Monday morning, a gentleman by the name of Jay Rosen, who apparently teaches journalism at NYU and has 230 thousand Twitter followers, asserted via that platform that there is a campaign to discredit the mainstream media coming from the president, and shame on this Facebook VP (he counters the accepted narrative on Russian ad buys and their influence in the 2016 election) for encouraging him:
There is an organized campaign to discredit the mainstream press in this country, led by the president. And this Facebook VP is either unaware of how it works, or cavalier about participating in it. https://t.co/kgyp5u0WOT
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) February 18, 2018
I nearly spit my coffee out laughing when I saw it because, while President Trump has certainly expressed his disdain with the mainstream press — you don’t get more pointed than “fake news” — the hit to the credibility of the legacy press started years and years before Donald Trump entered the White House.
In short, Mr. Journalism Academic, to the extent no one trusts the press, the press has done it to themselves.
Bernard Goldberg, no bastion of conservative thought, wrote his excellent critique of the public relations machine the media had morphed into nearly 20 years ago. It’s called “Bias” and it begins with Dan Rather. And if there’s a better example of the once-trusted press being exposed for their political agenda, it’s the story of Dan Rather: “fake newsman” as National Review called him last year.
The mainstream press, even as their numbers tank, still refuses to take responsibility for their own demons. It’s the president’s fault; it’s the fault of the viewers for not understanding what’s really important; it’s the fault of social media and changes in the delivery of information.
It’s never because of things like this:
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) February 19, 2018
Couldn’t possibly be the smugness of this reporter asking a question that, as Tillerson rightly tells her, is beneath him to answer (because it’s petty, office politics nonsense, frankly). What’s more, and this is what the press generally fails to grasp: IT SHOULD BE BENEATH HER TO ASK IT.
We can speculate on these things and laugh about them. We are, after all, a culture that watches “The Bachelor” as if it’s not as fake as professional wrestling. But this kind of question when you have a sit-down with the Secretary of State is embarrassing.
This reporter, however, believes she’s won. You can tell by her demeanor and tone. She’s asking the Secretary of State, who has been traveling the world as our premier diplomat, if he and the president had a catfight.
Compelling question, Ms. Brennan. No, really. I bet you stun at dinner parties.
(I looked Ms. Brennan up. She has quite the resume. Let’s hope this isn’t typical of her foreign policy coverage — and she has an extensive body of work under that umbrella — because if it is, things are much worse than I thought.)
In any event, until the mainstream press starts to recognize that their “cover your a**,” dirty laundry agenda is painfully obvious to the unwashed masses, who happen to be a whole lot smarter than the newsroom wonks think, and who happen to actually like a little gravity in their news, viewer and reader numbers will continue their downward spiral.
Ironic to be losing relevance due to an over-attention on remaining relevant instead of exercising the mandate of the 4th estate: objectively reporting the news.