Back in the day, many a kid heard their frustrated parents utter, “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.” It appears the grumpy guardian in America is President Trump, and he is making the media bawl like a newborn calf. He isn’t just hammering away at the radical lefties like MSNBC and CNN – truth be told, they seem to be self-destructing before our very eyes. No, Trump has even lobbed a grenade at Fox News, and every unmanageable media brat is scrambling for cover amidst declining ratings.
Ah, the days of Trump and the ever-present “fake” news cycles. It all began on election night 2016 as Hillary Clinton was projected – by every left-leaning media outlet – to break the glass ceiling with a powerful projectile. The faces of disbelief from those who had continually spun erroneous polling data, hammered Trump for rumored relations with Russia, and preened behind their news desks during the raucous campaign had middle America downright giddy with “I told ya so.”
But it’s been down-hill ever since the unprecedented win by the Silent Majority as respect and trust for the Fourth Estate is at an all-time low.
The Elusive Fact-based Objectivity
Cable news programs, major daily print publications, glossy magazines – all have seemingly forgot the lessons drilled into young minds in Journalism 101 – report the facts and verify sources for your information.
Reporting rumor and claiming that undisclosed sources inside the (insert whatever government agency or office here) is the new norm. It has perpetuated a whisper campaign designed to derail a sitting and duly elected president. Recently, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell had to choke back the bile after he was made to apologize on air after he ran with an “unverified rumor” beginning from a whisper campaign that linked Trump to Russia.
It’s not the first – nor will it be the last – time the media has decided the narrative and skewed the facts in circles to somehow mesh into a fit, and the bias is playing a much more dangerous role leaning into to the next presidential election.
Tobe Berkovitz is a Boston University professor who focusses his efforts on political communications. And he has a few choice observations to discuss:
“Political news is all-encompassing now, and everything is seen through a partisan lens. Some of these outlets that used to be seen as objective as possible, the august institutions of the past era that covered these stories relatively objectively in the classic sense, there’s been a sea change along with the increasing partisanship of voters that has brought us to the point we’re at now.”
Pick the Scab and Apply Ointment
Here is what happens when the progressive leftist media angers the electorate: Fox News celebrated the 212th consecutive month at the top of overall ratings, dominating all the other cable news competitors. CNN is hanging on by a thread, not even making the top 20 for a long stretch, and prompting the president to tweet out his pleasure at their discomfort. Of course he made it personal. “Such a sad and pathetic fall for @CNN and Jeff Z,” Trump peacocked, referring to CNN’s leader of the moment, Jeff Zucker.
Trump is not the only politician falling from grace with the so-called journalistic institutions. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is continually ranting and raving about the abuse of power from “corporate media.” He’s calling the perceived phenomenon the “Bernie blackout” – and alleges the billionaire owners and corporate executives are punishing him for his anti-establishment message.
Yes, the media is under scrutiny. Some would say the press is flat out under attack. As well it should be. Reporting, and not opining, is what the American voters need, though it is so rarely what they get. Or is the partisan divide exactly what the rebels have desired for decades?
The attacks on conservative policies and ideology – and the blatant and validated falsehoods spawned by cable news and “august institutions” – have sparked an insurgence of right leaning media outlets. As Liberty Nation’s Jeff Charles explained in his article, “Look Out Leftist Media: Conservative News is on the Rise”: “Conservatives are finally getting what they want: More outlets that represent their voices. It’s been a long time coming, and the progressive left is not happy.” And they have no one to blame but themselves.
Welcome to the legacy media in Trump’s era.