Mortally wounded animals will often put up their greatest fight in their dying moments, lashing out with ferocity at all around them to maximize the damage on their way out.
Political media in America may not have been mortally wounded on Tuesday night–though that remains to be seen–but they sure took a hit. The people who fancy themselves as more worldly and knowledgeable than most Americans went all-in on a candidate whose entire candidacy was fueled by little more than the stale identity-politics air that’s trapped inside the coastal media bubbles.
I have watched more cable news coverage in the last couple of days than I usually would in a year, all because I keep waiting to see if there will be any sort of epiphany about the real reasons why Trump won or, more importantly for them, why Hillary lost.
Even a little epiphany will do.
A tiny, tiny epiphany.
The morning after the election, I was asked by a lifelong Democrat friend of mine what my thoughts were. I told her that my big takeaway was the that media managed to make me respect it less and despise it more even though this was an election cycle where I had no emotional investment whatsoever in a candidate.
It’s not just the bias, although I will never condone that while they’re pretending to be neutral observers. It’s the overwhelming ignorance displayed by a group of people who truly believe themselves to be the smartest ones in the room. It’s like an island populated by people who are four feet tall and have never met anyone else: they all think they’re giants.
Thus far, the talking heads have almost led themselves to coherent conclusions about the election, but when they get close the myopic world view and overwhelming lack of political and intellectual diversity in their ranks slow them down before getting to the truth. It’s their laziness, however, that stops them dead in their tracks after a while.
That laziness is manifested by accusations of racism against any and all who disagree with Democrat orthodoxy as currently presented. For two straight days MSM punditry has actually ping-ponged between three blame targets when discussing how the election went to Trump: third parties, James Comey, and racism. However, rules are rules here in Barack Obama’s era of hope and change, so it is racism that naturally gets the most air time.
When discussing voters beyond the coastal bubbles, MSM Clinton apologists focus solely on race. The economic situations of any white voters in flyover states are left at the door as the pundits rush headlong to the only explanation they’ve really known for 8 years when confronted by the reality that not everyone thinks the same as they do. They see only ethnic and racial voting blocs, not people. If they do spend a moment contemplating the people of middle America as individuals, then the “white privilege” subroutine of their “Racism!” programming kicks in, quickly mollifying any internal conflict that may have been brought on by the brief introduction of evidence contrary to the narrative.
Not all members of the MSM are introspection-free. Will Rahn of CBS wrote this excellent self examination today.
The mood in the Washington press corps is bleak, and deservedly so.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that, with a few exceptions, we were all tacitly or explicitly #WithHer, which has led to a certain anguish in the face of Donald Trump’s victory. More than that and more importantly, we also missed the story, after having spent months mocking the people who had a better sense of what was going on.
This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness. Had Hillary Clinton won, there’s be a winking “we did it” feeling in the press, a sense that we were brave and called Trump a liar and saved the republic.
So much for that. The audience for our glib analysis and contempt for much of the electorate, it turned out, was rather limited. This was particularly true when it came to voters, the ones who turned out by the millions to deliver not only a rebuke to the political system but also the people who cover it. Trump knew what he was doing when he invited his crowds to jeer and hiss the reporters covering him. They hate us, and have for some time.
And can you blame them? Journalists love mocking Trump supporters. We insult their appearances. We dismiss them as racists and sexists. We emote on Twitter about how this or that comment or policy makes us feel one way or the other, and yet we reject their feelings as invalid.
Expect Rahn to be looking for work before Christmas. If he isn’t, he won’t be on many holiday party guest lists after that kind of brutal honesty.
I happened upon a tweet storm by Aaron Wiener, a writer for Mother Jones (who also contributes to The Economist) that’s more reflective of the media zeitgeist as they try to wrap their heads around hearing “President-elect Trump.” It’s a long tweet storm so I will just share a portion of it here. If you want to see the whole thing, here is his timeline. These are presented as seen on Twitter so you need to read it from bottom to top for the proper order.
Ah, there’s the smugness Rahn was talking about. Wiener thinks the press is the arbiter of whose lives are more in need of help. He’s such a Democrat talking-points automaton that he even works in “reproductive rights,” because Democrats have to pretend that every Republican running for president gets a magic wand to overturn Supreme Court decisions. It’s laughable that he believes he doesn’t live in a bubble because his D.C. neighborhood is ethnically and racially diverse. That’s the only kind of diversity that matters to Democrats and progressives, so he’s good to go using that playbook.
The losing playbook.
As for political diversity, DC went 93% for Hillary Clinton. Aaron Wiener, however, truly believes he is exposed to a diversity of opinions.
The media won’t notice the plights, feelings, or often even the existence of voters outside of their very real bubbles because the media long ago decided those people don’t matter.
Because they’re not contributing to a story that makes the media feel good about themselves.