The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Donald Trump is a difficult guy to defend, and I won't try. He doesn't choose his words carefully, he often appears to be one question deep, he reacts to rather than ignores provocation from the peanut gallery, he gets himself in trouble—so called "self-inflicted wounds." But in fairness, he has raised political issues that need to be discussed; he has challenged conventional wisdom, and surprisingly, he has been shown to be right about his stated concerns of bad trade deals, unvetted immigration from the Middle East (think: the serious and growing problems facing a number of EU countries) and a number of other important political issues.

But that does not justify a concerted effort by the much of the media to destroy him—not just criticize, but destroy him as a candidate. Every word he utters is parsed in attempt to find the most negative interpretation. That interpretation then gets 24 hour coverage for days on end, until another negative interpretation can be found. Context is never provided, irony in comment is never considered. Literalism is the rule of the day. Every policy Trump proposes is twisted to demonstrate how it will hurt, not help, the country; every supporter is characterized as a no-nothing troglodyte. He has been compared to Hitler and Mussolini, called a racist and a bigot, and otherwise demonized in ways that are way, way over the top. In supposedly straight reporting by journalistic icons like the NYT, LAT, ABC, NBC, his positions and statements are regularly characterized "dangerous" or "insane." His mental health is brought into question. The media is, in a phrase, 'piling on.'

And to top it all, the "journalists" who cover him argue that this coverage is somehow justified. Their hatred of Trump (I think because he represents such a threat to their progressive, PC view of the world) is palpable.

Howard Kurtz comments:
... since the conventions, and fueled by his own missteps, Trump has been hit by a tsunami of negative coverage, all but swamping the reporting on Hillary Clinton. Liberal investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald recently told Slate that “the U.S. media is essentially 100 percent united, vehemently, against Trump, and preventing him from being elected president”—and, given his views, he has no problem with that.

Now comes Jim Rutenberg, in his first season as media columnist for the New York Times. He’s a good reporter and I give him credit for trying to openly grapple with this bizarre situation.

But Rutenberg is, in my view, trying to defend the indefensible:

“If you view a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional. That’s uncomfortable and uncharted territory for every mainstream, nonopinion journalist I’ve ever known, and by normal standards, untenable.”

Yet normal standards, says Rutenberg, may not apply.

By “closer to being oppositional,” he means openly siding against Trump and thereby helping Clinton. And that’s precisely the kind of thing that erodes our already damaged credibility. If a reporter believes Trump is a threat to America, he or she should go into the opinion business, or quit the media world and work against him. You can’t maintain the fig leaf of neutral reporting and favor one side.

Rutenberg acknowledges that “balance has been on vacation since Mr. Trump stepped onto his golden Trump Tower escalator last year to announce his candidacy."
Whether you like him or dislike him, Trump's job is to run against Hillary Clinton—no pillar of moral virtue herself. Yet, even after being a target of an FBI investigation; even after entire books have been written on the obvious corruption of the Clinton Foundation, even after the abject failure of her foreign policy as Secretary of State, even after reasonable and troubling questions about her health (think: John McCain (R) in 2004), even after she has gone 250+ days without a formal news conference, Clinton remains untouchable and unquestioned.

The media has now gone beyond simple bias and into a whole new area. It's not so much that they are advocates for the democrat world view—that's always been the case. It's that they now feel unconstrained in their effort to destroy a candidate and therefore 'rig' an election before any vote is cast.

I'm no fan of Donald trump, but his treatment by a vicious media is very, very troubling, particularly when that same media would have plenty of fodder for being equally vicious in its coverage of Hillary Clinton.

The main stream media has dishonored itself, and no amount of self-congratulatory moral justification will change that. Shame!