“No longer can we turn a blind eye or deaf ear to those assaults on our institutions,” Flake said in an address to a nearly empty chamber. “and … an American president who cannot take criticism, who must constantly deflect and distort and distract, who must find someone else to blame, is charting a very dangerous path.”
The institution Flake seemed most interested in protecting was the press, not the presidency.
“Now we’re told via Twitter that today the president intends to announce his choice for the, quote, ‘most corrupt and dishonest media awards,” Flake added.
Flake didn’t end with a simple defense of the media. He pulled the whole scary despot card by mentioning Trump’s criticism of a media that has shown a clear bias against the president.
“It is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by Josef Stalin to describe his enemies,’ Flake said.
Only two anti-Trump senators, Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) attended the droning speech – an event more-highly anticipated by reporters than anyone else.
Flake has been a constant anti-Trump member of Congress and this newest attack bears as little merit as previous ones. The Senator’s attempt to downplay the dishonest media awards glosses over the fact that the mainstream media has aired 90% negative stories on Trump during his first year – more than any recent Commander-in-chief.
Flake may be on the wrong side of history with his brat-like rant in the Senate. 58% of voters in a November Quinnipiac poll said they disapprove of the media’s heavily negative coverage while only 38% approve.
CNN, NBC, Time, Politico and the Wall Street Journal all published stories with either bad sourcing, bad facts, misquotes or some combination. All of the stories were corrected, after long delays running at the top of the news cycle, and some ended with the responsible journalists being fired or demoted. The Washington Post, New York Times and others simply used anonymous sourcing to craft stories later found to be untrue. Some of the best of the worst from the last year are:
- Time: In a story on Trump’s signature on an executive order, Zeke Miller reported that a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. had been removed from the Oval office sparking media-wide outrage at the racism on display – the story was later corrected to admit that the bust was still in the Oval Office
- CNN: CNN falsely reported that Trump transition team member Anthony Scaramucci met with Russian state bank officials days before the inauguration. The story was later retracted.
- ABC: Brian Ross reported that then-candidate Trump ordered Lt. Gen. Micheal Flynn to contact Russian officials before his election – a violation of the Logan Act. The story was later corrected and Ross suspended.
- Politico: Lorraine Woellert reported that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was associated with a company that foreclosed on an elderly woman over a 30 cent bill. The woman was never foreclosed on and Mnuchin’s bank had nothing to do with the entire issue.
The list is far too long to catalog every false story but they do all share one thing in common: they only erred when it hurt Trump.
The White House said Tuesday that the media awards event is only a “potential event” and did not appear on the president’s schedule for the day indicating that, once again, Trump has managed to focus the media on a trivial event while he continues to do the work most desired by American families.Wake up Right! Subscribe to our Morning Briefing and get the news delivered to your inbox before breakfast!