By Nancy Thorner & Bonnie O'Neil -
Do most Americans trust our nation’s media sources? President Trump has repeatedly made it clear he does not trust most of them for either accuracy or fair reporting. Evident is that the Trump White House and the mainstream media have not enjoyed the same cozy relationship as did the previous administration. What makes this a particularly problematic situation is that some media sources use every opportunity possible to report unfavorable information that harms our President's reputation. While that may appeal to specific audiences, it has a detrimental impact in general on the United States, as the World watches, listens, and uses quotes from these media sources to discredit and damage our nation’s reputation and strength world-wide.
Trump's media bias early on
The tenuous relationship between Trump and the media began during the 2016 campaign when specific powerful Democrats violated laws to target Donald Trump. An example wasCNN’s Donna Brazile, who was caught giving Hillary Clinton the CNN debate questions prior to an important debate with candidate Trump. The type and degree of bias many media sources waged against candidate Donald Trump was significant and arguably unfair as the public was inundated with Trump’s negatives. An argument can be made for the public's right to know all of Trump's faults before ballots are cast, but the same sources largely ignored mentioning major mistakes made by candidate Hillary when Secretary of State.
Anti-Trump media bias even took place on the day of Trump's inauguration at his swearing in ceremony. Media sources released pictures depicting Trump’s inauguration as the most poorly attended in our history. The public later learned that some photos supposedly showing poor attendance were taken early in the day before most people had arrived. What most media sources also failed to mention is the rainy weather on Inauguration Day. It is reasonable to assume many citizens decided to watch the inauguration on television from the cozy comfort of their homes. USA Today and other sources confirmed that. What some mainstream media sources failed to mention is that to get a good crowd estimate requires a true overhead image, but an accurate image was unlikely because the FAA made certain areas no-fly zones during the inauguration
Unhinged media animosity
The current form of unhinged animosity between the White House and Leftist media sources is not new in our nation, but it has escalated to a dangerous degree. The media appears to be at war with our President, his staff, and even family members, with intensity unprecedented in modern times. This is particularly obvious and disappointing because this same mainstream media, whenever possible, fiercely protected President Obama for eight years. Even during those times in when Obama’s mistakes were obvious and serious, most of the media avoided assigning blame to Obama for his missteps.
While it is not unusual in the World of Washington D.C. politics for the media to publish unfavorable information about Republican presidents, it is shocking how specific mainstream media sources quickly organized attacks on President Trump and aligned themselves with Congressional Democrats to embarrass President Trump, if not to destroy his presidency. On August 10th of last year, the Boston Globe called for a nationwide effort to publish editorials pushing back against President Donald Trump’s ramped-up rhetoric against news media. As Marjorie Pritchard, the Boston Globe's editorial page deputy managing editor said in this statement obtained by ABC News: “It calls for urgent action by those committed to free speech and the free press to stand against a White House and its allies who are bent on eroding a pillar of an informed democracy.” Per Pritchard's request, more than 300 newspapers joined a nationwide effort to publish editorials that were unfavorable push-backs against President Trump.
How can the public trust media sources when they have proven themselves to be so actively biased against President Trump? While Trump is not the first President to experience a negative media, reporting by the mainstream media appears to be little more than a shill for the Democrat Party. The war between specific media sources and our President has been embarrassing to our country’s worldwide reputation. The American public is left to decide what they believe best for our nation’s success on any given issue and reputation world-wide. Some believe it fair to conclude that fair and balanced mainstream journalism is dead. At least that is the perception of many Republicans and even some Democrats.
Existing double standard
Now that Democrats have control of the House, we are witnessing an uptake in negative rhetoric coming from newly elected Democrat House members whose voices are strong, but their awareness of facts is lacking. The future of these elected members is questionable when they have so little understanding of our nation’s historical values or how government works in D.C. Several new Democrat congressmen campaigned with rhetoric beyond just inflammatory, making them sound more like Socialists with Communist ideals and goals. It is time for members of the media to wake-up and examine why they chose their profession.
