These last few weeks have seen liberal journalists blame Donald Trump for the shutdown, attack his presidency as racist and even compare him to cancer.
MSNBC’s Chris Hayes claimed the President is demanding a wall – not for border security – but to appeal to his racist supporters that want an “ethnically pure America.” CNN host Don Lemon demanded “a live fact-check” on a presidential address and his colleague Jim Acosta proclaimed that a Trump speech should come with a “a surgeon general’s warning” because it was “hazardous to the truth.”
CNN’s Brian Stelter derided this administration as a “criminal presidency.” And over on MSNBC, political analyst Donny Deutsch actually compared Trump to cancer. But according to New York Times columnist Frank Bruni that kind of coverage is appropriate because being “negative” to Trump is “the only honest way to cover this President.”
Celebrities also took their shots at Trump. The West Wing actor Bradley Whitford labeled Trump “nuts,” as he scoffed “It’s like Tony Soprano and Joey Buttafuoco had a baby.” And Star Wars actor Mark Hamill said it was wrong to compare Trump to the fictional father of Luke Skywalker “because Darth Vader repented. He saw the error of his ways.”
The following are the worst liberal outbursts from the last month:
Trump Only Building Wall to Appeal to Racist Republicans
“The wall originated as a device to jog the President’s memory, to make sure to remind him to cater to the most xenophobic part of the base of the Republican Party because there is a cluster of people in the Republican Party who catapulted Trump to his win in the primaries who hate and/or fear immigrants and not only that, these are people who define their political life by stemming and stopping the invasion of people who do not look like them....Those people cannot be appeased because what they want is not policy. What they want is an ethnically pure America.”
— Host Chris Hayes on MSNBC’s All In, January 10.
“[Donald Trump] has been using I think the border wall as sort of this dog whistle for racism. The government is still shut down, and I think it’s all about ‘let’s not let all these brown people in.’”
— Co-host Sunny Hostin on ABC’s The View, January 16.
The Wall Is As Irrelevant As a Landline
“Talking about a $5 billion wall and shutting down the government because you want it is kind of like investing in landline technology in the era of cell phones. Along that border people can just dig tunnels....Stop talking about $5 billion on a concrete wall that makes no sense.”
— Washington Post national correspondent Mary Jordan on ABC’s This Week, December 30.
Censor the President!
“Network presidents and executives have to wonder should they carry it live, should they do a live fact-check. How do you handle this because you’re giving the President...the opportunity to speak to the United States unfettered – to speak to the people of the United States and this President has a problem with the truth....[There should be] a delay of some sort....People will believe it whether the facts are true or not.”
— Host Don Lemon previewing the President’s address about border security as aired on CNN Tonight, January 7.
“I think that address probably should have come with a surgeon general’s warning. It was hazardous to the truth. There were a number of claims that President made in that speech that are just not going to stand up to the facts.”
— White House correspondent Jim Acosta post-Trump speech on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time, January 8.
“The major networks have to make the decision whether or not they’re going to be platforms for the President’s propaganda. They have to make a decision whether or not they’re going to pay attention to their profits or they’re going to pay attention to their role as the Fourth Estate....Every time that Donald Trump tells a lie, he erodes the foundation of our democracy....It very well may be the case that you have to have that little ticker tape underneath him and fact check him in real time. Just, ‘Lie,’ bing, ‘lie,’ bing, ‘lie.’ Because that’s what he’s doing.”
— Princeton professor/MSNBC contributor Eddie Glaude on MSNBC Live, January 8.
“He’s [Donald Trump] going to give a speech tonight. There’s gonna be a lot of lies in the speech. You know, we know that. The networks – to my opinion – need to like chyron the truth and have a delay so that they can say the truth.”
— Host Joy Behar’s question to Democratic Senator Kamala Harris on ABC’s The View, January 8.
The Real “Crisis” is the “Cancer” That Is Trump
“He’s [Donald Trump] gone from malignant to benign....He was always a cancer and he’s gone from a malignant cancer to a benign cancer. The cancer’s still there, but he does not have the toxic effect, he does not have the ability to impact, he does not have the ability to force his will on anything.”
— Advertising executive and political analyst Donny Deutsch on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, December 13.
