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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

We deserve a better press than this

In his new book, Howard Kurtz, the media critic at Fox News, upbraids the openly hostile press coverage of the president. Kurtz sees a war between the press and the president.

Who elected the press to be at war with the president?

What change allowed Jim Acosta to set immigration policy?

Where in the Constitution does it state the president is subordinate to the whims of the New York Times?

When did the news media get the power to usurp the authority of our duly elected government?

How do we get the power back to the people?

Why do we put up with this?

Now Howard Kurtz is an OK guy. Not every person in the press is a bad guy, in fact most do a fairly good job.

To promote the publication of his book, "Media Madness," on Monday, the Hollywood Reporter ran an excerpt.

Here's an excerpt of that excerpt:
These are not easy words for me to write. I am a lifelong journalist with ink in my veins. And for all my criticism of the media's errors and excesses, I have always believed in the mission of aggressive reporting and holding politicians accountable.
But the past two years have radicalized me. I am increasingly troubled by how many of my colleagues have decided to abandon any semblance of fairness out of a conviction that they must save the country from Trump.
I first got to know Donald Trump three decades ago and never made the blunder of underestimating him during the campaign. I saw all his weaknesses — the bluster, the bullying, the refusal to admit mistakes — but I also saw strengths that most of my colleagues missed, especially an ability to channel the anger of millions of voters who despise the press — including the old-guard conservative press — and other elite institutions.
As a casual observer of his work, I noticed he tried to caution people at several turns in the electoral process about writing Trump off.

Kurtz wrote:
What many journalists fail to grasp is that Trump's supporters love his street talk and view the media critiques as nonsense driven by negativity. They don't care if he makes mistakes. As paradoxical as it sounds, negative coverage helps Trump because it bonds him to people who also feel disrespected by the denizens of the mainstream press. The media take everything literally, and Trump pitches his arguments at a gut level. It is asymmetrical warfare.
Every president gets pounded by the press. But no president has ever been subjected to the kind of relentless ridicule, caustic commentary and insulting invective that has been heaped on Trump. I have a name for this half-crazed compulsion to furiously attack one man. It's called Trump Trauma.
And a war this is. Kellyanne Conway built her brand in Washington through media relations.

Backing Trump destroyed those relationships, as Kurtz noted:
Now Kellyanne was doing a live interview with Chuck Todd from the North Lawn of the White House. Todd demanded to know why Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer had made a "ridiculous" statement that was "a provable falsehood" about Trump's inaugural crowd being bigger than Obama's. Things turned personal when Todd laughed at Conway's explanation that Spicer was providing "alternative facts."
"Your job is not to call things ridiculous that are said by our press secretary and our president," Conway said. "You're supposed to be a newsperson. You're not an opinion columnist." Conway was disgusted and knew her pushback against Todd would not get replayed on any network. Conway was sympathetic toward journalists, but here she was, trying to talk about Trump's policy agenda and getting ripped by a guy she had known for two decades. She thought it was "symbolic" of "the way we're treated by the press." Todd regretted letting his emotions show, but not the substance of his questions. He thought Kellyanne had simply run out of talking points, and he was laughing at the absurdity of the situation
Kurtz sees this as a battle over the truth.

It's not.

This is a struggle over power. Journalists boast about the Power of the Press.

But Trump has shown the Abuse of Power by the Press. And that is a far bigger danger to the republic than any retweet of a video showing Trump beating Vince McMahon with "CNN" super-imposed over McMahon's face.

The media fails to acknowledge its decades of abuse, including Watergate. The Washington Post deliberately refused to disclose that Deep Throat was the man Nixon passed over for FBI director, and that Watergate was his payback to Nixon.

The public has had it with the press. Trump is not exploiting their fears, but rather taking up their cause.

This struggle is not about the truth, but about power.

The Constitution vests the power in the people. Kurtz does not have ink in his blood. He has blood in his blood. And I think he knows in his heart of hearts what a mistake it is to give so much power to the likes of television presenters.


Please enjoy my books on how the press bungled the 2016 election.

Caution: Readers occasionally may laugh out loud at the media as they read this account of Trump's election.

It is available on Kindle, and in paperback.

Caution: Readers occasionally may laugh out loud at the media as they read this account of Trump's nomination.

It is available on Kindle, and in paperback.

Autographed copies of both books are available by writing me at

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  1. Along with Watergate, the takedown of the TEA Party movement is another one to keep in mind. I've read that the story reporting people spitting and using the N word on black Dem Congress folk is said to have been ready mere seconds after the event. If true, this was a set up to discredit normal citizens who,objected to the vast expansion of size, scope and expense of govt in the US.

  2. This is right on, well said. While it is true that countries lacking a free press are all dictatorial in nature, who wants to be a slave to some corporate media elitist and his band of slaves, all of whom considers themselves capax imperii but no one else?
    Observe how close to Putin's Russia the USA approached under Obama and has sycophant press. Hillary's victory would have sealed the deal. Comey as Beria is not a far fetched scenario we now know from Stroke's texting and the data unearthed by Republican committee chairs.
    Did the press have anything to do with informing the public about it's impending Fate? Not in the least. The press wanted to be the most trusted jackel of the new politiburo it expected would control the country, assist it with exquisite lies, vigorous propaganda, lickspittle support for it's every suppressive move. Only mid America and Trump prevented this. But how close they came they cannot forget and they will not forget. One has to hope some of us won't,and further,there will be more people like Don, who have not and will not ever, who will keep telling the truth no matter what.

  3. It takes a special coterie of doofuses to take a profitable supercharged vehicle like journalism and wrap it round a power pole.

    Think it might have had anything to do with abandoning journalism and in its place taking up stenography?

  4. While there are some professional journalists, journalism is not a profession. Even worse, some journalists think they belong to a priesthood.

  5. what mistakes did obama admit to? the only one I recall was, I didn't do a good enough job explaining how great Obama care is/was. As if he didn't spend a year trying to get us to like that turd sandwich.

  6. Capitulation time. It's close now, brothers and sisters. The peak of Everest is in sight and Mr. T is making the climb without oxygen. Extraordinary. He'll stand at the summit and unfurl and small banner that simply says MAGA. Good times!!!

  7. It's not like Journalists would get America into a War just to sell a few papers, right? The profession would never do THAT. /

  8. As the good Prof. Reynolds says (over and over, because it's true), "Just think of the media as Democrat operatives with bylines."

  9. "This is a struggle over power."

    No. It's not a "struggle over power". It's a struggle over Democrat power, as should be obvious to anyone who lived through the pro-Obama media become anti-Trump.

    Democrat Media EXISTS to defend Democrats. That. Is. Their. Purpose.