This month's edition of The Atlantic begins with an essay titled "The Mythology of Racial Progress: Believing that things are always getting better actually makes things worse." Written by a MacArthur fellow and Yale psychology professor, it advocates for revolution, and gleefully celebrates the "ebbing presence of older white people and their replacement by a surging mass of enlightened younger people," concluding that we should think of the next year as "all the time we have." Even though it's an essay, there are 7 sources, none of which is anonymous.
Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-Chief at The Atlantic, made news last week with an article claiming to have proof that President Trump referred to dead soldiers as losers and skipped visiting a military cemetery because it was raining and he didn't want to ruin his hair. The story only had four sources. All were anonymous.
In order to better understand why Goldberg and The Atlantic would possibly violate journalistic standards, you have to unTerstand what motivates them. Make no mistake about it, they hate you, and everything you stand for, and they mock and insult you every chance that they get.
The second article of the September issue advocates for — and this is a direct quote — "a world in which police do not exist." It's a few thousand words about how "abolish the police" isn't radical enough.
Author Mychal Denzel Smith writes, "In the past, I have been accused of hating the police. And I do." It's basically an advertisement for the "Police abolition" movement. He depicts America is irredeemably racist: "There have always been voices willing to take on the fragile American ego — to remind us that the racist principles on which this country was founded continue to guide each of its institutions." Then, ultimately, in support of the ongoing riots, he advocates for revolution.
At best, these articles are deeply anti-America. Nearly all of them advocate for revolution. All of them support far-left, even extremist causes.
In the September issue alone, Donald Trump is directly referenced 136 times, and indirectly referenced in every single article. He is The Atlantic's perpetual villain. They obsessively attack him. So why should we believe them, and not see it for what it is: their latest attempt to destroy him?
During the Trump presidency, every single page of The Atlantic is activism. You can see the obsessive hatred on every page. You cannot look anywhere without propaganda being shoved down your throat: The Atlantic has made it their mission to attack Trump.
In its 163 years of publication, The Atlantic editorial board has only endorsed three Presidential candidates. In 1860, they endorsed Abraham Lincoln. In 1963, Lyndon B. Johnson. And in 2016, they endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, specifically in defiance of Donald Trump, who they described as "the most ostentatiously unqualified major-party candidate in the 227-year history of the American presidency."
It's no coincidence that Jeffrey Goldberg has been the editor-in-Chief since 2016. The New York Times noted that he "shaped" The Atlantic's endorsement of Hillary Clinton.
In the letter, Goldberg describes Trump as "an infomercial huckster," adding that Trump "traffics in conspiracy theories and racist invective; he is appallingly sexist; he is erratic, secretive, and xenophobic; he expresses admiration for authoritarian rulers, and evinces authoritarian tendencies himself. He is easily goaded, a poor quality for someone seeking control of America's nuclear arsenal. He is an enemy of fact-based discourse; he is ignorant of, and indifferent to, the Constitution; he appears not to read."
In defiance of the magazine's founding statement that it would be "the organ of no party or clique," Goldberg wrote: "Trump is not a man of ideas. He is a demagogue, a xenophobe, a sexist, a know-nothing, and a liar. He is spectacularly unfit for office, and voters—the statesmen and thinkers of the ballot box—should act in defense of American democracy and elect his opponent."
Goldberg and The Atlantic are cashing in their reputability in order to accomplish their mission of toppling Trump.
Their articles have become long-form versions of hysterical tweets by leftist internet revolutionaries. They are imperative in tone — snotty and unwavering like the smart kid nobody liked because he did his best to make everyone stupid, even though he never actual did anything special.
The Atlantic releases 10 issues in print every year. I'm going to walk you through the last three years of their coverage and pick out some of the most blatant examples of the magazine's hatred for Donald Trump. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it will give you an idea of how devoted the writers and editors of The Atlantic are to discrediting Trump in any way possible.
Oh, and I'm case you had any doubts left about where exactly The Atlantic's loyalties lie, The Atlantic festival is next month and the keynote speaker is Hillary Clinton, with a special appearance from the cofounder of Black Lives Matter.
January/February: 71 mentions of Trump. The cover story, "My President Was Black," was about how great Obama was.
