Klavan On The Culture

The Media Corruption that Helped Spawn The Donald

Photo courtesy AP Images.

Many of the Republican candidates defeated by Donald Trump — and Ted Cruz, who is fighting a last-ditch battle against him — have complained that the news media created the Trump candidacy with (Cruz’s words) “hundreds of millions of dollars of free advertising.” That seems to me half true. The news media did give the odious Donald a boost, but they did it by spewing such a ceaseless fume of left-wing lies that Trump’s simplistic nonsense, by comparison, sounds like “telling it like it is.”

The charge that the news media is biased toward Democrats is an old one, but only because the truth of it is so ludicrously apparent. When the chief anchor of ABC News is a former Clinton operative, when the best investigative reporter at CBS News had to quit because the network wouldn’t run her stories about Obama’s malfeasance, when the former anchor at NBC News actually bowed to Obama like a courtier to a king, Andrew Breitbart’s accusation that we’re dealing with a “Democrat-Media Complex” seems much too polite.

To some extent, the ideological corruption of our press is an outgrowth of the shattered American political consensus. As our politics has become more European and extreme, so our media has become more European and partisan. It is a shame, however, that news outlets should skew so entirely to one side, that fifty percent of the country should find itself insulted, coerced and lied to on a daily basis.

We all remember the non-scandal scandals of the W. Bush administration. A New York Times op-ed wrongly accused Bush of lying; the Valerie Plame nonsense was constructed to distract us from that lie. A hundred years of Democrat corruption led to the destruction of New Orleans in Hurricane Katrina; Bush was blamed. A handful of soldiers misbehaved at Abu Ghraib, whole shelves of books were published as if abusing prisoners were official policy.

Compare the silence that has greeted genuine wickedness in the Obama administration. The abuse of the IRS — an outrage that might’ve toppled another presidency — passed off the front pages like a summer breeze. The sale of guns to Mexican killers that cost a lawman his life — nothing to see here. The now-proven lies about Benghazi — merely a Fox News obsession. And of course (even setting aside the Hillary Clinton e-mail fun and games which would have put you or me in prison), as evidence has piled up that Hillary sold government favors for donations to her foundation, the media has consistently raised an obfuscating chorus of “no smoking gun.” Had it been W. who did what she did, no smoking gun would have been required.

It’s in this context that Trump’s bullying, name-calling, America firsting, “Only I can fix it,” blather sounds like the truth. Just watching Trump brush the oily P.C. pieties of these news media liars aside is refreshing — even to me, who detests the man. Compared to what the networks and the New York Times have given us these last fifteen years, the ravings of a street-corner schizophrenic would sound like honesty. Even Donald Trump is half a step up from that.

At Saturday night’s White House Correspondents’ dinner, President Obama told the assembled journalists “I’m very proud of what you’ve done. It has been an honor and a privilege to work side-by-side with you to strengthen our democracy.” Only a narcissist as self-deluded as Obama could think our democracy has been strengthened during his administration. Only a bunch of Democrat hacks who have betrayed every principle of their profession could agree with him.

We are looking at a presidential election which may come down to a race between a felon and a thug. That’s the democracy our media’s left-wing corruption has bequeathed us.

For more commentary, check out my Monday through Thursday podcast.