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Media has done more damage to itself than Trump ever could do to it

Media has done more damage to itself than Trump ever could do to it

Don’t blame the messenger, Donald Trump.

Is the media the enemy?

Rich Lowry, writing at Politico, notes that the media has come to occupy in Republican politics a unifying opponent once held by the Soviet Union.

His column originally was titled The Media Is Trump’s Soviet Union (and subsequently retitled The Media Is Trump’s Evil Empire):

For most Republicans, what matters most about Donald Trump is that he’s demonstrated resolve against the enemy—not the Islamic State or the Taliban, but the media….

The media has become for the right what the Soviet Union was during the Cold War—a common, unifying adversary of overwhelming importance….

Now, a policy of containment, preferably rollback, of the mainstream media occupies that central role….

https://web.archive.org/web/20170824034837/http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/08/23/trump-media-enemy-republicans-215526

As Lowry points out, Trump’s relentless attacks on the media work both because of historical antipathy by Republicans towards liberal media, but also because there is an obvious extreme media bias that has gone into overdrive.

Seemingly as if on cue, Nicholas Kristof in The NY Times declared We’re Journalists, Mr. Trump, Not the Enemy:

Look, we in journalism deserve to have our feet held to the fire. We make mistakes all the time, and too often we are superficial, sensationalist, unfair, defensive or diverted by shiny objects. Critics are right that we in the national media are often out of touch with working-class America, and distressingly often, we are lap dogs instead of watchdogs.

Yet for all our failings, journalism remains an indispensable constraint on power. Trump has systematically tried to delegitimize the institutions that hold him accountable — courts, prosecutors, investigators, the media — and that’s the context for his vilification of all them, for we collectively provide monitoring that outrages him.

The Featured Image to this post is from a Republican primary debate hosted by CNBC that devolved into the equivalent of heckling by the moderators:

What passes for journalism is a grotesque attempt to shape elections in favor of Democrats. They have disgraced their profession and done more damage to themselves than Trump ever could have done to them.

The greatest threat to a free press is a press that is so biased and such bullies that people view the press as the problem, not the solution. Don’t blame the messenger, Donald Trump.

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Comments

I simply do not trust anything I read or see in the MSM any more. I need independent confirmations before I believe the stories and it seems that they are far more likely to be shot down than confirmed. Sad.

    OldNuc in reply to topcat69. | August 24, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    I have been doing this with all media since sometime in the late 60s. This is required to even be able to extract something that is close to the truth.

    RedEchos in reply to topcat69. | August 25, 2017 at 12:42 am

    Michael Crichton quote:
    “Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
    In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”

      Connivin Caniff in reply to RedEchos. | August 25, 2017 at 5:00 am

      Thank you for that quote. This exact situation happened to me during the 70’s oil crisis. I knew exactly what was going on with government controls during the oil crisis, as these activities were a central part of my job. Every media outlet, including the Wall Street Journal, which I thought was infallible as to such issues, misunderstood the issues entirely. Oddly enough, the only exception was the McNeil Lehrer Report, which was uncannily accurate. Perhaps one of my colleagues filled them in. In any event, I never relied on the media, particularly the Wall Street Journal, without my independent verification. The most recent instance occurred when I had to go to youtube myself to determine that there were definitely two sides to the Charlottesville car incident. Nowhere else did I see the thug hit the car with a bat.

    A lot of people on the Right see things the same way. Yet, the same untrustworthy news outlets are cited day after day. What’s the thinking? Maybe this time they got something right?

I recently mentioned Scott Adams’ brilliant analysis (http://blog.dilbert.com/post/164297628606/how-to-know-youre-in-a-mass-hysteria-bubble) to a friend, and he told me about the CIA’s “Operation Ajax” in Iran. From Wikipedia:

“Operation Ajax had four main parts: First, a massive propaganda campaign to ruin Mossadeq’s name and accuse him of communist affiliations (though he was famously democratic). One piece of propaganda by the CIA portrays Mossadeq as a totalitarian dictator complete with a secret spy network to intimidate his political opponents and allies alike. This piece of propaganda attempts to illustrate Mossadeq as a madman and dictator with sympathies towards the Soviets and communists and an enemy to his own nation. The document also links Mossadeq to anti-Islamic sentiment.”

But that kind of thing couldn’t happen here.