It has been suggested, mostly by those on the Left, that putting pressure on the President and his administration and holding them accountable for their decisions is the responsibility of the media. That is correct, but only if the media has been proven to be fair and balanced. Only the very naive of Obama supporters could ever believe that Obama's scrutiny by the media equaled that given to Trump and his administration. In the long run, history will be the judge whether the excessive scrutiny have proven to be profitable or problematic.
Although Obama and his administration made significant mistakes and some of his misdeeds were reported, his feet were never held to the fire. Few can seriously deny the media has treated Hillary, Obama, and his administration with the same scrutiny they have given the current administration. Little fact checking has been made public about Obama’s claim that his administration was scandal-free or that he was responsible for Trump's economy.
Obama's media love-fest
History records there was a time when the media prided itself on full disclosure: to report the good and the bad, no matter what or who was involved. Why were exceptions made during the Obama years? Apparent was the love affair the media had with President Obama. His Leftist policies reflected the views held by many within the mainstream media, and, as our first Black President, he was spared and/or excused for many of his mistakes. The exact opposite has been their treatment of President Trump, where many in the media appear to be at war with him. Actual hatred has bubbled to the surface and is now so intense it is dangerously close to harming our nation. Rather than seek the truth and facts, many media sources are more interested in destroying Trump and his presidency.
What were some of the coverups by the media in the Obama administration?
- The slow and even lack of factual reporting about that led up to and what occurred in the Benghazi tragedy that resulted in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and brave American patriots who tried to save the Ambassador. Many were saved. . . but Patriots Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods (two former Navy Seals) died.
- Obama’s "Fast and Furious” gun running on Mexican border that resulted in the death of an American border agent Brian Terry.
- The IRS scandal that targeted specific conservative organizations by rejecting and/or stalling IRS Republican applications for section 501 (C-4) and did so with highly questionable political excuses; in October 2017 the IRS apologized.
Examples are numerous of how media sources treated Obama very differently than how they are now treating President Trump, such as:
- He took office during a painful recession. Historically, the deeper a recession the more robust the recovery that follows, but the economy’s rebound under Obama was the worst in seven decades.
- GDP growth since the recession ended has averaged a feeble 2.1 percent, by far the puniest economic performance of any president since World War II.
- He spent more public funds on “stimulus” than all previous stimulus programs combined, with horrendous. even counterproductive results.
- On his watch, millions of additional Americans fell below the poverty line.
- The number of food stamp recipients soared.
- The national debt doubled to an incredible $20 trillion.
- According to the Pew Research Center, the share of young adults (18- to 34-year-olds) living in their parents’ homes was the highest since the Great Depression.
You didn’t know these verifiable facts? Perhaps that is because few major media sources reported them.
Internet as a tool of knowledge
The internet is a valuable and reliable tool for those among us who want to know the whole truth and are willing to check facts about any given issue. Computers have become a type of weapon against liars. The public can “fast check” almost any subject and receive information that is factually correct. Consequently, it is becoming more and more difficult for politicians and/or biased media sources to fool the public, if the public is willing to question mainstream media’s spin via the Internet and facts from a variety of sources on most any subject. The problem is that over half of Americans do not have the inclination or time to do such fact checking. Media sources are aware of that fact, which is likely why they often take great liberties in their reporting of political news.
We certainly live in an Information Age; most agree that is an enormous advantage to us and our nation. However, this requires more work and effort to discern facts from a variety of media sources to avoid misinformation. As few of us are inclined to use our discretionary time in that pursuit, “fabricators” in Congress, aided by biased media sources and a variety of various Internet sites, put forth their own interpretation of facts. Regretfully most of the public believes whatever sources they access, but fortunately there are still enough patriots who do take the necessary time to determine facts and their accuracy. When we find those sources that provide facts rather than opinionated versions of the issues, we need to share the information with others within our sphere of influence.
Our computers and smart phones make sharing easier than ever before. It behooves us to take advantage of these amazing advantages to share what we discover with others.