Commentary

Brent Bozell: NBC Lowers the Bar for Omarosa

By L. Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham | August 15, 2018 | 4:31am EDT
Omarosa Manigault Newman speaks to NBC's"Meet the Press" on August 12. (Photo: Screen capture/NBC)

NBC "News" is perfectly demonstrating why the American people distrust the media's professed belief in facts, or their supposed approach of holding a story until they have enough documented evidence.

The latest shameless exhibit? Championing former "Apprentice" star and White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman's new "tell-all" book in which she claims President Donald Trump is a racist and a bigot. She claims that she has heard a tape recording (which she did not produce) of Trump saying the N-word on the set of his NBC reality show. In the book, Newman describes hearing about the tape but not hearing it herself. She claimed on Sunday that she personally listened to it after her book had gone to press.

As with the "Access Hollywood" tape, NBC seems to be trying to do penance for the "sin" of building Trump's national profile over the years with "The Apprentice" and then "Celebrity Apprentice." It doesn't seem sorry for making Newman a rich and famous TV personality — and now a well-compensated author of tabloid trash. NBC overdosed on the story with 67 minutes of "fake news" right out of the gate.

Newman spoke sweet nothings into NBC's ear: "I was complicit with this White House deceiving this nation. They continue to deceive this nation by how mentally declined he is, how difficult it is for him to process complex information, how he is not engaged in some of the most important decisions that impact our country."

So the president is not just a racist but mentally incompetent. NBC already broadcast this garbage about Trump's unfitness when it came from Michael Wolff's Trump-trashing gossip book, "Fire & Fury."

 

But it's not the first time NBC skipped the hard work of digging for evidence before attacking a Republican. This resembles NBC's opportunistic set of morning-show interviews with Kitty Kelley back in 1991 when she wrote a book on former first lady Nancy Reagan and claimed — with a glaring lack of proof — that Reagan had an affair with Frank Sinatra. "All That Glitters Is Not Real" was the headline in The New York Times. That was transparently obvious.

This is a dramatic contrast with 1998 and 1999, when then-NBC investigative reporter Lisa Myers carefully investigated and verified details of Juanita Broaddrick's allegation that then-President Bill Clinton raped her in a Little Rock hotel in 1978. The network suppressed its own report and waited for more "facts" for months ... until the threat of removing its darling President Clinton from office had passed.

And then, when it finally aired on "Dateline," NBC's Tom Brokaw would not allow any story on Clinton rape allegations to soil his nightly newscast, and he wouldn't even say the name "Juanita Broaddrick" on his show. The network's "standard" for evidence is a flaming double standard.

NBC News no longer has Myers to verify Newman's book before promoting it. Myers grew discouraged and left, because the network had no interest in investigative reporting that would damage its hero then-President Barack Obama. NBC only likes stories that serve its political allies.

These "news" outlets complain that when President Trump attacks them for pushing "fake news," he is undermining "democratic norms." That's not correct. He is decrying the media's Democratic norms.

L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org.

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