Establishing a new high level mark for media arrogance and news reporting incompetence, the Huffington Post has anointed itself the arbitrator of which Presidential candidates are qualified to be taken seriously, and thus have their campaigns covered. Editorial editor Danny Shea and HuffPo Washington Bureau Chief Ryan Grim thus posted this statement yesterday:
“After watching and listening to Donald Trump since he announced his candidacy for president, we have decided we won’t report on Trump’s campaign as part of The Huffington Post’s political coverage. Instead, we will cover his campaign as part of our Entertainment section. Our reason is simple: Trump’s campaign is a sideshow. We won’t take the bait. If you are interested in what The Donald has to say, you’ll find it next to our stories on the Kardashians and The Bachelorette.”
This means that the rest of us should henceforth file the Huffington Post in our browser bookmarks with The News Nerd and other fake news sites.
I consider Trump’s candidacy a blight on a race that already is blighted with Hillary Clinton, who arguably has less relevant experience than The Donald. Rather than vote for the likes of Trump, I would vote for a a lawn chair, a Pet Rock, a salad fork, an inanimate carbon rod, a Komondor, or Nancy Pelosi. Nonetheless, he is an American citizen, and he is running for President with a sufficient organization, sufficient support and more than sufficient finances to be competitive. That means that news organizations are obligated to cover his campaign, or they are not news organizations.
Is he in it to win? Who knows? Eugene McCarthy wasn’t in the race to win in 1968, and he turned the campaign, and U.S. history, upside down. In 2008, Barack Obama was running to gain some national recognition so he might be a serious candidate the next time. Is Bernie Sanders, a 73 year-old Socialist, a more viable candidate than Donald Trump? Is Lincoln Chaffee? Mike Huckabee has been a TV personality for years: why is he worthy of coverage? He’s at least as much of a TV personality as The Donald.
Would HuffPo have consigned Ronald Reagan’s candidacy to the Entertainment section? Why wouldn’t they? Liberals has as much contempt and disdain for Reagan as they do now for Trump, and he was “just an actor.”
There is no possible set of rational or ethical standards that can justify the Huffington Post’s decision. It is irresponsible, stunningly ignorant and so arrogant it makes my teach hurt. Ross Perot’s candidacy elected Bill Clinton: was that entertainment? Ralph Nader wasn’t running to get elected, he was running to send a message that the other parties are corrupt. Perot was running to focus attention on the dangerous national debt, and did, for, oh, a half-hour or so. Bless you, Ross. What if Trump is running to send the single message that allowing illegals to enter the country and to later benefit from it is slow motion a national and cultural suicide? If he’s willing to spend a few hundred million to do that, bless him too. He just moved ahead of the carbon rod, and is closing in on the Pet Rock.
But never mind all that. The best way to help Donald Trump become President is for the average voter to remain ignorant about what a phony, toxic, demagogue he is. The only way that can happen is for news organizations to try to ignore him.
The Huffington Post has just given us one of the worst example of the modern news media’s abandonment of professionalism and ethics for partisan favoritism, but a refreshingly open one. Usually the biased news media doesn’t announce its unethical manipulation of what we get to hear and see.