March: Trump is mentioned 189 times. The cover story, "How to Build an Autocracy: Donald Trump can set the country down a path toward illiberalism, institutional subversion, and endemic grafty," by David Frum.
April: with 134 mentions, including an article that conflates Trump with the alt-right movement and white supremacy.
May: a whopping 327 mentions, with a profile of Alec Baldwin as the cover story, and a photo of Baldwin holding a Trump-wigged head, possibly a stand-in for what the author describes as "Trump's withered soul."
- Baldwin "harbors many suspicions, one of which is that the Republican apparatus will force Trump to resign behind closed doors as soon as May or June, citing health concerns as the public excuse. 'He looks like he couldn't run a block,' Baldwin says. Or maybe the bar for Trump is so low that if he changes his behavior even a little bit—witness the reception to his first address to a joint session of Congress—he might be allowed to play out his useful-idiot string for four or eight more years. 'Oh God,' Baldwin says, shivering at the thought."
- To be fair, the profile is followed by one of the few sensible articles from The Atlantic in years, titled "How Late-Night Comedy Alienated Conservatives, Made Liberals Smug, and Fueled the Rise of Donald Trump." But the self-awareness fades just as quickly, and the author reveals her own hatred for Trump.
- An article by David Frum describes Trump's "strategic revolution" to destroy Europe with "the species of nihilism described in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight: 'Some men just want to watch the world burn.'" His "assault on sanctuary cities."
- Nearly every article, regardless of the topic, at least mentions Trump. In a profile of a poet, the writer describes "the voluptuous illiteracy of Trumpismo." Another article describes Trump as a "politically useful infidel" who won over the "pastor-overlords" in the evangelical world with his "authoritarian machismo," driven by his penchant for inventing his preferred reality."
June: 68 mentions, including accusations that Trump will "destroy the dollar, stoke inflation, and destabilize the economy." A profile on RuPaul is centered on the idea that drag queens are "the ultimate retort to Trump," in which Trump's win is described as "the death of America," which is also (unironically) referred to as "Trumpland," a word that appears often The Atlantic. A profile on actual Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer is used as a veiled way for The Atlantic to, once again, wed Trump to the alt-right, white supremacy, and neo-Nazism.
July/August: 125 mentions, including an article titled "What's Wrong with the Democrats," which winds up raging about Trump, calling him "second coming of Herman Cain, a circus act rather than a serious candidate," noting that Hillary Clinton "feared Trump's ability to channel white-working-class rage." And that "Trump's naked appeals to racism were far more intense than anything he had ever witnessed. The scenes from Trump's rallies created a plausible impression that the president had activated long-suppressed feelings of hatred."
September: 83 mentions.
October: There were a whopping 280 mentions. The cover story is "The Trump Presidency: A Damage Report." The issue starts with an editor's note by Jeffrey Goldberg, who once again refers to Trump as an autocrat. Followed by "Will Donald Trump Destroy the Presidency," which argues:
- "Trump is a Frankenstein's monster of past presidents' worst attributes: Andrew Jackson's rage; Millard Fillmore's bigotry; James Buchanan's incompetence and spite; Theodore Roosevelt's self aggrandizement; Richard Nixon's paranoia, insecurity, and indifference to law; and Bill Clinton's lack of self control and reflexive dishonesty." And " Trump's behavior seems to flow from hypersensitivity untempered by shame, a mercurial and contrarian personality, and a notable lack of self-control."
- A whiff of self-awareness: "The vast majority of elite journalists have a progressive outlook, which influences what gets covered, and how, in ways that many Americans, especially outside of big cities, find deeply biased. The press was among the least trusted of American institutions long before Trump assaulted it as the "enemy of the people" and the "lowest form of life." Members of the media viewed these attacks, correctly, as an effort by Trump to discredit, marginalize, and even dehumanize them. And they were shocked when the strategy worked. "The country was really angry at the elite, and that included us, and I don't think we quite had our finger on it," Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, said with exquisite understatement during a roundtable discussion with his reporters in June."
