We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I’ve been a journalist for a long time. Long enough to know that it wasn’t always like this. There was a time not so long ago when journalists were trusted and admired. We were generally seen as trying to report the news in a fair and straightforward manner. Today, all that has changed. For that, we can blame the 2016 election or, more accurately, how some news organizations chose to cover it. Among the many firsts, last year’s election gave us the gobsmacking revelation that most of the mainstream media puts both thumbs on the scale—that most of what you read, watch, and listen to is distorted by intentional bias and hostility. I have never seen anything like it. Not even close...
During the years I spent teaching at the Columbia University School of Journalism, I often found myself telling my students that the job of the reporter was “to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” I’m not even sure where I first heard that line, but it still captures the way most journalists think about what they do. Translate the first part of that compassionate-sounding idea into the daily decisions about what makes news, and it is easy to fall into the habit of thinking that every person afflicted by something is entitled to help. Or, as liberals like to say, “Government is what we do together.” From there, it’s a short drive to the conclusion that every problem has a government solution.
The rest of that journalistic ethos—“afflict the comfortable”—leads to the knee-jerk support of endless taxation. Somebody has to pay for that government intervention the media loves to demand. In the same vein, and for the same reason, the average reporter will support every conceivable regulation as a way to equalize conditions for the poor. He will also give sympathetic coverage to groups like Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter.
I knew all of this about the media mindset going into the 2016 presidential campaign. But I was still shocked at what happened...
The New York Times has not endorsed a Republican for president since Dwight Eisenhower in 1956, meaning it would back a dead raccoon if it had a “D” after its name. Think of it—George McGovern over Richard Nixon? Jimmy Carter over Ronald Reagan? Walter Mondale over Reagan? Any Democrat would do. And The Washington Post, which only started making editorial endorsements in the 1970s, has never once endorsed a Republican for president.
But again, I want to emphasize that 2016 had those predictable elements plus a whole new dimension.
Big Journalists: Because we're smart and you are stupid, we are idealists and you are not. When you think about it, it's tough on the ego to be a journalist, always watching others, never doing anything. But always imagining that you know better than the common folk or even the big people they write about. Egotism is for people who feel small. Well, that is not really fair to reporters. Most likely most reporters are humble folk who enjoy their reporter roles covering the Zoning Commission and the obits, but the ones in the big time want to be players not observers, moral leaders or some such grandiose BS. Baloney. Nobody anointed you. Just the facts, please. Thank God for the internet.
Michael Goodwin has always been one of the humble guys.
He's off on the date of beginning, by at least 16 years. Yes, tougher scrutiny for trump was defensible: but so was it for Hillary, and they WEREN'T going THERE.
Pg 3: What happened to fairness? It was mobbed, beaten, killed, and buried. It's friends were declared persona non grata.
Pg 4: The Time's reputation for having the highest standards was legitimate (cough Walter Duranty cough).
Yeah, I certainly agree with his general points but I think he bent over backwards to be "fair." Your example was only one of his soft pedaling the curruption and arrogance. He could - should - have quoted some of the "journalists" in the wikileaks dumps.
He also suggested that the leftist press shouldn't have covered either the Hildebeast or Trump because they couldn't be objective. That seems silly to me. Maybe that would have been better but how can a newspaper not cover presidential candidates?
A slight correction to the idea that egotists are people who feel small. We believed that for years, but it turns out something subtler is in play: they feel big, overestimating how many friends they have, where they stand in class rank, how attractive they are...
They are thus perpetually wounded and insulted, believing that one person after another is not giving them their due. They are angry, resentful, and prone to vengeance because they feel they are being cheated.
False praise only makes it worse.
Assistant Village Idiot
It was at least a couple of presidential election cycles (I'm thinking around 4-5) that Evan Thomas from Newsweek came out and admitted that the left-wing activism of the MSM was good for 5+ points for the democrats. I'd say at least. And don't forget about the kids at JournoList and their little conspiracy to collude on how they could shape the news to help left-wingers.
In Robert Heinlein's book "Expanded Universe", Robert Heinlein wrote that he had been on the scene of about a dozen newsworthy events, and the reporters had gotten it wrong every single time. Do the test for yourself; do the news reports ACCURATELY describe events the way you KNOW the happened?
I just started college when Kennedy was running against Nixon. It was obvious whose side the reporters were on. The media loved Kennedy and loathed Nixon. Kennedy could do no wrong and Nixon could do no right. It wouldn't be much of an exaggeration to say the media worshiped Kennedy. Kennedy was from heaven and Nixon was from hell.
It wasn't buried. It was left for the jackals as a warning from the uniparty...and the Walter Duranty crowd has moved to television ever since the VN war. Every picture they broadcast is worth a thousand lies.
Hoss, you are correct in timeframe: Thomas' quote was given during Bush '43 relection v. Kerry.
http://www.home60515.com/7.html is a good roundup of this item.
last thing: it should be noted that the 5% bias is HUGE for the impact upon policies (obamacare passing that impact MILLIONS of Americans and TRILLIONS of our dollars).
Given that most elections are won by a 3% margin if not much less (think the dhimmicrats stealing the minnesota senate election for Franken - less than 1/2 of 1% deciding the race, after bags of "uncounted" votes were found...), that 5% is something that I'm pretty sure some people would kill for.