Chait’s premise is that the President, through his supposed unwillingness or incapability to answer simple questions, has lowered expectations by the media, and they in turn lower their bar for what is acceptable.
“It’s not the media’s fault that Trump continues to incriminate himself and is unable to answer simple questions,” he writes.
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“The problem is not that the media holds him to a difficult standard,” claims Chait. “He is held, by necessity, to a more forgiving standard than any modern president.”
The media is biased in Trump’s favor. (Because it’s literally impossible to hold him to a normal standard.) https://t.co/8odKwuPoLw
— Jonathan Chait (@jonathanchait) October 19, 2020
New York Magazine Author Uses Town Hall to Prove Media Biased in Trump’s Favor
Demonstrating a complete disconnect from reality, Chait used the dueling town hall meetings last week for President Trump and Democrat nominee Joe Biden as evidence of his theory.
“It is true that Trump found many of the questions posed to him difficult to answer and that Biden answered his queries more easily,” he writes, using a question about QAnon as an example.
“Let me ask you about QAnon. It is this theory that Democrats are a satanic pedophile ring and that you are the savior, of that. Now can you just, once and for all, state that that is completely not true?” moedrator Savannah Guthrie asked.
“Answering this query should have been extremely simple. Trump couldn’t do it,” Chait claims.
In reality, Trump had no interest in addressing the group because “I just don’t know about QAnon.”
But he certainly addressed the fact that if the group promotes wild conspiracy theories that they may be a little nuts.
Trump: “I know nothing about QAnon. I know very little.”
Guthrie: “I just told you.”
Trump: “You told me, but what you tell me doesn’t necessarily make it fact. I hate to say that.” pic.twitter.com/08ngfKQ34G
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 16, 2020
Guthrie said, “Republican Senator Ben Sasse said, quote, ‘QAnon is nuts and real leaders call conspiracy theories, conspiracy theories.’”
“He may be right,” Trump replied.
Savannah Guthrie tells Donald Trump some weird stuff about QAnon and then demands he denounce what she said. He says he knows nothing about QAnon. She may be right but he doesn’t know anything about it. DONALD TRUMP SPEAKS FOR ALL OF US.
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) October 16, 2020
Another moment in the town hall that Chait and New York Magazine likely sees as a missed opportunity to answer a simple question was one in which Guthrie demanded the President denounce white supremacy for the umpteenth time.
“It feels sometimes you’re hesitant to do so,” Guthrie suggested AFTER Trump had denounced white supremacy three times in the preceding 30 seconds.
President @realDonaldTrump: “Are you listening? I condemn white supremacy.”
Savannah Guthrie: “It feels sometimes you’re hesitant to do so…”
These people aren’t serious. pic.twitter.com/lQVmHnieRh
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) October 16, 2020
Journalists have resorted to asking the same question hundreds of times and if denouncement number 100 isn’t as forceful as the first, they turn and say ‘you seem hesitant to do so.’
Media is Most Definitely Biased Against Him
By contrast, Chait seems unable to take a simple fact, an indisputable fact, that the media is biased against President Trump, and respond with a competent column analyzing that notion.
The same town halls, for example, featured a hostile Guthrie badgering the President, while on the other network, a former Clinton ally used questions from supposedly undecided voters to walk him through the event.
Two of those individuals, undisclosed by ABC News and George Papadopoulos, were a former Obama speechwriter and wife of a former Pennsylvania Democrat candidate.
.@JoeBiden took questions from audience members at his ABC News town hall event.
Including some, it turns out, from friendly sources.https://t.co/IZLBPyDRwD
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) October 16, 2020
Even beyond that, the media has been viciously biased against President Trump for his entire three years in office.
The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald, for example, picked apart the entire Russia collusion story which turned out to be one of the more outright fake news stories in our lifetime.
“Note that all of these ‘errors’ go only in one direction,” Greenwald opines on the media’s coverage of a scandal that never came to be, “namely, exaggerating the grave threat posed by Moscow and the Trump circle’s connection to it.”
No media bias here: Networks spend 2,202 Minutes on Fake Russia Scandal, and Zero minutes for Senate Intelligence Committee No Collusion Report!!!
THIS IS WHY NO ONE TRUSTS THE MEDIA. https://t.co/vTlj43VbNe
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 15, 2019
In a more recent example of flagrant bias, NBC News anchor Chuck Todd, in an interview with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, pushed his shared pro-shutdown bias with his viewers.
Todd claimed, incorrectly, that a decision by the Michigan Supreme Court which ruled that she had violated the Michigan Constitution in her extended pandemic orders, did “not cite any law” in their decision.
The court, he said, failed to “cite any Michigan law, they didn’t cite any law in deciding that you didn’t have this power.”
“The roughly 50-page opinion contains over 60 cases discussed in support of the decision,” legal scholar Jonathan Turley countered. “It does not seem to matter anymore at Meet The Press or NBC.”
…This does not count repeated citations to regulations and sources as diverse as the writings of John Locke. For academics who have called for an end to objectivity in journalism, Meet the Press.
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) October 18, 2020
All of this still leads Chait and New York Magazine to the conclusion that the media is biased in Trump’s favor.
“When conservatives complain about Trump’s coverage, they are decrying not the standards being set but the outcomes,” he alleges.
“If their president is unable to clear even the lower bar set before him, it must be lowered further still, so that he can hop over it at least occasionally.
In reality, the bar is set as high as it has ever been for the President. He has been impeached for common phone calls with foreign nations. He has been maligned in the media for collusion with little to no evidence.
A quick second grader level Google search would have prevented you looking like a moron online here.https://t.co/L4sV9mSFeO
— Jason S. (@JasonYaySon) October 19, 2020
Meanwhile, Biden has been been the subject of numerous scandals and the media has collectively worked to keep them out of the public eye.
A Knight Foundation poll in 2020 shows that 86 percent of Americans see bias in the mainstream media’s news coverage.
“A majority of Americans currently see ‘a great deal’ (49%) or ‘a fair amount’ (37%) of political bias in news coverage,” they write.
The vast majority of that political bias goes in one direction, and one direction only.
Read more at the Political Insider