President Donald Trump "spoke briefly" with Vladimir Putin at a G20 dinner in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, a dinner attended by hundreds, including world leaders and their spouses. The Russian president was seated next to Melania Trump, so at the end of the dinner, Trump popped 'round, said hello.
Cue the hysterical mainstream media. "Trump, Putin met for nearly an hour in second G20 meeting," cried CNN. "Trump and Putin Held a Second, Undisclosed, Private Conversation," shouted The New York Times. "Trump held secret hour-long meeting with Putin at G20," The Independent screeched.
On Tuesday night, when the news first emerged, most of the MSM went with "secret" in their headlines — it's more nefarious. But many pulled back after they found out the "secret" meeting took place in front of hundreds in a grand dining room (Helpful note: next time, do the reporting first, then write the headline).
But Twitterers were under no obligation to even attempt to sound unbiased, like this journalism professor in New Hampshire:
And Congress, too, was apparently exempt from any requirement that they be remotely accurate, like this California Democrat:
And morning talk shows hosts on, say, MSNBC, were certainly not at all obliged to truthfully present the facts.
“Reporters, foreign policy analysts and our allies can safely assume the worst,” Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough said on Wednesday. Ah, preaching the powers of assuming — what a journalist! Joe mused on.
“They can safely assume the worst of Donald Trump, they can safely assume the worst of Vladimir Putin, because in the last meeting that Donald Trump had with Russians before Putin, he was talking to their foreign minister and their ambassador to the U.S., and he was talking about firing James Comey and saying he had gotten the pressure off of everybody because he had fired the nut case who was investigating Donald Trump’s possible illegal ties with Russia.”
“So what are we to assume if not the worst — that he had this meeting, the White House didn’t reveal it. Once again we had to find out about it through third channels and there wasn’t even an American within earshot to listen what they talked about for an hour.”
Yes, the big sinister charge is that Trump talked with Putin without an American translator. Trump had been seated next to Japan's prime minister during dinner so brought a translator who spoke Japanese. The "brief" conversation between Trump and Putin was translated by the Russian translator.
But wait. Before we go on, let's get the facts from the White House.
“During the course of the dinner, all the leaders circulated throughout the room and spoke with one another freely,” a senior administration official said in a statement Tuesday night. “There was no ‘second meeting’ between President Trump and President Putin, just a brief conversation at the end of a dinner. The insinuation that the White House has tried to ‘hide’ a second meeting is false, malicious and absurd. It is not merely perfectly normal, it is part of a president’s duties, to interact with world leaders.”
Meanwhile, Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the information policy at the upper house of Russian parliament, also mocked the breathless reports of “a secret conversation that didn’t happen.”
“They’re sick,” he said.
And that's just what Trump said, too.
It seems the downward spiral of the media is now bottomless, and just how stupid they can look limitless. But you know they'll try.