In more than a decade reporting on various topics, I’ve never witnessed my peers in the media be so blatant and unabashed about their left-wing bias.
It’s almost like hating Donald Trump is a badge of honor — something that, if you say on social media or on the air, will get you accepted into this cool, above-the-fray, rational, reasonable crowd. You will be standing up for principles higher than the ones you pledged to in journalism school — to report things accurately and fairly, without showing bias. To represent both sides and let the audience make the final determination.
On Friday’s MSNBC “Morning Joe,” Mika Brzezinski — who has always been to the left of Joe Scarborough’s right — finally admitted she could no longer remain unbiased while covering the presidential election.
As she turned to Trump surrogate Pastor Mark Burns, she said, “And I can’t pretend and, sort of, try to cover this fairly and put into the veil of objectivity,” as another panelist, Nicole Wallace, a Republican strategist, nodded her head in approval.
“A host of a cable news show covering an election admitted on live television in front of a national audience that she can’t or won’t cover the election fairly,” the Trump campaign put out in a release naming Ms. Brzezinski a media bias offender for that day.
But she’s not alone. It seems like everyone’s doing it.
Last week, Univision and Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly that “neutrality isn’t an option” for journalists covering Mr. Trump and wrote as much in an op-ed.
“It doesn’t matter who you are — a journalist, a politician or a voter — we’ll all be judged by how we responded to Donald Trump,” he argued in Time Magazine. “Like it or not, this election is a plebiscite on the most divisive, polarizing and disrupting figure in American politics in decades. And neutrality is not an option.
“Trump has forced journalists to revisit rules of objectivity and fairness,” he continued. “Just providing both points of view is not enough in the current presidential campaign. If a candidate is making racist and sexist remarks, we cannot hide in the principle of neutrality. That’s a false equivalence.”
Meaning: We can’t let the people decide what they want, we need to interpret and make sure the public knows just how bad Mr. Trump is for them. We know it — the danger is, they don’t! And there’s no way we’re wrong, or out of touch (Even though the entire mainstream media failed to forecast the rise of Mr. Trump and his staying power throughout the election cycle — perhaps if they were on the ground, doing interviews with real people, they would’ve been better attuned).
Ezra Klein at Vox argues that Mr. Trump has freed reporters to call out BS when and if they see it — that reporters no longer need to be “objective” because Mr. Trump’s lies are so outrageous.
Ian Bremmer, a political scientist, professor at New York University and Time columnist, wrote on Twitter: “Mainstream media is bias against Trump. For good reason.”
CNN “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter said Mr. Trump’s sowing doubt about the legitimacy of the election is dangerous, and challenged the press to challenge Mr. Trump on it. Failure to do so would be unpatriotic, Mr. Stelter wrote. (As if those conversations weren’t and didn’t happen in 2000 by liberals. Yet a Democratic Republic we still have).
BuzzFeed News published a memo telling reporters it was fine to call Mr. Trump “a mendacious racist” on social media — you know, because, that’s what he is in their eyes. Better to inform the public now, before they have the chance to elect the man!
All of these journalists, and news outlets, started turning, and the ones who already did became even bolder about it, after the Gray Lady herself told them it was OK.
The New York Times media analyst Jim Rutenberg justified reporter bias against Mr. Trump because of his unconventional candidacy.
“As [Carolyn Ryan, The New York Times’ senior editor for politics] put it to me, Mr. Trump’s candidacy is ‘extraordinary and precedent-shattering’ and ‘to pretend otherwise is to be disingenuous with readers,’” Mr. Rutenberg wrote. “It would also be an abdication of political journalism’s most solemn duty: to ferret out what the candidates will be like in the most powerful office in the world.
“It may not always seem fair to Mr. Trump or his supporters,” he wrote. “But journalism shouldn’t measure itself against any one campaign’s definition of fairness. It is journalism’s job to be true to the readers and viewers, and true to the facts, in a way that will stand up to history’s judgment. To do anything less would be untenable.”
So there you have it, folks. It’s becoming increasingly cool to be critical of Mr. Trump for the good of the world. And, as CNN has demonstrated, you can have fun while doing it (e.g., CNN’s chyron often points out lies to set the American public straight, like “Trump Calls Obama Founder of ISIS (He’s Not)”)
Meanwhile, there’s not much time to focus on Hillary Clinton. Her scandals are tired, after all, and having to sue the State Department for emails and schedules and the like — I mean, what’s the point? That takes work. It’s not as much fun.
Mrs. Clinton’s actions may indeed be more dangerous than his words (putting national security at risk, selling government access), but his words are all the press cares about.
And for some reason, we should all be cool with that. Have a moral superiority about it, even.