Margaret Sullivan has had enough. The virulently anti-Trump Washington Post columnist has decided that the mainstream media is covering mass shootings all wrong. In her piece on Sunday, Sullivan argues that it’s time for the media to “take sides” on the issue of gun violence in America, seeing as how there is only one “right” side of the issue for any responsible journalist.
“Just as there was in the 1950s and 1960s while covering civil rights, or today in covering the climate crisis, there actually is a right or wrong side on the matter of controlling rampant gun violence,” she writes. “Journalists need to be on the right side of that, and not afraid to own it.
“Can the news media really go on a righteous crusade about gun laws — or about identifying white supremacy — while maintaining their roles as truth-tellers?” she asks.
To find the answer, she goes to Tim O’Brien, another explicitly anti-Trump opinion writer.
“I think the media has soft-pedaled Trump and the GOP’s racism,” O’Brien said, absurdly. “Trump has opened the door to tragedies like this and I think we can expect more. Nobody in the GOP has the political courage to come out strongly against him — and, in fact, many are happy to be complicit.”
So…let’s get this straight. Margaret Sullivan, whose paper’s motto became “Democracy Dies in Darkness” after the 2016 election, believes that the media hasn’t yet chosen sides? Tim O’Brien actually believes that the media has “soft-pedaled” things when it comes to “Trump’s racism”? Kinda like how they “soft-pedaled” Trump’s supposed collusion with Russia, eh?
No, we don’t believe it. These are educated people. They can’t possibly believe what they’ve written here. They can’t possibly think that a single American reader is actually confused about where the media stands on Trump, Republicans, racism, or gun control.
So what is the point of such a piece? Who knows, Sullivan was apparently just looking for something to say about these shootings that hasn’t already been said a million times. But, you know, just because something hasn’t been said doesn’t mean it should be.