From the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic to the riots to the 2020 election, the left-leaning legacy media has twisted, subverted, and outright suppressed the news it is supposedly tasked with reporting. It is impossible to cover every instance of media bias against President Donald Trump, for Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., or propping up the far-Left’s increasingly stifling orthodoxy, but I have compiled what I believe to be the ten most egregious examples from 2020.
Enjoy, and weep for the objectivity of the free press.
10. The death of Soleimani
At the outset of the annus horribilis of 2020, President Donald Trump ordered an airstrike that killed Iranian Quds Force General Qassem Soleimani after Iran-backed militias attacked the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. Soleimani orchestrated the Islamic Republic’s terrorist activity throughout the Middle East and was reportedly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American soldiers, but many legacy media outlets condemned Trump for killing Soleimani and predicted the assassination would start a war.
The Washington Post hailed Soleimani as a “revered military leader.” The New Yorker ran an article from actress Robin Wright describing Soleimani as “a flamboyant former construction worker and bodybuilder with snowy white hair, a dapper beard, and arching salt-and-pepper eyebrows.” She described the Quds Force as “an Iranian unit of commandos comparable to the U.S. Seals, Delta Force, and Rangers combined.”
The View‘s Joy Behar even celebrated a white nationalist — because he rejected Trump over the Soleimani strike.
CNN gave a friendly interview to a woman who helped lead the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 — and said at the time that she would kill U.S. hostages if troops attacked the embassy — and who described America’s actions as terrorism. The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman claimed that Trump killed Soleimani to distract from impeachment. A Times op-ed predicted that Soleimani’s death would “unleash chaos.”
Author and commentator Reza Aslan said Trump’s plan “from day one” was “war with Iran,” because Trump withdrew from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal.
While Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei vowed “severe revenge” against the U.S. for the strike, his resulting rocket attacks on Iraqi bases housing U.S. soldiers failed to kill a single Iraqi or U.S. soldier. Instead, it seems they destroyed a Ukrainian plane carrying Canadians — a tragedy that is all Iran’s making. Similarly, Iran brought in troops from across the country to Tehran for Soleimani’s funeral — and the stampede killed fifty people and wounded 200 more.
The Soleimani strike destabilized Iran and weakened its influence in the Middle East, opened the door for Trump’s historic Middle East peace deals with Israel.
9. Condemning Trump for saying “Wuhan coronavirus.”
In March, legacy media figures started attacking Trump and other Republicans for referring to COVID-19 as the “Chinese coronavirus” or the “Wuhan coronavirus,” suggesting that such terms were insensitive or racist.
When Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) referred to the virus as the “Wuhan Virus,” liberals accused him of supporting “white supremacy.” A Hollywood screenwriter tweeted, “Only racists call it the Wuhan Virus.” MSNBC’s Chris Hayes called Gosar’s use of the term “astoundingly gross.”
Gosar responded by noting that many legacy media outlets had used the term “Wuhan Virus” or mentioned the coronavirus as coming from Wuhan or China.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo recently attacked Trump for using geographic terms. “You’re starting to hear the Republicans, especially Trump co., calling it the ‘Wuhan’ or the ‘Chinese coronavirus,’” Cuomo said.
Since Cuomo attacked Trump for those terms, the Media Research Center (MRC) tracked down at least 35 video clips in which legacy media figures referred to the coronavirus as the “Wuhan coronavirus” or the “Chinese coronavirus.” This 2-minute video shows the utter hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy of our media “betters” lecturing us about supposed racism.
Liberal media pundits want you to think referring to the coronavirus as the "Wuhan" or "Chinese" virus is racist.
Here's just a few of the times the liberal media did just that. pic.twitter.com/ss3kV5smSP
— MRCTV (@mrctv) March 12, 2020
8. Praising Andrew Cuomo’s COVID-19 response
Speaking of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) utterly botched his response to it. New York City served as the epicenter of COVID-19 spread in the U.S. from Europe, accounting for between 60 and 65 percent of all U.S. cases in May. Later that month, the left-leaning site ProPublica published a report blaming Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-N.Y.C.) for responding too slowly to stop the spread in the Big Apple.
