Quote of the Day:

In tragic fashion, the hubris of deifying Obama has now come full circle to the nemesis of demonizing Trump. The common denominator of the two extremes is the abandonment of disinterested reporting.

–Victor Davis Hanson


We just had two consecutive blog item about nasty media attacks on two women allied with President Trump (his press secretary and his wife).

I read this column by Victor Davis Hanson on the loss of journalistic commitment to disinterested reporting in the light of these two recent ventures into fact-challenged nastiness. Hanson provides a fascinating account of media infatuation with President Obama and how this infatuation failed the public.

But that is then and this is now. Here is a Hanson nugget on Trump-era media:

Once the media crossed the Rubicon of partisanship, there was no turning back. The unchecked ebullience that they had showed for Obama has now been replaced by an undisguised hatred for Donald Trump. Just as journalists saw no negative repercussions in their adoration of Obama, they are now able to denigrate the conservative populist Trump without consequences. Arrogance plays a role: the media feel that they displayed power in getting Obama elected and now they wager that they can also ensure Trump's defeat, or at least derail his presidency

The liberal Harvard Kennedy School and Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy issued a report recently showing how the media has established a "new standard" of negativity in presidential reporting. It noted that the aggregate news stories from the first 100 days of the Trump administration were about 80% critical. Some networks such as CNN aired 93% negative coverage of the president.

CNN was forced to fire three reporters for creating fictional news about the Trump administration. Some of its anchors and hosts used scatology to denigrate the president. CNN's New Year's host Kathy Griffin was fired at the end of May 2017, for holding up a facsimile of the decapitated head of Trump. Some producers were caught on tape bragging about CNN's biases against Trump and the stupidity of the voters who elected him.

Hanson cites a number of reasons for the media's unprecedented hostility: Trump was a reality show host and everything they regard as not them; postmodernism, or the sense that there are no absolute truths; and Trump's indecorous punching back are among the reasons. But don't forget Nemesis:

If the media became unhinged in the adulatory Obama years through hubris, it might have earned back its respect and professionalism by covering Trump in even-handed fashion. But Nemesis does not work that way: those it destroys, it first makes mad.