Trump Speaks to Florida Rally Attendees Without "Media Filter"
For much of his campaign for the presidency and in the weeks following his historic inauguration, President Donald Trump has launched a full scale assault on the media. While leveling accusations at journalists in the mainstream media for intentionally disseminating falsehoods about him and his administration in the quest to produce what has been termed “Fake News” Trump has single handedly challenged the veracity of the stories that are churned out by “The Fourth Estate” in ways that are hitherto unknown within presidential politics.
Last Thursday during his 77-minute White House press conference, Trump said that certain reporters and media outlets were “dishonest” (with a particular focus on CNN, among others). He lambasted the throngs of media reps for the false insinuations made by them about the leaks pertaining to his administration’s alleged connections to Russia. "The leaks are absolutely real, the news is fake, because so much of the news is fake," President Trump said. The attack on the media appeared to be pre-meditated and came after a torrid few days for the President, amid mounting pressure over what was called spurious allegations over his administration’s ties to Russia.
Stories revolving around former National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn’s “multiple conversations” with Russia’s ambassador to the US, Sergey I. Kislyak, both before and after Trump’s victory and the alleged charge of discussion of sanctions being lifted as was reported by the New York Times and other outlets contained some misleading representations as well as a litany of untruths according to Trump.
Moreover, on the subject of Russia, the mainstream media, in a series of articles and national news broadcasts, have proffered totally baseless claims that the Russians (under Putin’s leadership) somehow manipulated the results of the past presidential election in Trump’s favor. Without providing a scintilla of concrete evidence to qualify their assertions, they have attempted to convince an unwitting public that the election had been deliberately rigged against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
In early January, BuzzFeed News became the center of a swirling debate over journalistic ethics after its decision to publish a 35-page document carrying explosive, but unverified, allegations about ties between the Russian government and then President-elect Donald Trump. According to the New York Times, the dossier had been prepared by a former British intelligence officer hired by Trump’s political opponents.
It had been circulating among high-ranking politicians and some journalists since the fall. Intelligence officials recently presented a two-page summary of the allegations to Trump and President Obama. CNN declined to include the specific allegations contained in the dossier — such as collusion between Trump’s team and Russian operatives — saying that its journalists could not independently verify them. But Buzzfeed girded its proverbial loins and went into the lion’s den by posting the document that contained details meant to besmirch Trump’s character and was replete with unverified allegations.
In a February 2nd article that appeared in the “Paper of Record” the blaring headline read “Trumps Harsh Talk with Malcolm Turnbull Strains Another Alliance.” The reportage of Trump’s first phone conversation with the Australian prime minister was described as contentious. The Washington Post reported that Trump “blasted Turnbull over a refugee agreement and boasted about the magnitude of his electoral college win.” The Sydney Morning Herald, however, reported that Trump says his conversation with Malcolm Turnbull was "very civil", after news of the adversarial phone call between the allies hit headlines around the world. Trump was also in a quandary as to why his conversation with Turnbull was described with negative tones.
He tweeted that the exchange had been “very civil” as well and added that “fake news” media had lied about the details of the exchange. Mr. Turnbull himself had corroborated Trump’s assessment of the call as very civil and made statements to this effect to the media. Trump took to Twitter again and expressed his thanks to Turnbull for “telling the truth about our very civil conversation that FAKE News media lied about. Very nice!”
In a February 14th article that appeared in the New York Times, the “Fake News” apparatus claimed that Trump’s first month in office has been marked by “unbelievable turmoil” and has been “remarkably tumultuous.” The publication has boldly asserted that “scandal, legal challenges, personnel drama and questions about his temperament during interactions with world leaders” have plagued the early days of Trump’s presidency.
Taking the media to task for their presumptuous assumptions and mendacious claims, Trump told the press conference attendees that his administration was running like a “finely tuned machine” and that nothing could be further from the truth in their unsubstantiated charges about how he is handling his first weeks in office.
From the day that Trump announced his decision in the summer of 2015 to run for the nation’s highest office, scurrilous accusations that lacked any merit were leveled at him. Thus, this era marked the beginning of the “fake news” cycle that would follow Trump to the White House even after his stunning defeat of Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton in the general election in November.
For example, in October of 2016, Trump had been accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment by at least fifteen women since the 1980s. This spurious allegation surfaced only days after Democratic operatives released a hidden mic video of Trump appearing on the “Access Hollywood” program over ten years ago. He told host Billy Bush about his alleged flagrant exploits with women. Trump denied the allegations, saying that he has been the victim of media bias, conspiracies, and a political smear campaign. There was much truth in Trump’s denial as the women who had made the accusations never filed charges against him.
Also in October, when the top brass at the Democratic party saw that Trump was catching up in the polls they accused him of getting a tax break for stiffing contractors who built his hotels in Atlantic City and elsewhere. Additionally, they asserted that Trump’s unwillingness to release his tax returns must indicate that the billionaire businessman was involved in nefarious plots. Naturally, the press picked up on these unsubstantiated allegations and ran with it. No concrete evidence of proof of any kind has been proffered that indicates that any of these claims have any veracity whatsoever.
Addressing the issue of the burgeoning phenomenon of “Fake News” in front of thousands of members of his voter base in an airplane hangar in Melbourne, Florida this past Saturday evening, Trump said that the specific purpose of the campaign style rally was to speak to the American people "without the filter of the fake news" -- a continuation of his now famous news conference last Thursday in which he boldly confronted the mainstream media for their constant skewing of the facts when reporting about him or his administration.
