We are the enemy.
That’s what the president said of “the media” — and really, if nothing else, we need to discuss the all-encompassing idiocy of that label sometime.
But now isn’t the time, because right now we need to discuss the continued attacks from the highest office in the country on the profession that is meant to hold him and all other elected officials accountable.
Because two days after the president of the United States stood in front of a crowd and TV cameras and pointed at the reporters covering his rambling, bumbling speech, and told everyone that those people are “the enemy,” a guy went into a newsroom in Maryland and shot dead five journalists.
Now, maybe there is and maybe there isn’t a direct correlation between the two things — there is currently small pieces of evidence pointing in both directions.
But the climate created by Trump and promoted by the state-run media outlet at Fox News and on conservative outlets certainly hasn’t helped.
And before you crank up the whataboutism machine, no, progressive voters heckling and protesting elected officials and cabinet members is not even in the same universe as the president of the country labeling a group of people as an enemy to the country. If you can’t comprehend this, find yourself a snow shovel and whack yourself in the forehead until it sinks in.
It’s easy to understand why those conservative outlets spend so much time insisting that the mainstream media is biased. Because it’s the only way to make their channel digestible.
The average Fox viewer knows that what comes spewing out of that channel is mostly completely biased garbage. But they justify it by convincing themselves that all of the other outlets are biased too.
And they set up fake tests to prove it. Sure, Hannity lied 14 times in his first segment tonight, but ABC had to correct a report last month and NBC fired an anchor for fabricating a story 25 years ago.
See, all of them are biased.
From there, it’s a small step to believing the president when he insists over and over and over again that the media are liars and evil and very bad people and the real enemy of the country.
And dopey Americans buy it.
That’s right, I said “dopey.” Because you have to be on the fifth level of stupid to believe that media outlets with standards and ethics and editing and accountability are somehow part of this grand conspiracy to bring down Trump or Republicans or conservativism.
If you spent 15 minutes in any newsroom in America, you’d leave with no doubt that the reporters not only aren’t following some secret liberal directive, they’re usually not following any directives at all.
What they are doing is covering your town’s council meetings and school board meetings and court hearings and police investigations. They’re giving you the inside story of the economic development deals and exposing corruption and misdeeds. They’re covering your kids’ sports teams and your favorite college’s athletic programs. They’re out in the community every single day, talking to the people who make the place go and learning all they can about the things you care about.
And yes, they also publish editorials and columns in clearly designated areas that provide informed opinions on matters of interest.
Instead of celebrating that source of valuable information, so many people on the right want it torn down. Because too often facts — they have a liberal bias, you know — get in the way of their personal beliefs. Or because those reporters’ stories and facts and historical knowledge get in the way of their goals of corruption and malfeasance.
That’s why Trump and today’s GOP so badly hate the real media. Because every day, those folks are out there reporting the truth, calling him out when he lies repeatedly, correcting his ignorant “facts” and cutting through the nonsense to provide the country with an accurate report on matters that affect them.
In that sense, I guess the media is, technically, the enemy.
Not of the country. Not of the American people.
The American mainstream media is the enemy of corruption, corrupt people, liars and those who wish to sell out the people in exchange for personal wealth and glory.