Leigh Sales on the ABC TV’s 7.30 last night Sept 16) “interviewed” Donald Trump’s former press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Sales packed into eight minutes all conceivable ABC bias, venom and hatred of a US President now polling 51 per cent, according to the latest Rassmussen, profile of the electorate — a figure reflecting support before the signing of the twin Israeli peace deals with UAE and Bahrain. No wonder the ABC experts all got the 2016 Trump election wrong, and they might get another nasty surprise in November. That’s what happens when Sales and her ilk isolate in their Trump-derangement cocoon.
In 100 per cent “gotcha” questioning, Sales called Sanders every kind of liar, sleaze and religious hypocrite. Sanders should have walked off but instead took on the compere. She blasted back at the mainstream media and its pro-Democrat lies, epitomised by the media’s two years of phony Russia-collusion scoops. Sales’ ABC pal, Sarah Ferguson, with her three-part bombshell-that-wasn’t “story of the century” in 2018 has been among those pushing the fakery.
Sales had no answer to Sanders’ riposte and continued to read from her vituperative question-list. After suggesting Sanders was a ratbag for about the fourth time in under eight minutes, Sales had the gall to demand that Sanders in reply stick to her questions-cum-accusations.
Sales, the ABC’s $400,000-or-so princess, has previously spent interview-time licking the toes of now-disgraced anti-Trumpers James Comey the FBI chief (19/4/18), Hillary Clinton (May 14, 2018), and only last week, octogenarian actress Jane Fonda, who began bawling on camera while contemplating the death of this heat-ravaged planet as global warming does its worst. Rather than a sympathetic interviewer keen to promote such alarmist nonsense, the one-time exercise queen would have been better off chatting to a qualified medical professional.
But back to Sanders, whom Sales quizzed about Trump’s notorious ‘pussy-grabbing’ comment of 2005, but she didn’t put questions to Hillary along similar lines. Had she done so, the exchange would have gone like this:
“Why did you organise a defence of your husband Bill based on calling his rape-accusers ‘nuts and sluts’, and how did you feel when you learnt your Presidential husband had inserted a cigar into a young intern’s vagina in the Oval Office?”
Those questions would have been followed up with the reprimand barked at Sanders,
“Mrs Clinton, you are not addressing my questions.”
Here’s a sample of the actual interview:
LEIGH SALES: Somebody who has watched 30-plus years of your career would see extreme hours, high pressure, sexism, relentless public attacks, loss of privacy…
HILLARY CLINTON (laughs): Ooh, sounds pretty horrible, doesn’t it? (Laughs)
SALES (laughs): Well, and then, you know: also at the end a brutal exit.
SALES: What would you say to people who look at your experience and go: “Well, there’s just… it’s not worth it: going into public life.”
Similarly, Sales has launched no follow-up of her political infatuation with James Comey to disclose his mis-use and lying about the fake “Steele [Russian pee] dossier”. Comey used the dossier to enable FBI spying on the Trump 2015 election campaign, and also authorised the entrapment of now-vindicated Trump executive Lt Gen Michael Flynn. That was the Deep State in action.
Sales’ interview of climate hysteric Jane Fonda was also deeply respectful, even when her guest lamented that she had only one servant in her $US5.4m Los Angeles mansion.
SALES: Because of your activism, you’ve attracted plenty of controversy. A lot of people dislike you; they have strong opinions about you. Has that been hard to take?”
Now let’s get specific. Sales’ first question to Sanders was: “Can Donald Trump tell the difference the truth and a lie?” The basis for Sales’ insult was that the Washington Post claims to have fact-checked presidential statements and found some 20,000 alleged lies by the President. It didn’t occur to Sales that WaPo, with The New York Times, has proudly thrown objectivity overboard to help Biden oust Trump.
Sales next question was another beaut:
This isn’t from the media, this is from General Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State during the last Republican administration; ‘He has not been an effective President. He lies all the time. He began lying the day of the Inauguration, and I don’t think that’s in our interest. The situation in 2020 has gotten worse.’
Fact Check on Sales: Republican Powell? Come off it, lady. Powell is the John Hewson of American politics, the liberal touted by progressives as a conservative. Powell endorsed Barack Obama’s presidential bids in 2008 and 2012 and boasted of voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016. He has pledged to vote for Biden in November and is campaigning hard against Trump. Please mention all this next time you trot out Powell as your Republican source.
