Sunday, February 19, 2017

Calling Them Out! Media assumptions vs public perception...

"Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day." — Thomas Jefferson, 1807

"Media in this country doesn’t understand that they are hated by everybody. The radical leftists know the media is liberal and don’t think they are aggressive enough and the rest of America knows the media is liberal and we can’t stand them." ~ Mark Levin, 2/16/17
Well, while the rest of us have been busy with jobs, family and, well, LIFE, the media have flailed about for the past three days over Thursday's press conference with President Trump.

In a wide-ranging, and at times contentious, press conference lasting over an hour, President Donald Trump gave an update on his administration’s progress and answered questions from the media.

The news conference was called to announce the president’s selection of Alexander Acosta to lead the Labor Department, after the previous nominee Andrew Puzder withdrew his name from consideration Wednesday. But the topics addressed ranged from accomplishments made by the administration in the first four weeks, to the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, and the dishonesty of the media.
Even some more honest alternative sites have gotten their feathers ruffled with the simple talk (I thought we'd already agreed that we lost on sophistication?). Regarding the media on whole, its soul-search is obviously not complete when comparing their assumptions to public perception (reporters should consider how it played with the public in 2016). Perhaps its just that the media bulls have met their matador in Trump, and they've forgotten that ninety-nine percent of the time the matador wins!
The press doesn't just have Trump Derangement Syndrome. They now have full-blown Trump Psychosis. And like most people with serious disorders, they are teetering close to the brink of self-immolation.

Nothing could have been more apparent in the president's press conference Thursday. Almost none of the reporters were able to muster up a question without sounding adversarial or biased.

And when they did contort themselves to ask a question with seeming impartiality, you could see the strain all over their faces, as if they were doing a favor so great they deserved a Papal dispensation.

The press in general believes and acts as if they are a protected class. But this leads to them behaving like bulls at a corrida, rushing around everywhere, attacking every possible target until the matador arrives, focusing their attention. Yes, Trump gives them plenty of possible targets -- more than he should and doubtless would like to. On this particular occasion, he blabbed on about having won more electoral votes than anyone since Reagan, when he didn't. But this obscures the larger issues on which he is so often right and in sync with the public. And on this day, he was able to play the press like a picador, banderillero, and matador all rolled into one.
I understand when some make the point that the politics of the day, particularly from the Office of the President, shouldn't simply devolve into name-calling, tit for tat ideals or the like, that there should be a decency in politics. But perhaps that allusion is off target. Perhaps it has much more to do with setting the record straight by calling them out?
I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that there is some truth in what President Trump says when he calls the news media an “enemy of the people.” Granted, the language he chose uncomfortably invokes tinpot “Peoples Republic” dictatorships, and for that reason I would have chosen something different; but Trump may actually be on to something here.

I’ve railed for years about how a biased media is a threat to the Republic (usually right before the bartender tells me that maybe I’ve had enough and it’s time to call for a cab). The reason that the Founders specifically set aside protections for a free press in the First Amendment is that they understood that a government–even a freely-elected one–was going to try and get away with as much chicanery as it could, and that the best bulwark against that was a press that would hold it accountable to the voters. The problem these days, however, is that we don’t have a free press. Oh, they may be free to do whatever they want without interference from government; but rather than exercise that freedom, most of the media (at least on the network level) have willingly chosen to become a de-facto propaganda organ for progressive causes in general, and the Democrat Party in particular. With the stories they cover–and, more importantly, the stories they don’t cover–they have actively sought to advance a narrative for the express purpose of pushing the country farther and farther to the left, all while nurturing and providing cover for Democrat politicians. And they’ve done this by openly lying about their motives, presenting themselves as neutral when they are anything but.

In other words, the news media have been trying to push us to a one-party state–one in which government becomes bigger and more intrusive, while civil liberties (at least the ones leftists don’t like) shrink ever smaller. That is the very definition of a threat to the Republic.

Does that make the media an “enemy of the people”? The answer is more gray than even honest Trump critics might think.
Dan Bongino, CR contributing editor & fill-in for Levin on Friday's program, also made a similar point that perhaps there's a lot of looking at this in the wrong way...
The media is totally melting down over President Trump’s Thursday press conference. Partisans from both sides are looking at this in the wrong way. Trump didn’t trample on his message. His message is that the system is broken and he’ll dismantle it including the media which is part of it. In addition, the media sees it as an attack on them because they see themselves as outside voices that everyone looks to for truth. However, the American people see the media as a propaganda machine for the system. The media think they have exposed Trump as a lunatic, but the people in America like to see him as a fighter. Every time Trump slaps the media his approval ratings go up. People think in stories and Trump finished the book for them and until liberals understand that they will continue to be beaten.
There's a lot of simple truth here. In more blatant ways than not, the media has become a propaganda extension of a corrupted one-party system. And while this again speaks volumes towards media assumptions vs public perception, the warning remains: never count the American Left out or underestimate the length of their supposed beaten state, which can arguably be tied into Marc Giller's line that "the answer is more gray" when considering the "enemy of the people." All in all, though, I think it is a fair statement to say that there resides within the public at large a matured level of detestability towards an untrustworthy media that rivals (and perhaps supersedes) even that of many unliked and unnecessary governmental entities. So if they won't change on their own, then perhaps the only option is to help them change. And along with its pundits, the same can be emphatically stated of the government's politicos and appointees.

Related link: Rush says Trump can defeat ‘Deep State’ attacks if he MOVES on his AGENDA items

ADDENDUM: Levin breaks down whether the media is really the 'enemy of the people'...
CR: “You have to be Helen Keller to not believe that the media in this country are not liberal,” said said Conservative Review Editor-in-Chief Mark Levin on his Monday evening radio show in response to recent attacks on President Trump for his “enemy of the people” comments.

President Trump may have come under fire for attacking the media, but he and the American people have a clear reason to, especially when such news organizations sell themselves to the country as unbiased arbiters of information.

“There’s a mindset” in the old media such as daily newspapers and major networks, just like there is in academia and in the nation’s capital, Levin said.

“The media in this country have a mixed history,” he conceded. “But let’s not pretend that they’re objective and nonpartisan,” he concluded before going into a 2015 Washington Times story breaking down partisan media bias by the numbers, “because they’re not.”

“They know they’re leftists,” he added later. “We know they’re leftists, too, so why lie about it?”

“When we criticize the media … we’re exercising our First Amendment right,” he said. “There’s nobody’s calling to eliminate press freedom in this country,” yet “there are people running around saying that this is how dictatorships start.”

“When Barack Obama was running around criticizing Fox News and talk radio,” said Levin in response to recent criticisms of the president’s comments, “I don’t remember anyone else saying that was were dictatorships start.”

“How many stories did you run,” then, Levin asked the media, about abuses of the First Amendment under the Obama administration?

“I suspect little or none,” he concluded, “because you don’t give a damn.”

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