In the minds of Republicans, truth-tellers and, um, sane people, Rep. Adam Schiff isn’t just one of the villains in an ongoing leftist-fueled, Democrat-pressed impeachment sham — he’s the liar-liar-pants-on-fire guy who’s taken his bloviating, lying self from the House into the Senate, to orchestrate another theatrical performance of Get Trump, Any Which Way You Can.
But with so many members of the media carrying his water for him, he’s proving unstoppable.
It’s one thing for pundits and opinion writers on the left to discard the old he-said, she-said type of reporting and rather than present both sides, in context, simply go with the one that best personally suits.
But journalists, correspondents, so-called investigative watchdogs are supposed to do better. They’re supposed to be unbiased and, well, honest.
They’re showing more as a Schiff’s best friend.
“Adam Schiff might be the most underestimated politician California has produced,” tweeted Greg Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning national security correspondent for The Washington Post. “Many in GOP dismiss him as bland/partisan. But the way he has handled impeachment will leave a mark on history, exceeding nearly all contemporaries.”
That’s a reference to Chris Matthews of MSNBC who once said on live air that he “felt this thrill going up my leg” while listening to Barack Obama speak. Only Matthews wasn’t a supposed nonpartisan national security correspondent.
Miller ostensibly is. And to suggest Schiff may bring down the curtains of history in some sort of hallowed glory isn’t just eyebrow-raising. It’s water-carrying.
Just for the record, let’s recount some of Schiff’s lies.
Schiff deceived about his office’s discussions with the whistleblower. Schiff deceived when he said the impeachable evidence against this president was irrefutable — uncontested. Schiff deceived when he took House witness testimony that was based on presumptions and second- and thirdhand hearsay and presented them as fact and firsthand accounts of the president’s conversations and motives. My gosh, Schiff deceived, and continues to deceive, so much the Internet overflows with headlines about his many, many deceptions.
“Schiff may have mischaracterized [Lev] Parnas evidence, documents show,” Politico wrote just a day ago.
On that last, Politico’s congressional reporter, not opinion writer, Melanie Zanona wrote: “House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff appears to have mischaracterized a text message exchange between two players in the Ukraine saga, according to documents obtained by POLITICO — a possible error the GOP will likely criticize as another example of the Democrats’ rushed effort to impeach President Donald Trump.”
That’s a diplomatic way of saying: Once again, Schiff has been caught lying.
Perhaps he wouldn’t get away with it so frequently if the media weren’t so complicit. Or fawning. Or defensive of Democrats and knee-jerk hateful of Trump.
“The Trump War Room account offered a thread of responses to the Democrats’ Ukraine evidence,” tweeted Phillip Bump, national correspondent for The Washington Post. “Every tweet in the thread was wrong or misleading.”
On surface, sounds tame enough. Right?
Except: Bump’s tweeted comment came in reference to a linked piece he included in the Twitter post, titled: “Analysis: As House Democrats lay out their case, Trump’s campaign and White House offer a different narrative.” And guess who wrote that “analysis?” Bump.
The media deception is this: Bump wrote an analysis that took bits and pieces of impeachment testimony, and in particular, of Schiff statements and framed them as proof positive of Trump’s guilt. He analyzed, and offered opinion. Then he basically tweeted his own opinion of Trump War Room’s lies as fact.
The outrage is Bump is a correspondent for The Washington Post, not an opinion writer. He’s supposed to be unbiased. He’s supposed to remain above the opinion fray.
Instead, he jumped right in it and, hold on, here’s where the deception gets really deep, started a massive wave of social media reaction.
Bump’s tweet was then retweeted by the likes of Chris Hayes, MSNBC host, and some of his 2 million followers, along with hundreds of Bump’s own followers — along with hundreds of those followers who then weighed in with comments about this White House’s “misleading” ways.
“Is the MSM just now figuring out that this Admin has one gear? Lie all the time is the play,” wrote one beneath Bump’s tweet.
Pay attention, ladies and gentlemen. This is a classic textbook case of how opinion becomes fact — one quick tweet at a time.
That’s how impeachable offenses turn into whatever the Democrats want them to be.
David Sanger, national security correspondent for The New York Times and a CNN contributor, and Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent for The New York Times and an MSNBC analyst, meanwhile, had Twitter words of criticism for Sen. Martha McSally after she shut down questions from CNN’s Manu Raju on “new evidence” for the impeachment trial in the Senate by calling him a “liberal hack.”
Baker tweeted: “Apparently daring to ask a straightforward question of a senator makes a reporter a ‘liberal hack.’”
Sanger retweeted that message and added his own: “Not only was the question perfectly appropriate, it was the obvious thing to ask someone who had just sworn an oath to be an impartial judge of the evidence. This didn’t sound like someone preparing for quiet, thoughtful deliberation of the evidence.”
But these tweets don’t seem like expressions that supposedly unbiased national security and White House journalists would make.
Why are they making that case? They’re trying to drag out the process and distract from the fact that impeachable offenses are nonexistent. They’re trying to pretend that the American people deserve to hear from all the witnesses, and see all the documents. They’re trying to pretend the House didn’t just present these witnesses and documents — and distract from the fact that they’re only trying to shove onto the Senate the witnesses and documents that didn’t meet their own smell test for House presentation. They’re trying to pretend that those who stonewall witness testimony and documents’ presentations are simply covering up for Trump. So certainly, assuredly, questions about “new evidence” to be presented in the Senate impeachment trial against Trump are, yes indeed, partisan hack attacks aimed at advancing the Democrats’ deceptions.
Baker and Sanger, supposed unbiased journalists, didn’t have to further this false Democratic ploy. They could’ve kept their supposedly unbiased journalist opinions to themselves and let the commentary writers make the case.
But today’s media doesn’t leave the bias on the opinion pages any more.
More examples? Maggie Haberman, the White House correspondent for The New York Times and a CNN analyst, has obviously thrown in for Michael Bloomberg over Trump, tweeting above a linked story of the ex-mayor’s financial fundraising abilities, “Bloomberg also is trolling Trump in ways that no candidate has in five years, and is making clear he isn’t afraid of him. For five years, Trump mostly dictated terms his rivals responded to. That’s not this.” Here comes Bloomberg, hear him roar?
The only thing missing from Haberman’s post is the triumphant “Take that, Trump!” at the end of the tweet.
Joe Lockhart, meanwhile, CNN’s media analyst, tweeted out a whole faked impeachment conversation between Republican senators that furthered the Democratic narrative and hit hard, albeit deceptively, at Trump — only to then follow with another tweet that read, “Ok maybe I made up the convo [conservation] but you know that’s exactly what they’re [GOP senators] thinking.”
There are more examples, many more.
The theme, though, is this: Democrats set Trump in their impeachment sights before he was even inaugurated. Just because Trump’s not committed any impeachable offenses doesn’t mean impeachment’s off the table.
And here’s the sad reality: With media like The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN and more, the concept of impeachable offenses — the truths of impeachable offenses — don’t really matter at all. Adam Schiff, no matter how many lies, is the hero in the media’s eyes.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.
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