If you want to know why Americans trust the media almost as much as the politicians they’re paid to cover, two recent incidents are instructive. The irresponsible antics of a couple of “journalists” this week are proof that nobody’s minding the store in the MSM anymore. That job has been outsourced to… well, to us. You and me. The consumers of news. We’re doing the job their managers used to get paid to do. We’re the only ones keeping them in check. And it’s volunteer work.
Here’s Exhibit A, which I wrote about on Tuesday:
The arrogance, the dismissiveness, the smug cackling, the accents.
If Donald Trump wins re-election this year, I’ll remember this brief CNN segment late one Saturday night in January as the perfect encapsulation for why it happened. pic.twitter.com/8kQ6zN9AZV
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) January 28, 2020
Now, you may or may not be offended by this. I’m not, and the GOP shouldn’t be because it’s in their best interest to let these guys talk all they want. Republicans couldn’t ask for a more perfect example of the sneering contempt for voters that alienated so many independent voters and swept Trump into the White House in the first place. If Democrats (and Democrat enablers like Rick Wilson) want to mock the people they should be trying to persuade, Republicans should sit back and let them.
But how did this happen in the first place? How did a prime-time anchor on the world’s first 24-hour cable news channel allow it and encourage it? How did anybody else in that building let it happen?
Why did it take Don Lemon three days to address it, with this ridiculous non-apology?
Don Lemon: “I don’t believe in belittling people. During an interview, one of my guests said something that made me laugh. In the moment, I found that humorous..
.. ‘ ..”
Sure you didn’t. This is a bad apology. pic.twitter.com/p4j2b1u5sw
— Jessica Fletcher (@heckyessica) January 29, 2020
Ask anybody who knows Don Lemon: He laughs at all kinds of stuff he doesn’t understand!
How did this witless, dishonest attempt at ass-covering make it on the air? How did CNN allow any of this? Because there’s nobody in charge there anymore. CNN has no remaining standards of quality or integrity whatsoever. They’ve given up. As long as whatever they’re broadcasting is in opposition to the president they hate, it’s good. All other concerns are secondary.
So we have to shame them into even addressing the problem. We can’t make Don Lemon admit he screwed up, because his ego is much bigger than his intellect. He behaves just like the guy he’s protesting. But if nobody had noticed — and given CNN’s ratings, Lemon was right to assume that nobody would notice — he never would’ve said anything about it at all. The public forced him into it. We did CNN’s job for them.
The other example of this sad state of affairs comes to us courtesy of Washington Post reporter Felicia Sonmez. Just minutes after the news broke that Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven other people had died in a helicopter crash in Los Angeles, Sonmez tweeted out a 2003 story about a rape allegation against Kobe.
The minute Sonmez got the news that the man had died, before the wreckage of the helicopter had even been cleared, her instinct was to dig up the worst thing she could find about him. A lot of people were mourning Kobe’s death, and she couldn’t have that. There’s still a decades-old unproven rape accusation against him, and Felicia Sonmez had to get it out there quickly, while it would still get her some attention.
She didn’t like the attention she got, though. A lot of people were angry, including her own bosses. Sonmez was suspended by WaPo, and then quickly unsuspended when a mob started to form against them. Now Sonmez has become a cause célèbre among journalists, whose first instinct is always to make themselves the story. You see, journalists are the only ones who get to ruin people’s lives. If you voted for the wrong presidential candidate or tweeted a bad joke or even just wore the wrong hat in public, you’re fair game. They will do their worst to destroy you. But if that same standard is applied to journalists themselves, that’s just a bunch of “trolls.”
No matter how low they sink, journalists still see themselves as gatekeepers. They really do think they have a monopoly on the truth.
I don’t think it’s a good thing that an angry mob is the only thing keeping journos in line. It should never have come to this. The press shouldn’t have abdicated their responsibility for their own actions. But they don’t get to whine about it. If they can’t control their own behavior, if they continue to delude themselves that somehow the rules don’t apply to them, this is going to keep happening.
And they wonder why we don’t like them?