“The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who read them, in as much as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.” – Thomas Jefferson
Using that quote may not be wise being in the newspaper business, but like much of what Thomas Jefferson said and wrote, it has a lot of truth in it. The media in this country is used to having enormous power and there was a time when the media was able to wield it quite effectively. Much of what has occurred in our culture has been due to the ability of the media, aligned with the entertainment industry and more recently, social media to shape and mold events. We still hear a lot about freedom of the press, yet along with that same freedom comes a certain responsibility. Much of that responsibility has been eroded by thirty-second news reports followed by thirty minutes of analysis.
Newspapers especially have always had a point of view and many newspapers were either unabashedly Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal. The national news represented on television was a different matter entirely. I don’t think any President of the United States has suffered more personal abuse than Donald Trump. I well recall how many on the left huffed that Barack Obama had been vilified by the right, loudly denouncing those who whispered about Obama having been born in Kenya or the like. Yet those same people who were indignant about the slings and arrows of the far right against Obama are all too willing to believe anything, no matter how base or ridiculous about Trump. One reason the left in this country have become unhinged about Donald Trump’s election is they made the erroneous assumption America had fundamentally changed with the election of Barack Obama. Obama’s globalist view of the world, his core belief the United States was not the greatest country in the world; in fact, Obama seemed to take the attitude Americans had much to be remorseful about. There were those who swooned over Obama’s reputed intelligence and speculated the presidency was not enough of a challenge for him. Some are tempted to forget under Barack Obama the middle class seriously diminished and income inequality reached its highest peak since 1928. The coverage of Obama during his presidency by the media could be described as nothing less than doting. Jim Acosta, the same gadfly masquerading as a news reporter, gushed Obama’s inaugural speech would likely be “one for the ages.” Acosta confronted one Tea Party supporter dressed as the Grim Reaper and ridiculing Obama about being “over the top.” Evidently, Acosta doesn’t think anything is over the top in ridiculing Trump.
Barack Obama recently bragged he didn’t have any scandals while in the White House. Of course there were scandals during the Obama administration, some of them utterly appalling. The problem was the national media treated them quite differently. Barack Obama demonstrably lied to the American people about Obamacare; the Obama administration repeatedly refused to cooperate with Congressional investigations, even after a judge flatly rejected Obama’s assertion of executive privilege. Obama’s attorney general, Eric Holder, became the first Attorney General of the United States to be held in contempt by Congress. Despite the outrage over Donald Trump’s executive orders, Barack Obama routinely ignored courts and frequently ruled through executive orders. There was little said by the national media when President Obama sent planes laden with cash to pay a ransom to a terrorist state. Few ever saw the investigative report showing in detail how the Obama administration subverted the efforts of law enforcement officers to derail an international drug-trafficking operation, which was run by Hezbollah, a terrorist organization.
Obama officials reputedly understood they were protected to a large extent by either the stupidity or the partisan inclination of reporters. Few reporters said little, if anything, when it was revealed Obama’s Justice Department spied on the Associated Press. The Obama DOJ tapped phones and spied on a Fox News reporter, following his movements and reading his emails. There was the Obama DOJ extorting huge settlements from corporations while the money was not deposited into the U. S. Treasury, but rather funneled to ideological and political allies of the president.
Any criticism or attempt to hold Obama administration officials responsible was decried as either a right wing plot or merely racist. Yet we’ve reached the point where employees of President Trump, his family members, and even those who voted for him are demeaned and dehumanized by people who claim to be paragons of compassion. Jim Acosta can whine all he likes that Donald Trump has wounded the media and the First Amendment. No, Jim, you and your colleagues did that yourself.