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SAUNDERS: Two Big Media mistakes this week already


On Monday, “CNN This Morning” anchor Kasie Hunt kicked Trump National Press Secretary Karoline Leavitt off the air after Leavitt criticized CNN stars Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, the moderators of Thursday night’s presidential debate.

Afterward Hunt tweeted, “You come on my show, you respect my colleagues. Period. I don’t care what side of the aisle you stand on, as my track record clearly shows.” File that under: Can dish it out, but can’t take it.

A few short years ago, the watch phrase among journalists was, “Let’s have a conversation.” Now it’s: “Shut up, man.”

The episode presented unneeded evidence that big media have tilted so far to the left that anchors can’t even see that there’s another angle.

I’m old school. I believe the answer to speech with which I disagree — and I frequently disagree with Trump’s statements — is more speech. Don’t muzzle. Talk back.

Sadly, with Trump running for the White House again, network biggies see it as their job not to report — but to purge.

And, by the way, as News Nation’s Dan Abrams showed with a montage of Tapper likening Trump to Hitler and otherwise slamming Trump, Leavitt had a point.

It’s pretty clear that the most biased journalists are blind to their own agendas.

On CBS Sunday, “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan interviewed former CIA Deputy Director, now CBS News senior national security contributor, Mike Morell about a piece he co-authored for Foreign Affairs, “The Terrorism Warning Lights are Blinking Red Again — Echoes of the Run-Up to 9/11.”

Problem: In October 2020, Morell was one of 51 members of the Intelligence Community who signed a letter that warned a New York Post story about Hunter Biden’s laptop “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

It turned out, the New York Post story was accurate and the “intelligence” community got it wrong.

Morell’s point on Sunday is that Washington lacks a sense of “urgency” as recent events augur a terrorist attack. Sadly, after signing the laptop letter, Morell’s credibility is impaired. He’s the wrong messenger.

Mark Corallo, who worked in the Department of Justice under then President George W. Bush, said of Morell, and other signers, “They are professional, highly-trained liars. They are also Democrat party apparatchiks. They will stop at nothing to retain power.”

As for Face the Nation’s decision to give Morell a pliant platform, Corallo told me, “What I used to believe was the last line of defense in this free republic has failed us — that would be the free press.”

Anything goes with Big News, Corallo suspects, if the stunt damages Trump.

Corallo has no doubt that the signers knew at the time that the letter was bogus, because the missive included a caveat — the 51 signers offered that they didn’t know for sure that the laptop emails were Russian mischief — but felt emboldened because “such an operation would be consistent with Russian objectives.”

That’s how weasels talk.

“They haven’t even dropped one rung on the status ladder,” a former member of the intelligence community groused to me.

The fact that Morell is on network TV, when other former intelligence colleagues who didn’t make false claims about the laptop story, don’t get a prestige perch or payday, she asked, “What does that teach everyone else?”

To my source, Morell’s network gig at CBS looks appears like a “self-licking ice cream cone.”

Contact Review-Journal Washington columnist Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com. Follow @debrajsaunders on X.

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