I’ve said to a lot of people, that the media really should have learned something from Trump’s election. Here’s a guy they told us was the devil incarnate, and he still was elected by a landslide in the electoral college. (Yes, I know about the popular vote, I also know what that means – bupkis.)
See, over the years the bias of the media has become more and more apparent. You had the media refusing to report on Bill Clinton’s ill-doings until they were forced to. Even today, his impeachment is rarely mentioned, and it’s usually done so in terms of the Republicans being “out-to-get” him. He’s losing steam now, but only because in the #MeToo error (not a typo), people are realising that you just can’t back an accused rapist, (particularly when the victim went to the police so quickly after the crime). No, the media loved Bill Clinton.
Then you had them behind GWB after 9/11 until the left turned on him then he was literally Hitler. So much so that by the time of the 2004 election, most people could see that the media was clearly in the tank for Kerry, and those that thought otherwise probably did so because they thought that not calling Bush Hitler life on air was “helping him”.
Then we have the Obama years, when the media just fawned over Obama, even as everything fell apart. The one big example that comes to mind is the Tea Party. The media ignored massive conservcative protests until it became embarassing. They then decided that they would just call the protests racist, and even pretended they were some sort of conspiracy of nutcases and the ultra-rich Koch brothers:
Swinging left, there has been a rhetorical flight of several journo intellectuals into conspiracy, with Jane Mayer in the New Yorkerascribing the Tea Party movement’s motives and machinations to the moneyed interests of the Koch brothers, while Matt Taibbi goes even further in the October 15 issue of Rolling Stone, and claims that the Tea Party movement is being stoked by Goldman Sachs, BP, and an “assortment of nativist freaks, village idiots and Internet Hitlers,” who are all infected by the GOP with “incoherent resentment.”
On these accounts, Tea Partyism is, at best, an expression of bad faith in genuine democracy; it cannot be honestly held because it is either bought or the product of dementia.
The results? Predictable.
If journalists follow a journalistic theory of democracy, shouldn’t they be at least mildly jazzed by the Tea Party as political engagement and civic vitality of the Town Hall interrogations of politicians over health care reform?
But one doesn’t really get the feeling that they are – or that they get why people might be jazzed holding what they see as truth up to power. And this is something not entirely explicable by some of the fringe views held by Tea Partiers. Has it been that, for far too long, journalists have confused their democratic role with a Democratic role; the democratization of knowledge with the Democratization of knowledge?
As a new Gallup Poll shows, the answer for a large segment of the American public is ‘hell, yes’: 57 percent say they “have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly,” while 48 percent say the media are “too liberal.”
The fact is, I can remember a single month – if that – when Obama was really suffering in the media. And that was because one of the 3 things that was going on was the fact that he’d had law enforcement go after a journalist.
Just in case you still don’t get the point, here’s some satire from The Onion, which is openly liberal mind you.
WASHINGTON—More than a week after President Barack Obama’s cold-blooded killing of a local couple, members of the American news media admitted Tuesday that they were still trying to find the best angle for covering the gruesome crime.
“I know there’s a story in there somewhere,” said Newsweek editor Jon Meacham, referring to Obama’s home invasion and execution-style slaying of Jeff and Sue Finowicz on Apr. 8. “Right now though, it’s probably best to just sit back and wait for more information to come in. After all, the only thing we know for sure is that our president senselessly murdered two unsuspecting Americans without emotion or hesitation.”
Added Meacham, “It’s not so cut and dried.”
This was most stark during election coverage. This is from 2008.
But nothing, nothing I’ve seen has matched the media bias on display in the current presidential campaign.
Republicans are justifiably foaming at the mouth over the sheer one-sidedness of the press coverage of the two candidates and their running mates. But in the last few days, even Democrats, who have been gloating over the pass — no, make that shameless support — they’ve gotten from the press, are starting to get uncomfortable as they realize that no one wins in the long run when we don’t have a free and fair press.
