The media will do anything to bash Trump — and now they’re hurting, by Michael Goodwin.
In the sixth month of Donald Trump’s presidency, we are witnessing an unprecedented meltdown of much of the media. Standards have been tossed overboard in a frenzy to bring down the president.
Trump, like all presidents, deserves coverage that is skeptical and tough, but also fair. That’s not what he’s getting.
What started as bias against him has become a cancer that is consuming the best and brightest. In rough biblical justice, media attempts to destroy the president are boomeranging and leaving their reputations in tatters.
He accuses them of publishing fake news, and they respond with such blind hatred that they end up publishing fake news. That’ll show him.
CNN is at the leading edge:
CNN is suffering an especially bad case of Trump Derangement Syndrome, even trying to make a virtue of its hostility to the president. In doing so, executives conveniently confuse animus with professional skepticism, and cite growing audiences as proof of their good judgment.
The bottom line matters, and there is certainly an audience for hating Trump all the time. But facts and fairness separate major news organizations from any other business looking to make a buck, and a commitment to them creates credibility and public trust.
That’s how CNN sold itself for years — boring but trustworthy. Now it’s boring and untrustworthy.
The Russian story is nonsense:
Writing for The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald shows how reckless CNN, the Washington Post and others have been, and makes two key points.
First, that mistakes are “always in the direction of exaggerating the threat and/or inventing incriminating links between” Russia and Trump. Second, that all the false stories “involved evidence-free assertions from anonymous sources that these media outlets uncritically treated as fact.”
He’s right, and I would add another dimension: For all the focus on Russia, the media totally missed a key point. To wit, the Obama administration did nothing about Vladimir Putin’s attempt to interfere in the 2016 election even though the White House knew about it for months.
Of course, most media organizations spent eight years cheerleading everything Obama did, and it’s no secret that members of his administration, along with career Democrats, are the anonymous sources feeding the anti-Trump narrative.
Still, it is remarkable that, if it weren’t for the unproven allegations of Trump collusion, the media would have no interest in the Russia story at all. This despite the fact that leading officials, including both Democrats and Republicans, have called the interference an “act of war.”
But it’s a strange war — one that is important only to the extent Trump can be linked to it. Otherwise, who cares?