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By Olivia Pierson
[First published on Incite 4/7/19]
US news correspondent and political commentator, Danielle McLaughlin, a left-wing Kiwi living in the United States, used her writing and speaking skills to support Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election.
More often than not, McLaughlin parrots tabloid news stories which are very light on facts and heavy on psychodrama. Rather than writing columns which could provide a unique or insightful angle, perhaps even with a hint of intellectual prowess, McLaughlin instead panders to the poll-governed herd mentality by only peddling regurgitated ‘fake-news’ – and media outlets such as NZ’s Sunday Star Times continually lap it up.
For instance, in 2016, one month out from election day, McLaughlin wrote a piece titled, “It’ll Take a Miracle to Save the Donald Now.” Published here in New Zealand by the Sunday Star Times and then by Stuff, McLaughlin’s article told us that after the lewd Access Hollywood tape-leak, Trump was finished – she even acknowledged the danger of making political predictions while saying this:
Predictions are a dangerous game in politics. But absent a miracle, it’s over.
With her high-as-a-kite confidence in the veracity of the mainstream polls, McLaughlin launched into the reasons why Trump could not, and would not, win the presidency. The trouble with her “reasoning” lay in the fact that it was mostly second-hand psychobabble and emotional opinion, often typical of the feminist mind. She ended that predictive piece with these words:
Trump, the man who ‘cherishes women,’ but has spent decades debasing them, has been hiding in plain sight for the entire election season… Oh, the irony. Looks like he’s about to get trounced by a woman.
You’d think that after such a spectacularly amusing misread of America’s body politic, McLaughlin may have learned to pause and perhaps reconsider before confidently following the narrative of mainstream media’s talking heads, but no.
Here’s McLaughlin acting out the psychodrama again in her latest hit-piece for the Sunday Star Times (published once more on Stuff), titled, “Trump and Putin picked the wrong time to joke about ‘getting rid’ of fake news.”
President Trump’s jocular press sit-down at the G20 summit with Vladimir Putin has caused widespread ire in the press, partly because the president flippantly deflected a question from a reporter about Russian meddling in the American elections by telling Putin in an off-the-cuff manner, “Don’t meddle in our elections,” and partly because, as McLaughlin reports, he quipped about “getting rid” of fake-news.
But did he?
On the anniversary of the worst attack on the press in American history, the US President joked with Vladimir Putin about “getting rid” of the “fake news” at a sit-down at the G20 summit in Japan. Trump suggested Russia did not have a fake news problem. With a chuckle, Putin assured him that it did.
McLaughlin’s piece comes to us with a video clip at the top of it, but the clip does not show President Trump saying anything about “getting rid of them” [fake-news] as her headline clearly states.
In the last few days, I have seen numerous reports on these words attributed to the president in Putin’s presence, from Fox News to the Huffington Post, but no evidence whatsoever that President Trump actually said them. This clip put out as another hit-piece on the president by the Washington Post, shows the two leaders side-by-side during the now deliciously-damned moment, but he that hath ears to hear, let him hear – both the speech and the visual edit. They are clunkier than an MSNBC-produced Democratic primary debate.
The narrative seems to have originated from Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Jacob’s Twitter feed.
I challenge McLaughlin to give us some real proof, else, as if her carelessly predictive reporting of the 2016 presidential race weren’t enough for thinking people to pass her commentary by, she ought to be dismissed for a headline that is an outright lie, told in order to make President Trump look as though he supports the murder of journalists (as Putin does). This is simply disgraceful reportage and as a lawyer McLaughlin ought to know better, though perhaps that explains a lot.
But here’s the guts of this non-issue, if President Trump did say about the fake-news media, “get rid of them,” who in their right mind would think for a moment that he meant anything other than rid them out of the room and therefore out of his face? He deeply dislikes them, as many of us do. To link these words with murder, as McLaughlin’s dim-witted column has done overtly, makes me wonder if the woman can only ever write when she takes a break from her meds.
McLaughlin also wrote these words through the fog of the same grandiose haze:
This is personal for me, of course, being a member of a profession generally populated by over-worked, under-paid scribes and storytellers who see the world as it is, but aren’t afraid to talk about the world as it could be. Who endeavour to be fair, and care enough about mistakes to make retractions, but know that some without that moral clarity will take advantage of the truism that a lie will make it around the world before the truth has done up her shoelaces.
Has anybody heard McLaughlin, in the name of the moral clarity she likes to boast about possessing, either retract a word or apologise for her false reporting and commentary about Trump not being able to win the Whitehouse?
Implying that President Trump treats the press in America the same way that Putin treats the press in Russia, i.e, brutally, McLaughlin ends her latest attack by casting this direct aspersion on the president:
The same cannot be said for Trump or Putin, who understand very clearly the job of reporting is to hold them to account, but prefer to use the power of their offices to stifle it.
So who watches the watchers?
Once again, I challenge McLaughlin to provide her readers with some evidence that President Trump has ever once used his power “to stifle” the freedom of the press. Temporarily banning Jim Acosta from the Whitehouse for obnoxiously hogging press time on a shared microphone does not count, neither does dubbing fake-news “the enemy of the people,” for that is an understatement which is protected by the president’s first amendment right, not an action, though it is clear to me that the new anti-freedom of expression Left have much trouble understanding the difference between words and actions.
Though she saw fit to quote him, Thomas Jefferson would spin in his grave if he could read McLaughlin’s charges toward the current president over something he supposedly said. Jefferson wrote to his friend William Munford in 1779:
To preserve the freedom of the human mind... and freedom of the press, every spirit should be ready to devote itself to martyrdom; for as long as we may think as we will and speak as we think, the condition of man will proceed in improvement.
“To think as we will and speak as we think.” I hate to break it to the folks with TDS, like McLaughlin, but that great dictum includes President Trump’s right to critique the viciously hostile fake-news media, so get over it.
I call upon McLaughlin to show us incontrovertibly where President Trump has acted to have a critic from the press silenced, because I can provide real examples of a president who shamefully persecuted political reporters in deed. His name is Obama and I wrote about it here:
The persecution of James Rosen of Fox News, James Risen of The New York Times, the Associated Press scandal, the persecution of Sharyl Attkisson over her reportage of the ‘Fast and Furious’ scandal and the persecution which resulted in the imprisonment of political commentator and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza.
D’Souza was officially pardoned by President Trump, but not before he’d gone through hell and had a lot more than his first amendment rights taken away.
Instead of just being another defeated sour-puss, Ms. McLaughlin needs to cough-up some hard facts as supporting evidence of her spurious journalistic claims - and the Sunday Star Times and Stuff should demand that she does before they publish one more word of her fake-news.
If not, she, and they, are to be dismissed as glaring examples of just how impoverished truthful and accurate standards are in the New Zealand press, especially when it comes to covering President Trump’s time in office.
If you enjoyed this article, please buy my book "Western Values Defended: A Primer"
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