The Digressor

Politics, Culture, Life, and Unusual Takes

Why can’t most main stream media outlets give the guy a break?  I wish I knew but I don’t.  I am left to guess just like everyone else.  However, they do telegraph some of their disdain.  I just can’t quite get the entire story of it.

Let me start with the question: why is the media so aggressive towards Trump and why are they so invested in his downfall?  I hope a book is written about this (I know some have been written already) later, after his term is done, but the media is crossing into relatively new territory here.  Its not new for the media to crazy about issues.  We can go all the way back to at least the Dreyfus Affair in France in the late 19th century where we see Emile Zola printing the words “J’accuse!” and helping fan the media hysteria over the spying of a Jewish military man, Alfred Dreyfus.  Even the media helped end the Civil War, as it posted more pictures from the battles, showing the gruesome truth of war rather than the idealized nature it had seen prior.  Also, in our own country, we saw the rise Yellow Journalism and the Muckrakers.

In that sense, what is going on is not new: the media has long adored scandal.  The media has been used to propagandize for a long, long time.  However, something now feels different, though I want to be careful that I don’t fall victim to a generation now thing, where everything seems worse in our own eyes.  No, I still think something is different.  I am 41 years old, hardly old to some, but old enough to get a feel for generations of older journalism.

Prior to these last few years, really, I’d say since the mid Aughts, since Bush II was president, have we seen such thunderous politicking not from our politicians, but from the media itself.  And that is the difference, I think: the media has gone from reporting scandalous and even targeted attacks on people to actually advocating.  Reporting is secondary to spinning.

And this spin, as it goes to mainstream media, is almost universally liberal.  And by mainstream media, I mean the three major networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC.  Fox News and CNN are different beasts based in cable, but the three networks everyone has who has a TV are growing ever more partisan.

And they do  not support Trump, let alone conservative causes.  But why?  Why is conservatism, let alone Trump, such a threat?  I think the answer is that simply, reporters are biased.  They have come to believe the journalism is not about getting facts to the populace, but about getting truth to them.  Of course, the truth to them is based in liberal and progressive policy and worldview.  Therefore, anything that goes against that is not the truth and therefore should not be reported.  Journalism, then, has become a career for those who wish not to report but to influence.  (Think of the Parkland HS journalism student who said that they are being taught to be advocates for a cause rather than report facts.)

Donald Trump, for his part, used to be a media darling.  Then he dared run as a Republican.  And as he ran, he ripped the media apart in criticism.  I often think he goes too far, but he has some fair points in his critiques.  But the media cannot see him fairly, because they have become defensive, and because they know he is telling falsehoods because he does not conform to their truth.

It then is not at all surprising the media loathes Trump.  However, I sill don’t get it all.  He is explosive in many ways, but his policies are not shocking.  I can think of many more who are far more to the right of Donald Trump.  Additionally, I would hope that more of them could set aside their pride and simply report not pontificate.  Its like an obsession to them, an addiction.

That is what I cannot understand: why their vitriol to him is so aggressive, so pervasive, so constant.  In prior generations, even when Clinton was being impeached, we did not have this constant barrage of attack to one person.  I find it off-putting, and embarrassing.  I often ask in real conversation, “Where have all the grown ups gone?”.

I believe they have sailed away, hopefully someday to return, but they have left us with a bunch of children ruling us and telling us what we should think.  No one respects anyone else any more, and its all a game.

Indeed, where have all the grown ups gone?  If someone knows, please bring them back.

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Where have All the Grown Ups Gone: Donald Trump and The Media Today

  1. BrianR says:

    LOL!

    Bro, you’re apparently too young to remember the Reagan Era. Believe me, the MSM was just as insane then as now. They HATED him with a passion.

    There was a joke that went around back then that seems perfectly a propos again today. It goes like this:

    If the MSM was around back in Jesus’s time and reported on Him the same way they do on Reagan (now Trump), the day after he walked on water the headline would have been: “JESUS CAN’T SWIM!”

    Ever since Watergate the MSM has been rabidly leftist, and the goal of reporters has been to be the new Woodward and Bernstein, bringing a Republican president to ruin. They have wet dreams about it.

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    1. MJP7200 says:

      Ha. Maybe. In 1990, I was 14 and too busy playing sports to have paid too much attention for that of a 14 year old, but my first political memory was watching Reagan’s 2nd convention. That’s what got me hooked into this stuff. But just the same, I did not pay attention to the news every night, but I did read the paper (at least glance through it, mostly focusing on the sports section– from St. Louis, and gotta love the Cards [Nernie Miklasz was/is great] and Blues, but glancing at the rest, at the very least). Therefore, my memory is not completely void, and while they may have hated Reagan, and I do remember much fighting about Star Wars, Evil Empire, Iran Contra, etc (including attacks on Nancy), two things stand out from what I recall:

      1) The media was not full out 24/7 talking about him and his staff.
      2) There was a still a degree of professional courtesy and respect that came from the journalist who did not cross certain lines.

      So, they talked about other things and they did not blatantly call him scum or Nazi, or anything like that. No one personally attacked him with regularity. Some pundits might have, but the reporters and leads generally did not.

      Of course, I am open to admitting my memory is some glorified and nostalgic version of the 1980’s (which is why I am saddened to see the Goldbergs end soon), but when I look at today, the coverage is 24/7 and the attacks from supposed reporters (or maybe, there are just a lot more pundits) are insane.

      I do agree about Watergate, but treatment of Trump is worse than treatment of W, which was Worse than Sr., which was worse than Reagan. Which is to say, its getting worse…

      As always, Brian, thanks for stopping in! I have always appreciated your insight. When’s another post coming at theviewfromtheisland.com?

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      1. BrianR says:

        BTW, in answer to your question, my next column is written and loaded. I’m just waiting for my newspaper to publish it and then I’ll publish it on the blog. Should be today or tomorrow.

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      2. MJP7200 says:

        Great! Look forward to it!

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  2. BrianR says:

    1990? Bro, Reagan was elected in 1980, not 1990. If you’re 41 now, as you said in your column, then you were 3 when he was elected.

    Really, the only reasons things may seem different to you, IMO, is that the internet hadn’t been invented yet so we didn’t have a 24/7 news cycle, and standards of civility were higher then. But trust me, FOR THE TIME they were insanely and rabidly against him, and attacking him constantly, as well as attacking Nancy.

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    1. MJP7200 says:

      I know. 14 in 1990 was context. In 88 I was 12. In 80, 4. Ok, born in September, but still.

      And you may be right. As I said, I can only discuss my memory and its comparison with now. Maybe it is the constant news that is the issue.

      But can you say anything has gotten better?

      Like

  3. BrianR says:

    Better? Hell no. Did it come across that way?

    Back in the Reagan days, I wasn’t yet convinced that we’re immersed in a civil war. I am now.

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    1. MJP7200 says:

      I am only trying to make the point that the it has gotten worse. Things probably have never been rosy all around, but it is not getting better. Norms once held sacred are no longer held. Lines are being crossed that were not crossed before.

      And yes, we are at least very near a Civil War.

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