Third question from Sales:
Let me give you an example from yesterday in a discussion about the California wildfires. The State Secretary for Natural Resources pointed out America has recently recorded some of its hottest temperatures on record and that is a factor in the severity of the fires, along with land management. The President replied, ‘It will start getting cooler.’ The Secretary replied, ‘I wish science agreed with you.’ The President then replied, ‘I don’t think science knows actually.’
Was that a display of lying, ignorance or insanity?
While Sales is a lioness tackling an ex-press secretary across the seas, I can’t imagine her similarly clawing Premier Dan Andrews, for example, about his lie — one of so very, very many — that curfews were medically recommended: ‘Mr Andrews, was that a display of lying, ignorance or insanity?’[ii] In any event, Sales’ question to Sanders was not genuinely seeking an answer. It merely involved an ABC tax-paid reporter getting up on her soapbox, to the applause of her in-house coterie.
Second of all, as the Americans say, Sales makes a fool of herself with her climate assumptions. California, like the rest of the planet, has warmed 1degC or a bit more in the past 100 years. Of that, only some fraction is anthropogenic warming. In California especially, the “heat island effect” has grown with the state’s development.[iii] Where sites have stayed obstinately rural, temperatures have shown much less rise than 1degC. It is ridiculous to cite a puny, human-caused heating of under 1degC in a century as the cause of the wildfires when lax forest management was admitted this week by California’s Governor himself.
Third, no-one knows the future and if Trump says we’ll get cooling, there’s ample scientific justification, including the sunspot impact on climate being now the weakest since the Dalton Minimum in the Little Ice Age in late 18th century. The warmist scientists never predicted the warming hiatus after 2000, and they might (or might not) be wrong again. Warming predictions are based on models prone to the garbage-in/garbage-out syndrome, as with COVID-19 models. Sales might be astounded by Trump’s statement, “I don’t think the science knows, actually” but any honest scientist would give Trump five stars.
Sales next question or speech ran like this:
So to believe you, somebody watching this interview has to believe that every former senior member of the Trump administration who has left and spoken of his unfitness to lead has an axe to grind, that every former senior Republican who has spoken out, from Colin Powell to the late John McCain, has an axe to grind, and then all of these life-long Republicans are in cahoots with the Democrats and they’re all also tied up in a conspiracy with the mainstream media and it’s the mainstream media that’s peddling lie after lie, not Donald Trump? That’s what you’re asking people to believe?
Powell, as I showed above, is very definitely “in cahoots with the Democrats”. As for McCain, Sales again fails to do her homework: Senator McCain was also “in cahoots” with the Democrats. In 2013 he was part of a “gang of eight” including Democrat senators who pursued soft policies on illegal immigrants, and in 2016 he joined Democrats in calling for the Russia-collusion inquiry into Trump. To cap it off, in 2017 he cast the pivotal vote with Democrats to block Trump’s repeal of Obamacare.
Next unpack: Sales can’t believe that Trump ex-executives would tittle-tattle to the media (she needs to get out more) and yes, the media (especially her ABC) does lie to defame Trump. Close to home, I caught out an ABC reporter lying that Trump had called COVID-19 a hoax, and the ABC corrections team agreed and posted a correction.[iv] Is she not even aware that an NYT staffer taped executive editor Dean Baquet lecturing staff a year ago, after an uproar because a sub-editor had used a neutral rather than an anti-Trump headline after a mass shooting:
It got trickier after [inaudible] … went from being a story about whether the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia and obstruction of justice to being a more head-on story about the president’s character. We built our newsroom to cover one [fake] story, and we did it truly well. Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story. I’d love your help with that.[v]
Baquet also remarked,
“What I’m saying is that our readers and some of our staff cheer us when we take on Donald Trump, but they jeer at us when we take on Joe Biden.”
In other words, the Trump collusion beat-up flopped, so the NYT shifted to smearing Trump on other fronts, with the editor needing from reporters a further line of attack.
Next Sales question:
Your book makes it clear that you’re heavily guided by your Christian faith and family values. How do you reconcile that with having been the spokesperson for a President who has misled the American people on everything from coronavirus to climate change, who boasts about grabbing women on the pussy, who paid hush money to a porn star to keep her quiet about their alleged relationship and who has maligned the men and women of America’s armed forces?
SANDERS: Well, some of those things are just patently false.
SALES: They’re not actually.
