Mainstream media bloviators have increasingly begun to state that Republicans do not deserve equal coverage alongside their Democratic counterparts. These figures often falsely claim that Republicans seek to “end our democracy” and that they routinely traffic in falsehoods. Ergo, there’s no need to be fair and balanced.
For example, on a recent edition of MSNBC's "The ReidOut,” Joy Reid and her guest, left-wing political analyst Mathew Dowd, preposterously asserted that media outlets in general were too neutral in their reporting on the Republican Party and should instead ramp up the hostility. Reid also urged fellow reporters to "tell voters" the GOP was a "threat" to freedom.
Remarkably, Reid queried Dowd on how the media might "get out" of this ill-advised "‘both sides’ trajectory.” Dowd replied that the media should start acting like they were living in a society that wasn't free-- and treat Republicans accordingly. Like state-run mouthpieces in Russia, China, and North Korea? Great idea!
A week prior to the Reid-Dowd fiasco, CNN primetime host Don Lemon stated that journalists no longer live in a "Walter Cronkite society” and that he should therefore be able to “state [his] truth.”
During a recent discussion with Los Angeles Times columnist Jackie Calmes (on her piece condemning "both-siderism”), fellow CNN host Brian Stelter also questioned whether Republicans should be given the same coverage as Democrats. He asked, "Is it that we’re treating Democrats and Republicans equally and ignoring GOP radicalism? Is that the heart of the problem?" No, quite the opposite, Brian. Hence your networks plummeting ratings. By way of illustration, one Harvard study found that CNN’s coverage of President Trump during his first 100 days in office was 93% negative versus just 7% positive. The same study found that CBS’ coverage was 91% negative and The New York Times’ 87%. By contrast, mainstream media outlets slobbered all over themselves in incessantly praising Barack Obama. That is not treating Democrats and Republicans too “equally.” And that cannot be good for our representative republic.
And, last March, NBC News anchor Lester Holt actually said, "I think it’s become clear that fairness is overrated... the idea that we should always give two sides equal weight and merit does not reflect the world we find ourselves in.” It certainly doesn’t Lester. Why give your news audience both sides of the story when you can just tell them what the “truth” is?
This acknowledgement—and encouragement—of the end of an objective “mainstream” media/free and fair press is unprecedented and surreal, at least in the modern era.
Is it a good idea for those in the media to tell everyone that they are no longer even going to pretend to treat the two parties equally, while they otherwise blather on about “inclusion,” “fairness,” “justice,” and “saving our democracy?”
Yet this has not stopped them from blasting Fox News and the few other right of center media outlets as being “biased.” In fact, they will probably double-down now and increasingly label them as “far-right extremist” organizations. Henceforth it will be considered fair and objective to blast any entity that doesn’t share your views…as long as you are “progressive,” and they are not.
And those in the media wonder why so few people trust them now?
Journalism isn’t what it used to be. Maybe it never was.
And that’s the way it is, Friday, July 22nd, 2022.