- "But while Trumpism has been good for the media business, it has not been good for overall media credibility. An Emerson College poll in February indicated that more voters found Trump to be truthful than the news media, and a Suffolk University/ USA Today poll in June concluded that the historically unpopular president still had a slightly higher favorability rating than the media. Trump is not just discrediting the mainstream news, but quickening changes in right-wing media as well. Fox News Channel always leaned right, but in the past year several of its programs have become open propaganda arms for Trump. And sharply partisan outlets like Breitbart News and The Daily Caller have grown in influence among conservatives." Only to quickly revert to the exact elitism that he initially called into question "Discrediting the media anywhere weakens it everywhere."
Followed by "Is Trump Ending the American Era?" with such standout lines as:
- "diplomacy is about words, and many of Trump's words are profoundly toxic,"
- "Trump seems incapable of restraining himself from insulting foreign leaders,"
- "foreign leaders may consider Trump alarming, but they do not consider him serious,"
- "Trump is, and is likely to be to the end, volatile, truculent, and impulsive,"
- and this one: "Matters will not improve. Trump will not learn, will not moderate, will not settle into normal patterns of behavior. And for all the rot that is visible in America's standing and ability to influence global aff airs, more is spreading beneath the surface. Even when Trump's foreign policy looks shakily mediocre rather than downright crazy, it is afflicting the U.S. with a condition not unlike untreated high blood pressure. Enormous foreign-policy failures are like heart attacks: unexpected and dangerous discontinuities following years of neglect and hidden malady. The vertigo and throbbing pulse one feels today augur something much worse tomorrow."
Ta-Nehisi Coates, predictably, spends a few thousand words describing "The Whitest House," yet another thinly veiled conflation of Trump and white supremacy.
- "Trump's ideology is white supremacy, in all its truculent and sanctimonious power."
- "It is insufficient to state the obvious of Donald Trump: that he is a white man who would not be president were it not for this fact."
- "In Trump, white supremacists see one of their own."
November: 34 mentions.
December: 54 mentions. A third of which appear in the cover story, "The Making of an American Nazi." Yet another attempt to synonymize Trump and the alt-right, white supremacy, and Nazism.
- The article is immediately followed by another strawman piece about the rise of the alt-right, in which The Atlantic uses Trumpian language, the same language Goldberg accuses Trump of in his recent hit piece: "Brotherhood of Losers." The title has since been changed to "The Lost Boys."
- Another article daydreams about the possibility of "conservatism without bigotry" arguing that "American debates over race, gender, sexuality, and religion have become as noxious as they are because Donald Trump took risks. By nakedly appealing to white rage and fear, he risked alienating moderate voters. His risks paid off." The article contains about a dozen sources, none are anonymous.
- In an article about "the rise of capitalist reality TV," Caitlin Flanagan wrote that The Apprentice, "like so much of the Trump enterprise, was based largely on humiliation."
January/February: 118 mentions, with a cover story supposedly about Putin, but obliquely about the "Russian-Trump collusion" conspiracy theory that led to Trump's impeachment.
- One article claims that Trump has empowered the Cambodian dictator.
- The article "God's Plan for Mike Pence" accuses Pence and the religious right of selling their souls by supporting Trump. It features about a dozen sources in the article, none of which are anonymous.
March: 174 mentions. Cover story is "The Plot Against America," a scathing profile of Paul Manafort and his role in "the Fall of Washington." It ends with a tepid quote from an anonymous source.
- "Why China Loves Trump" claims that Trump is an unwitting supporter of Communist China. It's a story that makes contentious claims, supposedly backed by experts and insiders, yet the author cites no anonymous sources. Once again, Trump is conflated with authoritarian dictatorships and outright evil.
- "Boycott the GOP: The party is now a threat to the constitutional order. Even conservatives must vote against Republicans at every opportunity," concluding "Faced with the choice between soul-killing accommodation and futile resistance, many Republican politicians who renounce Trumpism are fleeing the party or exiting politics altogether. Of those who remain, many are fighting for their political lives against a nihilistic insurgency."
- "America is not a Democracy" because of Donald Trump.
- In "How to Talk Trump," an attempt at parody written by the guy who profiled Alec Baldwin — the two of them wrote an entire satirical memoir mocking Trump's "version of English."
