A “constitutional lawyer” applauds Twitter for censoring President Donald Trump and dominant media outlets for labeling him a liar in their ostensibly objective reporting. A journalist describes how she attempted to take a neutral approach in her new book on Trump White House senior policy adviser Stephen Miller. The title? Hatemonger.
We are now more than 40 months into a Trump administration, and establishment drones still cannot grasp the fatal flaw in their Trump Derangement Syndrome. Torching your professional credibility does not hurt this man, it only burnishes the pugnacious-outsider credentials that propelled him into office in the first place.
Kate Shaw, a professor at Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law in New York, is married to leftist MSNBC host Chris Hayes. Shaw is also co-director of the Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy. Entirely in keeping with logic-challenged progressives today, Shaw has some strange notions of how a constitutional democracy is meant to function. Apparently, it is a form of governance in which the holder of the highest elected office in the land is not allowed to communicate in an unfiltered fashion with the nation’s citizenry.
‘Rein in the Speech’ of a Sitting President
In an Aug. 2 article in The Atlantic, Shaw bluntly asked: “Can anything be done to rein in the speech of a president unmoored from reality and unmoved by decency?” So she called on powerful U.S. establishment media channels to prevent a president she does not approve of from being heard by her fellow Americans.
“The answer is yes,” Shaw wrote, “and it hinges on understanding both the nature of presidential speech, and that speech’s dependence on a variety of mechanisms for actually reaching the public.” Shaw wants the “bully pulpit” inherently granted to a president by high office to be taken away from Trump. Overt media opposition, she declared, is the fundamental way to accomplish this goal:
“And in fact, when a president’s speech becomes sufficiently dangerous and destructive, intermediaries and other institutional players can choose not to assist in amplifying it — and can even engage in counter-speech of their own. Over the past few months, as President Trump’s rhetoric has appeared more and more to threaten discrete groups and basic rule-of-law values, intermediaries and other individuals have begun to respond in new ways. Twitter has started labeling presidential tweets it deems sufficiently false or inciting. News networks are choosing not to broadcast the president’s coronavirus briefings live. And the print media have begun to move beyond euphemism in describing the president’s lies.”
‘Neutrality Can Be Misleading’
Shaw is hardly operating in a vacuum. Affording objectivity to Trump is apparently considered collaboration with evil in media and academic circles today. A particularly telling example can be found with KPBS reporter Jean Guerrero. The former Wall Street Journal staffer discussed her new book about Miller in an interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune. “I wanted to be as reportorial as possible and keep away from my thoughts and emotions,” she told the newspaper.
“Stick to the facts and what people told me. Report what he was doing and what he was saying. And try to connect the dots between his rhetoric and his actions and his motivating influences.”
The Union-Tribune disclosed, “But she also concluded that neutrality can be misleading.” The newspaper seemed to be explaining why in this day and age a news reporter cannot be objective. “In some cases,” Guerrero asserted, “our reluctance as journalists to use the true words to describe the powerful has done harm and allowed White supremacy to flourish.”
The full title of Guerrero’s “reportorial” tome is Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, and the White Nationalist Agenda. “She wanted initially to call it Fearmonger,” the paper reported. “But fear is about vulnerability, and hate is about superiority and entitlement. It makes you want to harm other people,” Guerrero said. Not sticking to the facts anymore, are we?
“She and the publisher decided Hatemonger is a better description of who Miller is and what he does,” The Union-Tribune divulged. Have we abandoned all semblance of credibility?
Shaw, Guerrero, and countless others like them in the halls of academia and tottering newsrooms of the big-box press fail to see that by discarding all sense of basic professionalism due to Trump loathing they weaken the very weapon that could hurt him. By forfeiting respectability and authenticity, they dilute their ability to call out a sitting president in an effective and meaningful manner. Four-plus years of nonstop Trump-bashing has mostly resulted in continual reputational self-immolations.
A naturally combative unorthodox political outsider with sharp instincts is being attacked in a flagrantly unfair manner by those embedded in the ruling class’s power toolbox. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving. Make no mistake. Trump knows exactly how to use it to his advantage as Election Day 2020 nears.
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