President Trump, no stranger to massive press coverage, generated even more column-inches of ink when he called the media "the enemy of the American people."
It's unarguable that our liberal media have strong views, in that they are vehemently in favor of certain policies and individuals and adamantly opposed to others. Anyone who's routinely trashed by the media, as Trump has been of late and conservatives have been for decades, could easily feel that the media has become their enemy.
While it may be interesting to explore who's on the media
"enemies list," it's even more compelling to consider how some have
popped on and off it repeatedly.
Mr. Trump has been a nationally famous figure for at least half a century, longer than most practicing journalists have been alive, and our media have had a love-hate relationship with him for all of that time. Rather than review his entire history, though, we can see the whirlpool of coverage in microcosm over the course of his recent campaign.
When Mr. Trump first descended his golden escalator and commenced running for the Republican nomination, the media reported pretty much anything he said, no matter how outrageous or improbable the reporters thought his remarks were. His Republican rivals and nearly all the pundits and political consultants kept waiting for him to self-destruct, but somehow he never did.
Some liberal conspiratory theorists believe that the media gave him billions of dollars worth of free publicity because they thought he'd be the easiest Republican for Hillary to beat, but the truth is far simpler. Early in 2016, Les Moonves, the chief executive officer of CBS, said of the Trump campaign, "It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS."
Our media reported what Mr. Trump said because they knew it was an effective way to sell newspapers, eyeballs, ears, fake news, real news, or anything else Trump. All media audiences wanted to know what he had said, and the media, being (supposedly) profit-making businesses, eagerly sold it to them. Apparently the implications of so many citizens having such a keen interest in The Donald never sunk into the media's small brains - and they still haven't, even after his victory in the election.
For the media, the worm turned the instant The Donald won the nomination. The mainstream media, aghast at what they thought they'd wrought, went all-in for Hillary without regard to any remaining shreds of journalistic ethics or respectability.
On August 2, 2016, the LA Times observed, "To fight Trump, journalists have dispensed with objectivity." Their Eastern counterparts at the New York Times explained:
If you're a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation's worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him? ...
... Journalism shouldn't measure itself against any one campaign's definition of fairness. It is journalism's job to be true to the readers and viewers, and true to the facts, in a way that will stand up to history's judgment. To do anything less would be untenable.
The Times misquoted Mr. Trump and slanted their coverage so often that after the election they took out a full-page ad saying that now that he'd won, they planned to return to their former standard of objectivity. Mr. Trump pithily tweeted the obvious rejoinder:
When "honorable and decent men" like McCain and Romney "are reflexively dubbed racists simply for opposing Democratic policies, the result is a G.O.P. electorate that doesn't listen to admonitions when the genuine article is in their midst. [emphasis added]
Every modern Republican President including Ronald Reagan has been compared to Hitler and accused of racism, as have all Republican candidates for President including those who are black. That's why it can be said, "Yes, calling Romney a racist was crying wolf. But you are still crying wolf."
The past half-century has proven beyond all doubt that the media are the enemy of all things Republican and we now know that most Americans understand this. Is it any wonder that Trump supporters are ignoring them? What's more, recent polls suggest that independents trust Mr. Trump more than they trust the media by a 2-to-1 margin.
For reasons we find incomprehensible, our media are total supporters of open borders. When non-American immigrants come in, the media want them to receive free housing, free medical care, free schooling, and free everything else. They've forgotten Milton Friedman's famous axiom, "You can have either immigration or a welfare state. You cannot have both."
The more Mr. Trump speaks or takes steps to "build the wall," the more the
ridicule the project, bringing up irrelevant issues of environmental
eminent domain, and other fatuous reasons not to do it. They
owners whose property abuts the border are sick of illegals
trespassing and might even donate
enough land for the wall. Not only would donating land
towards a valid public purpose net them a nice tax
deduction, they'd make a profit on the increased value of their much
safer remaining property - but, of course, nobody has bothered to make
this somewhat obvious point. You read it here first!
The media are so used to Republicans caving in to Democratic fulmination about protecting the environment that they forget that laws that require environmental impact statements can be changed or suspended due to national emergency. Although pet liberal judges will doubtless attempt to quash this kind of end-run, the Great Wall of Trump is highly likely to move forward unimpeded once the Supreme Court is back at full strength.
In any case, the media seem to feel that "America first" and restricting immigration are, on their own merits, evil attacks on their globalist ambitions. In doing so, they declare themselves the enemies of Americans who believe that American culture and achievements are worth preserving. They're even the declared enemies of Americans who'd prefer that their relatives not be gunned down in the street by illegals, as witness their reactions to several of President Trump's invited guests at his recent address.
When Mr. Trump held a freewheeling press conference and excluded the New York Times because they kept misquoting him, the media went over the top.
No single tweet summed it up better than Chuck Todd's. The host of NBC's "Meet the Press" admonished the president by tweeting a civics lesson: "This is not a laughing matter. I'm sorry, delegitimizing the press is un-American."
The fulminating media mandarins claimed that being selective about who could attend his press conference was unconstitutional, which is a real hoot coming from the same media who wanted Hillary to appoint Supreme Court justices who'd restrict freedom of speech and who were OK with Mr. Obama's "Justice" Department wholesale tapping reporters' phone lines.
"I've been in Florida all week," Mr. Morgan tweeted the day of the presser. "They love Trump here & especially love him whacking the media. Liberal crowd just don't get that at all."
Our media are the enemies of anyone who believes that Americans ought to be free to state their opinions no matter how deplorable our elites believe them to be.
There is one ray of sunshine for liberals - CNBC reports that the New York Times gained 132,000 paid subscriptions since Mr. Trump won the election, which is a faster rate of growth than they've enjoyed in any recent period. Nobody knows whether these subscribers will stick after the excitement dies down, but judging from what happened during the campaign, people continue to want to read about Mr. Trump.
Just as Mr. Obama was the best gun salesman of all time, Mr. Trump may turn out to be the best Times salesperson ever as it scoops up a larger market share of our shrinking leftist pie. The question is, will he also turn out to be an equally-effective salesman of anti-media contempt, now that the naked contempt of the mainstream media for traditional America is fully out in the open?
Over the past five years, the editors have been secretly working on a book that summarizes the fundamental viewpoints of Scragged.