Biden, Trump Secret Document Scenarios Are Not Equivalent

The Biden classified documents story has been submerged in whataboutism and bothsidesism by the lamestream media deeper than Santa Barbara County in an atmospheric flood.

Dan Pfeiffer has a suggestion on Message Box on language Democrats should use to push back:

Instead of trying to lower prices and raise wages, Congressional Republicans are focused on sham investigations and taxpayer-funded, partisan fishing expeditions. President Biden, unlike Trump, immediately turned over the documents to the archives. The MAGA Republicans in Congress are trying to distract from the fact that their first votes in the new majority aim to cut Social Security and Medicare, make it easier for billionaires to cheat on their taxes, and ban abortion.

Most Say Media Treats Trump Fairly


A new Harvard CAPS-Harris survey finds that 54% believe that the mainstream media treats President Trump fairly. However, there is a big split based on political identification. Nearly 80% of Republicans say the media is unfair to Trump, while 84% of Democrats and 55% of independents believe the president gets a fair shake from the press. On the flip side, 59% say Trump treats the mainstream media unfairly.

Americans’ Confidence in News Media Growing


A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds Americans are increasingly confident in the news media and less so in President Trump’s administration after a tumultuous year in U.S. politics that tested the public’s trust in both institutions. The poll found that the percentage of adults who said they had a “great deal” or “some” confidence in the press rose to 48% in September from 39% last November. Earlier this year, Trump branded the entire industry as the “enemy of the American people.”

What Really Goes on at White House Press Briefings

White House press secretary Sean Spicer speaks during the administration’s daily press briefing in Washington, D.C., on March 28.  Joshua Roberts/Reuters
White House press secretary Sean Spicer speaks during the administration’s daily press briefing in Washington, D.C., on March 28.
Joshua Roberts/Reuters

Slate’s Seth Stevenson offers a great insider’s view of the ongoing trainwreck that is Press Secretary Sean Spicer in his article, “The Daily Show.”

The real problem in the briefing room isn’t the kind of questions getting asked, who’s being allowed to ask them, or how they’re phrased. It’s the posturing of the press secretary and the brazenness of his lies. Consider that, during contentious moments in past administrations, press secretaries managed to remain collegial from the podium. Even deferential.

It’s long, but well worth reading to get, as Paul Harvey used to say, “the rest of the story.” Because all we citizens ever see of it is the snippets on TV or the theater of the absurd quotation outtakes.

Stevenson gives a more well-rounded view of the proceedings — but Sean Spicer is still a “keg-shaped bully” and a liar.

McCain: A Free Press Protects Against Dictators

If you want to preserve — I’m very serious now — if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press. And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started.

— Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), slamming President Trump’s attacks on the media this week, CNN reports.

A 20-Question Quiz for the Media

1680283We live in an era where the very foundations of journalism are increasingly under attack, where “fake news” is ascendent and the intellect and attention span of the public is on the decline.

In response, the editors of Pensito Review, in consultation with researchers at the Moscow Center for Media Studies, have crafted this 20-question quiz to help journalists clarify their mission and find their place in the cosmos during the current Trump administration.

1. Are you feeling depressed, demoralized, disgusted, disenfranchised or simply dissed by the state of the news media and its public perception today? (select one)

  • One of them
  • Two of them
  • Three of them
  • All of them
  • None of them


It’s Not About Crowd Size, It’s About Delegitimizing the Media

The Trump administration is creating a baseline expectation among its loyalists that they can’t trust anything said by the media. The spat over crowd size is a low-stakes, semi-comic dispute, but the groundwork is being laid for much more consequential debates over what is, and isn’t, true. Delegitimizing the institutions that might report inconvenient or damaging facts about the president is strategic for an administration that has made a slew of impossible promises and takes office amid a cloud of ethics concerns and potential scandals.

Ezra Klein