There has been a lot of talk in media circles lately about President Donald Trump’s comments about the mainstream media. To put it mildly, he ripped them a new asshole. As a result, the media have responded by saying journalism is being threatened.
Yeah. As someone who has studied journalism for decades, I call bullshit. Donald Trump isn’t a threat to journalism; so-called journalists have been.
At one time, journalists could be counted on to report the facts without personal biases. Now, the journalism profession is filled with political hacks advocating for a cause or an ideology with little regard for facts. They may not know or want to admit it, but there is a reason Trump called out “fake news” so many times during the campaign. And I’ll give you media types a hint.
It’s because you’ve engaged in pushing false narratives, knowingly or unknowingly.
For the past 8 years, you were more concerned about kissing up to Barack Obama than you were pursuing a litany of stories that could have and should have been reported. And I’m not just talking about high profile ones like Benghazi or Fast and Furious, either. I’m talking about the little deeds that deserved attention, like the illegal firing of an Inspector General without Congressional consultation, let alone approval. Don’t remember that? Let me tell you who does: former Inspector General Gerald Walpin, the guy Obama fired.
The IRS targeting conservative groups? Another story that you guys missed and/or misreported.
The targeting of James Rosen and Sharyl Attiksson, two people in your profession? Ignored.
The sexual assault of Lara Logan, another colleague of yours, by radical Muslim males? Little to no reporting done.
But you’ll devote column inches and airtime to investigating Sarah Palin’s daughter’s ex-fiance’s cousin’s uncle’s college roommate’s pet groomer’s neighbor’s lawn care guy just to dig up a little dirt?
With journalistic standards based solely on ideological grounds, the heart and soul of the profession have been ripped out, stomped on, pissed on, burnt, pissed on again, and used for compost. And that’s if the profession is into organic farming.
Journalists have the power to shape opinion with how stories are presented. A turn of a phrase, the use of a particular descriptor, how people are presented, all of these and other tricks of the trade can turn a renowned professor of history into a woman-hating monster who would rape a woman at the drop of a hat. And believe me, it’s happened.
But to blame Donald Trump for the well-deserved assault on journalists is disingenuous at best, delusional at worst. The journalism profession is dying the death of a thousand paper cuts, and the journalists worrying about the way Trump is treating them still aren’t getting how they are responsible. Trump may be an easy target for their ire, but a little self-reflection is long overdue for them to see why they’re less trusted than a used car salesman working straight commission.