April: 168 mentions. Cover story is "How Evangelicals Lost Their Way: And Got Hooked by Donald Trump." A rambling account of all the reasons that Trump is the anti-Christ, referring to him as "the least traditionally Christian gure—in temperament, behavior, and evident belief—to assume the presidency in living memory," and that, "For some of Trump's political allies, racist language and arguments are part of his appeal."
- "Drawing Donald" is an incredibly condescending look at why it's so dang hard to make Trump a "big fat target for political cartoonists," invoking the slain satirists of Charlie Hebdo to describe those cartoonists heroic enough to mock Trump. Much space is devoted to Trump's penis size, and the merits of drawing Trump's mouth like it's a butthole, ultimately justifying the use of aggressively un-PC comics — they make an exception when Trump is the target.
May: 75 mentions. The cover story is "How the Presidency Became Impossible." Yet again, The Atlantic associates Trump with the alt-right, white supremacy, and Neo-Nazism. Compared to most Atantic articles, however, it's actually somewhat reasonable, even including a rare instance of a half-compliment toward Trump, although it pales in comparison to the constant praise The Atlantic writers heap on Democrats and leftist radicals:
- "Whatever you think of him, Trump is rewiring the presidency—or perhaps more accurately, dismantling the machine and flinging the parts onto the White House lawn. iven Trump's priorities and attention span, it may fall to his successor to put it back together. But you might be grateful to him for demonstrating, in his inimi table way, the extent to which the machine has become a wheezing and jerryrigged contraption badly in need of repair. Or, if you can't bring yourself to be grateful, you might consider this: The aws in the presidency also made a President Donald Trump possible—he was an emergency solution to the problems that had tripped up his more conventional predecessors."
- A Q&A with NFL player Malcom Jenkins opens with a line about Trump: "When Malcolm Jenkins heard about Donald Trump's tweets condemning National Football League players for kneeling during the national anthem, he was unruffled," setting the tone for yet another Good Guys versus Trump narrative.
- In the Animal Kingdom column, the writer compares Trump to a "baboon despot."
June: 105 mentions.
- The cover story, "The Birth of the New American Aristocracy," "In the person of Donald Trump, resentment entered the White House." The article itself is exactly the kind of elitist drivel that conservatives dislike and distrust about liberal media. As previous articles have repeatedly done, this article credits racism, white supremacy, and dumb conservatives with Trump's rise to presidency, noting that Trump would never have been elected president if he weren't white.
- The profile of Seth Meyers is premised on the confounding idea that media elites are actually trying too hard to empathize with Trump voters. Throughout the Q&A, neither Meyers nor the interviewer can go a single question without mentioning.
- "Pop Culture's Failure to Rage" lists many of the countless examples of Trump hatred in art, then demands that artists be more vocal about their hatred for Trump: " On Comedy Central's Broad City, a feminist stoner found herself unable to orgasm in the Trump era until a sex therapist guided her through a fantasy including Hillary Clinton. Each of these shows is squarely directed at the people most horrified by America's new political reality— and each has thus far mostly stepped back to riff on, rather than repurpose, those viewers' horror."
- As usual, every word is (dramatically) overflowing with disgust: "After a Trump-led backlash against Kathy Grin's symbolic beheading of the president, the comedian was blackballed by Hollywood. And in one of his typically self-serving hijackings of a preexisting trend, the president has taken credit for the diving TV ratings of the NFL, alluding to his call to boycott games because many players kneel to protest racism."
July/August: 17 mentions. Notably, this is the issue with Jess Singal's cover story about the de-transition movement. This article ostracized Singal, and caused an incredible uproar, drawing claims that The Atlantic had condoned transphobia by publishing it.
- Oddly, there's an article about how Trump will inevitably fail at handling the next plague.
September: 45 mentions, many of which are loaded with nasty rhetoric about how Trump supporters, conservatives, and REpublicans are inherently — and irremediably — racist. The cover story is "How Trump Radicalized ICE," depicting ICE as a rogue agency hellbent making life unnecessarily miserable for "the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants." Somehow, the agency is portrayed as both bloated/inefficient and all-powerful: "Where immigration is concerned, Trump has installed a group of committed ideologues with a deep understanding of the extensive law-enforcement machinery they now control."
October: There were 91 mentions, and the theme of the issue, "Is Democracy Dying: The Slow-Motion Crisis in America and the World," happens to be virulently anti-Trump.
