A New York Times columnist has made a bit of a splash in the elites’ fetid swimming pool by proclaiming that his media brethren will not make the same mistakes with President Trump that they made in 2016. This open declaration of political bias is, of course, yet another major mistake, but these people are so far gone in their delusions that there is no point even trying to explain that simple fact to them.
…press is angry because their coverage of a major presidential candidate turned out to help him rather than harm him.
Frank Bruni wrote a defiant piece in which he vowed that the media won’t “let him set the terms of the 2020 presidential campaign.” We all know who “him” is. This sounds like the remark of a petulant child unhappy that he doesn’t get to run a playground game. But there is even more to be revealed by Bruni’s sour grapes than just a determination to spite a president. He is indeed displaying the foremost media trait that turns off so many Americans: The assumption that they get to set the agenda – that they get to decide what is and isn’t news. Instead of merely reporting as per their alleged job responsibilities, this elitist demands to be a player himself, and, it would seem, the starting quarterback.
Bruni is so warped by his own vitriol that he finds it offensive that major press outlets were forced to cover an Oval Office address to the nation given by a sitting president. “We had to weigh a request in line with precedent against a president out of line when it comes to truth,” he obtusely writes. “We had to wrestle with — and figure out when and how to resist — his talent for using us as vessels for propaganda.”
No, Mr. Bruni. You didn’t have to do any of these things. You could have chosen merely to accurately report what the president said and what his political opponents said in reply, and then let your readers decide for themselves what to make of it all. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
There is no doubt that a hate-filled big box media played right into Trump’s hands in 2016 and this is what galls them the most. A supposedly neutral, non-partisan press is angry because their coverage of a major presidential candidate turned out to help him rather than harm him.
But just as importantly, by portraying Trump as a media creation, the establishment that controls our major news organs can reinforce their own power, if only in their own minds, and wave away the populist nationalist uprising that propelled him into office. This is worse than just a misjudgment of what is actually going on in the grassroots America that these elites know absolutely nothing about. This is willful denial, the very symptom that destroyed establishment candidates on both side of the uniparty coin in 2016.
From Jeb Bush to Hillary Clinton and everywhere in between, our cartel politicians and their media allies first could not understand and then would not accept that a sea change was happening in their cozy little world. Bruni’s transparent signal that they are still choosing not to get in touch with the new reality four years later shows that these hopeless partisans with press credentials will be completely ineffective once again in their all-out assault on the president in 2020.
Do It All Again
Of course Bruni is not the only major media figure to get drunk on his own personal biases. Take the Columbia Journalism Review, which laughably anoints itself “the intellectual leader in the rapidly changing world of journalism.” This would-be paragon of proper journalism featured an article on its website offering “8 tips for covering the 2020 presidential race.”
Really now, is this good “intellectual” advice for journalists who have been totally discredited by flagrant partisanship to follow in covering the next presidential election?
“Deal with, and report on, the Donald Trump as he has shown himself over the last two years: the racist, the xenophobe, the sexist, the liar. … The race for the presidency isn’t a game of fantasy politics, where we can pretend people are who [sic] want them to be or need then [sic] to be. Trump is a man with a track record and a public record that should be addressed as they are.”
A media obsessed with over-the-top nonstop negative coverage of Donald Trump saw its shameful antics spectacularly backfire on them in 2016. Media figures are now vowing to learn from their mistakes in 2020. Their solution is to be even more outlandishly negative. There is a man sitting in a house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue grinning from ear to ear over all of this. Too bad for the media elites that, blinded by hatred, they simply can’t grasp how he got there.