Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee stated that for the first time in his life, he is witnessing the “media trying to keep a lid on government actions rather than fully expose.”
His observation came in response to the mainstream media opposing the release of the FISA memo last week before it became public.
In a Monday Facebook post, Huckabee wrote, “I lived through Pentagon Papers and Watergate, Iran Contra and Whitewater and more but 1st time in my life seeing Press trying to keep lid on govt actions rather than fully expose.”
He added, “They hate Donald Trump THAT much. More than they love truth. Sad. Journalism is dead.”
Huckabee’s point is backed up by numbers.
Following the vote by the House Intelligence Committee to release the memo compiled by chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, the Media Research Center reported last week that the big three networks overwhelmingly focused on the FBI’s calls for the memo not to be released, rather than the information regarding government surveillance abuse the document reportedly contained.
“The networks (CBS, ABC and NBC) dedicated roughly three and a half times the coverage to worries about releasing the memo than the allegations against the FBI,” according to the MRC. “Between January 29 (when the vote was held) and February 1, the networks dedicated roughly three and a half times the coverage to worries about releasing the memo than the allegations against the FBI.”
“During this time frame, the network evening newscasts dedicated a whopping 17 minutes and 20 seconds of airtime to Democratic Party talking points and FBI pleas not to release the memo,” the media watchdog group added. “In sharp contrast, they only spent four minutes and 54 seconds on the content of the memo, which included allegations of misconduct during the early days of the Russia investigation and abuse of FISA warrants.”
In a piece entitled, “Media’s longtime crusade for transparency ends with Nunes memo as ‘The Post’ remains in theaters,” Fox News media analyst Brian Flood contended the mainstream media’s response to the memo’s release was consistent across the board.
“The media industry’s decades-old crusade for transparency ended this week as liberal pundits from a variety of news organizations called for the controversial memo on alleged FBI abuses to stay private,” he wrote.
Flood continued, “Talking heads on both CNN and MSNBC, as well as editorial boards from the prestigious New York Times and Washington Post have all come out against the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence memo that potentially reveals the FBI abused spying authorities and paints government officials as anti-Trump.”
He couldn’t help noting the irony of the movie “The Post,” which lauds the paper for publishing the classified Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War, still remaining theaters, while the media opposes the release of information about government corruption in the present day.
Flood pointed to The Post’s editorial board trying to justify opposing the memo’s release by arguing that President Trump will use it to undermine the Russia investigation. The implication of their argument is clear: the American public is not intelligent enough to weigh the evidence in the document and decide its importance and meaning.
As reported by The Western Journal, The Post’s Greg Sargent argued in an op-ed last week that Trump and congressional Republicans are engaging in a cover-up related to Russia investigation by releasing the memo.
In a segment last week, FNC’s Sean Hannity showed some examples of just how differently media outlets treated the Watergate scandal versus how they are covering the use of government agencies to spy on a rival political campaign that the Nunes memo chronicles.
Watergate centered on Republican operatives breaking into the Democratic National Committee’s national headquarters in 1972 to obtain opposition research about the presidential campaign and the cover-up that followed.
“The president was removed from office and had to resign over that,” Hannity noted.
The Fox anchor showed a clips of anchors and reporters of the time, like CBS’ Dan Rather and NBC’s David Brinkley, plainly covering the dangers of the abuse of power by those serving in positions of trust in the government.
“The American people will put up with a great deal,” Brinkley said at the time, “but they will not put up with anyone who claims to be or tries to be above the law, immune to the rules applying to everybody else. It seems to be known instinctively that if anyone acquires that privilege, it will be end of this country.”
Hannity said the abuses documented in part in the FISA memo “will make Watergate look like a parking ticket.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.