In his farewell address to the nation this week, President Barack Obama said conservative instigators online and on television were responsible for getting rid of America’s “common baseline of fact.” In his opinion, conservative media outlets have undermined the tradition of journalism and made it impossible for democracy to thrive.
What a sad, clueless man.
Conservative media would not exist in its present form if there was no appetite for it. And there would be no significant appetite for it if it weren’t for the mainstream media’s utter failure to tell Americans the truth. The corporate media of New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. shed any illusion of objectivity long ago, and it gets worse with every passing year. Tearful coverage of Obama’s farewell speech only emphasized an already-obvious point. On CNN, MSNBC, and in the pages of the nation’s largest newspapers, the propaganda has been oppressively thick for a very long time.
It’s true that Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and the Drudge Report (among many others) have undermined the public’s faith in its media institutions. They have done this by drawing attention to the many lies that come spewing forth from outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the network news empires. If the mainstream media is hanging, the noose is one of their own construction.
Remarkably, the more Americans see through the lies that color mainstream liberal reporting, the worse the reporting gets. If there is any depth to the current concerns over freedom of the press and the First Amendment, they have less to do with Donald Trump and more to do with the media’s own failings. Stop printing lies and you won’t have to worry about losing access to the White House. Stop printing leftist propaganda and you won’t have to worry about losing your readers to “fake news.”
Obama is right about one thing: Our democracy is in trouble without a trustworthy press to hold government accountable. We haven’t had that since Obama took office. This press could not have been more glowing in their coverage of this administration if Obama was signing their paychecks. It’s been an absolute travesty. And their full-steam-ahead hatred of Trump only makes their deference to Obama worse.
If the media wants to keep Trump inside the lines, great. That’s what they should do.
But so far, they only want to attack. When they actually get their teeth into a story, who’s going to believe them?