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Tuesday, July 2, 2019
CNS Serves Up 'Liberals Pounce' Frame On Trump Endorsing Foreign Campaign Interference

The Media Research Center likes to complain about what it calls the "conservatives pounce" tactic in the "liberal media" -- framing a story around not by what allegedly controversial remarks a person said but, rather, by how others react to it. But apparently it's not so detestable a tactic that the MRC's "news" division won't use it. didn't think it was news that President Trump admitted to ABC's George Stephanopoulos that he would listen to a foreign governmnet that claimed it had dirt on his election opponent -- but it was news that he was criticized by the usual suspects for saying it. The first article on the story, by Susan Jones, carried the headline "Liberal Fury, After Trump Says He Might Take Info on His Opponent From 'Foreigners'" and pushed the "liberals pounced" narrative:

Anti-Trump cable news channels and politicians erupted Wednesday night and Thursday morning, after President Donald Trump told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that he just might listen to a foreign government that claimed to have dirt on his opponent.

One House Democrat said it may be time to pass a law requiring political candidates to tell the FBI if they are offered such information from a foreign government.

Then, like a loyal Trump stenographer, Jones suggested -- without evidence to back it up, natch -- that Stephanopoulos had a political motive for asking the question: "In asking Trump those questions, was Stephanopoulos running interference for former Vice President Joe Biden? When Biden emerged as a potential rival to President Trump, various news outlets, including The New York Times, raised questions about Biden, his son Hunter, and their business dealings with Ukraine."

Jones joined with Melanie Arter to do a follow-up "liberals pouned" story headlined "'Disgraceful!' Schumer and Pelosi Blast Trump for His Comments on Foreign Interference," seemingly bothered by the idea that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "said the Democrats are putting forth legislation that requires 'a duty to report' when someone from a foreign entity offers opposition research on another political campaign."

CNS then switched into kneejerk-Trump-defense mode. An article by Arter touted how "House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Thursday called out the Democrats for giving money to a foreign entity to dig up dirt on President Donald Trump and using that false information to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on Americans" -- a reference to the Steele dossier, which McCarthy attacked as containing "false accusations" and "lies" and accusing the Democratic National Committee of having made it up.  But as a real news operation pointed out, the Steele dossier was never presented as anythingbuty raw, unverified intelligence.Further, the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign did bnot give money to a "foreign entity" for the dossier -- it paid American firm Fusion GPS, which in turn paid former British intelligence officier Christopher Steele to gather information.

Arter added:

“If you or one of your colleagues was approached by a foreign power --” a reporter asked.

“You would say like Adam Schiff? … I think what you’re asking right here is a hypothetical, so let’s go and look at what actually did happen. Adam Schiff got a phone call that he willingly thought was a foreign individual, and he took it. Yet, what action did he take after the fact?” McCarthy said.

Arter failed to mention the action that Schiff did, in fact, take: he called the FBI.

Meanwhile, Jones uncritically repeated "indignant tweets" from Trump that pushed back on liberal outrage over his comments to ABC's George Stephanopoulos:

The president also singled out Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), saying they took information from Russian operatives and didn't call the FBI.

"The fact is that the phony Witch Hunt is a giant scam where Democrats and other really bad people, SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN! They even had an “insurance policy” just in case Crooked Hillary Clinton and the Democrats lost their race for the Presidency! This is the biggest & worst political scandal in the history of the United States of America. Sad!"

Jones didn't mention that both Warner and Schiff went to the FBI after those contacts -- something Trump suggested he might not.

Jones then found her way to the "liberals pounced" narrative, complaining that "Democrats and liberal media operatives condemned Trump harshly and personally, which is a daily occurrence." She followed that up with a defense of Trump from a Republican (Mitch McConnell) and a right-wing media operative (Fox News' Laura Ingraham).

Posted by Terry K. at 8:12 PM EDT

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