The so-called establishment media that Donald Trump is attacking is a part of the free press. We have media for everyone, from Trotskyists to the deplorables on the right, for serious information seekers to gossip lovers and breast gawkers. All of it depends on our support to survive – even Public Broadcasting.
Establishment media is staffed by professional journalists who are supposed to be fair – despite their biases. (Think about it: there is a difference between bias and being fair.) Good journalists in the establishment media have acquired a dislike for Trump. And he has pointed to journalists and news organization like CNN and called them liars. Trump fights back with his usual exaggeration and his play to sensation. It helped him win the nomination.
Trump flatters his crowd. He dismisses the majority. He credits the establishment media with having more power than they do. He is telling us that we are its dupes. He tells his audience that the only people brave enough to stop this corrupt machine are them, that they are the only force strong enough to save the country.
A part of the corrupt machine, he claims, is the media. If Trump were a better candidate he could win despite whatever media bias existed prior to his campaign. After Richard Nixon lost his race to be governor of California he told the press "You don't have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference. That was in 1962. Nixon won the presidency in 1968.
Many decades ago it was Marxist revolutionaries who were complaining about the establishment and media bias. They had their newspapers and it was for them to expand their readership. Today, the so-called establishment press is struggling against competing media – competition something we are supposed to appreciate. Right-wing media is prolific. The power to fix the presidential election has been Trump's to gain with arguments that are more credible. His attack on the media is his excuse for failing to impress people – including our able opinion-journalists – that he knows what he is talking about.
Copyright © 2018 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.