October 21, 2019

JOEL KOTKIN: Media Meltdowns and Political Polarization.

The mainstream media increasing appears much like the classic tale of the boy who cried wolf so often that when the wolf showed up no one believed him.

Similarly, since the bust of the Mueller report, and the evaporation of countless other “blockbuster” exposés, the media’s credibility in the ongoing impeachment saga is now widely doubted, even if this time they may actually be right about presidential misdeeds.

This divide can be seen in public perceptions of the news media. Although somewhat improved from its low point in 2016, only 40 percent of Americans, according to Gallup, trust the media, compared to over 50 percent in 1999. As befits the media’s increasingly partisan stance, the small improvement over 2016 comes almost entirely from Democrats. Only 15% of Republicans and barely a third of independents now trust media compared to nearly 70% of Democrats.

Once the news business had enough sense of propriety and professionalism to at least maintain an appearance of objectivity. There’s ample reason, as Glenn Reynolds suggests, to see many mainstream journalists as little more than “Democrats with bylines,” willing participants in what long-time leftist and fiercely anti-Trump reporter Matt Taibbi describes as the upper bureaucracy’s “permanent coup” against Trump. If this “coup” now actually succeeds, it will be one that will simply accentuate hostility to the media among a large segment of the population.

At the very least.

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