Reacting to criticism of the media’s Mueller coverage, CNN’s Dana Bash suggested she and her peers will let up on President Trump — but only if he does what the media tell him to do.
She threatened him.
Not physically, of course.
But it was a “Do what I want, or I’ll make your life hell” threat.
A few minutes before Bash’s unfortunate meltdown, Mike Shields (who is excellent) offered some extremely respectful advice to the media.
Media organizations should go back and talk to the people that shaded their coverage towards “Collusion! Collusion!”, and ask some really tough questions so that the public starts to regain their trust in the coverage.
…which is probably why host Anderson Cooper’s response was to completely ignore the comment and move on.
A few minutes later, after Shields just finished shooting down another one of their anti-Trump angles, Cooper finally responded to Shields’ comment about the media.
“You talk about the coverage of this. Isn’t a lot of the focus that this has gotten understandable given the President’s own public comments, which have led even Mueller to point them out as some of the reasons why obstruction was so much a topic that they were looking into because the statements by the President himself made it seem like he might be trying to obstruct justice?”
After hearing the CNN host again blame Trump for their failures, Shields this time tried to be a little more clear:
“Look the President’s a pugilist and I don’t think he helped himself by fighting back on this. But that’s not my point. My point is that since the 2016 election I’ve been saying I believe in a free media. The media’s incredibly important in this country and they’re losing the American people’s faith. The ratings of trust in the media have been going down for 20 years. It predates the President coming in. And we’re at an inflection point here because a lot of Americans have been led to believe, for whatever reason, and a lot of it is from media coverage and shading and editors shading their coverage in a way that made it look like collusion was real. Hold people accountable for that. Come out and say ‘We were wrong.’ Write some editorials. Hold some journalists accountable for the mistakes they made. That would earn the American people’s trust back. If we keep just saying, ‘Well what about the President?!’, all that’s going to do is go right back into this. He was just exonerated for collusion, and the media needs to help themselves. I’m begging the media to help themselves earn the trust back of the American people at this moment.”
Brutal for CNN’s well-documented Trump haters to hear on their own set, but absolutely fair criticism and again — great advice.
Dana Bash then tried her best to offer a retort, but what she ended up delivering sounded more like a threat. Watch as she tries to shake off the direct hit that she and the rest of the media just took, then — without actually addressing the criticism at all, and yet again citing her imaginary “anonymous Republican sources” — she says it will all get better for President Trump if he just stops playing to his own base so much and instead does what she and others in the media want him to do.
Everybody got that? This is basically what we just watched…
Shields: The media coverage was biased. You should apologize and do better.
Bash: The bad coverage was Trump’s fault. But now he has a chance to start over and be the President that we in the media want, instead of the one his base wants.
So presumably, if President Trump starts behaving the way Bash wants, then the coverage will get better.
She’ll claim that’s not what she meant, but it’s exactly what she implied. It was a gaffe driven by her discomfort after being called out on her own network.
And if it’s truly not what she meant, then I’d invite her to respond to the totally justified criticisms of the media with something besides “But Trump started it and oh by the way now he has a chance to do better.”
That’s not how the Presidency works, Dana. And it’s not how good reporting is supposed to work either. You don’t get to dictate to the President of the United States how he does his job. And if you don’t like how he’s doing his job, you don’t get to foment conspiracy theories and fake news in an attempt to destroy him and disenfranchise his tens of millions of supporters.
But you go ahead and bring it on.
We’re still not tired of winning.
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