Much has been made of so-called “fake news.” But some news can be quite real, yet contrived nonetheless.
The ginned-up controversy over the Trump administration letting go dozens of U.S. attorneys – over which the “mainstream” media foamed at the mouth this past weekend – is exactly that: contrived.
The reason: It has become part of the transition process. In fact, whereas the Trump administration only let 46 U.S. attorneys go, Bill Clinton and Janet Reno fired 93 of them.
The bias and hypocrisy in the media, while often subtle, is simply unsurpassed: Politico.com reported in 2009 that President Obama would “replace” a “batch” of Bush-era prosecutors. This past week, Politico wrote, “Trump team ousts Obama-appointed U.S. attorneys.”
There are subtle but profound intonations, and perhaps intentions, between the words “replace” and “oust.” Why does a Democrat president simply “replace” prosecutors where a Republican president “ousts” them?
And why is this even news? As previous presidents have made clear, U.S. attorneys are presidential appointments – meaning the president should have a modicum of choice as to who they are.
In the Augusta area, changes in U.S. attorneys under new presidents are so routine and expected that quiet speculation began building right after the November election as to whom President Trump would appoint U.S. attorney here.
So ask yourself: Why was this such a big deal to the national news moguls? Was it just a slow news weekend? If so, couldn’t they turn to important issues facing the country, such as the economy, homeland security or the national debt?
And how is it that these news outlets always seem to gravitate toward the same word to describe something political? In this case, the media’s word du jour is “abrupt,” as in “the U.S. attorneys were fired abruptly.” When it became clear that mass personnel changes are the norm in presidential transitions, the media whined about how “abrupt” they were. No such complaints with Democrat presidents.
Of course, the mini non-scandal was helped along by the fact that Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara refused to resign and forced the president to fire him – setting him up, one supposes, as some sort of martyr in the media’s eyes, even though Bharara and the media well knew he served at the pleasure of the president.
At least one analyst doesn’t see Bharara as any kind of martyr. Dick Bove told CNBC that Bharara was part of an Obama prosecutorial cabal that used the intimidating power of the Justice Department to shake down major financial institutions for money.
“Getting rid of these guys is fabulous for banking, but it’s also good for the American way of justice,” Bove said. “What we saw in the last four years, I think it’s an outrage against the justice system that supposedly exists in this country. …
“This is a type of McCarthyism that we’re using, if you assume that McCarthyism is gathering a consensus of the American people that some segment has done harm to the country. Once you’ve got that consensus, you’re free to attack the group that you’ve isolated. That’s exactly what happened here.”
The media want to find any morsel of outrage they can with which to try to shame the Trump administration.
Mark this one as an epic fail.