I was one of the first people in the traditional media to call for the firing of Dan Rather — not because of his phony story, but because he refused to admit his mistake — but, bless him, even Gunga Dan thinks the media is one-sided in this election.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of those people who think the media has been too hard on, say, Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin, by rushing reportorial SWAT teams to her home state of Alaska to rifle through her garbage. This is the big leagues, and if she wants to suit up and take the field, then Gov. Palin better be ready to play.
No, what I object to (and I think most other Americans do as well) is the lack of equivalent hardball coverage of the other side — or worse, actively serving as attack dogs for the presidential ticket of Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Joe Biden, D-Del.
If the current polls are correct, we are about to elect as president of the United States a man who is essentially a cipher, who has left almost no paper trail, seems to have few friends (that at least will talk) and has entire years missing out of his biography.
I’d forgotten about Sarah Palin. Well, she hasn’t done herself any favours in the meantime, but back then she was the country’s most popular governer. In spite of her top level experience, and Obama’s lack thereof, she was derided as not ready for… the vice presidency. Because McCain was about to die, don’t you know?
Needless to say, people noticed this stuff. And for all that happened to elect Trump, his grasping the anger about the media’s unashamed one-sided playing the field was one of his most masterful strokes.
But to hear the media and the left (but I repeat myself) talk about it, you’d think Trump invented the idea of being angry at the media.
Let me quote the above source again. Remember, this is 2008.
The traditional media are playing a very, very dangerous game — with their readers, with the Constitution and with their own fates.
The sheer bias in the print and television coverage of this election campaign is not just bewildering, but appalling. And over the last few months I’ve found myself slowly moving from shaking my head at the obvious one-sided reporting, to actually shouting at the screen of my television and my laptop computer.
But worst of all, for the last couple weeks, I’ve begun — for the first time in my adult life — to be embarrassed to admit what I do for a living. A few days ago, when asked by a new acquaintance what I did for a living, I replied that I was “a writer,” because I couldn’t bring myself to admit to a stranger that I’m a journalist.
Remember, this is the guy who though the Sarah Palin pile-on was justified. And he’s saying that the press are playing very, very dangerous game with the country. In 2008.
Did the press learn from this? No.
And that’s why we got Trump.
To me, Trump was a big lesson for the media. Why?
Yet again, Democrats breathlessly declare the Republican candidate a Nazi — and wonder why no one is listening.
The Republican nominee for president is a racist, sexist threat to American democracy — and this time, we really mean it.
In a nutshell, this is the Democratic argument against Donald Trump. In a wild, topsy-turvy political year, it is the one exceedingly familiar piece of the political landscape — because it is a version of the argument the Left makes against every Republican nominee.
That this line of attack is so shopworn, just when Democrats think we need it most, has led to self-reflection and regret from one of the harshest commentators on the left. The HBO host Bill Maher said the other day that “liberals made a big mistake” when they attacked George W. Bush “like he was the end of the world,” and did the same thing to Mitt Romney and John McCain.
Maher himself was a prime offender, with no hesitation about resorting to Nazi analogies (he compared Romney’s aides to Adolf Hitler’s dead-end loyalists, and Laura Bush to Hitler’s dog).
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have been touring the country saying that Trump isn’t like past Republican nominees, even though they were attacked in exactly the same terms.
That’s right. The media found someone they were genuinely(ish) worried about… and discovered that they’d already described all the previous republican candidates that way.
I personally believe that the media have literally trained the right to see the “He’s a Nazi!!!” cries as the mark of a good republican candidate.
And by that measure, Trump was the best candidate the GOP had ever put up. So he was elected.
The Trump Lesson
At this point the media should have realised their mistake. Some did. For about 5 seconds. But I don’t need to remind you what we’ve seen since – it’s been turned up to 11. It’s so bad that in effect, the media have openly colluded with Russia in undermining the USA.
Yes, you read that right. The media have colluded with the Russian agenda of de-stabilising the United States. But that’s not really the point I’m going for here.
The point is what should have happened.
What should have happened is that the press stopped the hyperbole. Stop reporting bias, and aggressively counter it. Stop printing opinion as fact. Stop putting up panels of people who are all on one side with maybe one guy on the other. (And of for the love of mike, call the police immediately if some big burly guy starts threatening the Jewish guy live on air. Nothing says “untrustworthy media” like seeing someone committing a crime openly on live TV and no one bats an eyelid.)