    Milhouse in reply to gibbie. | August 24, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Mossadegh was pro-Soviet. Why else would the CIA care about his coup against the Shah? Thankfully they persuaded the Iranian people to bring the Shah back, and we had 20 more years of pro-USA government in Iran, until Frank Church castrated the CIA and Jimmy Carter undercut the Shah and brought on the disaster Iran is today.

    gibbie in reply to gibbie. | August 25, 2017 at 8:19 am

    A misunderstanding, perhaps. I’m just pointing out that there are similarities between the propaganda campaign against Mossadeq and the propaganda campaign against Trump. There are people who know how to do this.

The greatest threat to a free press is a press that is so biased and such bullies that people view the press as the problem, not the solution.

This phrasing unconsciously adopts the newspaper trade’s arrogant propaganda associating it with “the freedom…of the press” guaranteed in the first amendment. Of course you know better than that. But we hear this sort of language so often it’s hard to avoid it ourselves.

Pelosi Schmelosi | August 24, 2017 at 8:29 pm

Trump has an uncanny ability to draw a big red circle around things and expose them for the charlatans they really are.
He did it with Jeb, the GOP, Her Royal Thighness and now the media.
The Left-Tarded media has been asking for this for a long time now, and many of us are grateful someone finally had the testicles to do it.

Democrat Mossadegh stopped the election when it was clear his party was losing. This was from an Iranian who was there at the time.

Once upon a time the bias in the dinosaur media was subtle, for the most part. Slight spin in reporting, shading some facts, not mentioning others and the like. There is still some of that, but the bias is much clearer now than it ever has been. Some minor point is blown completely out of proportion and just beat to death. Not even the weakest hint of fairness.

DDsModernLife | August 24, 2017 at 10:05 pm

Kristof, what a piece of work. “..we collectively provide monitoring that outrages him.” Heh. Monitoring? Elsewhere in the article mentioned he says:

“The New York Times and The Washington Post have separately tallied Trump’s lies, with The Post calculating that he has now made more than 1,000 misleading statements since assuming the presidency.”

Remember how the NYTimes and WaPo called out 0bama for the infamous, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your plan, you can keep your plan”? Remember the lengthy journalist exposition, “0bama’s Lies, Listed”?

Neither do I.

Delusions of adequacy from Kristof.

Yet for all our failings, journalism remains an indispensable constraint on power.

Actually the statement is true enough … of journalism. Not of the Times.

One of Trump’s accomplishments is his high-profile exposure of the fraud we’ve been calling The Press. It’s now more obvious than ever before that what’s chasing after the Matador-in-Chief’s red cape is just something which does little but make snorting noises, trample on things, and churn out B.S.

Trump exposed the media for all to see; he is the one who shouted “the Emperor has no clothes!”

We knew the media lied. CNN with Peter Arnett. Dateline NBC rigging a GM truck to explode. “Pink slime”. Alar. Dan Rather. Brian Williams.

They used to have an atrophied sense of shame.

Now they are not even trying to hide their bias. It appears the ‘shame-ectomy’ was a complete success.

    clayusmcret in reply to RedEchos. | August 25, 2017 at 6:46 am

    There are very few journalists any more. They’re all editorialists and commentators. Good on the Wall Street Journal editor who called out his reporters for too much commentary and not enough simply reporting the news.

The MSM has destroyed itself. I can no longer read ANY newspaper, even USA Today. I do not trust The Wall Street Journal news stories any longer, The Economist is going the way of Newsweek and Time, although I still subscribe. The Daily Mail has succumbed to anti-Trump madness, and even Bret Baier is reporting really stupid leaks as news and regurgitating anti-Trump nonsense. I do not need them to tell me what Trump said about Charlottesville when I heard him reiterate exactly what the police spokeswoman said.
Local news is still worth watching.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to puhiawa. | August 25, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    “Local news is still worth watching.”

    Not in Michigan, which is large part dominated by Mlive. Mlive is tenth rate, pushing their biases all the time, including through deleting comments not in line with their agenda, selectively so as to make it appear the public supports their slant on things.

    One of their tactics is to show people’s’ comments only in the page downloaded to them, but were others do not see those comments. Pretty sneaky.

    Many Michigan cities are run by corrupt and incompetent politicians, many of which are black, drunks, hocking city property at pawn shops, and so on.

    Flint has a long history of running cons, frequently with support by county government, to get people outside the city to pay their way, with Mlive actively supporting them.

    Over the past several years they have been running the grandest con ever, getting state residents to pay for water infrastructure which Flint collected service to maintain, and then squandered those fees on everything except the water system.

