March 3, 2017

AP’s One-Sided Hatchet Job on Trump’s Tribute to Ryan Owens

It’s becoming quite obvious that the Associated Press, which has tilted ever more to the left for several decades, has been on the verge of going completely off the rails since their coordinated plan to elect Hillary Clinton failed in November. Naturally, the AP has directed its ever-increasing hostility at Donald Trump and his administration since that fateful day — seldom more obviously than in Tammy Webber’s treatment of Trump’s tribute to Ryan and Carryn Owens in his Tuesday speech to a joint session of Congress.

In her Wednesday evening writeup, Webber failed to describe the mission with which Owens was involved, failed to note its positive results — which even CNN has now recognized — and consulted only two far-leftists, one utterly undisclosed as such, for an evaluation of the politics involved. Naturally, these alleged “experts” contended that Trump’s tributes to Owens and his wife Carryn likely represented an exercise in cynical politics and PR.

In Webber’s first two paragraphs, we see the classic passive-aggressive “others believe” ploy combined with negative assertions about the raid and the Trump administration as if they are settled facts, when they aren’t (bolds are mine throughout this post):

Was Trump tribute to fallen Navy SEAL fitting or calculated?

The televised moment moved a nation: A grief-stricken widow clasping her hands and looking skyward, tears streaming down her face as the nation’s lawmakers and president delivered a deafening standing ovation in honor of her fallen husband.

President Donald Trump’s tribute to Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens during Tuesday’s congressional address was seen by many as touching. But others regarded it as a calculated attempt to deflect criticism of his decision to approve a failed military operation and to turn around his administration’s shaky start with a gesture that sought to unify a deeply divided country.

The standard translation for establishment press language like “others regarded it” seen above, “others believe,” or similar expressions, is: “In my opinion (but I don’t have the integrity to acknowledge it) …”

That same sentence expects us to accept as established facts that Owens was on a “failed military operation,” and that the Trump administration has been off to a “shaky start.”

The latter contention primarily exists because of an extraordinarily hostile press. Previous administrations, including Barack Obama’s, have had “shaky” opening moments, and arguably as many or more of them. The press was making “he’s new to this” excuses for Bill Clinton well into his second year in office.

In asserting a “failed military operation,” Webber failed to quote Defense Secretary James Mattis’s assessment, quoted by Trump in his speech, of what was accomplished as a result of the mission with which Owens was involved:

I just spoke to our great General Mattis, just now, who reconfirmed that — and I quote — “Ryan was a part of a highly successful raid that generated large amounts of vital intelligence that will lead to many more victories in the future against our enemies.”

Who is Tammy Webber to contradict Mattis as if her assessment is absolutely correct, and his, which she failed to disclose, is dead wrong?

On Thursday, as if to mock the AP reporter, CNN, of all places, reported that the mission yielded an extraordinary treasure trove of information about this nation’s enemies:

US tries to ID hundreds of al Qaeda contacts thanks to Yemen raid

Several US officials told CNN Thursday that the US is now taking action to locate and monitor hundreds of people or “contacts” found as part the intelligence retrieved during the deadly raid last month in Yemen targeting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Some of these people are believed to be in the West, but not in the United States.
The government is taking action to find and monitor these AQAP-linked individuals because of the threat they may pose to Europe, the officials added.

The fact that officials said they are actively pursuing leads uncovered from the raid indicates that the intelligence was indeed actionable despite some media reports to the contrary.

The terabyte’s worth of intelligence gathered from computers and cell phones is now being reviewed at the National Media Exploitation Center outside Washington, which analyzes documents, electronic media, cell phones, video and audio tapes seized on overseas missions.

Defense officials have told CNN that information pertaining to the location of safe havens, explosives manufacturing, training and targets was acquired in the January ground operation.

Now let’s get to the alleged political “experts” Webber consulted.

The first was “Matthew Dallek, a political management professor at The George Washington University and speechwriter for former Democratic U.S. Rep. Richard Gephardt.” Well, at least she tagged him as a Democrat. Dallek claimed that “If you voted for him (Trump), you think he’s honoring a patriot and this is powerful. If … you don’t trust him and don’t approve of his presidency so far, I don’t think this changes very much.”

Dallek’s belief that not much changed, though somewhat restrained, doesn’t reflect what post-speech pollsters are reporting. Dallek’s politics are anything but restrained.

Powerline’s John Hinderaker observed that in just one column at the New York Daily News, Dallek described Trump as “arguably the most retrograde major-party presidential nominee in modern times”; “the leader of such a dystopian political movement;” “a fearmonger without peer”; and someone who “has distorted and magnified legitimate worries beyond all reason.”

Ahead of Trump’s speech, in a column posted at Yahoo News, Dallek made his sympathies quite clear:

The narrative of the resistance is now being written, and that storyline will arguably be as influential in what happens next in politics and society as the White House narrative that Trump’s aides are hoping his speech burnishes. In brief, how does the resistance manifest itself during Trump’s address?

Anyone who recognizes reality, namely that “the resistance” is merely a highly organized and heavily funded Democrat-leftist campaign of disruption and not anything resembling a genuine grass-roots movement, now knows that Dallek is among its disingenuous apologists, and certainly not a qualified objective observer.

The second “expert” was Elizabeth Sherman, whom Webber described only as “a political science professor at American University.” She told Webber:

“I think Trump figured this was a brilliant PR move. How can you lose?”

But Ryan Owens “might have been alive” if there had been a deeper assessment of the raid’s risks, she said. “No one wants to say that” amid Carryn Owens’ grief.

This mission was conceived while Barack Obama was still in office, and was months in the making before it was handed over to the Trump administration. Curiously, according to NBC News, as reported in Soldier of Fortune, “Multiple military and intelligence sources … (said) that something tipped off the terrorist targets.”

Hmm. I wonder how that happened, especially given that the mission crossed presidential administrations? So should Tammy Webber and the rest of the press, especially given the credence she and others are giving contentions that Owens “might have been alive” if risks had properly been assessed. Well, he also “might have been alive” if “something” (or someone) hadn’t “tipped off the terrorist targets.”

Powerline’s Hinderaker scratched the surface of Sherman’s background and published output, and found that she is the “founding director of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston, is a Democratic Party loyalist and a virulent hater of the Republican Party in general, and Donald Trump in particular.” Imagine that.

Tammy Webber’s mission was to cast doubt on, and if possible spoil, a moment she admitted “moved a nation.” She used fundamentally dishonest means in an attempt to accomplish that objective.

Perhaps her effort would have been somewhat effective even a few years ago — but probably not now.

Eminent historian and columnist Victor Davis Hanson wrote the following on Wednesday:

the contemporary mainstream media—the major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN), the traditional blue-chip newspapers (Washington Post, New York Times), and the public affiliates (NPR, PBS)—have lost credibility. They are no more reliable critics of President Trump’s excesses than they were believable cheerleaders for Barack Obama’s policies.

Hanson should have included the Associated Press, and was too kind to the others.

The nation’s de facto news gatekeeper and the establishment press outlets Hanson listed are, thanks to their proven collusion with the Hillary Clinton campaign and their conduct since November 8, even less reliable critics of President Trump than they were believable cheerleaders for Obama.

Thanks to these circumstances, it’s highly likely that the only people who will buy Tammy Webber’s garbage disguised as reporting are those who are in the far-left echo chamber, who already agree with her and her fake “experts.”

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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