Here are my observations on last night’s State of the Union address.
The left-leaning Washington Post’s initial headline following the address rightly read, “A call for bipartisanship,” but after it leaked out, the paper bowed to the pressure from the left and changed it to read, “A new American moment.”
“Uniquely depressing,” said Post columnist Dana Milbank, “pitting immigrants against Americans.” One can image that Milbank didn’t appreciate one of the president’s best lines of the evening – “Americans are dreamers, too.”
While CBS network anchors were in their usual critical mode in analyzing the president’s State of the Union Address, people polled by CBS weren’t buying it. Eight out of ten felt that President Trump was trying to unite the country, and 65 percent felt proud of their country after hearing the address.
“The president was trying to create a new reality,” said Norah O’Donnell. “The president was a cheerleader of his own policies,” said John Dickerson. At least Gayle King managed to insert a bit of honesty with her comment that “every Democrat looked like they had bitten into a couple of lemons every time he was saying things most people agree with.
At CNN, where seven out of ten people polled reflected a positive view of the president’s address, contributor Sally Kohn referred to it as “a scary speech,” citing the USA chant as “fear mongering.” She said, “I’m going to go curl up in a fetal position for a few hours.”
Finally, from the NBC/MSNBC network family, Tom Brokaw couldn’t wait until after the speech to comment. He felt the need to remind viewers that the president was under investigation for collusion with Russia as he approached the lectern to speak.
“Church … family … police … military … national anthem,” voiced MSNBC’s Joy Reid, who obviously sees these topics as anti-American, saw “Trump trying to call on all the tropes of the 1950s era nationalism. The goal appears to force the nationalization of Trump in terms of the bygone era his supporters are most nostalgic for.”
Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski referred to the president as the “great dictator,” while regular contributor Mike Barnacle called him “the principal divisive figure in this nation right now.
Chuck Todd, host of NBC’s Meet the Press felt the president should have been “more conciliatory toward Democrats. I expected a lot more outreach.”
And, believe it or not, several outlets criticized the president for clapping when it came to honoring veterans and heroes in attendance.
Even First Lady Melania Trump was criticized … wait for it … for wearing a white pants suit. “Clearly, her outfit is a blatant attempt to pander to her husband’s base,” said the openly gay Sally Kohn on CNN.
Liz Shields of PJ Media commented: “Hillary white pants suit – groundbreaking; Melania while pants suit – white power dog whistle.”
REGARDING THE DEMOCRAT PARTY – “That was no State of the Union address tonight,” political blogger Dan Sober, “That was the death of the Democrat Party.
“President Trump was positive, optimistic and energized as he pointed one success after another.
“Throughout his address to Congress, Trump was buoyant.
“Nancy Pelosi sulked. She looked like a mouse denied even a crumb. She sat stonily when he said, ‘we want every American to know the dignity of hard day’s work. We want every child to be safe in their homes at night. And we want every citizen to be proud of this land we love.’”
As I watched the president reel off one positive result after another – jobs, higher wages, and lower unemployment among Blacks and Hispanics – Pelosi and her number two Steny Hoyer looked into their laps or at their watch like a couple of children in time-out. Other Democrats, it was reported, glanced at each other, wondering if they were allowed to applaud or stand up.
“The entire row of Democrats refused to stand for families whose two girls were murdered by MS-13 gang members,” tweeted Katie Pavlich of TownHall.
Yesterday, you may recall my criticism of two Arizona Republic columnists who seemed to mock the State of the Union address, questioning whether it made sense to watch it. The Republic’s account of the address by Dan Nowicki, was severely lacking in detail, with coverage pretty much limited to immigration. At least the Republic got it right with the headline, “PRESIDENT ISSUES CALL FOR UNITY.”
I have queried newspaper editors from time to time concerning their lack of coverage on national events. The answer is usually the same – With 24/7 television news, the Internet and social media, the public has other means for learning the facts. To me, they are seemingly admitting that their demise is just around the corner.
As you can easily see, if the public doesn’t take the time to watch and listen to the president, deferring instead to listening to an anchor give his or her assessment (or even the observations in this blog), the public’s opinion will be conveniently swayed and affect his approval rating.
“Modern journalism is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats.” – Jim Treacher