- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 8, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

There’s one thing I’m certain about going into Wednesday: The mainstream media is going to need to go through a serious readjustment period after this presidential election. The collusion between reporters and the Clinton campaign, revealed by WikiLeaks, have laid bare to the American public the left-leaning bias of the press.

The American public thinks the media wants Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to win by an almost 10-to-1 margin, according to a Suffolk University/USA Today poll released late last month. It mirrors an Associated Press/GkF poll showing 56 percent of likely voters, including 87 percent of Donald Trump’s supporters, believe the media is against him.

The mainstream media has let the American public down in serving their own interests. Here’s 10 examples this election cycle of blatant media bias.

1. CNN asks the Democratic National Committee about what questions to ask Mr. Trump in an interview.

The DNC colluded with CNN in devising questions in April to be asked of Mr. Trump in an upcoming Wolf Blitzer interview. A DNC official with the email username dillonL@dnc.org asked for ideas for an interview by Mr. Blitzer.

“Wolf Blitzer is interviewing Trump on Tues ahead of his foreign policy address on Wed. … Please send me thoughts by 10:30 AM tomorrow,” the email, released by WikiLeaks read. A separate email from the DNC requested that “CNN was looking for questions” for then GOP primary candidates Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and “maybe a couple on” former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.

Upon the news, The Washington Post ran a blog reading: “And now from WikiLeaks: A CNN non-scandal,” saying the entire thing was a nothing burger because CNN has similar communications with Republicans, without producing any evidence.

2. John Podesta says “dump all those emails.” Washington Post immediately looks to interpret comments positively.

A hacked email on March 2, 2015 — sent at the same time The New York Times broke a story titled: “Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules,” — said Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman Mr. Podesta recommended “dumping” her emails.

“On another matter…and not to sound like Lanny, but we are going to have to dump all those emails.”

The right-leaning press took this to mean deleting the emails (which her team later erased 33,000), but the mainstream media was there to get Mrs. Clinton’s back, interpreting “dump” to mean “make public.”

The Post ran the headline: “Why ‘dump all those emails’ doesn’t mean what Drudge thinks it does.”

“But from context, it’s clear that Podesta was talking about whether to make the emails public — not to delete them,” The Post wrote. “His usage of ‘dump’ resembled the typical D.C. usage of ‘Friday news dump,’ a release of troves of documents that dares reporters to spend precious weekend hedonism time hunting through them.”

And that was their evidence to the contrary — not as though “dump” could possibly have two meanings.

3. CNBC’s John Harwood.

One of the early WikiLeaks emails shows Mr. Harwood advising Mr. Podesta, and then gloating over the question he asked Mr. Trump, running “a comic book version of a presidential campaign,” during the Republican primary debate he moderated.

Mr. Harwood titled the email “I imagine…” and continued the sentence in the body of the email, writing, “…that Obama feels some (sad) vindication at this demonstration of his years-long point about the opposition party veering off the rails.”

He added: “I certainly am feeling that way with respect to how I questioned Trump at our debate.”

Then, in a separate email, Mr. Harwood asks Mr. Podesta which questions he should ask then GOP primary candidate Jeb Bush.

The email from Sept. 21, 2015 had the subject line, “what should I ask Jeb…”

In the body of the email, Mr. Harwood wrote, “…in Speakeasy interview tomorrow?”

On Sept. 25, Mr. Harwood had a 10-question interview with Mr. Bush.

4. Donna Brazile leaks CNN debate questions to Mrs. Clinton.

DNC interim chairwoman Donna Brazile lost her job as a CNN contributor after the controversy broke. While she was working at the network, Mrs. Brazile passed along a question about the death penalty before CNN’s March democratic primary debate. Another leaked email shows, she did it again — this time ahead of a townhall in Flint, Michigan, with the subject line: “One of the questions directed to HRC tomorrow is from a woman with a rash.”

CNN said they did a “complete investigation” into the leaking and that “This behavior was completely unacceptable and we are clear, exactly where they came from.”

Yet, CNN didn’t disclose exactly how the leak happened, or what it will do to prevent such a leak in the future. Meanwhile, Mrs. Brazile remains unapologetic.

“My conscience — as an activist, a strategist — is very clear,” she said Monday during a satellite radio interview with liberal activist and SiriusXM host Joe Madison. She added that “if I had to do it all over again, I would know a hell of a lot more about cybersecurity.”

So, basically, she’s sorry she’s not sorry.

