The establishment media suffered a series of self-inflicted wounds this week that diminished its own credibility far more than the president ever could.
The trouble started Saturday night at an event that bills itself as a celebration of press freedom and the First Amendment.
Historically, the White House Correspondent’s Dinner is meant to raise money for journalism scholarships and to honor the good work of reporters. Most recently, however, the event has simply become an opportunity for elitist journalists to rub elbows with celebrities and listen to bitter comedians mock conservatives.
The shift in tone of the WHCD was evident this year when comedienne Michelle Wolf mean-spiritedly attacked White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, accusing of her of everything from acting like an angry softball coach to being an “Uncle Tom” for white women. (RELATED: I Watched How Sarah Sanders Privately Reacted After Being Attacked – This Is Her Real Character)
Many journalists publicly and privately expressed dismay with the “entertainment” and quickly tried to distance themselves from Wolf’s act, including avoiding asking Sanders any questions about it at the next White House press briefing. (RELATED: WH Correspondents Avoid Asking Sarah Sanders About WHCD)
While the WHCD eventually disappeared from the front page, the press made a number of other major missteps that discolored the week.
On Monday, a number of news outlets got basic facts wrong about Vice President Mike Pence’s planned speech at the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting. Politico, USA Today, MSNBC and a number of local outlets ran with false headlines claiming the NRA was banning guns from its own meeting. (RELATED: Fake News: All The Publications That Got A Basic Fact Wrong About Pence’s Speech)
In actuality, the Secret Service was responsible for the firearm ban, as they do not allow firearms to be present at events with the president and/or vice president.
NBC hit another snag immediately thereafter by mishandling sexual harassment claims against Tom Brokaw, reportedly pressuring female employees into signing a letter of support for the anchor and then instructing anchors to report on the letter on-air. Additionally, instead of opting for an external review on the allegations, NBC is handling the claim in-house, seemingly to minimize fallout. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Tom Brokaw’s Accuser Fights Back)
Just days later, in a callback to the lack of decorum at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, at least one journalist showed their lack of class by screaming questions at the president during the National Day of Prayer.
In front of a diverse array of faith leaders, one reporter shouted a question about Stormy Daniels, horrifying the many guests who were present to pray. One guest reportedly even said “shame on you” to the reporter and asked him to have some respect for the ceremony. (RELATED: Reporter Screams At Trump About Stormy Daniels At National Day Of Prayer Ceremony)
If guests were shocked by that reporter’s actions, they would have been seriously disturbed by another Thursday event.
NBC News, clearly stumbling through the week at this point, claimed in a report that federal investigators had been listening in on Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s phone calls. The story led to breathless coverage throughout the media, but like many of the media’s anti-Trump stories, it turned out to be fake news.
MSNBC later issued an on-air correction clarifying that investigators had a pen register warrant on Cohen, which allowed them to see his call logs but did not allow them to actually listen to any of his calls. It was nowhere near the “wiretap” the network initially claimed. (RELATED: MSNBC Issues HUGE Correction To Michael Cohen ‘Wiretap’ Story)
To summarize, the media kicked off this week with an elitist dinner to “honor the First Amendment,” only to cripple themselves with a series of fake news stories, rancorous behavior and yet another sexual harassment scandal.
Keep up the good work, guys.