- Given the theme, Jeffrey Goldberg's editor's note is especially salty, and longer than most. It is yet another example of Goldberg's personal hatred for Donald Trump, who he describes as "undeniably talented in the dark art of mob formation [launching an] assault on the norms that undergird American democracy." Adding that "Trump has built the worst-functioning White House in living memory, and its self-inflicted errors have slowed him down almost as much as his personality has."
- "Americans Aren't Practicing Democracy Anymore," another anti-Trump screed by Yoni Appelbaum, which, just as David Frum once again accuses Trump of "building his autocracy," is the same article that both writers have written for The Atlantic so many times before. Both accuse Trump of being evil, unethical, unforgivably wrong in every possible way.
November: With 80 mentions, spread out across articles on a variety of topics. As usual, the references are for the most part angry and forced.
December: 68 mentions. "The Democrats' White People Problem" once again reinforces The Atlantic's belief that Trump is a racist. The only twist is the idea that "Trump's gestures may seem like pandering to racists. But they are aimed equally at the left." Followed by such idiotic notions as "racism is a white problem, not a working-class problem" and "opposing open borders is not mere racism."
January/February: 96 mentions, including an article that describes Trump's authoritarian "desire to roll back the feminist gains of the past several decades.
March: Trump is mentioned 77 times. On the cover is simply the word "IMPEACH," written by serial Trump hater Yoni Applebaum, who concludes "Today, the United States once more confronts a president who seems to care for only some of the people he represents, who promises his supporters that he can roll back the tide of diversity, who challenges the rule of law, and who regards constitutional rights and liberties as disposable. Congress must again decide whether the greater risk lies in executing the Constitution as it was written, or in deferring to voters to do what it cannot muster the courage to do itself. The gravest danger facing the country is not a Congress that seeks to measure the president against his oath—it is a president who fails to measure up to that solemn promise."
Jeffrey Goldberg has an article, titled "IMPEACHMENT: An Argument."
April: 164 mentions, which range from accusations that Trump's "impulses will bring on armageddon" to his tax dodges to the bigotry of Trump rallies to his golfing habits to his hatred of science to his anti-immigration stance which is described as his "Reichstag fire", there's even an entire feature story about all buildings Trump never built. In an article about his love of Russia, the author writes about "Trump's narcissism, breathtaking disregard for history, and unilateral diplomatic disarmament are a depressing trifecta at a moment when Russia poses threats that were unimaginable a quarter century ago."
May: 117 mentions, with a cover story by George Packer, charting the "decline of America." And an article about "Trump's Second Term," which it describes as
June: 158 mentions, featuring an oral history of "Trump's Bigotry,"
July: 6 mentions.
August: 4 mentions.
September: Only 5 mentions,
October: There were 203 mentions, and a story by Jeffrey Goldberg about General Mattis' hatred for Trump
November: With 91 mentions, including Mark Bowden's article about "What top military officers really think about Trump," which included "officers up and down the ranks, as well as several present and former civilian Pentagon employees. Among the officers I spoke with were four of the highest ranks—three or four stars—all recently retired. All but one served Trump directly; the other left the service shortly before Trump was inaugurated. They come from different branches of the military ...some spoke only off the record, some allowed what they said to be quoted without attribution, and some talked on the record."
December: Cover story is "How to Stop a Civil War," and every article involves some divisive message: "How America Ends," "Too Much Democracy is Bad for Democracy," "Can this Marriage be Saved?" "The Enemy Within," "Against Reconciliation: How Civility Could Make Things Worse." 137 mentions.
January/February: a paltry 24 mentions, most of which were in a glowing profile of Joe Biden.
March: Cover story is "The Nuclear Family a Mistake," written by David Brooks, supposedly a conservative. 110 Mentions.
April: 145 mentions, with a cover story by George Packer: "How to Destroy a Government: The president is winning his war on American institutions."
May: 50 mentions.
June: 97 mentions.
July/August: 117 mentions of Trump. Cover story was "On The Nature of Complicity: Trump's Enablers and the Judgement of History."
In the past 4 years as editor, nearly all of Jeffrey Goldberg's articles are anti-Trump. Specifically, he's written a lot of articles about the military's secret hatred for Trump. None of them really stuck, not like his most recent hit piece.
