On CNN’s Reliable Sources today, Ken Kurson, the former editor-in-chief of the New York Observer, owned by the Kushner family, calmly laid out a damning indictment of the mainstream media in the age of Trump.

Pursuant to Kurson’s bill of particulars:

  • The media has become the opposition party; the Dems have become irrelevant.
  • The press has assigned itself the role of undoing the results of the election, which they don’t accept.
  • Journalists reward each other for “stabbing and needling.”
  • When media outlets like NPR or the New York Times need the “appearance of balance,” they will hire Trump-hating conservatives such as David Brooks or Bret Stephens.
  • Pro-Trump journalists in the media don’t exist, “the entire MSM is against Trump.”
  • The most outrageous attack is “what’s rewarded with likes on Facebook and followings on Twitter.”
  • Reporters “audition for each other, and they audition for popularity.”

Host Brian Stelter pushed back feebly, claiming that it’s just “opinion” columnists who are attacking the Trump admin. Does Stelter ever watch any of the coverage by the ostensibly objective hosts and reporters on his own network?

KEN KURSON: So the idea here is that the media has become the opposition to Trump. Just listening to the intro to this show, listening to Fareed’s show before it, it’s no longer that the Republican point of view holds forth, and the Democrats hold them accountable, and the media covers it. It’s that the president and the White House put forth their point of view, the media argues with them, and the Democrats have become totally irrelevant to that discussion. It’s a stunning thing to watch unfold during this presidency.

BRIAN STELTER: About the irrelevancy of the Democratic party?

KURSON: Totally! And the way the press has assigned itself the chore of undoing the results of this election, which they simply don’t accept. And I think the shame of it is, we no longer have even a two-party system, which many think is too few. We have a one-party system, and the media as the other party.

. . .

KURSON: During these breaks, when I watch you go on Twitter. The way journalists reward each other for stabbing and needling—there’s a new system of reward that is out there for journalists that has very little to do with policy and very little to do with advancing this country.

. . .

STELTER: Where do you go from that to, the media is the opposition.

KURSON: Because when I look at the tone, and the way these attacks are launched, and I’ve cited a couple of examples for you, or the way that whenever there’s a need for the appearance of balance, NPR will hire some conservative who hates the president. Or the New York Times will go get Bret Stephens, whose main contribution is that he hates the president.

Whenever there’s the need for the appearance of fairness, there’s no real effort to — where are the pro-Trump journalists in the mainstream media? They don’t exist! Because the entire mainstream media is against Trump. And that I think is not just bad for American policy. I think it’s bad for journalism.

STELTER: I think a lot of journalists are against lying, are against deceit. That’s where we are right now.

KURSON: I’m against lying and deceit. I think the function of the journalist to hold the administration accountable is a critical function enshrined in our Bill of Rights. But when you have a system where the most outrageous attack is what’s rewarded with likes on Facebook and followings on Twitter, you’re setting yourself up —

STELTER: Those are opinion columns! Those are opinion columns!

KURSON:  No, they’re not just opinion columns. It’s reporters. And they audition for each other, and they audition for popularity.