The lords of the press can dish it out, but when it comes to taking criticism, well, they have a major problem with that equation, don't they?
Over the Independence Day weekend, there were dozens of press displays lamenting President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Twitter's algorithm boosts right-leaning content, internal study finds Ohio Democrat calls Vance an 'ass----' over Baldwin tweet Matt Taibbi says Trump's rhetoric caused public perception of US intelligence services to shift MORE’s attacks on media people who he believes don't treat him fairly.
So why would he change his maverick style now?
On live TV during the campaign, Donald Trump told me I should see a psychiatrist because I was too “negative.” So what? I continued to cover him fairly and retained access, even though I criticized him when I felt it necessary. But I based my analysis on facts, did not cheap-shot him, and did not quote anonymous sources that made him look bad.
I was straight with Trump and, in return, he was straight with me.
Early in the campaign, I told candidate Trump on camera that the national press would eventually attack him in very personal ways. I don’t think he believed me because, at the time, he was getting an amazing amount of television news coverage due to the fact that his presence brought ratings. Back then, he and the CNN crew were almost buddies.
In fact, the coverage of Trump was so overwhelming, that some Republican candidates like Ohio Gov. John Kasich were almost ignored.
While ratings drove the “all Trump, all the time” TV exposure, there was also a wish fulfillment factor. Some leftist journalists wanted Trump to win the nomination, figuring Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonI voted for Trump in 2020 — he proved to be the ultimate RINO in 2021 Neera Tanden tapped as White House staff secretary Meghan McCain: 'SNL' parodies made me feel like 'laughing stock of the country' MORE would wipe him out in the general election, and the country would then keep the policies of the media-beloved Barack Obama in place.
When Donald Trump shocked the world, media bitterness quickly set in and the “resistance” began.
There are two levels to the hate-Trump media movement. First, the national press corps largely believes he is not qualified to run the country and his flamboyant personal style offends the media elite who consider him to be a vulgarian.
The second level is pure ideology. Under President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama pays tribute to Merkel Supreme Court agrees to review Texas's 6-week abortion ban Youngkin to launch bus tour on same day as Obama, McAuliffe event in Virginia MORE, the United States lurched left in a dramatic way. Political correctness became the order of the day, and conservative thinkers were branded racists and bigots simply for opposing liberal policies. The press encouraged that massive deception, and the demonization of selective conservative individuals became acceptable. Groups funded by people like George Soros have actually organized into propaganda hit squads using a sympathetic media to spread their vicious invective.
It soon became apparent to some Americans that the national media had stopped searching for truth, instead using their vast power to promote leftist thought and policy.
Once Donald Trump took office, that media strategy went into overdrive. The more MSNBC, for example, bashed the president, the higher its ratings climbed. Day after day, the liberal TV media spun anti-Trump conspiracy theories designed to portray him as a corrupt incompetent unfit to hold office. The Trump-hating segment of the public couldn’t get enough of that narrative.
Working in conjunction with Democratic Party interests, the national media has run wild with the destroy-Trump strategy and the president knows it. So, he’s striking back in ways designed to whip up his base. The war is on.
There are two more observations. There is intense pressure within media companies to conform to the anti-Trump movement. If you dare to wear a “Make America Great Again” hat and are employed at CNN or other liberal news agencies, your career will be over. There is zero tolerance for dissenting political opinions or balanced coverage in much of the national media these days.
Finally, the president obviously does not care about White House protocol in responding to those assaulting him verbally or in print. He is calculating that disparaging the media will actually help him retain power in the long run. He believes that folks are fed up with the press.
He may be right but his scorched earth “fake news” campaign runs the risk of getting tiresome. No one really cares about cable TV morning commentators or what they did on New Year’s Eve. Wasting time on that stuff does little to advance the country’s interests.
So, if Donald Trump really wants to gain a measure of retribution against those persecuting him, he should get into the fact business — an industry largely abandoned by his tormentors.
Tweet facts, Mr. President, not insults. Hammer your opposition with verifiable statements. Do that, and you may ultimately prevail against a press that often abuses its freedom — a media where seeking the truth is becoming obsolete.
That I can tell you.
Bill O’Reilly (@BillOReilly) is the former host of “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News and is the author of Old School: Life in the Sane Lane and Killing the Rising Sun. He now analyzes the news on BillOReilly.com.
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