CNSNews.com has always had a pronounced pro-Trump bias, but former FBI director James Comey's testimony before Congress has sent the Media Research Center "news" operation into new heights of pro-Trump fervor (if only to distract from the growing scandals around Trump).
After Comey released a copy of his opening statement, chief Trump fangirl Susan Jones served up a hilariously creative interpretation of it -- presented as "news" -- that portrays Trump as a victim, claming that Comey's statement "shows that President Donald Trump became increasingly frustrated by the ongoing Russia investigation, not because he had anything to hide, but because the leaks and media speculation were interfering with his ability to get things done for the country."
Jones counterfactually insisted that "Comey's statement does not back up the liberal media speculation that Trump may have obstructed justice by asking Comey to drop or back-off the Russia investigation or the investigation of Michael Flynn." Jones also referenced the notorious Trump dossier claiming that "Trump had engaged in perverted sexual acts with prostitutes during a trip to Russia"; Jones called the dossier "unsubstantiated and frankly ridiculous." We'll agree with the former; the latter is opinion not backed up by reality that has no business in a "news" article.
Jones followed that with a pre-hearing screed -- also falsely presented as "news" -- under the headline "Liberal Media That Are Out to Get Trump Run Eager Headlines on Thursday":
With the Comey circus in town on Thursday, Washington is a-quiver with anticipation that the former FBI director might/could, will-he/won't-he (please-oh-please) hand investigators evidence of criminality on the part of President Trump.
Former FBI Director James Comey's written statement to the Senate intelligence committee, released on Wednesday, drew cries of somber outrage from Democrats -- "Obstruction of justice!" "Crossing a line!" "Unethical!" "Unprecedented!" "Inappropriate!" -- but no calls for handcuffs just yet.
Several Democrats on Thursday morning stopped short of saying Trump's conversations with Comey amount to obstruction of justice. They told cable news shows they'd leave the legalities to federal prosecutors.
Here are some of the headlines and front-page blurbs from newspapers and cable channels that have been trying to undermine Trump since his election:
Jones used yet another purported "news" article to whine: "As Congress and the liberal media chase Russia-Trump conspiracy theories, the people’s business languishes."
CNS was on post-hearing spin patrol as well, focusing heavily on doing stories that claim to clear Trump and make Comey look bad:
- Comey Debunks NYT Report About Trump Campaign Having Repeated Contacts With Russians
- Senator Asks Comey: Do You Believe You Would Have Been Fired If Clinton Became President?
- WH: 'I Can Definitively Say The President's Not a Liar'
- Comey Contradicted Sworn Testimony on Memo Leak, Trump’s Lawyer Says
Jones then passed the ridiculously-biased-commentary talking stick to blogger Craig Bannister. First, he parroted a Republican congressman's silly parsing of Trump's reported statement that he hoped Comey would drop the FBI investigationinto former national security adviser Michael Flynn, cheering that the congressman "got Comey to admit that 'hoping' is not a crime - yet." But as observers less slavishly devoted to protecting Trump have noted, a threat does not have to be explicit to be clear, and people have been convicted of obstruction charges for making an "I hope" statement.
Bannister followed that up with a crude smear job relying on out-of-context words to portray Comey as an incompetent FBI director:
In Senate testimony Thursday, James Comey portrayed himself as someone who was “confused,” “stunned,” lacking “presence of mind” and not “strong” enough during his tenure as FBI director.
Comey also pleaded ignorance, declaring “I don’t know” on 45 different occasions during his appearance in the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing looking into his dealings with President Donald Trump regarding Russia and the 2016 election.
While Comey repeatedly said he was “confused” by his firing, he painted a picture of himself as an FBI director who was unsure of himself while in office. Nine times in his testimony, Comey referred to himself as “confused.” Twice, he called himself “stunned,” and he twice said he didn’t have the “presence of mind” to do his job properly.
Surprisingly, CNS did not play this as "news" but as a blog post. But as we've seen, that's a diestinction without a difference at CNS.