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Thursday, May 18, 2023
After Arraignment, CNS Still Defended Trump, Attacked Bragg

As Donald Trump moved toward arrignment last month, continued to do what it did when indictment talk started swirling around him: Defend the guy and attack the prosecutor, district attorney Alvin Bragg.

The day before the arraignment, an article by Craig Bannister complained that Bragg "is known for being soft on crime – but, not in the case of a 61 year-old bodega worker who fatally stabbed an attacker last July." He went on to misleadingly claim that "Alvin Bragg’s DA campaign received a $1,000,000 donation from far-left billionaire philanthropist and activist George Soros through a political action committee called 'Color of Change.'" As we've documented, Soros didn't make a direct donation to Bragg -- he donated to Color of Change, which had pledged to support Bragg. An article by Susan Jones complained that a CNN anchor asked a Trump lawyer "the questions that will have some Trump-haters salivating," such as if there would be a "perp walk" for Trump. (Jones is clearly a Trump-lover.)

The morning of the arraignment on April 4, Jones served up some pre-emptive defenses:

Coverage of the arrignment itself was left to Bannister, who chose to give more attention to a separate legal judgment against Stormy Daniels, a hush-money payment to whom is the focus of the criminal charges against Trump:

On Tuesday, former President Donald Trump was arraigned in one court on charges related to payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels – which prompted Daniels to post a vulgar tweet – while another court ordered Daniels to pay Trump more than a hundred thousand dollars.

Trump attorney Harmeet Dhillon tweeted news of the award to Trump, noting it is based on Daniels’ previous “meritless litigation” against Trump:

For her part, the porn actress responded to the news of Trump’s arraignment by posting a vulgar tweet, saying she’d rather have sex than be arrested.

“Stormy Daniels gloats over Trump arraignment with X-rated tweet,” Fox News headlined one article, which notes that Trump pled not guilty to all charges of 34 felony counts stemming from an investigation into alleged hush money payments to former Playboy model Stormy Daniels.

By contrast, Jones devoted an article to Trump's post-indictment whine-fest, complaining that non-right-wing networks didn't air it in its entirety:

Cheers and chants of "USA! USA!" greeted former President Donald Trump as he spoke to friends, family and all Americans who tuned in last night to hear his reaction to a legal case that even his detractors describe as flimsy.

In what was essentially a campaign rally, the declared presidential candidate discussed the many ways Democrats have tried to undermine him with their "fraudulent investigations"; he called out his political enemies by name, including his latest nemesis, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg; he derided other, ongoing investigations into his activities; and he warned that "our country is going to hell" under President Joe Biden.

Notably, CNN cut away from the speech about 23 minutes into it as Trump described "where we are as a nation."

MSNBC refused to air the Trump speech, because, as Rachel Maddow put it, it was "basically a campaign speech in which he is repeating his same lies and allegations against his perceived enemies."

Despite presenting herself as a journalist, Jones made no effort to fact-check anything Trump said, preferring to serve as his stenographer instead.

The Trump defenses continued in the following days:

Jones did write an article that purported to attempt balance -- Two Views – Bolton: Don't Delay Trial, It Benefits Trump; Barr: The Case Seems to Lack 'Any Legal Basis' -- instead, she devoted only four paragraphs to the views of John Bolton (whom she called a "bitter Trump foe") but lavished 15 paragraphs on the pro-Trump views of William Barr, whom she identified only as his title as former attorney general.

An anonymously written article complained that Bragg's office website states that "Our office is a safe place for undocumented immigrants to report crime." The anonymous writer didn't explain why this statement was so offensive. More attacks followed:

Meanwhile, CNS editor Terry Jeffrey wrote an April 5 column that appeared to be an exercise in whataboutism by rehashing the impeachment of President Clinton and complaining he wasn't hauled into court for perjury for "intentionally false" testimony regarding his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, May 21, 2023 10:01 PM EDT

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