Perhaps no intemperate statement by the President has caused such excessive outrage as his accusation that the news media are “enemies of the people”—maybe it’s tied with his infamous “they’re sending murderers, they’re sending rapists” line when he threw his hat in the ring; I don’t know. It’s close. I think both comments were better off unsaid by him, but that is a matter of prudence and decorum, not truth. The murderers and rapists point was intentionally misconstrued by the news media to “prove” that Trump’s objection to illegal immigration was based on prejudice, rather than the rather obvious fact that illegal immigrants are breaking the law if they are the salt of the earth, and a lot of them are a lot worse. As the accuracy of the Trump’s characterization of the news media, its distortion of his Mexicans comment was one of many thousands examples that prove the President right–intemperate, undiplomatic, perhaps unwise, but tragically correct. Bolstered by their Constitutional immunity from any consequences arising from horribly abusing their rights to print and say whatever they choose, the American news media has decided, virtually as a bloc, to
- manipulate the reporting of the news to undermine this President of the United States and make it difficult, and, if possible, to govern;
- bombard the public with unceasing negative characterizations of the man, his words, his appearance, his habits, his past, his thoughts, his family, and his alleged private conversations;
- frame all of this within predetermined narratives concocted by his most virulent foes and detractors that were launched and burnished during the 2016, after his election, or shortly after he took office,
- among them being that he is corrupt, that he is President only to make money through graft, that he is a fascist, an autocrat, and an aspiring dictator, that he lies constantly, that he is a racist, that he hates immigrants, that he doesn’t care about the nation or the American people, that he treasonous conspired with Russia to “steal” the election, that he is the worst possible leader for the country and should be removed as soon as possible, and
- that he is insane, senile, unstable, stupid and a danger to civilization as long as he remains in office, and
- that all previous standards, honors, traditions and basic amenities of respect that have been every previous President’s right from George Washington through Barack Obama must not be accorded to President Trump, and
- nothing, absolutely nothing, he accomplishes or does can possibly be beneficial or praiseworthy. If it is, then he isn’t really responsible for it: It’s an accident, or not as good as it seems, or is hiding a sinister purpose, or that someone else, preferably Barack Obama, really deserves the credit, and
- all of his critics, opposition and adversaries are right and praiseworthy, no matter how despicable and untrustworthy they have been in the past.
The idea, the objective, the entire purpose of this, is to bring down an elected President of the United States by action of journalists rather than the democratic process, with all of the dangers doing so creates for the continuing stability and success of our system and institutions. This is neither the traditional role of the press not why the First Amendment protects them. It is a flagrant, reckless, foolish, vicious and anti-American violation of duty and a large group of crucial ethical principles. Fueled by their own arrogance, ignorance, and relative ignorance and lack of integrity, the news media has set out on a course that can only harm, certainly grievously, perhaps fatally, the United States and, whether they understand or recognize it or note, every citizen who believes in democracy. That is, the People.
It is the position of Ethics Alarms that the above summary is fair and accurate, though sufficiently disturbing that many otherwise fair-minded people, on the website and off it, continue to deny the indisputable The conduct described and the intent behind it can fairly be called hostile and malign. Groups and individuals that are hostile and malign toward the well-being of the Republic can be and should be accurately characterized as the enemies of those their deliberate behavior will harm.
No, the President of the United States shouldn’t have to be the one to point that out: a responsible segment of punditry and journalistic establishment should. But both of these groups have, with isolated and besieged exception, become part of the news media’s campaign to bring down an elected President because they didn’t support him, and to advance propaganda to place his adversaries in power.
In Part II, I am not going to attempt the hopeless task of cataloguing the news media’s misconduct during 2018—as Glenn Reynold says, “You’re going to need a bigger blog!” I will just use examples from the past couple days, which constitute signature significance.
I know, I know: I have posted multiple versions of this position in the past, most recently in this post, and its included repeat of the essay, Apologia: I’m Sorry. I’m Sorry That The Left Is Behaving So Unethically, And I’m REALLY Sorry I Have to Keep Writing About It.
But I have to keep writing about it, because the mainstream media not only won’t reform and do its job, it is getting worse. They want everyone to just get bored, give up, shrug, and let them achieve their unethical objectives through unethical means.
I’ll stop when they do.