“Many have noted, that despite Mr. Trump’s many self-inflicted wounds, his presidency benefitted from not having to face a financial or international crisis. But perhaps now we need to face this uncomfortable question: What if the president is the crisis?”
— Host Chuck Todd on NBC’s Meet the Press, December 23.
Whining About Weather Supplanting Anti-Trump Spins
“I was watching Good Morning America this weekend and both mornings they led with snowstorms and scares at malls and other stories and not this [Washington Post and New York Times stories on Russia-Trump]. I just keep wondering if the public is ill-served if we don’t make it really clear what the stakes of this story are. How can a morning show not lead with this drama?”
— Host Brian Stelter on CNN Reliable Sources, January 13.
Negative Coverage Is “The Only Honest Way to Cover” Trump
Host Brian Stelter: “This idea that news coverage of Trump is negative, is too negative, where does the truth lie?”
New York Times columnist Frank Bruni: “I disagree wholeheartedly with that. He’s a singular President, he was a singular candidate. No one has lied like him, I mean, at that altitude. No one has had the sort of ethical problems that he does. No one has had the areas of ignorance....Anti-Trump connotes driven by some sort of animus regardless of the facts. I don’t think we’ve been anti-Trump. I think we have been negative and I think that’s the only honest way to cover this President.”
— CNN Reliable Sources, January 6.
“Relative to the truth, the prestige press in this country has a pro-Trump bias. Relative to the truth, Trump gets easier coverage than he deserves. The surest way onto the op-ed page of a prestigious paper is to come up with some angle to explain why something the President has done is less crazy or dangerous than it seems. Networks like this one give a lot of air time to people that would normally be working for the Home Shopping Network who wouldn’t be on at all.”
— The Atlantic writer David Frum on CNN’s Reliable Sources, January 6.
Die a Day Early for RBG!
“If it were possible, would you subtract one day off your life and add it to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life for one extra day of good health? If just 10,000 people did this, it would add 27 productive years to her life.”
— January 7 tweet by Politico chief political columnist and former U.S. News and World Report correspondent Roger Simon.
“Brazen Bird” Pelosi Is Bringing “Joy” Back to Politics
“We’ve had so little joy in politics in these last months. I mean, there seems to me so little joy in President Trump as a person, you know, except when he’s fighting against something. So to see families together at this moment, to see the joy of new people thinking that maybe things will be different, you know, that maybe something will change and this fever will break, we just have to celebrate that moment. And it’s a great thing.”
— Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin discussing Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s election as Speaker as aired on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports, January 3.
“[Nancy] Pelosi’s bright fuchsia dress was like the plumage of a brazen bird, one with the audacity not just to fly with the flock but to lead it....In a November CNN interview, Pelosi noted that no one is indispensable, ‘but some of us are just better at our jobs than others.’ That wasn’t overconfident swagger. It was honest. But it was the kind of honesty that women mostly don’t offer up about themselves, because that’s not what little girls in powder pink were taught to do. They were taught to whisper with humility. Fuchsia roars.”
— Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan in January 3 Style section article “For Nancy Pelosi and the new women in Congress, fashion was a defiant statement of purpose — and resistance.”
Jesus Would Have Never Survived Trump
“If Jesus were today or Trump was back then, he would have been separated from his parents. Joseph and Mary would have been put in a separate detention center – he would have been put in a separate detention center, and he might likely have died in custody like another child did over the holidays.”
— SiriusXM radio talk show host Mark Thompson on MSNBC Live with Stephanie Ruhle, January 2.
No Two Sides to This Story Allowed
“We’re going to take an in-depth look regardless of that at a literally earth-changing subject that doesn’t get talked about this thoroughly – on television news, at least – climate change. But just as important as what we are going to do this hour is what we’re not going to do. We’re not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. The Earth is getting hotter and human activity is a major cause, period. We’re not going to give time to climate deniers. The science is settled even if political opinion is not.”
— Host Chuck Todd setting up entire show just focused climate change on NBC’s Meet the Press, December 30.
