“The fake news media isn’t my enemy; they are the enemy of the American people.” This quote, as we all know, came from President Trump late last week. It’s a quote that got massive attention, as soon as it was tweeted out, and it’s one that has members of the mainstream media in shock. It’s also a quote that has put the press on notice, bluntly, so there can be no doubt that this guy, the President, has absolutely no fear of them or their rapidly dwindling power and influence.
No one has stood up to bullying news outlets like this since Ronald Reagan was President. The press hated Reagan, as well, because he could not be intimidated by them and he made it clear that HE was in charge, not the preening, agenda driven reporters that think it is they who should be running the country. But President Reagan had a different method than President Trump when taking on the press. He would good naturedly tease them, brush them off and often laughed at their attempts to run rough shod over him and even try to bring down his presidency. With Donald Trump, these reporters are facing someone who goes toe to toe with them, calls them out for who and what they are and treats them with no respect, because the way some of them act, they deserve no respect. And members of the press are scared.
They are scared because they see what’s left of their credibility shrinking by the day. The term ‘fake news’ is on the lips of most Americans now. Americans distrusts them. No longer do people buy hook, line and sinker what they watch on TV news, read in the newspapers or see online. The public now questions what is reported in the media, because they understand clearly now that many in the press have, for years, been manipulating and slanting their reports to make the public think and believe what they want them to think and to believe and not necessarily give them accurate accounts of what’s really going on. It has even been exposed that some survey and polling questions are now asked in ways that will get the hoped-for results in their constant effort to sway public opinion.
The outraged media types indignantly complain that freedom of the press is vital to democracy and to deliberately undermine it, as they say President Trump is doing, endangers that freedom. Yes, a free press is in fact vital to our democracy. But having a dishonest media, a media that creates, fabricates and slants its reporting to fit its own ideology is just as dangerous. And in so many cases, that’s what it has been doing and the people are on to them and these so-called journalists are furious about it. So, they attack and attack some more and in their desperation, these attacks get more vicious every day.
They attack Trump and even his family constantly, but he gives it right back to them and millions cheer him for it. They also attack conservatives, and relentlessly put down American values and traditions. To them, if you are patriotic or religious, believe in a strong military and advocate for the rule of law and things like border security and respect for law enforcement then you are the target of ridicule by the media, Hollywood and of course, leftist college professors. You are called a hater, if you disagree with them on any issue.
I think most people suspect that many elected officials, including on the national, state and local levels have for years allowed themselves to be guided by – bullied is a more accurate word – what might be said about them in the press. Even when they think something is right or wrong, they might alter their stands or change their decisions regarding certain issues because they are afraid of reading a negative story about themselves or that they might be the target of a scathing editorial.
Up until now, this is how many, not all, in the mainstream media have operated. They don’t want to report the news, they want to run the show. They’ve always believed that they should be in charge of policy and if the public or officials did not tow their line, they would become victims of that vindictive press. They ruled by intimidated and, more often than not, got their way because people feared them. Well, now it is those in the press who are afraid. President Trump has shown that he does not need them. He can use social media to accurately get his message out or gather tens of thousands in a crowd on short notice and speak directly to them in person.
Other elected officials around the country are standing up as well and are finally letting the press know that they answer to the people who elected them, not to an editorial board or an ego driven leftist reporter with a microphone and a camera. Honest surveys are showing that the news media has serious trust issues and are increasingly disliked. Can they ever get back some of that credibility that they have lost? That will probably depend on whether they can admit to themselves that they are the problem and change or if those egos will even allow them to change.
I wouldn’t bet on it.