Contributor Post Created with Sketch. On the Media, Maybe Trump Has a Point

 

President Trump’s line for at least his entire presidency is to call them “The Enemy of the People.” I’ve found it hyperbolic, bordering on dangerous. As a semi-member of the media and married to an honest-to-God member, it made me nervous. But after reading Ronan Farrow’s new book Catch and Kill I’m of the mind that, you know what, maybe Trump has a point. When you cover for a rapist and, in the case of Jeffrey Epstein, a pedophile, you’ve earned being called an enemy of the people.

The new book about Farrow’s investigation into Harvey Weinstein and the subsequent revelations about Matt Lauer and other NBC executives is almost too outrageous to be believed; the coverup didn’t just involve Weinstein’s media friends, but law enforcement, politicians (namely, the Clintons), and even an Israeli spy company with close ties to the intelligence service Mossad. Farrow’s book chronicles how close so many before him came, and the powerful forces that stood before every journalist before Farrow.

Farrow’s page-turner confirms every worst impression the American people have about the press. It is a club for rich and powerful, filled with hypocrites who start hashtag movements and wear black in protests at award shows, all the while every single one is, at the very least, rubbing elbows with abusers and their enablers. What becomes clear is that “everybody knew” a lot, about a lot of people. And nobody did a thing.

The media are supposed to be a check on the power and abuses of the powerful forces in our country, but Farrow’s book proved they’re just another leg of the table, just as powerful and corrupt as the rest. Between this book and the ABC leak from Project Veritas, which was met with crickets in the rest of the media landscape (no doubt, with skeletons of their own on Epstein and a million others like him), I’m done feeling anything about Trump’s attacks on the media. This week, they’ve proved just how deserved they are. He keeps going back to that well because the media keep filling it with water; and after this week, the well is overflowing.

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There are 23 comments.

  1. Max Ledoux Admin

    I have near 100% contempt for most of the news media. They lie constantly, make huge deals about nothing when it comes to Republicans and then cover up for the Clintons, Weinstein, Epstein, and anyone who gives money to the Democrats. Just remember, they would have stuck by Anthony Weiner if not for Andrew Breitbart. I have no problem with Trump saying “the fake news is the enemy is the people.”

    • #1
    • November 10, 2019, at 8:49 PM PST
    • 19 likes
  2. Franco Member

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    I have near 100% contempt for most of the news media. They lie constantly, make huge deals about nothing when it comes to Republicans and then cover up for the Clintons, Weinstein, Epstein, and anyone who gives money to the Democrats. Just remember, they would have stuck by Anthony Weiner if not for Andrew Breitbart. I have no problem with Trump saying “the fake news is the enemy is the people.”

    Just the fact that these people, supposedly journalists, would consider President calling out so much obvious corruption, as an “ attack on the First Amendment” makes me want to laugh and cry simultaneously about their shallow stupidity. I can understand them not seeing it in themselves, but surely they can see it in others, right? Right???

    Nope. They circle the wagons. It’s too powerful to go up against. But that is EXACTLY what Trump is doing.

    That’s been the point all along. I never thought the media could be outmaneuvered. But now that they don’t have a monopoly, and having descended into the most cynical ploys to hoodwink their audience, losing respect for them at every iteration of rank trickery and they can’t control Trump with endless scandalmongering, they are exposed for what they actually are. And it’s quite ugly. 
    This is what the fight is about. Once you realize that, being against Trump, generally speaking, is siding with them and giving them power. 

     

    • #2
    • November 10, 2019, at 9:41 PM PST
    • 11 likes
  3. EJHill Podcaster

    Farrow is no conservative, that’s for certain. There are rumblings from both the left and the right that something just isn’t quite right. 

    I find it amusing when journalists and politicians alike openly pine for whatever it is that they consider “normal.” The normal may have been easier but if that also means the normal is corrupt then things have to change.

    • #3
    • November 11, 2019, at 1:29 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  4. Dr. Strangelove Thatcher

    I’m like you, Bethany, in that I considered “Enemy of the people” to be over the top: they aren’t the enemy of those Americans who are Leftists or wish America was a European-style social democracy. For me its enough just to point out that–by and large–the MSM is simply not on America’s side of the argument.

    The most annoying thing about the MSM–once you get past their anti-Americanism–is their obviously bad-faith denial that they aren’t Leftist political activists cross-dressing as neutral observers. You see, it’s not enough to be fifth-columnists –evidently America isn’t for everybody–they also have to insult our intelligence. 

    The MSM’s successful spiking of the Epstein story–juxtaposed with their willingness to publish blinding-obvious lies about Kavanaugh–is why nobody should ever assume, ever again, that they are reliable narrators. It’s not just that they will not report stories that harsh their preferred narrative but they also will not report stories that cause collateral damage to those they care about (Clintons, et al.)

