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Friday, October 11, 2019

Media doesn't want credibility

There are no unintended consequences in politics. The mass media's loss of credibility is deliberate -- a campaign to end objectivity, which is the foundation of a free press.

Consider today's news that a former ambassador to Ukraine dumped on President Donald John Trump.

The Washington Post reported, "Ousted ambassador Marie Yovanovitch tells Congress Trump pressured State Dept. to remove her."


Ambassadors work at the will and pleasure of the president. Just as Jim Comey did.

The press knows this but reporters and their editors believe readers are dumb enough to believe these people are above politics. Many reporters described the FBI as an independent agency. It is not, or at least it shouldn't be because then it would turn into a nest of vipers.

Remember Name That Party. It exposed the tendency of the press not to mention that the politician in a scandal was a Democrat as the reporter would bury the party affiliation in the story or not identify it at all.

But in the Trump presidency, there is a new game in town: Obama appointee.

In any story in which a government official speaks against President Trump or a judge rules against him, there is a strong chance that he is an Obama appointee, which the press will downplay or not mention.

Yes, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was an Obama appointee.

This was no small thing given how much attention Vice President Biden paid to Ukraine. He said he made 12 or 13 trips to Kiev. He didn't mention that $900,000 a Ukrainian energy company gave him to lobby.

Every time the mass media goes off on President Trump, the whole story isn't told. I look it up and most often there is an Obama connection.

I knew intuitively the whistle blower was connected to the Obama White House. It turns out, the whistle blower worked for Biden.

From my time in the media, I know that reporters and editors blow off complaints as people not liking bad news.

But it is not bad news that bugs me. I can take bad news. I am a lifetime Cleveland sports fan after all. It is news done badly that I oppose.

When I blogged for the local newspaper, I did "Daily Scoreboard" during Obama's first term. It was a daily roundup of small news items with my takes at the end. I cited the New York Times, Washington Post, and the rest with a minimum hesitation.

In May I began doing the same thing with "Highlights of the News" at 7 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

What a difference 7 years made. The mainstream sources are no longer reliable. Consider how they ganged up on Nicholas Sandmann, a 16-year-old from Covington Catholic High School, whose only sin was smiling when a bitter old man got in his face over the kid wearing a MAGA cap.

Every story out of Washington is biased against the president. I really cannot bear to expose my readers to it. After New York Times's last attempt to get Justice Brett Kavanaugh -- the victim did not remember the incident -- I started attributing its stories as "New York Times alleged."

Maybe it is me but maybe the press really has changed.

All I know is actions speak louder than words. The mass media pushed Russian collusion for 2 years. That scandal was nothing but a waste of time.

Meanwhile, President Trump pushed trade agreements, tax cuts, regulation rollbacks, judicial appointments, the wall, prison reform, and NATO partners ponying up. This resulted in trade agreements, tax cuts, regulation rollbacks, judicial appointments, the wall, prison reform, and NATO partners ponying up.

To be sure, not every thing he has tried has succeeded.


So the media is incompetent. What else is new? This: the media goes out of its way to fail.

Which brings me to Jim Rutenberg, media critic for the New York Times. On August 7, 2016, he wrote the seminal article on covering Donald John Trump: "Trump Is Testing the Norms of Objectivity in Journalism."

Rutenberg argued that journalists should abandon objectivity in a group effort to stop The Donald from becoming president.

What was astonishing was not that someone would suggest this; the media had already abandoned objectivity when covering Sarah Palin. What was stunning was that the media would be so open about its efforts to undermine the electoral process with Fake News.

Rutenberg quoted Carolyn Ryan, the New York Times’s senior editor for politics.

He wrote, "As Ms. Ryan put it to me, Mr. Trump’s candidacy is 'extraordinary and precedent-shattering” and 'to pretend otherwise is to be disingenuous with readers.'

"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. 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."

Abandoning objectivity -- and therefore, journalism -- was not merely the opinion of a writer at the New York Times but also its senior editor for politics. And since then, with its coverage of the Russian Collusion Fake News and now its Project 1619 revision of history, Times management has shown that it too does not have a farthing's worth of care about the truth.

They know better.

They do not care.

I don't think they want the responsibility of credibility. Being believed puts pressure on you to get your facts straight. Instead, the media is content to serve the half of the country that the media has determined can be fooled all the time.

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