Friday, September 16, 2016

The MSM vs. Trump

"A man's judgment cannot be better than the information on which he has based it" - Arthur Hays Sulzberger

            During a rally in New Hampshire Donald Trump announced that the representatives of the press were going to be a half hour late and had asked him to postpone his speech.  He responded with a definitive NO.  The audience gave a resounding cheer for his response.  This disturbed the CNN’s talking heads, Ashleigh Banfield and Dylan Byers. Banfield complained, “So what I’m wondering is why so much cheering, other than a lot of people who go to Trump events like to besmirch the media too. Do people not realize or are they forgetting that other critical element of it?  Either you have a media, or you have what I witnessed in Saddam’s era … where you never got to actually call yourself press or you’d go to jail for it."  Byers complained that trust in the media was at an all-time low.  He attributed this to the Republicans and Trump in particular with his aggressive anti-media rhetoric.

            It is difficult to believe that these supposedly well educated and successful people are so clueless.  However, they are following in the footsteps of generations of people who have traveled to the Soviet Union, Communist China and Cuba, and have seen paradise.  Sociologist Philosopher Lewis Feuer commented, ”The Intellectual Elite in both the United States and Europe has a record of recurrent misjudgement and misperception of social reality.  Its members have yielded to wish fulfillment, emotional indulgence and even insincerity while claiming to the public at large that they were inspired by scientific reasoning.”

            Banfield and Byers’ “misjudgments” depend on a lack of information.  They are even ignorant of the history of their own organization.  In 2003 CNN head Eason Jordan admitted in a 2003 New York Times op-ed piece titled “The News We Kept to Ourselves” that he deliberately whitewashed Saddam Hussein’s atrocities.  Other examples of blatant media “misjudgments” include Jayson Blair and Pulitzer Prize winner Janet Cooke.  Of course the greatest Pulitzer winner was Walter Duranty who successfully covered up the Ukrainian famine for the New York Times.   On a visit to Berlin in June 1931, Duranty informed A.W. Klieforth of the US Embassy that, "in agreement with The New York Times and the Soviet authorities, his official dispatches always reflect the official opinion of the Soviet regime and not his own.”  Newspapers have a long history of distorting the truth in order the achieve their objectives.  William Randolph Hearst told Frederic Remington when he was on assignment for the paper, “You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war."  It is quite possible that the United States would not have recognized the Soviet Union in 1933 or engaged in the Spanish-American War if not for the media.

            Donald Trump has been somewhat restrained in his contempt for the media.  When reporter Walter Winchell told President Roosevelt that Alger Hiss was spying for Moscow, Winchell claimed, “Leaning closer and pointing a finger in my face, he [Roosevelt] angrily said, ‘I don't want to hear another thing about it!  It isn't true.’"  Winchell was not invited back to the White House for several months.  In the final days before the election, three newspapers that endorsed John McCain were booted from the Obama campaign bus. The New York Post, Dallas Morning News and Washington Times were unceremoniously shown the door immediately after their papers' endorsements appeared and were replaced with Jet and Ebony magazines.

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