The media suffer the lowest approval numbers in nearly a half-century. In a recent Emerson College poll, 49 percent of American voters termed the Trump administration “truthful”; yet only 39 percent believed the same about the news media. Every president needs media audit. The role of journalists in a free society is to act as disinterested censors of government power—neither going on witch-hunts against political opponents nor deifying ideological fellow-travelers.Share
Sadly, the contemporary mainstream media—the major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN), the traditional blue-chip newspapers (Washington Post, New York Times), and the public affiliates (NPR, PBS)—have lost credibility. They are no more reliable critics of President Trump’s excesses than they were believable cheerleaders for Barack Obama’s policies. Trump may have a habit of exaggeration and gratuitous feuding that could cause problems with his presidency. But we would never quite know that from the media. In just his first month in office, reporters have already peddled dozens of fake news stories designed to discredit the President—to such a degree that little they now write or say can be taken at face value.
No, Trump did not have any plans to invade Mexico, as Buzzfeed and the Associated Press alleged.
No, Trump’s father did not run for Mayor of New York by peddling racist television ads, as reported by Sidney Blumenthal.
No, there were not mass resignations at the State Department in protest of its new leaders, as was reported by the Washington Post.
No, Trump’s attorney did not cut a deal with the Russians in Prague. Nor did Trump indulge in sexual escapades in Moscow. Buzzfeed again peddled those fake news stories.
No, a supposedly racist Trump did not remove the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. from the White House, as a Time Magazine reporter claimed.
No, election results in three states were not altered by hackers or computer criminals to give Trump the election, as implied by New York Magazine.
No, Michael Flynn did not tweet that he was a scapegoat. That was a media fantasy endorsed by Nancy Pelosi.
In fact, Daniel Payne of the Federalist has compiled a lengthy list of sensational stories about Trump’s supposed buffooneries, mistakes, and crudities that all proved either outright lies or were gross exaggerations and distortions.
We would like to believe writers for the New York Times or Washington Post when they warn us about the new president’s overreach. But how can we do so when they have lost all credibility—either by colluding with the Obama presidency and the Hillary Clinton campaign, or by creating false narratives to ensure that Trump fails? (Read more.)