Item 1, from last January 21, a classic example of how “smart” and perceptive our media mandarins are:
By Julie Allen
Kamala Harris just ruined Donald Trump’s day. With her much anticipated declaration today, she immediately installed herself as a front-runner in the race to be the Democrat intent on taking down the president in 2020.
“Let’s do this together: For ourselves, for our children, for our country,” she said. And with those carefully chosen words, Trump’s chances of reelection entered a death spiral. She is everything he is not. . .
There is no doubt, even among her opponents, about her strength of character, her will to succeed, and her ability to fight. The only question for her now is can she whip up crowds, generating the kind of fervour that Sanders did in the 2016 primaries? On the evidence so far she almost certainly can. She has a clear message, the CV for the job, and the X-factor that Hillary Clinton did not. . .
Energetic, charismatic, eminently electable, appealing to a wide cross-section of America, and scandal-free Harris is a dream Democratic candidate.
Okay, if you’ve stopped enjoying a good laugh over this fine example of media sagacity, move on to Item #2: Margaret Sullivan, the “media columnist” for the Washington Post, worried yesterday that gosh darn it, the impeachment hearings just aren’t breaking through and “moving the needle” of public opinion. What can the media do? Answer: take sides even more openly.
Sullivan doesn’t directly put it that way, but her entire article is a splendid example of “ventriloquist journalism,” citing supposedly “neutral” experts such as Nate Silver urging the media to be more explicit in its anti-Trump, pro-impeachment coverage:
How should journalists respond to the stalemate, other than to keep doing exactly what they’ve been doing? . . .
In other words, go straight to propaganda and slick “messaging.”
But this is the really revealing part, where Sullivan unwittingly urges the media to be even more partisan while denying their partisanship:
Notice that Sullivan simply assumes that the “fact” of a Trump phone call is indisputable cause for impeachment and conviction, and how could any sensible person think anything different?
I suppose we should actually praise Sullivan for recommending that the media drop the pretense of objectivity, which doesn’t fool many people these days anyway. I wonder if Sullivan and other major media figures ever reflect on why public trust in the media has fallen to the same level as used-car salespeople. Likely not. I’m sure they think their declining impact is because of all the stupid deplorables out here in the land.