Brian Stelter – screen grab via CNN.
I wrote on Sunday about how the Washington Post’s resident fact checker Glenn Kessler thought it would be a cool thing to take a gratuitous swipe at President Trump by comparing what he said at the SOTU in February about the unemployment rate to the country’s economic downturn in the midst of the Wuhan coronavirus crisis.
To quickly recap, here’s the first of four tweets Kessler sent out about how Trump’s remarks “did not age well” in light of recent events:
Line from Trump's State of the Union address that did not age well: "“Incredibly, the average unemployment rate under my administration is lower than any administration in the history of our country.”
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) April 4, 2020
It was a really bad look, especially when you consider that the mainstream media were among the biggest cheerleaders for governors implementing shelter in place orders and other drastic measures that brought about the job losses and business closures in the first place.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), as I noted in my piece, took Kessler to the woodshed over it, noting Kessler and other media figures were “giddy with glee” over the news:
The press HATED that, three months ago, we had the lowest African-American & Hispanic unemployment ever recorded. Now that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic—which originated in Wuhan, not the Oval Office—too many in the press are giddy with glee. #RootForAmerica https://t.co/JGb5mgHanT
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 5, 2020
CNN’s obnoxious chief media correspondent Brian Stelter huffed and puffed about Cruz’s accusation in his Sunday night newsletter, calling his claim and Sen. Marco Rubio’s claim that the media were gleeful about the rise in coronavirus cases an “abhorrent smear“:
Ted Cruz hits media with abhorrent smear
Oliver Darcy emails: Ted Cruz joined Marco Rubio over the weekend with a reprehensible smear against the media. Cruz said on Twitter that “the press are giddy with glee” at the havoc coronavirus is wrecking on the economy. Of course, this is an absurd take for a number of reasons. John Harwood pointed out, “The press roots for America by holding our government accountable for its actions, and how they affect the health and well-being of Americans.”
It’s also a nonsensical take given that journalist are facing the repercussions of the toll the virus is taking on the economy. Several news organizations have either laid off employees or implemented pay cuts. But as The Daily Beast’s Max Tani tweeted, “It’s depressing to know that despite the fact that is obviously untrue, there’s probably very little you could say/show the people who believe this is true to change their minds.”
Here’s a little reality check for these fauxfended “journalists”: A “smear” isn’t a smear if it’s a true statement, and neither Kessler, nor Stelter, nor anyone else who eagerly reports on bad news about our economy or the rise in number of Wuhan coronavirus cases has done anything to credibly counter the accusation. The reason it’s noted they are gleeful about it is because of how quick reporters are to disingenuously use the information to bash Trump and the United States.
When national media journalists like Kessler, CNN’s Oliver Darcy and Jim Acosta, and others stop acting like mouthpieces for the DNC, maybe we can discuss no longer calling them “gleeful” over reporting bad news.
Until then …