The Media’s Changing Attitude Towards Whistleblowers
The media celebrated and defended whistleblowers in former president Donald Trump’s administration. Not so much these days.
When two veteran IRS investigators testified before Congress on Wednesday that the Justice Department interfered in their probe of the president’s son, major news networks had other places to be.
CNN, MSNBC skip live coverage of IRS whistleblower hearing on explosive Hunter Biden probe claims https://t.co/c4TTZCyyZz
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 20, 2023
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 20, 2023
On “Mornings with Maria Bartiromo,” the host mentioned @theMRC study on how the networks have done nothing on Biden bribery allegations. She also slammed how ABC “News” simply skipped the IRS whistleblower hearing because it doesn’t fit their narrative. pic.twitter.com/KJF4qO84PW
— Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) July 21, 2023
What coverage mainstream media gave the hearing was often dismissive of the whistleblowers—or critical of the Republicans once again pouncing on the president’s beleaguered son.
MSNBC’s @JoeNBC slams “lies” from the anti-DoJ/IRS/FBI “so-called” whistleblowers: “They’re just throwing things at the wall because they’re so desperate. They don’t want Americans to hear that a judge called Donald Trump a rapist …” pic.twitter.com/L6IuxaTkHR
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) July 20, 2023
Nicolle Wallace accuses the FBI whistleblowers of “insubordination.” pic.twitter.com/gGkuNA5RcJ
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) May 18, 2023
Associated Press: “House Republicans raised unsubstantiated allegations Wednesday against President Joe Biden over his family’s finances as they summoned IRS whistleblowers to testify publicly for the first time about claims the Justice Department improperly interfered with a tax investigation into Biden’s son Hunter. … Still, House Republicans are deepening their own investigation, making broad claims of corruption and wrongdoing by the Bidens, which they acknowledge have not been proven to be true.”
CNN: “Throughout the six-hour hearing, Democrats poked holes in some of the whistleblowers’ claims and repeatedly noted that the Hunter Biden probe began under then-President Donald Trump and was overseen by a Trump-appointed prosecutor. They also accused Republicans of hypocritically focusing on the Biden family’s finances while ignoring possible conflicts tied to Trump’s business empire.”
Washington Post: “Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Explicit Visuals at Hunter Biden Hearing Draw Rebuke”:
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) on Wednesday showed what appeared to be sexually explicit images of Hunter Biden, President Biden’s son, during a hearing of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee, drawing immediate rebukes from Democratic members of the panel.
Flashback: It was just a few years ago that the media were hailing whistleblowers in the federal government as brave truth tellers.
Lt. Col. Vindman invoked his father in telling the nation why he decided to testify in Trump impeachment inquiry: “Do not worry. I will be fine for telling the truth.” pic.twitter.com/PNxse9wSy7
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) February 7, 2020
New York Times: “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration”:
The Times is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We have done so at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers. We invite you to submit a question about the essay or our vetting process here.
CNN: “Author of 2018 ‘Anonymous’ Op-Ed Critical of Trump Revealed”:
The anonymous senior Trump administration official who wrote a 2018 New York Times op-ed and a subsequent book critical of President Donald Trump is Miles Taylor, he revealed in a statement to CNN on Wednesday.
Taylor, who was chief of staff to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, wrote a lengthy statement explaining why he penned the 2018 op-ed declaring he was part of the “resistance” inside the Trump administration working to thwart Trump’s worst inclinations. Taylor said that he wanted to force Trump to respond to the charges he was leveling without the ability to attack the messenger specifically. Trump called the op-ed treasonous.
Taylor joined CNN as a contributor in September 2020.
New York Times: “Meet Alexander Vindman, the Colonel Who Testified on Trump’s Phone Call”:
He fled Ukraine at age 3 and became a soldier, scholar and official at the White House. That’s where, he told impeachment investigators, he witnessed alarming behavior by President Trump. …
And on Tuesday, Colonel Vindman’s past and present converged as he became a star witness in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, which is centered on the president’s dealings with the colonel’s native Ukraine.
Ensconced in the secure hearing rooms of the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in a midnight-blue dress uniform, a bevy of ribbons pinned to his chest, Colonel Vindman testified privately from morning until night. He recounted for House investigators how he was so alarmed by the president’s request to enlist Ukraine to smear his political rivals, and similar efforts by Mr. Trump’s allies, that he reported them to his superiors—twice.
His heritage gave Colonel Vindman, who is fluent in both Ukrainian and Russian, unique insight into Mr. Trump’s pressure campaign; on numerous occasions, Ukrainian officials sought him out for advice about how to deal with Mr. Giuliani.
Colonel Vindman’s testimony was sprinkled with references to duty, honor and patriotism—but also his life as an immigrant and a refugee.
Daily Beast: “I Was a Whistleblower. The Trump Whistleblower Is About to Go Through Hell.”
In my two decades of helping federal whistleblowers, I have never seen a professional and constitutional crisis of this magnitude. But now a whistleblower has effectively completed the task Special Counsel Robert Mueller failed to do: focus the public debate on the president. The American people now understand the question before the Republic, even if they have not provided the answer, yet.
Same energy: On Thursday, Republicans released evidence in another of their investigations of alleged Biden family corruption. But the FBI report detailing claims of a bribery scheme involving Joe and Hunter Biden failed to meet the media’s suddenly lofty standards for scandalous intel about a president.
“The White House sharply criticized Republicans for pushing long-debunked claims.” pic.twitter.com/x6bNbb6ZbO
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) July 21, 2023
Business Insider: “The FBI is Furious Chuck Grassley Released an Internal Document That Makes Unverified Claims About Hunter And Joe Biden Accepting Bribes”
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