Society & Culture

Addressing the Media Addressing Trump

The U.S. media establishment has been up to its usual occupation during a presidential season: harrumphing, growling, tut-tutting at the idea of putting a non-“mainstream candidate”—someone other than a liberal Democrat, that is—in charge of anything more consequential, in Washington terms, than an armchair at the Commerce Department (if that).  However, this year, with Donald Trump as inspiration, contempt has given place to alarm and indignation.  A yahoo and trash-talker sitting at the desk of Barack Obama, reversing his notable achievements, undoing his legacy?  Politesse comes unraveled at the prospect.  The liberal media to the rescue!

If you’ve been around the media as long I have, meaning possibly you were with me at Washington’s Valley Forge press conferences, you need no reminder that on important occasions like a presidential election, “objective” coverage is off.  It’s guerre à outrance.  News stories and reports, for all their grounding in factuality, take on an adversarial tone.  It’s all the more bare-knuckled in the age of an Internet alive with angry, fractious voices, ready to level accusations of every kind and strew them here and there like ticker tape.

Just the other day, as I was compiling my notes, I read that a Roll Call columnist had called Trump “subhuman.”  Aha,...

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