An insider’s secret: Most reporters and editors in the national media lean to the left. In fact, many lean so far to the port side that they are in danger of falling overboard. But maybe you already suspected that.
The bias has long been evident to every clear-thinking American, but it is even more glaring in the era of Donald Trump. Liberal media types were accustomed to having a punching bag like George W. Bush, whose strategy of absorbing blows was reminiscent of Muhammad Ali’s rope-a-dope. The only problem is that reporters, unlike George Foreman, never punched themselves into exhaustion.
Now they are facing a far different opponent – and ‘opponent’ is the right word – in President Trump. He hits back, with a vengeance. This has led to open warfare between the media and the White House, which is certainly not healthy for either side or for the nation.
In recent weeks, both the president and the press have been swinging wildly. The commander-in-chief referred to some outlets as the ‘enemy of the American people,’ slander that is usually reserved for traitors. That hyperbole only served to escalate the war, and the media has been throwing its own haymakers.
Last week CNN welcomed a guest who directly accused President Trump of hating Jews. That bomb-thrower, Steven Goldstein, is executive director of – get this – the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect. He may want to look up the words ‘mutual’ and ‘respect.’
Further up – or down – the cable dial, a MSNBC panel recently denounced the president for urging an increase in defense spending, implying that he is another Dr. Strangelove. ‘It sounds like they want to go to war,’ stated Mika Brzezinski. That’s the same Mika who also accused President Trump of ‘trying to create a dictatorship.’ Really? A dictatorship! We know viewers are hard to come by when you’re up against Fox & Friends, but is vitriol the answer?
Loathing of the administration reached another low this week when Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, in recovery after being banned by Morning Joe, was apparently caught in violation of Oval Office feng shui. The occasion was a meeting between President Trump and leaders of historically black colleges. A photo showed Ms. Conway kneeling on the couch looking at her cell phone, which was taken by Trump-haters in the media as an act of great disrespect.
The usually thoughtful Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal immediately complained: ‘If Rice or Jarrett had sat like this in Oval Office conservatives would have screamed themselves hoarse for weeks.’
That was nothing compared to CNN’s Marc Lamont Hill. He played the only card in his deck, writing this: ‘It is hard to believe that Kellyanne Conway would be sitting like this if the President were meeting with the NRA or White evangelicals.’ Got that? It’s all about race, all the time. This is the same Marc Lamont Hill who complained that blacks meeting with Donald Trump during the transition were ‘mediocre Negroes.’
As you may know, Kellyanne Conway was actually trying to find the perfect angle to take a photo of the dignitaries with her boss. Nothing disrespectful, not in the in the least. She said she wanted ‘to chronicle this significant event.’ We wonder whether Marc Lamont Hill called the black college presidents ‘mediocre Negroes.’
But what really makes the media salivate is the thought of linking the Trump campaign to Russia and Putin. So far that avenue has been pretty much a dead end, but they’ll certainly keep trying. If the press can somehow show that Russia influenced the election, they can then try to convince Americans that the Trump presidency is invalid.
This is largely a matter of ideology. Even though President Trump struck a more moderate tone during his Tuesday night address to Congress, most left-wing editors despise the man. They believe his positions on Islamic terrorism, climate change, abortion, and crime make him very dangerous. He is a president they wish to destroy, if and when the opportunity presents itself.
To be fair, many media outlets gave reluctant praise to President Trump’s speech, applauding him for ‘softening’ his tone. One outlier was the Washington Post’s Jackson Diehl, who accused President Trump of going off on a ‘xenophobic rant.’ Mr. Diehl may have been watching a different address than the rest of America.
There will not be a détente in this war, not any time soon. The chasm between the president and the press is simply too wide for any bridge, no matter how large the coming infrastructure bill.
The fact remains that for many in the media, there is one Donald Trump address that is absolutely, positively unacceptable. That address, of course, is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.