Accuracy in Media

With President Trump’s approval ratings stubbornly sitting at 43 percent, mainstream media has launched another Attack of the Generals to try to bring it down.

On Monday, Harriet Agerholm of the Independent wrote that retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and now a commentator for CNN, is defending his new bosses from attacks by the president.

Hayden’s tweets have called the president’s attacks on CNN “an outrageous assault” on freedom of speech, Agerholm wrote.

“If this is who we are or who we are becoming, I have wasted 40 years of my life,” Hayden tweeted. “Until now, it was not possible for me to conceive of an American president capable of such an outrageous assault on truth, a free press or the First Amendment.”

Hayden was reacting to a tweet from Trump: “@FoxNews is much more important in the United States than CNN, but outside of the U.S., CNN International is still a major source of (Fake) news, and they represent our Nation to the WORLD very poorly. The outside world does not see the truth from them!”

It is unclear why this tweet set Hayden off. The president has been critical of CNN since he entered the political arena, and the network has been caught in a series of incorrect claims against the president.

Hayden’s “Until now” formulation also doesn’t ring true. He has criticized the president repeatedly and on a number of topics.

Trump criticized NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem earlier this year, saying, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when someone disrespects our flag to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now!”

“As a 39-year military veteran, I think I know something about the flat, the anthem, patriotism, and I think I know why we fight,” Hayden responded. “It’s not to allow the president to divide us by wrapping himself in the national banner.”

ABC News turned to another anti-Trump retired military leader – Adm. Michael Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – to impugn the president and the military leaders who serve him now.

Mullen told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, a retired Marine Corps general; National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, an active-duty Army general, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, another Marine Corps retired general, “are all great Americans who want to do the best for their country.”

But when Kelly took up for Trump after controversy arose over a call the president made to comfort the widow of a soldier killed in Niger, that was a bridge too far for Mullen.

Kelly’s comments – that “it absolutely stuns me that a member of Congress would have listened in on that conversation” – were “really a sad moment for me,” Mullen said.

Kelly’s defense, which included providing details that exonerated the president of the charges Rep. Frederica Wilson, D.-Fla., had made against the president about the call, show Kelly “clearly is very supportive of the president no matter what.”

Asked about the implications, Mullen said, “That doesn’t mean generals and admirals can’t serve” in the White House.

“They certainly have in the past. But it’s particularly difficult right now because of the politics of the town. And there’s nothing that seemingly is not able to be politicized in the current environment.”

Mullen suggests it is improper for the Trump’s chief of staff to tell the president’s side of the story when he views the president as having been unfairly accused.

Hayden suggests an attack on a network that has been relentlessly critical of the president – even to the point of producing stories that had to be withdrawn or were subjects of lawsuits because of factual challenges – is an attack on a free press.

It’s meant to imbue these accusations with the credibility Americans associate with its top military leaders. But what it is is proof Trump is right … he’ll never get a fair shake from the press.

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  • Bob

    Is it mainstream media uses generals or generals use mainstream media? Generals can be punks and some have stepped forward to prove that fact.

  • smith_citizen

    Hayden was a disaster as DCI, during the rise of global terrorism and Mullens failed in the Benghazi investigation and coverup leaking questions to Hillary 4 dead before congressional testimony and along with Thomas Pickering, failed to even interview Hillary 4 dead for the cursory State Department ARB. Now these triple dippers, military retirement pay, defense contract pay, and now fake mainstream media paid to pontificate en cue. WTF!

  • john robel


  • carl

    Another voice from the deep state.

  • samo war
  • TED

    It seems to me that Trump’s “approval ratings” have been “stubbornly” in the 36% to 38% range for the past ten months … NOT in the “43% range” as fake-newsed in this article!

    Trump is a disaster … and anybody supporting him at this point has to be deaf, dumb, and blind … or brain-dead.

  • Mark Midas

    This from the same people who used Gens. MacArthur and Patton to support Communist party goals in Europe and the Far East and then fired one and killed the other. This from the same people who under Obama replaced more generals than any other administration. (Gee I wonder why it is the Democrat-media complex finds it so easy to get military leaders who side with their points of view?). This from the same people who had generals criticizing Bush in the middle of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which was tantamount to treason.

  • Mark Midas

    The same thing was said of Bush after his reelection. His approval rating dropped mysteriously to 34%, according to that most trustworthy media duo of The New York Times and CBS News, neither of which should be in the polling business anyway. (Don’t worry, they said, we’ll never cross political lines with the news.) You’re just as much of a mean-spirited liar and partisan ignoramus, TED. You consistently make the case for more people like Trump, not fewer.

  • Chip

    And they wonder why people call them Fake Media? How can these people be this stupid?

  • Tannim

    Their time is past, so they should STFU and enjoy the retirement they didn’t earn from the blood of their underlings and treasure of our nation while pursuing poor policy and the MIC.

  • Sysergy

    Never trusted Hayden when he was in charge of NSA. CNN is just trying to cover over their atrocious inaccurate reporting while trying to tear down President Trump. The press should never be able to publish information from anonymous sources. If the source won’t identify themselves, then it’s not worth hearing. Trump is doing exactly what I wanted him to do and that’s shake the Washington tree and see what falls out. Lots of snakes so far, in the government and the press with more to come. News reporters disappeared when the commentators took over. CNN anchors are a joke. They comment, but they don’t report.

  • Sysergy

    Patton was not a communist sympathizer. In fact he wanted the US to keep going east after the Germans were defeated and fight the Russians. He saw them as our next biggest enemy and history proved him right. McArthur wanted to invade China during the Korean war. How does that make them communist supporters?

  • kunling

    It was Mullen who, after the Ft Hood terrorist attack, made the statement that (paraphrasing) “it would be a shame if diversity in the military were a victim” of the incident. That illustrated just what kind of a “general” Mullen was. Michael Hayden is another huge disappointment. He served as Commander Air Intelligence