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Mainstream media shows true colors in Herridge flap

During President Donald Trump’s time in office the liberal media has grown more cohesive than probably at any other time in our history, ensuring that the anti-Trump message overrides all else. 

For example, recall that day two years ago when more than 400 newspapers across the country editorialized in unison under a single theme: Orange Man Bad for saying mean things about us. That kind of unity against Trump — working to cast his administration in the worst possible light at all times, while ignoring the misdeeds of his predecessor and Democratic foes in Congress — has been the defining characteristic of our media over the past four years.  

Underscoring this point is the media’s handling of recent revelations about Joe Biden’s alleged sexual assault of a former aide and the FBI’s pursuit of Obamagate, including the abuse of the FISA court to go after former Trump adviser Carter Page and the perjury trap sprung on retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn. With Obamagate, the national media has worked to promote this as a right-wing “conspiracy theory” rather than what it is: an actual, terrible scandal that exhibits the worst abuse of executive power.  

Catherine Herridge, the former longtime Fox News correspondent now at CBS, has swam against the tide. Over the past few weeks she has diligently reported on the FBI’s malfeasance and the efforts of Attorney General Bill Barr and acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell to inform the public of the Obama administration’s dirty deeds to undermine Trump.

The media again showed its true colors when Biden’s campaign spokesman, Andrew Bates, attacked Herridge for her report on former Obama officials, including the former vice president, who were looped in on the “unmasking” of Flynn. Tweeted Bates: “Catherine Herridge is a rightwing hack who is a regular conduit for conservative media manipulation ploys because she agrees to publicize things before contacting the target to ask for comment.”      

We’ve been reliably informed in recent years that it’s bad and an affront to our democracy when politicians attack the media in this fashion. But other than CNN’s Jake Tapper, Bloomberg’s Eli Lake and Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept, the media corps went silent in criticizing Bates’s smear, which has since been deleted.

To its credit, CBS News stood by its rising star. “Catherine is a deeply sourced reporter who has worked the national-security beat for two decades and just last week secured one of the biggest newsmaker interviews with Attorney General William Barr, which was cited by national and international outlets. This is the kind of aggressive reporting we applaud at CBS News,” the company said in a statement.

Other than “60 Minutes,” CBS News runs a distant third to its main competitors. Perhaps the network is realizing that it has a way to appeal to conservatives and grow its audience and profits by seeming fairer to Trump, or at least to viewers on the right.

Obama and Co. played the media like a Stradivarius to sell the hoax that Trump conspired with Russia to steal the presidency. Instead of being outraged and seeking payback against those who have helped plunge public trust in journalists to record depths, the media by and large opt instead to shun one of their own, and do nothing to repair their damaged reputation.

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