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14 Apr, 2020 23:00

Obama squares up against Trump’s ‘PROPAGANDA NETWORK’ – but who’s got the bigger guns?

Obama squares up against Trump’s ‘PROPAGANDA NETWORK’ – but who’s got the bigger guns?

Barack Obama couldn’t resist throwing some shade at the US’ top conservative news network when he gave Joe Biden his endorsement. But when it comes to slanted coverage, the left holds all the levers.

Obama is a smooth talker. Lending former Vice President Joe Biden his endorsement on Tuesday, the two-term president lengthily condemned the politics of the Donald Trump administration without explicitly naming the current occupant of the White House. Obama didn’t name Fox News either, but his remark that “the other side has a propaganda network with little regard for the truth,” was likely a thinly-veiled reference to the conservative cable outfit.

Fox News is hardly the “Fair and Balanced” arbiter of truth its slogan declares. President Trump is a regular guest on ‘Fox & Friends,’ whose hosts generally give him a soapbox to ramble about topics of his choosing. Reportedly, Trump speaks to Fox host Sean Hannity by phone several times per week, if a series of 2018 reports are to be believed.

Save for minor players like One America News Network (OANN) however, Fox is one conservative outlet among a gaggle of left-wing (or given their treatment of the Bernie Sanders campaign, ‘establishment’ may be a more appropriate term) outlets free to broadcast anti-Trump agitprop round the clock. 

Three months after Trump took office in 2017, a Harvard study found that 80 percent of cable news coverage about Trump was negative in tone. The situation hasn’t changed since, and bias in some cases has given way to blatant lying. MSNBC aired bogus Russia-related conspiracy theorizing by Rachel Maddow for more than two years. CNN invented stories about Trump compromising CIA spies in Russia. ABC tried to pass off footage of explosions in Kentucky as video from Syria, to implicate Trump in the slaughter of Kurdish rebels.  

Documenting the list of slanderous allegations and outright fabrications would fill volumes. And that’s just the ones predating the coronavirus pandemic. 

Also on rt.com Finally, some true CNN news! Chris Cuomo admits he traffics ‘in the ridiculous’

A bombshell ABC News report claiming that military intelligence warned the White House about the looming outbreak back in November was straight-up denied by the Defence Intelligence Agency last week. Then there’s the media’s insistence on pitting Trump and infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci against each other, despite both arguing otherwise. Not to mention the chiding of Trump over his slow initial response to the virus, despite the press’ own downplaying of the threat.

At a news conference on Monday, Trump treated the journalists present to a dose of their own medicine, playing a video of various liberal pundits making inaccurate predictions about the virus. CNN was livid, and met propaganda with propaganda. 

“Angry Trump turns briefing into propaganda session,” the network’s chyron blared. Another banner described Trump’s stunt as a “meltdown,” while yet another accused him of using the briefing to “try and rewrite history on coronavirus response.”

The network then cut away from the briefing, and its pundits took turns spouting various permutations of ‘Orange Man Bad’ for the remainder of the evening.

To be clear, both Trump and the media downplayed the seriousness of the virus. Yet only one is allowed to rewrite history, and it isn’t Trump.

Print news isn’t much better, and to document the reams of fake news cranked out by the American dailies would be a Sisyphean task. But one recent example pertaining to Biden’s candidacy illustrates the point. When credible, but unproven, allegations of sexual assault involving Biden crept out last month, the New York Times and Washington Post held their breath and waited until this weekend to cover them. Both papers rubbished the claims, with the Times in particular veering off into a tangent on how Trump’s own alleged assaults “went far beyond” the literal rape Biden’s accuser alleges.

When equally unprovable allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh surfaced in 2018, the news media jumped at the chance to paint Kavanaugh – a Trump nominee – as a frat boy rapist, and a grotesque manifestation of Trump-style white privilege.

But sure, Trump’s the only one with a “propaganda network.” When neocon jackal and diehard NeverTrumper Max Boot pens an op-ed titled The worst president. Ever. for the Washington Post, that’s not propaganda, it’s balanced journalism! 

In a way, Obama’s apparent slight at Fox News ties in with the overall message of the Biden campaign. Without any groundbreaking policies, and lacking the ability to deliver stirring rhetoric (or even finish coherent sentences), Biden’s chief selling point is a return to “normalcy” – a promise to erase the aberration that was Trump from the national memory and return to the rosy Obama days.

In those days, Republicans and their megadonors – the Kochs, Adelsons and Mercers of the world – were the bad guys. Fox News was the manipulative propaganda bullhorn they used to spew raw hatred at the uninformed, while mainstream news reporters were guardians of the truth – or at least never kicked up too much of a stink when Obama repealed anti-propaganda laws and used the Espionage Act to jail a record number of whistleblowers and journalistic sources.

The Trump presidency changed all of that. “Normalcy” is a delicious sausage, but four years of Trump have shown us how the sausage is made. The lies, hate and vitriol of the establishment have been laid bare, and Obama and Biden are foolish if they think they can sell the public a product that’ll never taste the same again.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.