Media bias: There they go again!

Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.

Even when The Washington Post attempts to report a news story straight up, they can’t quite help sneering at conservatives.


It all started on the straight and narrow:

A man tore off a teen’s ‘Make America Great Again’ hat and threw a soda in his face, police say
By Kristine Phillips | July 6, 2016

A man who was seen in a viral video confronting a teenager and stealing his hat that bears President Trump’s campaign slogan is now facing a felony theft charge.

Kino Jimenez, 30, was arrested Thursday, a day after he reportedly started an argument with the teen, whom police did not identify but has been named in interviews as 16-year-old Hunter Richard.

Richard was dining with friends Wednesday at a Whataburger restaurant in San Antonio when Jimenez walked up to the group’s table and took off the teen’s hat, according to the San Antonio Police Department. The video, which begins midway into the argument, shows a man believed to be Jimenez holding a red “Make America Great Again” hat and tossing a large cup of soda in the teen’s face.

Jimenez then walked away, hollering an expletive and a racist word. As he headed toward the door, he said the hat will “go great” in his fireplace.

Several paragraphs followed, with information about the aftermath of the incident, including noting that Mr Jimenez was fired from his part-time job at a local bar, Rumble.

But then I came to this one:


The incident fueled criticism among conservatives and right-wing media. Gateway Pundit, for example, published a story Thursday calling Jimenez a “violent leftist” and a “scumbag progressive.”

The Post did not choose to link the story in Gateway Pundit, but RedState, being a full service website, has it here.

The Gateway Pundit is practically a dog whistle for the left; the site is hard-right, very much pro-Trump, and over-the-top is pretty much a standard description for their articles. The ‘normal’ credentialed media were aghast when the White House granted press credentials to the site’s founder Jim Hoft and reporter Lucian Wintrich:

A conspiracy theory-spreading website now has a seat in the White House briefing room
By Callum Borchers | February 14, 2017

The Gateway Pundit’s debut in the White House briefing room on Tuesday caused plenty of consternation among journalists but ended without the hoax-spreading blog’s correspondent, Lucian Wintrich, being called on to ask a question or pulling any of the media-trolling stunts he threatened in a New York Times interview a day earlier.

Gateway Pundit founder Jim Hoft said at the pre-inauguration DeploraBall last month that he had been informed by Donald Trump’s transition team that his site would receive a White House press credential. Though Hoft is an unreliable source of information, this particular claim turned out to be true. He and Wintrich snapped photos in the briefing room on Monday, ahead of Trump’s joint news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the East Room, and Wintrich covered his first news conference in the briefing room on Tuesday afternoon.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer did not give Wintrich an opportunity to ask a question. It is nevertheless striking, however, that the White House would legitimize the Gateway Pundit by awarding it a coveted press credential. The briefing room has just 49 seats for reporters.

As I wrote in January, the blog routinely spreads false and unsubstantiated information:

During the presidential campaign, Hoft fell for an Internet hoax about a postal worker in Ohio who was supposedly destroying absentee ballots cast for Trump. No such thing happened.

A week before Election Day, the Gateway Pundit published the false claim that Michelle Obama was deleting tweets supportive of Hillary Clinton, even though a simple Twitter search could have debunked the notion.

The Gateway Pundit also helped promote the idea that Hillary Clinton suffers from some kind of grave, undisclosed health problem — and kept it up after Election Day.¹

Conservative writer and radio host Erick Erickson, who founded the Red State blog, criticized the inclusion of the Gateway Pundit in White House briefings. In a tweet, Erickson recalled the time that Hoft tried to pass off a photo of the crowd at the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 2016 championship parade as an image of Trump supporters waiting in line outside a campaign event.


You get the picture: by referring to Gateway Pundit, the Post is sending out the not-so-subtle message that the description of Mr Jimenez as a “violent leftist” and a “scumbag progressive” is false somehow. It seems that Mr Jiménez’s name appeared in the Green Party of Texas contact list before they kicked him out over the incident. If he was an aficionado of the Green Party, I’d say that yes, the nouns in Gateway Pundit’s description, “leftist” and “progressive” are confirmed. While the adjective “scumbag” is a judgement call, a judgement with which I concur, the adjective “violent” is confirmed by the video itself.

There are plenty of other conservative sites — RedState perhaps? — that the Post could have cited for their coverage of Mr Jiménez’ actions that would not have carried the dog whistle message. Then again, it’s always possible that the Post’s writers don’t consider any conservatively-oriented site reasonable or credible.

Perhaps that explains why they were so stunned, so shocked and outraged, on the night of November 8, 2016.
Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.
¹ – Hillary Clinton can’t seem to walk up, or even down, a set of steps without help, and I can’t be the only person who has noticed that she makes the vast majority of her public appearances seated rather than standing. Mrs Clinton’s grave, undisclosed health problem may simply be that she has aged poorly, but it’s still there.



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