erik lundegaard


Tuesday June 20, 2023

What's Your Headline on the Trump/Baier Interview?

Here's some of the attempts:

  • Trump, Fox's Bret Baier spar over former president's 2020 election claims --The Hill
  • Trump went on Fox News to defend himself. It didn't go well. --Vox
  • Trump All But Confesses to Mishandling Classified Docs on Fox News --Rolling Stone
  • Trump reacts angrily as Fox News anchor directly tells him he lost the 2020 election --The Independent
  • 'I was very busy.' Trump gives new reason he didn't hand over classified documents --USA Today

This is what The New York Times, our paper of record, went with:

You lead with the lie?

On the plus side, they get rather quickly to what the record currently states:

The July 2021 meeting — at Mr. Trump's golf club in Bedminster, N.J. — was recorded by at least two people in attendance, and a transcript describes the former president pointing to a pile of papers and then saying of Gen. Mark A. Milley, whom he had been criticizing: “Look. This was him. They presented me this — this is off the record, but — they presented me this. This was him. This was the Defense Department and him.” ...

According to the transcript, Mr. Trump describes the document, which he claims shows General Milley's desire to attack Iran, as “secret” and “like, highly confidential.” He also declares that “as president, I could have declassified it,” adding, “Now I can't, you know, but this is still a secret.”

If it was news clippings, why would he say Milley “presented me this”? Why would he describe news clippings as “highly confidential” and “still a secret”? All of that is damning. And none of it is in the headline. In the headline is the excuse. It's a lie. And I'm tired of lies that we all know are lies becoming stand-alone headlines. 

Of course, the Times' headline beats National Review's:

  • Trump's Home Run with Bret Baier

Yes, editor Rich Lowry says, Trump probably didn't help his legal case with the interview; but since his best way of getting off is getting elected, Lowry feels he did help his case by being “a dominant presence.” What a sad statement that is—about Fox's viewers, Lowry's readers, the modern GOP, and the fragile state of American democracy and the rule of law.

Posted at 03:37 PM on Tuesday June 20, 2023 in category Media