Wednesday, September 2, 2020
QOTD -- The Media Challenge
"...[T]he challenge to the mainstream press runs deeper than rendering Trump’s law and order propaganda in honest terms. Trump’s commitment to mass deception as a campaign tactic is exclusive and total. Not one of his central appeals to voters, or his in-progress schemes to manipulate them, is rooted in truth. Not his claims about his pre-coronavirus economic record; not his handling of the economy in the wake of the pandemic, nor of the pandemic itself; not his efforts to undo the Russia investigation, or persecute its investigators; not his absentee-voting disinformation or his feigned ignorance of sabotage at the Postal Service; not his claim to being “tough on China” or to “draining the swamp” or to protecting pre-existing conditions protections. The notion that he embodies law and order is just as topsy turvy, but news outlets have nevertheless allowed him to dictate the tenor of their coverage of civic unrest to them. If professional journalists respond to the challenge of a president campaigning on fiction by pretending, for the sake of argument, that it’s truth, then the media failures of 2020 will outstrip the media failures of 2016, which nearly destroyed the country." -- Brian Beutler, in "The Media Fails Its Biggest Trump 2020 Test." Beutler calls out some repeat 2016/2020 offenders like the New York Effing Times and Associated Press. To be sure there are media outlets -- print, cable and broadcast -- that usually fact- check in real time when they present stories about Trump (muted kudos to the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, and ABC News for starters).
Not recognizing and reporting the peril we face from Trump and his corrupt, rotted out party won't be just a media oops or an "honest mistake" this time around. It could usher in an even darker and possibly final chapter in our nation's history.