    • #4
    • November 11, 2019, at 2:58 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  5. EJHill Podcaster

    Another thing I notice? If you mention to conservative media the role they played in Trump’s rise on Twitter it’s an instantaneous block or mute. If you voted for Trump you’re just too stupid or bigoted to explain anything to their enlightened selves.

    • #5
    • November 11, 2019, at 3:39 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  6. I Walton Member

    The print media have names associated with cities, NY, Washington, but are often national. TV has local channels, but folks watch the national media. Who do they represent since they do not represent the folks where they broadcast from? They represent themselves, senior management. This is the nature of remote very large institutions that do not produce things to be sold to individuals. Washington and giant city politics, foundations, national media are remote and do not have to sell to individuals. This is not difficult to fix. TV should be made to sell its programs to individuals, so that users pay per program, perhaps just pennies but pay for use and therefor must make decisions about what they buy. The difference between consumers making decisions and management is the difference between socialism and free markets. Choice of programs would expand massively and for the most part would represent a great improvement in quality as well as choice.

    • #6
    • November 11, 2019, at 4:54 AM PST
    • 1 like
  7. Songwriter Member

    Since becoming a member of Ricochet in 2012, I have commented at least two dozen times that the “media is the enemy.” By that, I generally meant they are the biased enemy of conservatism, and sometimes even the truth. They cannot be trusted, and every word they utter or write should first be doubted.

    Beyond their obvious bias, there is a second reason the media cannot be trusted: They are amazingly incompetent (or astonishingly lazy). Even on non-political stories, they never really get it right.

     

    • #7
    • November 11, 2019, at 5:03 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  8. Jon1979 Lincoln

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Farrow is no conservative, that’s for certain. There are rumblings from both the left and the right that something just isn’t quite right.

    I find it amusing when journalists and politicians alike openly pine for whatever it is that they consider “normal.” The normal may have been easier but if that also means the normal is corrupt then things have to change.

    It’s an interesting contrast-and-compare between Ronan Farrow and Amy Robach, as far as how they reacted to having stories spiked about heinous crimes and/or unethical actions by rich and power people who were seen as part of ‘their’ team by network executives.

    Farrow already had lost his MSNBC show, which he had basically been given on a silver platter by the network with no broadcast experience simply because of his lineage (Woody and Mia, and interning with Hillary’s State Department). After bombing out justifiably, his star already was on the wane at NBC News, so Farrow had less to lose in going to The New Yorker with his Weinstein expose when NBC refused to air it.

    Robach still had her relatively high-profile position at ABC, which apparently was not worth losing over Jeffrey Epstein. If the ABC execs wanted to protect a pedophile, she might fume to co-workers that she had the story first. But she wasn’t willing to risk her job at the network by taking or leaking the story elsewhere.

    Odds are there are a lot more Amy Robachs than there are Ronan Farrows at the networks, who aren’t going to force the issue when they know some bad actor is being protected for political purposes, if they fear their own career paths might be negatively affected (and CBS’s firing of the whistleblower at the behest of ABC was a shot across the bow to anyone else thinking about revealing details on spiked stories to the public that if you do it, you’ll be permanently radioactive at the major broadcast networks, and possibly at other like-minded broadcast outlets).

    • #8
    • November 11, 2019, at 5:05 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. Stad Thatcher

    IIRC, Trump said fake news was the enemy of the people. However, expanding the definition to cover the MSM isn’t that far from being true …

    • #9
    • November 11, 2019, at 5:20 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  10. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    I usually say that CNN or cable news died during the endless coverage of the O. J. Simpson trial. That wasn’t real news.

    CNN used to have Bob Novak on just about every program. Perhaps it died around the same time that Novak, Bill Buckley, Jack Kemp, Tony Snow, and even Tim Russert died — as Obama was being elected.

    I remember that MSNBC tried to give shows to the people who they thought were the craziest conservatives like Michael Savage (2003) and Alan Keyes (2002). Pat Buchanan worked there from 2002 til 2011 until someone looked up and decided that someone forgot to fire him.

    • #10
    • November 11, 2019, at 5:33 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. David Knights Member

    Amen

    • #11
    • November 11, 2019, at 7:13 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  12. cdor Member

    I Walton (View Comment):

    The print media have names associated with cities, NY, Washington, but are often national. TV has local channels, but folks watch the national media. Who do they represent since they do not represent the folks where they broadcast from? They represent themselves, senior management. This is the nature of remote very large institutions that do not produce things to be sold to individuals. Washington and giant city politics, foundations, national media are remote and do not have to sell to individuals. This is not difficult to fix. TV should be made to sell its programs to individuals, so that users pay per program, perhaps just pennies but pay for use and therefor must make decisions about what they buy. The difference between consumers making decisions and management is the difference between socialism and free markets. Choice of programs would expand massively and for the most part would represent a great improvement in quality as well as choice.