Yet it got worse. On March 25, Cuomo ordered nursing homes to admit patients even if they had tested positive for COVID-19. While he later reversed this policy in May, Cuomo’s order likely exacerbated the spread of the disease among the elderly, the most vulnerable population. Some reports suggest the policy cost 10,000 lives. The Department of Justice opened a probe into whether or not Democratic governors like Cuomo violated the civil rights of nursing home patients through such barbaric policies.
Yet the legacy media gave Cuomo fawning press coverage throughout the pandemic, so much so that the governor decided to release a book touting his success fighting COVID-19. CNN’s Chris Cuomo, the governor’s brother, had Andrew Cuomo on the show for multiple love fests. Jimmy Fallon praised Cuomo as “honest,” “smart,” and an expert in “taming the beast.” Cuomo even received an Emmy Award — essentially for acting like a good governor on television.
7. Ron DeSantis demonized
Meanwhile, legacy media outlets repeatedly attacked Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), who opened up his state early on. Data scientist Youyang Gu noted that, late in the year, Illinois reported far more cases of COVID-19 than Florida, yet legacy media outlets have reported on Florida as a COVID-19 hotspot while virtually ignoring Illinois.
Here is how the media chose to report Illinois now (left) vs Florida in July (right).
Unfortunately, no national news outlet is covering the situation in Illinois. pic.twitter.com/8VJ4fMIya4
— Youyang Gu (@youyanggu) November 24, 2020
DeSantis has a solid track-record on COVID-19, but it seems much of the legacy media can’t admit it because the governor has an “R” after his name.
6. “Mostly peaceful” riots
Outrage over the death of George Floyd in police custody inspired protests across the country, and many of those protests devolved into destructive and deadly riots. Yet legacy media outlets repeatedly branded the riots as “mostly peaceful protests,” in many cases signifying their tacit agreement with the dangerous ideology behind the violence.
Perhaps the most egregious example came from CNN. As a fire raged amid riots in Kenosha, Wisc., the CNN chyron read, “FIERY BUT MOSTLY PEACEFUL PROTESTS AFTER POLICE SHOOTING.”
For anyone doubting this is real: pic.twitter.com/3VGuGCDfAi
— Tristan Justice (@JusticeTristan) August 27, 2020
While Black Lives Matter and antifa rioters may have intended to fight alleged “institutional racism,” the riots disproportionately damaged black communities in Kenosha, Wisc., Minneapolis, and Chicago. The riots destroyed black lives, black livelihoods, and black monuments. At least 26 Americans have died in the riots, most of them black.
The New York Times propped up the destructive ideology fueling the riots. The paper’s “1619 Project” originally claimed that the true founding of the United States came with the arrival of the first black slaves in 1619, rather than with the Declaration of Independence in 1776. In September, the Times attempted to shove this fact down the memory hole, deleting the key text from its interactive website and sending the project’s founder, Nikole Hannah-Jones, on television to claim she never said 1619 was America’s true founding.
When vandals toppled a statue of George Washington in Portland, they spray-painted “1619” on the statue. When Claremont’s Charles Kesler wrote in The New York Post, “Call them the 1619 riots,” 1619 Project Founder Nikole Hannah-Jones responded (in a since-deleted tweet) that “it would be an honor” to claim responsibility for the destructive riots. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) called for the “dismantling” of America’s “economy and political system,” in order to root out supposed racist oppression.
In September, the Times published a report suggesting that any violence in the riots came from police and “right-wing activists.”
5. The New York Times and Tom Cotton
Amid the riots, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) published an op-ed in The New York Times. Cotton acknowledged the importance of peaceful protest but called for law and order against the destructive riots.