    I retired a few years ago, and am now preparing to move out of Michigan.

To be fair, the legacy press in the US is far to the Left of the Soviet Union.

The Soviets believed that the profits of capitalism should be forcibly taken from entrepreneurs and redistributed to workers. So, they “nationalized” all industry, and there were no more entrepreneurs.

Democrats, currently led by CNN, MSNBC and the rest, believe that ever increasing percentages of workers pay should be forcibly taken from them and redistributed to people that don’t work at all – in exchange for their votes. So, fewer and fewer people are bothering to work at all.

In the 30 minutes after the election was called the press decided that they would take Trump down and they’ve been in full-on assault mode ever since.

Leftist media threw down the gauntlet fully expecting Trump, like all good republican elites, to dutifully pick it up and beat himself with it. He decided to do otherwise.

The blame is on the side of the press, not with Trump.

Upset with the media has been building over the years but I
think one of the major things that President Trump will be remembered for is how he single handily put the media on notice that their biased/partisan way would not be accepted anymore. The media was put on notice. CNN has been so diminished because of their piss poor so called reporting.
President Trump had the *alls to take all of the media on and doing so has changed the way we all look at them.

    Ragspierre in reply to Common Sense. | August 25, 2017 at 8:34 am

    Really? You’re WAY late to the ball in that case.

    I’ve been aware of the Mushroom Media’s bias for some decades. It didn’t take any T-rump to effect that.

      kenoshamarge in reply to Ragspierre. | August 25, 2017 at 9:46 am

      Most of us have been aware of the bias for a very long time. What we see different in Trump, and I am certainly no fan, is a willingness to call them out instead of cowering as most Republicans do.

      Does he go too far sometimes? Absolutely. Is he inaccurate frequently? You bet.

      But even I, as a former #NeverTrump like seeing the media skewered.

      Because of Trump even Jake Tapper, he who was supposed to be one of the few “real” journalists, has been outed. I confess I like that.

      I still don’t “like” Trump though and just wish he would tone it down.

Are we excluding FNC from any blame?

While media bias has been a factor for decades, most of it at least tried to maintain an appearance of objectivity. This past election, however, revealed the truth, when the media took off the mask and went full liberal/anti-Trump. As a result, their credibility has finally disappeared, except among the hard-core left.

No surprise to me; I quit paying much attention to the media years ago.

I’m sure some of you have been in an event that you knew personally from being there what actually happened. And then you have read the msm write-up of that event and the two don’t seem to have anything in common. This has happened to me on several occasions. Once in Vietnam in 1965, we read that there was no weapon shortage and that everything was fine. Except that we were told to not drop bombs or shoot rockets unless it was in actual defense of troops on the ground BECAUSE we were running low on ammo. Then after an Eastern Airlines DC 9 made a crash landing in the 70’s the infamous Miami Herald showed a picture of the crashed DC 9 and under the picture claimed: “Crash so severe that it tore the engines from the wings”! A DC 9’s engines are on the tail and they were both visible in the photo. After those two episodes, I never believed anything I read in the news paper again. The most valuable thing a person owns is his/her word. Once it is lost it is almost impossible to get it back. The msm has made no effort to regain the trust of the public and I am afraid their respect is gone for good.

    Walker Evans in reply to inspectorudy. | August 29, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    “I’m sure some of you have been in an event that you knew personally from being there what actually happened. And then you have read the msm write-up of that event and the two don’t seem to have anything in common. This has happened to me on several occasions.”

    Same here. On one occasion I was ‘quoted’ in print and that ‘quote’ bore no resemblance whatsoever to my words. There was an audio recording available which proved what I actually said was the exact opposite of the spurious quotation but the damage was done; the original appeared on page one, beneath the fold, while the correction the next day was a single column-inch at the bottom of page 5! Even my friends, who were looking for a retraction/correction/apology, never saw it back there. BTW, the correction did not include an apology of any kind.

    [This took place in 1967, showing this is not a new phenomenon.]

Alan McIntire | August 25, 2017 at 5:07 pm

This article is right on. I did vote for Donald Trump in the presidential election, but my main reason was that I actively disliked Hillary Clinton more. I feared that Donald Trump would be a Democrat wolf in Republican sheep clothing. So far, I’ve been pleased, and pleasantly surprised, with his selection of Supreme Court judge, his dropping out of the worthless Paris Accords, and the drastic drop in issued government regulations.

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