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Liberals Need To Understand: The Media Thinks It's Doing A Great Job
The Iraq War, Hillary's emails, Trump -- They Don't See A Problem
A mistake that liberals often make is operating under the assumption that everybody is approaching an issue from the same mindset that they are. It isn’t the same creature as the fake news universe of conservatives in Congress and on Fox News, but nonetheless it is still sort of a bubble of thought, which has a way of reinforcing itself without reflecting the real world.
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I think this is one of the big problems when it comes to liberals and the mainstream media, and how the latter views how it has operated over the last 25 or so years.
Liberals tend to believe that the press understands it screwed up in giving an open platform to Donald Trump over the course of the 2016 presidential campaign and even on into his presidency. With this faulty assumption in mind, there is a sense of surprise when the press makes another misstep now — don’t they get that they screwed up before and have to be working to fix it?
But the mainstream press has made clear that not only does it not agree with the liberal assessment of its failures, the press actually believes it has done a great job.
Look no further than the New York Times, which is at the commanding heights of American journalism and sets the tone for how most of the rest of the media covers every topic, especially politics.
In transitioning from editor Dean Baquet to Joe Kahn, the paper trumpeted its investigative reporting on Trump and his finances. Similarly, when announcing its new national politics team, the Times hailed reporter Maggie Haberman and said it expected great new things from her in her new role as senior political correspondent.
Disappeared from these self-congratulatory missives is any real assessment of the role the paper played in aiding and abetting Trump. The Times didn’t discuss how it worked (along with the Washington Post) to elevate attacks on Hillary Clinton generated by Steve Bannon, nor did the paper ever seriously contend with its disproportionate coverage of Sec. Clinton’s emails or its gauzy and widely condemned profiles of white supremacists.
They think they did a great job.
It isn’t just the Times. This is a mindset shared throughout much of the mainstream press, and it isn’t just about the 2016 campaign.
They believe that, for instance, they overall did a good job covering the issue of weapons of mass destruction and Iraq, or the racist birther smears of President Obama, as well as their coverage of Donald Trump’s presidency. The press rarely said Trump was lying when he lied, ignored his bizarre ranting and raving — choosing instead to cover him as if he was a normal president, and continually gave a pass to his poor execution of basic presidential duties.
In their collective minds, not only did they do an awesome job, they also wrote great books — so many books — about it, including withholding information from their daily newspapers and broadcasts so they would have something juicy to share on the book tour.
Liberals need to do a far better job of critiquing the press. While we should always support a strong First Amendment and the freedom of speech, that does not mean the mainstream press should be allowed to do a terrible job without criticism.
The press has been asleep at the wheel for decades and it has given the right a glide path to embracing fascism. They need to be held accountable and we need to understand that they don’t think they’ve done anything wrong yet.