Times staffers revolted and pressured the paper’s op-ed editor James Bennet to resign for agreeing to publish the op-ed.
Bennet’s resignation came amid an onslaught of “cancel culture” attacks. A UCLA professor faced police investigation because he declined to postpone final exams to let students protest, a professor faced investigation for reading from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, a professional soccer player was fired for his wife’s tweet. Bari Weiss resigned from The New York Times, and Glenn Greenwald resigned from the outlet he co-founded, the Intercept.
Yet the Bennet episode seems particularly noteworthy because it involved such a minor “sin” blown far out of proportion. Staffers falsely accused Cotton’s op-ed of calling for violence against peaceful protesters, and the Times caved to pressure. Many staffers claimed that merely running an op-ed from a United States Senator put those staffers “in danger.”
4. Slandering Trump’s Mt. Rushmore speech
On the Fourth of July, President Donald Trump gave a magnificent speech defending America from the false attacks of Marxist critical race theory that inspired the destructive riots this summer. Legacy media outlets condemned the speech, even spreading outright lies about it.
“Trump Uses Mount Rushmore Speech to Deliver Divisive Culture War Message,” screams Annie Karni’s headline at the Times. “Trump tries to drag America backward on a very different July 4th,” wrote CNN’s Maeve Reston.
Others told blatant lies about the speech, perhaps hoping that no one would check the text online.
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) claimed that Trump “spent all his time talking about dead traitors,” suggesting he praised the Confederacy. Trump’s speech does not praise one single “traitor” or a member of the Confederacy. Yet The Hill approvingly quoted Duckworth’s lie, and CNN claimed that Trump “defended Confederate monuments,” even though he did not once mention the “Confederacy,” Robert E. Lee, or any other Confederate figure.
Trump has opposed the assault on Confederate monuments, warning that the rush to purge history from the public square will lead to attacks on statues of Founders like George Washington. This summer, that warning proved correct. Yet the president’s magnificent Mount Rushmore speech did not defend Confederate monuments, it only condemned the lawless mobs and praised America’s heroes.
3. Burying news of Middle East peace deals
After the death of Soleimani, President Donald Trump secured a slew of Middle East peace deals between Arab states and Israel. Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) normalized relations with Israel in the Abraham Accords. Muslim-majority Kosovo and Christian-majority Serbia made a historic agreement that included promises to set up embassies in Jerusalem. Sudan and Morocco also normalized relations with Israel. The UAE even agreed to order hotels to serve Kosher foods in Abu Dhabi, delivering a powerful symbol of Jewish acceptance in a notoriously anti-Semitic part of the world.
Most of these developments would have been considered impossible, pie-in-the-sky pipe dreams, especially without the involvement of the Palestinians. Yet they happened, and these historic diplomatic successes have brought Trump multiple Nobel Prize nominations.
The legacy media effectively buried these monumental stories of peace in the Middle East in the lead-up to the 2020 election, however. According to an analysis from the Media Research Center (MRC), the network news outlets effectively buried these earth-shattering stories, dedicating a paltry 9 minutes and 8 seconds to the historic peace deals over the course of 33 days.
MRC analysts scrutinized 33 days of ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News programs from August 13, when Israel and the UAE announced they were establishing diplomatic relations, to September 15, the date of the joint signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain at the White House, and found “brief hiccups of coverage” about this historic news.
CBS Evening News spent a grand total of 144 seconds, just over two minutes, on the Middle East deals. NBC Nightly News dedicated 155 seconds, not quite three minutes, to the agreements. ABC’s World News Tonight squeezed out 249 seconds on the peace deals.
In a post-election poll, 43.5 percent of respondents who said they voted for Joe Biden said they had no idea about the agreements. Five percent of Biden voters said they would changed their votes had they known. This seems a small percentage, but if 5 percent of Biden voters hadn’t voted, Trump would have won the election.
2. Refusing to cover the explosive Hunter Biden story
Also in the lead-up to the election, legacy media outlets refused to cover a devastating corruption scandal involving a major party candidate. While Americans had long known about the sordid deals Hunter Biden made with foreign governments, trading on his father’s last name for cash, new documents blew the scandal wide open in the months before the election.
Rather than cover the story as it developed, media outlets consciously decided to ignore it or to characterize it as Russian propaganda, even though Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, the FBI, and the DOJ all rebutted that claim.
NPR proudly announced it would not cover the scandal. “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want to waste the listeners’ and readers’ time on stories that are just pure distractions,” the outlet claimed.
CNN’s Jake Tapper condemned the Hunter Biden revelations as “the Gaetz Mc-Breitbart nonsense.”
“The campaign that Trump and his allies in the media and members of his family and Trump-allied websites and such are leveling, with charges so heinous I’m not even going to say them, just nonsense, crap, tied into Qanon, tied into Pizzagate, tied into the worst things you could say about a person — with no evidence, just completely made up — is so disgusting and so beneath what this election should be,” Tapper added.
“And I just want viewers at home to be ready because all of their grandparents’ Facebook feeds and all of the Twittersphere, it’s going to be so heinous over the next eleven days,” the CNN host said.
—@JakeTapper warns about final days of campaign w/Trump allies pushing "crap tied into QAnon" about Bidens.
"It is so disgusting," Tapper says, warning viewers it will soon be all over their "grandparents' Facebook feeds."
"It's going to be so heinous over the next 11 days." pic.twitter.com/yoVF540ibo
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 23, 2020
Of course, after the election, Hunter Biden let slip that he was under investigation regarding his foreign business deals. A DOJ subpoena specifically mentioned the notoriously corrupt Ukrainian gas firm Burisma, confirming that the investigation deals with Hunter Biden’s overseas deals.
Amid the Hunter Biden scandal, former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski came forward with evidence that Joe Biden was personally involved in his son’s business deals. The former VP’s son raked in cash through deals with companies controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, arguably strengthening the Middle Kingdom’s position at the expense of America’s interests.
In short, it is likely Joe Biden is compromised by China in exactly the way that Democrats repeatedly (and falsely) claimed Donald Trump was compromised by Russia.
In a post-election MRC poll, nearly half of Biden voters (45.1 percent) said they did not know about the financial scandal involving Biden and his son Hunter. According to MRC, full awareness of the scandal would have led 9.4 percent of Biden voters to abandon the Democrat, flipping all six of the states to Trump.
1. Big Tech censorship of the New York Post story
When The New York Post published the first explosive story on the Hunter Biden emails, Facebook and Twitter took unprecedented actions to suppress it. Twitter briefly suspended the accounts of the Trump campaign, the White House press secretary, and a congressional committee. Facebook, meanwhile, moved to suppress the Post article’s reach even before an independent fact check could be performed.
Twitter defended these actions by claiming that the Post article had violated its “Hacked Materials Policy.” Twitter should be ashamed of this ludicrous response, considering the fact that it did not crack down on other stories that should arguably fall under the Hacked Materials Policy, such as Trump’s tax returns.
It appears Facebook and Twitter aimed to set the agenda for suppressing the story and helping Joe Biden. Rather than calling out Big Tech for this egregious attack on the free availability of information, the legacy media followed the lead of Facebook and Twitter.
It was bad enough that legacy media outlets refused to cover the Hunter Biden scandal. It was arguably far worse for them to celebrate and abet social media’s suppression of the story on false pretenses. The computer repairman who obtained Hunter Biden’s laptop has now sued Twitter for defamation, claiming that Twitter’s “hacked materials” claim cost him his business.
In the sad, sordid saga of left-wing media bias, the combined scandals of the Big Tech suppression of the New York Post story and the legacy media’s decision not to report the Hunter Biden corruption that arguably implicates his father set a horrific new low. If the legacy media will abet suppression of the news and actively refuse to report on an important story like this, why should the American people trust these outlets at all?
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.