June 28, 2017

OUR NEWS MEDIA ARE AWFUL: We’re politically divided and hateful. Maybe that’s the media’s fault too.

The media’s antipathy toward Trump is, in both word and story selection, more open in today’s journalism than during previous generations. As conservative politicians have long known, reporters’ questions for Republicans usually are more hostile than their ready acceptance of Democratic statements.

Until the late 1900s, however, professional ethics and editing rules dictated those personal proclivities be muted, if not hidden. Some of us took considerable work-pride in masking political leanings, to the point of regularly changing party voter registrations should anyone check.

In the late 1980s senior editors of prominent Eastern dailies began encouraging writers to insert “attitude” not just in documented news analysis pieces but also in everyday reported stories.

Manpower cost-cutting through buyouts has since sharply reduced editorial oversight of story content. And intense competition in online journalism can permit, even encourage exaggerations and biased shortcuts in reporting quality control.

This combines with a critical reciprocity among zealous reporters to find fault with anything involving Trump.

A lot of 27-year-olds who know nothing, to use Ben Rhodes’ formulation, competing to look edgy on social media.

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