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Mourning Bush, Bashing Trump: Media Love Dead Republicans

On 'The Ingraham Angle,' a clear look at revisionist history as the nation says goodbye to a president

Mainstream media members “don’t treat [Republicans] fairly in life” and only “embrace” them “in death,” Fox News host Laura Ingraham noted Monday night on “The Ingraham Angle” as she analyzed past and present media coverage of former President George H.W. Bush.

Bush, who served as the nation’s 41st president from 1989 to 1993, passed away at age 94 in his home in Houston on Friday night.

Related: George Herbert Walker Bush, Rest in Peace

Media members and outlets delivered extensive tributes to Bush as they recounted the extraordinary sacrifices he made to serve his nation as a World War II veteran, a House member, a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a CIA director, a vice president, a president — and more.

But it didn’t take too much effort for many in the media to use their glowing tributes of Bush as a stepping stone to criticisms of President Donald Trump.

“[The media] embrace a Republican in death, but don’t treat them fairly in life when they’re actually in office appointing people like [Supreme Court] Justice Clarence Thomas,” Ingraham noted, pointing to the bias at the time against Thomas’ nomination in 1991.

Presidential historian and Ronald Reagan biographer Craig Shirley shared the same sentiments, telling Ingraham that the media “like Republican presidents who no longer have power.”

“They bashed the heck out George Bush when he was in office,” Shirley said. “They viciously attacked him all during his presidential career.”

Shirley also explained that Bush banned Newsweek from his campaign plane in 1988 after the outlet published a cover story about him with the headline, “Fighting the ‘Wimp Factor.'”

The same thing occurred when the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, died this past summer after battling brain cancer for a year.

Trump and McCain had a tense and often hostile relationship spanning from Trump’s campaign and into his presidency — and the media honed in on this aspect of McCain’s life and legacy as part of their glowing tributes.

And now the media are behaving similarly in negatively contrasting Trump to Bush.

“The media … [have] reminded us why most Americans absolutely don’t trust them and hold them in contempt,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), whose daughter is White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, told Ingraham.

“And it’s unfortunate that [they’re] taking what ought to be the celebration of a great patriot, a great statesman, a great selfless servant of this nation, and instead of focusing on his qualities, they’re trying to focus on what they perceive to be the lack of qualities in Donald Trump — the very qualities that many Americans, frankly, believe to be the reason he’s president right now,” Huckabee added.

Related: The Phone Call from Reagan to Bush That Changed the ‘Arc of History’

Huckabee said McCain and his family purposefully excluded Trump from his funeral, while Bush, on the other hand, ensured that Trump would be invited to his own ceremonies.

“Laura, that’s class. That’s dignity. That’s the President Bush that we loved and considered to be a great statesman, who loved his country more than he disliked anybody,” Huckabee said.

“And I think he gave us the template for how to handle these kind of moments, and we ought to be taking our lessons from the man that we’re honoring, whose casket lies in state at the Capitol right now.”

Ingraham admonished the nation to unite while “celebrating the best of George H.W. Bush without resorting to the same old usual political snark and calumny.”

“And isn’t that what President Bush would have wanted?” Ingraham asked.

“Are these folks really honoring that legacy and his innate sense of decency and kindness by slashing the man who entered the White House 25 years after him?”

Check out the video below:

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PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected].