Note: This is a re-publish of a post that was originally published on August 16, 2016, but the post is lost after WordPress without warning took down Fellowship of the Minds on August 15, 2018. Fortunately, PaperBlog had reblogged the post, which enables me to re-publish it.
Chutzpah (definition): A Yiddish word derived from the Hebrew word (חֻוצְפָּה), meaning “insolence”, “cheek” or “audacity”.
A recent survey found that only 6% of Americans trust the media .
But the MSM have outdone even themselves in their coverage of the 2016 presidential election by abandoning all pretenses at being objective.
Now, the New York Times, the premier national U.S. newspaper, openly admits their abandonment of objective journalism in their coverage of Donald Trump and, in an act of unbridled chutzpah, they actually blame Trump for it, arguing that objective coverage only benefits his campaign by providing him with free publicity.
In an August 7, 2016 article titled ” Trump is Testing the Norms of Objectivity in Journalism ,” Jim Rutenberg, NYT ‘s mediator, writes:
If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies [Note how Rutenberg equates racism with nationalism or love of one’s nation ~Eowyn], that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?
Because if you believe all of those things, you have to throw out the textbook American journalism has been using for the better part of the past half-century, if not longer,and approach it in a way you’ve never approached anything in your career.If you view a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional. That’s uncomfortable and uncharted territory for every mainstream, nonopinion journalist I’ve ever known, and by normal standards, untenable.
But the question that everyone is grappling with is: Do normal standards apply? And if they don’t, what should take their place? […]
But let’s face it: Balance has been on vacation since Mr. Trump stepped onto his golden Trump Tower escalator last year to announce his candidacy. For the primaries and caucuses, the imbalance played to his advantage, captured by the killer statistic of the season: His nearly $2 billion in free media was more than six times as much as that of his closest Republican rival.
To justify the media’s abandonment of journalistic objectivity, Rutenberg cites MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough:
Mr. Scarborough, a frequent critic of liberal media bias, said he was concerned that Mr. Trump was becoming increasingly erratic, and asked rhetorically, “How balanced do you have to be when one side is just irrational?”
Finally, Rutenberg justifies why journalists must abandon objectivity and fairness when it comes to Trump because they are simply saving Americans from what Rutenberg knows will be a horrible Trump presidency:
It would also be an abdication of political journalism’s most solemn duty: to ferret out what the candidates will be likein the most powerful office in the world.
It may not always seem fair to Mr. Trump or his supporters. But journalism shouldn’t measure itself against any one campaign’s definition of fairness. It is journalism’s job to be true to the readers and viewers, and true to the facts, in a way that will stand up to history’s judgment. To do anything less would be untenable.
In other words, it’s Donald Trump’s fault: He’s crazy, and so journalists shouldn’t be fair or objective in their reporting because their more important job is to prevent someone crazy like him to become President.
Rutenberg is simply saying what my erstwhile socialist friend Stephanie once said, in a fit of frustration after losing an argument: “I’ve made up my mind! Don’t confuse me with facts!”
Rutenberg’s version of Stephanie is:
“We journalists have made up our minds about Trump! There’ll be no objective reporting from us ’cause we don’t want to confuse you with facts!”
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