5. Politico’s Glenn Thrush is a hack — and he knows it.

Politico’s chief political correspondent Glenn Thrush told Mr. Podesta that he was a “hack” for sending an entire section of an article pertaining to Mr. Podesta for approval before publication. Knowing that this is a journalistic no-no, Mr. Thrush then asked Mr. Podesta to “Please don’t share or tell anyone I did this.”

He then seeks Mr. Podesta’s approval to: “Tell me if I f–ed up anything.”

Mr. Podesta signs-off on Mr. Thursh’s copy saying “no problems here.”

Is Mr. Thrush embarrassed? Nope. Not at all.

“My goal in emailing Podesta: TO GET HIM TO CONFIRM STUFF I HAD FROM LESSER SOURCES. It worked. Nobody controls my stories but me. Troll on!” Mr. Thrush wrote on Twitter after the emails were released.

The only problem? A fact-check shouldn’t include anything but the facts. The entire text from the story itself? Not so much.

6. New York Times’ Mark Leibovich requests quote approval from Clinton campaign.

Mr. Leibovich, a senior reporter for The New York Times was caught looking for quote approval after the fact, in an interview he did with Mrs. Clinton. In 2012, The Times said it was drawing “‘a clear line’” against the practice of news sources being allowed to approve quotations in stories after the fact.”

No apologies from Mr. Leibovich — who later wrote an amusing “Anatomy of a Media Conspiracy” in the New York Times Magazine in which he led sarcastically: “Look, Mom, there I am in WikiLeaks. Right there among the rest of the media sellouts, Clinton shills and biased tools of the MSM who are apparently bent on destroying Donald J. Trump.”

No official word from The Times on any reprimand Mr. Leibovich should receive from breaking their official protocol.

7. Washington Post writer asks DNC for Anti-Trump opposition research.

Dana Milbank, a Washington Post columnist, asked the DNC for research for a negative Trump column he wrote in April. Mr. Milbank’s column was titled: “The Ten Plagues of Trump” and had a list of “outrageous things” said by Mr. Trump. Internal DNC emails suggest Mr. Milbank relied heavily on the DNC’s opposition research to write his article.

Of the 10 “plagues” listed by Mr. Milbank, the DNC provided eight of them.

8. The embrace of “false equivalency.”

Many news outlets this cycle, took the opinion that Mr. Trump was a threat to our Republic, and comparing him on the same plane as Mrs. Clinton would be to do the public a disservice — they basically argued their bias against him was really just fair coverage.

In August, The New York Times media columnist argued the premise: “If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?”

He concluded reporters couldn’t cover him fairly — that they had to take a stance against his unprecedented and serious threat to the Republic: “It would also be an abdication of political journalism’s most solemn duty: to ferret out what the candidates will be like in the most powerful office in the world.”

CNN’s Brian Stelter has argued the same; Vox’s editor in chief Ezra Klein said this year’s political debate is between one who is “normal” and “abnormal.”

9. Media blackout on WikiLeaks.

Major news outlets have dedicated practically no time to the scandals uncovered by WikiLeaks, from Bill Clinton Inc., to high level Justice Department officials giving a “heads up” to Mrs. Clinton’s team on State Department email releases, to the State Department having a “shadow government” within it, whose job it was to slow-walk releasing her emails.

The Clinton Foundation received a $1 million donation from Qatar (a major funder of ISIS) that wasn’t disclosed to the State Department per Mrs. Clinton’s agreement, and crickets.

The Washington Post had an editorial titled: “Scandal! WikiLeaks reveals Hillary Clinton to be…reasonable.” It didn’t cover the disparaging comments Mrs. Clinton’s staff wrote about Catholics, Chelsea Clinton’s worries about pay-to-play at the Clinton Foundation, the Qatar donation, Chelsea potentially funding her wedding with Clinton Foundation funds and her husband ginning off hedge fund business from its donors.

The New York Times wrote five stories on the leaks, but none on the Middle Eastern donations, the potential collusion between the State Department, Justice Department and Clinton campaign, or journalists cozy relationship with her team.

10. Journalists go unhinged on Twitter.

This is something I’ve observed all election cycle — political reporters issuing their grievances and snark about Mr. Trump on Twitter and leaving all sense of objectivity behind. Paul Farhi, the media reporter at The Washington Post, tracked reporters’ Twitter feeds for a week and came back with the same conclusion.

“News reporters are supposed to keep the opinions out of the stories they write and air. Twitter, it seems, is another realm entirely,” he wrote in late October, calling out the biases of reporters at The New York Times and Politico.

As Jim VandeHei, Politico’s co-founder and former chief executive, told Mr. Farhi: “To me, sticking to facts and smart, fact-based analysis is the safe, smart place to be. But snark seems to be winning — decisively.”

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