By Dave Andrusko
Depending on who’s counting (or has the time to do an exhaustive search), between 200 and 300 newspapers sharpened their already razor-sharp knives today to slice and dice President Trump.
As a near First Amendment absolutist, my response (for what it’s worth) is bully for them. From the New York Times to the Washington Post, from the Denver Post to the Houston Chronicle, they were, and will remain, free to lay their case out. (The Post was cutesy. They chose not to write an editorial of their own, but instead ran a vitriolic op-ed penned by President Ronald Reagan’s daughter!)
Collectively they solemnly tell their readers they are as innocent (of deliberate bias and calculated malice) as they are essential to a democracy. Any—any—complaint from President Trump that they routinely peddle “Fake News” or are an “enemy of the people” is just a cover for his authoritarian instincts and his insistence that all newspapers run everything he says and does up the flag and dutifully salute.
Here’s a thought. Does anyone not working for publications that loathe President Trump really believe the following. (It comes from a piece in the Washington Post today that offered an overview of the newspapers’ editorials.)
Washington Post Executive Editor Martin Baron, who has responded directly to Trump’s attacks, said the paper’s reporting on the president is not a result of hostility. Baron told the Code Media conference in California: “The way I view it is, we’re not at war with the administration; we’re at work. We’re doing our jobs.” Baron told interviewers that The Post would have approached a Hillary Clinton administration with the same aggressive reporting.
Let’s think about that.
There are days in which the WaPo’s op-ed page is almost entirely composed of attacks on President Trump. My guess is there is at least one anti-Trump editorial every other day. If you go online, there are even more anti-Trump stories plus links back to previous criticism.
I went to the WaPo webpage earlier this afternoon and learned that five of the six “most read opinions” were slash and burn attacks on Trump. Perhaps the most vicious, personal salvos come from a so-called “conservative.”
Newsbusters has documented that over 90% of the media coverage of Trump is negative. I’m guessing Baron would characterize that not as absurdly one-sided coverage but “aggressing reporting.”
One other thought. According to Baron, if it were a President Hillary Clinton instead of a President Donald Trump, Washington Post’s reporters, columnists, and editorial page writers would still be “doing our jobs.”
What alternative universe does this executive editor live in? If Hillary Clinton were President, you’d see the same slavishly servile coverage of the first woman President (who just happens to be a liberal, pro-abortion Democrat) as was lavished on the first African-American President (who just happened to be a liberal, pro-abortion Democrat).
Last month, Gallup broadcast a podcast which it headlined, “Biased? Inaccurate? Americans Rate Media From PBS to Fox.”
Here is the first sentence:
Americans overwhelmingly say the news media are biased, and many also say news media are inaccurate.
The news media earned this reputation which, try as hard as they might, they can’t blame on Donald Trump. Until they address why their approval numbers hover in the 30s, all the whining about Trump is just a diversionary tactic to avoid looking in the mirror.