In a much talked about August 7 piece—“Trump Is Testing the Norms of Objectivity in Journalism”—New York Times “mediator” Jim Rutenberg takes the mainstream media out of the closet and publicly declares them in the tank for Hillary.
As front page news this is not exactly man bites dog, but he goes further actually to excuse this bias because, after all, Trump is Trump:
If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?
How’re you supposed to cover a woman whose family foundation helped Putin corner the uranium market? Oh, never mind. Rutenberg’s point is that the barbarian Trump has put those Fourth Estate idealists in a quandary as never before. The poor dears always try to be neutral, but The Donald is just too many bridges too far. They just can’t be even-handed anymore. (Please stay clear of your computer screen if you start to sputter.)
But the truth is that—although he can be a loudmouthed blowhard with poor impulse control—Trump is not remotely what they say he is: a racist, sexist demagogue. In fact, if you bother to look it up, he was more than a decade ahead of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on one of the most “sainted” of all liberal issues—gay marriage. But don’t expect to see that covered by Gutenberg, et al.
The real reason the MSM disdains, even loathes, Trump is that he threatens what I call The Big Wink, which means he threatens them.
Qu’est-ce que c’est The Big Wink?
We saw it writ large during the (media pronounced) highly successful Democratic National Convention—the key topic of which, beside the excoriation of Donald Trump, was the rescue of the middle class, a middle class, no one admitted, that has done surpassingly poorly during the Obama administration. Improving the situation of minorities was also, as always, invoked, even though minorities, particularly blacks, have done even more wretchedly over the last eight years.
Unspoken, not surprisingly, was a truly uncomfortable truth—the people who have done best under the Obama administration are the rich. No one said or did anything for eight years as the labor participation rate declined to new lows and stocks rose to new highs. The rich profited at the expense of the poor (somewhat) and the middle class (a lot). The Democrats have become the secret—or not so secret—party of the rich.
The media are, for the most part, those rich people, the most successful of them ensconced well up into the higher reaches of the one percent. They also are people who like to think good of themselves, that they are “doing good.” For the older ones, now in control, this comes from their “fight the power” college days, only now they are the power. How do you resolve such a contradiction? By making morally narcissistic pronouncements on behalf of the disadvantaged while privately hoping for, even working for, the status quo.