Rather than advancing national unity in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the news media are “trying to tear the country apart,” said Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak while hosting this week’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday.
Pollak said, “I look around and I see politicians — but not just politicians, primarily the media, really — because it’s the media who are setting us at odds.”
“I see people running around trying to blame one another,” continued Pollak, “and this game started — make no mistake about it — it started on the left. But to say that it started on the left and to say that it started in the media really are one and the same.”
News media would conduct themselves differently with a Democrat president, estimated Pollak.
Pollak continued, “One thing that would not be happening if a Democrat was president is that you would not see the media trying to pick apart everything that the president was doing. You would not see them criticizing everything the president said. You would not see them asking questions in the briefing room, constantly trying to assign blame to the president. You would not see them making up fake news, or reporting statements out of context, or trying to frighten the public. You would not see them looking backward in the middle of a crisis and asking what the president could have done to stop it.”
“You would have seen [news media] rallying the public around the Democratic president,” Pollak added. “You would have seen them calling for patriotism. You would have seen them highlighting survivors. You would have seen them interviewing healthcare workers, and truckers, and grocers, and farmers. You would have seen them lamenting the fact that their wonderful Democratic president — whoever it would be, Obama or someone else — had to have their legacy challenged, had to be faced with such a crisis when they were doing so well up until now.”
Pollak went on, “And you would have seen them calling the country to unite under the flag and move forward. We would have seen the media pushing for national unity around the president, even in an election year and, perhaps for a Democratic president, especially in an election year.”
Pollak observed, “We do not see the media rallying the country. We see them trying to tear the country apart, and they’re taking the natural political instinct on both right and left, which is to keep doing what they were doing before, and the media are stoking those fires. It’s been long enough, now — it’s been several weeks, now — of watching this unfold.”
“Aside from some of the speeches by the president and the occasional words of some business leaders who’ve stepped forward to offer their help to the president even though they may not support him politically, there have been so few moments of national unity,” noted Pollak.
Democrats and news media mirror one another’s attitude towards President Donald Trump, Pollak said.
“Joe Biden did not offer his support to the president after he addressed the nation from the Oval Office,” Pollak recalled. “Neither did Bernie Sanders. Nancy Pelosi made a speech televised nationwide in which she did not even mention the president.”
Pollak went on, “For weeks, none of the Democratic leaders would even acknowledge that [Donald Trump] was leading the country in the middle of a crisis. The media stoked that, and the media pushed the idea — deliberately — that the president was not to be trusted and that the highest duty was either to remove him from office somehow or, effectively, to put somebody else in charge. In fact, they’re still pushing that idea. They still refuse to hear what he has to say. They still believe that somebody else should be in charge of making the decisions and speaking to the nation.”
Pollak predicted, “We will not be proud of how our political class has dealt with the threat of the coronavirus because they were, as a whole, unprepared on both sides. We will be even less proud of how they’ve dealt with the response, how they’ve encouraged us — through the media — to tear each other apart. The heroes in the fight against the coronavirus are the workers, the truckers, the people out there in the hospitals making a difference, and it’s you and I who are going to have to be those heroes and support those heroes, but our political class as a whole has failed us.”
“I can say that had a Democratic president been in office when this happened, the same thing would have happened because I don’t think any administration would have been ready for this,” Pollak stated. “Perhaps the Democratic administration would not have imposed to travel ban. That was Trump’s instinct. Perhaps the Democratic administration would have had a few more officials in the government with titles and responsibilities to look after this. That’s the Democratic instinct to have more people in government assigned with more duties and so forth, but I think this is the kind of disaster that overwhelms any government, and the only thing you can do is respond.”
Republicans are more inclined to offer support to Democrat presidents in times of crisis than Democrats, determined Pollak.
“I am convinced that had a Democratic president been in office that you would find some Republicans — given the nature of our country — sniping at the Democratic president the way that some Democrats have been sniping at our president,” Pollak remarked. “I think it would have been fewer. I think that you would have seen Republicans rally around even a Democratic president the same way that Republicans rallied around Obama when he took out Osama bin Laden, the same way many Republicans even rallied around Obama when he went to war in Libya. There is an innate Republican instinct to side with a commander-in-chief, to side with the military, but there still would have been some sniping, I grant that.”
Pollak lamented, “Bipartisanship is unfortunately in short supply, and there’s no political party that wastes an opportunity to score points at the other’s expense, even at times [of crisis], unfortunately at the expense of the national interest.”
Breitbart News Sunday broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot 125 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern.
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.