veteran mainstream journalist said this, bold print for emphasis supplied by me:
“About 35 years ago I was sitting at lunch next to Jeane Kirkpatrick, a onetime Democrat who became a foreign-policy adviser to President Reagan and later U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She was lamenting what she called the “liberal-leaning” media. As the president of CBS News, I assured her it was only a “liberal tilt” and could be corrected.
“You don’t understand,“ she scolded. “It’s too late.”
Kirkpatrick was prophetic. The highly influential daily newspapers in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, and Boston are now decidedly liberal. On the home screen, the three broadcast network divisions still have their liberal tilt. Two of the three leading cable news sources are unrelentingly liberal in their fear and loathing of President Trump.
News organizations that claim to be neutral have long been creeping leftward, and their loathing of Mr. Trump has accelerated the pace. The news media is catching up with the liberalism of the professoriate, the entertainment industry, upscale magazines, and the literary world. Recent arrivals are the late-night TV hosts who have broken the boundaries of what was considered acceptable political humor for networks.
To many journalists, objectivity, balance, and fairness—once the gold standard of reporting—are not mandatory in a divided political era and in a country they believe to be severely flawed. That assumption folds neatly into their assessment of the president. To the journalists, including more than a few Republicans, he is a blatant vulgarian, an incessant prevaricator, and a dangerous leader who should be ousted next January, if not sooner. Much of journalism has become the clarion voice of the “resistance,” dedicated to ousting the president, even though he was legally elected and, according to the polls, enjoys the support of about 44% of likely 2020 voters.”
This explains exactly what the American people are watching when they see the White House press corps playing “gotcha games” with the President and Kayleigh herself. They are not about getting information, they are about pushing a left-wing agenda, an agenda that at this moment is dominated by hating and getting Donald Trump – not to mention Fox News, talk radio and conservative media in general.
The Hate Trump-media agenda necessarily means that the entire Obamagate saga has to be ignored completely when not being dismissed as a conspiracy theory. This is why they dump continually on Sean Hannity – because he has had the audacity to bring on his radio and TV shows a collection of serious journalists and others who have had the guts to do what journalists are supposed to do – follow the story wherever it goes, investigate and dig relentlessly to get and validate the facts and then report what is discovered to the public.
In other words, Kayleigh got it exactly right on Friday. There’s nothing wrong with questions about the President’s stance on re-opening churches. He did, after all, take an oath of office that demands that he “will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” A presidential insistence that churches be re-opened is a defense of the Constitution – specifically the First Amendment’s right to freedom of religion.
But we are also in the middle of a pandemic and a major political scandal as well that is being seriously investigated by the Department of Justice, and the fact that the media insists on ignoring or dismissing the scandal entirely is nothing more than absolute confirmation of Van Gordon Sauter’s point. This is, simply put, that the media has a far-left, Hate Trump bias and has zero intention of changing.
This correspondingly means Kayleigh is exactly right to take them on directly and push back, as she did when she said “Journalists are not above being questioned themselves.”
They aren’t. Imagine that.