Democrats and their allies in the media apparently think that freedom of the press only applies to journalists, pundits and commentators who dutifully carry their water.
What else could possibly account for the refusal by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC and HuffPost to cover the anti-press behavior of Democrat congressman Bob Menendez, who on Wednesday threatened a reporter?
Correction: He threatened a reporter with The Daily Caller, a decidedly conservative news outlet founded by Fox News host Tucker Carlson and hated by the left.
“Not interested. I have nothing to say to the Daily Caller. You’re trash. I won’t answer questions to the Daily Caller, period! You’re trash! Don’t keep harassing me or I’ll call Capitol Police!” Menendez yelled at TDC reporter Henry Rogers and his intern.
As Rogers noted in several tweets posted Thursday afternoon, all he’d done was ask the senator questions about socialist congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal.” According to additional reporting by Fox News, the altercation happened at a public subway station.
What’s more stunning than Menendez’s behavior, however, is the rhetoric of his staffers.
“Gotta respect Bob Menendez,” communications staffer Tricia Enright tweeted.
“Nope, there’s nothing to say to these folks. They’re not doing real reporting — they’re here to do ‘gotcha journalism’ for Tucker Carlson,” another communications staffer, Francisco Pelayo, added.
Gotta respect Bob Menendez. Democratic senator slams Tucker Carlson’s ‘trash’ website: ‘I won’t answer questions to the Daily Caller’ https://t.co/sTw5UUIpAP
— tricia enright (@triciaenright) February 13, 2019
Nope, there’s nothing to say to these folks.
They’re not doing real reporting — they’re here to do ‘gotcha journalism’ for Tucker Carlson. https://t.co/Uxq5LQ0tay
— Francisco J. Pelayo (@FranPelayo) February 13, 2019
Pelayo’s rhetoric is especially telling given his staunch defense of the mainstream press.
“#FreePress is not about getting positive stories. Going after the press is a real political agenda,” the virtue-signaling hypocrite tweeted to President Donald Trump last August.
And speaking of virtue-signaling, Menedez seems to like to tout himself as a champion of free-speech:
The press are NOT the enemy of the people. A free press is essential for democracy. Today’s ruling raises questions about Burma’s commitment to the rule of law. We must stands by journalists doing their jobs—here at home as well as in Burma.https://t.co/meK9Elagta
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) January 12, 2019
The press is not the enemy of the American people and the president’s attacks and threats only embolden our real enemies abroad and divide us here at home. From the tiny newspaper in a rural community, to major news networks, their work has never been more important. https://t.co/LDhzgOA1Lh
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) August 1, 2018
And speaking of the media ignoring the real news, not a single outlet besides Fox News had covered this story by Thursday morning. Though to be fair, freelance journalist Yashar Ali and Joe Perticone of Business Insider did at least mention the story on Twitter:
Your boss threatened to call the police on a credentialed member of the press. Is that inaccurate? Is that appropriate behavior? https://t.co/ih8U8gc8SU
— Yashar Ali ? (@yashar) February 14, 2019
Not at all OK for a senator to be threatening a credentialed reporter on the Hill. Full stop. https://t.co/4fA95z8x7R
— Joe Perticone (@JoePerticone) February 13, 2019
But by the same token, one reporter with The Hollywood Reporter celebrated the senator’s antics:
If this were a CNN reporter, the world would be ending and we’d be in a 7 day news cycle. pic.twitter.com/eAfoyl3Pa0
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) February 14, 2019
Thankfully for Rogers, the left-wing mainstream media’s refusal to report Menendez’s actions hasn’t prevented the story from going viral and attracting widespread backlash.
I was told that any criticism of the press was an unAmerican attack on free speech, though? Or has that standard changed? https://t.co/6C6TEq4XQS
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) February 13, 2019
Waiting for Democrats to shriek that this threat from a U.S. Senator on a journalist is an “assault on the free press” & “a threat to Democracy.” https://t.co/ck7uNvedsK
— Liz Wheeler (@Liz_Wheeler) February 13, 2019
Hi @SenatorMenendez, your job comes with the reality that reporters are going to bombard you w/ questions regarding your role in making laws that affect all of us.
If you can’t handle that, resign. If you threaten to call the cops on reporters, you are the trash, not them. pic.twitter.com/VlykUmnuP8
— Ari Cohn (@AriCohn) February 14, 2019
@SenatorMenendez A “Free Press” is often called the fourth branch of government. The calling of members of the press “trash” & threats to reporters with arrest by a Federal Representative of the Government is unexcusable on either side of the political wheel. I demand you RESIGN!
— Jueno Morgan-Tate (@JuenoMT) February 14, 2019
— terence carroll (@thcarroll1) February 14, 2019
@SenatorMenendez OK. Soooo the liberal press can TRASH! POTUS every single day WITH horrable sladerious comments…BUUUT! the RIGHT can’t ask you whether you support the agenda of AOC? REEEEEALLY? Your scummy but we knew that! Really nasty to! NASTY NASTY MAN!.
— phil gram (@fishkiller777) February 14, 2019
This isn’t the first time Menendez has displayed anti-press tendencies, nor is this the first time that the media have ignored the senator’s anti-press tendencies.
When a Fox News reporter confronted the senator last month over a picture that showed him hanging out shirtless on a beach in Puerto during the government shutdown, he responded by accusing the top-rated network of being “neither fair nor balanced.”
Some would argue that what wasn’t fair was him living the high life while his constituents suffered.
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