Media

Press Gallery, Peanut Gallery

As an Australian citizen, the result of November’s US Presidential election means a hell of a lot to me.  And I am an unabashed fan of Donald Trump. But the result won’t be decided in the Australian media, so the lack of balance in the local media coverage shouldn’t be enough to get me onto the keyboard.  So, take this as primarily a commentary on the parlous state of Australian journalism.

I have noted a reluctance on the part of any Australian journalist to give Trump any credit for his accomplishments, or acknowledgement of the manifest injustices that have been piled upon him since his inauguration in 2017, without an accompanying arse-covering swipe at his personal failings – generally unspecified.  It’s as if the writer expects that unless he makes this disclaimer, his readers will brand him with the mark of Satan Donald. This is almost universal.  For example, this from Greg Sheridan, who make sense on most topics but not this one:

But this prosecution is so blatantly political that tens of millions of Americans will now lose trust in the judicial system. In the unravelling of American society, the loss of faith in institutions has been central.

Trump has contributed to that by many gross and reckless statements and dubious actions.

And:

By the time of his re-election bid in 2020, Trump had a presidential record that had good and bad in it.

He had a good economic record. He had increased defence spending more than any Democrat would have done. He had overseen the historic Abraham Accords in the Middle East, by which Israel and several of its neighbours established diplomatic relations. And of course for four years he had also behaved like a boorish lout, very strange for an occupant of the Oval Office.

And recently, Peter Jennings, in an otherwise good article in The Australian, opined:

It will surprise few that Trump’s professional lifetime as a showman and grifter finally saw some charges stick.

My online comment to that article:

The Oxford Dictionary defines a grifter as ‘person who engages in petty or small-scale swindling’.   Might not Donald Trump, if he read this description of him as a professional lifetime grifter, regard it as defamatory?

Inevitably, the Oz moderators spiked it.

I could go on, but I won’t because I want to get to Tom Minear, the US correspondent for the Herald Sun, and the headline of one of his recent articles: “The contradiction in felon Trump’s key campaign claims”.

Accepting that this would have been written by a sub-editor, it nonetheless gave me an inkling about this bloke’s alignment on this issue. Even were Minear writing an op-ed, rather than a news report, it would seem gratuitous, a trifle over the top.  I read on (my comments interspersed):

Donald Trump is trying to convince Americans of two things so they will return him to the Oval Office as a convicted felon.

Both cannot be true. He has little evidence they are. And yet, in what should spark alarm bells for President Joe Biden, plenty of voters still believe him.

The former president’s first proposition is that the case against him was orchestrated by Biden himself. Almost every day at the Manhattan Criminal Court, Trump declared it was the “Biden trial”, a claim he and his allies have tried to back up in multiple ways.

Judge Juan Merchan, who oversaw the trial, donated $US15 to Biden’s 2020 presidential run. The judge’s daughter is a political consultant who has worked on Democratic campaigns. And Matthew Colangelo, one of the prosecutors, was part of Biden’s Department of Justice before joining Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s team.

Trump has successfully used these facts to undermine the case, at least in the minds of his supporters, who are now furious he has been convicted.

And a righteous anger it is too, since the case is and has always has been a politically motivated stitch-up of no legal merit, as high-profile Democrat lawyer and author Alan Dershowitz, along with many others on both sides of the US legal fraternity, has argued.

These facts have been seeded in fertile ground – the business of public prosecutions is inherently political in the US, given people like Bragg are party members who are elected.

But they do not offer any proof that Biden had anything to do with the hush money trial.

Whether or not Biden, or more to the point, the White House was directly involved is immaterial.  This is the Democratic Party machine doing what it has done repeatedly since 2016 — using any means, fair or foul (mostly foul) to hound Donald Trump out of public life and do whatever it can to ensure the re-election of the most feeble, and arguably most corrupt, president in US history.   It does not require a personal, smoking-gun go-ahead from Biden. All it needed was acquiescence from the White House. If this trial was as corrupt as most right-thinking people know it to be, the twin facts that the White House did not disavow Trump’s charge and that it was being done in their president’s name, means that Biden owns it as much as anyone.

