Trump’s right-wing media diet is a factor in the impeachment inquiry


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The whistleblower’s complaint says “I do not know why the President associates these servers with Ukraine.”
Well, he must not be an avid consumer of the MAGA media universe.
    As The Daily Beast’s Poulsen explained here, was “referencing a pushed by and far-right pundits that imagines the Democratic National Committee fabricating all the evidence in ’s 2016 breach of the DNC network.” In words, it’s a -friendly theory that contradicts all of the . assessments about ’s meddling in the .
    It went “from the depths of 4chan, promoted by Russian , to the ’s mouth,” BuzzFeed’s Ryan Broderick wrote.
    This is how the president’s alt-right media diet actively hurts his presidency and the .

    John ’s contributions

    WaPo’s Philip Bump zeroed in on this point on Thursday. “’s little indication at this point that Trump’s media diet is anything other than a buffet of conservative television and . That diet might just have contributed to the most significant threat Trump’s presidency has seen,” Bump wrote.
    The allegations in the complaint “ a significant number of news articles published by a popular conservative for ” — that’s John Solomon, a regular — “articles that the whistleblower seems to think contributed to the fervency of the Trump-Giuliani effort.”
    Bump said it’s clear that “Solomon’s reporting and the stories he helped advance were simultaneously politically useful to Trump and potentially influenced his .” And he pointed out that former specifically tried to keep these sorts of “unvetted” stories off of Trump’s desk. It doesn’t seem like anyone is trying to do that
    → For more on Solomon, WaPo’s Paul Farhi is out with a new story… It says Solomon “has had a , and occasionally decorated, career as an and investigative in Washington, though his more recent has been trailed by claims that it is biased and lacks rigor…”

    What Trump’s favorite shows are telling him

    Right now they’re telling him that he’s a hero. That the just him no matter what. That, as Bongino said, “this was a professional hit on Donald Trump. I have no doubt.” And that, as Mark Meadows told Lou Dobbs, “the president didn’t do anything wrong.” Trump tweeted out three different clips from Dobbs’ show on Thursday… and two clips from ’s show…
    → Gabriel Sherman reported on Thursday that Fox’s Shep Smith was told to stop critiquing Tucker Carlson. A Fox denied that management had any direct conversation with Smith. At issue: The question of whether Trump is in legal .
    → Oliver Darcy writes: A chyron on ’s show said ‘Legal Experts: Both Call And Complaint Show No Criminality or for Impeachment.’ Fox’s senior Judge Andrew Napolitano has said Trump admitted to a . Shep Smith has cited other experts who agree. It’s nuts how it has become totally normal for Fox’s biggest stars to totally undermine and contradict the reporting and analysis from their own colleagues…

    ’s banner headline on Friday

    The front page says “COMPLAINT ASSERTS A WHITE COVER-UP.”
    …And that’s arguably the biggest headline from Thursday: The whistleblower’s allegation that senior officials tried to “lock down” a record of Trump’s call, and that other politically sensitive info have been treated the same way…

    NYT criticized for identifying whistleblower’s workplace

    Who is the whistleblower? Where does he work? What were his motives? Reporters have been chasing these Q’s for more than a week. On Thursday the NYT came out with a story describing the whistleblower as a , though not naming him. The paper was widely criticized for sharing the details. The man’s , Andrew Bakaj, said the report was “reckless, as it can place the individual in harm’s way.” The WSJ later matched the NYT’s reporting.
    Times exec editor Dean Baquet initially defended the reporting this way: “The role of the whistle-blower, including his credibility and his place in the government, is essential to understanding one of the most issues facing the country — whether the president of the U.S. abused power and whether the W.H. covered it up.”

    Did the W.H. already know where the man worked?

    On Thursday evening, the NYT came out with more: “The White House learned that a C.I.A. officer had lodged allegations against President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine even as the officer’s whistle-blower complaint was through a process meant to protect him against reprisals, familiar with the matter said on Thursday.”
    Baquet updated his statement to note, “We also understand that the White House already knew he was a C.I.A. officer.” If that’s the case, it takes some of the off the NYT, for sure…

    The LAT’s scoop

    Eli Stokols of the was the first reporter with quotes from Trump’s shocking remarks to a group of diplomatic officials on Thursday. The NYT followed a few minutes later. The LAT was also first with the . “When I heard it for the first today, it just took me aback,” Stokols told ’s Chris Hayes, calling it “casually menacing.”
    → In his remarks, Trump also said “many” reporters are “scum,” a word that he has mostly deployed against MS-13 members and other in the past. He also called members of the press “animals” and “some of the worst human beings you’ll ever meet.”

    Coming up on Friday…

    will be on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” at 7:30am…
    — Pelosi and House Dems will be holding a presser on 200 days of “ GOP Inaction” at 9:30am…
    — BTW, Friday marks 200 days without an on- White House press briefing…


    — TIME’s cover has Trump painting himself into an orange corner…
    Miller’s analysis: “The whistleblower has by some measures exceeded in weeks what Mueller accomplished in two years: producing a file so concerning and that it singlehandedly set in motion the gears of impeachment.” (WaPo)
    at the end of “Nightly News” on Thursday: “If is any , this will only get uglier. And louder. And , further leach at this country’s political divide. Which makes our collective challenge even more important: To listen. To . To examine the and demand nothing short of the truth. That’s what we endeavor to do every night. And will continue to do as this unfolds…” (Mediaite)
    — Tim Naftali, former of the Nixon library: “The Whistleblower complaint is from a patriot who understands and fears of Power. If even 50 % of his fears are accurate, we are in a variation of Nixonland again…” (Twitter)
    — Samantha Storey in praise of the whistleblower’s complaint: “It’s well written. It’s clear. The sentences are easy to read. Its point ― that the president of the has undermined America’s ― screams off the page…” (HuffPost)

    McConnell’s silence

    “Sen. Mitch McConnell, who often ignores reporters’ questions but sometimes engages, just ignored three of mine,” CNN’s Manu Raju reported Thursday afternoon. “I asked him if he’s concerned the whistleblower alleged Trump sought help from a foreign power to interfere in the 2020 elections. I asked if he’s concerned that the WH allegedly sought to conceal the president’s And I asked if he has any concerns with Trump asking the Ukraine president to talk [to] .” McConnell “walked in silence…”
    → Related, and the headline of the day, from the WSJ: “Everyone In Washington Is the Whistleblower Complaint — Except Senate Republicans.”

      Romney is not alone, but…

      Jonathan Martin is out with a must-read story about Mitt Romney. He says Romney’s public statements of concern “reflect what many in his party believe privately but are almost uniformly unwilling to say: that they are faced with damning revelations about the president that are difficult to explain away, and are unsure of whether there is more damaging material to come.” This calls to what Mike Murphy said on MSNBC the other day: “One told me if it was a vote, 30 Republican senators would vote to impeach Trump.”

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