We explored this same topic here recently. Part of our piece:
For eight long, surreal years, the Obama Administration, in the person of either Robert Gibb or Josh Earnest, lied about things. And lied and lied and lied and lied and lied again: Fast ‘N Furious, Benghazi, no corruption at the IRS, If-you-like-your-doctor, if-you-like-your-plan, Obamacare will reduce healthcare costs, Syrian red line, no Iranian nukes, no North Korean nukes, ISIS = JV team…
The Obama Administration lied about really big things. Things of real consequence. Things that directly affected the lives of hundreds of millions of people. And the press corps sat there and sucked it all in uncritically, leaving it to actual analysts and journalists — not lapdog suck-ups — to find out whether there was any truth to the assertion or not.
National Public Radio (NPR) did it again. In full high dudgeon, they focused in on a truly inconsequential declaration from the Trump Administration that — whether true or not — meant, literally, nothing of any importance whatsoever. And this after having uncritically slurped up for eight long years, massive, deeply consequential lies from the Obama Administration, like hungry kittens faced with a bowl of warm milk.
What was it all about this time? Well, NPR interviewed John Oliver, the (speaking of inconsequential) successor to Jon Stewart, who said that President Trump had indicated that he had “been invited to appear on Oliver’s show, and had declined.”
After that assertion, Oliver went into patented leftist Full Indignant Sneer mode. “We never extended any such invitation. We checked all over, through our e-mails, with our staff. No one recalls having sent the White House any invitation for Trump to appear on our show.”
That’s a paraphrase, but captures the meaning of what Oliver said.
Let’s examine it just a bit. And let’s stipulate that no one from Oliver’s show invited President Trump to appear on their show. Okay. Well… I wonder how many invitations Trump does receive — per day — to appear at this function or that, on this television or radio program or that, at this shindig or that. I’ll bet he receives more such invitations per hour than you or I receive per lifetime. Furthermore, I’ll bet that’s been the case for decades. Let’s guess that as President he receives, say, a modest 200 invitations per day to make an appearance somewhere. I’m guessing that’s a modest estimate.
Now, let’s try to guess another number: Imagine what percentage of radio/television programs that focus on the news or on political commentary, could be counted on to issue such an invitation to President Trump. If only to be able to say, “We invited President Trump to appear on this show, but he refused to appear. What’s he dodging?!?” I’m guessing that percentage approaches 100.
Now, given those two things — the number of invitations per day that Trump receives, and the percentage of political commentary-focused broadcasts that could be counted on to invite Trump to appear — let’s ask a simple question: Could Trump possibly have been, well, mistaken when he said that he’d been invited to appear on Oliver’s show? The answer, obviously is: Yes.
Now, let’s ask another question: Whether or not Trump was right, was it important? Was it meaningful in any way? We already proved that there’s no way to know whether he, or the staffer who actually made the statement, was lying. But he absolutely could have been wrong. And, again, of what consequence is it? It’s not a trick question. It’s of no importance whatsoever.
But, the lies that poured from from the Obama Administration affected — harmed or killed — hundreds of millions of people around the world. They met with no critical analysis whatsoever from the dominant media in America.
Forget for a moment the laughable spectacle of John Oliver’s preening self-importance on NPR. The larger point is that the co-called crême-de-la-crême of the American media — National Public Radio — has now spent a lot of time obsessed about two completely inconsequential questionable assertions (the inauguration audience size and the invitation) by the Trump Administration, while having spent eight surreal years, completely ignoring, or worse defending(!), massive, hugely important, colossally consequential whoppers coming from the Obama Administration.
They thought you and I were too stupid to notice. We weren’t.