Remember how, when Donald Trump was president, writing bogus attack pieces and talking endlessly about how he stole the 2016 election were all good for the country. Because, you know, dissent is the highest form of patriotism.
Now, reporting undisputed facts that happen to be unflattering to the current president poses a grave threat to the survival of the nation. That’s what journalists are saying.
As President Joe Biden’s approval numbers continue to collapse, and polls – including the latest I&I/TIPP poll – find that Trump is more popular than Biden these days, some of the “truth to power” crowd are using their platforms to attack their fellow scribes for being “too negative” on Biden.
The argument is that hurting Biden increases the chances that Trump, if he runs, could reclaim the White House in 2024, and that will be the end of democracy as we know it.
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, for example, makes the (ludicrous and thoroughly debunked) claim that the media coverage of Biden has been more negative than it was in Trump’s last year in office, and then delivers this message:
“My colleagues in the media are serving as accessories to the murder of democracy.”
Yikes! Milbank works for the paper, by the way, that adopted the motto “Democracy Dies in Darkness” in 2017 as a thumb in the eye of Trump.
Milbank’s anti-journalist diatribe didn’t raise a peep of protest from his colleagues. It did, however, warm hearts in the Biden administration. Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, promoted the column on Twitter, with the caption “submitted for your consideration.” Other White House officials also touted the piece.
Dan Kennedy makes the same argument on WGBH.org: “Large swaths of the media simply cannot or will not move beyond both-sides journalism, equating the frustratingly hapless Democrats with a Republican Party that has embraced authoritarianism and voter suppression.”
The New Republic’s Jason Linkins – who used to write about the media at the leftist Huffington Post – headlines his article “Is Criticizing Joe Biden a Danger to Democracy?” While he makes sure to include a caveat about how “blind fealty to heads of state is the hallmark of dictatorships, not democracies,” Linkins goes on the say that, “the GOP is the enemy of democracy, full stop” and that journalists must give up their “pathological ‘both-sides’ tendencies.”
Dozens of liberal groups joined in, sending a letter to their media friends telling them to: “swiftly address your role in promoting this widespread, destructive pattern of reporting. Not only is it doing harm to our democracy, but it is also harming your reputation as journalists.”
Harming their reputation? Is that even possible?
In any case, let’s see if we can understand this line of reasoning.
The press spent four years debasing itself with wildly misreported anti-Trump stories that then forced some outlets to issue an endless number of embarrassing corrections. They did this expressly because they wanted to subvert the will of the people and drive Trump from office. That was called protecting democracy.
Now they say that, should reporters honestly report the facts about the border crisis, the supply chain crisis, spiraling inflation, the Afghanistan debacle, the endless COVID mandates, increased Chinese and Russian aggression – to say nothing of the fact that Biden is responsible for all of them – those reporters are posing a deadly threat to democracy, because by doing so they are driving down Biden’s popularity.
And we can’t have Biden look bad because that could help Trump win back the presidency (assuming he even runs and gets the GOP nomination). And if Trump were to legitimately win the 2024 election (which would have to be the case because the left keeps telling us that voter fraud is a myth), then that will be tantamount to a coup because, well, because … because … Orange Man Bad!
Is your head spinning yet?
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board