Nearby is my piece on the game being played by the New York Times with Sean Hannity who is, (gasp!) giving some advice to Donald Trump.
This morning comes Dana Milbank from the Washington Post, headlining
Sean Hannity, Trump’s spin ‘Doctor’
After listing Hannity’s alleged sins, and throwing in Roger Ailes and Breitbart’s Steve Bannon for good measure as examples of the horrors of media figures advising candidates, Milbank writes:
The overt campaigning for Trump by the likes of Hannity, Ailes and Bannon does no favors for conservatism. And Hannity’s collusion with the candidate and his peddling of conspiracy theories in support of Trump undermine the many serious journalists at Fox News.…
A tally in April by the liberal ThinkProgress blog found that Trump appeared on Hannity’s show 41 times in the first 10 months of his campaign. Hannity talked up Trump’s poll numbers, defended Trump against accusations and asked him questions such as “Is it time for all American politicians to get rid of political correctness?”
Nowhere does Milbank mention the history of his own paper having everyone from a former publisher to a staff reporter (Phil Graham and Sidney Blumenthal respectively) using the Post as a position from which to advise their favorites — Lyndon Johnson for Graham and Bill Clinton for Blumenthal. For that matter, Milbank never gets around to mentioning the cozy friendship between the late Ben Bradlee and presidential candidate and president John F. Kennedy. In Bradlee’s case the devotion to JFK was so deep that when, in 1964, Bradlee discovered his just-murdered sister-in-law had written a diary detailing her own affair with JFK, Bradlee deliberately hid the news from his readers at the Post-owned Newsweek magazine, where Bradlee was then a Washington bureau chief.
Why not just fess up that journalists — including three who were Post-connected — have repeatedly advised the Democratic candidates and presidents of their choice? Because for Milbank to admit this means the outcry over Hannity, Ailes, and Bannon has zero standing.
Or in other words? Milbank’s missive this morning is just one more example of the same-old, same-old liberal media double-standard at work. As it were, it’s OK for me (any liberal media figure) but not for thee (any conservative media figure). Note as well the Milbank reference to the far-left Think Progress tally of Trump appearances on Hannity shows. Not to put too fine a point on this, but if one actually took the time to listen to Sean Hannity’s radio and TV shows daily one would know that he repeatedly declined to takes sides in the primaries and went out of his way to ask all the GOP candidates to come on his shows. Did Milbank mention that? Of course not. Instead he relies on figures from a left-wing website associated with — gasp! — Hillary Clinton. And never bothers to mention that either.
You want to know why the people in all those Trump rallies are booing the media?
Look no further than the Dana Milbank double-standard.