June 2018: "A Senior White House Official Defines the Trump Doctrine: 'We're America, Bitch'." He uses an anonymous source, which he describes as "a senior White House official with direct access to the president and his thinking."
August, 2018: "Donald Trump's Mafia Mindset."
March 2019: "Impeachment: An Argument."
August 2019: "He's Getting Worse." "This most recent phase of the Trump presidency is the most dangerous so far. He has, of course, encouraged violence, or suggested its efficacy, on many occasions in the past. In March, in an interview with Breitbart News, he made it plain that he was sympathetic to those of his supporters who might feel compelled to become violent on his behalf. "I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump. I have the tough people, but they don't play it tough—until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad." And he has spoken about the press in such a way as to possibly stimulate thoughts of violence among his more fervent adherents."
The Editor's Note for the December 2019 issue.
He's written several articles about Mattis. In December, 2018, "Mattis Always Understood Trump's Severe Defects." In October 2019, "The Man Who Couldn't Take it Anymore." In June of this year, he wrote "James Mattis Denounces President Trump, Describes Him as a Threat to the Constitution"
Then there was "Unthinkable: 50 Moments that Define an Improbable Presidency," assembled by — you guessed it — Jeffrey Goldberg. Goldberg describes Unthinkable as "50 of our writers examined the most outlandish moments of Trump's first two years in office, incidents that we could not imagine occurring in other administrations, whether Republican or Democratic."
One of the most egregious aspects of Goldberg's reporting was his slipshod use of anonymous sources. Four of them, all anonymous. And they happened to be the only sources who gave him the dubious information.
The kind of person who is too afraid to stand with that story is the same kind of person that would lie about it.
Also, the dangerous power of anonymous sources is that the readers are forced to use their imaginations.
Journalists are supposed to use anonymous sources only as a last resort. That's journalism 101.
Assuming that Jeffrey Goldberg actually used sources at all, let's refer to Society of Professional Journalists's "Ethics of Using Anonymous Sources"
- Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources' reliability - "The most important professional possession of journalists is credibility. If the news consumers don't have faith that the stories they are reading or watching are accurate and fair, if they suspect information attributed to an anonymous source has been made up, then the journalists are as useful as a parka at the equator.
- Always question sources' motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises -
According to the Associated Press, widely considered the authority on journalistic standards, "Transparency is critical to our credibility with the public and our subscribers. Whenever possible, we pursue information on the record. When a newsmaker insists on background or off-the-record ground rules, we must adhere to a strict set of guidelines, enforced by AP news managers."
Material from anonymous sources may be used only if:
- The material is information and not opinion or speculation, and is vital to the news report.
- The information is not available except under the conditions of anonymity imposed by the source.
- The source is reliable, and in a position to have accurate information.
"Before agreeing to use anonymous source material, the reporter should ask how the source knows the information is accurate, ensuring that the source has direct knowledge. We must explain in the story why the source requested anonymity. And, when it's relevant, we must describe the source's motive for disclosing the information."
It's a bit harder to find The Atlantic's specific policy on anonymous sources, but they've certainly written about it. Like this article from September 2018, "Anonymity Is Having a Moment: But when is it justified?" The author quotes British novelist E. M. Forster: "Anonymity, he argued, is best suited for fiction—and dangerous in newspapers."
But, as usual, the editors and writers make exceptions to journalistic and ethical standards when attacking Donald Trump.
"Trump is a journalist's dream," concluded a 2017 study by Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center on Media. "Reporters are tuned to what's new and different, better yet if it's laced with controversy. Trump delivers that type of material by the shovel full. Trump is also good for business. News ratings were slumping until Trump entered the arena. Said one network executive, '[Trump] may not be good for America, but [he's] damn good for [us].'"
News coverage of Trump is mostly negative, partly neutral, and almost never positive. And the focus tends to be on Trump's character and personality instead of his policy. Not only was the coverage almost uniformly bad, Trump accounted for 41 percent of all news stories they collected, dramatically more than the last four presidents.
