It’s always the people inside a bubble who think they’re the ones with an outsider’s perspective on things. The mainstream media fits this profile perfectly. The big name press continue to deny there is anything wrong with the way they do things, or the things they choose to do. NBC’s Chuck Todd, for example, is happy to blame Donald Trump for his profession’s problems and abdicate any responsibility. They all are.
Todd sent out this tweet when President Trump was going after the media during his press conference on Thursday:
This not a laughing matter. I'm sorry, delegitimizing the press is unAmerican
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) February 16, 2017
The lack of self-awareness here is stunning. Gallup has a poll out about the press that asks:
In general, how much trust and confidence do you have in the mass media – such as newspapers, TV, and radio — when it comes to reporting the news fully, accurately and fairly — a great deal, a fair amount or none at all?
The current numbers for “great deal/fair amount” currently sit at 32%. In 1976 it was 72%. From 1997 through 2003 it was in the mid 50’s. But since 2007, the numbers have been below a majority each year, and it just keeps getting worse.
This is what Chuck Todd and others like him fail to accept or comprehend: The mainstream media have delegitimized themselves. Republicans and independents watched for eight long years as Todd and others of his ilk did their best to help and support the last administration; not only refusing to hold President Obama to account (the way they are imploring each other to do with Trump) but providing cover for him. The media framed Obama as the reasonable one while Republicans were just “intransigent” jerks who didn’t want Obama to succeed. They packaged and delivered his preferred message every night and all day on the cable channels.
As for Trump, for all of their bellyaching over his habitually manhandling them or his refusal to call on them during press conferences, they utterly fail to consider that may they shouldn’t have tried to game the system to force Trump on Republicans because they thought it would help Hillary.
During the GOP primary people like Chuck Todd were happy to allow Trump to call into Sunday talk shows. They’d cover his rallies, ofte in their entirety, happily showing Trump’s plane landing at whatever designated spot he was going to speak. The figure given is Trump was given about $2 billion in free advertising. Billion, with a B. It was only when Trump got the nomination that the media realized, “Oh crap. Look what we’ve done!” Suddenly, speaking truth to power was important, again. The press called upon each other to be diligent with the Trump administration.
Journalism is back! If rusty.
And back from what, exactly?
Why would the media have to come back? Making the statement is an admission of guilt they’ve been doing it wrong (and they still are). It’s true. And they know it. But they’re standing there with their hands over their ears, screaming, “LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! LA!” pretending as though it hasn’t happened.
People like Todd have become so convinced of their importance; they forget what is they’re supposed to do. Reporters and news anchors have the duty to report the news. They need to gather the info, check facts, ask questions and then provide the information to the public who digest and make decisions based upon what they have seen or read.
Chuck Todd’s tweet is indicative of the condition he and other journalists suffer. They are no longer content to report. They believe it is their mission to tell people what to think.
Chuck Todd is not the arbiter of what is or what is not, un-American. That’s not for him to decide but he apparently thinks otherwise. He followed up that with another:
Press bashing may feel good to folks but when it's done by people in power, it's corrosive. Take off your partisan hats for a second
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) February 16, 2017
See? Again, Todd is telling people what to think. This is not his role. He has not been appointed by anybody to make these calls, but this is how journalists behave. I wrote yesterday about members of the mainstream press, unable to withhold their contempt for Katie Pavlich and Townhall as well as the Christian Broadcasting Network. Donald Trump had the audacity to pick those people over “real” journalists.
As long as Chuck Todd, Katy Tur, Glenn Thrush, and others continue to behave not as reporters, but self-appointed seers of the political world who have final authority on who asks questions and what is “un-American” then they can continue to go down with the ship in a sea of sunken ratings.