More than 300 newspapers joined the Big Cry in publishing self-righteous editorials to justify their ideological disposition and take yet another shot at The Donald: Trump is Bad. We are not “Enemies of The People.”
But after the foot-stomping tantrum, nothing much happened. Americans woke up Friday to the same great country — and the same awful media — as they did Thursday.
Globe Leads the Charge
The leader of the gang was The Boston Globe, the liberal media’s Mrs. Grundy, which opened with what logicians call the straw man: arguing against a point no one made:
A central pillar of President Trump’s politics is a sustained assault on the free press. Journalists are not classified as fellow Americans, but rather “the enemy of the people.” This relentless assault on the free press has dangerous consequences....
Replacing a free media with a state-run media has always been a first order of business for any corrupt regime taking over a country. Today in the United States we have a president who has created a mantra that members of the media who do not blatantly support the policies of the current US administration are the “enemy of the people.” This is one of the many lies that have been thrown out by this president, much like an old-time charlatan threw out “magic” dust or water on a hopeful crowd.
One might ask what the media would call the daily, relentless attack on this president if not a “sustained assault,” and why he should not fight back. But more importantly, the president has neither called for “replacing a free media with a state-run media” nor demanded that the media “blatantly support” his policies. Perhaps those are two small examples of “fake news” he decries.
Purple with rage ever since November 8, 2016 but carefully avoiding Trump’s name for some reason, The New York Times claimed that “in 2018, some of the most damaging attacks are coming from government officials,” without telling us what “damage” was done and by whom.
And another straw man:
These attacks on the press are particularly threatening to journalists in nations with a less secure rule of law and to smaller publications in the United States, already buffeted by the industry’s economic crisis. And yet the journalists at those papers continue to do the hard work of asking questions and telling the stories that you otherwise wouldn’t hear. Consider The San Luis Obispo Tribune, which wrote about the death of a jail inmate who was restrained for 46 hours. The account forced the county to change how it treats mentally ill prisoners.
What Trump has to do with a newspaper in San Luis Obispo we are not given to know, but again, neither Trump nor any of the “government officials” who supposedly “damage” the media have said journalists should refrain from pursuing pressing stories important to local voters and taxpayers, at least in the sense the Times suggests. And “government officials” have always preferred to operate in the dark. Long before Trump, they were hiding misdeeds and trying to stop reporters from finding out.
Commenters on these editorials weren’t fooled by the generic “government officials” locution; the Times meant Trump, and they knew it.
But anyway, speaking of the newspaper in San Luis Obispo, it explained that its reporters and columnists inspired local politicians to clean up a beach, an anonymous Good Samaritan to donate a kidney, and a coroner to change a wrongly decided cause of death.
“That’s not fake news from enemies of the people,” the newspaper opined. “That’s real news, and it’s coming to you from real journalists.”
Other newspapers talked about high-school football, zoning boards, and public schools, and what the coverage those newspapers provide means to a community.
Which misses the point of Thursday’s Two Minutes of Hate: to mount a full-throated attack against the president of the United States.
LA Times Declines
The Los Angeles Times declined to join the ranting mob. “This is not because we don’t believe that President Trump has been engaged in a cynical, demagogic and unfair assault on our industry,” the Times wrote.
Rather, concluded the paper:
The president himself already treats the media as a cabal — “enemies of the people,” he has called us, suggesting over and over that we’re in cahoots to do damage to the country. The idea of joining together to protest him seems almost to encourage that kind of conspiracy thinking by the president and his loyalists. Why give them ammunition to scream about “collusion”?
“The Boston Globe, which was sold to the Failing New York Times for 1.3 BILLION DOLLARS (plus 800 million dollars in losses & investment), or 2.1 BILLION DOLLARS, was then sold by the Times for 1 DOLLAR,” Trump wrote. “Now the Globe is in COLLUSION with other papers on free press. PROVE IT!” Trump continued,
There is nothing that I would want more for our Country than true FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. The fact is that the Press is FREE to write and say anything it wants, but much of what it says is FAKE NEWS, pushing a political agenda or just plain trying to hurt people. HONESTY WINS!
Which is precisely the point. Americans woke up Friday morning to the same fully-functioning, anti-Trump leftist media.
Photo: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons