Accuracy in Media

Before the Oct. 19 press conference at which White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly addressed the Gold Star controversy, the president’s chief of staff was widely viewed as the “grown-up” in this administration. Then, in a matter of an hour, he became “Steve Bannon Lite.”

The general went from Peggy Noonan wondering if he could “conquer the White House chaos” to Wes Pruden of the Washington Times declaring, “A grown-up finally takes command,” to even Jen Rubin of the Washington Post, who has had nothing good to say about the Trump administration, admitting he was off to a “good start” by firing White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci.

“His firing was immediately taken as a sign that new Chief of Staff John Kelly is on top of things,” Rubin wrote at the time. “We’re down to Mattis, I suppose,” she wrote after the Kelly press conference.

Rubin was referring to Trump critics’ claims that Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis and Kelly were the only adults remaining in the Trump administration. After Kelly’s press conference, only Mattis was left as far as she was concerned.

“They were certain that Kelly was a ‘grown-up’ who understood that the president the American people elected was hobbled — morally, intellectually, temperamentally — and it was Kelly’s job to steer the ship of state away from the rocks. He wouldn’t lie to the American people as President Trump did, these Kelly fans believed,” Rubin wrote in her Oct. 23 Washington Post column.

“Recognition is now sinking in that Kelly is not so different than all the other politicians and officials who come in contact with Trump. To serve him requires suspension of integrity, and therefore those who serve become morally corrupted.”

And in an Oct. 23 column published by The Hill, columnist Bill Press recalled Kelly’s “fall from grace.”

“At first blush, it seemed that President Trump’s new chief of staff wasn’t a political hack, like his predecessor Reince Priebus. He wasn’t a right-wing extremist like Stephen Bannon, a sycophant like Kellyanne Conway, or a clown like Sean Spicer,” Press wrote. “Kelly was different. He was a level-headed, calming influence who operated above the political fray. Or so we thought. Now we know Kelly’s a political puppet for Trump, just like all the rest of them.”

Then it got even worse.

“General John Kelly Sold his Soul to the Devil, Diminishing Himself and His Son’s Memory,”, read a headline, published Monday. The author of the post, Bob Abrams, attacked not only Kelly but his deceased son.

The media spent an entire news cycle on Kelly’s claim that Florida congresswoman Frederica Wilson used the deaths of two FBI agents to her political gain – playing snippets of Wilson’s 2012 speech seemingly on repeat.

“General Kelly’s heretofore unblemished reputation is intertwined with the death of his son, Second Lieutenant Robert Kelly. Sadly, both have been diminished in what has become a pattern for those who are forced to defend and explain Donald Trump’s feckless and inarticulate abuse of the English language and his lies,” Abrams wrote.

HuffPost’s Michelangelo Signorile, in a post Sunday, referred to Kelly as “Steve Bannon Lite,” adding that Kelly is “much more experienced and efficient” than Bannon at keeping controversial actions, such as Trump’s illegal immigration policies and so-called Muslim travel ban, “as below-the-radar as possible.”

The media’s narrative before and after Kelly’s press conference may be different but only because he committed the greatest sin of all – he defended his boss, President Trump.

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  • Andrew Kent Jaussi

    And we are supposed to give these bozos in the media some sort of credence?

  • rac647

    The press is the problem, make no mistake about it. Ms. Wilson used the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson as a political pawn. She did something so down right ugly and profane that it shocked the soul of many a veteran, my self included. She trampled on the sacred holy ground of our honored combat dead to further her political needs. That is what is not being reported. Years from now Sgt. Johnson’s wife will rue the day this happened and be wondering how she allowed that evil person to sway her the way she did. Sgt. Johnson died a hero, nothing will ever take that away but Representative Wilson did trample on his grave with her smelly ugly feet. God help her when she stands before the final court.

  • RightVote

    And to the MSM / Press: Fu Qu !

  • Rae Anderson

    All I needed to know was ……Bill Press. Nuff said.

  • samo war
  • TED

    Kelly was most certainly a complete jerk in the Gold Star Mother Controversy … and shot his mouth off with misrepresentations and untruths just like Trump and other Trumpists do with regularity. Hard for the typical observer to tell which is the ‘real’ Kelly … the original version peddled by the media … or the more recent one peddled by Kelly himself!

    You lay with the dogs long enough … you begin to stink like them.


    The Obammunist media hoped so fervently that THIS time they could run the Khizr Khan “Trump insults a gold star family” play and score a touchdown. Khizr turned out to be a shystr and a democrat bundlr and a scammr who had repeatedly tried to convert his hero son to mohammedan jihad. The widow Johnson, who allowed Wilson to eavesdrop on her telephone call from the President may well be a dependent or an acolyte of that loathsome featherheaded harridan, or may simply be another unfortunate African-American percolated in animosity toward caucasians, Donald Trump and Republicans and therefore willing to ambush them even in her bereavement. The fact is that this was just another setup by the party of Hillary, Hodgkinson and Hatred.