As a media watchdog, we read CNSNews.com, the Media Research Center's "news" division, every day, and usually a few times a day. And over the past several days, we noticed something peculiar: Despite Donald Trump being the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, and despite Trump being the lead political story over those same past several days with his racially motivated attack on a judge presiding over a class-action lawsuit against Trump's scammy university, Trump rarely appeared on the CNS front page.
(Which is doubly strange because the MRC employs as a contributor Jeffrey Lord, who defends Trump's race-baiting attacks on the judge.)
The CNS front page has numerous slots for story promotions: nine at the top of the page and 30 farther down, plus five blog post slots and four commentary slots. Yet Trump has been mentioned more inside the NewsBusters headline promo box on the CNS front page than on CNS proper.
What did make the CNS front page instead of Trump? Lots of stuff. For instance, Lauretta Brown snagged an exclusive interview with YouTube semi-celebrities Diamond and Silk -- who "were speaking Thursday at a 'Women Vote Trump' event at the National Press Club" -- to talk about "about race relations in the United States since President Obama took office." Brown apparently did not ask Diamond and Silk about Trump, despite the facts that being Trump groupies are the duo's claim to fame and they were speaking at a Trump event.
Also making the CNS front page instead of Trump was an article by Barbara Hollingsworth on a panel discussion of the 50th anniversary of the William F. Buckley-hosted show "Firing Line." Getting prominent play here was Hollingsworth's boss, Brent Bozell, who is also Buckley's nephew. Bozell shared this observation, according to Hollingsworth:
“You don’t debate on television any more. You fight,” Bozell pointed out.
“When that happens, two things happen. One is that you no longer have a discussion, you no longer have a serious thought in the political conversation because you don't even develop just one single thought.
"Instead, those of us who go on television today--you know, the Apostles spoke in tongues. We speak in sound bites. And we come up with pithy fractions of a thought. And that’s all you have to do on television today is come up with a pithy fraction of a thought," Bozell said.
Says the guy who reportedly insists on not having anyone who holds political views different from his during his segments -- that's why he and other MRC talking heads tend to appear solo at conservative-friendly places like Fox News. Bozell has no interest whatsoever in debating the issues.
On top of that, Bozell apparently has no interest in presenting news that can't be spun to forward his right-wing agenda. We are guessing that's why no Trump news gets a front-page push at CNS -- there's no good way to spin Trump's racial animus toward a judge. That's just not "the right news, right now," to quote the slogan at the top of the CNS front page.
One Trump-related story did make the CNS front page during this time, however. It's a story by Melanie Hunter that offers nothing but a rote regurgitation of a speech Trump gave at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference in which he recited a litany conservative platitudes.
Being a dutiful stenographer instead of an actual reporter, Hunter didn't mention that Trump read his speech from a teleprompter, despite the fact that CNS itself last August highlighted Trump's call for a ban on teleprompters for presidential candidates: "These other guys, they're going around, they make a speech in front of 21 people. Nobody cares, they read the same speech -- deet-deet-deet. They have teleprompters. I say we should outlaw teleprompters for anybody, right? -- for anybody -- for anybody running for president."
That may have been "the right news" for CNS in August, but it clearly fails the "right now" test. As does most of what Trump does these days, apparently.