Accuracy in Media

Remember Anna Palmer, the “fall-down drunk” reporter for Politico who put her liberal bias on display in June when she went on a tirade against Trump supporters at a downtown D.C. restaurant?

She has since become a star of what is becoming an insidious and increasingly influential form of liberal bias – the e-newsletter. Media outlets from ABC News to CNN to Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight to Politico and the Washington Post put out these products.

They are promoted as time-savers – all the news you need to read in two minutes or less. They offer teasers of various stories with links for those who want a deeper dive. And they are becoming away to put a hard-left spin on what should be mundane news stories.

For instance, the Friday edition of the Politico Playbook Power Briefing, edited by Palmer, Jake Sherman, Daniel Lippman and Zach Montellaro, easily could have been produced at the Center for American Progress or even the Democratic National Committee.

It leads with an item you won’t see anywhere else – that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a liberal watchdog group, has been requesting the visitor logs from President Trump’s visits to Mar-a-Lago. The news was there was a breakthrough – CREW got 22 names, including Japanese Prime Minister Abe and various members of the delegation he brought to meet with Trump there; all fairly routine stuff.

But the story was all about the outrage of CREW President Noah Bookbinder, who, after eight years of silence on the Obama administration’s refusal to comply with the Freedom of Information Act or Federal Records Act, has found his voice again.

“The government does not believe that they need to release any further Mar-a-Lago visitor records,” he wrote in a statement. “We vehemently disagree. This was spitting in the eye of transparency.”

This was followed by a rundown of President Trump’s morning tweets, including two that urged tougher treatment of terrorists such as those who attacked the London subway system Thursday. But the story was not about the merits of Trump’s claim. It was about how calling for tougher treatment of terrorists after a terrorist attack somehow has resulted in a major rift with the U.K. government.

This story is pinned to a single quote from Theresa May, prime minister of the U.K.

“I never think it’s helpful for anybody to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation,” May said.

Then, after pointing out the great George Stephanopoulos himself was in London to interview May, it stretched May’s words into a stinging indictment of Trump and a rare display of candor by the PM.

“Here in London, Downing Street officials and the Met Police are privately seething at Donald Trump’s intervention following this morning’s terror attack,” Politico reports. Not revealed is how Politico knows these officials were upset or why they would be mad at Trump.

Then came the “but-you-don’t-understand” part.

“Theresa May is always incredibly careful with her words,” stated a dispatch from Jack Blanchard, who is identified as a London Playbook Author. “So for her to criticize the president in public as she did this afternoon is really quite significant.”

It then goes on to inform us that “coming from May, this classes as a genuine slap-down.”

Only then does the story point out Trump called the prime minister later in the day to express his sorrow over the attack and his vow that America stands with the U.K. in the fight against terrorism. And, oh yeah, the two still plan to meet on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly next week. Despite the “rift,” the “genuine slapdown” and the “seething” by police, all remains good on the Special Relationship front.

The newsletter then offered a rap on the knuckles for Mar-a-Lago charging the “rack rate,” or non-discounted price, to the government for housing employees there during the president’s stay. One room was rented at that price.

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