WTF MSM!? A gaggle of armchair psycho-therapists

· January 5, 2018  
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Brian Stelter as Lucy in the psychiatric help booth
Photoshop, Rob Eno

He’s crazy …

CNN goes full mental … After a weekend of pointed Trump tweets aimed at Iran, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority, and North Korea, which were followed up by a scathing attack on a former aide, the crack psychological analysts at CNN are convinced that President Trump has a mental disorder and is unfit to serve as president. The network spent 20 minutes out of a total two hours on the topic on yesterday’s “Situation Room.” CNN’s media critic/cheerleader Brian Stelter once again dedicated a large portion of his daily email to the topic and even wrote a lengthy piece on it. These media folks don’t understand that the more they try to paint Trump as mentally unstable, the more his supporters will flock to him and defend him.

Long-standing stream of thought … Stelter has been pushing his “Trump is unstable” conspiracy theory for months. He has ramped it up in the last few days. Before publishing his piece yesterday, he appeared with Anderson Cooper on Wednesday to say the media would call a leader of another country who sent out the tweets on Iran, North Korea, and other topics “messages from a person who is not well.” Stelter is still coming to grips with the fact that Trump is the president. He is seemingly not past the bargaining stage of grief; he needs to make up things in his head so he can understand what happened.

Crazy, like a fox? … For all the hand-wringing by the media about Trump’s North Korea tweets, are they working? In the last two years, North and South Korea have not held in-person talks. Next week, that changes. The Associated Press is reporting that the North and South will sit down to discuss a range of topics. If what the president is doing achieves results, isn’t that all that matters?

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What is journalism? …

Fournier’s take … Ron Fournier, who is now the publisher of Crain’s Detroit Business but was an influential DC-based reporter for years, raised eyebrows with a tweet yesterday. Here’s what he said: “Most journalists get into the business to make things better, to force change, to move the needle. That can’t happen in DC right now. Can here.” In the tweet, Fournier admits that his view of journalism is not to tell facts and let the reader decide, but to be an advocate forcing change. That’s exactly what is wrong with journalism.

Ross back at ABC … Initial reports yesterday speculated that Brian Ross may not be returning to ABC. That notion was dispelled on Friday morning’s ABC News editorial call. ABC News’ president said that Ross will be focusing on “long term projects” of a more investigatory nature. With Ross’ long history of reporting inaccuracies, will ABC viewers ever trust him again?

Silver on “the book” … FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver had some advice for journalists using the new Michael Wolff book about Donald Trump as a jumping-off point for reporting. Here’s what Silver tweeted: “I don’t really get this. I think the DC press corps often pulls its punches and comes to incorrect conclusions about Trump. But the solution is emphatically *not* to build a case based on gossip that has maybe a 50:50 chance of being true.” I disagree with the notion that the press corps has “pulled its punches” about Trump, but the second part of the advice is spot-on. If the book is filled with inaccuracies, you do yourself no favor repeating them.

Lend a hand? …

I hope you’ve been enjoying this newsletter. If you have, can I ask a quick favor? Please let others know! Send your friends – and even your enemies – over to the WTF MSM!? email signup page. Second, email me at with anything questionable you see the media do. Together, we can fight back.

Author: Rob Eno

Rob Eno is the editor of Blaze Media’s WTF MSM!? newsletter.