The legacy media was all but lighting themselves on fire yesterday over excerpts from the upcoming Bob Woodward book – “Rage.” President Trump, in an apparent effort to try to get Woodward to write a fair and balanced book about his administration, agreed to give Woodward 18 interviews over roughly six months.
I could write an entire column just on what a fool’s errand it was – and is – for the President or anyone in this White House to try to work with the mainstream media, but that’s a column for a different time.
Bob Woodward Is A Crisis Manufacturer
The Trump-deranged mainstream media treated the Woodward excerpts with all the histrionics we have come to expect. On CNN, Bob Woodward’s 70s-era colleague Carl Bernstein, who makes a living claiming every new fabricated “crisis” is as bad or worse than Watergate, naturally claimed that the excerpts from Woodward’s book were – wait for it… WORSE THAN WATERGATE!
Outlet after outlet trumpeted the revelation that President Trump had “downplayed” the danger of COVID-19 in March, conveniently leaving out the portion of the quote where Trump said he downplayed the danger in order to avoid mass panic from the public.
Outlets also ignored that Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said that the President never distorted the threat from the Coronavirus, and indeed that what the President said was in line with what medical experts believed at the time:
“I don’t get any sense that he was distorting anything… In my discussions with him, they were always straightforward about the concerns that we had. We related that to him. When he would go out, I’d hear him discussing the same sort of things.”
This latest attempt to fabricate a “crisis” intended to damage Trump’s reelection prospects comes just days after the previous fabricated effort – The Atlantic’s “suckers and losers” hoax – failed to move the needle with the American public.
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The Woodward smear will fail just as fantastically as The Atlantic smear did, and not just because it’s fundamentally untrue (both are), but more importantly – and disheartening for the mainstream media – these smears will fail because while the media keeps yelling, no one is listening.
Trust In Liberal Media Is Catastrophically Low
Indeed, a recent CBSNews/YouGov poll shows that the least trusted entity for news about the Coronavirus was the media. According to the poll, only 35% of respondents said they trust the national media when it comes to information about the virus.
Let that sink in just for a moment. We are in the middle of a global pandemic and roughly two-thirds of Americans believe that entity entrusted with delivering us the facts cannot be trusted or believed.
Among conservatives and Republicans, trust in the media is at unthinkably low levels. A recent Gallup poll found: Most U.S. adults, including more than nine in 10 Republicans, say they personally have lost trust in the news media in recent years.
The erosion of trust in the media is almost wholly a self-inflicted wound. The media avoided covering the violence, riots, and looting during the Black Lives Matter protests, pushed the wholly debunked Russia hoax, and conveniently pretended that the hundreds of thousands of protestors ignoring social distancing and stay at home orders would be immune during a global pandemic as long as they were protesting for the “right” reasons.
Media Attempts To Influence Election Will Fail
The next few months will do absolutely nothing to restore the American people’s faith in the media – but the silver lining is that the media has lost the ability to effectively influence the American electorate.
I have spent almost all of my adult life working in and around the media. I have felt no glee in watching an institution that is critical to a functional republic lose its way. The truth is that we need a functional, fair and objective media.
I sincerely hope that at some point, members of the main stream media will recognize just how much damage they have done to journalism and embark on a sincere effort to fix it.
But I ain’t holding my breath…
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