The media as the ruling class


By Gary Abernathy - Contributing columnist



The first natural reaction to witnessing the national media’s abuse of every tool at its disposal to create hysteria about President Trump is to laugh at it because it is so blatantly obvious in its motivation.

But the reaction that it deserves goes far beyond merely shrugging it off. It actually enters into the realm of alarm. Never in history have the largest and most influential U.S. media outlets so aggressively and unapologetically set their sights on destroying a president for such obviously personal and retaliatory reasons.

Even the national media’s strong liberal bent and their love of political correctness, in contrast to Trump’s disdain for it, does not entirely explain why they hate him so much. To understand why they hate him so much requires us to recognize the reaction many reporters and editors really want most from the people they cover.

They want to be feared. They have adopted a bully mentality that is designed to strike fear in anyone within their crosshairs, an attitude that unfortunately has permeated much of the media whether national or otherwise.

They are offended that Donald Trump does not fear them. To the contrary, he ridicules them. And they hate him for it, which is all you need to know to understand why 90 percent of what you read about Donald Trump in the national media is demeaning, derisive and accusatory. That’s not an opinion; that’s the result of a Harvard study of the media’s coverage of Trump’s first 100 days.

Most of the national media long ago abandoned their core mission – to report the news fairly and accurately, without bias or agenda or acts of retaliation. Instead, agenda-driven journalism is the new norm, as newsroom leaders adopt the position that they have a responsiblity to protect us all from ourselves, much like dictators think.

The national media wants to be respected while completely disrespecting their own jobs. They abuse the trust that Americans by nature want to have in the media, and they produce story after story wrapped in the language of crisis and catastrophe to gin up the hysteria they created in the first place, then gleefully report falling approval ratings for the president, ratings that are driven by their biased reporting. It’s a fun game for them.

The New York Times has no standards anymore. Attacking Trump is all that matters. Its principles have been lowered to the point that it does not even require that it actually sees documents that it reports as fact, such as the memo from fired FBI director James Comey allegedly containing Comey’s notes following a meeting with Trump. Someone read the notes to the Times over the phone, and that was in turn reported as fact. That wouldn’t even meet the standards of the little Times-Gazette of Hillsboro, no matter how trusted the source doing the reading.

Following are excerpts from a New York Times article last week headlined, “At a Besieged White House, Tempers Flare and Confusion Swirls,” which offers a perfect example of how the national media manipulates information to paint a preconceived picture. Keep in mind this was presented as news, not opinion.

The article began, “The bad-news stories slammed into the White House in pitiless succession on Tuesday, leaving President Trump’s battle-scarred West Wing aides staring at their flat screens in glassy-eyed shock.”

And, “As the maelstrom raged around the staff, reports swirled inside the White House that the president was about to embark on a major shake-up, probably starting with the dismissal or reassignment of Sean Spicer, the press secretary.”

And, “In the meantime, the White House hunkered down for what staff members now realize will be an extended siege, not a one- or two-day bad news cycle.”

And, “The stress was taking its toll. Late Monday, reporters could hear senior aides shouting from behind closed doors as they discussed how to respond after Washington Post reporters informed them of an article they were writing that first reported the news about the president’s divulging of intelligence.”

Read the key phrases from this single story. “Bad news slammed.” “Battle-scarred West Wing aides.” “Glassy-eyed shock.” “Maelstrom raged.” “Reports swirled.” “Major shake-up.” “Hunkered down.” “Extended siege.” “Shouting from behind closed doors.”

Do you get the picture, or does The New York Times need to physically hit you over the head with an iron skillet to make sure you understand its portrayal of a Trump White House bobbing up and down on stormy waters like the S.S. Minnow on “Gilligan’s Island?”

The media’s coordinated attack on Trump is not relegated to the news side. News and entertainment have joined forces, as you know if you have subjected yourself to late-night talkers Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel, not to mention “Saturday Night Live.”

In fact, The New York Times, again, ran an article last week on how Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” fell out of favor with his entertainment peers after an interview with Trump last September in which Fallon committed the sin of treating Trump like a human being.

A telling quote in the story came from Lorne Michaels, creator of “Saturday Night Live” and now executive producer of “The Tonight Show.” Michaels explained that when Trump appeared with Fallon, “I don’t think anybody was focused on (Trump) winning, or that possibility. It had been absolute, bedrock certainty that Hillary Clinton was winning that election. There was no doubt, certainly in the news department in our building.”

Hear that? There was no doubt, certainly in the NBC News department, that Hillary was winning the election. When that didn’t happen, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, the Washington Post and others went from shock to disbelief to ridicule to, now, an all-out, completely coordinated, anger-fueled attack with the singular objective of driving Donald Trump from the White House – whatever it takes.

But even with every calculating tool at its disposal, the media can only be successful in the effort to topple Trump if Republicans in Congress cooperate. Sadly, as history shows us, they almost certainly will, because unlike Trump, most in the GOP fear the Washington press corps. They try to curry favor with the national media even as they know in their hearts that it is devoutly aligned against them and their party.

And when the media finally wins, and Trump is driven from office, and the Democrats win Congress in the midterms and the White House in 2020, Republicans will ask themselves how it happened, ignorant of their complicity in an unprecedented coup.

But Republicans won’t be the biggest losers. The biggest losers will be all Americans, not because Trump is no longer president, but because the national media has abandoned its mission to merely report on events, and instead embraced its power to determine events to achieve its own agenda and make itself the ruling class, tolerating no opposition. It’s a scenario no longer lurking dangerously in a not-too-distant future. It is happening right now.

Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or by email at gabernathy@civitasmedia.com.

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By Gary Abernathy

Contributing columnist