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Media coverage of Trump's July 4th speech was breathtakingly dishonest

Michael Barone on

"I don't think I've ever seen such dishonest and biased coverage of any event." That was Brit Hume, who has been covering events for more than 50 years for Fox News, ABC News and investigative reporter Jack Anderson.

The event, as you may have guessed, was President Donald Trump's Independence (without the scare-quotes) Day speech at Mount Rushmore.

The speech was, according to The New York Times, a "dark and divisive speech" designed to deliver a "divisive culture war message." The Washington Post called it a "dystopian speech" and a "push to amplify racism."

Absent from their stories were quotations supporting racism. Nor did Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth supply any quotations to support her claim that Trump "spent all his time talking about dead traitors." Trump mentioned no Confederates but did quote the "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

The great bulk of Trump's speech was a celebration of American history, American principles, American leaders. He spoke extensively of the four presidents whose visages were sculpted on the mountain above him, and paid tribute more succinctly to others.

He said: "We are the country of Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant and Frederick Douglass. We are the land of Wild Bill Hickock and Buffalo Bill Cody. We are the nation that gave rise to the Wright brothers, the Tuskegee Airmen, Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Jesse Owens, George Patton -- Gen. George Patton -- the great Louie Armstrong, Alan Shepard, Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali."

 

Dark and divisive? Dystopian? Amplifying racism?

What really seems to have raised the press's hackles was Trump's dissent from their reverent attitudes toward Black Lives Matter and apparent indifference to those tearing down statues of Lincoln, Douglass, Grant, abolitionists and women's rights advocates.

"Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our Founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities," Trump said, accurately.

That's not the message most in the media want voters receiving and processing in the months running up to November. Television viewers have been assured that Black Lives Matter protests are "mostly peaceful," even while fires are blazing fiercely within camera view. Newspaper readers have been assured that those seizing streets and ousting police are promoting, in the Seattle mayor's words, a "summer of love," even as their camp becomes the scene of multiple homicides.

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