So much that, according to the Harvard study, the media are "setting a new standard for unfavorable press coverage of a president." A pattern that began before Trump was elected, with his election campaign.Compare all of the above to observations Trump made three decades ago in Art of the Deal, "One thing I've learned about the press is that they're always hungry for a good story, and the more sensational the better. It's in the nature of the job, and I understand that. The point is that if you are a little different, or a little outrageous, or if you do things that are bold or controversial, the press is going to write about you."
The media have unequivocally stated that Trump is bad for the country, and that coverage of Trump is beneficial to him but harmful to the country.
Only to provide him with an unprecedented amount of coverage, because he makes them a lot — and I mean a lot — of money. But to preserve their image, they overcompensate and make sure the coverage is dauntingly negative.
If they truly felt an imperative to combat Trump, they'd cover him the same way they covered the last four presidents. They'd take a more neutral tone, minimize the hostility, and reduce the amount of coverage they give him. Give him enough rope, sort of thing.
Otherwise, their moral stance is little more than arrogant posturing. Hypocrisy.
They want both. Money and hero status. But it's obvious that money is the more important of the two. Which is fine. Just drop the sanctimonious tone and the savior complex.
There have been half-steps. In March 2016, The New York Times ran an article titled "Shared shame: The media helped make Trump," "Despite some outstanding coverage of Trump, on the whole we in the media empowered a demagogue and failed the country. We were lap dogs, not watchdogs."
It serves as a self-rebuke, a promise, noting that "we in the media screwed up."
For a Democracy to be effective, the citizens must be active, but in order to do so, they must be informed. The New York Times article is an apology for the media's failure to perform those crucial duties, as an institution of American democracy.
A recent study in peer-reviewed journal Science Advances concluded that "there is no liberal media bias in the news political journalists choose to cover," which is an interesting way to frame the issue.
Particularly the phrase "to cover," the two words that Salon left out of their headline. And "no liberal bias in the media" is much different than "no liberal media bias in the news political journalists choose to cover."
The researchers made no determination on the bias or non-bias of the content. Instead, they looked for "gatekeeper bias" specifically whether or not journalists choose which stories to report based on their personal political beliefs.
They do not, is the conclusion.
The study also debunked the idea that most journalists are independents, not liberals. Previous researchers relied on surveys, which allowed journalists to self-identify or completely ignore the question. This time, however, the researchers used Twitter to measure journalists' political leanings.
They determined that "journalists are overwhelmingly liberal—perhaps even more-so than surveys have suggested. Most journalists are far to the left of even the average (Twitter-using) American." Which is quite a statement, considering Twitter itself leans disproportionately left.
The media claims Trump is a threat to our country. They insist they have a moral dilemma to report on Trump. What they don't say is that news about Trump makes them a lot of money. Coverage of Trump has been overwhelming negative. Negative coverage is actually beneficial to Trump.
If the media truly felt a moral imperative, a concern for the nation, they would stop reporting on Trump. Or at least adapt a style that doesn't feed into his success.
If the media determines that a particular subject is harmful to the nation, and that reporting on it is detrimental to the country, but the coverage of that subject makes them a lot of money, which will they choose?
Trump himself has been using the media to his benefit for decades.
The implication here is that the benefits Trump coverage provides the media is more important than any detrimental effect he has on the country.
If Trump's inflammatory comments about the media are dangerous, then so are all the inflammatory hit-pieces about Trump. You can't insult someone then expect praise in return. And if they insult first, so what. The America public, is far more intuitive and fair than the media often portray and assume.
Gallup recently reported that 66 percent of people think that the media don't do a good job or separating fact from opinion, and 62 percent of Americans consider the media to have bias, with 64 percent reporting that they consider the media to have a liberal bias. Nine in 10 Republicans reported having "personally lost trust in the news media in recent years."
A journalism degree isn't license for full-scale, ideologically driven warfare against any one political candidate or their followers. Because a journalism degree is nothing more than a degree. You don't even need a degree to become a journalist. You don't need any formal training at all. You don't even need any informal training.
There is no accreditation. No governing body of journalism. No board of directors to revoke our license if we violate the laws of our profession. There is no licensing, no book of laws. In reality, it's an industry full of creatives and academics.
Far too many journalists isolate themselves with ideology. Then they place their political beliefs higher than their journalistic duties. There's no governing body, so who's going to stop them?