We Are For Women Speaking Up, Unless They Are Conservative
“What is going on with [wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas] Ginni Thomas?...On Facebook, she’s behaving like your slightly paranoid neighbor who stockpiles bullets and astronaut food....Does it matter that the spouse of a Supreme Court justice is sharing such nakedly partisan, erroneous propaganda?...There is no official policy or protocol preventing Ginni Thomas from going full MAGA. It’s her First Amendment right to fulminate that America is becoming a godless, socialist nightmare and to practice the dark art of political messaging on social media. But it doesn’t reflect well on the institution of the court.”
— Reporter Dan Zack in December 27 Washington Post Style section article.
No Such Thing As “Illegal” Immigrant
“[Former White House chief of staff] John Kelly calls them ‘illegal immigrants.’ There’s no such thing as a illegal immigrant, sir, no illegal human being in the planet...General Kelly, there’s no such thing as an illegal human being. How many times do we have to say this? Get your grammar correct.”
— NPR host Maria Hinojosa on MSNBC’s Up with David Gura, December 30.
Don Corleone Trump
“After you and Woodward exposed Watergate you said Nixon was a criminal president and it was a criminal presidency. Is the Trump presidency a criminal presidency?”
— Host Brian Stelter’s question to CNN political analyst Carl Bernstein on CNN’s Reliable Sources, December 9.
“Having prosecuted mob bosses, it’s unfair to compare them to Trump. Mob bosses are far smarter and way more savvy and discrete than Trump.”
— December 3 tweet by NBC News legal analyst Daniel Goldman.
NPR or Rush Limbaugh’s Radio Show, Who Can Tell The Difference?
“The government supports the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that supports public media, which is independent. Although oftentimes kind of bends over backward to show that they’re not too progressive, precisely because they don’t want to be caught on that charge.”
— NPR host Maria Hinojosa on MSNBC’s AM Joy, December 2.
Save Us From the Current Arsonist In Chief
“Right now is a very interesting time to be announcing your candidacy for president because the crisis going on in the White House right now and the shutdown of the government...The world’s on fire. Can we all agree that the world’s on fire? Can we debate about whether that part of it or this part of it be on fire? And America right now is interviewing for new fire chiefs? Because the present fire chief likes to play with matches?”
— Host Stephen Colbert’s question to Democratic Senator and 2020 presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand as aired on CBS’s The Late Show, January 15.
“Orangutan” Trump is Bad But Bush and Cheney Were Far Worse
“Trump is dispiriting and upsetting and we’ve essentially shot a drunk orangutan into the White House. But it’s nowhere near the damage that these [George W. Bush and Dick Cheney] guys did. These guys were smart and they knew what they were doing.”
— Vice director Adam McKay in December 22 The Daily Caller interview.
Conan’s Sidekick Issues Marching Orders to Dems
“Dems: Mock him. Mock the shit out of him. Mock his ridiculous scam of a wall and his ever-changing demands over it. Mock his ‘business genius’ while the economy drops. Mock his profound incompetence. Treat him like the joke he is. Treating him like a non-moron only helps him.”
— December 26 tweet by comedian and Conan O’Brien sidekick Andy Richter.
Trump Is “Like If Tony Soprano and Joey Buttafuoco Had a Baby”
Actor Bradley Whitford: “Listen, this is an insane situation. I mean this is like an Al-Anon situation. Daddy’s [Donald Trump] nuts. You know what I mean? Like we’re forced into a relationship and we have to like get together and talk about it and remind ourselves – ”
Co-host Joy Behar: “Something’s the matter with Daddy.”...
Whitford: “It’s like Tony Soprano and Joey Buttafuoco had a baby who got to choose a third of the Supreme Court. It’s insane!”
— ABC’s The View, January 11.
Trump Building the Wall for “Racist Rednecks”
“You want to build the wall, because you promised these motherfuckers something that you know you couldn’t do. You promised these fucking racist rednecks that you was gonna build the wall, but you know that was impossible...Our country is in a hellhole right now. All for a fucking wall.”
— January 16 Instagram posts from rapper Cardi B (real name Belcalis Almanzar).
Don’t Blemish Darth Vader’s Good Name By Comparing Him to Trump and Cheney
“I really get upset then when people compare [Trump] or even Dick Cheney to Darth Vader because Darth Vader repented. He saw the error of his ways. I don’t see either one of them doing that.”
— Star Wars actor Mark Hamill in December 25 Washington Post “Cape Up with Jonathan Capehart” podcast interview.