    Interesting point @iwalton. I hadn’t thought of that aspect previously. What a boon to local news that would be. So next, I wonder if that would help, or would local news become even more of a voice of the left. I guess it couldn’t get any worse.

    • #12
    • November 11, 2019, at 7:19 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. cdor Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    IIRC, Trump said fake news was the enemy of the people. However, expanding the definition to cover the MSM isn’t that far from being true …

    Pretty much one and the same. If I were to guess, that’s what Trump would say.

    • #13
    • November 11, 2019, at 7:23 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  14. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    I Walton (View Comment):

    The print media have names associated with cities, NY, Washington, but are often national. TV has local channels, but folks watch the national media. Who do they represent since they do not represent the folks where they broadcast from? They represent themselves, senior management. This is the nature of remote very large institutions that do not produce things to be sold to individuals. Washington and giant city politics, foundations, national media are remote and do not have to sell to individuals. This is not difficult to fix. TV should be made to sell its programs to individuals, so that users pay per program, perhaps just pennies but pay for use and therefor must make decisions about what they buy. The difference between consumers making decisions and management is the difference between socialism and free markets. Choice of programs would expand massively and for the most part would represent a great improvement in quality as well as choice.

    I suspect that this would further Balkanize and insanitize us as tiny and targeted news outlets give us ufo stories, Nazi propaganda, and conspiracy theories of every stripe. 

    But the curiously incurious world-spanning, mega-media corporate model is serving us so poorly one could almost theorize that is a conspiracy. 

    • #14
    • November 11, 2019, at 7:43 AM PST
    • Like
  15. Lilly B Coolidge

    The book that changed my mind about the media and a lot of things was “Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case” by Stuart Taylor & K.C. Johnson.

    • #15
    • November 11, 2019, at 8:36 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  16. I Walton Member

    cdor (View Comment):

    I Walton (View Comment):

    The print media have names associated with cities, NY, Washington, but are often national. TV has local channels, but folks watch the national media. Who do they represent since they do not represent the folks where they broadcast from? They represent themselves, senior management. This is the nature of remote very large institutions that do not produce things to be sold to individuals. Washington and giant city politics, foundations, national media are remote and do not have to sell to individuals. This is not difficult to fix. TV should be made to sell its programs to individuals, so that users pay per program, perhaps just pennies but pay for use and therefor must make decisions about what they buy. The difference between consumers making decisions and management is the difference between socialism and free markets. Choice of programs would expand massively and for the most part would represent a great improvement in quality as well as choice.

    Interesting point @iwalton. I hadn’t thought of that aspect previously. What a boon to local news that would be. So next, I wonder if that would help, or would local news become even more of a voice of the left. I guess it couldn’t get any worse.

    Maybe it would have a populist slant, perhaps leftist, but with time, folks learn and change. The Anglo Saxons did and many other Westerners learned from them, and while it’s slow, it’s real individuals with real interests. The centralized collective does as well, but it always adjusts toward more centralization and a narrower more powerful group centered on their collective responsibility. That’s the way most of the world always operated and these guys are taking us there because it serves the interests of the always narrowing elite.

    • #16
    • November 11, 2019, at 8:56 AM PST
    • 1 like
  17. I Walton Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    I Walton (View Comment):

    The print media have names associated with cities, NY, Washington, but are often national. TV has local channels, but folks watch the national media. Who do they represent since they do not represent the folks where they broadcast from? They represent themselves, senior management. This is the nature of remote very large institutions that do not produce things to be sold to individuals. Washington and giant city politics, foundations, national media are remote and do not have to sell to individuals. This is not difficult to fix. TV should be made to sell its programs to individuals, so that users pay per program, perhaps just pennies but pay for use and therefor must make decisions about what they buy. The difference between consumers making decisions and management is the difference between socialism and free markets. Choice of programs would expand massively and for the most part would represent a great improvement in quality as well as choice.

    I suspect that this would further Balkanize and insanitize us as tiny and targeted news outlets give us ufo stories, Nazi propaganda, and conspiracy theories of every stripe.

    But the curiously incurious world-spanning, mega-media corporate model is serving us so poorly one could almost theorize that is a conspiracy.

    Of course it would and we’d have to learn and many wouldn’t. But most would with time. It’s the way we operated throughout most of our history. While individualism was easier then and the collective is more powerful now with new tools we don’t really have a choice unless we like being run by an ever narrowing elite. That’s the way it goes, always. The Anglo Saxons stumbled into our kind of freedom and it created western dominance and wealth. 

    • #17
    • November 11, 2019, at 9:01 AM PST
    • Like
  18. DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey Member

    I’m shocked you’re still at “maybe.”

