During Obama years, the mainstream media showed clear and unwavering favoritism toward the president. They found ways to rationalize every misstep, large and small. When he hit the golf links within minutes of reporting that American journalist James Foley had been heheaded by ISIS, The New York Times was there with cover, writing:
Presidents learn to wall off their feelings and compartmentalize their lives. They deal in death one moment and seek mental and physical relief the next. To make coldhearted decisions in the best interest of the country and manage the burdens of perhaps the most stressful job on the planet … a president must guard against becoming consumed by the emotions of the situations they confront. And few presidents have been known more for cool, emotional detachment than Mr. Obama.
The Times had no opinion the day after, when Obama opted not to send a representative to the memorial mass held for the slain American.
Now that Obama is out and a new president (from the “other” party) is in, the media can resume business as usual. In fact, they have switched into overdrive, reporting not only Donald Trump’s unforced errors but looking for non-issues to dramatize.
Take, for example, an utterance during yesterday’s White House news conference, during which Press Secretary Sean Spicer observed:
If the President puts Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that’s a Russia connection.
CNN wasted no time exposing the scandal, which the network reported breathlessly within hours of the presser. Here’s the headline: “Russian dressing is actually from Nashua, New Hampshire.” From the story (which is no doubt already in the Pulitzer Prize Board’s inbox):
Thing is, Russian dressing isn’t Russian. (Also, it’s really not for salads, but more of a sandwich spread — usually a Reuben.)
The mayo and ketchup concoction — often dressed up with horseradish and spices — was created in Nashua, New Hampshire.
It was grocer James E. Colburn who invented the spread in 1924, according to “New Hampshire Resources, Attractions and Its People, a History,” by Hobart Pillsbury. The Washington Post cites the 1927 text, which says Colburn sold the condiment to “retailers and hotels across the country, earning ‘wealth on which he was enabled to retire.'”
The Trump campaign hasn’t yet responded to the news, although we’re awaiting a statement any time now.