An important story about President Trump, former FBI Director James Comey, and the investigation into National Security broke yesterday afternoon. Here's the headline at 6:22 PM last evening for the first AP story that I could find on the subject:
AP source: Comey wrote in memo that President Donald Trump asked him to end FBI investigation into former aide Flynn
If you go looking for this story today online, you will find hundreds of news sites that carried this or a similar story. If you go to Kiosko.net, which allows you to look at the front pages of major newspapers, you will see that every one of them (including the financial papers) covered this story at the top of their front page. If you examine both Wheeling papers, however, you will find nothing about this story anywhere in either paper.
This is the pattern that the locals' have used to handle the negative stories about the Trump presidency:
- 1. Totally ignore the story on the first day.
- 2. Eventually publish an AP follow-up story which either is somewhat sympathetic to Trump or one which edits out most or all of the opposing points of view.
- 3. (optional) Publish an editorial or syndicated column that justifies or is sympathetic to what Trump has done. (Example for the last week's Comey firing story: today's "James Comey Is the Latest Victim of the Clintons" by syndicated columnist Michael Barone.)
This pattern began at the beginning of the Trump's presidency -- see here and here from last January for starters. More recently, most newspapers carried a front-page story yesterday that documented Trump's divulging of top secret information. (See next post down or see this similar post from a week ago.) The local papers ignored the story. Today, the Intelligencer carried on page 6 a day-old AP report that, for the first half of the story, documented national security adviser H.R. McMaster's excuses for Trump's action. The article eventually covered some criticism of Trump's action. The headline, which would be the majority's (who only read headlines) take-away from the story was:
Russian Talk 'Appropriate,' Adviser Says
It's no longer subtle. Forget journalistic ideals like covering all news objectively and with balance: when it comes to the Trump presidency, these "newspapers" do whatever they can to support him.