Caruso: How the Media Gave the Week to Trump: Fake News, Lies, and Strange Obsessions

President Donald Trump listens as North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper speaks while attending a briefing, after arriving at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point to visit areas impacted by Hurricane Florence, Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, in Havelock, N.C. FEMA Administrator Brock Long is leaning in a right. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
AP/Evan Vucci

Stormy Daniels’ book! Allegations against Brett Kavanaugh! Fallout from Hurricane Florence! Surely this would be a bad week for Trump. But at every turn, the establishment media fell on their faces trying to pin down Trump, telling bald-faced lies, fostering strange obsessions, and making gross analogies that exposed them as dishonest and ridiculous.

The week started out with CNN host Anderson Cooper dedicating almost 10 minutes to “debunking” a tweet from Donald Trump Jr.

Last weekend, Trump Jr. posted a story from Breitbart News about CNN’s falling ratings (written by this reporter), along with a photo of Anderson Cooper standing in waist-deep water while his camera crew was on much higher ground.

The photo was not from the recent Hurricane Florence, but was actually from Hurricane Ike in 2008.

Though some Twitter users falsely claimed otherwise, Trump Jr. never once claimed the photo was from Florence.

On Monday night, Cooper dedicated a long-winded segment to “debunking” Trump Jr.’s tweet, and later followed up by tweeting, “what are the chances apologizes for lying about me? Im not holding my breath.”

During his monologue, Cooper said:

“Now, over the weekend, however, the son of the president, Donny Jr., tweeted out this picture of me in waist high water, my camera crew, a few feet away, on higher ground, in only a little bit of water. Donny Jr. was claiming it showed me in Florence faking the depths of flood waters in order to somehow harm his father. And I quote from his tweet ‘stop lying to try to make @realDonaldTrump look bad.'”

This is a total lie—Trump Jr. never said that the photo was from Florence.

Trump Jr. responded on Twitter, accusing CNN of “Crying & Lying.”

“Not surprised lied about me on last night. Par for the course. I never said the pic of him was from Florence. When I tweeted out the picture of it was with a link to an article about CNN’s dwindling ratings. Nothing to do with Florence,” Trump Jr. added.

The establishment media also embarrassed themselves with their focus on porn star Stormy Daniels’ upcoming book–focusing on strange, personal details about President Trump’s penis that Daniels claims to have seen when the two had an alleged sexual encounter in 2006.

CNN host Jake Tapper dedicated a segment on his show to Daniels book, during which the appearance of President Trump’s penis is discussed.

“Lots of books claim to be tell-alls, but they don’t follow through. Stormy Daniels’ new book about her life is not that book. Wow. She tells all,” Tapper said to introduce the segment.

During the piece, CNN correspondent Sara Sidner recalls how Daniels describes Trump’s penis.

“When Daniels came out of the bathroom, she claims Trump was lying on the bed in his underwear. They had sex. She then describes his genitalia in great detail. ‘His penis is distinctive in a certain way,’ she writes. Proof, her attorney Michael Avenatti says, she is tired of being called a liar by Trump’s people.”

Late night hosts also went into full obsession mode over Trump’s genitals, with Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, and Seth Meyers all dedicating bits to Trump’s penis.

Finally, in reporting on the controversy surrounding allegations made against Brett Kavanaugh, many in the media catapulted themselves into full dishonesty mode.

CNN’s Jim Acosta played a blatantly misleading video clip of a speech Brett Kavanaugh gave in 2015.

Meanwhile, CNN’s Chris Cillizza lied in a tweet, falsely accusing Trump of “telling the FBI to ignore an allegation of sexual assault.”

As Breitbart News’ John Nolte wrote:

To begin with, in his statement, all the president did was reiterate what the FBI has already said. On two occasions, through the Department of Justice, and independent of Trump, the FBI accurately pointed out that their agency does not investigate local sexual misconduct allegations, especially ones that happened 36 years ago when both parties were still teenagers in high school.

The worst part of Cillizza’s lie, though, is that if you look at Trump ‘s precise words, he actually said he would support the FBI had they decided to get involved — which is the exact opposite of “telling the FBI to ignore” the matter.

“I don’t think the FBI really should be involved because they don’t want to be involved,” Trump said, adding, “if they wanted to be I would certainly do that, but as you know they say this is not really their thing.”

Finally, a number of Republican women bucked the narrative and defended Brett Kavanaugh to CNN reporter Randi Kaye during a segment that aired on Anderson Cooper 360 Thursday.

“Because one woman made an allegation–sorry, I don’t buy it,” one woman told CNN’s Kaye.


Kaye asked the group of women, “Why would she come forward if this wasn’t true? Because it has basically destroyed her family. She’s had to move. She’s gone undercover. She’s gotten death threats. So if she’s lying, why come forward?”

“She’s also destroying his life, his wife’s life, his children’s lives. His career. I mean, why didn’t she come out sooner if she’s telling the truth?” a woman named Irina Villarino responded.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes closed off the week by sending an unhinged tweet comparing the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court to rape on Friday.

“So even though Dr Ford is saying please stop, slow down, I’m not comfortable with the way this is going, the GOP is gonna plow through, ignore her telling them to stop and just take what they think is rightfully theirs?” Hayes tweeted.

No wonder why many distrust the media more than ever.


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