There are times when I’m forced to do what I strongly recommend others not to do. I often scan mainstream media feeds for stories that aren’t being covered by my conservative media peers. On occasion, I’ll run across a story that progressive media reports as damaging to conservatives, and oftentimes these stories end up being ignored by the right. It’s human nature to engage in confirmation bias, and since journalists are human, we do it all the time. We’ll report stories that favor our narrative and ignore stories that are unfavorable.
One story being promoted by progressive media as an “example of Republican glibness” and “another Republican Senator trapped by the President’s delusions” revolves around a Tweet Senator Mike Braun posted. Newsweek, who famously said the President was golfing while he was serving Thanksgiving food to troops in Afghanistan, ran with the headline, “Republican senator tweets video of himself saying Trump never asked Ukraine to investigate Biden, despite video showing Trump doing it.” The implication, of course, is that Braun was denying the President asked Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. Is that really what he said? Here’s the Tweet:
REPORTER: So you're saying that it's okay for a President to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political rival and withhold foreign aid to coerce him into doing so?
BRAUN: No, I'm not saying that's okay. I'm not saying that's appropriate. I'm saying that it DIDN'T HAPPEN. pic.twitter.com/nARMXL1KEz
— Senator Mike Braun (@SenatorBraun) January 23, 2020
This is a textbook example of leftist media seeing what they want to see and hearing what they want to hear. In reality, Braun’s answer to the loaded question was spot-on. He wasn’t saying the President never asked Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, a fact that was made clear on multiple occasions, including the transcript of the phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky. What he was objecting to was the the second half of the question, “and withhold foreign aid to coerce him into doing so.”
It’s patently clear in or out of context that Braun was referring to the second half of the question. He said, “No, I’m not saying that’s okay. I’m not saying that’s appropriate.” He clearly wasn’t referring to the request to investigate the Bidens. That would be silly, as doing so would insinuate that all anyone has to do to avoid investigation is to run for president. Braun was obviously saying that the second half of the question posited by the reporter never happened. The President did not withhold aid to coerce Ukraine into investigating the Bidens, as Ambassador Gordon Sondland was forced to admit during the House impeachment hearings.
The speed at which progressive mainstream media pounces on Republicans is only matched by the speed at which they run away from a story when their narrative blows up in their face. Senator Mike Braun corrected their false insinuation, nothing more.