The media’s free pass for bitter Democrats
Even before President Trump gave his first State of the Union, the left was complaining that he was going to look “presidential.” It still can’t accept that he is president and gets to give presidential speeches. But Trump took that opportunity and fully exploited it. The Trump speech was beautiful, at some points even poetic, and delivered well (for him). Maybe it was in the pronouns. Former President Clinton could never stop talking about himself. Former President Obama was worse, once using the first person singular 199 times in a 2014 speech in Austin, Texas.
Trump is a narcissist, to be sure. But not on this night. He went Reagan. “We” was used an astounding 129 times. Couple that with an extraordinary string of first-year accomplishments and it was a homer both in style and content.
Even The New York Times editorial page acknowledged through gritted teeth that Trump was “right to observe” that the economy and the stock market look great and “deserved to take a bow for the degradation of the Islamic State.”
But the Democrats sitting in the chamber weren’t conceding a thing. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer scowled throughout. Democrats failed to stand and applaud even obvious lines, like the one about record-low African-American unemployment. Rep. Luis Gutierrez even walked out.
This was the best-perceived speech in Trump’s short political career. A CBS News-YouGov poll found that a whopping 75 percent approved of the speech, and 43 percent of Democrats liked it! People watching the speech at home saw the Democrats for who they are: Bitter, insulting radicals incapable of being joyful for America. An objective press would have reported the above as objective analysis because what we just wrote is indisputable, except to those who defend bitter radicals filled with such hatred.
So when the speech was over, what happened? Nobody in the media focused on the Democrats’ refusal to stand or clap, their puckered mouths and their walkouts. All the “divisive” demerits were handed out to Trump. On ABC, Cokie Roberts actually blamed Trump for talking about the national anthem: “There were many African-Americans, members of Congress, there wearing kente cloth — African cloth. The president never mentioned Africa, never said anything like that, so there was not anything there for them to relate to.”
Read that again: African-Americans can’t relate to the national anthem or record-low African-American unemployment, only to Africa.
On NBC, Chuck Todd declared that Trump failed to be “conciliatory” to Democrats on immigration and claimed that the president painted a picture of “this mythical immigrant criminal here that I want everybody to get fired up about.”
NBC also proclaimed that the “fact-checkers” would crawl all over Trump’s speech, but maybe they should check Todd’s facts. Since when is the fact that some immigrants commit crimes “mythical”?
Even almost 24 hours later, ABC merely repeated Democratic statements and refused to question Democrat behavior. Cecilia Vega quoted Pelosi in full screech against Trump: “‘He brings tears to the eyes of the Statue of Liberty and instills fear in the hearts of people who are concerned about the Dreamers.’ The White House may have been hoping, David, that speech would unite Congress, but those reviews from the Democrats are in: They are not on board.”
Inside the media bubble, the Democrats can do no wrong. Nothing they said around this speech was too extreme. No one questions whether their behavior might turn voters against them. The public sees through this, too. The media are upset their approval ratings are so low and blame Trump. They never seem to take any responsibility and evaluate the craven partisanship of their own “news.”
The public saw a side of Donald Trump it heartily liked. It saw the Democrats in Washington for what they are. It saw the media as an extension of that party. That’s three home runs for Donald Trump in one night.
Bozell is president of the Media Research Center.