Things that go Bump in the day

James Taranto observed in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal apropos of the Dem/media assault on Justice Thomas that “[o]ne reason Americans don’t trust the media is that politically biased reporters routinely adulterate the news with tendentious language and prepackaged opinions. The result is crude propaganda—lousy opinion writing and unreliable information rolled into one and deceptively packaged as straight news.” Take the case of the Washington Post and Post “national columnist” Philip Bump.

Jonathan Turley has documented the Bump case most recently in a series beginning with a Hill column republished at Turley’s site in expanded form as “Yes, Trump was Seeking Another Recount or Investigation in Georgia: A Response to the Washington Post” (August 27). Turley followed up with “Washington Post Stands by Philip Bump’s Claims on Lafayette Park, the Hunter Biden Laptop, and Other Controversial Claims” (August 29), in which he reported receiving this message from the Washington Post (links omitted):

Dear Jonathan,

In your recent piece in The Hill, you wrote that “Bump has repeatedly spread false stories and then refused to accept the falsity of his own earlier claims, even after most of the media have admitted the errors.”

The Washington Post stands by Philip Bump’s reporting and your characterization of his articles as “false” is incorrect.

In a podcast dated August 24 Bump sat for an interview with Noam Dworman and comedian Dov Davidoff; Dworman is owner of New York’s Comedy Cellar. Miranda Devine drew attention to the interview and quoted it at some length in the New York Post column “Americans are getting wise to Joe Biden’s corruption — despite his media gatekeepers” (August 30). You may want to check it out if you missed it earlier this week when it rotated through our Picks.

Yesterday Professor Turley circled back to survey the wreckage in “‘You Don’t Listen to the Press . . . I’m Telling You’: Post Columnist Philip Bump Strikes Out at Those Questioning Prior False Claims” (September 1).

Dworman’s podcast goes under the name Live From the Table. Below is the “Philip Bump Battles Hard on Hunter Biden” episode. As I say, what we have here is a case study in the operation of the prestige press. Turley sums it up:

[T]he Post is now saying that the following are true despite findings by inspector generals and special counsels to the contrary: (1) Bill Barr did order the clearing of Lafayette Park for the Trump photo op, (2) Barr also lied when he denied the use of tear gas by federal personnel in Lafayette Park, (3) there was never any spying on the Trump campaign by the FBI, (4) Hunter Biden’s laptop was seeded with Russian disinformation, and (5) the Clinton campaign was not behind false Russian collusion claims. It is all now deemed true by the Post.

Professor Turley draws the lesson from this case study: “It appears that, if ‘Democracy dies in darkness,’ journalism more often dies in the light of day.”

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.