For those inexplicably loyal fans of the news media who said to themselves, “Well, CNN is an exception. The other respected news organizations will never let the President push them to completely alienate the public’s trust,” here is the hard, cruel truth: you are dead wrong. Open your eyes.
Witness the Washington Post, which somehow thought that it would enhance its reputation as a fair, independent, responsible and objective news source by recruiting a group of children to mock President Trump by singing his tweets. This was a Washington Post promotion, now. The Post believes that its readers want to get their news from a newspaper that gratuitously ridicules the President of the United States. Maybe they are right. Such readers, however, are not looking for facts, or objective analysis. Those readers are looking to feed their confirmation bias.
At “The Hill,” reporter Jonathan Easley tweeted: “WaPo getting kids to mockingly sing Trump’s tweets seems needlessly antagonistic and a dumb move right now.”
Gee, ya think?
I’m trying to imagine the long list of broken ethics alarms that had to malfunction for the Post to let this get all the way through conception, to production, to publication. Nobody in the chain of command said, “Yeah, that’s hilarious, but let’s leave this kind of thing to Jimmy Kimmel, okay? We’re a newspaper.” Nobody. Nobody thought that this would simply confirm what media critics have been saying about toxic anti-Trump bias. Nobody thought about how a graphic demonstration of this mindset at the paper would undercut any claim that the Post is capable of fair reporting on an elected leader it would show such disrespect to just to make a promotional pitch. Nobody.
No, what happened is what I have seen repeatedly on Facebook, in personal conversations and in the behavior of some Ethics Alarms commenters when a progressive/Democrat/ “resistance” supporter really has no rationalizations or excuses remaining regarding the Left’s conduct since the election. They say, literally or in essence, “I don’t care. I hate the man, and he doesn’t deserve to be treated fairly. Screw him.”
The problem is that while this reaction is pure emotional and ethically crippling from individuals, it is an inexcusable breach of professional ethics and public duty by journalists and news organizations. Once broken ethics alarms permit this, a CNN-style melt-down is just a matter of time.
Oh! I almost forgot!
Will somebody send the Post the various links to Ethics Alarms essays explaining why adults using children as political props and mouthpieces is exploitative, cowardly, an abuse of power and indefensible? Maybe add some of the links about how placing children on the web forever doing things they don’t understand without their informed consent is also wrong?