Concerning the illegal leaks that Trump has said actually do exist, it has been reported that he and Republican lawmakers are pushing for an investigation into the leaks that revealed Flynn's discussions with a Russian diplomat and other sensitive details from inside the administration. Karl Rove told Bill Hemmer at FOX last week that the leaks are "political payback," potentially from Obama administration holdovers or intelligence officials who are upset about Trump's criticism of the intelligence community.
"That's revenge, and that has no role in our system," Rove said. He explained that these leaks could be "poisonous" to the already strained relationship between Trump and the intelligence community. "What if this is being done by some former Obama administration official, and we never find out it was them, but we think it might be somebody in the intelligence community?" Rove said. "That really poisons the relationship the president needs to have with the intelligence community."
Also taking on the mainstream media for their tendentious reporting and apparently corroborating Trump’s hypothesis about the “Fake News” trend, FOX’s Bill O’Reilly said during his talking points memo last Monday night that federal immigration officials arrested more than 600 people across at least 11 states last week. The points that O’Reilly really focused on was precisely how the story has been covered.
He explained that the coordinated raids targeted illegal immigrants who had committed crimes in the U.S., mostly felonies. He noted that 75 percent of those taken into custody had convictions, including homicide and rape, and many of the arrested non-felons were associating with the criminals. "But those facts have largely gone unreported by the American press and by the radical left, which is actively misleading you," O'Reilly said.
O’Reilly pointed to hysterical headlines, like "Immigrant Community on High Alert, Fearing Trump’s ‘Deportation Force’" and "The Trump Deportation Regime Has Begun." "That's not press bias. That's blatant dishonesty," O'Reilly said. "The illegal immigration issue has been set up by the media to demonize Mr. Trump as a racist and a brutalizer of the poor."
He said if the federal government cannot remove people here illegally who commit serious crimes, then we do not have an effective federal government. "Yet the far left and the press, knowing full well that the ICE raids last week were directed at dangerous people, chose not to report that, instead smearing President Trump. We have now reached a low point in American journalism."
"After eight years of President Obama, there are many people working in the federal government who like the former president and who despise Mr. Trump. Eliminating all of them and stopping leaks will pretty much be impossible," O'Reilly said. "Also, trying to get fairness out of an anti-Trump press will be impossible as well." "So the Trump administration has its hands full."
Howard Kurtz at FOX said that according to a poll taken by his network, it reveals that Americans are "so polarized" and that there is "so much distrust" of the media.
The poll, released last Friday evening, reflected that 45 percent of voters trust President Trump more than the media, while 42 percent say the media are more trustworthy. Kurtz said the poll should elicit some "soul-searching for our journalistic professionals." The poll also found that 68 percent of voters think the media is tougher on Trump than President Obama, while 18 percent said it is "easier" on Trump.
Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was a guest for an exclusive interview on "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace to discuss President Donald Trump's relationship with the mainstream media, according to the Fox Insider report.
Limbaugh, host of "The Rush Limbaugh Show," said he believes the left-wing media is attempting to sabotage Trump's presidency. He said some members of the media have a blueprint for destroying Republican officials but that it won't work on Trump since he doesn't fit the mold. "The media did not make Donald Trump and they can't destroy him," Limbaugh said.
In an earlier interview with Wallace, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said there was "absolutely" no collusion between anyone in the Trump campaign and Russia prior to the election. Limbaugh agreed.
"It is preposterous to believe that the Russians had any effect on the outcome of voting in this country," Limbaugh said.
"Donald Trump has nobody helping him other than the people who voted for him," Limbaugh said. "Obama had the media. Obama had the judiciary. Obama had all kinds of support."
Also weighing in on the topic of media bias against Trump was Fox News’ Sean Hannity. In his opening monologue last Friday evening, he reacted to the media's meltdown after receiving a "historic beating" by Trump at the White House press conference on Thursday.
According to a Fox Insider report, Hannity noted that NBC News' Chuck Todd compared Trump to Richard Nixon, CBS' Scott Pelley called out the president for "bluster, bravado, exaggeration and few loose facts," ABC News' Matthew Dowd said he came off as "small and insecure," and CNN's Jack Tapper told Trump to "get to work and stop whining."
Hannity said that Trump has been working, and he simply used Thursday's press conference to defend himself from an "out of control media bias." "Not only was he being presidential, not only was he being honest, but he was being funny," Hannity said. He said the press' reaction is just "one huge temper tantrum," because they finally got called out for their bad behavior. "All the members of the media, they can be bad all they want. It doesn't change the fact how biased, how lazy they are, and how abusive they've been toward the 45th president."
Despite the fact that the media has not provided an iota of proof that Trump or his aides have had any associations with the Russians either during the campaign or now that Trump has taken the oath of office, controversial filmmaker Michael Moore who has gone on record as being stridently opposed to Trump’s policies issued a scathing Tweet: “Stunning bombshell right now from the New York Times -- Trump campaign chair, campaign officials and Trump associates made repeated contacts and calls with Russian intelligence during the YEAR leading up to the election. It's what we all suspected. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what was going on: TRUMP COLLUDING WITH THE RUSSIANS TO THROW THE ELECTION TO HIM.”
To offer a cogent example of just how apoplectic the Democratic party and their left wing acolytes have become since President Trump took office, one of Moore’s directives to his Twitter followers just about sums up the hysteria in the partisan controlled media.
He Tweets: “Somehow, our judicial system has to find a way to make restitution to this country. Pence can't be president as he, too, was elected under this same fraud. The court has to rule either that the President is the winner of the popular vote OR the election must be held over. The Republicans-- the beneficiaries of this treason --cannot be allowed to hold on to the power by default. If it turns out there's a traitor in the White House, the judicial branch must find a fair, peaceful way to un-do and then re-do the election of 2016.”
By: Fern Sidman