Former President George W. Bush recently put NBC’s Matt Lauer in his place when the Today host tried to push him to say President Donald Trump is causing disunity in America.
“Have you, in the first month, seen him do or say anything that in your opinion would be an attempt to heal the wounds of the election?” Lauer asked the 43rd president.
“First of all, there has only been one month in office; he’s got four years,” Bush replied.
He continued, ”Secondly, I think you have to take the man for his word that he wants to unify the country, and we’ll see whether he is able to do so. It’s hard to unify the country, though, with the news media being so split up.”
“When I was president, you mattered a lot more,” Bush then quipped.
Some tweeted their appreciation for how Bush handled Lauer’s question:
@RitaPanahi Dubya gave smug Matt Lauer the smackdown. He’s a beauty!
— Brian Lusardi (@BLusardiHockey) March 8, 2017
— Mike B (@nightflyblog) March 8, 2017
Bush’s observation is correct regarding broadcast news programs (NBC, ABC, CBS) having less influence over the news cycle.
Fox News Channel experienced record viewership in 2016, topping CNN and MSNBC combined. It, in fact, was the most watched cable channel on television, with even more viewers than ESPN.
Further, a Pew Research study published last year found that 38 percent of Americans reported getting their news online most often, with half of those 50 years or younger indicating they do.
To give more perspective, Facebook and Twitter did not even come into existence until 2006, well into Bush’s second term.
Additionally, there has been a proliferation of online conservative sites that counter the often liberally-slanted views promulgated by the main stream media.
Western Journalism was launched in 2008 and now averages over 1.3 million page views per day and ranks in the top ten most visited conservative sites in the country. It hovers near the top 100 most viewed sites overall, according to Alexa.
By comparison, NBCNews.com ranks 182.
The late Andrew Breitbart stated he was “committed to destruction of the old media guard,” when he created his site in 2010.
Other prominent conservative sites that have come into existence since Bush was in office include The Daily Caller (2010), The Blaze (2011), and Conservative Tribune (2013).
As Western Journalism reported, a recent poll found that a majority of Americans believe the media (presumably main stream) are being too critical of Trump.
The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released Sunday found that 51 percent of Americans felt the press was being too critical of Trump, while 41 percent believe it is being fair and objective.
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