by George Rasley
Thursday, some 300 newspapers published editorials attacking President Trump for calling certain media figures and companies “the enemy of the people.”
The effort was conceived by the Boston Globe and promoted by the American Society of News Editors, the New England Newspaper and Press Association and other groups.
Marjorie Pritchard, the Globe’s deputy editorial page editor, told CNN the goal was to raise awareness in the public mind of “the importance of a free and independent press.”
If that was the goal, as far as we can tell it failed to deliver.
And the reason that it failed is because the American public, outside the largely coastal enclaves of the self-appointed urban elite, long ago realized that most of today’s “press” is neither free nor independent.
The days of the feisty independent newspaper publisher are long gone. They have been replaced by corporate managers in thrall to next quarter’s profits, who are not rewarded for speaking truth to power or fighting for the little guy, but for how many column inches of ad space they place.
And that same progressive corporate ownership of multiple newspapers must have made getting the orders to push the Boston Globe’s anti-Trump narrative to 300 newspapers very easy.
Today’s “reporters” are no longer the wisecracking working guys of the black and white movie era portrayed in Howard Hawks’ “His Girl Friday,” or the fictional crusading frontier editor Dutton Peabody, portrayed by Edmond O’Brien in John Ford’s “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”
Instead, especially in the big cities, “reporters” are much more likely to be graduates of the same elite colleges and universities attended by the other members of the political and cultural establishment.
They share the same Marxist progressive post-modern worldview and go to the same chic restaurants and fern bars frequented by the rest of the self-appointed establishment elite.
Far from wanting to hold the political and cultural establishment to account for its perfidy and misdeeds, today’s media elite are much more likely to join it and parrot it’s pre-packaged talking points and conventional wisdom.
This failure of journalistic objectivity and independence reached its nadir during the Obama era when any objective evaluation of the President’s policies or rhetoric was off limits and the self-appointed elite of the big media were quick to pile on with accusations of racism against any independent voice that questioned Obama or investigated the actions of his administration.
What’s more, the censors of journalistic independence and freedom aren’t minions of a Trump-led police state, they are the progressive corporate oligarchs of Silicon Valley who use their control over major parts of the modern internet communications infrastructure to enforce progressive orthodoxy on the real free and independent voices in the public square.
And nothing quite illustrates the herd mentality and intellectual and moral bankruptcy of today’s media elite that the 180-degree turn executed by the big media on November 8, 2016 – Election Day 2016.
The looks on their faces when Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton told millions of Americans all they needed to know about whose side big media was on. It wasn’t the side of the little guy; the out of work Rust Belt millworker, the hard-pressed suburban family or the small business owner fighting to keep the doors open in the face of ever-increasing government regulation.
Election Night made it clear the establishment media wasn’t on the side of the little guy who pushed Donald Trump over the top in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio; it was on the side of the Obama – Clinton kleptocracy of Uranium One, of half-million dollar speaking fees, of multi-million dollar green energy subsidies, of open borders and the Wall Street – Washington – Silicon Valley Axis.
Since Election Day 2016 the establishment media’s herd mentality and intellectual and moral bankruptcy have only gotten worse; the obsession with the thoroughly discredited “Russian collusion” narrative, the incessant carping on the appearance rather that the substance of Donald Trump’s presidency and the snide elitist commentary on whether Trump is “presidential” have only served to harden the view of millions of voters that the media isn’t on their side and is indeed the enemy of the people.
In the face of the establishment media’s unrelenting attacks Trump has reached 50 percent approval because he has largely delivered on his promises to the little guys, so eloquently stated in his campaign speech at Monessen, Pennsylvania:
Many Pennsylvania towns, once thriving and humming, are now in a state of total disrepair. This wave of globalization has wiped out totally, totally, our middle class. It does not have to be this way. We can turn it around and we can turn it around fast.
But if we are going to deliver real change, we’re going to have to reject the campaign of fear and intimidation being pursued by powerful corporations, media leaks and political dynasties. The people who rigged the system for their benefit will do anything and say anything to keep things exactly the way they are.
The people who rigged the system are supporting Hillary Clinton because they know as long as she is in charge, nothing is going to change. The inner cities will remain poor. The factories will remain closed. The borders will remain open. The special interests will remain firmly in control. Hillary Clinton and her friends in global finance want to scare America into thinking small.
President Trump made another noteworthy point during that speech at Monessen, Pennsylvania that bears on whose side big media is on; “This is not some natural disaster, it’s a political and politician-made disaster.”
It’s not their criticism of Donald Trump that has made many in the establishment media “the enemy of the people,” it’s their embrace of progressive narratives on open borders, amnesty for illegal aliens, the admission to our country of millions of unvetted “refugees,” big government subsidies for special interests and lopsided trade policies that have made media elite complicit in that disaster, and the American people know it.
That’s why President Trump’s characterization of some of the media as “the enemy of the people” rings true to the millions of Americans who have figured out whose side the media elite are on and 300 editorials whining about a mostly non-existent “free and independent press” aren’t going to change that reality.
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George Rasley is editor of Richard Viguerie’s ConservativeHQ.com and is a veteran of over 300 political campaigns. A member of American MENSA, he earned his first newspaper byline in 1976 for an article in The Goshen (Indiana) News. His family began in the newspaper business in 1831.