How our politicized media would review the Narnia books

Our media is highly politicized across the spectrum, obsessed–pro- or con- or somewhere in between–with the Donald Trump phenomenon.  No one can escape it!  And in print, on screen, and online pundits are interpreting non-Trump phenomena in Trumpian terms.

My former student John Ehrett, of whom I am proud, has a hilarious piece in The Federalist about what various outlets would say if The Chronicles of Narnia were to be published today.

He looks at 21 media outlets, from The New York Times to Patheos, and nails the sensibility and obsessions of each one.

Samples after the jump.
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No, Trump isn’t censoring government agencies

8073618443_4369aee552_zThe media is aghast that President Trump is requiring approval for website posts, clamping down on the use of social media,  freezing grants, and forbidding federal agencies from issuing news releases.  Censorship!  Information control!  Orwellian thought police!

Well, it turns out, as even the New York Times now admits, this is routine practice during the transition from one administration to another.  The same orders were handed down when the Obama administration replaced that of George W. Bush. As veteran federal workers are trying to explain, when new leadership comes into an agency, until it gets settled in, you hold off on your operations.  Orders to do so have been coming not from Trump but from Obama-appointed agency heads.

But what about Trump coming down on the National Parks Service for the tweets about how his inaugural crowd was smaller than Obama’s?  Read the whole story about that and how agency transitions work after the jump. [Read more…]

The journalistic sin of smugness

Will Rahn, the Washington editor of the Daily Beast, no less (known both for its liberalism and its snarkiness), has written a mea culpa on journalists’ failure to understand the Trump phenomenon, a confession remarkable for its self-knowledge and its moral diagnosis. [Read more…]

CNN caught feeding debate questions to Clinton

Donna Brazile is a Democratic operative who landed a gig as a commentator at CNN.  The Wikileak trove of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s e-mails includes Brazile giving him a question that would be asked in the CNN-hosted Town Hall debate.

Earlier Wikileaks seemed to indicate that she was leaking questions in earlier debates, but Brazile and CNN both strongly denied it.  But there is no question about what this e-mail says.

So CNN and Brazile have severed ties. [Read more…]

Media election coverage

After the Republican convention, the media was giving Trump lots of unfavorable coverage.  But once Hillary Clinton racked up a seemingly safe lead in the polls, reporters started giving her a hard time.  To the point that after Matt Lauer’s interview of the two candidates, Democrats complained about media bias!  (Welcome to the Republicans’ world!)  Now that Trump has caught up in the polls, though, journalists are attacking him again.

Prediction:  Watch for stories now about Clinton’s good qualities.

CNBC moderators lost the debate

Pretty much everybody agrees with the conclusions on our liveblog that the CNBC moderators of the Republican debate did an embarrassingly horrible job.  Even usually liberal observers–such as Time, NPR, and Politico–are saying so.  For a colorful account, see the British take in the London Daily Mail.

It wasn’t just that the questions were hard, or even biased.  Everyone expects that.  It’s that the questions were trivial (casting aspersions on Rubio for cashing in a $67,000 IRA?  Asking Jeb Bush his position on taxing fantasy football?), insulting (asking Trump if he is a “comic book” candidate?), and not fact-checked (one moderator cited information that he himself had had to retract earlier!).  And yet, the Republican candidates, individually and as a whole, scored big against them, with both indignation and wit.

After the jump, a good summary from the usually liberal Daily Beast, with this deck:  “From silly and inaccurate questions to just plain awkward interruptions, Team CNBC stumbled in Boulder—and was absolutely clobbered by the Republican presidential field for it.” [Read more…]