On October 10 before a national debate with Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump pulled off the prank of the century on the media. Dogged by an old video of Trump saying horrible, demeaning things about women, he invited the press to a meeting to discuss it and apologize.
When they arrived, Trump had a panel set up. He was there with four women from the Clintons’ past. Juanita Broaddrick was a woman Bill Clinton had raped, Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones were two women Clinton had sexually harassed and assaulted, and Kathy Shelton was a lawyer who had represented a child rape victim in a case Hillary Clinton cheated to win for the defendant. The war between Trump and the media was on, and Trump was up 1-0.
In a recent Washington Post article, they recognized Trump’s constant victories over the media and lamented how they really don’t know what to do about it. Obama went as far as to blame Trump’s victory on bars and restaurants that play Fox News. In fact, their recent attempt to marginalize competing news sources by labeling them as “fake” has become a parody itself as more information is released by Wikileaks showing how the mainstream media sent the Clinton campaign debate questions ahead of time, let them edit articles, and apologized if they thought an article was too harsh on her.
While the Washington Post was calling out the “fake” right wing media for making claims that 3 million illegal aliens hacked the election by voting illegally, the New York Times was claiming that Putin and the Russians hacked the election by distributing fake news, hacking DNC emails, and possibly even interfering with the voting booths themselves. You can now identify which way a fake news source leans just by looking at who they think stole 2016. This works for everyone from CNN and NYT to Fox News and Breitbart.
How do the mainstreams fix this and get back on the path to being trusted and having political influence? It might help if they sought a truce. The media has a very adversarial relationship with Trump. On July 23, the Huffington Post put out a piece about how to defeat Trump. Disgraced, yet highly respected journalist Dan Rather said the media must do what he did to Bush and be more biased to beat Trump. The media that ignored Joe Biden for 8 years now has 24 hour surveillance on Trump’s Twitter account just waiting for a gaffe to jump on.
When Trump saved 1,000 jobs at Carrier, the media congratulated themselves for finding a silver lining in something Trump had done. Then of course they predictably changed their minds on the deal labeling it an empty PR stunt that encourages crony capitalism. It’s funny how Obama hasn’t even left office yet and suddenly stimulus, crony capitalism, and picking winners and losers is a bad thing again.
For the mainstream media to win again, it would help if they weren’t so obviously biased. They have become so predictable that we almost wonder if Trump says some of the more crazy things he says on purpose. A prime example came this past week when Trump tweeted that flag burners should maybe get a year in jail. Predictably, the media went crazy. Typically blind NPR went running back to the 1980s to criticize Trump for making the same unconstitutional error that George HW Bush made. In the process they skipped 2005 when Hillary Clinton co-sponsored a bill to put flag burners in jail for a year. This of course has us all curious if Trump knew about Clinton’s bill, or if he just got extremely lucky.
If the media wants to beat Trump, they need to stop trying. They need to go back to what they learned in journalism school and seek fact rather than substantiation of their truth. They need to ask questions again. Skepticism is a lost art. A little balance wouldn’t hurt either. CNN may be making a game changing move in their attempts to bring Megyn Kelly on board.
If they keep trying to be the propaganda wing of the Democrat party, Trump is going to keep beating them.