CNN and MSNBC were all aglow after Jane Mayer wrote a snide article in The New Yorker titled "The Making of the Fox News White House." The thesis is that Fox News and President Trump are very tightly aligned, starting with the fact that Fox News executive Bill Shine went from Fox to running the White House communications operation.
That's a fair subject for analysis. What quickly becomes hilarity is the notion that it's unprecedented. Never before has there been a friendly relationship between news networks and the White House? Never before have media executives gone into politics, or political operatives gone into the media?
Mayer professed alarm on "Morning Joe," saying that this is "the closest we've ever had to state news in this country. ... We've really never had a whole national network like this that is ... it's incredibly close with this White House."
She said this with a straight face.
Forget the journalists who covered up President Franklin D. Roosevelt's disability, or President John F. Kennedy's debauchery. Never mind the "news" people who insisted that President Bill Clinton would never sexually harass or rape a woman. Ignore former Barack Obama strategist Ben Rhodes' boasting to The New York Times that he created an "echo chamber" in the press, and The Times' cooing, "Rhodes has become adept at ventriloquizing many people at once."
Mayer proclaimed a dangerous level of media collusion when interviewed on MSNBC, the network of Chris "Thrill up My Leg" Matthews, the man who proclaimed in 2009 that his job was to support Obama: "I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new presidency work."
Really. Should we continue? If you insist.
This is the network that still airs a nightly show hosted by Lyin' Brian Williams, who made an adoring hamburger run with Obama and, at the end of a day together, bowed his head and said: "Now it is first family time and time for us to say good night. Mr. President ... that's your elevator. ... Thank you, sir. Have a good evening."
But wait. It gets even funnier.
Mayer also complained, "Fox ... makes money by enraging Americans. That's how they keep them glued to the television set. And it's very much the same model that Trump has to keep his base engaged. So you've got a kind of rage-based model for both of them, and what it's doing is it's spinning the country in an increasingly inflamed direction."
So Mayer is implying that MSNBC and CNN (and the other liberal TV networks) do not have a partisan "rage-based model" that's "spinning the country in an increasingly inflamed direction"?
It's their business model!
Has she been lost in the forest with Hillary Clinton?
Fox is certainly the channel for Trump supporters. But it always gets singled out when a Republican is president because it's the only network that doesn't look like a collection of Democratic precinct captains. We're told Trump has a disturbingly close relationship with Sean Hannity. Apparently, you cannot say that about Obama. But he had Brian Williams ... and Steve Kroft ... and Chris Matthews ... and Diane Sawyer, and so on, and so on, and so on. Obama had an Adoration Army.
That included David Remnick, the editor who just published Mayer's unintentional humor in The New Yorker. Remnick also engaged in super-sympathetic interviews with Obama and wrote an adoring book in which he spread bilge from Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett. "He's been bored to death his whole life," she said. "He's just too talented to do what ordinary people do."
Dear Jane Mayer and The New Yorker: Just stop it. We're all dying of laughter.
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.