Gloria Borger

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  • Even The Media Is Getting Sick Of The Trump “Pivot” Narrative


    Following Donald Trump’s heavily anticipated immigration speech, media figures have finally concluded that there will be no so-called “pivot” from the Republican presidential nominee. They are urging people to never “speak of Donald Trump pivoting ever, ever again” and claiming that talk of a Trump pivot needs to “be put in a lockbox.”

  • CNN's Gloria Borger: The Term "Pivot" Should "Be Put In A Lock Box" When Talking About Trump

    Borger: “There Was No Softening Here That I Could See”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of CNN's CNN Tonight:

    GLORIA BORGER: I think during this whole campaign, people have been waiting for a different Trump to show up. He's had different people running his campaign, as you know, Corey [Lewandowski], and people keep saying, "oh, Trump's going to change, he's going to be different, he's going to so-called pivot," which I think that ought to be put in a lock box that word, because Trump was tough tonight. This -- we were talking about whether he was going to soften on immigration, what his policy would be on mass deportation. There's a little bit of confusion here to me and we can talk about that later, but I do think that he made it very clear that those who are today illegally, who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and only one route: to return home and apply for reentry. There was a little bit of confusion later on in the speech to me, but I do believe that this was tough, it was build the wall, it was Mexico's paying for it, and there was no softening here that I could see.


    Fox Hypes A Trump Pivot The Same Day Trump Says He Won't Pivot

    Media Figures Mock Trump For Backing Off Previous Demand Mexico Pay For Border Wall

    The Problem With The Media's 'Trump Is Pivoting' Narrative


  • CNN's Wolf Blitzer: Reports Emerging That Mexican President Told Trump "Mexico Would Not Pay For That Wall"

    Blitzer: "There Seems To Be A Contradiction, A Serious Contradiction Emerging"

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    From the August 31 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:

    WOLF BLITZER (HOST): We're just getting this in from the Reuters News Agency. A spokesman for the Mexican president said, yes, they did speak about the wall, and that Mexico -- the president of the Mexico said -- told Donald Trump very bluntly, "Mexico would not pay for that wall." You heard Donald Trump said that they spoke about the wall but they didn't talk about who would pay for the wall. So there seems to be a contradiction, a serious contradiction emerging, David, right now.


    Media Figures Mock Trump For Backing Off Previous Demand Mexico Pay For Border Wall

    Sean Hannity's Dream Died In Mexico City

    Fox's Eric Bolling Suggests Mexico And America Work On Border Wall Together To Create Jobs

  • Media Slam Trump's "Totally Irresponsible" Response To EgyptAir Crash, While Fox Defends It

    ››› ››› JULIE ALDERMAN

    Media figures criticized Donald Trump’s response to the EgyptAir crash saying that it was “totally irresponsible” and “bad practice” for Trump to blame the crash on terrorism despite having no information at the time. Meanwhile, Fox News defended Trump’s “strong statement,” and praised him for saying “exactly what’s on everyone’s mind.”

  • Media Echo Inaccurate GOP Talking Points To Blame Obama And Biden For Republican SCOTUS Obstructionism

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Media inaccurately equated President Obama's 2006 Senate filibuster vote of then-Judge Samuel Alito and Vice President Biden's 1992 comments on the Senate floor about a Supreme Court nomination in an election year to Senate Republicans' unprecedented attempts to block the president's nomination of Chief Judge Merrick Garland.

  • The GOP And Its Media Midterm Assist

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Two recent snapshots nicely capture the commentary class and their bulwark on behalf of Republicans this campaign season.

    Lamenting the "pitiful" state of the 2014 election season, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni this week denounced what he saw as the vacuous condition of political debate. Claiming America's raging problems were akin to a burning house, Bruni claimed "None of the candidates have spoken with the necessary urgency or requisite sweep."

    Oh, what the columnist wouldn't have given to hear some "real substance" on the campaign trail. The beseeching seemed odd  because Bruni later announced the "defining moment" of the election season came when Kentucky Democratic senatorial candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes declined to answer a question, during a newspaper editorial interview, about whether she had voted previously for Barack Obama, who is very unpopular in the Bluegrass State. The question had nothing to do with the burning issues facing America, as Bruni described them. Instead, it was an exercise in optics: How would a red-state Democrat deal with a sticky question about her White House allegiance?

    Nonetheless, joining an army of pundits who expressed horror at Grimes' clumsy response, Bruni announced the Democrat had "tossed character, honesty and any kind of mature conversation with voters to the side." Left unmentioned by Bruni? Grimes' Republican opponent simply refused to answer any public policy questions posed by the same newspaper editorial board that hosted Grimes; the same board that heard the Democrat answer queries for an hour about the  environment, gay marriage, campaign finance reform, the government sequester, abortion rights, and coal mining.

    So much for the absence of campaign substance.

    Still, Bruni's column illustrated a certain Beltway media symmetry this year: Pundits lament a lack of campaign seriousness, and then treat a trivial gotcha question as being deeply serious. Count that as a win for Republicans.

    Meanwhile on CNN, during her interview with Vice President Joe Biden that aired Monday, and while discussing the midterm elections, Gloria Borger insisted Americans are  "frustrated" and "fearful" and "angry" about key events, including the administration's handling of the Ebola virus' scare. Borger's point has been a favorite among Beltway pundits in recent weeks as they parrot Republicans: Ebola's just the latest Big Government failure. 

    But it's not true. 

