The Trump Nail in the Media Coffin

Victor Davis Hanson, Real Clear Politics, December 22, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump probably will not often communicate with the nation via traditional press conferences. Nor will Trump likely field many questions from New York/Washington journalists.

What we know as “the media” never imagined a Trump victory. It has become unhinged at the reality of a Trump presidency.

No wonder the fading establishment media is now distrusted by a majority of the public, according to Gallup—and becoming irrelevant even among progressives.

Once upon a time in the 1960s, all the iconic news anchors, from Walter Cronkite to David Brinkley, were liberal. But they at least hid their inherent biases behind a professional veneer that allowed them to filter stories through left-wing lenses without much pushback.

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That old monopoly over the news, despite the advent of cable television and the internet, still lingered until 2016. Even in recent years, Ivy League journalism degrees and well-known media brand names seemed to suggest better reporting than what was offered by bloggers and websites.

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Yet the thinning veneer of circumspection that had supposedly characterized the elite liberal successors to Cronkite and Brinkley was finally ripped off completely by a media meltdown over Trump.

Journalists such as Jim Rutenberg of The New York Times and Christiane Amanpour of CNN said that they could not—and should not—be neutral reporters, given their low opinion of Trump.

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The WikiLeaks trove certainly proved another disaster to the media—but only because it revealed that mainstream journalists conspired with the Clinton campaign.

CNN’s Donna Brazile leaked possible debate questions to Clinton. One op-ed columnist, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, even asked Clintonites for research to help him attack Trump.

Politico’s Glenn Thrush sent a story to the Clinton campaign team to be audited before publication. He begged to keep his collusion quiet and admitted that he had become a “hack” for such journalistic impropriety. Thrush may have been rewarded for his predictable left-wing bias, recently being hired by the New York Times as a White House correspondent.

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After the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the co-hosts of the show “CNN Newsroom” collectively put up their hands in “hands up, don’t shoot” solidarity—echoing a narrative of police murder later proved to be completely false by a lengthy federal investigation.

Decades-long journalistic one-sidedness was apparently tolerable when there were no other news alternatives. Mainstream-media monopolies once were also highly profitable, and long-ago liberal news people were at least well-mannered.

All of those assumptions are no longer true. News outlets such as The New York Times and NBC have no more credibility than most websites or the National Enquirer.

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