The Woodward/Atlantic one-two punch designed to destroy the campaign of Donald Trump has failed. Trump still may lose, but it won’t be because of hit pieces in major liberal publications portraying him as anti-military and uncaring about the coronavirus.
Democrats are still acting like it’s 1970 and everyone believes the media. That was the height of trust in TV news, when Walter Cronkite was “The Most Trusted Man in America” and Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein became actual heroes because of their Watergate reporting. The two Washington Post investigative journalists inspired several generations of college kids to follow them. What followed was the destruction of journalistic standards for objectivity and accuracy.
In their eagerness to make a name for themselves, many of this new breed of muckraking reporters failed to follow simple procedures designed to weed out biased or politically motivated information. Hence, a catastrophic loss of trust and believability in the news and those who report it.
This is reflected in American voters’ utter disregard for the information in those two blockbuster stories.
President Donald Trump’s approval rating does not appear to have been impacted by controversy in the wake of a recent Atlantic article claiming he had repeatedly made disparaging remarks about U.S. military members.
Trump’s job approval rating hit 47 percent in a Hill-HarrisX poll released Tuesday, his highest rating in the poll since June. The poll was conducted online among 2,832 registered voters from September 5 to 8. It has a margin of error of 1.84 percent.
The crosstabs show very little movement also.
Republicans approved of Trump by an 81 percent majority, while 19 percent disapproved. Democrats had nearly opposite ratings, with 82 percent disapproving and 18 percent approving. Most Independents disapproved of the president, 55 percent to 45 percent.
A slim 52 percent majority of men approved of Trump, while 58 percent of women disapproved. His approval rating among white voters was 54 percent, with 19 percent of Black voters and 37 percent of Hispanic voters approving.
The great mass of voters doesn’t believe anything that doesn’t appear in their favorite sources of news. If those news sources tell them something is fake news, they don’t believe it. If the information matches their own biases, their own ideological beliefs, it’s accepted. The way we consume news has been permanently altered because the vast majority of the media squandered the trust that had been gained over decades of painstaking work by allowing their personal political biases — right and left — to dominate their reporting.
It used to be that facts told their own story. Now facts are selected to buttress a point of view, which is the real story. News becomes drama as heroes and villains are chosen and every story has to have purpose and meaning. Reporters aren’t simple craftsmen, using facts to construct stories. They are high priests touched by the hand of god and chosen to inform the masses how they should think, what they should feel, when they should get angry.
And who they should vote for.
There are probably other Trump bombshell stories waiting to drop. But when few believe them, what’s the point?
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