The other day Chris Hayes of MSNBC was pouting about the media’s coverage of Donald Trump’s press briefings. He called the airing of them “crazy.” He particularly didn’t like MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell using one of them to talk about “reading the Bible.”
Hayes’ pouting captures the arrogance and secularist prejudice of the media perfectly. The media sees its role not as a reporter of news but as a propagandistic arbiter — a Big Brother that will tell the public what it can and cannot take seriously.
The media every day conforms more perfectly to Trump’s description of it as an “opposition party.” Its pulling away from presidential briefings during a national crisis vividly illustrates its status as an opposition party, engaged in a propaganda battle with a president whom it hates.
The more propagandistic the media becomes, the more it insists that its coverage is “factual.” But no one takes that seriously. As Trump once told the media, “You guys have a real problem. No one believes you anymore.”
The media has become all opinion, all the time. All the journalistic rigors of yesteryear have disappeared. Most hosts don’t even bother to fake up a just-the-facts mien. They now act like what they are: anti-Trump pundits who look high and low for new angles from which to attack him.
At the beginning of Trump’s presidency, Christiane Amanpour foreshadowed all of this when she declared openly that she believes in “being truthful, not neutral.” With that declaration, she was giving journalists permission to shed any semblance of journalistic detachment and become Trump bashers. She was pushing down the wobbly wall that once separated news hosts from pundits.
There was a time when the high priests of journalism would have condemned the idea of not covering a presidential briefing during a time of national crisis. They would have considered that a violation of the media’s vocation. But those days have ended. Now they applaud anchors for substituting their judgment for their audience’s.
Like the Democrats, for whom they serve as stenographers, the media sees itself as having a monopoly on “health and science.” This has resulted in an open dogmatism in which the media spends most of its time shutting down debates rather than holding them. Recall Chuck Todd’s arrogant disclaimer before a Meet the Press episode devoted to climate change:
Just as important as what we are going to do is what we’re not going to do. We’re not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. The Earth is getting hotter and human activity is a major cause, period. We’re not going to give time to climate deniers. The science is settled even if political opinion is not.
During the coronavirus crisis, it has issued many similar decrees. The media will let us know what is and what is not permissibly debatable, who is and who is not wearing the white hats, etc. Is it any wonder why audiences have tuned the media out? It has become obvious that the media is not in the business of informing audiences but manipulating them.
Chris Hayes and company exist to turn public opinion against Trump. What they label news is simply political warfare by other means. Most of the “anchors” who tell us that, unlike the president, they are “factual” come from Democratic Party politics. CNN overflows with them, from Chris Cuomo to Jim Sciutto to Jake Tapper.
MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski once let the cat out of the bag by saying that it is “our job,” not Trump’s, to “control exactly what people think.” That’s why they are pressuring their bosses into ignoring Trump’s press briefings. He is beating them at their own game.
Whether or not the public wants to watch those briefings is a matter of indifference to them. The media feels entitled to determine what people should want to watch. To Chris Hayes, it is “crazy” that anyone would want to hear about the Bible during a national crisis. But what’s far crazier is anyone placing faith in an utterly fraudulent media.