Spiteful CNN And WaPo Tried To Steal Rush Limbaugh’s Thunder

Spiteful CNN And WaPo Tried To Steal Rush Limbaugh’s Thunder

To punish Donald Trump for not inviting them to an off the record lunch, CNN and WaPo spilled the beans about Limbaugh's Medal of Freedom.

This week conservative radio pioneer Rush Limbaugh told his listeners that he has advanced lung cancer. In a touching moment during Tuesday night’s State of the Union address President Trump honored Limbaugh and First Lady Melania Trump placed the Presidential Medal of Freedom around his neck. Earlier in the day in an off the record lunch with news anchors Trump had told them to expect the moment but keep it secret. That’s where CNN and the Washington Post come in.

Just hours before the address both news outlets broke the news of Limbaugh’s award. At roughly 5:30 pm, CNN’s White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins tweeted:

Six minutes later she followed up:

Soon after, the Washington Post also ran a story about the award and also chose to make itself part of that story by emphasizing that it also was not invited to the lunch, saying, “Trump told the anchors ahead of Tuesday’s State of the Union address that he had wanted Limbaugh to attend the speech, according to people familiar with the meeting who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The Washington Post was not invited and did not attend the luncheon.

Several people during the two-hour, off-the-record lunch said the president was in a good mood and predicted a speech of about one hour and 25 minutes.”

So, back to Collin’s tweet, she’s right; CNN did not violate any off the record standard. Whoever the people were who attended the lunch and told CNN did violate it, but CNN didn’t. But that leaves an important question with an obvious answer. Why did CNN and WaPo decide to steal the thunder of this honor of a man who is battling lung cancer?

Was this really important news that America needed? Or was it a case of insulted news outlets trolling the president for having the temerity not to ask them to lunch? Lets imagine the newsrooms. They get word from some unprofessional weasel that leaked the story because Trump is bad, or whatever, that Limbaugh is getting this award. Let’s be generous and say someone might have said, “Maybe this is off the record because Trump wants to give Limbaugh a special moment, is there really a reason to run this?”

So what would that reason be? It wasn’t exactly a slow news day. Less than two hours before the initial results of the Iowa caucus had come in and meanwhile senators where giving speeches in the impeachment trial. But for some reason, in the midst of all that it was absolutely vital that people knew about this surprise award just 4 hours before it was presented. Why? What value was there in telling their audiences that this was going to happen?

Even if we assume that the answer to that question was simply, “well, it seems newsworthy,” both outlets doth protest too much. If it’s an important story that needs to run right now just run it. Simply say “according to sources at a White House lunch…” Why bring up the fact that your outlet wasn’t invited?

Who cares if CNN and WaPo weren’t invited to the lunch? There was no reason for the preemptive defense of breaking an off the record agreement because CNN and WaPo had entered into no such agreement.

The only plausible explanation for including the lunch snub was that these outlets wanted to throw a little hissy fit, at Limbaugh’s expense for having been left out. Even worse, that is the only explanation for running the story at all.

This was nothing but vile pettiness. There was no reason to steal this moment from a man struggling with cancer other than to stick it to Trump and make their displeasure known. Of all the sins against journalism that liberal media have committed in the Trump era, the worst is constantly putting themselves at the center of the story. They think they are in some epic battle for truth against Donald Trump, and give themselves license to do and say almost anything to advance that fight. But nobody elected CNN or the Washington Post.

Whether they started the Trump presidency this way or not, these two outlets have now proven that their main function is to undermine him. Even if it means stealing the spotlight from a cancer victim.

David Marcus is the Federalist's New York Correspondent. Follow him on Twitter, @BlueBoxDave.
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