  • CNN's Borger Uses Right-Wing Benghazi Myth To Ask Long-Answered Question

    Blog ››› ››› ANDREW LAWRENCE

    CNN's Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger used right-wing scandal mongering to push the discredited allegation that talking points about the attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, were edited for political purposes. Borger's analysis ignored that the intelligence community signed off on these talking points and that General David Petreaus testified in November that references to Al Qaeda were removed to protect the integrity of the investigation and to avoid tipping off terrorists.

    Borger claimed on the May 10 edition of CNN Newsroom that the Benghazi talking points "were edited to the point of inaccuracy" and went on to ask, "is that a cover-up? Is it a whitewash? We don't know the answer to that."

    The answer to Borger's question, however, has already been answered in testimony by former Director of the CIA General David Petraeus. In November 2012, Petraeus told lawmakers that the decision not to publicize the suspected involvement of Al Qaeda affiliates and sympathizers in the attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was made so as not to tip off the terrorist groups. As The New York Times reported:

    Mr. Petraeus, who resigned last week after admitting to an extramarital affair, said the names of groups suspected in the attack -- including Al Qaeda's franchise in North Africa and a local Libyan group, Ansar al-Shariah -- were removed from the public explanation of the attack immediately after the assault to avoiding alerting the militants that American intelligence and law enforcement agencies were tracking them, lawmakers said.

    The controversy over these talking points has been revived ever since ABC News released what it called an "exclusive" report on May 10. In fact, the report revealed nothing new and is just a revival of previously hashed-out myths and misinformation.

  • Was Press Not Allowed to Cover "Substantive" Issues Before VP Ryan Pick?

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Rushing to claim Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick of Rep. Paul Ryan had immediately "altered" the White House race by making it seem "more consequential," as the New York Times framed it, reporters and pundits quickly coalesced around the claim that Ryan's presence would usher in a more "substantive" phase of the campaign.

    Pointing to Ryan's work as the chairman of the House Budget Committee and his authorship of the Republicans' budget blueprint, which has become a rallying point for movement conservatives, the press generously insisted that not only is Ryan a serious player and important public policy wonk, but that his inclusion in the campaign would quickly elevate the level of the debate, as well as how the press covers the campaign.

    The new narrative, which must have pleased Romney aides, was born nearly the moment word of the VP announcement was leaked Saturday morning. CNN's Wolf Blitzer quickly reported the race was about to get "much more substantive," while colleague Gloria Borger agreed, suggesting, "the debate is going to shift onto a very substantive ground."

    Over at Fox News, Carl Cameron assured viewers the arrival of Ryan meant the debate "will be a more substantive one than a lot of back-biting and name calling that we've seen in the last few weeks."

    And Fox's Ed Henry echoed the same point, stressing that the press would soon be able to shift gears in terms of its coverage:

    HENRY: We've spent a lot over the last few days talking about some of these attack ads and who's been going after who on personal, negative attacks. This Ryan addition to the ticket might focus it in a bit more on some of those substantive policy issues that Mitt Romney's been saying he wants to focus on.

    See, thanks to Ryan the press will finally be able to cover substance! This, from the same process-obsessed press corps that spent weeks treating as news the trumped-up claim that Obama had dissed business owners on the campaign trail?

    Excuse me, but was anyone stopping the press from covering substantive issues prior to the Ryan pick? The whole premise that up until Saturday the 2012 presidential campaign had been void of substance and it's only the arrival of Ryan n that will rescue the race from triviality is absurd.

  • Gloria Borger cannot be serious

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    CNN's Gloria Borger lavishes praise on the Simpson/Bowles draft proposals to reduce the deficit, repeatedly declaring it a "serious" plan. I won't dwell on the unseemliness of a well-paid political pundit praising the seriousness of a proposal that would, among other things, raise the retirement age on people who do back-breaking manual labor so we don't have to ask the wealthy to pay a slightly higher tax bill. Seriousness, after all, is in the eye of the beholder, and Gloria Borger is entitled to her opinion.

    I will, however, note that if you're going to set yourself up as a high-minded, serious policy analyst, it's a good idea to first make sure you know what you're talking about. Borger, it seems, does not. Here's her praise for the draft proposal for changes to the Social Security sytstem:

    This was an honest document in which all sides were gored. Democrats can wail about the Social Security fixes, but they can't complain about this: The plan does not count the savings in Social Security as a way to reduce the overall deficit. Instead, the money saved goes right back into the Social Security trust fund -- so the liberals who have complained about balancing the budget on the backs of senior citizens can stop. And, yes, there are reductions in benefits -- reducing cost-of-living adjustments and some benefits, raising the retirement age gradually as well as subjecting those earning at the high end to more payroll tax. But if you actually want to save Social Security, what else can you do?

    Seriously? Gloria Borger doesn't think there's anything that can be done to extend Social Security's solvency other than reducing benefits and raising the retirement age?

    According to the Congressional Budget Office (pdf), the program would be fine for the next 75 years if we simply removed the cap on income subjected to payroll taxes. That's it: That's all that's necessary. A tiny portion of Americans would -- like the rest of the country -- pay Social Security taxes on all their income rather than just some of it. No benefit cuts. No postponement of retirement. Problem solved.

    Now, Borger doesn't have to support that solution. Like I said: She's entitled to her opinion. She may have reasons why she'd rather cut benefits and raise the retirement age for people who don't have cushy desk jobs like she does. But if she isn't even aware of the existence of this option, there's no reason why anyone should take seriously her views on what is "serious."