Barack Obama was the first American president I heard start mentioning journalists and news outlets by name, attacking their fairness and responsibility.
Now that President Trump is doing it – admittedly at a heightened pace – there is all sorts of handwringing about whether journalists are going to come to some kind of harm.
I previously objected to politicians going after the press. But in today’s environment, where the agenda of the ostensibly objective press is no longer even remotely hidden and few checks are made to prevent bias, I think the president has a right to fight back. As long as he doesn’t restrict their speech, he has a right not to just get hit time and time again. And while I would never wish harm to any journalist – I’ve been under threat myself – and I doubt anyone will do anything stupid, it’s now a volatile business we are in and journalists need to accept that there are risks. Trump can’t be responsible for every lunatic who might misinterpret his words, any more than the press is responsible for lunatics who might take up their articles and punditry and turn them into violence.
Obama lit the match, and Trump is just fanning the flames.
Kellyanne Conway appeared Sunday on Brian Stelter’s CNN show and did a masterful spinmeister job of dodging questions and changing the subject to what she wanted to talk about.
CNN has unfortunately, as Conway correctly notes, recast itself from a network that at least pretended not to be liberal – which introduced an element of balance into its coverage – to one that is clearly over on the left with MSNBC.
So, faced immediately with a predictably hostile line of questioning, Conway fought back and made CNN the issue instead of President Trump.
In an interview with Fox Business News’ Lou Dobbs Wednesday, President Trump bragged that he was the one who created the “fake news” brand that has now attached itself to the media to crushing effect.
It is so dishonest. It is so fake. And you know, I have come up with some pretty good names for people. I think one of the best names — you know, I’ve really started this whole fake news thing. Now they’ve turned it around, and now they’re calling, you know, stories put out by Facebook fake, and they’re fake. What could be more fake than CBS and NBC and ABC and CNN when you look at some of these stories?
Polls suggest trust in the media is in the dumpster. A survey from May found that two-thirds of Americans, and 80 percent of Republicans, believe the MSM publishes a lot of fake news.
Trump’s branding is sticking. Nobody in business knows more about branding than Trump, whose wealth is based in part on his ability to brand himself. And he used the talent to get elected – “Little Marco,” “Low-energy Jeb,” “Crooked Hillary” – were terms derided as meanspirited or silly but that had enough of a ring of truth about them to be extremely effective.
Similarly, the media have assisted in Trump’s successful effort to discredit them by discrediting themselves. Their hatred and contempt for Trump is so intense and so certain of itself that they don’t even realize that they are guilty of bias. The result is a reaction like this one of our readers, srdem65, posted after Trump’s mini-press conference on the South Lawn Wednesday:
I listened to his odd presser on the grass. What the MSM got out of it and what I got out of it …. they can’t help it anymore, they’re going out of their way to hurt him. They pick some phrase, some answer to a vague question and run with it. Not one of the big MSM mentioned that he “wishes MrFlake well” or mentioned the productive meeting with other Repubs. The didn’t mention the disgusting faux Russian dossier paid for by Clinton – he did. Just wondering, can they keep this up for another three years, can they ignore what is good or happening? geez.
Trump told Dobbs something similar:
I know a good story from a bad story. But when you have a really good story and they make it bad — I’ll say to my wife, “Oh, tonight, I’m going to enjoy watching television because I did great, and wait until you see this.” And then, they put it on and it’s like ― oh, that’s not so good. They are fake news.
I’m having the same problems. I read the MSM because as a journalist I must for the information, and I see a relentless parade of negative stories that highlight nothing good that Trump has done. I have always felt that there is bias in the media, but it has finally gotten to the point for me that I don’t trust the reporting.
I know for many of you, that train left the station long ago. But I always felt I could pick through the bias and find the facts that I needed. Now, the traditional liberal slant of the press has been warped by journalists’ constant opinion-spouting appearances on TV and their hatred of Trump. The opinion page has become nearly indistinguishable from the news page.
Now, I finally feel like I don’t simply want to go to conservative news organizations, I feel I must.
Because of #fakenews.
The Washington media are so smug, they don’t even believe they have a problem. They think they are simply the victims of a bunch of flyover country yahoos and an idiot president. And they are fatally mistaken.
Project Veritas Tuesday released a video that provides some good insight into the thinking that goes on at the New York Times and liberal papers like it that claim to be objective. Desiree Shoe, a London-based journalist who lists her title as “Senior Staff Editor, Homepage at The New York Times,” says her job is… Continue Reading
So for all the groaning about President Trump beating up on reporters, turns out he is taking way more questions than President Obama, according to White House reporters interviewed by Politico. And it’s true. Reporters have access to Trump almost every day. Obama was like some imperial satrap who would emerge from the Forbidden City… Continue Reading
Okay, there were controversial statements here and there. Trump is Trump. But the bottom line is that President Trump and the federal government have done an incredible job responding to multiple tragedies over the past several weeks. Three separate hurricanes savaged Houston, Florida, and Puerto Rico. And then a monster shot up a country music… Continue Reading
Of course, following the Las Vegas shooting, our society’s new arbiters of morality, the late night talk show hosts, jumped into the conversation with the inevitable call for gun control. That Americans are listening to comedians for moral instruction is certainly yet another sign of the decline and fall of Western civilization. I mean, comedians??… Continue Reading
Well, not seeing too many stories in the mainstream press about this. The highly respected Pew Research Center, which hardly has a conservative axe to grind, has found that the press is running three times as many negative stories about President Trump than it did Obama during the same period of his presidency and a… Continue Reading
Other than possibly making money off the speaking circuit, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer is apparently unemployable. His “dishonesty” from the podium and the notoriety brought by Mellissa McCarthy’s Saturday Night Live sendups have made Spicer the man nobody in Washington wants. In an excellent and not necessarily unsympathetic piece, Politico media columnist… Continue Reading
Liberal attorney, professor, and TV commentator Alan Dershowitz has a traditional liberal fondness for iconoclasm and free speech. That doesn’t sit well with the didactic mainstream media, particularly the New York Times, which according to the Washington Examiner isn’t even responding the Dershowitz’s submissions. Dershowitz’s crime is that he tends to look at the legal… Continue Reading
As usual, “flyover country” gets what the Coasts cannot comprehend: That little of significance has come out to suggest any kind of actual collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and that the media are perversely obsessed with the issue. And that meantime, the actual things Trump is doing are barely getting covered, unless one… Continue Reading