The first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency have been filled with outrageous moments in the mainstream media. Some of those moments will make you laugh, some will make you cry, and some will infuriate you. Here are six of the hottest of hot-take fails, outrageous comparisons, outright fabrications, and more from Trump’s first 100 days.
1. Let’s start at the beginning, on inaugural day and night
LIfeZette had a great compilation of media meltdowns on inauguration day: Matt Lauer being afraid that Trump fans would physically harm Hillary Clinton, Salon saying that Trump was going to “victimize his own voters,” and more. But perhaps my favorite is Paul Krugman, the smarmy New York Times economic columnist, who just needed a safe space.
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) January 20, 2017
Inaugural day kicked off the insanity. It really hasn’t ended.
2. Trump signs his name like a Nazi war criminal
Surely this can’t be true, you must be saying to yourself. There is no way that any respected journalism outfit would waste either paper or internet bandwidth with a story like that. Well, you’d be wrong. The Boston Globe published an “ideas” piece that basically asked if you “should care” that Trump signs his name like a Nazi.
Some experts — graphologists, people who have been trained to examine handwriting for markers of personality — were no less harsh. “His signature is this barbed-wire thing that’s into power and control and rigidity,” said Sheila Lowe, a Ventura, Calif., handwriting analyst with more than 40 years of experience in this small field. “It’s closed, it’s not open, it’s not soft at all and it looks like Himmler’s.” As in Heinrich Himmler, head of Adolf Hitler’s SS and the man who established the first official concentration camp at Dachau.
But they totally made it OK by asking if you “should care.”
3. Trump’s kids are just the same as the Hussein war criminal duo
If you guessed that this one would involve MSNBC, you’d be right. Almost lost in an orgy of Leftist spin were these two jewels by MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews.
Here’s Rachel - jump to 3:40 in this video.
We have never thought of us as a country where Uday and Qusay [Hussein] get to be ministers of whatever they want, right?
You might think that was obnoxious but was all of it, until you hear Matthews from the week before.
That’s right, because the Trump kids and family follow a long tradition of family members working in a presidential administration, they should be compared to murderous thugs like Uday and Qusay Hussein, the sons of Saddam Hussein.
4. Donald Trump is causing the nation to lose precious sleep
Here’s another golden one. Lisa Belkin, the “chief national correspondent” for Yahoo News, decided back in March that a think piece on Trump as national bogeyman would be a fun time. She described a dystopian present where Americans were tossing and turning, all because of Trump.
She even went full Nazi Germany, casting the heroes of the piece:
Last night I dreamed we were hiding people in our basement,” says Allentown, Pa., physician Jenni Levy. “Not sure what they were hiding from.”
It continued …
I’m worried about the ‘Anne Franks‘ of Syria, Somalia, Yemen,” says tech industry employee Amanda Silver, who is literally sleepless in Seattle, her hometown.
“I am afraid the democratic process is under attack by a nationalist, far-right, authoritarian leader,” says Lori Rivere Rodrig, who teaches math at a New Jersey high school.
5. Not just Trump but his appointments too
It was pretty hard to find dirt on the Boy Scout and Trump SCOTUS nominee Neil Gorsuch. But that didn’t stop NPR and a whole host of other organizations from trying. Here’s an original headline for a gotcha piece on Gorsuch.
A group of female former law clerks for Gorsuch submitted a letter to the committee in support—but this is the headline NPR is going with pic.twitter.com/ln4lvVI7sT
— Lyndsey Fifield (@lyndseyfifield) March 20, 2017
The story went on to describe a class discussion about employment law that, quite simply, did not happen. Here’s the NPR story. After a rush to publish, without disclosing the conflicts of the source, NPR and other organizations were forced to clarify the story. It ended up not that bad for Gorsuch. Here’s the editors’ note from NPR.
Editors' note Monday, 12:55 p.m. ET: Since this story was first published, we have added material from another former student and former law clerks of Gorsuch, as well as more information about Jennifer Sisk's political affiliations. On Tuesday, Gorsuch disputed the allegation himself during his confirmation hearing and explained the lesson he intended to teach.
What were Sisk, the accuser’s, political affiliations?
Sisk, once a staffer for former Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado and the Interior Department during the Obama administration, told NPR that she wrote the letter "so that the proper questions could be asked during his confirmation hearings," which begin Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Yeah, the allegations came from a professional Democratic operative, and until called out on it, NPR didn’t disclose it.
6. Rachel Maddow channels Al Capone’s vault
If you were alive during the 1980s, chances are you remember the hype from a not-yet-famous Geraldo Rivera surrounding the unveiling of Al Capone’s secret vault. It was a live prime-time event. Except it was an empty room behind a wall.
Maddow wanted a similar moment all to herself. So she hyped that she had Donald Trump’s tax returns. Except, well, she didn’t. Here, let Greg Gutfeld explain.
That’s right, she had one year’s returns, that Trump probably sent her anonymously himself, that showed he paid a higher tax percentage than almost every president who has released his returns.
Maddow was rightly excoriated for the remarks. Even Geraldo got in on the fun, in a hilarious bit of self-deprecating humor.
Those are just six of hundreds of media moments. Do you remember any others? Tweet me @robeno to let me know of your favorite meltdown. I may cover it in a future article or Facebook live.