Often when I groan over a particularly noxious MSM news story I think of my old JM 301 teacher, Jean Chance, who was tough but fair in handing out grades. If she were still in business today, she’d be scribbling red F’s on both the Washington Post and NBC. And for that matter, probably recommend they leave journalism entirely and take up a more respectable vocation, such as loansharking .
The most recent journalism atrocity featured NBC showing us a video from 1992 of felon Jeffrey Epstein, now in prison for child sexual assault, and Donald Trump at a party where they are chatting. That’s it. The two are not committing any crimes or even dancing badly. They are simply at a party. In 1992 both were fixtures at all the alleged best parties in Palm Beach. (This was before Epstein’s dark activities were known.) The Washington Post also had a picture and story about the incident. Both outlets were not-so-subtly suggesting that somehow Mr. Trump was involved with Epstein’s criminal activities against children. This is not only unethical but simply horrendous journalism and should churn the stomach of anyone with a shred of decency. Journalism is supposed to be in the business of offering facts to the public, not false accusations.
The fact is, when there were some credible accusations against Epstein at Mar-a-Largo, Donald Trump threw him out. This comes not from a partisan source.
Best-selling author James Patterson wrote a book about Epstein and his crimes published in 2017 called “Filthy Rich: The Billionaire’s Sex Scandal – The Shooking True Story of Jeffrey Epstein.” In the book, Patterson independently substantiated that Trump booted Epstein from his resort:
“There were some complaints about Epstein at Mar-a-Lago,” he said. “I spoke to the head of the spa there. I said, ‘did you ever meet Epstein?’ She said, ‘oh yes… he was inappropriate with some of the younger women there. She said she went to Trump and he threw him out of the club.”
Possibly it should be noted that Mr. Patterson co-wrote one of his books with former President Bill Clinton. The two also undertook a book tour. The author is certainly not a Trump partisan. But he is truthful.
It also should be noted that many people, in the realms of politics, Hollywood and the media, did not disassociated with Epstein even after his first conviction.
The New York Times reported, “A strange thing happened when Jeffrey Epstein came back to New York City after being branded a sex offender: His reputation appeared to rise. In 2010, the year after he got out of a Florida prison, Katie Couric and George Stephanopoulos dined at his Manhattan mansion with a British royal. The next year, Mr. Epstein was photographed at a “billionaire’s dinner” attended by tech titans like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. A page popped up on Harvard University’s website lauding his accomplishments, and superlative-filled news releases described his lofty ambitions as he dedicated $10 million to charitable causes.
“Powerful female friends served as social guarantors: Peggy Siegal, a gatekeeper for A-list events, included him in movie screenings, and Dr. Eva Andersson-Dubin, a champion of women’s health, maintained a friendship that some felt gave him credibility. Mr. Epstein put up a website showing Stephen Hawking and other luminaries at a science gathering he had organized.”
Mr. Stephanopoulos has released a statement apologizing for attending the dinner, and saying all the proper things you’d expect the head of a news division to say when it was revealed he was honoring a man who had felonies on his record involving children.
But let’s give Mr. Stephanopoulos the benefit of the doubt. (But the benefit of the doubt is not what NBC and the Washington Post gave to President Trump.
But Katie Couric has not said anything yet about her attendance at the dinner. Nor as any network or newspaper asked her about it. Perhaps an oversight.
The dinner was something of a public relations triumph for Epstein. As the Times continues, “The positive online notices appeared to have been paid for by Mr. Epstein: A writer employed by his foundation churned out the news releases, and Drew Hendricks, the supposed author of a Forbes story calling Mr. Epstein “one of the largest backers of cutting edge science,” conceded in an interview that he was given $600 to post the pre-written article under his own name. (Forbes removed the piece after The New York Times published its article.)
The middle of the next sentence was probably as difficult as pulling teeth for the Times reporter but he did shade it a little bit. “Though some institutions and prominent people, including Donald J. Trump, said they shunned him, Mr. Epstein’s tactics largely worked.”
But those tactics didn’t work with Mr. Trump. As noted the “said” in the piece gives a little shade to the writer who was probably sweating because he wrote something nice about Trump, but the reporter should be given credit for writing it. So should the editor who approved it when he probably wanted to tear that sentence out of the story.
Which makes the disgusting innuendo by the Washington Post and NBC even more repugnant. Mr. Trump was one of the few men who did shun Epstein when many, many other powerful men and women were still welcoming him. And, of course, there was no mention of the Patterson’s book in any of the news stories.
What we are left with is not reporting but merely another crude smear of President Trump. But even biased reporters should know better and behave better. It is no secret that CNN’s ratings are crashing and so is the network’s reputation. MSNBC is also suffering from falling ratings. One reason for the falling ratings is the two networks, in terms of quality and ethics, are simply not very good.
Mrs. Chance would be handing out F’s right and left.