Along with millions of others, I watched President Trump’s rally in Phoenix Tuesday evening. It was widely reported by the media.
It was classic Trump, unfiltered and in-your-face. The overflow crowd went wild with enthusiasm. His remarks ranged over many topics, but the president devoted much of the time to defending his statements following the recent Charlottesville racial turmoil, and criticizing the media for biased reporting. Readers will recall the national media blasted him as a supporter of white supremacy for suggesting both sides in the ugly protest were at fault, although Trump simultaneously condemned racism and violence in the strongest terms. Anyone who watched the Charlottesville events during the extensive news coverage would realize the president was correct, and the overall thrust of his comments was sympathetic to victims and grounded in truth. There was no hint of racism in his remarks to any fair-minded listener. HardWired News commented on these events in the article The Ascent of Bigotry – how the left is fomenting hate and violence, August 16.
What struck me was the stunning disparity of the media’s coverage of his Tuesday Phoenix rally. Fox News called it energized and worthy of his best performance while pointing out his discussion of the Charlottesville remarks left out the quotes about “blame on both sides” that the liberal media found so troubling. CNN, on the other hand, gave a grim assessment, saying Trump “lied to the American people” and calling the rally proof of a “failed presidency.” Switching between channels to catch the various after-event analysis, one would think they were hearing commentary on completely different speeches by different people given in alternate universes.
I felt the Fox News evaluation was more realistic and unbiased, while CNN’s version was off the rails. Ironically, the CNN after-rant gave credence to Trump’s charges of fake news. One of my favorite sporting events was the rope-a-dope fight between George Foreman and Mohammed Ali, where Ali lured George into exhaustion by simply leaning against the ropes and letting him flail away until Foreman became physically spent. At that point, Ali promptly knocked him out. It strikes me we are watching something very similar with Trump and CNN.