“A strong media is required to hold politicians accountable and help preserve a functioning republic. Our media, who are swinging wildly from eight years of sycophancy into an era of cartoonish hostility, are in no position to hold anyone accountable. This is a crisis, and one that nearly everyone except those in the media establishment and the political movement they support seems to recognize.”
—-The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway in an essay titled 4 Recent Examples Show Why No One Trusts Media Coverage Of Trump.
“Should they be ousted if they are not playing the role the place supposedly symbolizes? Are they representing us, the People, who, collectively, elected Trump, or are they representing the Democratic Party? I don’t know that the symbolism is what should determine whether the press has that space or some other space, but I don’t think the press — with respect to the Trump administration — represents the people. I think the statement “They are the opposition party” is much more accurate. Too bad they did that to themselves. We could use a vigorous, professional press.”
—Blogger Ann Althouse on the possibility that the Trump White House will move the press corps next door into the Executive Office Building.
The two quotes accurately sum up my assessment of the state of the news media with regard to its level of trustworthiness and its future relationship with administration with the Trump Presidency. After a campaign in which the news media’s biases were not only flagrant but defiantly so, what was needed desperately was a profession-wide dedication to objectivity and non-partisan journalism. Instead, stupidly, destructively, the mainstream news media has doubled-down, fawning over Obama as he exited the office with a shocking lack of humility and grace, and, as Hemingway accurately states, descending into “cartoonist hostility” before Trump even took office.The four examples include two from today, the Times’ false story about Rick Perry, and the Washington Post mocking Trump Agriculture Secretary nominee Sonny Perdue because he prayed. I wanted to write about both here but didn’t have time. Another, which I was not aware of, was the Washington Post falsely labeling a Trump science advisor an “anti-intellectual” when he is merely a critic of liberal academics and scientists. Last was the ridiculous efforts by CNN’s Jim Accosta, the reporter Trump refused to allow to ask a question at the recent press conference, and other reporters to try to get Martin Luther King III to condemn Donald Trump. Hemingway does a thorough job explaining all four.
She is right, for as Ethics Alarms has noted recently, this is a crisis, and one that the news media itself refuses to acknowledge, while happy liberals who have been the beneficiaries its slanted and incompetent coverage see no problem to address. Their assumption is that they have a fete accompli: this is what U.S. journalism is, and conservatives have no choice but to allow it to systematically vilify their positions and conduct while boosting Democrats and burying their failures, until the Left has the dominance it believes it deserves. After all, what choice is there?
Althouse, a moderate liberal whose disgust with journalism this past year has exactly tracked with mine, gives the rebuttal that encompasses Trump’s likely solution. He will treat unethical and biased journalists as operatives of the opposition party, which they are, and give them no more deference or privileges than that status deserves. Sure this will leave a vacuum, but the vacuum existed already. Pretending that we have trustworthy news media when we don’t is infinitely worse than admitting that the system is broken by bias and arrogance, and that it needs to be fixed.