- The Washington Times - Monday, February 27, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A little more than half of Americans believe the mainstream media is too harsh on President Trump — and why wouldn’t they think that?

The majority of the articles appearing in the press are largely critical of the new president — and they’re not limited to the national news sections of the major papers.

In The New York Times Sunday edition, three articles appeared on the front page, all with largely negative tones on Mr. Trump’s presidency.

One lambasted Mr. Trump’s treatment of the press, another called out Mr. Trump’s commerce Cabinet pick for making money off trade deals he now scorns, and another said Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are “emboldened by Trump,” as they’re rounding up families for deportation.

Much of this coverage is expected from The Times.

But the Business section also had an anti-Trump article — a fawning profile on “the anti-Trump activist taking on retailers,” who spearheaded boycotts of retailers that sold Trump products, including Ivanka Trump’s lines.

The Style section, also took on Mr. Trump, in an article titled: “From the deported, a star chef rises.”

“As bad hombre tales go, Eduardo Garcia’s is classic,” The Times wrote. “A border-crossing Mexican immigrant, he moved around the United States through the better part of a decade, harvesting the produce that most of us take for granted throughout what might be thought of as a stolen childhood.”

Alas, Mr. Garcia “transformed himself into a superstar” chef.

Hard not to get the anti-Trump undertones of the article.

The former CEO of NPR, Ken Stern, noted in a Vanity Fair article last year that The Washington Post’s coverage of Mr. Trump’s presidency was more akin to the Breitbart of the left than it was an objective press.

“I counted some 20 articles about the presidential race, each espousing the unequivocal view that one candidate is collapsing due to moral failings, financial improprieties, and complete and utter lack of judgment and ethics. Notably, I was not reading Breitbart. Instead, I was reading The Washington Post, delivered to my doorstep, and the attacks were squarely waged not against the Clintons but rather against Trump,” Mr. Stern, wrote.

The tone and volume of anti-Trump articles largely hasn’t changed since the election.

But there’s more.

Both the Atlantic and The Washington Post have posted scathing “tell-alls” about Trump administration — penned by former Obama administration officials.

“I was a Muslim in in Trump’s White House,” the Atlantic’s article read. “When President Obama left, I stayed on the National Security Council in order to serve my country. I lasted eight days.”

What the article fails to mention is Rumana Ahmed — who describes her plight — was actually hired and worked for Mr. Obama’s national security adviser for strategic communications Ben Rhodes, yes, the same Rhodes who bragged about manipulating the media in order to push through the Iran deal.

That story came on the heels of an op-ed penned by Ned Price — who also worked for Mr. Rhodes and with Ms. Ahmed — in The Washington Post, describing how he couldn’t in good faith work for Mr. Trump and had to quit the CIA.

“To be clear, my decision had nothing to do with politics, and I would have been proud to again work under a Republican administration open to intelligence analysis,” Mr. Price wrote.

Um, yeah, OK.

As the Weekly Standard so aptly points out: “It was a set-up. The [Ahmed] article is part of an information operation. Paired with that of her former officemate, Ned Price, Ahmed’s story pushes the message that Trump is so bad that gifted public servants are resigning from their positions.”

It continues: “This is no longer simply about bias. Large parts of the press have willingly become instruments in a campaign of political warfare.”

Is it any wonder why Mr. Trump has taken such an openly hostile stance against the press?

The good news is that the public is paying attention.

Fifty-one percent say the media have been too critical of the president since the election, according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll. A majority of those polled, 53 percent, also believe the news media has exaggerated problems in the Trump administration.

Forty-one feel the coverage has been fair, while only 6 percent believe the press hasn’t been critical enough.

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