Monday, January 16, 2017

Press your luck

Jason Willick, writing for The American Interest:
The media’s approval rating has been declining for a generation, but it entered freefall over the last year. Among Republicans, confidence in the mainstream media is close to destroyed, with just 14 percent saying they have even a “fair amount” of trust in the press, according to Gallup. Democrats are significantly more trusting, at 51 percent, although that is down from 70 percent in 2005. Among independents, the figure is 30 percent, closer to Republican levels.

High levels of polarization and partisanship mean that most Republicans will take the president’s side and Democrats will take the media’s side in their ongoing wars of attrition. If the press is to continue to hold sway, it will need to win the confidence of independents, who don’t hold Donald Trump in particularly high regard (by historical standards) but who do not exactly have warm feelings for the media, either. As Rutenberg says, high-level failures of judgment by major news organizations will continue to wear down the press’s approval ratings among this critical group. So will the ongoing perception of liberal bias, even if unintentional.
And there's a price to be paid. Ann Althouse:
Should [the press] be ousted [from their space in the White House to a different building] if they are not playing the role the place supposedly symbolizes? Are they representing us, the People, who, collectively, elected Trump, or are they representing the Democratic Party?

I don't know that the symbolism is what should determine whether the press has that space or some other space, but I don't think the press — with respect to the Trump administration — represents the people. I think the statement "They are the opposition party" is much more accurate. Too bad they did that to themselves. We could use a vigorous, professional press.
We could. I can envision countless reasons for the future Leader of the Free World to be held to account, but at this point, aside from maybe Jake Tapper, how can you take any of these reporters seriously?


W.B. Picklesworth said...

[H]ow can you take any of these reporters seriously?

At this point it's worse than that. Yes they are to be laughed at. But there is a darker sentiment in the hearts of many, if my own heart is any indication. These people are malevolent liars who are willfully manipulating and abusing their fellow citizens. Given the scope of their damage, I put them in the same class as child abusers and rapists. I know that sounds overwrought. Surely any individual journalist is not so bad as that. But they act as a pack. And their actions have consequences for millions of people. Worse, their actions have severely eroded trust in our societal institutions and stirred up racial animosity and envy. And they will not learn. They will not repent. I don't wish ill to any individual, but as a class I'd like to see them publicly punished and humiliated.

jerrye92002 said...

I am reminded of an effort years ago to start an alternative to the Star Tribune-- a sort of Fox News counterweight to the CNN of the "Red Star and Sickle." It never went anywhere but the same result has been obtained. The Strib is essentially a liberal rag, written by and for liberals with, to quote the Supreme Court in Miller vs. California, "no redeeming social value." Their readership continues to dwindle (and I commend such abandonment to all) yet they still wield too much influence. I hope it ends soon.