The media's real enemy? Themselves

The media's real enemy? Themselves
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With the most recent grandstanding by Jim Acosta at a White House briefing, the issue of fake news and those who push it being enemies of the people came to the forefront of the conversation again. Acosta, the liberal-activist-posing-as-objective-journalist wrapped in sanctimonious hypocrisy, demanded that Sarah Sanders say the press is the not the enemy of the people. Sanders, of course, refused to play Acosta’s game.

In this conversation about who is whose enemy, the media needs to understand who their worst enemy actually is: themselves. And while they decry how Trump is endangering them and antagonistic to them, they should be happy he’s not doing to them what other presidents have done, like passing sedition acts against journalists or having the CIA wiretap them. I know in an age of snowflakes, a few tweets can be very hurtful, but people need to have perspective

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Those who willingly and knowingly push false narratives in an attempt to undermine Trump should start looking at the polls. In 1976, Gallup’s poll regarding the trustworthiness of the mainstream media showed that 72 percent of the American people thought the media was either trustworthy or very trustworthy.

 

But the same Gallup poll in the fall of 2016 showed a 40 point drop in 40 years. Only 32 percent of the American people in September of 2016 thought the media was trustworthy or very trustworthy.

Now, in the summer of 2018, 72 percent of the American people think that the mainstream media intentionally pushes fake news. Many in the media want to point the finger at others for this plummet in trust with the American people, refusing to accept the very large role they’ve had in bringing this upon themselves.

This is what happens when the media are deeply dishonest, not only about what they report, but about who they are: they’re not objective journalists, but biased operatives of the Left pushing a specific narrative that might, or might not, have anything to do with the truth.

This reversal in trust isn’t the result of a single political candidate, a bad story, or even a few biased newspapers. It’s the result of a decades long decision by members of the media to routinely portray a huge portion of the country as backward, bigoted, and deplorable, insulting them while demanding they view the media as the fount of all wisdom and knowledge.

It is glaringly apparent that many in the media lack basic self-awareness: you can’t insult people and then demand they accept whatever you tell them. That’s not how the real world works, but this is what happens when you insulate themselves in the Acela corridor bubble.

Because the supposed wise men of the age refused to fully call out the mainstream media for what they’d become, the pretense has continued for decades. The media has lied to themselves, caught in self-validating echo chambers of their own making, convincing each other that they are indeed clothed in the finest of cloth, and that they are the most wise among all people, when in fact they have no clothes: many Americans see them for who they are.

What they clearly missed is that they’ve actually set sail from the shores of common sense into alternate reality world in which it’s perfectly acceptable to sleep with sources and use said sources to “break news,” or to act as the compliant and willing mouthpieces of the deep state and then hire deep state actors as though it were all perfectly normal.

At this point, they should just embrace it all and run with it. In the not too distant past, many newspapers openly promoted their biases. In the nineteenth century many newspapers were very clearly aligned with one party or the other, even naming their papers after their party. It’s time for the media to return to this standard.

Just come out and say it clearly, like “The New York Times, Democratic Paper of Note.” Or “The Washington Post, Mouthpiece of the Deep State.” They need to quit pretending they’re capable of objectivity; it would be refreshing to everyone, and they would find it deeply freeing if they would just come out of the pretend objectivity closet. No more pretenses, no more masquerading. It would actually win them respect from those of us on the right because then they would at least be honest about one thing: who they really are.


Ned Ryun is a former presidential writer for President George W. Bush and the founder and CEO of American Majority, which trains conservative political candidates and activists.