PBS Downplays Weak Trump Charges, Pushes Potential Neo-Nazi, White Power Uprising

April 8th, 2023 6:50 AM

Former President Trump was arrested on 34 felony counts of bookkeeping fraud involving hush money and appeared in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday, as everyone in the world knows. Taxpayer-supported PBS made the most out of the case, devoting a half hour of its evening “news hour” to multiple angles on the indictment.

The dubious charges by Democratic New York district attorney Alvin Bragg involve years-old allegations that Trump falsified internal business records to conceal he was paying hush money via his lawyer to porn star Stormy Daniels -- charges even the press is finding rather lame.

(One exception: the New York Times, which tried to boost the spirits of its liberal readership in the online headline to legal reporter Charlie Savage's front-page story: “Analysis: A Surprise Accusation Bolsters a Risky Case Against Trump.” The "surprise": Charging Trump with trying to deceive state tax authorities.)

NewsHour host Amna Nawaz’s first guest was predictably hostile toward the defendant:

To give us a sense of what happened in that courtroom today, I'm joined by Andrea Bernstein. She covers democracy for ProPublica and Trump legal matters for NPR and is the author of "American Oligarchs: The Kushners, the Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power."

Author Bernstein didn’t question the flimsiness of the charges but implied some kind of punishment for Trump was long overdue:

So we have never – you know, so many people have asked me over the years, is he ever going to be indicted? Is he going to be held accountable? His company was of course convicted last year, but he hasn't been. And here's a case where the prosecutor stood up and said, the rule of law applies, the judge also treated the former president in that way, the rule of law applies, something that's happened in other countries, but never here….

A subsequent discussion of the actual merits of the case only gently hinted at its essential thinness, with former federal prosecutor Marc Agnifilo wondering about the vagueness of the specifics Trump is being accused of, calling it “a bare-bones indictment.”

Later, co-host Geoff Bennett and reporter Laura Barron-Lopez speculated about the dangers of right-wing, even neo-Nazi political violence in response:

Geoff Bennett: Well, as we reported, Donald Trump supporters and anti-Trump protesters, they swarmed the streets outside the courthouse today. That was a spectacle. Beyond that, there are real concerns about the net effect of Donald Trump using this arrest and arraignment to rile up his supporters. You have been speaking to extremist experts about that. What do they have to say?

Barrón-López: So, the experts that I have been speaking to say that it's not necessarily that they're looking at violence to break out at a protest like the one that was held today, but that they're looking at right-wing extremism groups, white militias, neo-Nazis, essentially, the coordinated white power movement that has grown since 1983 and has really mobilized in the Trump era….

Exhausting every liberal-approved facet of the case, Bennett talked to hysterical presidential historian Michael Beschloss, who defended the weak indictment via his usual offensive comparisons. Beschloss compared valid complaints about a “partisan indictment” process to white supremacism.

….[Trump] will say that this is a partisan indictment only because there's a so-called Democratic prosecutor that's trying to get him. And that's something that also goes through American history. Think of two groups: White supremacist groups in the South would use political charges to go after black defendants or people who were trying to achieve civil rights and voting rights….

This bout of liberal hysteria was brought to you in part by BDO.