    • #18
    • November 11, 2019, at 11:41 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  19. Jeff Hawkins Coolidge

    I’m constantly reminded of the Albert Brooks quote from Broadcast News “Never forget, we’re the real story”

    There are two things working hard against the news media

    -the “change the world” mentality, where news media are heroes who are activists and “expose” things. This gives an artificial incentive to then create controversy where they can be the hero who “finds” it. No journalism student wants to hear “your job is to say who what when and where” and let others discern what that all means

    – talking head shows where the same people who cover politics are asked to opine. It increases their visibility and celebrity (see problem one) and also then gives their opinion/analysis artificial weight.

    In a world where the current corollary is “Democrats are the superheroes, Republicans are the villains” we live in a world where journalists live in a movie where they’re the protagonist.

    I would settle for a world where facts are vanilla and boring than Wolf Blitzer screaming “Breaking News” every 5 minutes 

    • #19
    • November 12, 2019, at 10:25 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  20. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):

    I’m constantly reminded of the Albert Brooks quote from Broadcast News “Never forget, we’re the real story”

    There are two things working hard against the news media

    -the “change the world” mentality, where news media are heroes who are activists and “expose” things. This gives an artificial incentive to then create controversy where they can be the hero who “finds” it. No journalism student wants to hear “your job is to say who what when and where” and let others discern what that all means

    – talking head shows where the same people who cover politics are asked to opine. It increases their visibility and celebrity (see problem one) and also then gives their opinion/analysis artificial weight.

    In a world where the current corollary is “Democrats are the superheroes, Republicans are the villains” we live in a world where journalists live in a movie where they’re the protagonist.

    I would settle for a world where facts are vanilla and boring than Wolf Blitzer screaming “Breaking News” every 5 minutes

    The absolutely most poisonous thing that’s happened to journalism at the national level is the decision by media outlets to permit the ones who are supposed to be their straight news reporters to not just pundit on TV, but to offer up their opinions on social media.

    Once you’ve staked out a position on an issue in public, human nature tends to make people dig in against evidence that opinion might be wrong. That means you have people who are supposed to just be reporting the news who are being allowed to comment on it, and who then are doubling down on their original comments in order to prove they’re right, if they run into evidence that contradicts their beliefs. The result is the current situation, where outlets like The New York Times, the WaPo, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, etc., go hyperbolic to defend their original claims, to the point that even when some Democratic politicians have moved on from the Russia collusion story, they can’t let it go.

    • #20
    • November 12, 2019, at 11:21 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  21. Songwriter Member

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):
    I’m constantly reminded of the Albert Brooks quote from Broadcast News “Never forget, we’re the real story”

    A brilliant script. The movie would be considered “conservative” by most today.

    And I always thought that the description Aaron Altman (Brooks) offered of the Devil fit Bill Clinton perfectly.

    “What do you think the Devil is going to look like if he’s around? Nobody is going to be taken in if he has a long, red, pointy tail. No… He will look attractive and he will be nice and helpful and he will get a job where he influences a great God-fearing nation and he will never do an evil thing… he will just bit by little bit lower standards where they are important.”

    • #21
    • November 13, 2019, at 6:52 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. Jeff Hawkins Coolidge

    Songwriter (View Comment):

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):
    I’m constantly reminded of the Albert Brooks quote from Broadcast News “Never forget, we’re the real story”

    A brilliant script. The movie would be considered “conservative” by most today.

    And I always thought that the description Aaron Altman (Brooks) offered of the Devil fit Bill Clinton perfectly.

    “What do you think the Devil is going to look like if he’s around? Nobody is going to be taken in if he has a long, red, pointy tail. No… He will look attractive and he will be nice and helpful and he will get a job where he influences a great God-fearing nation and he will never do an evil thing… he will just bit by little bit lower standards where they are important.”

    “Can I do anything else for you”

    “Well I sure hope you die soon”

    This is one of those quotes I use in every day conversation that is lost on most people

    • #22
    • November 13, 2019, at 8:11 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  23. Songwriter Member

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):

    Songwriter (View Comment):

    Jeff Hawkins (View Comment):
    I’m constantly reminded of the Albert Brooks quote from Broadcast News “Never forget, we’re the real story”

    A brilliant script. The movie would be considered “conservative” by most today.

    And I always thought that the description Aaron Altman (Brooks) offered of the Devil fit Bill Clinton perfectly.

    “What do you think the Devil is going to look like if he’s around? Nobody is going to be taken in if he has a long, red, pointy tail. No… He will look attractive and he will be nice and helpful and he will get a job where he influences a great God-fearing nation and he will never do an evil thing… he will just bit by little bit lower standards where they are important.”

    “Can I do anything else for you”

    “Well I sure hope you die soon”

    This is one of those quotes I use in every day conversation that is lost on most people

    The script is loaded with gems like that…

    • #23
    • November 14, 2019, at 5:43 AM PST
    • Like