If you want to know why the media is losing the war against President Trump, don’t look to The Guardian. Journalist Thomas Frank recently wrote a piece for the news site entitled “The media’s war on Trump is destined to fail. Why can’t it see that?’ While this statement is correct, his reasons for media is losing their war on the Trump administration show that the left is missing the point. Mr. Frank writes:
They correct and denounce; they cluck and deride and Trump seems to bask in it. He reflects this incredible outpouring of disapprobation right back at the press itself. The old “liberal bias” critique, a minor deity in the pantheon of Republican paranoia since the days of Trump’s hero Richard Nixon, has been elevated to first place. Trump and company now use it to explain everything. And the news media’s reputation sinks lower and lower as they advance into their golden age.
The fact that he refers to leftist media bias as “a minor deity in the pantheon of Republican paranoia” shows that he does not understand those who are not on the left. Media bias has never been a minor issue for conservatives – we have criticized the establishment media for their biased reporting for decades. Now, the only difference is that we have a president who is not afraid to call the media out for their unfair — and often false — reporting. By using their platform to promote a leftist point of view, the fourth estate has all but massacred their credibility.
In April, Morning Consult published the results of a poll that revealed that Americans trusted the White House more than the news media. As a matter of fact, the poll also indicated that Americans felt the national political media was “out of touch with everyday Americans.” Of course, the reason Americans do not trust the media is that of its blatantly biased reporting. People can easily see that the establishment media is more concerned with pushing a leftist agenda than with providing information.
Mr. Frank also writes: “How can our opinion-leaders believe something so unanimously, so emphatically, and yet have so little success persuading their erstwhile opinion-followers to get in line?” It is interesting to note that he answers his own question. Americans do not believe that the establishment media is supposed to function as “opinion leaders.” We are not the “opinion followers” of the journalists that give us the news. The fact that so many journalists act as if they exist to tell us what to think is why Americans do not trust them. By behaving in this fashion, they defeat themselves. Americans want to hear the news, not propaganda.
Mr. Frank further states:
But there’s also a second reason, one that is even more fundamental. The truth is that the unanimous anti-Trumpness of the respectable press is just one facet of a larger homogeneity. As it happens, the surviving press in this country is unanimous about all sorts of things.
This statement is about 10% correct — most of the establishment media functions in a bubble of homogeneity. They interact primarily with people who believe what they believe. Intellectual diversity appears to be rare in the circles in which the members of the establishment media run. Thomas Frank makes this point repeatedly throughout his article. Like many Americans, journalists live in a sort of echo chamber — everyone parrots the same ideas. In this case, their belief is that the Trump administration is evil and must be destroyed, and their biased reporting reflects this view.
In the end, Frank concludes that the reason the fourth estate is losing their war against Trump is that they all live in a world of the “exalted and privileged class.” Simply put, they are part of an elite group where everyone looks, talks, and acts in the same way. This is partially correct, but the issue isn’t their elitism; the issue is the way this elitism plays out in their reporting. Moreover, the American people can easily see that the establishment media is willing to publish slanted — and sometimes outright false — news stories to shape the way we think.
Ironically enough, the reason the media is losing the war against Trump is that they are waging war against Trump. The fourth estate’s job is to inform the American public on the issues of the day — not push a political agenda. The best way for the media to regain their credibility is to do one of two things: admit that they’re biased, or start reporting the news without an agenda and let people make up their minds about the issues. Unfortunately for the left, it seems the news media has not learned their lesson. Thomas Frank says it best, “Everything they do, they do as a herd – even when it’s running headlong over a cliff.”