When I started in journalism 25 years ago, there was still an ethic about hiding your political views.
I took it seriously. Nobody in the business, except a friend who sat next to me in the White House basement for years and in whom I confided — and argued with — had any idea I was a conservative. I was proud of that.
Now, whatever professionalism there is in this supposed “profession” of journalism is gone. The liberal instinct that one doesn’t merely have an opinion but is ipso facto correct in that opinion and has a duty to act on it has taken hold in journalism.
There are many reasons for this, which require a longer article. I’m mostly sharing someone else’s thoughts here, not my own.
But this is what has happened. And reporters are mixing their bias with the lie, told to themselves and others, that they remain objective.
Just the facts ma’am. No, not those facts, the other facts. Thanks.
From an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by former CBS News President Can Gordon Sauter:
About 35 years ago I was sitting at lunch next to Jeane Kirkpatrick, a onetime Democrat who became a foreign-policy adviser to President Reagan and later U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She was lamenting what she called the “liberal leaning” media. As the president of CBS News, I assured her it was only a “liberal tilt” and could be corrected.
“You don’t understand,“ she scolded. “It’s too late.”
Kirkpatrick was prophetic. The highly influential daily newspapers in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and Boston are now decidedly liberal. On the home screen, the three broadcast network divisions still have their liberal tilt. Two of the three leading cable news sources are unrelentingly liberal in their fear and loathing of President Trump.
News organizations that claim to be neutral have long been creeping leftward, and their loathing of Mr. Trump has accelerated the pace. The news media is catching up with the liberalism of the professoriate, the entertainment industry, upscale magazines and the literary world.
To many journalists, objectivity, balance and fairness—once the gold standard of reporting—are not mandatory in a divided political era and in a country they believe to be severely flawed. That assumption folds neatly into their assessment of the president. To the journalists, including more than a few Republicans, he is a blatant vulgarian, an incessant prevaricator, and a dangerous leader who should be ousted next January, if not sooner. Much of journalism has become the clarion voice of the “resistance,” dedicated to ousting the president, even though he was legally elected and, according to the polls, enjoys the support of about 44% of likely 2020 voters.
There’s probably no way to seal the gap between the media and a large segment of the public. The media likes what it is doing. Admires it. Celebrates it. There is no personal, professional or financial reason to change. If anything, the gap will expand. Ultimately, the media finds the “deplorables” deplorable.
It would be delightful if a publisher, an editor, a reporter, would just say: Yes, I am left of center! I’m proud of it. I think our reporting is accurate. It best serves the public. And the credibility of the media. So there!