And furthermore, Minear’s earlier implication that lead prosecutor Mathew Colangelo’s arrival on the scene was mere coincidence looks a little shaky when you know that DA Alvin Bragg, having been elected on a specific campaaign promise to ‘get Trump’, initially declined to pursue this case until, presumably, his spine was stiffened by reinforcements from the Department of Justice.  Be interesting to see where Colangelo ends up. Will he be content to remain a prosecutor for the District of Manhattan, I wonder?

This leads to Trump’s second proposition, that his 81-year-old opponent is the “dumbest” and “most incompetent” president in history. Trump, who is 77, is careful not to say Biden is too old, although he regularly claims he is cognitively impaired.

Again, there are facts that appear relevant. Biden’s verbal and physical slips and stumbles are increasingly common and undoubtedly an issue for his re-election bid.

As for his record as president, that is squarely up for debate – immigration and inflation are weaknesses, while he has struggled to communicate his equally significant achievements.

Significant achievements?  What are they? This is in the same league as Trump’s non-specific failings.

Is Biden dumb and incompetent? I would argue not, although many Americans disagree. But this is the essential point: how could someone so dumb and incompetent also be capable of arranging a plot to put his opponent in jail in a jurisdiction where he has no control?

Biden is just a player in this, but it’s reasonable for Trump to put a convenient label on this conspiracy.

As Trump raged about his conviction, even he seemed to concede this stretched credulity.

“This is all done by Biden and his people,” he said, before adding: “Maybe his people more importantly. I don’t know if Biden knows too much about it, because I don’t know if he knows about anything.”

In other words, Trump is not claiming, as it turns out, it’s a plot  mounted by Biden himself. So, what was the point of this article — other than missing the point.

22 thoughts on “Press Gallery, Peanut Gallery

  • Podargus says:

    Biden is just a sock puppet, a weird, senile and criminal puppet. That has been obvious for the past 4 years. So it always amuses me when the MSM reports that Biden said this, Biden did that. No, the administration is responsible. The absolute worst administration in the history of the USA. And there have been some purlers in the past
    But these smart alec morons have painted themselves into a corner. They know well enough that if they go to the people with Biden they will lose, unless they can corrupt the electoral process like they did in 2020.
    I would not be surprised if Biden gets the old heave ho and the criminals in charge find some other mug to stand. There are ways of doing this.

  • ianl says:

    There is a reason, in my view, that our corrupt MSM so dislike Trump, almost to a person. I doubt it’s the uncouthness of his political persona.

    During the 2016 election campaign, to my delight, Trump organised his cross-country rallies so that his eager audience filled all the seat rows in the Town Halls except the last back two rows. These were designated for the attending MSM new crews, journos, photographers and so on.

    At a point during the rally when the audience was well and truly stirred, he invited them to turn around and inform the back two rows of their opinion of the MSM.

    I’ve labelled most of the MSM, including a considerable portion of the Aus contingent, as corrupt – not because of money lust (although that may exist in some individuals) but because their vanity comes first, always. And Trump exposed that.

  • Necessityofchoice says:

    Scott Adams, a shrewd observer of the US political scene estimates Trump will need a 10% buffer to overcome Democrat Party manipulation of the ballot in the swing states.

    • pgang says:

      I think he is wrong. I don’t believe any advantage will be enough to beat the ballot rigging. We’ve already seen it.
      I don’t think it is possible for Trump to become president again. Hopefully I’m wrong.

  • Ceres says:

    TDS is alive and well, but ask why these people hate him and they usually struggle with, well he’s a philanderer or been married so much or he’s crude. All these criticisms are applicable to many politicians – Clinton etc. Ask what Trump’s recent crime conviction was for and they haven’t a clue. An alleged “affair” is not a crime. In other words Trump haters have no specifics just slogans from the MSM.
    Trump attacks his critics as a straight shooter and does not engage in polite pleasantries. He understands who are not his friends and goes after them.
    His 5 kids have turned out well and he’s generous with his money.
    He dared to become President beating Hillary and then decided to have another go. That’s his crime in the leftie mind.
    He could have had a quiet very comfortable family life without endless court cases and stress but he loves America and is a true patriot. I take my hat off to him and hope he has good security.

