We Need To Listen When The Media Tell Us Who They Are

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

One of the more impressive pieces of stunt driving seen in Hollywood is the J-turn maneuver. This is when a car is traveling in reverse, gets cut into a turn sharp enough to swing the car into a full 180, and while under power continues in the same direction, now traveling forward. It requires skill, timing, and precision as you need to both change direction and change gears, and keep the car on roughly the same lane all the while. Here is the move executed by Paul Walker in “2 Fast, 2 Furious.” 

It was a technique perfected in the 1970s on “The Rockford Files”.

The reason I bring this up is that we’ve been observing a political J-Turn taking place in the media since the November election. In a surprising, almost whiplash-inducing fashion, the press has whipped their approach to Washington in a similar 180, going from a full-frontal assault on all things executed or spoken by the Trump administration to a full-scale placid approach with the arrival of Joe Biden. The press today is in complete agreement with the new administration and they display this fealty with a casual obviousness.

We saw the signs of this prior to Biden/Harris’ inauguration, with journalists raving about the selection of Jen Psaki as White House Press Secretary and hailing the arrival of adults back to the White House. Psaki promptly proved them correct by passing out cookies to the press one day, then having the Easter Bunny come into the press room on another.

This goes beyond their antics and being enamored with the new administration — the press have effectively declared themselves and the new administration teammates. On Sunday’s iteration of “Reliable Sources,” host and avowed Media Hall Monitor Brian Stelter held an interview with Psaki which would be considered a humiliation of the highest order were our contemporary press capable of registering such emotion with the Biden troupe. Stelter took on the countenance of a four-month-old Corgi rolling onto its back.

His opening question was a lesson in neutered journalism:

What does the press get wrong when covering Biden’s agenda? When you watch the news, when you read the news, what do you think we get wrong?

Understand, the media complex by its own description carries the mission statement of challenging our leadership and making them accountable, for the alleged benefit of the general population. Instead, Brian asked for a performance review in the hope of getting a good appraisal.

Here is an acclaimed member of the press corps turning to the White House spokesperson and asking her to both pass judgment and to advise on how to operate going forward. This is a display as unseemly as watching a professional sports contest and the referees turning to a head coach and asking how they are supposed to call penalties, and what should be waved off. It would be an easily dismissed episode of incompetence if we have not repeatedly been treated to regular examples from across the major news outlets of this very communal behavior.

In the past week, there have been blatant cases of Democrat cheerleading from the journo-class. Chuck Todd on a recent episode of his daily “Meet The Presshad a Democrat lawmaker as a guest so both could moan outwardly about redistricting efforts the Republicans are undertaking in Texas. This is not an unexpected slant from Todd, who notably never mentioned that the Democrats are undertaking the exact same efforts in the Chicagoland area right now. But pushing this into an intolerable zone was his reaction to the longshot prospect of the redistricting being successful:

I have to tell you, I’m weirdly optimistic on the mapmaking this year.” 

Also providing some direct support was Brian Williams. One evening on his “11th Hour” broadcast he was visibly impertinent towards the fact that the filibuster was not being wiped away and Joe Biden’s radical agenda installed without opposition.

Put less classily, a lot of people would like to see [Biden] start throwing punches, kicking ass and taking names.”

Williams was especially perturbed with Democrats like Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin who have been obstinate in agreeing to do away with the filibuster. 

Lost on Williams was that those senators are supposed to represent the will of their voters, as he went on to further coach Joe Biden on what he should do to bring Manchin and Sinema into compliance:

A lot of people would like to see [Biden] start to say to voters of West Virginia, ‘You want roads and bridges? Start with the basic right to vote?’ Ditto. ‘Hey, you folks in Arizona, you want roads and bridges, let’s talk about your right to vote.'”

It seems clear that “a lot of people” is a code word for Brian Williams’ wishes.

On the topic of the filibuster the press has been especially negligent in their assigned duties. For one, there has been a rather ahistorical approach to the matter. While many in the press have repeated the Democratic Party talking points that for generations the filibuster has been used to fight against racial equality laws, what they have been less diligent in pointing out is that it has been the Democrats who historically used the tool to fight these laws. Also not reported; last year the filibuster was used a record amount of times — by the same Democrats vilifying its use today.

Especially slanted in this approach has been Manu Raju, of CNN. Mr. Raju has been particularly focused on Senator Manchin, actually badgering the man over his stance in opposition to removing the filibuster. Notably, there is little-to-no coverage seen explaining the opposition to the filibuster in positive or even neutral terms. It is normally presented as something to thwart Biden’s efforts.

What has been made clear is that the press is enthusiastic in its support of the new leadership. While this is itself hardly a surprise, what is growing in appearance is the number of times they are telling us specifically how they are on board with one party’s mission. This becomes a handy tool, as we can bring up these very quotes to display for them why we no longer accept their claims of unbiased reporting.