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PBS 'News' Hounds OK With Biden's Inflammatory Rhetoric! While Criticizing Trump's!

Tim Graham on

They call themselves the "PBS NewsHour," but if you watch them routinely, you might call them the "PBS Opposition Research Hour." They often sound like a Democrat consulting firm as they analyze Donald Trump as a dangerously extreme figure. Then they can turn around and proclaim that President Joe Biden is very bipartisan in negotiating "objectively historical achievements," as PBS anchor Amna Nawaz claimed at the State of the Union address.

On April 2, PBS aired a segment titled "Analyzing Trump's use of inflammatory rhetoric on the campaign trail." Two days later, it was changed to "Anatomy of a Trump speech."

They decided to watch all the scary passages in Trump's recent speeches with Jennifer Mercieca, who reporter Lisa Desjardins blandly described as "an author and Texas A&M professor who specializes in political and Trump rhetoric."

PBS didn't note that Mercieca wrote a book in 2020 titled "Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump." (It was shown on screen.) Its dust cover promises to explain "how a bombastic pitchman emerged as America's authoritarian P.T. Barnum, using nothing more than his weaponized words to transform a polarized and dispirited nation into his own reality TV show."

Does this expert shopping sound fair and balanced to anyone?

As Trump denounced Biden for a "border bloodbath," Desjardins explained he's attacking "anyone who calls it a humanitarian crisis." Mercieca lamented, "It can't be neutral. It can't be a situation at the border. It has to be violent. It has to be an invasion. It has to be a bloodbath."

Seriously? Last October, their anchor Nawaz wasn't neutral as she compared separating children from their families at the border under Trump as "one of the darkest chapters in our modern history" that echoed slavery and the internment of Japanese Americans.

Naturally, Desjardins repeated the Democrat spin that "there's no evidence of a bloodbath for Americans living there" (at the border), and "multiple studies show that migrants are actually less likely to commit crime than others here."

 

Trump lamented, "If we don't win on Nov. 5, I think our country is going to cease to exist. It could be the last election we ever have." Desjardins explained Mercieca's thesis: This is "what separates Trump," it's not "political razzle-dazzle, but dangerous, hyperbolic fearmongering."

If that "last election" talk is dangerous, will PBS rewind to Biden's first campaign speech back on Jan. 5? Biden said of Trump: "He's willing to sacrifice our democracy, put himself in power ... Trump's assault on democracy isn't just part of his past. It's what he's promising for the future. ... We're living in an era where a determined minority is doing everything in its power to try to destroy our democracy for their own agenda."

These "public" broadcasters know what Biden has said in his campaign speeches, and they're fine with it. No one thinks it's a lie or that it's dangerous. Mercieca acknowledged, "All presidents run as heroes. It's not uncommon. Joe Biden is running as a hero right now. He's running as a hero to save democracy." But she claimed, "Donald Trump is running as a different kind of hero."

How so? Desjardins concluded the segment with this about Trump: "When he's saying the situation is dire, when he's saying democracy will end if I'm not elected, he is implying to some of his followers, violence may be OK."

Biden is saying democracy will end if he's not elected, but PBS can't imagine his followers would ever believe "violence may be OK." PBS makes "news" by Democrats, for Democrats. But it's subsidized involuntarily by tens of millions of allegedly democracy-squashing Republicans.

======== Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Tim Graham and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.


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