Bulletin from the “Dog Bites Man” News File: Brace yourselves, the New York Times is biased against Donald Trump!
Normally, that would carry the same news value as hearing that Michael Avenatti likes the sound of his own voice, but the interesting part is the source of that observation. No, it’s not Captain Obvious. It’s in a new book by former New York Times editor Jill Abramson. She’s also a former Times Washington bureau chief and Wall Street Journal investigative reporter. And she admits that the Times is “unmistakably anti-Trump.”
Two other things that make this newsworthy are that Abramson points out that the Times is not merely liberal in its opinion pieces but in its alleged straight news reporting, and exposes the reason why this is so. Abramson notes that with Trump’s rise, the Times’ publishers and editors realized that there was a strong desire among its liberal readers for negative stories on Trump, and a big financial incentive to run as many Trump stories as possible, virtually all of them negative. In fact, Trump is right: he is almost singlehandedly responsible for saving the New York Times, whose subscriptions had fallen to 600,000 before he came along, and then skyrocketed to 2 million.
While some of the staffers, especially the younger ones, are leftist true-believers who actually think it’s vital to bring down Trump, much of the one-sided coverage is driven by a desperate need for subscribers and online readers to draw advertisers. It’s turned the once-vaunted “Paper of Record” into the world’s most-quoted anti-Trump clickbait farm.
So to all the liberal readers of the Times who like to hold forth in the comments sections from astride their high horses about how much better-informed they are than “Faux News” viewers, maybe it’s time you realize that you’re being exploited and misinformed. Of course, they’d probably never read this newsletter anyway, which is a shame, since I at least tell you right up front that I am providing my personal opinions, analysis and commentary on the news, not delivering the Truth to you every day on tablets carved by God.
I’m sure the Times' publishers don’t read me, either, but with even its own former editor finally exposing their scam, perhaps they’ll at least be honest enough to change that laughable motto from “All the News That’s Fit to Print” to “All the News That Makes Trump Look Like a Chump.”
Funniest tweet of the day. Whoever picked Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s debut appearance as a presidential candidate in Iowa apparently has never even seen a map of Iowa. I have a feeling the same is probably true of Elizabeth Warren.
Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife is under fire by the media for sharing a few Facebook memes that seem to me to be nothing more than a little hyperbole or humor based on obvious truths, but that are being denounced as “far-right” by far-leftists who would never dream of calling themselves “far-left,” even though they obviously are. Their outrage reminds me of a quote from drive-in movie critic “Joe Bob Briggs”: when people tell him that what he says might be right, but it isn’t nice to say it, he thinks, “Remember when it was enough just to be right?”
CNN was lucky this year, and not just because they didn’t have Kathy Griffin as part of their New Year’s Eve show. NBC’s coverage of New Year’s Eve in Times Square was so bad (they earned the unique distinction of having dropped the ball by not showing the dropping of the ball), the chatter over it mostly overshadowed any talk about CNN’s coverage.
For those who enjoy train wrecks, here’s a recap of the evening, from the anchors’ drinking to the inappropriate topics of conversation, down to the lowest point of all, when original “Saturday Night Live” cast member Jane Curtin proved that she’s still not ready for prime time by declaring that her New Year’s resolution was “to make sure the Republican Party dies.”
I guess by this point, CNN figures that committing genocide against the 24% of the US population who are registered Republicans probably wouldn’t make a dent in their ratings, so they were okay with it. Either that, or their censor was drunk, too. Still, it’s hardly the type of thing a rational adult says, much less says on a major news channel (well, okay, CNN.)
Meanwhile, Republicans can take solace in knowing that their chances of being offed en masse by Jane Curtin are pretty slim. She couldn’t even keep subdue John Belushi, and that was 40 years ago.
A fun New Year’s list: Roger Stone continues the tradition of the late Mr. Blackwell’s “Best and Worst-Dressed List.” I pass this along mostly because his best-dressed includes the most obvious choice of all: First Lady Melania Trump. As contributing writer Laura Ainsworth has noted, if women’s fashion magazines weren’t all run by bubble-dwelling leftists with the fairness and maturity of a gaggle of 16-year-old high school “mean girls,” Melania would be on the cover of every issue and they’d worship her like a goddess.
From “Huckabee’s” pop culture guru, Pat Reeder (http://www.facebook.com/hollywoodhifibook)...
I’m sad to report that Ray Sawyer has died in Daytona Beach at 81. Sawyer was one of the most recognizable frontmen in country-rock history, with his droopy mustache, cowboy hat and eyepatch, the result of losing an eye in a bad car wreck. It earned him the nickname “Dr. Hook,” after the pirate Captain Hook in “Peter Pan,” and inspired the name of his band, “Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show,” later just Dr. Hook.
The struggling bar band was plucked from obscurity to be the vehicle for songwriter Shel Silverstein’s crazier tunes, such as the tearjerker parody “Sylvia’s Mother” and their breakthrough, “The Cover of Rolling Stone,” which actually won them the cover of Rolling Stone. Silverstein must’ve recognized them as kindred spirits due to their bizarre sense of humor, such as dressing up in psychedelic outfits and performing as their own opening act under an alias.
After streamlining their name and sound, Dr. Hook went on to have a number of slick chart hits, including “Sexy Eyes,” “A Little Bit More,” “Sharing the Night Together” and “When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman.” Sawyer didn’t like the commercial turn and left the band in 1983, although he occasionally toured as “Ray Sawyer of Dr. Hook” and put out a solo album. The “Dr. Hook” name is owned by co-lead singer Dennis Locorriere, who is reportedly planning a 50th anniversary Dr. Hook tour this year.
For a little nostalgic wallow in Ray’s honor, click the link to his obit, which contains videos for five Dr. Hook hits across the spectrum of their career.