[TONY THOMAS: They are false, actually].
Sales appears to refer to the Bob Woodward book allegations that Trump deliberately played down COVID-19. The top medico Dr Fauci denies that Trump misled the public.[vi] Trump also made numerous statements emphasising the virulency of the virus. Woodward’s claims are not only many months’ stale, but themselves misleading.
Pussy-grabbing talk? True. Hush money, true. Maligning the armed forces? The “suckers and losers” alleged quotes were nothing but a Democrat/media hit job based on anonymous smears in the face of attributed denials by several/many senior people present at the time. Sales’ ABC pal David Lipson endorsed the anonymous smears on 7pm news and I’ve complained to the ABC about this bias (no response yet).
SALES TO SANDERS: I notice you’re not addressing the central premise of my question which is how somebody like Donald Trump squares with the values you espouse?
Sales using Sanders’ Christian faith as a stick to beat her with is disgusting. Her question, again, is not a question but a stump speech. As a thought-experiment, imagine Sales interviewing Joe Biden as follows: ‘Mr Biden, last March your staffer Tara Reade alleged you sexually assaulted her. We in the mainstream media have for years run cover for you over Reade’s claims but here’s what Wikipedia reports:
In a March 25, 2020, interview with Katie Halper, Reade alleged that Biden had pushed her against a wall, kissed her, put his hand under her skirt, penetrated her with his fingers, and asked, “Do you want to go somewhere else?” Reade told National Public Radio (NPR) for an April 19 article, “His hands went underneath my clothing and he was touching me in my private areas and without my consent.” Reade told The Intercept her impression was that Biden believed he had consent and was surprised when she rejected him. Reade told The New York Times for an April 12 article that when she pulled away from Biden, he looked puzzled and said, “Come on, man, I heard you liked me.” She then said he told her “You’re nothing to me, nothing,” followed by “You’re OK, you’re fine.”
Mr Biden, how do you reconcile such alleged behaviour, which has multiple corroborations, with your Catholic faith, and by the way, aren’t you in favor of abortion?
Here is Sales’ next question to Sanders (real):
After the FBI director, James Comey, was fired, as White House spokesperson you said that countless members of the FBI had told the Trump administration, they had no confidence in him.
Under oath to the Mueller investigation, you admitted that was not founded on anything, a slip of the tongue, and said, “In the heat of the moment.”
How often did you have those kinds of slips of the tongue, in the heat of the moment as White House spokesperson?
Sanders replied, acknowledging her mistake and apologising. “I had heard from a number of members of the FBI, both current and former, but I said I shouldn’t have used that particular word [countless].”
Sales in mid-sentence did her own “slip of the tongue” in the “heat of the moment” – Sanders corrected Sales that she was not “under oath” to the investigation, but giving a “voluntary interview”. She has consistently clarified that she should have referred to “some” rather than “countless” FBI officials.
My focus in this piece has been on Sales’ interviewing rather than Sanders’ responses. To read full transcript, click here.
Tony Thomas’s new book, Come To Think Of It – essays to tickle the brain, is available hereas a book ($34.95) or an e-book ($14.95)
[i] She added soon after: You’re not addressing my point which is that he said that he thinks science doesn’t know that the planet is warming.
[iii] Paul Homewood discusses the heat data further here
[iv] “ABC News accepts that the 14 March segment was in error by stating that Mr Trump called the coronavirus outbreak a hoax; it does appear that he was referring to the criticisms by the Democratic Party of the Federal Government’s handling of the coronavirus. As such, ABC News has posted a correction to the ABC’s Corrections & Clarifications page which reads: On 14 March, ABC TV News and the News Channel reported that President Trump had called Coronavirus a hoax. ABC News clarifies that it was criticisms by the Democratic Party of his handling of the crisis that he called a ‘hoax’.
[v] The original headline was “Trump Urges Unity Against Racism.” Baquet said of the person who wrote the offending headline, “He’s sick. He feels terrible”. The headline was a mistake—“It was a f***ing mess,” Baquet told the staff—but joined other newsroom leaders in cautioning staff not to overreact to Twitter comments about the paper’s editorial decisions. The headline was rapidly changed to “Assailing Hate but Not Guns”, to inject some editorial animus.
[vi] Fauci did not get the sense that President Trump was “distorting anything” about the coronavirus. His conversations with the President, Fauci has said, were always “straightforward.”