    • john mac says:

      You’re exactly right, Ceres. Trump’s crime was to deny Shrillary her Satan given right to the Oval Office. Everything since has been the most corrupt and vindictive dummy spit in our lifetime. Watergate was a parking ticket compared to what has transpired for 8 years and counting. From the Russian collusion, to smashed mobiles, emails. Hunter Biden’s shenanigans. Joe’s obvious decline and serial fondling and hair sniffing. The thing is , the whole world knew of Trump’s personality and history. Yet he was elected anyway. I will never be convinced that 2020 was not rigged. 81 million votes to Biden – more than Obama got?! And the 24/7/365 persecution of Trump? Like him or loathe him , he has shown mental strength nobody in politics has even come close to. One suspects our conservative media may secretly hope he wins, but still wish to be invited to the cool parties, so disavow him .

  • STD says:

    Like the rest of us Donald Trump has failings, he is human.
    .
    In this day and age a lot of men like the likes of Albanese and Shorten are just women in a man’s body- metrosexuals .
    .
    Whereas DT for all his faults; no one can deny that he is a prime example of the stoic character of the archetypal male.

    • john mac says:

      Yes STD, Alpha males need not apply in politics (or the public sphere for that matter) . Albo hung around like Biden, career hacks both , till it was their turn, and the zeitgeist favoured the leftist agenda. Trudope, Mini Micron, and the UK musical chairs of spineless Tino’s complete the West’s rogue’s gallery and this fact concerns me far more than Ukraine/Israel/China – although they are a corollary of our failed will and backbone.

  • STD says:

    I apologise to all the real women for the ambiguity.
    .
    While I’m at it I’d it was somewhat remiss of me as I left out Chris Bowen and Adam Bandt: the other two met men ( although not exhaustive) otherwise known as the two green fairies.

  • GG says:

    What is striking is how Australian ‘journalists” deliver ‘news’ about American politics that is nothing more than a copy-paste from the usual suspects: MSNBC, CNN, NBC, AFP, AP etc, which are all fanatically anti-Trump.
    There is literally no Australian perspective in their reporting.
    No independent thought. Seven’s Tim Lester and some effete little fellow oddly named Woiwod simply parrot the MSNBC rage against the Orange Man, and we Australians wonder why we are not getting more balanced analysis. It’s even worse with the ABC and Nine – nobody watches Ten or SBS so we can ignore them.
    The reason is found in the content contracts those networks signed with the abovementioned – local news outlets rely on footage and sometimes access to the press pool via these US propagandists. If they dare to depart from “the narrative”, they’re out in the cold. It’s cowardly, it’s unprofessional, and totally lacking in integrity.

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    In today’s Australian, Troy Bramston wrote a typical anti-Trump rant leading me to write the following comment:
    “Your facts are wrong, Mr Bramston. Hilary Clinton challenged the election result when Trump defeated her. And despite the usual Democrat anti-Trump lies which started the moment he first nominated for the Presidency, there is no evidence that he was anti-democracy. Quite the contrary, the current farcical Democrat lawfare in New York is all the evidence any sane person would need to prove that it is the Democrats who are anti-democracy. It was Obama who first weaponised government authorities against individual political rivals, and Biden has presided over the same abuses. 
Trump, who has personality traits offensive to many people, is a breath of fresh air compared to his Democrat counterparts.”
    Of course, it was “Not Approved” by the Australian comments editor.

    • lbloveday says:

      My comment, similarly rejected was:
      Those with fond memories of Paul Zanetti like me, may wish to read his take on this article at richardsonpost.com

  • phil.mazey says:

    Can these Trump lovers be Quadrant readers? They seem to overlook his history as degrader of women, insurrrectionist, judge-buyer, panderer to dictators, liar and would-be revolutionist and destroyer of the United States and what it still stands for, with all its imperfections. A noisy rabble, one might say, in dismissing them, but they also serve as examples of what can lie beneath the apparent and blessed moderation of our own public people.