In short, focus on integrity. The facts and nothing but the facts. Do it calmly. Don’t pretend that the right are all extremists, and don’t pretend that “anti-“fascist thugs roaming the street beating people up are not terrorists.
Oh, who am I kidding. We all know this didn’t happen. We’ve seen the Russian investigation hysteria, and the hysteria over Brett Kavanaugh.
Remember that? The time when the Democrats shows everyone they’d say anything, do anything, slander a guy who had a well-documented history of zero scandals, to stop him being appointed to the Supreme Court. And the media enthusiastically played along, with as little as 8% of coverage being dedicated to Kavanaugh’s refutation of the suspect allegations.
And they are still at it.
Unfortunately, when it came to the unproven allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, they could only feel pain for Kavanaugh’s “very credible” accusers. No one was invited on CNN to express the view that Kavanaugh’s accusers weren’t convincing in their tales of teenage debauchery, and that Kavanaugh was smeared with false charges. The “Facts First” network wasn’t really nailing down the facts on this one.
And so we arrive at today.
At the kid who smiled when attacked. The kids who were abused, and did their school chant to drown it out. The kids who were just kids, and (rightly) exited a tense situation knowing they’d not done the wrong thing, knowing they had not been taunted into making a mistake… and then discovered that didn’t matter. In spite of all their self-control, in spite of all the abuse they put up with, in spite of the horrible things said to them, they were cast as evil by a social media mob, which set about destroying them. and the media was an active, eager participant.
All because that kid was white, and wearing the president’s slogan.
Oh, and that graphic is from this morning. Literally days after we know what really happened. I initially said the truth stopped the media, but the truth is, they really still have not stopped.
This has been one of the worst cases of media malpractice in living memory. And the victims are kids!
Well, those kids are fighting back.
Robert Barnes, the lawyer representing the Covington Catholic High School kids who were smeared by the media, is warning reporters, celebrities, and others with large media platforms that they have until Friday to correct the record, or they will be sued.
Because of their sloppy reporting of what transpired in Washington, D.C., when two groups of protesters confronted a group of Catholic high school students who were waiting to catch a bus last Friday, the teens and their families have become the subjects of ongoing threats and harassment from a hateful online outrage mob.
On Fox and Friends Wednesday morning, Barnes, who is representing the families at no cost, explained that because the kids are private citizens and minors, anything someone says about them that is false can be libel, according to the law. Rather than proving malice, “all you have to prove is negligence,” he said.
So a lot of these journalists have been saying false statements about these kids, false statements about the kids that were at the Lincoln Memorial, false statements about kids that were in various photographs related to the school, slurring and libeling the entire school and all the alumni for the school, and all you have to prove is they were negligent in doing so and by this standpoint, by this point in time, it is clear that anyone who continues to lie and libel about these kids has done so illegally and can be sued for it.
Reading that report, it’s clear that this is war. The dogs are let loose. They are not going to let the magnitude of the wrong stop them, and boy does this sound aggressive.
Because what happened was wrong. It was wrong on so many levels. It’s the perfect case for a serious response, and a serious response has been a long time coming.
It’s not the first time this has been tried. Sarah Palin went after the New York Times, who slandered her on their pages, but got pushed back because the NYT argued (And I swear I’m not making this up) that they didn’t read their own newspaper. And outside that, Palin is manifestly a public person. Bit hard to argue that with some random kid from a catholic school in Kentucky.
Well, I wish them all the best in the fight. The media desperately need a slap down, and this has a chance of delivering that. From what I’ve seen, a lot of people will be behind this. I don’t usually watch Ben Shapiro live, but I happened to see him during breakfast earlier this week. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so angry. Ever.
I really recommend watching it, because there’s so much here that I have not even touched on – like the total lack of coverage of the March for Life.
Trump’s election was the first really big slap down of the media and their increasingly open partisanship.
This has an excellent chance of being lesson 2. They have my support, 100%