The media on the morning after

Thursday, January 10, 2019
Steve Jordahl (

Trump in Oval Office Jan2019It should come as no surprise that the morning after he spoke to the nation from the Oval Office, President Donald Trump was being ripped to shreds by the media outlets he regularly accuses of spreading "fake news."

The mainstream media clearly wasn't impressed with President Trump's Oval Office speech on Tuesday night, in which he urged congressional Democrats to fund a border wall along America's southern border. Even before the president took to the airwaves, the media was loaded for bear, demanding that fact-checkers get their pencils ready.

"They were having a few meltdowns, you know," says Curtis Houck of Media Research Center. "They were trying to fact-check him. It was all about fact-checking him before the speech ever even happened."

Afterward they mercilessly panned the speech with statements such as "The president is not offering a single new proposal or idea" – "He offered little in the way of concessions to break the standoff that has left parts of the government closed for 19 days" – and "In his ten-minute speech, riddled with factual inaccuracies, the president argued that there is a crisis at the southern border."

News with magnifying glass 2Houck adds his own observations: "[NBC's] Chuck Todd tried to downplay it by basically saying there's nothing to see here. MSNBC said it was a scam. [MSNBC's] Rachel Maddow was upset that he offered a litany of scare stories of immigrants being terrible criminals."

In fact, MRC senior news analyst Kyle Drennen observes that "after initially fretting over whether or not to even cover Trump's speech, the networks eagerly tried to appease Democrats by trashing the address." He did the math afterwards and found 43 negative statements about the Trump address and only five about the Democrats – an 8:1 ratio.

The Democrats' response, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi side by side at a podium, took plenty of heat on social media.

According to Houck, the media meltdowns are wearing thin on some of their colleagues. "Some in the news media," he says, "are noticing that Democrats are against any sort of compromise because they don't like Trump himself."

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