  • Paul Govier says:

    Sorry Peter but Greg was spot on. For all of his policy success, at a personal level Trump is an odious character. A serial adulterer. Proven liar. Mysoginist. And yes, a grifter. Go check out Trump University if you need evidence of the latter outside the current show trials. As for your claim Greg was being defamatory, no wonder they spiked your comment. That is an incredibly serious (and quite irresponsible) allegation against a fellow journalist. Given Trump has just been found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of exactly that (rightly or wrongly), I don’t think Greg need worry too much on that count.

    Don’t get me wrong, Biden is as bad or worse and I would vote Trump. But I think you have fallen into the inverse of TDS. SDT?

    • Greg Lloyd says:

      Hooking up with a pornstar is not adultery. It is a financial transaction that Stormy did quite well out of. And since when has adultery been an impediment to good leadership? JFK positively thrived on it.

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    Paul, every reputable commentator outside the Democratic Party has acknowledged that the New York Court that has convicted Donald Trump of felonies was utterly corrupt, and that the charges were ridiculous. All are confident thar the Supreme Court will overturn them all on appeal.
    As for Trump’s allegedly poor character, every Democratic Presidential candidate from John F. Kennedy has been at least as bad as Trump is alleged to be. Kennedy was a serial womaniser as were his two brothers. Bill Clinton was legendary for his moral turpitude with at least one credible accusation of rape. With Hillary’s assistance he exploited the Clinton Foundation for their own personal benefit. Obama weaponised the Government against his political opponents.
    Compared to that lot of rogues, Trump is one of nature’s gentlemen.

    • Paul Govier says:

      I agree with every word of that except that Trump is a gentleman (relative or otherwise). My point was that accusing Greg Sheridan for accurately pointing out that Trump is a grifter is a bit much. And as for his comment that Greg should be worried about such defamation, well rightly or wrongly, Trump has been convicted of it. I just thought it a bit beyond the pale to go after Greg for accurately identifying f Trump’s personal weaknesses let alone accusing him of libel.

  • Michael Waugh says:

    Can anyone please explain exactly what were the precise charges; and what were the elements of each charge; and what was the evidence that established each element? A careful and accurate description of the charges, elements, and evidence would clarify whether Trump was prosecuted or persecuted.

  • jb.orrock says:

    Au contraire, Peter, Joe Biden is not the worst president in US history. That gong goes to James Buchanan. Biden is the second worst president in US history.

  • jackgym says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t remember any of the leftist Australian television news channels mentioning that Trump collected $52.8m donations in 24 hours after his dodgy court verdict. I might add it was mostly in small denominations.

  • Doubting Thomas says:

    One of the most ridiculous charges was of fraudulently overstating the value of his properties to obtain bank loans. The bank was happy to loan him the money which he repaid on time with interest. Nobody was a victim of this “crime”. The bank was happy, but he was still charged and convicted of fraud by the corrupt New York legal system. The fact that it was the bank’s responsibility to conduct its own due diligence before lending the money, which it obviously did, cut no ice with the prosecution.
    Another charge was for an alleged offence that was a Federal rather than a State matter. Can’t recall the specific details. But the Federal prosecutors explicitly declined to prosecute, iirc because the Statute of Limitations had expired, so the New York converted into a State case and proceeded. Much the same sort of tomfoolery with all the other charges, many of which were for offences virtually identical with those known to have been committed by Democrats but for which no prosecutions occurred. The best example of this are the classified documents held by Trump at Mar a Lago. Hillary Clinton kept an illegal, insecure private computer loaded with highly classified material when she was Secretary of State. Never charged. As Vice President, Biden famously retained masses of highly classified material on open display in his unsecured private garage. Never charged. The difference was that unlike Vice President Biden,, as President, Trump had the over-riding authority to declassify an material he had which in any case was held in highly secure Mar a Lago. Charged.
    Ten there was the nonsense of the alleged payment of hush money to Stormy Daniels. Google it.
    All these cases were driven by the Democratic Party to at least keep Trump occupied off the campaign trail.
    Totally cynical. Totally corrupt.

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