Every time I think the political left has hit bottom they break out a shovel. This week it was a jackhammer and a backhoe, and deeper they went.
It started with almost 350 newspapers banding together against President Trump to declare themselves to free and independent of groupthink and bias. Each of them declared themselves, in one form or another, to be champions of truth. If you missed it in your paper it was likely just under 1,000-word write-up of whatever the latest wild Omarosa claim was that day.
Lost in these self-serving exercises was the fact that President Trump doesn’t say that journalists are the “enemy of the people,” he says that “fake news” is. It says something about the subconscious of many in the media that they hear “fake news is the enemy of the people” and think they are talking about you. I’d imagine it’s like how a philandering person feels when someone casually mentions an affair in front of their spouse – it’s not really about them, but they know what they’ve done.
These newspapers do less investigating than a cat does with a dead bug, yet they view themselves as important arbiters of truth; as the arbiters of truth. But what truths are they hunting down?
The media have become conspiracy merchants. For all their attacks on Alex Jones, he can’t hold a candle to the Russia story they’ve been peddling since the election. The lack of proof hasn’t stopped or even slowed their repetition of rumors or the flow of false stories, which miraculously always flow in one direction – anti-Trump. Everything they’ve gotten wrong and or had to correct or retract has been narrative reinforcing.
That’s because these arbiters of truth are true believers. Not in the Russia story, but in the cause. When you want something to be true you allow your mind to fill in the blanks, to connect the dots. They want there to be an explanation of why Hillary Clinton lost that doesn’t involve an enough Americans in states with a majority of electoral votes simply choosing Trump over her; rejecting their ideas, their ideology. They need that to not be true.
To maintain that narrative they will believe anything, anyone, including Omarosa. She’s a testament to just how far someone can go telling people exactly what they want to hear.
Journalists are ready to believe her, just as they’re ready to believe any anonymous source offering what they desire. Journalism used to have standards that included the corroboration of at least two sources, especially anonymous ones, to run a story. Now a game of telephone with former government officials who’ve “heard” something from someone who is in a position to possibly know is enough to stop the presses.
It’s not the lowering of standards that bothers me so much, it’s the double standards. And it’s not just on Trump, it’s for anyone with an (R) after their name.
Ohio Congressman Jim Jordan is a solid conservative and is running for Speaker of the House next year. Once that idea began to be speculated about, accusations that Jordan knew about alleged molestation of wresters by the team doctor when he was an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State started popping up in the media. Some of the accusers had suspect pasts, but they weren’t questioned about them. And none said Jordan knew or they’d told him, it was more of “He had to know” accusation.
With only what would be laughed out of court, if it ever got in the door, CNN and MSNBC cannonballed into the deep end of this “scandal,” with some participants speculating the story could lead to Jordan’s resignation. Unequivocal denials and a complete lack of evidence didn’t hamper the reporting and punditry opining. The story eventually fell apart and one of the accusers recanted. No panels discussions were held to talk about the implications of his failed character assassination, it was treated as though it had never happened.
Juxtapose the treatment of Jordan with the treatment of Congressman Keith Ellison, the number two at the Democratic National Committee and a candidate for Attorney General of Minnesota.
Allegations against Ellison having committed domestic abuse against a former girlfriend had been known to “media outlets for more than a year,” according to a Washington Post reporter but “some outlets dug into the story, and didn't find enough to run with.” The allegations were not second-hand, they came directly from the accuser. Still, it wasn’t enough to bother reporting.
It wasn’t until the day before Ellison’s primary vote, which was Tuesday, that the story started getting some coverage. With early voting underway for some time and it really only getting national attention on the day of the vote, there was no way it could have impacted what was an easy win for Ellison. Suddenly, on Thursday, CBS finally interviewed the accuser and ran a story. A mostly fair story with a skepticism that hasn’t existed since the #MeToo movement started.
The way Jordan was treated by the media compared to how Ellison was is night and day. Second-hand “he had to have known” was newsworthy, first-hand accusations of a man laying his hands on a woman wasn’t. It wasn’t until the son of Ellison’s accuser posted something on Facebook claiming to have seen video evidence of abuse that the media decided they could no longer ignore it.
These are the same news outlets that ran their editorials decrying criticism of their profession.
When former CIA director John Brennan was stripped of his national security clearance, the partisan critic of the President went on MSNBC and penned a New York Times op-ed claiming Trump was trying to silence him. Showing no self-awareness or common sense, that nonsensical claim was parroted across the liberal media like those TV appearances and that op-ed hadn’t happened. If Brennan were silenced, him having a megaphone was a weird way to go about it.
When sixty – 6-0 – former CIA employees signed a letter criticizing the President’s decision on Brennan, it was portrayed as a massive move. Politico said, “The sheer number of retired senior intelligence officials and spies rebuking the president can be described like this: An avalanche.”
Now, I’m no expert on the CIA and how many employees the agency has had who are no longer employed there but still alive, but I’d guess it’s more than a few dozen; I’d put the number in the thousands. With that in mind, how does sixty constitute “an avalanche”?
It doesn’t, of course. The letter is a story, it is news, but just like the left always does, they spun it up because they want it to matter more than it does.
Yes, stripping the former CIA boss of his security clearance is “unprecedented,” as journalists are fond of saying, but so is a former CIA boss accusing the President of the United States of treason because he disagrees with his policy objectives. The first story is regularly reported as such, the latter never is.
Is that “standing up for truth,” or is that fake news?
It’s somewhere in the middle, though much closer to fake than truth. But not at all surprising coming from the media.
And that’s the problem – journalism has become an activist group with a collective mind. No one wants to be last when a story is negative about Republicans, and no one wants to be first when one is negative about Democrats. It doesn’t matter which ends up being true, when a story is out there it is out there, when it’s ignored it is not.
If journalists really want to take the sting out of Trump’s charge that fake news is the enemy of the people, perhaps they should stop engaging in it. If chants of “CNN sucks” really are keeping reporters up at night, maybe they should stop sucking. That’d be more likely to quell the critics than collective complaining and all the editorials in the world combined ever could.
PS: Once (yet) again, I want to ask you to consider picking up a copy of my book, “Outrage, INC: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science, Journalism, and Hollywood.” It explains the why and how of what the left does in ways that haven’t been before, and it does so with a lot of humor. Don’t take my word for it, take the words ofMark Levin,Ann Coulter,David Limbaugh,Dana Loesch,Dan Bongino,Michelle Malkin,Ben Shapiro,Kurt Schlichter, and countless others. Obviously, I have an interest in selling you a copy of the book, but they don’t. Yet they’ve all endorsed it. And, for reasons I don’t understand but am eternally grateful for, people are still buying it. You’ll love it, trust me. Thanks.