Some have recoiled at President Donald Trump’s claim that the media establishment is the “enemy of the people,” but as was evidenced again on Sunday morning, there are times when it hard to argue with his stance.
Attorney General Bill Barr sat for a lengthy interview on CBS’ Face the Nation to discuss a number of topics, but what the network decided to air was markedly different from what was actually said, as Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist details.
CBS edited out Barr’s description of the violence U.S. Park Police faced prior to clearing Lafayette Square of protesters, his solutions for improved policing, his opinions on using the Insurrection Act as a “last resort,” and his rebuttal of several false media narratives, according to Hemingway.
Right off the bat, host Margaret Brennan asked about an anonymously-sourced report that President Trump had demanded 10,000 armed soldiers be deployed in the streets of Washington, D.C., a claim which was also forcefully denied by the White House.
That shifted to comments from Barr about the history of the Insurrection Act and how it has been used numerous times as a “last resort,” including during his previous tenure as attorney general when active-duty troops were deployed in response to the 1992 Los Angeles riots and also to quell unrest in the U.S. Virgin Islands. That part ended up on the cutting room floor, however, as Hemingway notes.
Brennan then switched gears to ask about “systemic racism,” but a large portion of Barr’s in-depth response — in which he discussed the immense progress made in this country since the days of slavery and Jim Crow — was left unaired.
Also left out in regard to that topic was Barr’s explanation of what the Justice Department has already done and could do in the future in terms of holding rogue, abusive, or racist police officers accountable.
Sins of omission
The conversation then touched on the clearing of protesters from Lafayette Square last Monday following several nights of destructive rioting, and Brennan proceeded to rehash several debunked narratives about the use of “tear gas” against supposedly peaceful protesters, according to Hemingway.
Barr repeatedly corrected Brennan’s false assertions and provided details regarding the level of violence seen over the weekend as well as on Monday. He recounted that “peaceful protesters” were climbing over barricades and bombarding officers with bricks and flammable liquids and that dozens of officers were injured in the nightly violence.
Alas, much of Barr’s commentary was not aired for viewers to hear, says Hemingway. Also left out of the of the televised version of the interview was Barr’s explanation that the decision to extend the security perimeter around Lafayette Park was made by him and the Park Police the night before — not by the White House — and that the decision had nothing to do with President Trump’s decision on Monday evening to walk to historic St. John’s Church.
To his credit, perhaps in the full knowledge of and prior experience with the media’s dishonesty, Barr on multiple occasions in the interview called the media out for not being entirely truthful about things.
If you want to know why President Trump constantly battles with the media and why his supporters and so many other Americans have such distrust for the media, look no further than the hatchet job CBS did on this interview with Barr as strong justification for the well-earned “enemy” label.