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The first quarter is not even finished and already the journalism elites are having a horrendous time with a ruined reputation.
On my podcast to open the new year I contemplated what might be ahead for the press industry in 2023. I speculated there could be a severe dose of rendering in the months ahead, with news outlets becoming further exposed to levels previously not seen. It has taken very little time for that to prove accurate. The national press is looking less composed than an expansion team whose GM has quit before the season and manager was pulled out of retirement to get away from his crabby wife.
We are not even three months in and already our media landscape has absorbed a number of severe blows to credibility and been shown to be a hyperpartisan industry with detrimental effects. There have been, already, a collection of fractured news narratives as well as the exposure of blatant bias and collusion with governmental sources.
The exposure of the Twitter Files, begun last Fall, was a catalyst I cited leading to increased unhinged actions. To my surprise, so much more has surfaced in its wake. President Jose Biden’s classified documents discovery had the press in knots, a Chinese balloon fiasco had the media playing defense in an asinine fashion, and the race card is so entrenched that many outlets claimed a black man killed by black police in Memphis was the result of white supremacy.
When Nikki Haley announced she was running for president, numerous journalists turned equal parts racist and ignorant regarding her career. The Wuhan lab leak theory has been verified and the journalism industry that spent years stifling that story is left flummoxed explaining themselves. Lies continue to be spewed out about Florida, from false book ban claims to saying black history and even the teaching of slavery are removed from schools.
Even something benign, such as policy surrounding gas stoves, had the press looking positively foolish. They began by backing a Biden agency statement about banning gas stoves, with dozens of outlets detailing this announcement. Then, after a couple of days of mockery, these same outlets accused conservatives of fostering conspiracy theories. Also, in the wake of all this, it was acknowledged that they are looking to ban these stoves after all. Look at the Washington Post, going from reporting on the ban to saying the Right were kooks about it (after it altered the headline) and then switching back repeatedly.
Other nuggets have shown the cracks in the media facade are actually fissures in load-bearing areas of credibility. Every excuse possible has been delivered by the Democratic janitorial service to explain away the abject inactivity following the East Palestine train derailment. Last Fall, we were lectured how hateful it was to point out John Fetterman struggling on the campaign trail, and the enabling media complex has sent that man to the hospital, not once but twice. A jury foreman in the Trump-Georgia trial went on a press tour and then the press wondered how it was she had been allowed to speak — to the press.
And in the month of March alone, it appears that not reporting on big news stories is all the rage.
Have you heard much about the AOC spending scandal? How about Gavin Newson zipping over to Baja with the family as residents in his state are buried under a blizzard? There has been stoned silence about the Federal Trade Commission demanding reporters’ names be turned over by Twitter for possibly working together. Thursday, numerous members of Congress berated journalists and tried to compel them to turn over names of contacts – barely a wheezing whisper of outrage from anyone in the press.
And of course, Tucker Carlson’s revelations with the January 6 videos have to be completely dismissed. Here’s some comedy: We are told it is wrong for Tucker to extend the discussions or to “relitigate” the Capitol riot – from the very same journalists who could not stop talking about January 6 for two solid years!
Then look at this unrecognized paradox. The abject hatred/fear of Ron DeSantis now has the press hoping to have him derailed by the former president. This means journalists are quoting and retweeting Donald Trump messages freely, after bleating for years about how dangerous it is for him to have a social media voice. They do not even grasp their own hyper-contradictory position regarding the man, so they now broadcast the words of the guy they have said threatens our democracy with his words.
Our journalism class has spun themselves into a chasm of credibility, as they have had a remarkably horrific 2023. And we are not even through the first three months of the year.