Trump’s first 100 days saw liberal media derangement reach new heights
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Sunday marked the first 100 days of President Trump’s term in office. And judging by the media’s coverage, journalists are still having a tough time coping. From threats to rude, belligerent coverage, the media hasn’t held back from making its disgust clear and dropping any pretense of objectivity.

“Nearing 100 days, Trump’s approval at record lows but his base is holding,” bleated the headline of a Sunday piece in the Washington Post. It was only in the second to last paragraph that the paper acknowledged a critical tidbit: By a margin of 43 to 40 percent, voters said they would still opt to support him over Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton5 things to know about Boris Johnson Trump says Omar will help him win Minnesota The Hill's Morning Report — Trump applauds two-year budget deal with 0 billion spending hike MORE.

 

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You’d think the piece would have run in the opinion section instead of as a news item. But when it comes to opinion, journalists have become even more unhinged.

 

“This is my nominee for first ISIS suicide bombing of a Trump property,” MSNBC contributor Malcolm Nance said in a tweet this month referencing one of Trump’s properties in Turkey. The since-deleted missive was reported by some in conservative media, but generally ignored by mainstream outlets—until they hurried to Nance’s defense.

Attributing reports to “various right wing web sites (including Newsbusters and Breitbart),” Snopes’ Bethania Palma could hardly contain herself in rushing to Nance’s aid, and insisting that the Islamic State in fact supported President Trump. “Counterterrorism experts have suggested that ISIS preferred Trump over his 2016 competitor Hillary Clinton,” Palma lectured.

After forgiving Nance for what she described as a “poorly-worded tweet,” Palma wrote, “We found no evidence to support the claim that Nance was advocating a terrorist strike on a Trump-licensed building.”

Imagine a Snopes article explaining away a Trump tweet as “poorly-worded” before explaining how it should have been written, and chiding his critics for failing to read it the same way.

Other news outlets have engaged in similar behavior. The Telegraph has a tracker for how many “sexist” comments Trump has made. The Washington Post has a tracker on Trump’s campaign promises, and a tracker for the number of “misleading claims” or “outright lies” Trump made in his first 100 days.

Imagine if the Post maintained the same tracker for President Obama. During his last days in office, the paper wrote just one article talking about the top campaign promises he kept.

The same treatment applies to members of Trump’s family, including Melania. Where the mainstream media praised Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama weighs in on Trump, 'Squad' feud: 'Not my America or your America. It's our America' Poll: Michelle Obama most admired woman in the world Former Michelle Obama aide calls for 'honest conversation' about immigration MORE as a strong, well-educated, independent woman, they’ve dissected the details of how Melania became a citizen, looked through her modeling history for racy photos, and investigated whether she had a college degree.

Rarely have they mentioned the fact that she speaks five languages fluently.

Of course the same goes for Trump’s son, Barron. While the media enforced the standard that Obama’s children were off-limits – remember calls in 2014 for a Republican operative to be fired over remarks she made about the way they dressed – some in the media and entertainment worlds have given up on that standard since Trump took office. Rosie O'Donnell described him as “autistic” while SNL writer Katie Rich said he would become the “first home school shooter.” 

Due to the media’s unhinged behavior as of late, you could almost forget that Trump is more popular than Obama was during the end of his term.

For Trump, of course, none of this is especially consequential. Even the Washington Post’s polling indicated he could beat Hillary Clinton by an even wider margin in an election held today. But at some point, we might question whether this is helpful for democracy. When “watchdogs in the media” are working overtime to support presidents of one party while unfairly (and sometimes dishonestly) maligning presidents who belong to another party, when does that begin to erode public trust in a way that harms the democratic process?

Sometime in between their insults and death threats, it’s a question the media might want to contemplate during Trump’s next 100 days.

Preya Samsundar (@PSamsundar) is a senior editor for Alpha News, a Minnesota-based news agency.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.